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Worn iPhone Home Button Fix

2015 June 23
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by Craig Tisinger

Over last weekend, the home button on my iPhone started to become less responsive. By Sunday night, it had nearly stopped working entirely. To get it to work, I had to mash it hard with my thumb. The amount of pressure required was surely going to wear it out even faster. Double-tapping didn’t work at all. I was worried that my phone would soon be a goner. As it turns out, things aren’t so bad.

I still have an iPhone 5. I bought it 2 1/2 years ago. It has held up remarkably well over that time. It is in nearly flawless condition. I just entered my purchase date in an online date calculator, and it turns out that I have had the phone for a whopping 907 days. I’ve taken very good care of it. Fortunately, the battery also remains in great shape, despite years of usage.

Considering how well my phone as aged, I was disappointed when my home button began to flake out over the weekend. I went online and looked up potential home remedies to get it working again. I learned some interesting tricks.

If the home button is completely unusable, you can still use the phone by enabling AssistiveTouch, which is an Accessibility feature in iOS. You can find it in Settings > General > Accessibility. Once AssistiveTouch is turned on, a small circle will appear at the bottom right of the screen that allows you to use a virtual home button in place of the physical one. Cool!

Since my button was still working to some degree, I looked for a solution to repair it. I found a terrific page listing several such solutions. You can find that page here.

Last night I tried the solution of pressing and wiping around the home button with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. I didn’t seem to make any immediate difference. However, this morning, the home button was suddenly working perfectly again. It’s as good as new! Even the gentlest tap now elicits a response, and double-tapping works again as well. Problem solved!

If you are experiencing a similar problem, visit the link above and try one (or all) of those solutions. Hopefully one will get you up and running!

The Unsettling Silent Public Bathroom

2015 June 19
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by Craig Tisinger

Public bathrooms are far too quiet. I find this to be the case at most places. It bothers me.

The bathrooms in my office building are completely silent. It’s disturbing. I don’t mind it as much when I am in there alone. It’s when I’m in there with other people that it becomes unsettling. When you’re standing next to someone at a urinal, it is common knowledge that you do not speak to each other. The dead silence in the room can create some very awkward moments.

For example, when someone is pooping in a stall, I do not want to hear it. I don’t want any knowledge of what is going on in there whatsoever. The bathroom desperately needs some background noise. It shouldn’t be totally silent. It creates an awkward situation for all parties involved.

Public bathrooms should have some type of ambient sound that is constantly playing. Think of it as some white noise to mask the yellow noise, if you get my drift. Ha! I had to work that line in somewhere.

In all seriousness, an end to the complete silence is sorely needed. Some restaurants pump music into the bathroom, and that’s a fine solution. It gets the job done. I would suggest that the sound could also be that of an exhaust fan, a waterfall, a mechanical hum, or practically anything. Anything would be better than nothing!

I prefer the idea of some basic white noise rather than using music. It doesn’t have to be a mechanical object. A simple speaker embedded in the ceiling would work just fine. Then any noise come out of it that one prefers. Let’s implement this, for everyone’s sake.

Movie Review: Pinocchio’s Revenge

2015 June 16
by Craig Tisinger

I was scrolling through the movies on Netflix recently and found a horror movie called Pinocchio’s Revenge. It seemed like my kind of bad movie, so I added it to my watch list. I sat down and watched it last night. I wrote a few silly tweets as I watched the movie. This morning I read some of the user reviews on IMDB and that has made me want to write my own.

I didn’t notice before I started the movie that it was made in 1996. I assumed it had been made only a few years ago. Now that filmmaking has gone digital, a rash of really bad movies are being made these days. I had assumed this was one of them. Despite the silly premise, this movie was actually attempting to be serious.

The screen aspect ratio is only 4:3, not 16:9. That was a little off-putting, but I soon adapted to it. I suppose that the studio didn’t want to pay the extra money to film it in the wide format. It could be the case that the copy that Netflix uses is simply limited to 4:3. I don’t know.

The clothes in this movie looked very dated to me. That is really saying something for me to have noticed that, because I have very little fashion sense at all. I do realize that 1996 was 19 years ago (hard to believe!) but the clothes, particularly the jeans worn in this movie looked more like they were from the late 80s. That is not of any real significance; I just thought I’d point it out.

The cast was comprised of a bunch of no-named people, as least as far as I know. I didn’t recognize anyone in the movie. I thought that the acting was good overall. The best performance was delivered by the little girl Zoe. She was excellent for a child actor. She did the best acting in the movie. I looked her up on IMDB to see what other movies she may have later starred in. Sadly, she hasn’t been in much of anything, nor does she even have a photo on IMDB. That’s too bad because I thought she did a very good job. Considering how long ago this movie was filmed, she is probably pushing 30 years old by now, I would guess.

One simple tweak that could have made this movie much better was the appearance of the doll. Dolls are generally creepy to begin with, but this one should have looked more sinister, considering that the plot of the movie revolves around him. In my opinion, he didn’t look disturbing enough. They could have squeezed more horror out of the movie if he both looked and sounded more frightening. His voice was a little annoying. I wanted to slap him more than run away from him.

One particular scene that bothered me was when the housekeeper was attacked in the hall with the fireplace poker. The attacker isn’t visible, and the audience is made to be unsure if it is Zoe or the doll that is doing the killing. Either way, the housekeeper should have easily been able to defeat an attacking doll or a little girl. Instead, one whack with the poker and she goes down for the count. Really? Come on.

A scene that I thought was brilliantly shot was the one where Zoe runs into the street at night and a car is zooming toward her to mow her down. It turns out to be two motorcycles that zoom past her on either side. The suspense, timing, and execution of that scene were spot-on. Well done.

After having read a number of user reviews on IMDB, it seems that the ending of the movie is a bit controversial. There is a lot of disagreement over whether the ending was clever or lazy. I don’t want to spoil the ending by mentioning the series of events directly, but I will say that I was okay with what took place. It did end rather abruptly, but it made the viewer rethink what had happened over the course of the movie. I’m happy that they didn’t pull some stunt in the final moments to tease a possible sequel. I guarantee you that if this movie were filmed today, that would have been done. Filmmakers can’t seem to help themselves these days.

Overall, Pinocchio’s Revenge was fairly entertaining. It had the look and feel of the kind of movie you’d see on the USA Network or something. It wasn’t scary enough to be true horror, but it wasn’t campy enough to be funny. The result was simply meh. I’m glad that it was only 96 minutes. I rated it 2 out of 5 stars on Netflix.

Pinocchio's Revenge poster

State of the Blog

2015 June 7
by Craig Tisinger

I wrote my first blog post on December 2, 2005. My blog turns ten years old this year! Since that December day ten years ago, I have written 685 posts.

The regularity of my writing has slacked off in recent times. It’s now June and I haven’t written a single post since March. I used to be far more regular with them. It’s not for a lack of material. I have a list of things to write about, and I have several ideas on that list. I just haven’t felt like sitting down and writing about any of them.

The static pages on this site have become terribly ancient. My Hate List is the only page that I’ve put an effort into updating and maintaining. The other pages, linked to at the top of the page, are pretty much neglected. The iPhone, Mac, and Linux pages were created many years ago and have become irrelevant. I could simply delete the pages, but it would look rather empty up there with out some page content to link to. For the time being, I will leave them as they are and let them continue to develop cobwebs.

Where does this go from here? My blog isn’t going away. I’ll continue to maintain it, and will write a post when I get the notion. It’s hard to believe that I launched this site nearly ten years ago. Here’s to many more.

Mullet Car

2015 March 27
by Craig Tisinger

I see this car daily in my office parking lot. It is so ugly. I’ve often thought that to myself when I’ve walked by it. What is it? Whatever it is, it looks like a mullet.

I’ve made a point over the past week to get a good picture of it. It’s been hard to get it in decent lighting without anyone parked next to it. I was finally able to get a good photo of it while out walking at work today.

I truly don’t know what kind of car it is. I think it may be a Subaru of some kind, but I am not certain. Before writing this post, I searched online for cars that fit its description and photo. I simply can’t find a reliable answer on the make and model. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. If I ever find out, I’ll post it in the comments.

Mullet car

Go To Hell Aunty Acid

2015 March 22
by Craig Tisinger

I despise the incredibly lame Aunty Acid cartoons. My hatred has reached the point that I am writing a blog post about it. It’s been on my Hate List for some time, but I feel the need to take it a step further and reemphasize my point.

First off, I don’t understand the difference between Aunty Acid on Facebook and those old Maxine greeting cards. In my mind, they are the same person. The characters are suspiciously similar. I suppose that Maxine is supposed to be a slightly older person, but who cares. They are both dumb.

Aunty Acid is half-witted cartoon character that propagates through Facebook. The themes and captions of the cartoons are incredibly lame and downright not amusing. Only old people would find any humor in it. That said, I know a few young people who take pleasure in sharing these stupid cartoons on their timelines. One friend of mine even has the audacity to post this crap on Instagram! The horror! I find that offensive on multiple levels. If we weren’t close friends, I would delete him.

I scold my friends who share this trash. They are well aware of how much I hate it. Keep in mind that we are talking about 30-year-olds. You would think they were 90 by sharing this garbage. I think less of anyone who finds any amusement in these awful cartoons.

I have had it up to here with seeing this bullshit. I can’t take it anymore. Someone needs to write a browser plugin that removes this garbage from the Internet. I do not ever want to see another Aunty Acid cartoon again. Ever!

I’m going to add a picture to this post, as an example, so you can see what I am talking about. But believe me, it pains me greatly to post such trash on my blog.

Aunty Acid can go to hell. Whoever makes a living drawing this shit needs to find a new line of work.

Aunty Acid