After getting a set of AirPods this year I thought it would be nice to have wireless charging at my desk. I like using the touch pad on my MacBook pro, so this mouse pad drawer doesn’t get used and I got the idea to embed a charger in it.
I bought a cheap $10 wireless charger.
It won’t charge very quick, but it doesn’t have to when I’m sitting there working most of the day. I figured it would be a fun project and the worst that could happen is I fail and I’m out $10. I opened up the case and there wasn’t much to it.
Then there was only one small screw to remove and the electronics were free.
I forgot to take any other pictures until I had put everything back together. After pulling up the top of the mouse pad, there was some foam underneath. I traced the electronics and USB cable to make a cut out in the foam. Then I used a chisel to carve out the particle board until there was a deep enough recess. I drilled a few holes for wires and the LED. I had cut the LED off of the circuit board so I could route it to the front of the drawer. I soldered on some wires to connect the LED back to the board, hot glued everything in place, and then used super glue to put the mouse pad top back on. Overall it was an ugly hack job. Over to the right is a picture of the holes and wiring underneath.
Check out this short video of the charging in action.
BTW, the mouse pad drawer has two identical halves, so if I ever decide to use a mouse again (it’s been at least 5 years since I had one), I’m good to go.
AT&T has been shit inside my house for the last six months or so. My phone makes weird noises to the people on the other end of a call and often cuts in and out unless I’m standing by my big kitchen window. So I’d been planning to switch to Verizon. Then a friend told me about Spectrum Mobile, which actually uses the Verizon network. They have two plans:
- By the Gig: $14 per GB of data usage
- Unlimited: $45 a month
The By the Gig plan sounded really cool and perfect for me because I usually use less than 1GB of data per month and rarely more than 2, unless I’m traveling. In the Spectrum account you can set notifications and it’s easy to switch between the two plans in the middle of a month, with no penalties. So if I was going to go over 3GB of usage, I’d just change to Unlimited for the month and then back after the billing cycle.
I’ve been paying about $73 a month for service through AT&T! That’s ridiculous for how little data I use and the handful of times I talk on the phone each month. If you don’t have a family plan, these cell phone companies basically rob you. $14-28 for most months with a maximum of $45 is much more reasonable.
The decision to switch was a win-win; better network and cheaper bill. I paid off the remaining 5 installments for my iPhone X and made the request for AT&T to unlock my phone. Then I ordered a free SIM card from Spectrum, paying a one-time activation fee of $10, plus $14 for the first month of service.
Apparently the monthly charges even include the taxes and fees here in Michigan.
I couldn’t believe how easy the entire process was. I never had to talk to anyone at AT&T to pay off or unlock my phone, which felt like a miracle. The Spectrum sign-up process was much better than any other time I’ve signed up for something with them (or the old Charter). After the SIM card arrived (in 3 days) I went through the activation (also a breeze) and I did have to call AT&T to cancel service with them.
Yesterday I called my mom for her birthday and I was able to have a conversation from my office, so it’s already much better than AT&T.
Here’s the latest in what is now a yearly screenshot of my home screen.
I’d previously posted in 2017, 2016, and 2010. I decided not to upgrade to the iPhone XS this year, so I have the same phone. The biggest changes are I’m back to a single page and I’ve filled the last space with the Tesla app.
I’ve been getting the new iPhone every year since 3 or 4 I think, even the S models. I think I’m going to skip this year though. My iPhone X still runs great and I wasn’t too impressed with the updates for this round.
Are you upgrading from an X? If so, what got you excited?
Something I’ve noticed more and more with the iPhone X is I accidentally trigger some modes a lot more than I ever did with previous models. Here are 14 screenshots and pictures (actually a lot more since five of these are burst modes) I took today while leaving the gym.
Two other things I trigger all the time are the Apple Pay prompt and Emergency calling. Thankfully I haven’t called an emergency contact yet. Maybe it’s because I enabled Raise to Wake for use with Face ID, which was never enabled before.
Does anyone else have these issues?
A year ago, I posted a screenshot of the home screen on my iPhone 7 Plus. Might as well make this a yearly thing. Not much has changed with my app usage though. Here’s the home screen on my iPhone X.
This may be the first time since iOS added app groups that I have a 2nd page.
These are some augmented reality apps I wanted to try. I’ll get around to filing them into a group soon because this second screen is bugging me.
Do you take the SIM card out of your old phone before getting rid of it?
I loved the Q Card Case so much for my iPhone 7 Plus I looked to see if there was a version for the iPhone X available. Yep! It’s called the Q Card Case for iPhone X “Wallet Slayer Vol. 2” (CM4). I immediately ordered one in the Blue Jade to go with my Silver iPhone X.
This new version looks and feels nicer than the old one. With the 7 Plus I used to take the case off around the house, but because the iPhone X is so slippery, I’ve been leaving the case on this one. I really like it.
Here are some photos for comparison.