Fixing a microwave oven with a broken keypad

This is by far one of the most productive things I did this week outside of work (at least the one I can write about here).

A couple of months ago my ex gave it to me, it started with intermittent display issues and one day it stopped completely. I picked it up and stored it.

The other weekend I was in a bit of cleaning frenzy and I remembered that it was using valuable space on the shack doing nothing so I set to see if it had any hope of working again. Otherwise I'd take the transformer and dish motor, the magnetron would go to a friend and the rest sold as scrap.

This is the second time I fix a microwave oven and I'm amazed at the amount of grease and acid stench that accumulates inside them.

I bridged the safety interlock pads on the control board and powered it with an isolation transformer. It kinda turned on but was not responsive and only some digits were dimly lit. It was also very sticky.

After that I cleaned it using lukewarm water, detergent and a toothbrush, a scoop with a hair drier and then another bath with alcohol.

Now it works!

The keypad is a mess, besides being sticky and stenchy too the conductive traces were broken, like dissolved, on the connector side. For some models there are still replacements on the market but they aren't cheap and also what's the fun on that?

I peeled away the layers, traced it and make a replacement using tact switches. The decal will be glued on top of that. It works fine, there's less waste (but I'm short of a spot welder) and off it goes to Radio Futura.

Published in: dumpster-diving, electronica, futura, hacks, psico | on July 16th, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »


Today was quite a lovely morning, not overly chilly despite being Winter. I didn't consider all the mud so I missed it by a couple of minutes as I had to step out of the bike and walk. The rest of the set is there at flickr.

Published in: Berisso, psico | on July 8th, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »


There was this old lady at our club that used to calm discussions with this adage:

If you don't have anything nice to say, just don't. Unless it's important.

She was very very quiet.

I have more than enough ranting material but, on the other arm of the scale I have this that makes me feel warm inside and takes away all the pain.

A while ago one of my Best Friends published his first album, Clusterobvia.

We were long out of touch despite living near and one Thursday tagged along for tea and snacks with a mutual Best Friend to catch up (quite a bizarre triangle).
He brought two copies and we discovered that our names appear on the credits with words so nice and heartwarming beyond description.

It's so wonderful seeing the dreams of a close friend come true. I'm very guilty of keeping feelings to myself and so when reading the booklet there was such a revelation of how much we value each other.


Published in: amig@s, art, futura, musica, psico | on June 11th, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »

Always look on the bright side of life.

(scheduled to be auto published on June 1st. Probably I'm not around yet)

A lot happened these months.

Earlier this year I was officially stamped as being depressed. The downhill started before but I just snapped around mid January.

I used to live and breath by technology (well I still do but to a less extent), but lately I lost all joy and pride on what I was doing. Standing in front of my computer gave rise to a paralyzing anxiety. I knew exactly what to type, either because it was plain simple or I wrote it before on my notepad on the park, but the mere act of getting to the action part wasn't working for me. I also spent way too much time doing crappy stuff for others on it, missing on my friendships, health, family and time for myself.

I also have a bad habit of not saying no. Saying yes it's a different matter, but the net result was a very unhealthy overcommitting.

In a very bold move I decided to cut everything, no halfsies. I stopped answering the phone, every non urgent mail (if it wasn't something urgent it's still there, I'll get back to you. Promise), all the social channels.

I let down a lot of people on the way but it let me really focus on what I care about.

It also gave me a bit of peace, I'm still crippled but not like before. During the last years I did all I could to build procedures, tools, documentation in order to be non essential. The bus factor on many of the things I'm involved with it's still high but at least I don't have that much pressure over my shoulders.

I disappeared into a black hole, things didn't broke (well, most of them) and people somehow got around my absence. Being non essential is great, that feeling of freedom is quite good.

Today it's June 1st and I am officially back online. I wrote a lot of stuff in this period, I don't think I'll ever publish most of that, while being technically correct the form reminds me of emo cries from the 90's.

Published in: Berisso, psico, rants | on June 1st, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »

Everything old is new again

The other afternoon I saw a dude in his early twenties with a brand new Run DMC shirt and very proud of it. A mainstream radio played at middle morning some songs from the album "Lovelife" by Lush, and not even the popular ones. And I'm back to emo days.

Published in: Berisso, psico | on April 10th, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »


So, I'm facing an issue and the best tools so far (or the ones that are the less worse) seem to involve both php and xslt. And a braindead webservice. Go team.
Not totally unrelated, I'm surprised at the amount of stuff that can be found with "depressed developer".

Published in: hacks, psico, software | on April 7th, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »

You always learn something new

Priority mail from Switzerland to Argentina takes about 27 days door to door (hello Ernst!).

The new and unified apt has

apt list --installed package-name-pattern

that replaces a lot of dpkg fiddling.


Published in: dumpster-diving, electronica, software libre, tubes, Uncategorized | on April 7th, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »


So, I had this red lace knotted in my wrist for a bit more than two years now. It holds a lot of meaning to me, I received it in the sweet fifteen birthday of a friend's daughter (that identified us as able to grab alcohol from the bar). A person I hold very dear tied it to me and I did the same to her.

Why do I still have it? For starters it's quite robust, I didn't expect it to last this longer.
On the other paw, I keep it because it remembers me of all those wonderful years we had, when I felt like I've found my purpose and place in Life. I look at it and feel warm inside, with fondling memories of all the adventures we've been through, how we grew together.

I don't hold any hope things will be back as they were. I thought I was ready to let go, forget everything and start again from a clean slate but turns out I'm not.

It reminds me of the kind of Man I could be. It points to the north.

I don't like what I've become after we splitted paths. But I know I'm capable of more.

I just have to figure out how to rise up and take control of my life, how to build strength to start again.

Looking back, it appears I hit rock bottom in periods of about eight years. There's one upside of being so torn inside, the only possible way is up. But when?

Published in: psico | on April 2nd, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »

Why do I even bother…

I tell you it's for your own good people but no, you keep doing the same horrible things.

While bisecting a nasty bug I land into a monster commit:

$ git show --stat THE_COMMIT_HASH
commit 123456789A04a0d558749337badc0de9deadbeef
Author: root
Date: Tue Aug 4 09:10:16 2015 -0300

(files changed...)
38 files changed, 865 insertions(+), 657 deletions(-)

And this is one of the smaller ones. It updates vendor libraries, adds middlewares to our api, changes the authentication scheme and does some touch ups to the web frontend. I couldn't care less that it was committed as root but the log message is murder to my eyes.

How hard is to understand that doing this is bad for everyone? It's very easy to do this instead of making a couple of extra commits but when things break you come crying asking me to fix them and instead of being a simple task I have to sift through mountains of unrelated stuff.

You are more than welcome.

Published in: rants, software libre | on March 30th, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »

Not enough.

A very long while ago a Woman told me

I don't have time for Love

Back then I couldn't just wrap in my head that concept (she indeed had time for Lust, even written down in her agenda). Until now.

I'm in that situation. I was unable to utter those words but the way we behaved is more than enough.

How hard is to say I don't love You anymore, I just don't feel what I used to...

How different things were to be if I had the courage of saying so instead of waiting so long.

How coward.

Published in: psico | on March 26th, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »

Delayed gratification

It's holidays. I'm gonna spend all day at the park doing crafts and playing silly tunes with a melodica. Then I'll climb a radio tower and watch the sunset. Fuck everything else.

Published in: art, Berisso, psico | on March 24th, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »


Yesterday I cheered because I had to wait about 15 minutes instead of the typical 40 - 60 for the privilege to board a bus home, if you can call that dirty rotten wheeled can a bus. The fare is about 10 times the one of the train or its replacement buses, the units are gross and very poor maintained but their seats don't murder my back as much as the others do. So I suck it up.

Just as we were exiting the highway and before entering into the city the engine stops with noises that lead one to believe it either run out of fuel or some air got into the diesel lines. For all I care it could be both.


Published in: rants | on March 22nd, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »

Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays

I wanted to visit it since a long time and in February just happened that I had a work meeting a few blocks from it, so instead of heading to the subway entrance I drifted for a while.

Having a place like this in the middle of Buenos Aires seems like a dream, it reminds me a lot of Córdoba and some parts of La Plata and Berisso (mainly the Instituto Spegazzini and the, um, jungle? at isla Paulino). Outside of the main tracks there are very very quiet spots.

There are also a lot of cats, very nicely groomed and friendly towards people

The third one followed me around for a while and lost interest, until I bought cake from a couple of gals and a guy that looked like Eric Schenkman.

There are very nice buildings in an art noveau style inside but, by the time I got there they were closed. So I'll have to come back.

Published in: art, psico | on March 16th, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »


The other week I felt like cooking.

I made cubes of calabaza in syrup like grandma used to, with ash or lime to harden the outside. About half day sitting in water and lime, a thorough clean and then five hours give or take on the stove with lots of sugar.

After that I roasted a sweet potato and just for kicks I also fried a banana in a mixture of honey and butter. That was really tasty.

Published in: Berisso, hacks, psico | on March 8th, 2016 by Adrian Pardini | No Comments »