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  • ThomasPowell 6:37 pm on March 11, 2018 Permalink
    Tags: aux jack, broken, headphone jack, iphone   

    Removing a Broken Headphone Plug from an iPhone 

    Broken Headphone Plug and iPhone. 😱

    The headphone jack is a pretty key port for anyone not on an iPhone 7 or later, so a broken headphone plug shoved in the jack renders a phone pretty much useless. It’s also too small a space for needle nose pliers.

    So what do you do if something breaks off in it? Well, searching around on iFixit lead me to the existence of a headphone plug extraction tool (for $50!!!) Unfortunately, my daughter actually uses her phone for school, so the wait (plus $50) was unacceptable if we could find another solution.

    Other solutions?

    • Crazy glue the broken headphones to its counterpart (and risk sealing it up for good?!)
    • Small drill bit.
    • Bamboo toothpick.
    • Soda straw cut to squeeze around the broken plug.

    Ok, the soda straw sounded reasonable and, if nothing else, low risk. So I tried with some IKEA straws and got close to extracting a piece out, but no further. The problem was that there was too much in the plug. (The headphone plug is concentric cylinders that had been shoved all the way in.)


    So I kept reading… CUTICLE SCISSORS! My wife had a small pair that worked well to extract one of the pieces. Grab what you can with the scissors, push the straw around the remainder and tug to extract. The plug tip slid far enough out in this process to grab with my fingernails.

    Below is the final carnage with extraction tools.

    Cuticle scissors, straw, headphone plug pieces

  • tech0x20 2:57 pm on May 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: iphone, payments, retail, stored value   

    My experience with the Starbucks Mobile Card 

    When I initially heard about the Starbucks mobile card test only being expanded to Target stores, I wondered if the reason was because of infrastructure. After all, there are west coast tests of the mobile card in full scale stores.

    After trying to use it, I now believe that the choice of Target Starbucks as test locations was due to their lower volume.

    I presented my iPhone app mobile card for payment. It took a minute for the cashier to realize what I was doing (how long into the test?)

    She was unable to scan the mobile card after a couple of attempts, and then had to make a couple of attempts at manually entering the card before the system would accept it as payment.

    Another cashier was confused with what was even going on with my iPhone and the order. At some point, I can imagine that I would have been public enemy #1 if this were a standalone Starbucks at rush hour.

    I successfully paid for my drink with the mobile card, but I don’t think I ever will do that again, at least not until I see others in line successfully paying in this way.

  • tech0x20 1:17 pm on March 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: calendar, iphone,   

    Calendar functionality on a smartphone? 

    It seems that calendars should respond to time zone changes more gracefully.

    I don’t have another smartphone for reference, just an iPhone, but the combination of automatic time zone updating and calendar appointments should be handled more gracefully.

    Now, I know there’s a time zone support option on the iPhone, but not all appointment sources are created equal.

    Outlook Sync with iphone seems to not handle timezones well. I’m sitting in Las Vegas getting my 4 PM EST meeting invite reminders at 4 PM PST.

    Meanwhile, I wouldn’t necessarily want my 5:30 AM EST to necessarily translate to 2:30 AM PST.

    Given those two cases, I don’t think a global device setting is necessarily the ideal method to solve the timezone issue.

    Maybe there should be switch on each appointment that indicates whether the time or the timezone stays fixed for a given appointment.

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