Monthly Archives: December 2015

Acer Aspire S3 – Battery swap

In September 2013, I bought an Acer Aspire S3. Why? Because it was on sale for a really good price. When I can avoid it, I won’t ever pay laptops full price. The downsides were a 1366×768 resolution screen, soldered-on RAM and a built-in battery. Manufacturing date says November 2012, so at that point the battery was already about a year old.  Yes, even unused batteries degrade.

Fast forward to December 2015.  The battery really is getting low on capacity.  It barely holds an hour for light surfing.  So, the time has come to try to replace the battery.  Here are the statistics of the original battery:

Battery statistics of the Acer Aspire S3, before battery replacement

Battery statistics of the Acer Aspire S3, before battery replacement

My favourite battery supplier is duracelldirect.eu, as the prices are reasonable, the delivery is very quick and they regularly send newsletters giving you codes for 10% off (or more, but mostly 10%).  So basically, when I need a new battery, I just wait until I get such a code.  Why pay full price, right?  With coupon, I got the battery for 66,14€, including VAT, including delivery. Here is what a new battery looks like for the S3.  Exotic, I admit.

While the S3 didn’t look all hard to open up, and was pretty much akin to the infamous ThaiBook with regards to screws, I did do some research.  I found a youtube video by Sunderland Computer Repairs with detailed instructions, giving me confidence I could do it on my own. It really was as easy as described. For an Ultrabook, the repair-ability is great.  Obviously, just having a user-replaceable battery would be better.  Actually, in some sense the repair-ability is better than my Dell XPS L502x, because if you want access to the hard disk in that one, you have to be prepared for quite some pain.  The battery is user replaceable on the Dell, though.

The battery statistics after the swap:

Battery statistics of the Acer Aspire S3, after battery replacement

Battery statistics of the Acer Aspire S3, after battery replacement

Good for another two years, I say…

I also was happy to see that the SSD is exchangeable.  The reports on the Internet were mixed regarding this.  For some it’s soldered-on, for some not.  I’m apparently one of the lucky ones.  That said, the 20GB SSD is more than sufficient to hold my operating system.

The end of an era

DNX to CNL

The end of an era


Today, I officially handed in my notice at DNX Network sàrl. My notice period extends until 29th of February 2016, which makes my time at DNX Network my longest held job in my career, with a full seven years. The decision to take the other job offer wasn’t easy, because I like my job, the atmosphere at the office was generally great, and I have great colleagues. It’s mainly because of them that I hesitated and had a though few nights. As I have said in other departures: I don’t work for companies, I work with people. So, yes, I worked with great people like Jeroen (the worst company website in history) and Pieter, both extraordinary system and network engineers which I couldn’t match ever, if I wanted to. I feel bad leaving them with an added workload and on-call duty.

Now, if you’re happy at your job, you don’t look actively for a job, right? Well, kinda, but kinda not. I have checked my archives, and it turns out that in the last year I sent out exactly three applications and have responded to no head-hunter inquiries. I’d say, that’s not exactly the behaviour of someone itching to leave.
Interestingly, the first two of those three where shortly after performance reviews that basically said: “You’re doing your job fine, but, nah, no extra money”. That would be five years in a row, it kinda gets old. Oh, I’m not the only one, from what I heard: it’s the same for everyone at the peon level.

The three applications have something in common, namely the institution I sent them to: The Luxembourgian State. I hear you say: the state? Job security, good pensions, but bad pay! Well, not really. If you’re a Luxembourgian national, that’s basically where you want to end up, because they do pay well.

Now state jobs are hard to get by. There basically are two types: the type where you do a state exam, pass that and then you’re are on the track to become a sworn-in state servant. Alas, for me, that way is next to unachievable, because it involves written tests in several languages. One is German, and I’m totally self-taught. I couldn’t write a sentence without a spell checker and then it will be full of grammar mistakes.
The other way is the “state employee”. For all intents and purposes, this is used to fill positions where they can’t find anyone who has passed above mentioned exam. Basically, anyone can apply if you fit certain criteria that make you fit for the position. The downside is, that it’s often used to “internalize” external consultants, making the job postings a formality. You’ll get called for an interview, but you won’t get the job regardless. At least, that’s what the rumors say…

Apparently, the rumors aren’t entirely true, because I applied to an A2 career for an IT guy at the Centre National de Littérature. The A2 “only” requires a bachelors degree. A1 requires a masters degree. I went for an interview the 17th of November, I had a job offer on the table the 2nd December.

So, I’m leaving the glamorous world of porn, for the quite less glamorous world of digital archiving. Literature, no less. I’m not all that certain what exactly my role will be, but I know it won’t be much system and network engineering any more. It’s back to programming and from what I understood, mainly database design. Fine, I can do that. Open source seems to be desired, but I doubt I’ll be able to use Linux on the desktop. I’ll be quite dependent on the CTIE, from what I understood.

If all goes well, I’ll be getting pretty much a 20% pay increase. I might not, because it depends on the state acknowledging my 15+ years of work experience. It’s obviously a gamble. There is something else that that’s talking for this job. It’s in Mersch and not in Luxembourg city. Mersch happens to be about 10km from where I live… Not walking distance, but I doubt the engine of the TT will become warm.

I do realize that working for a porn company probably fit my personality better, but is there any nerd out there that could say no to books?