November 2012 Newsletter

How to Save a Wet Cell Phone

On my recent overseas visit, I saw how uncooked rice saved my friend’s (Esther Extra Kang) water dropped Samsung galaxy S2. Short Story: In the middle of our journey phone was dropped in a bucket of water, completely water soaked. Phone will turn on but will freeze. Got uncooked rice from a restaurant in a plastic bag, left the phone for 24 Hrs. Astonishingly the phone came back to Life. It was a miracle J. Subsequent steps were followed to save the wet cell phone:

Steps

1.    Take the phone out of the water as soon as possible. The plastic covers on cell phones are fairly tight, but water can enter the phone in a short period of time, perhaps only 20 seconds or less. Grab your phone quickly. Don’t switch the phone on, as this can cause it to short circuit – if it has been in water, assume it needs drying immediately whether or not it is working

Note: If you can’t get to the phone in time, your best bet is to remove the battery while it is still under water. Water helps to dissipate heat from shorts that can damage the phone, so most damage occurs when the inside of the phone is wet and connected to a power source. This can go both ways, however. Being under water is more likely to short the battery to even more sensitive contacts, so be careful.

2.2 
Don’t panic. Your phone will probably not be too damaged if you take it out of the water right away. A longer period of immersion, such as being in the washing machine cycle, will be cause for more alarm but it is still worth trying the following steps before giving up completely.

3.3 Remove the battery. This is one of the most important steps. Don’t take time to think about it; electricity and water do not mix. Cutting power to your phone is a crucial first step in saving it. Many circuits inside the phone will survive immersion in water provided they are not attached to a power source when wet.

Note: To find out if the phone is truly water damaged, check the corner near where the battery is – there should be a white square or circle, with or without red lines. If this is pink or red, your phone has water damage.

Note: Quickly read the manual to your phone if you’re not sure how to remove the battery.

4.4 
Remove the SIM card if you have a GSM carrier. Some or all of your valuable contacts (along with other data) could be stored on your SIM. For many people, this could be more worth saving than the phone itself. SIM cards survive water damage well, but some of the following steps might damage it, so getting it out immediately makes good sense. Just pat it dry and leave it aside until you need to connect your phone to your cellular network.

5.5 Remove all other peripherals and covers that can be removed. Remove any covers and external connectors to open up as many gaps, slots, and crevices in the phone as possible.

6.6
 Dry your phone. If there is even one drop of water left inside, it can ruin your phone by corroding it and making the wrong contact. Obviously you need to remove as much of the water as soon as possible, to prevent it from easing its way into the phone:

   Note: Gently wipe off as much water as possible without dropping the phone. Avoid shaking or moving the phone excessively, so as to avoid moving water through it.

Note: Wipe down using a towel or paper towel. Ideally, try not to clog the wet paper in the gaps and grooves of the phone. Keep wiping, to gently remove as much of the remaining water as possible.

Note: (Optional): If you pulled the battery out in time, cleaning the inside of your phone with cleaning alcohol (alcohol will displace the water) or contact spray might remedy the problem.

Note: Dry any remaining excess moisture by moving your dry or mitten-clad hand across the surface.

7.7 
Use a vacuum cleaner if possible. If you want to try and suck the liquid out of the inner parts of the phone, try using a vacuum cleaner. Remove all residual moisture by drawing it away with a vacuum cleaner held over the affected areas for up to 20 minutes, in each accessible area (take it in turns with a friend). This is the fastest method and can completely dry out your phone and get it working in thirty minutes. However, unless the exposure to water wasextremely short, it’s not recommended to attempt to turn your phone on this soon. Be careful not to hold the vacuum too close to the phone, as a vacuum can create static electricity, which is even worse for the phone.

Note: Contrary to common advice, it is not recommended that you use a hair dryer (not even on the “cold” mode) to dry out the phone. Using a hair dryer may force moisture further into the small components, deep inside the phone, as the air blows inward. And if it is too warm, it will likely melt them. If moisture is driven deeper inside, corrosion and oxidation may result when minerals from liquids are deposited on the circuitry. Using a hairdryer might be a temporary fix, but this will eventually cause component failure inside the phone. While this applies to blowing air into the phone, using a heater, fan or other moving-air device to blow air ACROSS the phone’s openings will work. The Bernoulli principle states that as the warm, dry air moves fast over the openings in the phone, the decreased air pressure will gently pull or suck the moist air out of the phone. The best part of this option is that you can leave a phone in front of a warm (not hot), dry movement of air for hours on end without effort.

8.8 
Use a substance with a high affinity for water to help draw out moisture. Leave the phone in a bowl or bag of uncooked rice overnight. The rice would absorb any remaining moisture.

Note: If available, it is preferable to use desiccant instead. Desiccant will absorb moisture better than rice. You can also try slipping the cell phone inside a plastic bag that can be sealed or a plastic container (airtight). Add a desiccant packet (often found with shoes, noodle packets, etc.) in with the cell phone. The downside of this method is the type desiccant found with shoes, noodle packets etc. has usually already reached its absorption capacity and also doesn’t actually “pull” water to it. Leave as long as possible (overnight) to absorb the moisture.

Note: Rotate the phone to a different position every hour until you go to sleep. This will allow any water left inside to run down and hopefully find an opening to escape.

9.9 
Let the phones sit on absorbent towels, napkin, or other paper. After removing the phone from the rice or desiccant (or if you were not able to use either method), place the phone on absorbent material. Remember that the goal is to evacuate all of the moisture and humidity, not to trap it or add even more.

Note: Check the absorbent material every hour for 4 to 6 hours. If moisture is evident, repeat the vacuuming step and desiccant steps.

10.10
 Test your phone. After you have waited at least 24 hours, or longer if possible, check to see that everything on and in your cell phone is clean and looks dry. Re-attach the battery to

the phone. Try turning it on.

Note: If your phone still does not work, try plugging it into its charger without the battery. If this works, you need a new battery.

Note: If not, try taking your cell phone to an authorized dealer. Sometimes they can fix it. Don’t try to hide the fact that it has been wet – there are internal indicators that prove moisture and they’re more likely to be able to help you if you explain exactly what has happened.

11.11 
Take the phone apart if your phone doesn’t turn on at all. If you feel comfortable doing this, try taking it apart. First, make sure that you have all of the right parts and know exactly where they go. Be sure to put everything back in its proper place once finished. As you’re disassembling it, pat each individual part dry with a small towel and use the vacuum cleaner once more on the crevices (but be careful not to accidentally suck up any loose parts – keep them well to one side, or stretch a length of old pantyhose over the nozzle). Another method is to use a logic board cleaner to remove corrosion and eliminate moisture at the same time. If this doesn’t work, or you’re too unsure about undoing your phone, get help from cell phone professionals.

Note: If your phone is powering up but still acting strange after you’ve dried it, then it’s probable that you’ve missed some liquid, or that the corrosion has already occurred. Dis-assembly and cleaning with a toothbrush can often fix such an issue easily and quickly. Look on YouTube for instructions on how to properly do this process.

12.12
If you are an apple user, you can save your phone or smart phone by drying it with a paper towel. You can also buy waterproof iPhone cases for your smart phone if you own an iPhone 4 or 4S.

Windows 8 vs. Windows 7: 8 ways it’s different

A brand new interface, Windows Store, ARM support and more

Windows 8 is a totally new version of Windows that, in addition to the traditional desktop, also includes a new-style interface for use with touchscreens – whether that’s on a touchscreen laptop, all-in-one PC or tablet.

And, while not all PCs will be touchscreen when Windows 8 launches, expect more and more devices to have touchscreens towards the New Year – even if it’s a traditional laptop.

Windows 7 was a big hit for Microsoft, turning things around from the troublesome Windows Vista and reminding people that the Redmond giant was not quite ready to hang up its hat just yet.

The Windows 8 release date is here and the challenge for Microsoft is how it builds on the success of Windows 7 and show that Windows can work on IPad-like tablets. But it still needs to dominate on laptops and desktops.

Windows 8 isn’t a phone OS – but does share a great deal of design language and code with its sibling, the new Windows Phone 8.

Here are 8 key differences that Windows 8 brings to the table.

1. Windows 8 touch

Obviously the most obvious difference between Windows 8 and its popular predecessor is the user interface.

Windows 7 supported touch, but it wasn’t ideal – the controls simply weren’t good enough. However, things have improved immeasurably in terms of the touch support in Windows 8. First of all, touch support on the Desktop is far, far better and you can even close windows and select menu items without issue – Windows has built-in intelligence to tell it what you are trying to do.

Secondly, the new Start Screen is an interface that’s built for touch. That means tiles instead of menus and much quicker ways to get to the programs you want. There’s also greatly improved on-screen keyboard and handwriting recognition.

You don’t need to have a Windows 8 touch PC – the interface still works on non touch machines, and many track pads have support for new Windows 8 gestures. There are also peripherals such as touch mice and track pads from Microsoft and Logitech (among others) that support Windows 8 gestures.

2. Windows 8 Start screen

Microsoft the familiar Start menu is a Start screen which features the same kind of live tiles and data as Windows Phone’s home screen.

When you open an app that needs the desktop you still get the familiar Recycle Bin and Taskbar, but the Start button – which now only appears when you hover in the bottom left corner with your mouse – takes you back to the Start screen.

The Start Screen can be used as an application launcher for desktop apps, or Windows 8 Modern UI apps (that’s what Microsoft is currently calling the new interface).

3. Better multiple monitor support

Microsoft has decided that, with more of us using multiple monitors on our PCs, that it needed to overhaul its desktop management.

That means you can now have the Start Screen on one monitor and the desktop in another, or choose to have the Windows 8 Desktop and taskbar on both screens.

You can also put a different background on each screen if you have multiple monitors. Windows 8 also enables you to split screen between Modern UI Windows 8 apps, so you can have both your Windows Messenger on a third of the screen alongside your Desktop. This takes a bit of getting used to!

4. Windows 8 charms

A key arrival for Windows 8 is what Microsoft is calling Charms. These appear when you mouse to the right-hand side of the screen or swipe in from the right on a touchscreen.

They enable you to access the Start Screen on a touch device (although many touch devices will also have a physical Windows 8 button on the bezel of the screen or a Windows key on the keyboard).

The other buttons are Search, Share, Devices and Settings and provide quick access to these functions on touch and pointer-driven displays alike.

As well as searching your apps and folders, charms work across different apps, so for example a social app can tap into the Share charm so you can share files to that app quickly and easily – it’s contextual to the app you are using.

The Settings charm gives you quick access to basics such as volume and brightness controls, as well as putting your PC to sleep or restarting it.

The search and devices charms are fairly self explanatory, but the share charm is interesting.

5. Windows 8 Search and Social

With the Start menu gone, search is available not only through the Search charm but also through the Start Screen – just start typing and the results on screen are for programs and files.

As with Share, the Search charm is contextual, so you can search inside any app – for example you can do a web search from here, or look for a destination using the Travel app. Doing a web search is powerful and quick, it’s a simple way to launch a browser and search speedily.

As for social, Windows 8 supports Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter natively, so you can browse social updates within the People app and elsewhere.

6. Windows 8 ARM support

Until now, Windows has only supported x86-based Intel and AMD PCs but that is all changing with Windows 8, which will support devices running on ARM architecture.

British company ARM’s chip designs are being used in a growing number of devices, and Microsoft is keen to make Windows as widely available as possible – especially on cheaper Windows 8 tablets to compete with the iPad and Android tablets.

·            Windows 8 vs. Windows RT: what’s the difference?

While ARM produce the original so-called ‘instruction set’ for the processors used in these devices, other people manufacture the chips. So expect to see Windows 8 tablet devices based on Nvidia’s Tegra 3 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon to start with.

The version of Windows 8 used on ARM-based devices is actually referred to as Windows RT – this stands for runtime. You can’t buy this separately, only with a device.

7. Windows Store

Microsoft’s Windows Store is a key part of Windows 8, offering both desktop and Modern UI apps, both free and paid. You can search the Store using the Search charm, as well as browse through the top free or top paid apps as well as look through apps by category.

When apps are updated, you can also download these updates very easily, just as you would on iOS or Android.

8. Windows 8 cloud integration

While Microsoft may not agree with Apple’s Steve Jobs that we are in a post-PC era, it is clear that they are keen to make cloud integration central to Windows 8.

That means the potential to sync data to SkyDrive – there’s a SkyDrive app as well as the ability to save data to and from your cloud storage. Office 2013 apps have SkyDrive capabilities included, too.

Microsoft also syncs settings your Windows 8 PCs – including your browsing history in IE, for instance. Photos can also be shared across multiple PCs.

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