Benefits of hacking

Allow me to reflect a moment. I am constantly reminded that hacking is a good thing. People often get it twisted because many of us watch too much tel-lie-vision (aka TV). Hacking has little to do with someone taking your credit card information and selling it for a very modest fee on the wilds of the Interweb. Hacking has more to do with the curiosity of problem solving.
Truth be told you don't have to be an engineer to enjoy hacking. As a home owner, I'm often faced with problems that appear to be difficult and beyond my scope of knowledge. Perfect opportunity to open the wallet and hire a smarter person, right? Wrong answer.

A hacker would seize the opportunity to learn something new. For instance, when I purchased my home several years ago, roughly 6months later I discovered the refrigerator compartment was not cold enough. In contrast, the freezer compartment was quite cold. Strange huh... You can bet your last dollar that I wasn't going to buy a new appliance. Instead, I began reading about "How Stuff Works" and re-introducing myself to basic HVAC. After peeling the onion, I discovered that the condenser fan had overheated and seized with some very gross gummy substance. Simply replaced the condenser fan ($35.00) and voila.. Good as new.

More recently, I ran into another HVAC concern. My furnace began making an unusual rumbling sound which is usually nothing good. Yet another opportunity to call in the pros, right? Wrong again. I walk downstairs and survey the situation. Because heat is actually coming from the ducts in the home, I know that the ignitors are working. The problem is that the amount of heat is minimal. Hmmm. I have a forced draft blow furnace. So, it must be blower motor issue. I remove the cover and I recognize that the blower motor pulleys do not have a belt on them. Wow, interesting.. The belt was deteriorated and stretched to the point it had simply fallen off the pulleys. Luckily, I was able to find a HVAC shop that had a 4L-400 belt in stock on Saturday. Pure nirvana :-) A bit of sweat equity can go a long way. The belt cost me $22.00 and a little skin off my knuckle. Worthwhile investment indeed.

Everyone has the ability to think logically and reason. The issue is that many folks are lazy or simply not interested in solving problems. Sure, you may argue that I'm the most frugal man on the face of the earth (you wouldn't be too far off). Nonetheless, I enjoy learning immensely and if the by-product of that curiosity is cost savings so be it. Discover your own curiosities.. You can become a hacker too!!

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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on February 23, 2010 7:44 AM.

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