Thursday, July 28, 2011

Winning Combinations

As back to school preparations begin, there are many things that high school students need. Binders, calculators, mechanical pencils... really fun stuff that everyone gets excited about. Combination locks have never been in that category. They're one of the many necessary evils of high school. Everybody gravitates to the exact same model and the sole factor in how comfortable it is to use is how easily the combination can be remembered.

Master Lock, producers of seemingly every combination lock ever created, is determined to offer some fun and simplicity to the device. For their Speed Dial locks, they have done away with the numbers and allow the user to set any combination of directions.

Sounds great, right? No number combos to remember and a code that can be entered with nothing but a thumb. There is, however, one thing that troubles me about this: what would you set for your combination? Quickly, think of one. A series of ups, downs, lefts and rights that you could recall automatically. Got one? Good.

All right... so who picked the relevant part of this?

I'm sure enough of you did. Enough of us in the office certainly did. And if I had some significant and justified reason to break into your locker, it's the first combination I would try. It's one of those things that we either remember from childhood, wished we remembered from childhood, or see randomly in unexpected places (typing it on certain websites trigger some interesting effects. Direction-based combinations immediately make people think of video games, and a lot of people have played video games. They often play the same ones.

It's an interesting new product and should do very well in schools, but I have to caution against using popular and beloved cheat codes for inspiration. It's like making your online password “password.” Put some thought into it and come up with something that is distinctly you

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Using a Tom62202 without a Tom62201

I don't know how many people have ever been in the predicament that I was in a few weeks ago, but I was working on a crafty project and was on a tight budget and was looking to save any bit of cash I could. Everybody knows about Tom62201 (Tombow's flagship adhesive dispenser) and just about everybody also knows that Tombow offers refills in the form of Tom62202.

 Any Tom, Dick, and/or Harold can look at the Tom62201 and see that there isn't a whole lot there.  Some translucent plastic bits, some transparent plastic bits and two rolls.  It's kind of like a Blueberry iMac, and a cassette tape got into that transporter from The Fly and this is what stepped out from the other side.

Now if you are like you me you see the Tom62201 and the Tom62202 next to each other and think, man it's only missing the encapsulating plastic bit.  I can buy a Tom62202 and save myself a dollar.  Well sir, I'm sad to inform you that there are some extra bits that the Tom62201 have that are not easily replicated just by holding it firmly.  Attempting to use the refill by itself will fail just about completely.

But if you have already gone over the deep end and need to get something done ASAP and you only have a Tom62202 at your disposal you aren't out of luck.  I found that if you just use the roll of adhesive and take it off the plastic bits you do end up with a convenient roll of double sided tape.  Peel off enough of the end for a tab, roll out your tape sticking it to the surface as necessary.  Tear your tape off from the role as necessary.  When you are ready to affix your two items, put the tape roll aside and remove the backing from your item.

If you follow the Tom62201-less method it does have an advantage on large surfaces as you won't have any side of your double sided tape exposed to the elements for much longer than necessary.