Appliantology Newsletter, Fall 2010

0. Introduction
1. New appliance repair posts
2. There are blogs, and then there are forums
3. Website enhancements
4. Scribd document stash
5. Samurai the twit
6. Repair manuals on request... free
7. Facebook
8. Hillstomping update
9. Domo!

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0. Introduction

Like Autumn leaves wafting to the ground, another issue of Appliantology falls into your inbox. Movin' on...

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1. New appliance repair posts

It's been a busy three months since the last Appliantology newsletter. I've cranked out over 300 new pearls of appliantological wisdom since June at Fixitnow.com. Most deal with specific problems in all sorts of brands, models, and types of major appliances. But a few are of more general interest or apply to common appliance problems. Here are some highlights:

Diagnosing Dishwasher Door Leaks http://fixitnow.com/?p=4311

Diagnostic Flowcharts for GE Refrigerators With a Muthaboard http://fixitnow.com/?p=4309

Warm Refrigerator Troubleshooting Flowchart http://fixitnow.com/?p=4296

Diagnosing and Repairing Spin and Agitate Problems in a Whirlpool / Kenmore Direct Drive Washer http://fixitnow.com/?p=4272

Handling Hard Water and Mineral Buildup in Today's Dishwashers http://fixitnow.com/?p=4260

Estimating Home Appliance Energy Use http://fixitnow.com/?p=4251

Coping with Phosphate-free Dishwashing Detergents http://fixitnow.com/?p=4454

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2. There are blogs, and then there are forums

Fixitnow.com is a blog, where I write posts and registered users can post comments or followup questions. Our forums, on the other hand, are at ApplianceGuru.com. This is where registered users can initiate questions and receive help from myself or other techs. You must register separately at both- one registration does not cross over to the other. Please do - it's free and I wanna hear from you!

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3. Website enhancements

I got rid of that stuffy, cramped three-column layout and went to a simple two-column design. This gives a bigger content area and less junk. Have a look and lemme know whatcha think: http://fixitnow.com

We've gone mobile! Now you can have Fixitnow.com to go. I've added mobile capability to the site so it's user-friendly for most cell phones. And there's a special feature just for mobile users. Read more: http://fixitnow.com/?p=5353

I'm starting to build a collection of wiring diagrams, tech sheets, and schematics. As I get 'em, I upload them to the site and make them searchable to all, free of charge, always. Special domo to Sublime Master appl.tech.29501 for sending me mucho diagrams. If you have any tech sheets or schematics in good condition and you'd like to be part of this project, please email them to me so I can add them to the growing library. You can also fax them to me at 866-315-4504.

I know it can be confusing to navigate a new website so I've added a new orientation page that gives a quick run-down on how to use the site: http://fixitnow.com/Nm

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4. Scribd document stash

I've been steadily building a stash of various appliance repair PDFs on Scribd, all free and available for download. You may have seen posts at Fixitnow.com with embedded documents in a scrollable, re-sizable viewer. Those are docs in my Scribd stash. I've got 'em grouped by appliance type so it's pretty easy to paw through and find what you're looking for. Here are the links to the various collections:

Dryers: http://scr.bi/bhCHbO

Dishwashers: http://scr.bi/cRTnoa

Washing Machines: http://scr.bi/969u2L

Ranges/Ovens/Stoves: http://scr.bi/bghQxs

Ice Makers: http://scr.bi/9mSl8w

Refrigerators: http://scr.bi/cLqYqz

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5. Samurai the twit

I had given up on Twitter a few months back and just ran the RSS feed for the forum into my Twitter profile. After several months of that, I've rediscovered Twitter as a highly convenient venue for blasting out hand-picked pearls of appliantological wisdom gleaned from the repair forums, ApplianceGuru.com, and beyond. I also tweet out new posts from my blog site, Fixitnow.com.

I end up doing about half a dozen or so tweets a day. Here's the link to my Twitter profile which you can follow to get the pearls I'm continually casting:

http://twitter.com/fixitnowsamurai

I've found that one of the best uses of Twitter is for short communications with you. Whether it's a quick appliance repair question or you're having trouble finding something at my site or using the repair forum, Twitter is perfect for this. When you send me an @ message on Twitter-- a message that begins with "@FixitnowSamurai"-- I see it and can reply right away. This is superior to email because:

1) It's brief! Twitter messages are limited to 140 characters. I get tons of email, lots of it looong rambling, hard-to-follow sagas of broken appliances. If I were to give all the email the attention they need, I wouldn't get anything else done. Twitter forces brevity. With brevity comes clarity. Or, in pseudo-Latin, "E brevitas, claritas."

2) No bounced emails. Another reason I hate replying to appliance repair questions via email is because sometimes people have a bad email address filled in on their return email. I can't tell you the number of times I would stop what I was doing, take the time to compose a thoughtful reply to an email only to have it bounce. Argh!

3) The conversation is public so others can benefit from the exchange.

4) @fixitnowsamurai messages are pushed right to my iPhone and go into a special stack so they don't get lost in the daily crush of email.

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6. Repair manuals on request... free

Aside from getting my appliance repair tweets (and the occasional tweet about other stuff), one of the big reasons you'll want to follow me is to get repair manuals.

It is one of the Samurai's greatest joys in life to assist his precious Grasshoppers and Apprentices in their journey to Appliance Nirvana™. If you need a service manual for your insolent appliance, just ax me!

Service manuals on request via Twitter: http://fixitnow.com/?p=5395

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7. Facebook

I only post select things at my Facebook page because the "etiquette" there is a little different than on Twitter. I average less than one post a day. But Facebook is more interactive and there's usually more comments and back and forth. The really annoying thing about Facebook pages is that there is no notification whatsoever on new wall posts or new comments to posts; I have to go in and look for what's new. Since when is Facebook shy about notifying you for *anything*?

But it would be awesome if you'd "like" my Facebook page. Then hopefully your friends will see that you liked it and they'll come check it out and, well, you know, that whole sick viral thing gets going: http://facebook.com/fixitnowsamurai

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8. Hillstomping update

An Appliantology newsletter just would not be complete without a hillstomping update!

I've done lots of hiking since my last newsletter but here are three selected slideshows that I think you'll enjoy. If you're at your desktop computer, turn your speakers up to hear the music and get the full experience. If you're on your phone, the photos will render mobile-friendly but you won't get the music. Either way, enjoy!

Magical Sunset on Old Bridal Path: http://bit.ly/bc5TSo

Mt. Niphon (Jefferson) and Awesome Sunset on the Gulfside Trail: http://bit.ly/98d13D

North and South Kinsman with Mah Boyz: http://bit.ly/9Nws4a

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9. Domo!

Thanks for your support! Whether you buy your appliance parts thru the parts links at Fixitnow.com or ApplianceGuru.com, click the Google ads on the sites, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter, I want you to know that we really and sincerely appreciate your support. Our sites exist because of and for you.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man
http://fixitnow.com

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P.S. A word on Twitter clients

There's a bewildering assortment of Twitter clients out there for every conceivable device and it can be confoosing to figure out which one to choose. I've used just about all of 'em and can offer you my opinion on the best Twitter clients by application, just Google them to find them more:

iPhone: SimplyTweet
iPad: Twittelator
iMac or other desktop: Chromed Bird, an extension for Google Chrome (best browser)

You may have a different opinion; that's fine, use whatever works for you. I offer my opinion for those who have no experience with Twitter and aren’t sure how to get started.

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