Monthly Archives: January 2007

The iPhone Is No Smartphone

After all the initial iPhone mania wore off, the real scoop on the latest gadgetronic offering from Apple is starting to emerge:

The iPhone Is No Smartphone: “

Apple’s iPhone was the talk of the town after its January 9 launch. Industry observers were by and large impressed with the new device, praising its user interface, innovation and seamless integration. But two senior ABI Research analysts — wireless research director Stuart Carlaw, and principal mobile broadband analyst Philip Solis — point out that while the iPhone is undoubtedly clever and capable, it is not correct to call it a smartphone, as much of the media has done.

ABI Research defines a smartphone as a cellular handset using an open, commercial operating system that supports third party applications. The iPhone runs the Apple Macintosh computer operating system, OS X, so at first glance it would seem to fall into the smartphone category, which might help justify its announced $500+ price tag. But, says Solis, ‘It turns out that this device will be closed to third party applications. Therefore we must conclude at this point that, based on our current definition, the iPhone is not a smartphone: it is a very high-end feature phone.’

Feature phones’ functionality (dictated by the software which controls the hardware) is closed and controlled by an operator or the device manufacturer, whereas smartphones are supported by a third-party ecosystem, where competition in the software space creates applications that add value. ‘Sure,’ concedes Solis, ‘feature phones have third party applications too — but these are relatively weak and limited applications that work with the middleware such as Java and BREW. Applications designed for smartphones can be written to access core functionality from the OS itself, and are therefore usually more powerful and efficient. The competition in an open environment also yields more cutting edge, rich applications.’

Stuart Carlaw adds, ‘Consumers will not be willing to settle for a second-rate cell phone just to have superior music. Apple must get the phone engineering part of the equation right, and it is difficult to see how they will accomplish that with no track record in the industry. Even though they are working with some prominent suppliers, the task of putting all of the building blocks together cannot be underestimated.'”

(Via APPLIANCE Magazine :: Breaking News.)

Complete Listing of All Error Codes for All Thermador Cooking Products

It’s an all-you-can-eat error code buffet on Thermador cooking products! Come and git it: sooo-WEEE!

In order to download the error code file, you’ll need to be an Apprentice Appliantologist in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum. All your other friends are doing it. How ’bout you?

For more tidbits and insight into Thermador error codes, read this repair forum topic.

Official Legal Notice: Terms of Service (TOS) for

Be it known to all ye present…

By using or other Samurai Appliance Repair Man websites (“Samurai Sites”), you agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions pursuant to the Common Law of Erasmus (c.1530):

Be thou not a weenie. For weenies belong not in civil conversation but rather roasting over a warm blaze, spitting and sizzling with oozing fat.

Turn away when spitting lest your saliva fall on someone. If anything purulent falls on the ground, it should be trodden upon, lest it nauseate someone.

To lick greasy fingers or to wipe them on your coat is impolite. It is better to use a tablecloth or the serviette.

Some people put their hands in the dishes the moment they sit down. Wolves do that.

You should not offer your handkerchief to anyone unless it is freshly washed. Nor is it seemly, after wiping your nose, to spread out your handkerchief and peer into it as if pearls and rubies might have fallen out of your head.

Do not be afraid of vomiting, if you must; for it is not the vomiting but holding the vomit in your throat that is foul.

All Samurai Sites are subject to this disclaimer. Caveat Reader.

If you cannot swallow a piece of food, turn around and discreetly throw it somewhere.

Do not move back and forth in your chair. Whoever does that gives the impression of constantly breaking wind or trying to break wind.

Retain the wind by compressing the belly.

How To Remove the Tub in a Whirlpool Duet / Kenmore HE Washer

This excellent little video from Whirlpool Corporation shows how to tear down and remove the tub in a Whirlpool Duet washer (the Kenmore HE3t / HE4t is the same machine but with a "Kenwhore" label slapped on it). Oh, I know what you're saying, "Gee, Samurai, that's real nice an' all, but how likely is it that I'm gonna need to remove the tub in my new $1,000 washing machine?" Well, Mary B. didn't think it was very likely either until her washer’s tub self-destructed and she was left holding ye olde colostomy bag.

Since removing the tub requires a complete tear down of this machine, the procedure illustrated here has application to many other repairs, such as replacing the tub shocks.

Other resources:

Genuine Whirlpool service manual for this washer.

To learn more about your washing machine, or to order parts, click here.

How to Know When to Replace the Drum Rollers in Your Amana Dryer

If your dryer rumbles and bumbles when you run it, then you probably need to replace the drum rollers. This page will help you take the dryer apart so you can check ’em out.

If your drum rollers look like this:

Dryer Drum Roller: Nuked

…then you need new rollers. Come git you some.

Actually, that’s one of the worst cases of roller wear I’ve seen. The rollers are also bad if they’re stiff or if they make a chattering sound when you spin ’em with your fingers.

These rollers are sold individually. As long as you’re going to the trouble to replace one, go ahead and replace the other one for just a few bucks more because it’s not long for this world. So buy two.

You’ll also need these snap ring pliers to remove the snap ring that holds the drum roller on the shaft. And you’ll like this service manual for Amana dryers.

How to Replace the Brushes in a Frigidaire Front Loading Washer Motor

Brush failure in these motors is the most common cause for motor failiure. A new motor costs about $200; new pair of brushes about $60. The real kick in the shorts is that Frigidaire does NOT sell the brushes separately! BTW, this also applies to Kenmore washers built by Frigidaire. (If you believe there is an actual Kenmore factory somewhere cranking out Kenmore appliances, you need to read this now.)

Unbunch thy panties, Grasshoppah, for the Samurai is here to save you wads of hot, wet, stinky cash! And here’s some more good news: replacing motor brushes is a snap, less than two mugs on the world-famous SUDS-o-meter!

The brushes are located on the back of the motor (that is, the opposite end from the motor shaft). Looky here (click the picture for illustrative annotations):

Frigidaire Washer Motor Brushes

Just remove the obvious phillips screws and install the new brushes.

“But, mighty and myopic Samurai, how can I get the replacement brushes if Friggidaire is attempting to screw me over by not selling them because they want me to by a whole new motor for a lot more money?”

Good question, Grasshopper, it warms my heartburn to see you thinking so hard. Careful though– you might get a hernia in your brain. Obviously, I have the solution or I wouldn’t be writing this silly post. Use these Asko brushes:

Asko Washer Motor Brushes

Yes, I said Asko. Turns out these Asko motor brushes work great in Frigidaire washer motors, too.

Motor brushes are sold individually and you should always replace ’em in pairs, so buy two. Conveniently, you can buy the new brushes ratcheer.

To learn more about your washing machine, or to order parts, click here.

Where Have All the Tradesmen Gone?

When was the last time you tried to hire a skilled and competent tradesman? Seems you either can’t get anyone to call you back or the ones that you can reach you wished you hadn’t. Why is that, Capt. Ron? As usual, the Samurai has the answer. Open your skull and let the light of wisdom shine inside that empty space betwixt your ears.

I’ve been saying for years that there are just too many over-indulged, pampered progeny going to college. The ample supply of easily-available, low-interest, government-backed student loans has spawned hordes of puffy little cherubs trotting off to college ostensibly for “higher learning” but who actually spend most of their time in laboratory studies of intemperance and concupiscence. This is when “college” becomes “collitch.”

As Charles Murray, at the American Enterprise Institute (a group usually too neo-connish for my tastes), correctly points out:

Government policy contributes to the problem by making college scholarships and loans too easy to get, but its role is ancillary. The demand for college is market-driven, because a college degree does, in fact, open up access to jobs that are closed to people without one. The fault lies in the false premium that our culture has put on a college degree.

For a few occupations, a college degree still certifies a qualification. For example, employers appropriately treat a bachelor’s degree in engineering as a requirement for hiring engineers. But a bachelor’s degree in a field such as sociology, psychology, economics, history or literature certifies nothing. It is a screening device for employers. The college you got into says a lot about your ability, and that you stuck it out for four years says something about your perseverance. But the degree itself does not qualify the graduate for anything. There are better, faster and more efficient ways for young people to acquire credentials to provide to employers.

The “over-educated idiot” is a cliché in our overindulged society. We all know people who went to collitch, graduated with a degree in something like African Percussion Interpretation but, hmmm, just can’t seem to find a job. Either that or they hate their job and feel stuck working for Da Man and so lash out by voting to take Da Man’s money through taxation, government-mandated minimum wage increases, or various other hare-brained wealth-redistribution schemes right out of Marx’s imbecilic Manifesto.

So why aren’t kids going into these trades? Simple: pretend you’re an overindulged 18 year-old snot-nosed punk with no clear vision of what you want to do with your life or what you would even study in collitch. In your 18-year old brain, your impression of working in the trades is to work for someone like Cheeky the Repairclown (or, worse yet, to end up like Cheeky!). And suppose that you had the choice of working for Cheeky or enjoying four years of drinking and carousing in collitch on someone else’s dime (i.e., low-interest, government-backed student loans, Mommy and Daddy, grants, etc.). Which would you choose?

Another problem is that parents have this goofy notion that their spawn has a “right” to go to collitch and, by God, to collitch they will go! Nevermind that the only thing this kid has any intention of studying is the bottom of his beer mug and his girlfriend’s chest.

The result is that the poor kid will struggle through collitch (in between parties) and then, if he’s lucky, end up in some miserable Dilbert job on a cubicle farm wishing he’d gone to work as an apprentice for Uncle Joe, a Master Electrician. He would have had his own Master Electrician license by now and been in a position to either buy Uncle Joe’s bidness or start his own. Guess that degree in Underwater Basketweaving wasn’t such a good investment afterall. Go figure.

But, despite not learning very much that matters during his collitch career, the kid will certainly pick up the usual collectivist claptrap from the last remaining Marxists on the planet, the collitch faculty, about how more gubmint is the answer to all our problems from global warming to jock itch. In most cases, collitch of today has devolved into nothing more than a factory cranking out swarms of government-loving, liberty-hating voters who don’t understand the free market and are actually scared to death of it. These are the people who will vote themselves, along with the rest of us, into slavery.

I have always maintained that these misguided souls would be much happier and wealthier learning a trade. Instead of all this spite, envy, and disgruntlement, these very same people could be living the good life as successful entrepreneurs running their own trade bidness and getting a taste of the Ameedican Dream.

What, exactly, is this Ameedican Dream of which I speak? It is running your own life the way you choose and controlling your own destiny. It’s having a work situation where the amount of moola you earn is dependent on your efforts and not on Da Man counting out the beans and saying, “You can have this many, the rest are mine.” In the Ameedican Dream, YOU Da Man! In today’s economy, the easiest way to get there is by running a bidness in one of the skilled trades.

According to my state-of-the-art prognostications, here are some of the trades I see as the most viable and valuable both now and in the forseeable future (in no particular order):

  • Plumber
  • Electrician
  • Nurse
  • Carpenter (rough and finish)
  • Mason
  • Pest Control
  • Diesel Engine Mechanic
  • Auto Technician
  • Industrial Equipment Technician

You may have noticed the conspicuous absence of appliance repair technician. I don’t consider appliance repair to be one of the long-term viable trades because the mega-trend for appliance repair techs has diminishing opportunities for an in-home service bidness; the shining exception will be servicing high-end appliances.

So, if you’re a collitch student majoring in Effing-Up, do the world and yourself a favor by dropping out and learning a trade instead. You’ll thank me in a few years.

Blinking Clean Light on Whirlpool-built Dishwashers

If the Clean Light is blinking seven times on your Whirlpool-built dishwasher (this includes Kitchenaids and most Kenmores), this excellent video from Whirlpool Corporation explains the causes and how to troubleshoot it.

Recommended Reading:

Another post on this specific issue.

More on Whirlpool-built dishwashers.

Order parts for your dishwasher.

To learn more about your dishwasher, or to order parts, click here.

Whirlpool Duet / Kenmore HE3t and HE4t Washers: A Peek Under the Hood

At some point during your tenure of owning this machine, you’ll need to remove the top panel (three screws in back) to chase a gremlin. The flowmeter and the CCU in particular have been troublemakers. This will help…

Under the Top Panel of a Whirlpool Duet / Kenmore HE3/4 Front Load Washer

You can buy a printed copy of the genuine service manual for this washer. Or, I may email you a pdf version out of convulsive, spasmodic, twitching gratitude for your sufficiently-generous love-offering to my flavorite charity. Come and gleefully rummage through my other pearls on this machine.

To learn more about your washing machine, or to order parts, click here.

How to Clean Out the Blower in an Asko Dryer

Clues that you may need to clean out the blower (fan wheel) in your Asko dryer:

– The dryer heats but takes a long time to dry the clothes. Also see this page.

– The dryer makes a disconcerting rumbling noise and/or vibrates while running.

How to Clean out the Blower in an Asko Dryer

Just be careful in there, you never know what you’ll find. You may even run into the dreaded dryer blower lint rat:

Lint Rat Retrieved from an Asko Dryer Blower

NOTE: I am a professional– do NOT try handling the lint rat like this at home!

You can order parts for your dryer or get more help in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum.

How to Manually Start the Defrost Cycle in Frigidaire Refrigerators

Dear most knowledgeable one. I am almost as bad at computers as I am Frigidaire Side by sides.

Am trying to find out how to make this bad boy go into defrost? (something like clap my hands two times, spin aound in a counter-clockwise circle while hitting the light switch 15 times in two seconds?)

The above message was sent when you were offline, via your Timpani site.

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Mechanical Timer or ADC?First thing to do is figger out whether your fridge uses the good ol’ mechanical defrost timer or the new-fangled and problematic Adaptive Defrost Control (ADC) board. The wiring diagram will show which it is. If you’re wiring diagram-impaired, then you’re going on a little safari to find the defrost control, be it mechanical timer or control board.

Click for DefrostYeah, I miss the good ol’ days when refrigerator defrost cycles were controlled by simple mechanical defrost timers. Used to be a man could go out on a refrigerator service call and make an easy $150 replacing a silly little $25 timer. The old mechanical timers would simply click the fridge into defrost mode every six or eight hours and fire up the evaporator defrost heaters for 21 minutes or so whether it needed it or not. And you could always start the defrost cycle by just turning the knob on the timer to the big click (click the pic, Slick). But life never stays simple, does it?

Alas, initiating the defrost cycle on fridges with ADC is a little less intuitive. It’s still very simple, but you have to know the Secret Handshake. When I converted to the Appliantology faith, I took an oath not to divulge the Secret Handshake to the Great Unwashed Illiterati (GUI). However, since you are reading this website, you cannot possibly be a GUI and so Lord Fixus has given me his blessing to disgorge this sacred information upon you.

To initiate the defrost cycle in most Friggidaires (not a typo) with ADC:

To initiate defrost, depress the fresh food light switch 5
times in 6 seconds (light bulb must be working). To terminate
defrost, depress the fresh food light switch 5 times in 6 seconds.

If the refrigerator won’t go into defrost, verify that you have continuity in the defrost heater and defrost thermostat. If they check out good, but you aren’t getting 120vac from the ADC board, replace the ADC board.

If your refrigerator uses a mechanical timer for defrost control, then you still need to check the continuity of the defrost heater and thermostat. If they’re both good, replace the defrost timer.

BTW, all the foregoing applies to other brands, too. Even the part link for the mechanical defrost timers can be used for all brands so equipped. The only real difference is in the ADC control and the procedure for initiating defrost. For more about that, see this page.

GE QuietPower dishwasher: beeping, blinking, and not running but…

…other than that, it works great! And it sure looks sharp filling in that big gap in the cabinets. What’s that? You say you’d like it to actually wash dishes, too? OK, I guess we can talk about that after you try cutting power to the dishwasher for at least 15 minutes. If, after restoring power, it’s still just an expensive cabinet filler, then we go to DEFCON 3.

From the genuine GE service manual for this dishwasher:

The DRYING LED will flash and control will beep when the sequence switch is not reaching its target position within 30 seconds:

1. Check connections between sequence switch and control.

2. Replace sequence switch.

3. Replace control assembly.

So, in other words, GE’s recommended corrective action for this problem is to first try replacing the sequence switch. If that fixes it, great! Go pop a cold one. If not, wel-l-l-l, now you get to throw another part at it: the control assembly.

Are you smelling the real problem here? It’s not merely that something’s already broken on your two-year old dishwasher. It’s the fact that 1) GE designed a dishwasher with such convoluted controls that 2) even the engineers who excreted this future landfill ornament don’t know enough about this problem to be able to give any better instructions than just, “Throw this part at it; if it’s still broken, then try this other part.” [sniff-sniff] What’s that smell?

Staber Washer Fan Mail

Thank you Thank you. We love our Staber washer. We’ll be getting a dryer as soon as ours breks. Thank you for the direction. I’ve tried to wear it out and now I understand why there are no used Stabers for sale out there. I wish I’d known about them when I was 20…I WAS 20 once. lol.

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Interested in a Staber washer? You can check out all the stuff I’ve written about Staber washers and even our podcast episode comparing them to other washers. For purchase information, check out Samurai’s Staber Store.