JerkStopper

January 21, 2008 at 7:20 am 3 comments

JerkStopper

I thought this was a joke. Apparently these guys are serious.

I’d certainly rather have my laptop’s USB, network, or modem connectors damaged, or it yanked off a table, than have the power cord harmlessly pulled out of the back if someone runs into it.

It would make more sense if it attached to the locking slot. Then again- the result would likely be one of two things:
Laptop yanked off table. At a minimum- several hundred dollars for LCD replacement.
Power cord permanently damaged- requiring a new power brick. $100+ for new one.

I work in an IT department and we’ve gone through several hundred laptops, many of which are used in travel for presentations, displays, and training. Ditto for my part-time gigs and contract work- lots of laptops. I’ve never seen a power connector failure.

Wait- I take that back- I did see one. On an older laptop (I think it was a ThinkPad) that used a 4-prong connector similar to a PS-2 keyboard connector (really stupid idea). One of our staff TWISTED the connector and bent all the pins inside it, breaking one. It had nothing to do with being “jerked”, just someone who probably shouldn’t have had a laptop (or computer) to begin with.

Well- didn’t P.T. Barnum say something along the lines of: “There is a sucker born every minute.” This company will probably make a fortune.

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Entry filed under: Crapware.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. compared2what  |  January 21, 2008 at 11:57 am

    The jokes on you wolfie. . . . .Their’s a monster industry out there in repairing power plugs. All that IT experience and no google search about the problem? Hmmmmmmm

    Results 1 – 10 of about 1,610,000 for laptop power plug problems

    (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=laptop+power+plug+problems&btnG=Search)

    Many times the damage doesn’t occur from “yanking it off the table” but rather from the cumulative jiggling, tugging, jerking of the cable.

    Anyway. . . You need to buy one today!

    Reply
  • 2. neowolfwitch  |  January 22, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Not really a joke, but I’ll bite…

    If you are saying the problem is really poor manufacturing of power jacks for certain manufacturer’s laptops- that may be true. I based my comments about the power cord being “jerked” out of the laptop on both the name of the product- “JerkStopper” and the contents of their Web site, which uses the word “jerk” quite frequently. The site itself really doesn’t say specifically what the problem is caused by- just the results, in a list of symptoms reminiscent of old “snake oil” ads.

    As far as Google goes- I don’t believe because something has x-number of hits in Google that makes it relevant or true. Yes- there apparently is a market out there for repairing power jacks- but that doesn’t actually indicate the significance of the problem, nor is there any indication that the “JerkStopper” would prevent it. Of course- this little exchange, and the fact that other bloggers are talking about this product, will only serve to give the “JerkStopper” and these power jack repair companies even more Google credibility.

    That said- I will admit that my experience has been primarily with Dell, IBM, and Toshiba laptops for the better part of 10 years. In MY experience- the only power jack issue I’ve seen has been the user’s own fault. That was one instance out of at least 300 laptops.

    In any case- even if the issue isn’t having the power plug forcibly removed from said power jack- then the problem would seem to be with simply USING the jack for its intended purpose. So- plugging and unplugging the laptop from its power brick is causing the jacks to fail.

    The product in-question therefore would do almost nothing to solve this problem. It MAY provide a little bit of strain relief, at the expense of losing and possibly damaging an interface port. Granted- the RJ-11 jack is pretty-much sacrificial at this point in time. It is also the only one that most laptop users are going to live without for any length of time. It would only take one person tripping over the cord to destroy it though. USB would be worthless as far as that goes, and the RJ-45 jack would probably hold up pretty-well, but would also likely be needed.

    Catching the loop between it and the power jack on something (or apparently even TOUCHING said loop if this really is that much of an issue) would cause just as much damage. Also- if the problem is plugging in and unplugging the laptop- what difference is it going to make then? You still cause just as much wear and tear on the power jack, and you cause additional wear and tear on whatever interface port you are using.

    Hey- you’ve got the right to your opinion, and if you feel this product is worth the money- go for it. I’m sure a lot of people will. I’ll admit- someone had a neat idea and they are trying to market it. Nothing wrong with that. I’m just saying that in MY opinion- there is no need for it. I think at some point it was said there was no need for the telephone too…

    Reply
  • 3. compared2what  |  January 29, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    If you are saying the problem is really poor manufacturing of power jacks for certain manufacturer’s laptops- that may be true.

    I think so anyway. . . . Take a look at the “design & construction” of the power jacks on 9 out of 10 laptops….Talk about your cost cutting and poor engineering. And in talking to the guys and gals that repair them it seems that 8-10 times it’s cumulative damage to the flimsy connection that has caused the problem, not dropping on the floor.

    I based my comments about the power cord being “jerked” out of the laptop on both the name of the product- “JerkStopper” and the contents of their Web site, which uses the word “jerk” quite frequently. The site itself really doesn’t say specifically what the problem is caused by- just the results, in a list of symptoms reminiscent of old “snake oil” ads.

    I guess I coulda called it a Tugstopper or a CRD but JerkStopper (whether big or little jerks) seemed more apropos. Don’t think I mentioned the cord being “jerked out of the laptop”.

    I did say “The culprit was a poorly designed, easily breakable AC power plug connector (a tiny connector that is soldered to the back of the motherboard) . Long story short, after successfully repairing the system I realized that jerking or pulling on the power cable had caused the problem in the first place. In searching for a “fix” I realized that almost every laptop made either has this problem or runs the risk of having this problem.”

    As far as Google goes- I don’t believe because something has x-number of hits in Google that makes it relevant or true.

    Nor do I but I did take the time to contact a large number of these types of shops to find out why they thought the repairs were needed and how wide-based the problem really is.

    Yes- there apparently is a market out there for repairing power jacks- but that doesn’t actually indicate the significance of the problem, nor is there any indication that the “JerkStopper” would prevent it.

    Other than the year of testing we did with the product prior to introduction….BTW, I’d be happy to send you FREE sample to try if you’d like.

    Of course- this little exchange, and the fact that other bloggers are talking about this product, will only serve to give the “JerkStopper” and these power jack repair companies even more Google credibility.

    IF the laptop manfacturers had done a better job of designing the connection, used better quality components then that little industry wouldn’t exist would it?

    For me the fact that the device really does work well at stopping the cumulative day-in and day-out accidental tugging, jerking and pulling that cumulatively cause the failure of the power jacks and and that people are buying and using the product is pretty gratifying.

    Less than 10% of my sales are as as result of “the blogs”. Don’t get me wrong, I like the exposure…every little bit helps but if the product didn’t solve a problem or work it wouldn’t be selling dontcha think.

    If the problem were isolated to one brand or model I wouldn’t have spent the kind of money I spent testing and producing the device.

    That said- I will admit that my experience has been primarily with Dell, IBM, and Toshiba laptops for the better part of 10 years. In MY experience- the only power jack issue I’ve seen has been the user’s own fault. That was one instance out of at least 300 laptops. In any case- even if the issue isn’t having the power plug forcibly removed from said power jack- then the problem would seem to be with simply USING the jack for its intended purpose. So- plugging and unplugging the laptop from its power brick is causing the jacks to fail.

    I agree that plugging and unplugging is part of the problem but my research has shown more often than not it’s the cumulative damage from the (aforementioned) “day-in and day-out accidental tugging, jerking and pulling”.

    The product in-question therefore would do almost nothing to solve this problem.

    If as you assume it has nothing to do with the day-in and day-out accidental tugging, jerking and pulling (which I don’t) I would agree.

    It MAY provide a little bit of strain relief, at the expense of losing and possibly damaging an interface port.

    I guess I don’t know how to quantify “a little bit of strain relief” but I can tell you that in a years worth of testing we have never had a USB or RJ series port damaged. I can carry a typical system by the power cord once the device is installed without damaging the port.

    Granted- the RJ-11 jack is pretty-much sacrificial at this point in time. It is also the only one that most laptop users are going to live without for any length of time. It would only take one person tripping over the cord to destroy it though.

    I really think I need to get you a sample so you get a better feel for the device in daily use.

    USB would be worthless as far as that goes, and the RJ-45 jack would probably hold up pretty-well, but would also likely be needed.

    Actually the USB will disconnect long before it could cause any damage. The bottom line (for me anyway) is that the device wasn’t designed to stop someone from throwing or drop-kicking their system across the room. Nothing can stop that can it?

    The device was designed to alleviate the constant tugging or “jerking” on a poorly designed, cheaply manufactured component.

    Catching the loop between it and the power jack on something (or apparently even TOUCHING said loop if this really is that much of an issue) would cause just as much damage. Also- if the problem is plugging in and unplugging the laptop- what difference is it going to make then? You still cause just as much wear and tear on the power jack, and you cause additional wear and tear on whatever interface port you are using.

    When installed correctly, it does what it was designed to do. Again, I’d like to offer you a chance to examine the device in person, try it and let me know if you still think it doesn’t serve the purpose it was designed for.

    Hey- you’ve got the right to your opinion, and if you feel this product is worth the money- go for it. I’m sure a lot of people will. I’ll admit- someone had a neat idea and they are trying to market it. Nothing wrong with that. I’m just saying that in MY opinion- there is no need for it. I think at some point it was said there was no need for the telephone too…

    Wish I’d invented the telephone. . . .

    Reply

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