I guess when you buy an 80-year-old house, you should expect anything and everything. Today’s revelation: An ancient light fixture (’50s vintage I’m guessing) had been soldered to the house wiring and then wrapped with electrical tape. It took me 15 minutes just to rip off the ancient tape. I then went to work at the thing with a soldering iron. No such luck. That solder had hardened into a diamond nugget. Eventually I just cut the wire, stripped it down a bit, and started from scratch. In any event, an hour later, the new fixture looks good — and it only uses 18 watts instead of the 200 the old one did (while heating the stairwell it was in oppressively), and it isn’t heinously ugly.

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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is a veteran technology journalist and the owner of Null Media, a custom blogging company.