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  Electrostatic Discharge  

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) is the sudden flow of electricity between to charged objects(i.e. your hand and that new RAM chip you just bought). Most electronic devices can be damage by ESD.

Try to think back when you would run around in your socks as a kid and the second you touch the door knob…ZAP!!! The same thing happens with electronics except that the door knob is a a cheap piece of metal compared to a complicated, expensive RAM chip. Think of it as tiny lighting that travels through the electronic component looking for the shortest path to ground. Ecmweb did a study on this and found in a recent investigation that “the human body and its clothing is capable of storing between 500V and 2,500V during the normal workday. This is far above the level that damages circuits yet below the human perception threshold”. This means you could shock and destroy your Macbook without knowing anything occurred. That is why ESD safety precautions like grounded anti-static mats and ESD wrist straps are used when working on computers or other sensitive electronics. For more info visit

  Greetings from Rutland!  

Hello and (woof, woof) from little Rutland, Vermont, the most recent addition to the Small Dog Family. Our Rutland store opened in May of 2013 and is fast becoming the premier destination for Sales and Service of just about everything Apple here in Rutland County.

With a population of just over 16,000 Rutland would be considered a small town in any other state. In the state of Vermont, however, Rutland is the third largest designated city. Surrounded by farms, hills and valleys, Rutland is known for its wonderful hospitality, accommodating leaf peepers in the fall, skiers in the winter, hikers and campers in the spring and summer.

In the early part of the 19th century, small deposits of marble were found in Rutland and later, larger deposits were found nearby in the small towns of West Rutland and Proctor. The Rutland area soon became one of the world’s leading marble producers.

Rutland was also a major hub for the railroad and an important cog in Boston and Maine railway. The Howe Center, just south of the downtown area, is still very active in rail transportation. Amtrak has recently added service connecting Boston and New York City to Rutland, Killington and beyond.

Rutland has had its share of movers and shakers come from the area. The great industrialist John Deere hails from Rutland. The famous Olympic skier Suzy Chaffee was born right here. Snow Job, the fictional character from the GI Joe series is also from Rutland.

Speaking of comic book characters, Rutland is also home to the world-famous Halloween Parade. Its the oldest of its kind in the country and features local high school bands and area business all decked out for a night of music, mischief and mayhem in the streets of Rutland. The Halloween parade has been immortalized in several issues of both Marvel and DC comics.

As the 20th Century came to a close, Rutland was forced to re-invent itself. The downtown area had fallen on hard times and businesses were closing and turning the downtown area into a ghost town. Thanks to the efforts of the local politicians, the good people of Rutland, and existing business owners the downtown area has experienced a rebirth attracting new shops and businesses including one of its newest…Small Dog Electronics!

We’re proud to be a part of the reinvention of Rutland! If you are ever in the area, come see a show at the lovely restored Paramount Theater. Stop in to Hop ‘n Moose for a locally brewed ale. Visit the nearby marble and maple museums. And of course stop in and say hi to all of us at Small Dog Rutland. You’ll be glad you did!!

woof, woof!
(We’ll see you soon!)


Hello Fellow Tech Enthusiasts,

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Hello Fellow Tech Enthusiasts,

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Autumn is upon us, the foliage popping and the sun shining warmly in between the overcast/rainy days, all the while the wind brings gusts of leaves through the trees and the birds, squirrels and bears all working hard to prepare for colder days ahead. It’s my favorite season for many reasons, among them the opportunity to hike in the most ideal conditions and soak in the natural beauty of this state!

I just went up around Camel’s Hump the other day and stayed at one of the shelters for a whole day with my lady and even though it rained a lot we stayed nice and cozy in the lean-to with good layers, sleeping bags/pads, cups of warm oatmeal that we cooked over our camp stove (wood fire stoves like my Toaks or a modern adaptation called the BioLite that charges a li-ion battery with heat from the fire are both awesome to use, isopropane/butane and alcohol stoves are also great in a pinch especially in heavy rain) and plenty of other supplies and equipment.

The considerations for what to pack vary a LOT depending on the type of trip you’re planning to make, that said I am sure everyone can appreciate some of the following types of tools regardless of whether it’s a single overnight or a fortnight: wicking layers, thermals and windproof/rainproof clothes are of course a must; you need to have compression or just standard roll-top dry-bags for all your clothes and your sleeping bag as well; Pack all food in a bear canister, Have a universal valve fuel bottle and stove (MSR PocketRocket or the International are well known); Make sure your Leatherman is on you at all times and kept honed; Repair tape and quick-bond adhesive will come in handy; Paracord is a beautiful and endlessly useful type of rope (Type 3 550 strength); Bring a compass and waterproof/laminated map; MSR ceramic water filter (with that scrubby pad, don’t forget to clean it regularly!); lanterns/flashlights with rechargeable batteries built in (like the ODT Buckshot Pro or their Kodiak power bank); It would be really nice to have a rugged portable solar panel (like the GoalZero fold-out or the Renogy Phoenix that I have mentioned before); ensure that you’ve packed a Black Diamond headlamp or some other very high quality headlamp because that is one tool you often cannot afford to be without. Knives, axes and saws could be their own article as any self-respecting collector would expect but I will mention the Gerber folding camp saw as well as point out the Morakniv brand for value-oriented fixed-blade knives that actually hold up to serious use over time. Along with your cutting steel you may want to include a firesteel, my leatherman Signal has a removable one but there are very nice ferro rods all over amazon if you want a good solid one that’s a bit more user-friendly. Always include soap and toothpaste/toothbrush, waterproof storage case for your Phone, camera and accessories like cables along with backup firestarters like matches and a lighter, anything that can get damaged by water should always be sealed away, better safe than sorry! Pelican cases are ideal for a million things, pressure sealed with a gasket for waterproofing even fully submerged.

This was just a list off the top of my head, obviously people devote lifetimes to building highly efficient minimalist packs and write long books about what to use, and on top of that a million little hacks and pro tips about how to save water, energy, weight and battery life among other precious resources. I just hope that everyone can learn to be more comfortable and equipped on the trails and lose their attachment to modern infrastructure and society as we know it without abandoning some of the comforts that tech provides, because unless we get more in touch with nature we’ll all end up in the Wall-E dystopian future of folks on hover chairs. Please let me know if there are any items you’ve found indispensable on the trail!


Yo, Tech Tails readers!

The last edition you may remember I signed off with a quip about an early Spring on the way and the end of the snowy weather. Well, as fate would have it, I was wrong (much to Art’s amusement). And Mother Nature doesn’t appear to be letting up on the snow anytime soon. I guess that’s how it goes! But I’m still counting down the days to Summer while enjoying the Winter sunshine. Fortunately, the frigid temperatures weren’t enough to keep me from enjoying the weekend and a nice long walk with the pups yesterday afternoon.

It’s been an exciting morning here in Waitsfield as we’ve been playing with the Homepod! I must say, I had my doubts regarding the sound quality and if it could rival that of the Sonos Play: 1’s, but after hearing what just a single Homepod unit can put out, I’m happy to say I’ve been swayed and will definitely find myself investing in one or two very soon. Furthermore, I was impressed that I was able to successfully call upon Siri from across our showroom floor with the music at max volume! Apple has certainly made their presence known in the home-audio market and I am eagerly awaiting more developments and evolution from them within the market.

We’ve got a solid issue of Tech Tails for you this week, and as always I hope you can take away some insight from it. A short introduction from me this week as I battle a stubborn head-cold, but I’ll resume my lengthy ramblings next edition. And perhaps it’ll be sunny and 65º here in Waitsfield by then. Alright, maybe that’s overambitious. Fingers crossed!

Keep fighting the good fight, Tech Tails readers!
Connor “Wake Me When It’s 80º” McGinnis