After grazing through the, now annual, toolbox compilation in this last issue I have one item (for now) that I think should be added.
With Intel going the way of pin-less CPU's with the Socket 775/T, I've found a new tool being of high usage around my place...the vacuum pen. An example can be seen here
. With the Skt-T units, every manual or direction I've seen on installation and handling has been very specific not to drop the CPU into the socket, but rather placed in. With the vacuum pen, you simply pick it up with the pen, place it in the socket, and viola...nice and gentle handling.
From the first time I handled my 550, I noticed that this was a fine time to break out the vacuum pen. I've sinced had it in 3 different MOBO's and probably installed in and out of a socket over 30 times due to tinkering. I belive that Intel is also assuming that Joe Civilian is going to totally disregard the "do not drop CPU into socket" warning and is the reasoning for the very limited number of insertions they place on a unit. Hopefully, when armed with a vacuum pen, this number isn't quite so low in reality.
Oh, and there's cheaper models besides that slim-Vac and many different brands...that's just the tool I have. It's aluminum in construction and I wouldn't trust the plastic ones in a toolbox environment...well...not mine anyways.
And while we're on tools, It's worth mentioning that Snap-On doesn't sell that specific ratcheting screwdriver anymore unless you find a left-over on the truck (if one passes by). The new ones are nice as well with the same design basically, but with a softer grip than the hard plastic. But anyway, every screw or nut driver I carry for electrical work is a)magnatized AND b) has a piece of heatshrink shrunk over the shank...just in case;)