Repair a punctured tyre with tire repair strips

Caution: this guide is a demonstration of how to use the product, it should not be applied to the tyre sidewall.

Here is a quick post on how to repair a minor puncture on a car’s tyre. I purchased a car tyre repair kit from eBay for $5.50 including postage. Here’s what I received;

  • A raspier tool for enlarging the hole,
  • A needle insertion tool for inserting the repair strips,
  • A small tube of rubber adhesive, and
  • Five tyre repair strips.

Puncture repair kit, tools, adhesive and strips
Five tyre repair strips

How to repair a puncture

A puncture to the tyre's side wall

First remove a repair strip and insert it into the need hole of the insertion tool, this was the most difficult and used some pliers to help me pull it though, I was surprised and happy that the repair strips were not sticky at all. Pull the strip so it is centred in the insertion tool.

Insert a strip into the insertion tool

Cover the strip with copious amounts of rubber adhesive, this will assist with the strip sticking to the inside of the tyre. Insert the needle insertion tool (with the strip) into the tyre hole, don’t insert it all the way down, but ensure both ends are still protruding.

Now twist the insertion tool slighty (this will get it all knotted inside) before pulling it out of the hole, you may need to use some pliers to ensure the strip remains inside.

Insert the strip into the puncture

Inflate the tyre and ensure no leaks

Fake/Counterfeit Canon NB-4L batteries

I thought I would share my experience regarding fake Canon NB-4L batteries. Let me start by saying I own a Canon IXUS 55, with the girlfriend owning a Canon IXUS 40 both using the Canon NB-4L Battery. I have purchased two spare batteries from eBay, with one of the purchased batteries looking to be fake. The following photos show the four batteries with the differences circled in red and reasons for this belief.

Firstly, a front photo of the four batteries, the lower right battery is the fake. Circled in red is a single linear indent on the fake battery whilst the real batteries have two linear indents. The text on the fake is also quite blurry.

Front photo of the four batteries, the lower right battery is the fake

Secondly, a back photo of the four batteries, the lower right battery is again the fake and again the single indent can be observed on the fake. Circled in red is the caution text which again is blurry. It can be observed that the words on each battery are different, and hence I believe is not a good indication to its authenticity.

Back photo of the four batteries, the lower right battery is again the fake

Lastly, a isometric view of the four batteries, the lower battery is the fake. Circled in red is a little rectangle, with the genuine batteries having a rectangle piece of plastic stuck on while missing on the fake battery. This would have been to save on manufacturing costs.

Isometric view of the four batteries, the lower battery is the fake

There are other differences, but those above are the most obvious. Click on the above images to display high resolution photos.

Is your hard disk drive (Seagate) genuine or counterfeit fake?

This is an eBay experience I would like to share involving a seller sending me counterfeit refurbished drives, advertised as new.

The drives were Seagate 750GB Barracuda (model number ST3750640NS), I purchased 2 in 2 separate auctions, and both received drivers were counterfeit refurbished drives.

More then likely, sellers won’t list actual pictures of the drives, so it is not till you physically receive them that you will be able to tell if you have been gypped.

A counterfeit refurbished drive next to a genuine Seagate drive

Counterfeit refurbished drive next to a genuine Seagate drive

From afar, the most obvious difference is the shape of the labels. The drive on the left has a standard looking rectangle label, while the drive on the right has an interesting shape with curved corners; this is the genuine Seagate drive. With the counterfeit drive, the original label has been removed and replaced by a fake rectangle label. A rectangle label is cheap and easy to make, no curves are required to be cut.

A closer look at the counterfeit drive

Closer look at the counterfeit drive

Upon closer inspection, it can be observed that the label is of very poor quality. The printing is all splotchy and the text unreadable. If you look on the edges of the label, you can also see traces of where the original label was adhered to, this proves the original label was removed. Judging by the scratches on the metal casing, this drive is not new; and most likely refurbished.

A look at the drives details

A look at the drives details

It can be observed the serial number is 3QD0FF2D. All Seagate drives have individual serial numbers that will validate on Seagate’s Warranty Validation page. In this case the counterfeit drive returns ‘Expiration Unknown’, genuine drives will return an Expiration date. All Seagate 750GB drives have 5 years Seagate warranty, even the OEM drives from what I have experienced. Once again there are a lot of scratches on the surface.

The final confirmation

The thing about hard disk drives, is that you can write anything you want on the label, but the drives embedded information (included serial number) will not lie. Seagate offers SeaTools, drive diagnostic software for the Seagate range. The easiest way to get a copy of SeaTools is from the Ultimate Boot CD. SeaTools was run on the counterfeit drive, and a screen captures taken.

Seagate SeaTools showing a counterfeit drive's details

Seagate SeaTools showing a counterfeit drive's details close up

SeaTools confirms the model is indeed a ST3750640NS, however the serial number is actually 5QD18MCE, and the Firmware is actually 3.AEK. This is the hard proof that this drive has had its label removed.


The reasons for a removed label are most likely that the drive is refurbished, when Seagate refurbishes a drive they sometimes replace the label with a new label stating it is a refurbished drive. Note; this is still a genuine Seagate label, the label will still be that interesting shape with curved corners, it will however say refurbished on it. Buyers don’t like refurbished drives, so it may have been the seller replaced the refurbished label so that he could then sell the drives as ‘new’. Refurbished drives are also cheaper for sellers to buy.

In order to minimise being discovered, sellers will most likely sell the counterfeit drives in a cheap hard disk drive enclosures, as it was in my case. Always inspect any drives that arrive in enclosures to confirm you have received what was advertised. Do not simply make sure it works and looks nice.

Sellers may also state that the drive is OEM, as also in my case. Just remember that all Seagate drives can be warranty validated, even if OEM.

The end my story, the seller did send me 2 new drives after I sent the counterfeit drives back at my expense. I am sure he relisted them.

How to spot fake surf (Quicksilver) shorts

This is my experience buying some (fake) Quiksilver shorts from eBay. Basically, as soon as I received the shorts I knew they were fake. However, I needed some evidence; so I purchased some original shorts for $80 and compared. Below are my findings. If you think that I have made a mistake (or even if you agree), I would love to hear from you.

Firstly, photos of the shorts as displayed in the item description. These are the listing images as found in the description. The shorts look quite nice.
eBay item image; front of fake shorts.eBay item image; back of fake shorts.

Now lets have some pictures of the actual shorts that arrived (excuse the carpet background)

Actual photo of fake shorts once received.

Actual photo of back of fake shorts once received.

They look quite similar, actually, very similar. So what is wrong with them? Lets have a closer look.

Throughout this guide I will be comparing the shorts against genuine Quicksilver shorts.

genuine Quicksilver shorts. used to compare with fake shorts.

Above is a pair of genuine Quiksilver shorts purchased for $80.


Firstly lets look at the inconstancies:

inconstancies 1: Velcro stitching.

This is a pair of Velcro, notice one side has a diagonal line, the other doesn’t.

Inconstancies 2: different stitching at front and back.

This is a photo of the groin area of the shorts (the area where the front meets the back). Notice that there is double stitching on one side and triple stitching on the other.


Stitching: very untidy and ugly.

The above photo is a picture of the stitching of the fake shorts. Notice the stitching is generally very messy. Doesn’t overlap properly, and even goes outside the fabric. Now lets look at the stitching of genuine shorts.

Genuine stitching: note how nicer looking.

It looks a lot nicer, no ugly overlapping and they even added extra overlapping stitching. Generally it looks much nicer.


The screen print sealed the deal; it was what made me certain the shorts were fake. There is no way a respectable and reputable company would release a product with a screen print of such poor quality.

Screen print: splotches of white paint

Above can be observed white paint in splotches and patches; these are areas where too much paint was applied. Furthermore, it areas can be observed with too little paint, with the red still visible under the white.

Screen print 2: ghosting of logo

The screen print has some obvious ghosting, not a clear, crisp print as would be expected. This is throughout the screen-print.

Screen print 3: splashes of white paint.

Finally, all over the shorts were splashes of white paint.

As I mentioned to the seller, I could do a better screen print then that.

Final aspects

While it is difficult to say if all shorts should have these, below are some of the features a pair of genuine shorts have.

Genuine shorts features rubber clear square with silver logo.

Rubber square with silver Quiksilver logo.

Genuine shorts features logo printed on aglets.

Quiksilver logo printed on the lace’s aglets

Genuine shorts features rubber logo stitched in the seam.

Rubber Quiksilver cutout logo, stitched in the seam of the short’s.

Genuine shorts features stitched logo.

Quiksilver logo made from stitches.

The fake shorts purchased had none of these features or anything else that looked ‘special’, the real shorts had all of the above.


I hope that this information will be helpful for future buyers. The seller of the shorts did give me a full refund, but only after I returned the item. I am guessing he resold them. Feel free to share your opinion, but I think the evidence is quite clear.