Ever come across a piece of hardware in a lab (like a modem or network hub) and you don't know which power supply goes with it? If you can't find the spec sheet for it, you might be out of luck. Or are you?
I picked up an inkjet printer out of a junk pile last week. It looked like it was in good shape but it had no power supply. I checked the manufacturer's web site for some technical spec sheets and I found them, but they were useless when it came to telling me the exact specs of the power supply.
So I googled the web and I found a few hits on eBay. Why not? It's worth the look. Turns out it was my lucky day! Not only did I find the exact power supply for sale on eBay, but some really thorough sellers include close-up photographs of the power supplies too. Spankin! =)
I printed up a copy of the photographs and rummaged through a bunch of boxes of miscellaneous mice, power supplies, cables and other small parts. Bingo! I found the matching power supply. I brought it home, plugged it in and, presto, my kids now have a new inkjet printer all their own. (Of course, there's the added cost of the overly expensive inkjet cartridges, but considering the printer was free, I'll overlook that for now.)