Monthly Archives: December 2004 - Page 2

Happy Friday to me!

Yup, it’s Friday again. Where by Friday, I mean the last day of the week that I have to go to work. Tonight I’m going to go back to Mel’s parent’s place and relax, because on Friday, we’re driving back home. Along the way, Melissa and I are picking up my engine parts in Fort Wayne. Then it will be on to Mom and Dad’s, to start resurrecting the exploder/phoenix into whatever new form it will take.

I’m really hoping and praying that the Explorer will be complete and running when it comes time to go back to Detroit on Sunday. I miss having my own vehicle. I miss the XM radio (which I only had for a day). And it just feels like a loose end.

Also, I still need a good new name for the Explorer. My previous vehicles have been Bubba, Esmerelda and Lester… Something along those lines.

Wow, I’m impressed!

Apparently, three gamblers used a device built into a cell phone to calculate the position where the roulette ball would land. It gave them six places where the ball would likely land, based on ball orbit and wheel velocity. In the course of two days, this netted them the equivalent of 2.5M US dollars (this took place in the UK).

Best of all, they were initially arrested for this, but were later let off, since their activity was deemed legal! I wonder if they made the device themselves, or what? Pretty slick, if you ask me. Might spell the end of roulette…

Anyway, I was intrigued by that story.

Two useful links

I found two useful links today. One is the National OBD Clearinghouse, a large database of useful information about your car’s onboard diagnostic systems. Everything from

The second useful link is the carchip, a plugin data recorder for OBD-II data recorder. Apparently these are available at Autozone. They let you record all sorts of information from your car (providing that it’s a 1996 or newer). Information like fuel consumption, throttle position (how hard you are hitting the accelerator), engine error codes, temperature stats, rpm stats, etc.

There are a number of on-the-fly solutions for reading these codes as well. This is the first data recorder that I’ve ever seen though.

Oooh, shiny

Mmmm, virtual bubble wrap. Manic mode is the only way to go, by the way.

Browser stats, year to date

Useless stats for the day:

Rank

Browser

Unique Visits

%

1

Mozilla

34133

43.68%

2

Internet Explorer

21364

27.34%

3

Google Robot

18310

23.43%

4

Netscape

2170

2.78%

5

Wget

497

0.64%

6

Safari

478

0.61%

7

Alexa Robot

370

0.47%

8

Konqueror

284

0.36%

9

Java

251

0.32%

10

Lynx

118

0.15%

11

Opera

105

0.13%

12

IBM Almaden Robot

42

0.05%

13

PHP

8

0.01%

14

Scooter Robot

6

0.01%

15

WAP Mobile

5

0.01%

16

HTTrack

2

0.00%

naming convention

I’ve mentioned before that I plan to give the Exploder a new name when it’s ressurected from it’s current problems. After a moments consideration, I think firefox might be a good name for it. What better way to improve the reliability of Explorer, but to replace it with Firefox?

Maybe I’m kidding, maybe I’m not. (:

word documents as email

Just in case anyone was wondering, it is never appropriate to attach a word document to an email, when the word document simply contains a text message. Cut the text out of the word document, and paste it into the email. It’s easy to do, anyone can show you how, and people will hate you less.

Lester is roadworthy again

The LeBaron is back on the road, as of yesterday morning (11/30/2004). It ended up being about a $600 ordeal to get it all fixed. The rear wheel bearing fused to the spindle, ruining both. Worse, the spindle isn’t available new, so they had to hunt down used parts.

I’m glad to have a car again though. Going to work is not my favorite thing in the world to do, but it’s certainly better than not going to work.

I’m also the proud owner of a brand new set of aftermarket heads for the explorer. Hopefully I can get those put back on and going at the end of next week. The new heads don’t come with new valve assemblies though, so I need to figure out if my old valves are ok or if I need to hunt down new ones first.

I’ve also been seriously considering looking for a replacement for the exploder. I don’t know if it would be worthwhile or not. I know what’s good and bad about the exploder at least. I’ll have to think about it.

multi-flash camera techniques

I read a very interesting article on multi-flash photography today. The link is via Slashdot. Essentially, using multiple flashes from different locations allows software to determine where the edges of objects are. Very cool idea, and it seems to work really well!