Friday, May 30

Digital SARS folk art: BoingBoing call for entries - QuickTopic bulletin board
The single most Blade Runner moment of my life was seeing an elderly asian man, on a bicycle with a red LED flasher, pinned to a giligan hat and with a "phone bag" old-school mobile phone and a modern laptop strapped to the bike rack, with a clear plastic garbage bag full of recyclables over one shoulder.

This was in '97, in Allston, MA. He was wearing a surgical mask. It was not a unique sight on the streets of Boston all throughout the '90s, mostly worn by older individuals and recent immigrants. The thinking was that they were protection against air pollution, and an American fashionista came up with a series of "designer smog masks" to join in the fun.

Saturday, May 24

Reducing AFS Spring Tension
To reduce the spring tension, first remove the black plastic cover on the air flow sensor by cutting up through the silicone sealer with a sharp blade. You will see, among other things, a black gear-wheel on top of what looks like a clock spring. A wire clip engages a tooth on the gear-wheel and is held in place by a 7 mm screw.
Scribe a permanent mark on the gear-wheel at the tooth where the wire clip engages (This is so you can go back to the stock setting if need be).
This is the tricky bit: Get a good grip on the gear wheel with your fingers. Loosen the 7 mm screw and wire clip assembly. Don't drop anything, and whatever you do, don't let go of that spring, or you may never get the car to run correctly again!
Now, carefully unwind the gear-wheel 3 teeth counter-clockwise. This is no more than 8 or 9 mm, so be careful. Reset the wire clip three teeth to the loose side of stock. Tighten down the 7 mm screw, replace the black cover with a thin bead of silicone sealer and you're done.
I tried one, three, and five teeth... one didn't seem to do much, five actually reduced power. Three was just right. Stay with three teeth because the down side of too rich a mixture will be increased emissions, and possible damage to the O2 sensor and/or catalytic converter. YMMV.
I can report that this tweak helps solves some perceived Digifant driveability problems (assuming all else is in

Digifant Performance Mods Removing the Intake Snorkel
A less permanent intake modification involves removing the resonator snorkel from the airbox. You have to take the airbox out of the car and then pry out the snorkel. This greatly increases the size of the air intake and can actually improve throttle response on your Digifant car if it is otherwise in good condition.

Digifant Performance Mods Engine Swaps

It is possible to swap the 1.8 liter short block out from under your Digifant head and replace it with a 2.0 liter short block either from a 1988 - 1992 Audi 80 (engine code 3A) or a 1993 - 1999 VW A3 (engine code ABA). Such a swap should be good for at least 15 extra horsepower and a real seat-of-the-pants torque boost even if you do nothing else. This swap plus other mods could push you towards 150 horsepower.

Over the last couple of months, their have been threads about running their AJ in the car. Some people have been satisfied with the sound and other have not been. I bought my iRock about three months ago and have mainly been dis-satisfied with the sound. Their would be times when it sounded okay, other times their would be radio noise that would drive me crazy. Since I only use the iRock on long road trips in rental cars, I just assumed that the problems where related to the location I was in at the time. Unfortunately I spend a lot of time on the road sometimes driving 10 hours with breaks only for gas.
About a week ago I was testing my iRock before I started another trip and it sounded awful. I put in some new batteries, and it sounded good. Then I said to myself could that be the problem is the drifting and sound quality susceptible to the batteries I was using. I went to Radio Shack and bought their Lighter Socket 3VDC Power Adapter rated at up to 1000mA (part number 273-1855). I wired it into my iRock. The sound quality was immediately apparent. I can say after driving to Las Vegas and back that their was no drift or radio noise.
I did have to lower the volume to 75% and the bass and treble to 0dbs. The sound is just great. I have been using a cassette adapter in my truck, and I have to tell you the comparison in sound between the iRock and the cassette adapter is like night and day. The only thing that you have to be c

Friday, May 23

L.E.D. Headlamp

Made from an altoids tin or something similar.

Wednesday, May 21

Google Search: Having used a digicam for 1-1/2 years, I think the most important thing you
need to be able to do is meter off of darker areas of the picture so that
you get a good exposure. This is even more important than with film, which
can also have the same problem. In short, you need an accurate spot
metering, then the ability to lock that metering for use on the whole
picture. If you have a camera which will record in RAW mode, and you use
that mode and post-process the picture, this is not so much an issue.

Monday, May 19

Ari Fleischer, public face of Bush White House,is leaving
He said he walked into the Oval Office to tell President Bush on Friday and did something he'd never done before -- close the door behind him. Fleischer, who said he wants to leave before the re-election campaign gears up, said his meeting ended with the president kissing him

Google Search: biting group:rec.pets.ferrets group:rec.pets.ferrets
I to keep down now have my first two ferrets -twelve weeks old - poleys - identical sisters - excepts that one seems to regard me as food and the other as a friend. How do I discourage biting? The blood is spoiling my carpet.

Sunday, May 18


Mattel Camera
Mattel Camera
Mattel makes several digital cameras, among them the BarbieCam and the Nick Click. Both are identical from a hardware/software standpoint and both are relatively inexpensive. With a resolution of only 160x120, they are by no means high-res, but they do present some fun experimenting opportunities.

The cameras use a 56K 8/N/1 serial protocol, and thus can be adapted for use with most any computer. The command protocols are detailed here and are easy to use. Note that the camera has little native intelligence, running from a variant of the Intel 8051. As a consequence, the image data from the camera is almost completely raw, requiring the host PC to demosaic the Bayer RGB data. While fundamentally simple, this process can be done in many ways. Here are just a few links to more information on this:

Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge - 6/26/00
Guide's Comments:
The reason this place is not overcrowded like many of Utah's other natural wonders is because of the necessary long, desolate, sometimes arduous journey to get there. Arriving from the east, much of the journey is over the road that served as Pony Express and Overland Stage routes in the 1860s. This road is 75 miles of rocky, rutted, wash-boarded and sometimes washed out driving pleasure. It takes me about 3 1/2 hours to get there from the southern part of Salt Lake County, but I tend to drive pretty slow over the bad roads. I am just not comfortable with going 50 mph on wash-board roads, and still have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from ending up in a ditch when the driver was doing just that. But I digress...

The long ride in to Fish Springs is well worth the effort. Along the way, the ruins and interpretive markers of several Pony Express stations can be visited. And there is a place where the road climbs over a pass affording wonderfully scenic views.

Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge - 6/26/00
About the Refuge:
Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge is located on the south edge of the Great Salt Lake Desert, 104 miles southwest of Tooele, and 78 miles northwest of Delta, Utah. The Refuge is extremely isolated and can be reached only by gravel roads across uninhabited desert. Local inquiry into road conditions is advised.

The Refuge was established in 1959, and encompasses 17,992 acres between two small mountain ranges. The refuge hosts about 3,000 visitors a year. Although duck and coot hunting is allowed during the season, visitors for wildlife observation outnumber hunters by six to one.

Five major springs and several lesser springs and seeps flow from a faultline at the base of the eastern front of the craggy Fish Springs Mountain Range. These mineral-laden, saline springs provide virtually all of the water for the Refuge's 10,000-acre marsh system. Since they maintain a year-round temperature of between 70 and 80 degrees, they provide a home for 5000 - 6000 wintering birds. The lush habitat, in the midst of miles of Great Basin Desert, is a true oasis for wildlife.

The marsh is divided into 9 sections by a gravel road, which makes viewing all areas very easy by car. The water is so clear that the sandy bottom is always visible, as are the schools of native Utah chub and introduced mosquito fish darting around in the shallows. You can also hear the song of the bull frog, and if you're lucky, maybe spot one.

Wednesday, May 14


Tuesday, May 13

Google Search: jb weld
Many years ago, I broke a pot metal post off inside a 4 throat motorcycle carburetor. What to do - $500 for a new carb? Naw. I wondered about JB Weld and called the factory. I had the pleasure of talking to the then chief engineer and founder of JB Weld. He is now deceased. The gentleman, sez "Boy, the stuff will cure in liquid if you need, it'll even cure under gasoline". Good news, since I wanted to use it in a carburetor. I rode that bike for 7 years afterwards and finally sold it -- with carburetor repair still intact. Bob Swinney

superglider records

Doomsday Book (Connie Willis)
Despite the weaknesses in the science and the implausible 2054 Oxford, I enjoyed Doomsday Book a lot. I much prefer well-written books with lousy science to engineering manuals dressed up as novels. I'm not sure it deserved its Hugo and Nebula award double, but Doomsday Book is definitely worth a read, especially if you are interested in epidemiology (used to produce a rather clever detective problem) or medieval English history.

Monday, May 12

Slashdot | Warren Ellis Answers
3) I'm friends with Patrick and his wife Wendy, and I know Patrick could nail Spider. So does Wendy, who just cringes in those moments when Patrick begins to channel Spider, standing on tables and proclaiming Spider to be his role model and personal god...

Case Western SWAT foiled by Frank Gehry building - QuickTopic bulletin board
The shooter was someone I knew. When I was working in the Smith Computer Lab, he would frequently be borderline verbally abusive to the staff. He would take over clusters of macs and spread out his stuff so that others could not get to the computers. He was also banned from other labs on campus for his behavior. He blamed the erasure of all his files on a local ISP account on another lab admin and took them to court over it. Time after time, they ruled against him, I am pretty sure he was going after that admin when he started shooting.
also I remember when that building was a frisbee field where I used to play. bastards ruined a perfectly good field.

Sunday, May 11

Slashdot | The Debate about Social Software

eBay item 2321491443 (Ends May-12-03 11:55:38 PDT ) - Lafuma RSX Recliner Lounge 4 Pak-FREE S&H*
You are bidding on a set of 4 green Lafuma RSX Batyline recliner lounge chairs.

Lafuma's RSX Batyline recliner lounge chair is quite possibly one of the most comfortable folding recliners ever made. This ergonomically designed, multiposition recliner adjusts to any position so it's comfortable for reading, sleeping, or just relaxing. Ideal for camping trips or in the backyard, the Lafuma recliner folds and unfolds very easily. This chair's design is the result of Lafuma's more than 50 years of experience in making the world's finest quality camping furniture. This chair features a sturdy, powder-coated steel frame and a combination polyester/cotton cushioned fabric. It also features a padded armrest and an adjustable pillow for added comfort. Lafuma chairs and camping furniture are made in France.
The ultimate relaxing machine and quite possibly the most comfortable folding recliner ever made. The ergonomically designed multi-position recliner adjusts to any position you choose so you will always feel comfortable whether you read, sleep or just relax. Perfect for camping trips or your little cabin in the woods, the Lafuma recliner folds and unfolds very easily. This chair is the result of the experience acquired by Lafuma since 1954 in making the world's finest quality camping furniture. Powder coated steel frame. Polyester/Cotton mesh fabric. Made in France.
Get that "Zero Gravity" effect in an outdoor recliner. Lafuma outdoor furniture combines ergonomic comfort with sleek continental style. The Lafuma RSX zero gravity recliner is widely used not only as camping, patio and pool furniture, but can be found in beauty salons and reflexology offices as well. La Fuma of France makes their outdoor patio recliners from the finest of canvases and lightweight frames. Whichever fabric you choose, you can be sure that your zero gravity recliner is UV and water resistant, as well as soft and flexible. Made to be easy to clean, easy to fold, and difficult to break, the La Fuma recliner is a wonderful addition to any patio or deck. Winner of the 1997 European Grand Prix of Design award. Ergonomically correct, breathable mesh material and very well made. Comfortable and classic, the La Fuma RSX recliner is a great chair at a great value. MSRP $756.00

Saturday, May 10

Suspect seized in university shooting
It appeared that modern technology may have saved a lot of lives.
Paul Stork, a professor of information systems who was barricaded in his office with some of his doctoral students, told NBC affiliate WKYC-TV by telephone that building security almost immediately sent a building-wide broadcast e-mail alerting faculty and staff to collect students and hide.

Crime & Punishment

Complete coverage

Friday, May 9


Sunday, May 4

n On Saturday, February 20, Mr. Ken Chevalier, 16, scores 12,900,000 points on BATTLEZONE by Atari Inc. after playing the game for 12 hours at the Star Station 101 arcade in Atascadero, California.

My record is 24,000, and I'm taking it off my laptop for fear of destroying the keyboard.

Saturday, May 3


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