Archive for January, 2006

New noise …

So I fire the truck up this morning, to go pick some things up. Nothing exciting about that, usually. I notice an odd noise, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s not drivetrain related that I can tell, as the noise does not vary by RPM, but by vehicle speed. There is a slight vibration only felt through the floorboards – I don’t notice anything in the pedals or steering wheel. Visual inspection with the truck on the ground doesn’t reveal anything out of place, so tomorrow I’ll head to the auto center on post to change my oil and give the truck a good looking at.

I do need to do my brakes, and I suppose it is entirely possible that new wheel bearings are in order – that’ll all get looked at tomorrow. We’ll see how it all pans out. Should everything check out as mechanically sound – I’ll tear into it over block leave while I’m at home, if not I’ll have to get it all done tomorrow. Been there, done that – not a problem.

Interesting Day

Today was umm, special. I took the MSF Experienced Rider’s Course today and well, I had an experience. The kind most people with motorcycles don’t want. That’s right, I dumped my bike. At least I dropped it on the left side, instead of the right side – saving me from damaging my shiny new exhaust. I did pass the class, by the way.

Anyway, the damages – I scratched the paint on my fairing, mirror, turn signal, and my newly installed frame sliders (hey, they worked!) I broke my shifter, that of course was not good. However, being a gearhead, I refused to accept “Wednesday” as the earliest I’d ride again because of the local dealership not stocking the shifter – I made due with what I had, and fixed it.

All is well now, I have a new shifter on order, just because. I went a bought a shiny vest so the MPs don’t arrest me and take my bike – and I’m utterly broke until I get paid again (soon).

Obviously this post is worthless without pics

Update: I shoved a piece of 1/4″ fuel hose over the bolt – it’s now easier to locate w/ the toe. As a bonus it doesn’t tear up my boots either.

M4 exhaust installed

While I can’t ride the SV for another week – I figured I could at least go tinker. Only took about an hour, at least 20 minutes of which was spent organizing my new toolbox. Anyway, I installed my M4 full exhaust, and it sounds and looks SWEET. Of course this is worthless without pics, so here they are.




For those that didn’t already know I’m home. I got here around 1600 EST on Wednesday. Being home is good stuff – I’ve already had several nice beers, and even more great meals. My truck is super nice, and I really enjoy not worrying about anything exploding around me. My cell phone is back on now, same number it has been since 2001 – I don’t have a lot of minutes (b/c I have a VoIP account as well), and if you send me a text message I might just choke you the next time I see you – but it’s active now. That’s a wrap.

Computer Plans

Since I’m short and final for departure from Iraq, I figured it might make sense to come up with some kind of plan for my various computers. So far this is what I’m looking at.

  • Black – 2GHz Celeron machine w/ 512MB RAM, I think I’ve got one of my WD 40GB disks in it, and a DVD-RW.
  • Happyface – XP1700+ w/ 1GB RAM, and either two 80GB disks or an 80 and a 40, I can’t honestly remember. Right now it’s got a shot GF3, a Promise Ultra100 TX2 IDE controller, some (Belkin maybe) IEEE1394 card, and a NIC I should have replaced years ago and, a CD-RW and a DVD-ROM. If memory serves, it’s got an IDE ZIP drive too, and one of those funny things no one uses anymore, a 3.5″ floppy drive.
  • Alien – 1GHz Pentium M, in other words, the famed FujiP.
  • truckNet – The Soekris net4801.

In the old days, Happyface was the main rig. I played many, many, many hours of RtCW on it. Black did a lot of nothing, mostly just sitting there idle as a WinXP machine for the few times I needed to subject myself to Windows. Alien has battle scars, and probably a pound or so of fine Iraqi sand in it. The Soekris is a new addition, but it’ll handle routing.

My plans are pretty simple since I don’t do anything that requires horsepower, or even a new machine. I can probably extend the life of all of my machines pretty easily and I intend to do so. The possibility to do this without spending a smal fortune also exists, so I may as well do it.

Happyface is going to become the loudest HTPC on the planet, though I may finally get around to putting my huge OMG OVERCLOCKER!!!!11oneone copper heatsink on it, and coupling it to a quieter-than-a-flight-of-Chinooks fan it’ll still be loud. Thankfully I can’t hear, and don’t realy care. Since the GF3 is toast, I’ll be looking for a graphics card that will do either S-Video or Composite output from linux, and do it well. I can probably get away fine with the current IDE controllers. The Firewire card might as well stick around too, but I need to change the NIC out with one that does or doesn’t work depending on the phase of the moon. The ZIP drive is wasting an IDE slot, and must disappear – look for footage of a ZIP drive being shot with a .30-30 in the future. I’ll toss in some 250GB 7200rpm drives since they’re cheap these days. If I go insane I may end up with a full TB.

I’d like to setup MythTV on it, so I can record TV shows/movies. The monitor will be my 20″ TV – and I’ll watch all rip all my DVDs to the machine to watch as well. All my music will be there too, and I’d like to be able to stream/share the media w/ my roommate. I’m not sure which tuner card to get, right now the PVR-250 comes to mind, or the PVR-500. A DVD writer is a must obviously. Anyone with suggestions on how to accomplish this mission is more than welcome to help me spend money.

Black will take over as my main desktop. I’ll rip out the tiny disk, and replace it with something less old/small. The DVD writer might get given to someone else, and replaced w/ a dual layer unit. I’ll probably also grab another 512MB of RAM to bring it up to a full GB. XP will go away, and I’ll either install Ubuntu, or Slackware on it. My 17″ Samsung CRT takes up too much space in a barracks room, and at least one computer at my parent’s house still has a 10 year old monitor that’s only still functional by the grace of God, so I may just give it to them and go get myself an LCD unit. Nothing else really needs to happen to this box for it to be fine for my desktop uses. I might let XP survive on a tiny and rarely used partition, maybe.

Alien needs a new disk, so I may as well buy a 100GB drive this time. I could also stand to do a ground up install. A full GB of RAM wouldn’t kill me either, and it would be kind of nice to have a DVD burner so I’ll grab one of them too. The batteries are showing their age, and the fact that they’ve been through thousands of full cycles. It still goes over 8 hours before I need to think about plugging it in, but I should probably look into replacement batteries and maybe a replacement keyboard as well.

truckNet needs a wireless card. I don’t care about link speed, everything I do requiring as much bandwidth as possible on my LAN will be done wired, not wireless. I do care about stable drivers though, so I’ll probably go with a miniPCI 802.11b card. I’ll be sharing my connection with at least one, possibly two people – and will be modifying the firewall/tc script Adam hooked me up with to somewhat control the 12 man LAN from hell I dealt with in Iraq accordingly. eth0 will talk to the outside world, eth1 will talk to a VoIP phone for my VoIP account, and eth2 and wlan0will talk to my LAN. Some form of authentication would be nice, so my roommate and I are the only two that can access the network/internet. I may even use that fancy USB port on the Soekris and CUPS to share my laserjet. Who knows, but I’m sure I’ll need help.

That’s about all. #linux I expect config advice by the time I’ve got boots on the ground back home. If I’m not in the top10 anymore, rest assured I’ll climb my way back up (if I can remember my password w/ that windex drinking retard Willow.)

Return top