Monday, December 31, 2012

December 30th

After playing Warcraft while the weather outside warmed up a little, I went out and took the (vacuum controlled) cruise control off the Vanagon.  It's never been able to work at freeway speeds, and I think there's just not enough vacuum being generated, or maybe not enough cable movement in the control box.  I've ordered an electric one to play with, so for the moment all the wiring etc is staying in place.  Worst case, I wire it up in the front to pull the pedal down, as this is what the GoWesty kit does.  The GoWesty kit looks to be the same Rostra kit that I've ordered, but I have a VSS and the control switch already.

We went out so Vic could return some boots she doesn't like, and I picked up a tool box - I'm tired of not being able to find stuff / get it out of the rack I have at the moment.  I took the wall unit down, and put the box in its place - the lid has to be open, meaning it takes up a bit  more space than I'd thought it was going to, but it's now holding tools.  Fewer tools than I'd expected, but that's because I haven't just piled them in - hopefully I'll be able to easily find them, too.

In the evening, we watched the new "Total Recall" - it's not bad, and of course they have their transit system going through Earth's core rather than the whole outlandish space ship to Mars thing.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 29th

We wasted the day playing Warcraft, then went to dinner with Vince, who's getting over a cold.

December 28th

I finally managed to get the laptop working correctly, after several attempts at deleting the drivers and rebooting - Windows just reloaded the incorrect drivers, then wouldn't let me overwrite them with older ones.  Safe mode couldn't see both graphics cards, so it wouldn't let me load the drivers.  Sheesh.  I managed to interrupt the driver install and get the old, old drivers on there, and I'm leaving it at that and calling it good.

Friday, December 28, 2012

December 27th

I played with my laptop, and it'll work with the old, old, old Dell graphics drivers, but when I try anything newer, it's upset.  The problem seems to be that there are actually 2 adapters, the 335GT, and the onboard Intel Series 4.  More work needed, methinks.

On a plus note, I did get the old Eee 701 running Android :o)  I'm going to look at building a shelf to hold it in the garage next.

December 26th

After work (no Boxing Day in the US) I went over and installed an SSD in Jim's PC.  I've left him to install Windows 7 on it, having lent him the media and a bootable USB drive.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 25th

After unwrapping gifts, we spent the day playing Warcraft and fiddling with stuff.  I managed to get my hunter to level 90, and I've now failed to install Chromium on the Eee.  I might end up going back to Xubuntu.

In the evening we watched "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side" again :o)

A bloody Windows security update seems to have stopped my laptop's graphics card from working - I'll look at that when I get time :o(

December 24th

It was another cold, wet, miserable day, so we played Warcraft, and in the evening watched "The Dark Knight Rises".  It's a pretty good movie.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 23rd

It threw it down with rain all day, so we played Warcraft.

I made a start on getting the old 7" Eee running as a system for in the garage, but for some reason the sound's not working.  One of the things I wanted to do was have it stream music, so the dodgy radio I'm using at the moment can finally be tossed out :o(

Saturday, December 22, 2012

December 22nd

I woke up early, then couldn't get back to sleep because of the rain.  So I started looking at the weather station on the Raspberry Pi.  I've ended up dumping the database from the Eee out to SQL format, deleting the database on the Pi and reloading the data when it's rebuilt it.  It's letting me look at the web pages, and I left it loading in the old data (there's a lot of it), but that caused it to stop working.  After reinstalling the software a couple of times, I gave up and decided to just start with an empty database.

I went out in the garage and did a little wiring on the van - I've rewired the rear lights so that the fog light section (that isn't used here) now lights up with the rear lights.  So, I have 4 rear lights, and 4 brake lights (high 3rd light, and a light in the tow hitch).

I decided to cut the grass, as it's supposed to rain for the next few days, but that only brought on the rain early.  I finished up, and we threw seed on the bare patches (thank you, Tilly) so that they'll hopefully start growing in all the rain we're getting.

In the evening we watched MIB3, which was distracting with the cartoony CGI effects.

December 21st

So much for the Mayan apocalypse, eh?

I sat and played with the Raspberry Pi as the weather station, and finally got it working.  I think it's actually been working, it's just that the archiving doesn't work - it's now publishing my data to Weather Underground.  I just can't look at it through the local web server, which is a shame, as it holds a lot of useful data from the past.

Friday, December 21, 2012

December 20th

I got up ridiculously early and drove to San Francisco for work.

After work, we played poker, and I managed to win $31 - I think that's a record this year, as Rachel usually takes all my money.

It was a longassed drive home, and I ended up getting in around 9pm.

December 19th

Mum and Dad had sent us a package for Xmas, and the post office tried to deliver it on Saturday, but there was nobody in.  They didn't try again on Monday, so I went to their web site and requested a redelivery attempt on Tuesday.  I saw the postie on Tuesday, and she knew nothing about it.  It also didn't arrive today, so I called them.  They said they'd try and deliver it on Thursday, when I was going to be out all day, but that'd be 5 days, so it would be returned.  Doy.  I skipped going to the gym and went and picked the bloody thing up from the post office.

I tinkered around with the newly cased Raspberry Pi, but it doesn't seem to want to start up WView with the weather station attached, but that might be because I tried copying the database from the Eee that's currently running it.  I'll look into this more when I have some time to play with it.

I went to the new Lincoln EAA chapter meeting, and might have got roped in to helping out with the web site.  They had a Pietenpol there, along with its builder - who even made his own prop!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 18th

I had to go and rescue Vic when her bike wouldn't start.  Basically the trip to work isn't far enough to charge the battery, so if it doesn't start right away at home, it doesn't really stand a chance of restarting at work.  I popped the battery cover, plugged it in to the Jeep and it fired up OK.  We left it until it was warm, then unplugged everything and headed home again, where we unplugged the DRZ from the battery tender and plugged it in to charge up fully.

Note to self - you can charge it through the battery tender wire that's already connected to the battery, if you remember to bring the clip connector :o)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 16th

It was another rain-ish day, so I played Warcraft, getting my Hunter up to level 88.  Vic had been tidying in the garden, so I went and cut some lumps off the trees in the front - I'll be doing that until they start getting leaves again, methinks.

I got out into the garage and made up a case for the Raspberry Pi.

It's not as elaborate as I'd first planned, but screw it - it's there and allows me to move on to getting it all working :o)

December 15th

Tilly had her annual inspection, which she passed with flying colours.  We'll wait for the heartworm test results, but she takes the tablet every month, so I'm sure she's fine.

I played a fair amount of Warcraft, as it was raining or threatening to rain all day.  I did change the hook-ups for the van to the new ones that GoWesty has started making.  Basically the old ones are a pain, and the new ones are better made.  Rather than having to try and screw a hose onto the city water connection (I tried once, and gave up as I could never stop water running all down the side of the van), it uses a standard quick release plug - it's the same for the internal tank filler, rather than just a tube.  Why hasn't anybody thought of this before?  I also replaced the electric hookup, to make the set complete, but I didn't realise how crappy and loose the old one was inside.  Yay.

In the evening we watched Idiocracy - it's been a while since we've seen it.

December 14th

I tidied up the wiring as much as I could, and tested all the lights.  Everything works, except the extra brake lights that I wired in ages ago where the factory fog lights would go.  I think that's most likely to be my soldering in the light units, as the main brake lights work just fine.  I buttoned everything up, tested it all again and called it "good" :o)

I've bought new wiper blades, so I installed those while it was relatively easy to do.  I've kept the fittings to see if they'll work on Gwen's Jeep.

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 13th

I went and worked on the van a little after work, and got the passenger side light all wired up.  I've put in bullet connectors to the high level brake light and the cut-out for the cruise control (I'm actually wondering if this is why the cruise control has been a pain recently).  Now I just need to tidy up the looms and test everything before calling it "done".

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12th

One of the smoke alarms needs a new battery, so it's been beeping about once a day.  Which, of course, makes it really easy to find.  Well, it started to beep a little more often, and it scared Tilly - she got out of her bed and woke me up, and it took a while before it beeped again.  I tracked it to Vic's art room and unplugged it, but then had to wait for the internal battery to give out in a series of increasingly pathetic beeps.  By then I couldn't sleep, so I thought I'd play Warcraft, thinking that the realm had rolled over so I could do the daily quests again.  Nope, but I swear I've done this after the new realm day (at 10pm Pacific).  Anyway, I eventually went back to bed at around 3am.

After work, I went out and worked on the van a little - I got the driver's side all wired up, and pulled the new wire through for the passenger side light.

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 9th

Some Warcraft was played, before I got Vic to help me with some soldering under the van.  Never let it be said that I don't know how to show a girl a good time.  I also tidied up most of the damage I've done "fixing" things.

I got up on the roof and cleared out all of the gutters before sweeping up all the leaves and cutting the grass.

December 8th

I started the day playing Warcraft, and even got my hunter to level 87.

I spent a little time under the van, pulling wire towards the front.  A quick test showed 8V after the fuel tank, and 12v in front of it, so I'm calling that good - getting into the loom by the instrument cluster is a nightmare.

In the evening we watched Kick-Ass - I picked it up on Blu-Ray on sale a while back, and just haven't had the time to watch it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 6th

We went to the Xmas open house at the SPCA, where we ate, drank and were merry.  There's a raffle there, and I usually buy a bunch of tickets and win nothing.  This year though, they had a system where you put your tickets in a little box in front of the prize you want to win.  We ended up winning a hamper with a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates and a teddy bear.  Well, it also has a voucher for a tour and wine tasting at a winery in Los Gatos.  Not sure what we'll do with that.

Tilly decided that the teddy bear was for her, so I ended up letting her have it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 4th

I worked on the van some more, and managed to break a wire that was nothing to do with the brake lights.  So, now the tail lights won't work until I replace that bit of wire.  Bugger.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 3rd

It's a new month, and the new electrickery bill is in... not my fault, it's late :o)
Power I've paid for

Power I've generated

In the evening, I went and looked at the van, as I'm trying to yank a new wire through.  I found a connector that doesn't appear in the manual, and pulled the new wire through to it.  Want to bet that's the cause of the problem?  Well, I'll have to solder new wires and stuff there when I'm feeling more up to it - this is now all happening in the cramped engine bay.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 2nd

I went and tidied up all my junk, then reversed the van into the garage (the wiring runs down the driver's side) to make working on the van easier.  I've crawled around underneath it, and pulled bits of wire around to discover where it is.  It's looking like it'll be a pain to pull wire through the stock tubing, but I'm going to give it a go... I've cut the wire at the rear, and soldered the new wire to it.  I did start trying to pull it through, but I was obviously trying to pull it too far, so I'll try cutting a hole nearer the engine bay and pulling from there.  At least I can now work in the garage in the evenings, rather than having to drop the van out of the garage to do anything.

I cleared up a bunch of the leaves out the front of the house - at least until the green waste bin was full.  And the pick up is the week after next, so here's hoping that the storms are done with - the sun came out in the afternoon and cheered everything up, Tilly and I went for a walk.

December 1st

It's been an absolutely grim day, with lots of rain causing some of the gutters to overflow.  I got out to clear them in what I thought was a quiet period, but standing on a ladder is obviously tempting the rain gods.  Still, I got the gutters cleared, but the downspouts couldn't cope with the flow, so they were still overflowing.

The garden flooded down the side of the house, like it usually does when we get a lot of rain, but this time the water cleared after it stopped, so the drain we dug this year has obviously helped :o)

There was a lot of time spent playing Warcraft, where I got my hunter to level 86, and I looked at the van again before the worst of the rain showed up - I've noticed that I have 13v at the brake light switches, and 10v at the back of the van, and that drops to 0v when a load is applied.  It's looking more and more like a wiring issue.  The stock wiring isn't that thick, so I'll probably end up running a new wire from the front to the rear of the van.  Joy.

November 29th

Thanks to all the rain, the anemometer's stopped working on the weather station.  The interesting thing is that looking on Weather Underground, I see that the nearest weather station to me also isn't registering wind speeds, so I'm guessing that they're also running a WMR-968.  Still, I'll try and remember to look into it when it isn't cold, wet, windy and raining :o)