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Messages - Kevin Wood

33226
General Discussion Area / Re: Who's going to the Air Tatto?
« on: 13 July 2007, 12:14:03 »
Do you know anything about the Comet at Bruntingthorpe?

There was talk that it was coming to Lasham (where I glide) for a restoration but I guess that didn't happen for whatever reason (probably paperwork). IIRC, it was basically airworthy but needed some temporary permit to be brought to Lasham whereby it would get a proper restoration.

Kevin

33227
General Discussion Area / Re: Identifying Dis-packs
« on: 15 July 2007, 21:26:21 »
Had a failed dis pack on SWMBOs car last week. It had previously misfired a few times but cleared as soon as it was under load. This time it didn't but it occurred about 1 mile from home and she drove it home on 2 cylinders. I did an exploratory to the end of the road and back after checking everything out. Realised the misfire was there for good. No spark whatsoever to 1&4. DIS pack changed and it was running fine and then remembered MOT due yesterday.

Wondered if the cat would have survived but it sailed through with better emissions than last year. Bit of a relief because the cat on the MX-5 is on a section that runs from the manifold to the back box!

Kevin

33228
General Discussion Area / Re: Happy Birthday to us!
« on: 09 July 2007, 09:32:17 »
Happy Birthday indeed!  :D

Onwards and Upwards...

Kevin

33229
General Discussion Area / Re: Is this the best courtesy car?
« on: 15 July 2007, 20:55:29 »
Better than the last one I got... Which was a Mazda Demio. .. and the one before that. A Renault clit  >:(

Mte of mine took his Supra in for some work a few years back and reckoned that they'd have to give him a Lexus as he specified it had to be an automatic. Not so. They managed to dredge up an automatic 1.0 Toyota Starlet from somewhere  ;D ;D ;D

Kevin

33230
General Discussion Area / Re: TC/ABS/EML
« on: 13 July 2007, 16:28:46 »
The crank sensor provides the RPM signal used by all of these subsystems so once it's gone to pot they're all liable to complain.

Kevin

33231
General Discussion Area / Re: TC/ABS/EML
« on: 13 July 2007, 11:11:17 »
I agree. You are not going to get a car that's absolutely trouble free if the budget is tight. Chances are you'll get one with more issues. Put it this way: at least you know what's wrong with the Omega.

Quote
she just wants something that works when she turns the key and needs nowt spending on it!

There's no such thing as a car that just works without having anything spent on it. Maintenance is what keeps a car working properly. It costs money and takes time and, if a car is lacking in recent maintenance, there's some catching up to do. This will be the case whatever car you buy second hand unless you hit it extremely lucky.

In addition, an Omega may be thirsty and suffer from a few niggles but they're basically solid and you can be reasonably sure it won't have a major mechanical disaster looming. This isn't the case with many other cars out there at that sort of money.


Kevin



33232
General Discussion Area / Re: Daft driving!!!
« on: 14 July 2007, 17:01:02 »
Got sent down an awesome road on one of our kit car tours. I think it was the B6318 around Hexham / Haltwhistle in Northumberland. Straight as a die but undulating gently. Just keep it planted and hang on! About as close as I've ever come to driving a roller coaster. ;D

Kevin

33233
General Discussion Area / Re: Vista or XP???
« on: 14 July 2007, 16:44:45 »
Quote
I'm here in a strange town, show me all the pizza places near me

I can see this sort of thing taking off really well when A-GPS gets a little more common. From in your pocket to working GPS receiver giving position fixes in a couple of seconds, then just ask away. Can even guide you on foot if you can still focus on the screen!

I must admit I've been thinking about Memory Map for some time as they do aeronautical charts too.

Kevin

33234
General Discussion Area / Re: Vista or XP???
« on: 12 July 2007, 22:10:37 »
I was going to get ISDN, then BT got the hump and told me I'd have to relinquish my 5 digit phone number - just after I'd moved in and told everyone my number - so I waited for broadband.  >:(

The mobile phone test gear I work with supports HSDPA. Seeing megabits go through a mobile phone is a wake up call. However, that's effectively with a bit of coax between phone and base station. I wonder what throughput'll be like in the real world. Plenty of quicker stuff in the pipeline too. Just need the Tunnies of the world to dream up some applications before the service providers get cold feet.

Not that Tunnie gets as much time to dream now ;D

Kevin





33235
General Discussion Area / Re: Vista or XP???
« on: 12 July 2007, 21:08:11 »
I agree. None of this is really an option yet, but it is interesting to think outside the box every now and then.

After all, 5 years ago my only internet access was using a 56k dialup modem. Now I've got a mobile phone that's way smaller than the one I had then with a better internet connection than I had at home.

It does make me wonder what the future has in store. Will we keep just scaling up the things we have today or will something radical happen?  8-)

Kevin

33236
General Discussion Area / Re: Vista or XP???
« on: 12 July 2007, 20:32:48 »
Quote
I don't need pop-ups every five minutes interrupting what I'm doing

Don't get me started on popups! Oh, for the days when a computer did what the user said and sat idle otherwise  :D

Quote
The poor driver cannot be blamed on the OS.

No, but when the whole process of installing, de-installing, etc. is hidden from me, it has to work faultlessly. Otherwise, I'd rather do the job manually and know what's been messed about with so I can get in and put it right. Whilst I've got the option to do that under Linux, with Windows it's not as simple.

Quote
even the most fanatical Linux user wouldn't recommend it to my 70yr old mum, who gets along with Windows nicely.

I appologise if I'm doing your mum a grave injustice here ;) but I'd wager that both systems are probably overkill, and I was talking about this with a colleague at lunch time today, as a matter of fact.

Why does an average home user need a system that's effectively identical to a developer's desktop? The things they do are pretty mundane. Web browsing, email, word processing and other office apps, downloading from their digital camera, etc. All that and more could be achieved with a small internet connected "thin client" that boots instantly, won't run malicious code and takes up much less space in the house.

Connect it to a service like Google Docs & Spreadsheet (just an example!) and the headache of storing, backing up files, installing applications, etc. is gone. The unit doesn't even need any storage itself so malicious code has nowhere to hide. No more firewalls, anti-virus software, etc. or viruses if they fail or aren't updated. The user can access their desktop from anywhere on the web too.

People use computers for other things without even realising it on a day to day basis, and because they're leaned down to the task in hand there's no hassle involved. When's the last time you had to wait for your Motronic to boot, or had to remove a virus from your set top box?  :D

Kevin

33237
General Discussion Area / Re: Vista or XP???
« on: 12 July 2007, 16:18:38 »
I hear what you're saying, and I didn't say that the underlying code hadn't been changed in Windows, just that a lot of problems therein remained, and that a lot of time has been wasted changing things that weren't broke.

I come from a background of using and developing for both OSs but not getting terribly deeply involved in the internals of either, I must admit.

The thing that irritates me most about Windows, and I know I'm not alone, is that everything is wrapped up in a GUI that "any idiot" is supposed to be able to use to manage and configure a pretty complex system. (If only they didn't keep changing it). It doesn't take much to go wrong before you have to throw the GUI away and start poking around in the internals, and with Windows that's not documented, nor easy. Time to re-install the whole damn lot unless you really know your way around it.

Linux suffers the same thing to a degree. it has nice easy GUI based configuration tools which are useful as far as they go. However, underneath that are some much more comprehensive and documented command line tools that will get you out of trouble where the GUI tools throw in the towel, if you are prepared to have a dig around.

Case in point. I have just spent all morning trying to get a troublesome device driver working on a Windows box. It wouldn't talk to the hardware it should talk to. I swapped the hardware - no change. Tried it on another machine, and it works fine. The uninstall wizard bombed out with an error when I tried to re-install it, meaning it will now neither install nor uninstall. I'm left trying to manually remove all the files, registry settings, etc. and working totally blind. Eventually I manually uninstall it and re-install. Still doesn't work. It worked yesterday, why not today?  In the end I just reached for a new machine because there's nothing short of re-installing the whole lot that can be done with the old one.

Had this been a Linux box I would have been able to look at the documentation on the module / daemon involved, find its' configuration and check it, maybe turn on some logging to see why it's complaining and I probably would have got to the bottom of it. Hell, I could even have cracked out the source code if I'd wanted to. However, I suspect it wouldn't have decided at random one day to stop working in the first place.

I'm not convinced about the windows command line. If it does make a load of stuff accessible there's no documentation available to the average user to make use of it. It doesn't come close to a unix shell at any rate.

The main reason for my interest in Linux, however, is that I have a few machines at home. I'm not prepared to pay for Windows, MS Office, Visual Studio, etc. etc. on each of them so I can dabble, so I run something that does what I need and costs me zero. Nothing particularly religious, I just prefer not to pay 500 quid for something that's available free. I've discovered that both OSs have their strong and weak points, and if windows were the free one it'd probably be on my PC ;-)

Anyway, aren't we supposed to be talking about Omegas here?  :y

Kevin

33238
General Discussion Area / Re: Vista or XP???
« on: 12 July 2007, 14:29:47 »
Quote
No usb to serial adpter works with vista, as neither driver maker has released an update.

.. and very few machines have real serial ports now ::). Worth bearing in mind.

The thing that gets me about new windows versions is that there's clearly a lot of effort put into making it look flash and changing around the GUI and other trivia whereas the code underneath it still suffers from a lot of the same problems. M$ work on the basis that customers are stuck with them so have to figure out where they've hidden all the stuff they used to know about or lump it.

.. but then maybe that's just me. I'd rather go back to a command prompt anyway!

Kevin


33239
General Discussion Area / Re: tunnie wants a V6!
« on: 13 July 2007, 22:20:21 »
Quote
You wont worry about knocks and dings in that being in London

Relatively safe left in a station car park all day too, whereas not much else is.  >:(

Kevin

33240
General Discussion Area / Re: I'm off to get a PS3 then....
« on: 13 July 2007, 22:23:58 »
Quote
Market forces will dictate that.... unless Sony want to be in the wilderness...

Yeah, make a big hoo haa about reducing price in one market and then another about NOT reducing it in another.  ::)

How stupid to they think their potential customers are?

Plenty of them sitting on their hands (and their toy budgets) now, I reckon.

Kevin

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