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Slush everywhere...

February 19, 2007 11:11 AM

It looks like the temporarily warmer temp, slightly warmer anyway, has started to cause a bunch of snow and ice to melt. The parking lots are messy all of a sudden. Hopefully a lot of it will melt off and soak into the ground. The farmers and the people, like us, that depend on wells need that water table raised.

Chinese New Year started yesterday. I didn’t realize it until yesterday but I’ve been going by the wrong Chinese Zodiac symbol for as long as I can remember. If you just go by my birth year I’m a rooster but if you go by the actual birth date I’m a monkey. Oddly this makes a lot of sense to me because I tend to fit the monkey personality much better than the rooster. I don’t necessarily put a lot of stock in the Chinese Zodiac but it did occur to me today that the Chinese have 4000 years of observed data on the events tied to their lunar calendar so it’s not something lightly ignored.

Feel like crap. Didn’t get much sleep last night. By the time we could put our clothes into the dryer it was late, by the time the sheets were done it was about 12:30 a.m. and I was extremely tired. My daughter has been sick for the last couple of days and woke up this morning at 2:30 a.m. and jumped into our bed. That was when I went downstairs to sleep. I woke back up at 4:30 a.m. when my wife came down to remind me to get up for work. So I’ve had basically 2 consecutive hours of sleep. Not good. I doubt I’ll be able to get sleep when I get home either. And by rights I shouldn’t go to sleep when I get home because it’ll put my sleep patterns off and I’ll be up at 3 a.m. tomorrow. :-(

Besides that issue I have to get a bunch of things cleaned up around the house. It’s amazing to me that nobody but me seems to clean around there. :-(


I got a notice today that the Musician’s Friend has finally shipped my professional USB->Audio input device. That’s good because I really want to get at least two songs recorded this week. I may even take a couple of vacation days to not only clean but work on certain projects for my own benefit. Like recording those songs.

I think before I start really getting into the swing of things I’ll put the B&W Mac under the table. That and I’ll run the USB->Audio device off the native USB port along with the wireless keyboard and mouse. That will allow for a cleaner data path into the computer as well as being able to power the system up/down with the keyboard again. Of course that depends on if the Kensington keyboard has a power button - it might not.

I’m behind on a lot of projects. I need to finish the one ADC->VGA monitor adapter so I can use the nice clear Apple ADC monitor for the yellow iMac cube or for my daughter’s system. But I think I’ll be able to maybe switch her over to either an LCD iMac or an LCD monitor at the very least. Something maybe on a monitor “arm”.

The yellow iMac cube parts are scattered around the different storage areas so I likely won’t get to that one until spring or summer.

I’ve got to finish the prototype circuitry for the turn-signal cancel. It just occurs to me that a simple 555 timer circuit with darlington-pair transistors could easily replace the thermal flasher unit thus immediately solving the LED turn-signal problem while still utilizing the auto-cancel. I need to understand more on how the thermal flasher works because it has three wires into it not just two. I don’t know what the third wire does. And I of course don’t have the schematic handy because once again I’m missing my thumb drive. It’s probably in-between the seat and the console in the truck.

If the third wire is the on-off for the thermal flasher then that’s a simple thing to replicate with the 555 timer circuit. Have that wire either power up or ground the 555 chip, buffered of course, so that it starts flashing the LEDs/bulbs via the darlington-pair transistors. This would allow the auto-cancel to properly turn the signals off as needed and still not affect the lights if you’re using LEDs or bulbs.

Of course things like this are never so simple. Thankfully I can easily order electronic parts to test with.

Hopefully the box from my friend in Florida arrives today or tomorrow. I’d like to get set up with some of the stuff that he was going to send me. Like the ET3400 trainer. It’s got a good breadboard+power section not to mention it will help me get used to thinking in terms of machine code and registers and similar things again.

Got a lot of things on my plate. I think I will definitely take a couple of vacation days this week. Maybe thursday and friday so I have an extended weekend. Now that the tape auto-loader is working properly, or it appears to be at the moment, I don’t have to worry about changing tapes every day and can actually either work from home or take days off without being all paranoid about data loss. Though I still have to figure out how to set it up to allow me to eject and take home a weekend tape every week for “offsite backup” purposes. I think that will until further notice be a manual process because I don’t see any support in the backup software for that.




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