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Monthly Archives: October 2006

I actually ended up with a bike this weekend. I got it at Renton Motorcycles – they were generally nice, and gave me a pretty good deal. Its hard to tell to be honest, because I’ve never bought (or financed) one.

I rode around the parking lot a few times – to get a feel for the clutch, then when I felt like it tore down the avenue and rode home. Then I hit the freeway and went home from there. Not sure why I did, but I got some good training :).

On Sunday I rode to church on it down I90.

I’ve already found a few things I need to do. First is I need a helmet with a mouthpiece – the one I have fogs up too quickly, I need some gloves that are warmer than the ones I have, finally I need some mirror extenders or some after market mirrors. The ones I have I don’t get a real good view of what is behind me. The gear I picked it up is pretty good. It keeps me warm, but I need to work on my hands and face. The helmet I have is nice enough, but it doesn’t have a mouthpiece at all – and consequently kinda cold. Its probably better for summer.

The sad thing – the real expensive part is the new helmet 😦 – they can cost as much as $400. I don’t think you can really place a price on your head though. But I’ll have to save up for it which means limited freeway riding for a while. I think the most important thing I need to fix is the mirrors – that shouldn’t cost more than $50. It does mean if I want to get it fixed this week I’ll have to sacrifice lunch and rip arse up to the motorcycle shop…

Oh and what kind of bike? Its a Yamaha YZF600R (599 CC). Inline 4 cylinder, 16 valve, dual overhead cams, and its got 4 carburetors. It redlines at 14,000 RPM. Supposedly it has a top speed of around 150 miles per hour, can do 0-60 in 3-4 seconds and can do the quarter mile in 11-12 seconds (at 120 miles per hour). And they make bigger and faster bikes… That info wasn’t in the manual – you can however read those stats here > http://www.sportrider.com/bikes/146_performance_numbers/index10.html.

Do I like it? Very much so – its bit hard to get used to warming up the bike itself – fiddling with the choke etc. I’ve only killed it with the clutch maybe 3-4 times, but I’m getting better at it. Driving a car with a clutch for the last 5-6 years helps.It handles pretty well, and accelerates really well. For the price too, it has surprisingly nice components like from Brembo (famous for brakes). It also has user adjustable shocks.

Stock photos (from www.yamaha-motor.com):

Found this one on the net (if you want the full size version contact me):

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Return of the Ghostbusters is a fan film from the same people who brought us Freddy VS Ghostbusters (if you really want to see this search youtube, but don’t say I didn’t warn you)

Hopefully the film will be as good as other fan films like Star Wreck – the Pirkening. I have a certian fondness for Ghostbusters though – especially as its probably the first feature film I actually saw at a real movie theatre.

I would recomend Star Wreck though – its pretty funny.

If you happen by Fry’s Electronics – which I did this weekend. They have the Tiesto in Concert DVD for 14$.

If your a fan of electronic music I think you’ll be rather delighted (as they would say in the UK – "you’ll squiggle with delight!" [actual phrase I heard in ad while there!]). Its a concert with 25,000 people and just one man on stage. Looks like it would have been a blast to be there.

This is an interesting article which I heard on NPR this morning. Here are some pictures from the AP as well which I found fascinating.

Aren’t grave robbers just amateur archaeologists? Think back to the hey-day of the British Museum where archaeologists were called "acquisition agents". Then again I doubt these guys were going to put their goods into any museum or report their findings.

I was testing a FrameMaker issue the other day – which involved growing the fntcache.dat file.

The fntcache.dat is inside the \windows\system32 directory and according to a Microsoft engineer I talked to that file is a bitmap cache used by the GDI. The way it works is once a font in a particular size has been used its cached as a black and white image inside that file. This makes Windows a bit quicker in rasterizing fonts on screen.

We found when this file gets too big (I’m guessing around 2 megabytes) Frame starts dropping text in PDF output. It’s a rather annoying problem that we have known about for a while. There’s even a public document about this issue with some things that may or may not solve it.

So how do you make this file bigger? Add fonts to the system!

So how does the system work after adding all these fonts? Actually I can’t tell the difference too much. Some applications take a bit longer to load (enumerating all those fonts I suspect), but the machine doesn’t take any longer to boot and its not sluggish or anything. Computer is a 3 GHz P4 with 1 gig of ram.

After doing this I was able to reproduce the problem.

A prototype of Flash Player 9 for Linux came out today. Pick it up here.

In testing it seems to work really well with Youtube and Google Video :). Other reports say it runs Flex 2 apps seemlessly.

Here are some fun wallpaper images and avatars for IM software from Tsukuyomi Moon Phase. Click on Extras.

I got to go home a bit early today. I brought a nasty cold back with me from the UK. I feel really awful – hopefully I’ll get better though.

I still got a lot done at work though.

I was going through CD’s and found a CD my brother gave me a long time ago – around 94-95 and it had the very first mp3 (mp2 actually) file I ever heard. Oddly enough I can remember the event clearly – almost like the first time I ever saw GL-Quake running on the 3DFX video card.

The song is called Choose Me and its from a Japanese TV series called Kimagure Orange Road. The computer was a Dell 486 running Windows 3.1 and as I recall while it was playing this song that was all it could do. Strangely enough the song was part of a download to test the mp3/mpeg audio player. How times have changed.

I’m on the way home finally – should be there this evening. I’m looking forward to taking care of everything that is waiting for me :).

Countryside Tour was pretty fun. Windsor Castle got a little old. You kinda have to be a crown worshiper I think to really dig that stuff. There’s only so many multi-million dollar furnished rooms you can see before you start thinking about it.

Bath was much more interesting. Bath is near Bristol and is the only hot spring in England. The Bath’s themselves were made by the Romans quite a long time ago. The victorians restored what they could to make it usable again.

Stone Hedge I think will be the highlight of the trip. As the sign says as you pull in "The Greatest Mystery in the World". They’ve dated the site to 3000 BC – that makes it over 5000 years old. The oldest stones come from a quarry in Wales 247 Kilometers away. The newest stones come from a rock quarry 50 miles north of that site and weigh 52 tonnes. Keep in mind 3000 BC is pre-wheel.

They have a rope around the stone circle itself so you cannot walk right up to it. Most of those stones are easily 3-4 times my height.

It is one of the most incredible things I’ve seen with my own eyes though – it really is.

One more thing – on the way to Bath you have to take a B road. In England there are 3 types of roads. They’re all numbered in the order they were created, M means motorway (same as an Interstate) 2-4 lanes and a max speed of 70 mph, A means its a road intended for heavy traffic 1-2 lanes each side usually around 50 mpg max speed, B roads are everything else.

My most favorite B road example is on the Isle of Mull where its a single track road with cars coming both ways. Its narrow enough you can’t squeeze by, so they put these dropouts on the left and right to pull into. It makes for some terrifying moments on blind corners and blind horizons.

This B road was two lanes, but very narrow. Coming around the corner I hear the tour guide shreak and then I hear and feel a loud thud and a sudden and abrupt halt of the bus. Bus was still running, but the driver ran outside. Apparently a guy coming around the corner was going a bit to quickly and skid straight into the bus. I have some video footage of the car itself. Everyone was okay, but someone’s Ford Focus is now an insurance write-off.

Here’s a picture of the damage to the bus – apparently the bumper came off. Guy on the right was the driver.