Go to content Go to navigation Go to search

Random Updates · 8 December 05

Outside temp, December 8th

Lessee, where was I?

Oh, right…

F R E E Z I N G ! !

We’re hovering around 5°F with a crunchy skiff of snow decorating the otherwise ice-crisped landscape.

Zeke and I have been walking to or from work four or five times a week (great gas mileage!) and the morning walks are always the toughest to brace for. Not for Zeke, of course, he wears the same outfit year round and you don’t see him writing weblog entries complaining about it. You also don’t see me standing in an ice-lined creek hoping someone will throw a stick in.


On the electric car front I’ve been puttering with the dash wiring and heater, which seems timely. Trimmed down the black plastic heat casings and connected them, along with the ceramic cores, into a contiguous unit. The black plastic is like a modern version of bakelite. Bakelite was invented by Dr. Leo Baekeland around 1909 and is considered the first plastic. You make it by mixing Carbolic Acid with Formaldehyde. Yum!

The stuff around the heater is somewhat similar, although not quite as stiff as bakelite. Still, I cracked it a bit while drilling the holes larger for the bolts.

Oh, I forgot to tell you the story of buying the heaters!

Being holiday shopping time our “business strip” is nigh-impenetrable this time of year so I opted for the closest *mart, this one being the k variety. Only one ceramic heater choice, a slightly more expensive oscillating version. Twenty four bucks, still not bad. I grabbed two.

At the check out stand:

Did you find everything you were looking for?

“Uhm, sure.” (I’m smooth)

We offer an extended warranty plan with these. If anything should…

“No. No thank you.”

It’s just that something could go wrong with these and…

“No thanks.”

The extended warranty only costs an extra…

“Listen, all I’m going to do is take them apart.”


“I want the parts.”

Uhhhh…ok. Will that be all today?

Extended warranty on an item that has a 3 year warranty, either of which I’d probably spend more than twenty four bucks worth of time & gas trying to get honored. My wife worked at Sears for a while. Their commission on most items is dismal, the real money comes from selling warranties.

CD/DVD drive optics

(photo I took of a CD drive lens…totally unrelated)

Back to the heater, there’s just a bit of metal work to make a mounting bracket inside the air chamber. After that I’ll be crimping a bunch of wires and then doing a quick test of the two heat settings: hot and hotter (well, I hope so).

Earlier this week I finished dressing the gnarly dash cable bundle. Got rid of another connector in the process. This was a ground. Grounding in Eve is kind of interesting. I’ll have to write about that in a later entry, along with pictures of my handiwork.

Andy sent along an email volunteering to donate his old Palm III if I couldn’t find mine, which I really appreciate. Lots of great feedback, on and off the site, thanks to everyone for the comments and emails.

I have another update to post on James’ EV when I get a chance. It sounds like he’s real close to going for a test drive.

Also, I want to mention that there’s a new version of Firefox out. Version 1.5 is very nice, I use it all of the time on my windows machine at work: no popups, no attacks, tab browsing is great, and if you edit your own website there are some killer plug-ins to make the job much easier. Highly recommended: get it!

Comments 9
  1. — James May    Dec 08, 2005 09:14 AM    #
    I’ll get firefox. There’s also a new Skype VOIP beta out if anyone else uses it. It has video which I am dying to try out.
  2. Rob    Dec 08, 2005 10:36 AM    #
    I really got a kick out of the intro about Zeke!

    Can you recommend some specific Ff plug-ins for web development work?

  3. Jerry Halstead    Dec 08, 2005 10:48 AM    #
    Hi Rob,

    My favorite plug-in is Chris Pederick’s Web Developer. Let’s you edit CSS in place among other gems.

    FlashBlock will turn off flash by default (i.e. no blinking ads!), with a quick click you can turn on a specific flash item.

    And Google’s toolbar is really nice. Even though google search is built right into the Firefox interface this provides more controls, searching, highlighting and such.

    A quick Firefox tip, when you visit a page with really annoying ads (non-flash) right click on the ad (or ctrl-click for Mac) and select Block Images from XYZ.

    No more ads from that server. If you accidentally block an image you can always undo it later. Ditto with cookies.
  4. — Faith    Dec 08, 2005 11:27 AM    #
    Bull Danky! Zeke is CONSTANTLY changing his clothes. Leaving pieces of them all over the house. On sandwiches and clean plates and clean towels and especially the floor and the bed. There are puppies sprouting from fur balls EVERYWHERE.
  5. — Dan    Dec 08, 2005 11:46 AM    #
    Flashblock seems to make Adblock obsolete. Am I right?

    Also, it seems marketers using Flash have new ways to ‘combat’ our cookie deletions and still keep things resident (and even restore cookies) w/o your knowledge, hence the need for an Objection (if I’ve learned anything from Sony, it is that companies can and will leave backdoors open for themselves and others to exploit).
  6. Jesse    Dec 08, 2005 13:56 PM    #
    Flashblock only blocks Macromedia-flash things. I prefer adblock to Firefox’s native image-blocking, because it can block more than just images, and can block things using wildcards, like “http://*.doubleclick.net/*” to prevent anything from doubleclick, not just one specific image.
  7. Matt    Dec 08, 2005 21:56 PM    #
    Great site. Firefox is definately the best browser. Though another nice editor is NVU. (nvu.com)
  8. Jerry Halstead    Dec 09, 2005 08:39 AM    #
    Thanks for the additional links and suggestions everyone. Also, for those running OS X be sure to check out Pithhelmet for Safari (although Firefox and the plugins run equally well on the Mac).
  9. Rob    Dec 09, 2005 11:50 AM    #
    Thanks for the plugin info!

    I just installed XP Pro 64-bit edition on my home PC last night, and I upgraded to Firefox 1.5 in the process.

    Works like a champ. I plan on using some of the plugins you recommended as soon as I get my WiFi issues straight.