Friday, January 23, 2009

All Else Has Failed

When all else fails, amateur radio works. At least that's the way it's always been for me. I discovered yesterday that my HT is now out of service because the battery is toast. That's what I get for leaving it in storage too long.

My current HT is a Yaesu VX-7R. It's an ok radio, but it has way more features than I really care about. I've never used 6m or 1.25m on it. Battery life is (was) good and the weight is reasonable. I'm not crazy about the display (particularly the font), but its backlit in several ways and is easily readable.

I went online to buy a replacement battery pack for the 7R and was a bit surprised at the cost. A new FNB-80LI 1400ma battery pack from Vertex Standard runs about $85 retail. After searching at a few online retailers, I decided to stop looking and come up with a plan.

A little while later I got back online and searched for cheap handhelds. This meant I was looking at single band radios. I've always had dual band radios, but I really only care about 2m on the HT these days. I ended up buying an Icom IC-V82 7W 2m HT for $129.95. This radio can also work with D-STAR systems, which I've been passively curious about.

New radio arrives at some point in time, hopefully in time for the volunteer event that I signed up to do communications for.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Finally Back Home

Finally back in Honolulu after a long trip of vacation followed by work. While on the mainland, I visited the following the locations:
Additionally, the following counties were graced with my presence by visiting the above cities and towns:
The following airports welcomed me with open arms and detailed security searches:
I flew a total of 11,412 miles (18,366 kilometers) on this trip. I did laundry three times. Living out of a suitcase for that long really gets old, but really I just missed being at home.

Glad I am home.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

FUDCon 11 - Day 0 + Day 1

I did not blog yesterday and apologize to pfrields for not meeting his requirement for daily blog posts. I will post two today to make up.

Day 0 was actually pretty productive for me. I mostly participated in the Fedora QA brainstorming session. Later on in the day I hacked on using upstart for /sbin/init in the initrd.img used for installation. Anaconda is still providing its own minimal init binary and after clumens and I talked, we discussed what it would take to move anaconda's initrd.img to use upstart as provided by Fedora. Turns out, not much. The very basic beginnings of the changes are there, but I need to clean up the patches and send them to anaconda-devel-list. This is one more thing that we are gutting from anaconda in favor of standard system components.

At the end of the day, various groups spread out around Kendall Square to acquire food and drinks. My group went to the Cambridge Brewing Company, and it appeared that we were not the only ones.

Day 1 is BarCamp day. Many good topics, but I found most of the day I was in short talks with people and spent some time hacking on different things. Productive day, great to see people, great to be back in Boston--if only for a short time. Massachusetts, I will return one day.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ice + Car Window = Fun With Insurance

I'm currently in New England staying with my friend Chris and working out of the Westford, MA office for my employer. On the way to work this morning, this happened to his car:

We left Nashua and got on to Rt. 3 to head to the office. It's been snowing and there is snow and ice buildup everywhere. One thing that happens in New England quite frequently is people not cleaning off their cars completely before getting out on the road. After the person is out on the road, a large sheet of ice+snow will fly off the roof of a car and smash in to the road. Sometimes it will hit another car, which is what happened this morning.

Around Chelmsford, the car in front of us jettisoned its iceberg and it landed on Chris' windshield. Notice it's all on the passenger side to. It was incredibly scary when it happened. We then had to get the car in front of us to pull over. Chris called the police and then stood around in the cold for a while.

Chris had the car towed to work and has been on the phone with insurance companies. He cannot drive the car because the windshield is far too damaged. The interior of the car is covered with little shards of safety glass. Here's a picture from the inside:

You can't really see the small pieces of glass since those are in the seat and center console, but the hanging rear view mirror is funny.

The lesson people should take from this is to CLEAN OFF YOUR CAR COMPLETELY in New England winter weather.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Random Searches On YouTube

People upload the weirdest things to YouTube. The other day I was distracted when I found a collection of videos about accidents at the different SeaWorld parks. Go to and search for 'seaworld accident'. Or click here.