Friday, May 28, 2010

Back Up and Around

I must admit that it sure is nice to be getting up and about again. I walked down to College Road this afternoon using "the scenic route" through the ski trails. This was a nice flowering tree in front of the UAF Signers' Hall kind of in the middle of lower campus. The light was really flat due to a lot of haze/smoke in the air. A fire from last summer started up again after wintering by smoldering in the tundra. I hope this isn't what the whole summer is going to be like. That would be really depressing. The total distance was about four miles in very warm 78°F temperatures. I'm trying to work my way back up to my pre-surgery mileage.

I received a lot of suggestions on the bike problem I mentioned on my last post and it is giving me something to work on while I am off. I have started working half days again and may continue for at least another week so I have some time to dink around with the bike. One very probable theory is the gas tank vent system, On these old Beemers, there are a couple of small holes in the gas cap. There is a vent line that runs from outside of the threads for the cap to below the engine, to prevent raw gas from dripping on a hot engine or exhaust. The tiny holes could be plugged or the hose. Something else to look into. The best way to test would be to ride up the same hill and as soon as the problem shows up, loosen the gas cap. If the problem goes away, then I now know the solution. Maybe I'll be able to ride again in a week or so.

I am writing this post on another new toy, an Apple iPad, something that has been getting a lot of press these days. I have to admit that it is almost as functional as a laptop and may even surpass my little Dell Mini9 netbook. It weighs less, has a bigger, higher resolution screen. For email and web browsing, it is a much better platform. Since I'm not a very good typist anyway, I can type just as fast on the virtual keyboard but I do need to keep my eye on my hands as there is no tactile feedback. What's missing so far for me is no full screen SSH client, no Nike+ support and no IPv6 support. It also feels a bit more fragile than the Dell due to the large glass panel.

Speaking of the Dell, after I got the replacement SSD, I installed Ubuntu, which is the OS that it originally came with, and it worked great. Last night, I reinstalled Leopard using a different method than I used last time. This involved putting an image of the Leopard DVD on a USB thumb drive, making it bootable, booting up the Dell off of the thumb drive, going through the install. I then had it do a restore from my Time Machine backup. The whole process took less than an hour and it seems to work great. Ubuntu is fine but there were afew quirks with audio and wireless networking and, overall, OS X just runs cleaner.

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