Rants, Computers, and Some Good News

Well the title says it all.

~Rants~

Well, can anything else go wrong?  This is usually a bad question to ask, but it seems that everything goes bad at once.  Forgive me while I put my ranty-pants on for a sec.

  1. The car has a dead battery. Or at least I think so.
  2. The netbook has a battery that’s not charging the way it should be.
  3. The laptop’s internal hard drive died.  Lost 4 ripped CDs, my saved games and my Windows partition.  I’m glad I did a backup of my /home on the Sunday before it totally died.  I would have been in tears for a week if I’d lost everything.

Grumble.

~Computers~

Well, I managed to get a hard drive from my brother to replace the one that click-clacked itself to death.  I’m pleased with it so far, but I’m not pleased with the amount of space; only 200 gb.  It’s working just fine.  I’ll probably end up getting a 500 gb drive sometime and upgrading.  I want 100 gb to devote to Windows 7 so I can keep my skills current, as well as test things like Flock and play games.  I’d like to play some more Sim City 4 and The Sims, as well as World of Goo.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the netbook battery.  I posted something to the Ubuntu Forums, but I don’t know if I’ll get any help.  It’s taken about a day and a half to charge.

Unacceptable.

~Some Good News~

I got a call today from a recruiter about an interview.  So I have a phone interview with a company that does plastics processing and whatnot.  The job is for a Product Engineer, which is something I really want to do.  Sounds good, and I hope it works out.  It’s in Ann Arbor.  Not a bad place to live, and I’m not too far from home.  What I’m looking forward to is paying off my car.  Probably that’s what my first thing I’ll “buy” if I get the job. I’d love to get that taken care of so I don’t have to deal with it and worry about it.

So, wish me luck.  I hope something happens with this.

Infotainment Software in Vehicles

From “Automotive Engineering International”, published by SAE International, April 2009 issue:

New consortium focuses on infotainment software (by Terry Costlow)

[…] Consortium members feel that Linux is a solid software base for their adaptable software.  That could mark a turning point for the open-source operating system, which has gotten much interest from the auto industry, but so far seen little in production. […]

Emphasis mine.

This is a brilliant move by automakers.  By reducing their dependence on Microsoft, they can use an open alternative that will fit their needs.  If they don’t like it, their software engineers can edit the code to their liking, something they cannot do with closed-source software.

If people run Linux on their cars, they may see the things it can do.

I saw this in the magazine I picked up at the SAE World Congress and my mouth dropped open.  It is amazing that automakers are considering it.  I’m thinking it would cost less than having software specially written by a software house.  Even though it will be specially written, there will be a base for expansion, and users may also be able to modify the source code for their cars.

This is an exciting development that pulls two of my interests together: cars and Linux.

Update.

I haven’t been around for awhile, and for that I apologize.  It’s been a long week, what with work, getting my car, dealing with some stress along the way and all that good stuff.

New car:

I bought a 2006 Mazda3 i Sedan.  I’m very pleased with it.  It’s black, with a tan/black interior.  The column is a rake and tele, the engine is a 4-cylinder (145-ish hp), and the seats adjust vertically (a very nice feature).  It has a 6-CD changer that’s in the dash (no messing with stuff in the trunk).  Speaking of the trunk, it has enclosed hinges so you can fill it right up to the top and not worry about your stuff getting caught on the hinges.  The radio is good.  It’s easy to set your stations.  The car has cruise (very good idea), radio controls on the wheel (not necessary, but a nice touch) and a nice feel to the wheel.

The steering is responsive, as is the acceleration and braking.  I’m happy with the ride and handling.  There is very little shake on the road when you’re driving.  The tires grip well and I feel very secure in the driver’s seat.

Overall, I’m very pleased with this car.  I’d buy another Mazda for the styling, safety and value.

Picture:

My car is black, not this dark grey.  Anyhow, it’s a very well designed, tight car.

Work:

Work’s been insane.  I’ve been barely able to keep up with some of the stuff that’s going on.  Things are changing every day with this program.  *sigh*

Personal:

Well, been keeping busy with all of the things that keep me moving.  I’m addicted to plurk and I’ve met some cool people on there.  It’s like twitter or identi.ca, but different.  Anyway, I’m gamerchick02 on all of those services.  Feel free to check out my profiles.

~~~

Off for some TV and whatnot.  I hope to have more updates soon.  I just haven’t had a lot of time to post stuff here.