Wednesday, November 30, 2005

More Magic Smoke

I have been getting more email regarding my adventure with my hard driving dying back in spring of 2004. Here is my response to the last one. Read on if your looking for info on the L6278.

Hi Kevin,

Sorry to hear about your hard drive problems.

Check out todays post:

It will link you to my follow up story that detailed the end result. Unfortunately I was not able to retrieve my data. I suspect the controller chip frying was a symptom of something else that went wrong, though there were no visual clues that would indicate what it might have been. I could have been a thermal problem, or a good zap of ESD. Good luck with your efforts.

You might check with your friends to see if any of them have the same model hard drive. Keep in mind it must be the same size as well. Switching controller boards is pretty easy and relatively safe. If your lucky you can retrieve your data. I tried several different controllers without any luck. Fortunately, this did not damage any of the harddrives I borrowed the controllers from.

If you have any success, please let me know. Also I will be glad to answer any specific questions you may have.

Best Regards,

Rick Martindale
Western Digital Harddrive using Controller Chip L6278 1.2

This is the story of my Western Digital hard drive failing due to a L6278 controller chip burning up. This is the follow up story I posted later at the request of a reader. It details the chip swap process results. In the end I was not able to retrieve my data. On the postive side, I didn't kill any other drives while trying.

If you have any success restoring one of these drives, please let me know and I will pass the information on to others.

I occassionaly get email about this topic. Google sends me quite a few people looking for information on the L6278 version 1.2 and Norm Abram. Ocassionally someone even shows up looking for me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

This weekend I spotted one of those nifty new Miatas. Red.

Tonight I spotted one of those nifty new Pontiac Solstices. Red. I got a snapshot. Perhaps I will share it with you.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Vertigo 2005
Last week I got the new DVD, U2 Vertigo 2005: Live from Chicago. This is a must have for die-hard U2 fans. After watching it, I definitely wanted to go to a concert. Unfortunately U2 was in Atlanta about two weeks ago and I missed it. That is probably as close as they will come to these parts for a while.

The first thing I noticed was an old guy with long hair playing the drums. Mr. Larry Mullens who previously had been drinking from the fountain of youth is finally starting to show a little age. That's ok, the other guys are way ahead of him.

The video gave me chills a few times, and a couple of songs reminded me of past times. Almost anything from the Joshua Tree takes me back. The Unforgetable Fire also.

The concert has lots of good music. If your interested in seeing it, swing by the house and we can watch it.

Anyone know what happened to all my old concert t-shirts?
Wow, were did the last week go. That is not fair. I do recall that Monday and Tuesday went on forever. A better question is, where did the long weekend go?

I did not work on the truck at all. The one day that I had plenty of time, the weather did not participate. Cold rainy weather does not mix with paint very well. Perhaps next week.

We managed to eat turkey in three parts of the state this week. No more turkey please.

Last night I finished reading a book called "Truck" by John Jerome. I picked this book based on Amazon's recommendation. I had enjoyed the book "Rusty Knuckles and Busted Tractors" so... While the "Truck" topic was more on track with my current obsession than the tractor book, the author spent much of his time off topic using a lot of four letter words. No recommendation from me on this one. In case your wondering, the truck was a 1950 Dodge pickup.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The DVD arrived today. Better late than never. More later.

Why You Should Not Be Working Today

Back in my college days at Auburn University, I took an ADA class as an elective.  The computer science professor, Dr. Phillips, was a man of much wisdom.  I still recall two bits of wisdom he passed on to the class. 
The first piece of knowledge or rather advice, was why we should all learn to weld.  That is another story which I will save for another time.
The second piece of wisdom started as a rant.  A student asked Dr. Phillips if class would be canceled for Wednesday morning, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  The student suggested that it should be because all the afternoon classes had been canceled.  Afternoon classes were typically canceled so that students would have time to travel home for the turkey holiday.
"Follow me, follow me, follow me, follow me."  Sometimes I can't help but to quote Snoop Dogg.
Dr. Phillips rationalized that most students were not morning people so the 10:00 am ADA class was the first class of the day for most folks.  If afternoon classes had already been canceled, there was a good chance it was only his class holding folks back from starting home on Tuesday afternoon.  If he were to cancel his class, we could all go home on Tuesday afternoon.  How joyous our collective parents would be to see us home from school early.
Everyone knows that computer engineering and computer science students only have labs on Tuesdays and Thursdays and God knows we don't actually do anything in them.  Odds are we were all in the middle of a project and it would just be a work period anyway.  Surely you could make up this time later, after all, isn't it also common knowledge that lab assignments don't actually get started on til the night before they are due.  Well it turns out that we can all go home Monday afternoon.
Monday afternoon.  Not much point in waiting til Monday afternoon to head home.  Most folks are going to skip their first few classes Monday morning, probably due to a hangover.  By the time they are sentient  enough to head to class, odds are the schedule for the day is replete.  Obviously there is no point to staying in town all weekend to inevitably skip all your Monday classes anyway.  We might as well head on home Friday afternoon.
You should see the pattern by now.  Obviously if we rationalize away a short week of classes, we can do the same for a long week of classes.  Here is how you do it.  Everyone and I mean everyone is going to skip their classes on Friday.  The reasons may vary but the results are the same:  the classrooms are completely empty on Friday afternoons and mostly so on Friday mornings.  What is the point?  And Thursday?  Well Thursdays are just like Tuesday, labs and all.  No point there either.  So we have now effectively shortened any long week to the equivalent of a short holiday week and you know how it works from there.
It should now be obvious why we can all skip Thanksgiving week and the week before that.  And it only takes three more of those weeks to account for a whole month, and ten of those weeks to account for a quarter.  It is obvious that those bothering to sign up for classes have good intentions so by signing up, and paying the tuition bill, we deserve good marks and a little time off.  And if we can skip one quarter, why not 12, or more accurately 15, because no one finishes school in 4 years anymore.
Now lets take that same reasoning and apply it to our post-undergraduate career.  Just send me my social security check already and take the rest of the week off. 

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I am still waiting on the new U2 DVD, U2 - Vertigo 2005: Live From Chicago. According to Amazon's shipping information it was suppose to arrive on Friday or Saturday. Unfortunately they shipped it USPS and the tracking information is never up to date! I should have just picked it up at Best Buy last week on it's release date.

U2 - Vertigo 2005: Live From Chicago

Maybe it will show up tomorrow. In the mean time, we are revisiting the Elevation Tour DVD.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Yesterday afternoon I smashed my finger by closing it in the Miata door.  What a klutz.  The fingernail is now an interesting shade of purple.  It is amazing how much pain can smashing a finger can cause.  Yeeeooow!  Want to see a picture?
I got the call Thursday afternoon that the frame was ready so at 2:00 pm on Friday I left work to retrieve the frame.  Once again I borrowed Troy's truck and his father-in-laws trailer and headed for Hazel Green.  The frame is now back home and ready to paint.  Now I just need a nice warm day to do some painting.  I have a respirator but I still plan to do the painting outside.  The forecast for tomorrow calls for a high of 62.  That is probably a little cool, but you can bet I will be watching the thermometer just in case.
Thanks to Billy T. for helping fetch the frame.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Story Without a Title
A few days ago I tried out blog posting via an email message. It has merit.

Mr. Sandblaster called today. He is done blasting the frame. The plan is to pick it up tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully things will go according to plan.

A weird thing happened at lunch this week. Tuesday I had lunch with a David. When selecting a destination, I usually pick a place called Thai Garden. In order to give him a break from my culinary monotony, I suggested an Indian place instead. As luck would have it, he had dinner there the night before and suggested Thai Garden. I was in. This is probably my favorite lunch spot, though I probably don't make it there more than twice a month. It is a bit of a drive. Thai Garden it was. Dave and I ordered the same thing. I think it was SL-8, chicken, soup, steamed rice.

Wednesday I had lunch with Chad, Cheaster, the used oil guy. We went by a specialty glass shop and then I suggested we eat at 5-points since it was nearby. I threw out a couple of choices: Thai Garden and the Po' Boy Factory. The Cheaster had not been to either but he thought Thai sounded interesting, so Thai Garden it was. As we walked in the front door, I am spotted by David's wife. "Hey, what are you doing here? Didn't you eat here yesterday?". Yep, sure did. Even sat at the same table. Apparently he snubbed her the day before to have lunch with me. I probably have 5 or 6 favorite meals there so eating there two days in a row was not a problem. I just ordered one of the other five. Chad and I ordered the same thing. I think it was SL-11, soup, steamed rice. Lots of garlic in this one! To quote Chad, "I think my breath could knock over a mule." I tried not verify this.

Today I asked Billy if he was in for lunch. The basic response was sure, as long as it is not Dreamland BBQ. (That is another story.) A little bit later, Jay drops by and asks about lunch. I say sure. He says, "I would suggest Thai Garden but I know you have already been there twice this week." I say, don't let that stop us. I call up Troy, he's in. Off we go. I had the SL-9, Chicken and peanuts with carmelized onions, soup, steamed rice. Billy had what I ordered yesterday, SL-11. Troy had the same with pork instead of chicken, Jay had Sl-10, the green chicken curry, and Billy picked up an order of SL-11, chicken, fried rice to go for Wendy. He almost messed up and got her steamed rice.

What was the point of all that. None, I just had nothing else to say. Ok, it wasn't that weird.

Will I eat there again tomorrow? No, We are having a free catered lunch tomorrow at work in celebration of the existence of Turkeys.

Did I ever tell your about the time another David and I set out to eat BBQ at a different place every day for a week? Around here, that is pretty easy to accomplish. We considered having another theme lunch with subs but that idea just wasn't that appealing.

Forty degrees outside when I got home this evening. Hot tub weather is here again!

The batteries in the thermostat are dead so we can't turn the heater on. Fortunately the house is pretty well insulated. If we start to get cold we can scavenge the batteries from the TiVo remote. Desperate times call for desperate measures. We aren't that cold yet.

When you finally get around to buying your TiVo, don't forget to tell them I sent you. I think there is something free in it for me. I don't recall what it is but free is good.

I have been at my new job about 6 weeks now. In another six weeks, Chad will be buying me a free lunch. As I said before free is good. He will be smiling though because the company will be cutting him a bonus check for recruiting me.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Posted minor updates to my home and about me pages.
I have had my new cell phone for over a week and just today I finally figured out how to change the ring tone. Sad, sad, I tell you. I had to look it up in the instruction manual. Non-intuitive if you ask me. It's not like I am a ludite. Ok, maybe I am, but at least I can use feckless in a sentence. And my seat no longer rattles.
A week ago a 2 gallon jug of used motor oil mysteriously appeared in the back of my truck. I never did figure out where it came from and no one has 'fessed up to it. If you need some used motor oil, it will be out by the curb on recycling day.

The inlaws left this morning. They arrived Saturday afternoon. We all went to a surprise birthday party for G's Father's Father on Sunday afternoon. He is now 90 years old.

Yesterday for lunch, we went to Brianna's favorite restaurant, O'Charleys. She usually has the Mac-N-Cheese. Primarily she goes for the rolls though. Because it was Sunday, she decided to have the Bavarian Waffle from the brunch menu. I considered having the catfish or a shrimp pasta dish but in the end, I selected the Cajun chicken pasta. I have consistently made poor selections at this restaurant. It has been suggested to me that I have the chicken tenders, but I don't want chicken tenders so I keep trying different things from the menu. That is what I get for not listening to advice. If your going to follow the crowd into a restaurant, you better order what everyone else is ordering: chicken fingers. Will I ever learn? Probably not. I suppose I could have a salad. As David M. says "Lettuce is lettuce", unless of course it is wilted.

The new Harbor Freight catalog showed up today. Better throw it away before I discover something I can't live without. Perhaps a high speed air body saw. Look it's on sale for only $19.99.

The weather was rainy today so it was already dark at 4:30 pm. More rain expected tomorrow. I am ready for the some sunshine, please.

Brianna fell asleep on the couch again so it is time to carry her to bed. I think she is just pretending though. She does that sometimes.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

John, Debbie, Mathew, Timothy, and Jonathon came to visit today. We went out to Greenbrier for lunch. Hushpuppies for everybody, except Jonathon. He's only 4 months. Brianna really liked holding the baby. The kids all played on the computer. They must have been having a good time because they sure were quiet.

John brought is guitar with him. He is truely talented. He played and sang several songs for us that he has written. I could have listened to him play all afternoon.

I intended to get out in the garage and disassemble the front suspension and steering this afternoon. Jordan asked me to play on the computer with him so I did that instead. We had a good time til the game 'disconnected' us. We started two games but didn't get to finish either one.

Later in the afternoon I went for a short bike ride. The bike needs a good lube job. I think about it everytime I ride it but it is one of those things I never get around to doing. I tried to get Jordan to practice riding with no training wheels but he wasn't inclined to participate. Brianna gave it a try though. I wouldn't be surprised if she learns to ride it first. I am looking forward to them learning to ride so we can all roll around the neighborhood together.

Just saw the new video iPod on a tv commerical. Brianna said, "Look Daddy!". The iPod was playing a U2 video and Brianna recognized the song. The U2 DVD that I ordered earlier this week has not shipped yet. Hopefully it will be here by next weekend.

I am considering another Miata mod. A fleece jacket to keep in the trunk full time. Never can tell when things will get chilly.

Ginger mentioned today that one of her friends recently said "This is great weather for a convertible", to which she responded, "Rick thinks all weather is convertible weather."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

99 percent.

The world is flat like a pancake. Am I know this because once again I have been accused of falling off.

I checked on the frame today. Response: "Hope to be done by the middle of next week." My interpretation. "We don't have a clue." No surprise.

Last night by 6:30 pm I was ready to go to sleep. I ended up staying up till about 11:00. I don't think I have completely adjusted to the time change. Usually two weeks is enough. Yep, my internal clock is wound pretty tight.

John D. is coming by on Saturday. John is an old friend. We met in kindergarten. We also attended elementary school together and part of college. I wonder if he has grown up. I know I haven't.

The first three days of this week, we had 85 degree weather. Plenty of top down. Today it topped out around 65. It was chilly this morning, but the top remained down.

This week a guy from work bought a football to keep in his office. This is apparently football season. We have gone outside a couple times to throw the ball around for a few minutes. My shoulder is sore, sore, sore.

Monday night I ordered the U2 - Vertigo 2005 - Live From Chicago DVD from Amazon. It should be here in a few more days. Jordan and I are really looking forward to seeing it.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I just finished watching last nights 'live' debate on the West Wing. Disappointing is one word. Unlike real debates, not once did I want to yell 'liar' at the television. Hardly engaging.

Eighty degrees this afternoon.

I wonder how the sandblasting is coming along.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Friday afternoon I took the truck frame to be sandblasted. I should get it back late next week. I meant to take a photo of it on the trailer before I hauled it off but I was in a hurry, meaning I didn't have time to run in the house and grab the camera. Later it occurred to me that I had a camera in my pocket, my new phone. Doh!

I bought a Bluetooth USB device this evening. As soon as I get it figured out, I will be able to transfer photos from the camera to the computer.

The weather seems to be unseasonably warm. The forecast for this week is high of about 80 every day this week. Hope to get some good top down time. Yeah, yeah, no body wants to read about the weather.

Lights out!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Lately I have been accused of falling off the earth. Several folks have mentioned a lack of blog activity. Well the truth is nothing notable has happened lately. At least nothing nearly as interesting as the typical exciting stuff I write about like the weather, the state of the Miata top, and this weeks efforts toward rust eradication.

While on the topic of rust I will mention that I am planning to take the truck frame to the sandblaster this Friday.

I have not recovered completely from the time change. It usually takes about two weeks. Sign my petition to do away with day light savings by leaving a comment here.

My new cell phone arrived in the mail today. The manual says it need to charge 12 hours before use. How can they expect me to not play with a new techno-toy for 12 hours.