Towing with a 1er

In 2016, after camping at the Alvord Desert in Oregon, I decided that I was done sleeping in a tiny tent on the ground. Years ago, I used to own a tent trailer, but ended up getting rid of it because it was too big and I no longer had a vehicle that could tow it. A friend of mine suggested looking at teardrop trailers. They’re just the right size and light enough that it could be towed by my car, a BMW 135i — once properly equipped.

I started to do a lot of research on the 1er’s towing capacity and the best options for aftermarket tow hardware. The US models of

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Blogging again. Oh, and Baby Monitors.

The blog hasn’t been updated for a long time.  It’s time to change that.

There are a few reasons we haven’t been blogging.  FaceBook made it a little easier share quick and random messages versus having to write to the blog.  We haven’t had the time to work on our pinball machines due to space and time.  I’m married and have a baby now.  And mostly because instead of playing with our pinball machines we’re getting out and camping and having fun at a few social events throughout the year.

One of our fun events has been to outfit Brian’s car with towing capabilities and going 90 miles out into

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G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 BSOD – KeBugCheck!

I keep getting a KeBugCheck (BSOD) with messages like “IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL” or “System Service Exception” in Windows 7. The instruction pointer in the stop message was never the same nor was the stop code; meaning that this was not a driver or Windows issue.  It was a hardware issue.  It turned out to be memory or memory configuration.

A while back I was part of a product test group that was given a six core (12 thread) Intel processor based off of the Nehalem uArch of the i7 Extreme 990x.  For whatever business reason it never made it to the market but it is probably one of the best CPUs Intel has

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Augen Gentouch 78 Android Tablet

I picked up an Augen Gentouch 78 Android tablet the second that I heard they even exist from, of all places, K-Mart.  I guess I was lucky to find one in stock on August 10th since they were apparently in such high demand.

Now, from reading forums and reviews online before hand, I knew what I was getting myself in to.  The thing has its share of problems, although most of the annoyances are currently incomplete software.  Considering that I was wanting to build my own Android tablet/in-wall PC for over a year, I jumped on this because of it’s low price.

I decided to crack the case open to

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11h Blog Finally Back Online

AUBURN, WA — The blog located at is finally back online again after nearly 4 months of downtime.  The cause of the extended outage was a first time homebuyer’s purchase, which required the moving of the datacenter from a one-car garage at a condo to a two-car garage in a house.  Additionally, problems with the server prompted the administrators to set up operations from scratch.  The work of moving into the house plus setting up the servers from scratch combined to result in the delays of the 11h sites from coming up in a timely fashion.

“I guess it didn’t really matter,” says Brian, the administrator of 11h’s

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Reelight SL-120 circuit theory and making it flash flasher

I noticed the other day that my front, white, Reelight SL-120 had a crack in the plastic. Since it was partially cracked and needed to be fixed I decided to take it apart to see how it operated.

Reelights work through magnetic inductance. Two magnets on the spokes of the wheel spin around and briefly pass by the light. The light has an iron core that meets the magnets as they pass by. The iron core is wrapped with enamel coated wire. As the magnets pass by the iron core, the collapsing magnetic field creates and electric current that travels through the wire. The electric current in the wire travels

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Timestamp in Linux using ftime for millisecond timing

I am working on an embedded project at the moment that prints debug messages to a serial console.  Interestingly, it seems that some of the prints are arriving out order from the actual flow of the software when they originate from the same thread.

To debug the printing problem and to add another, better layer, of debugging to the project I added a time stamp to a preprocessor definition for the existing printf() macro.

Here is the existing print macro:

#define debug_print(fmt, arg) printf (fmt, arg) To add a time stamp we need to use the timeb struct from sys/timeb.h. Since a struct is used, we need to give it

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Engineering scholarship opportunities!!! Or just a terrible mailing list?

I’m a, or was, a proud member of IEEE for the last eight years.  The beginning of the ninth year is off to an incredibly rocky start. In the last year I have received more junk mail on behalf of IEEE.  Most of it was from travelers insurance.  Some of it was life insurance nonsense…  Nothing more than recycle bin fodder.  Then the IEEE Spectrum magazine started to lag behind the times.  And not just lag a little – Make: magazine was beating them to new and interesting stories by six months or more.  At one point in time I would read Spectrum from cover to cover as soon as

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please insert correct map disc

Well, I made that error appear because… I’m an idiot.

That’s an error that can be displayed on a Toyota/Lexus MFD after changing the map region in a service menu.

I managed to select one that’s not for the disc I have.  This setting stays in flash in the navigation unit, which has a battery backup.  In order to ‘re-set’ the navigation unit, it must be dismantled and a board that has the battery must be disconnected.

My many thanks to htmlspinnr from priuschat who described the processes perfectly.


Remove rear plastic cover by pulling plastic retaining clips/pins. I found two flathead screwdrivers helped with this. Remove

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New laptops, BBC, IT Crowd, iTunes backup

I am currently preparing for a data migration from my current laptop to either the same laptop with a re-freshed Windows XP install or a new laptop with a fresh Windows XP install.  The IT guy helping me with a failed forced update patch had the same reaction to my system as Derek did to Chip’s system and suggested that I migrate.

The only real thing I care about on my laptop is my iTunes (yeah go ahead, make fun of me) library.

In the process of the preparation for a new system I have been re-organizing my iTunes library to make it smaller so that the migration would not

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