Saturday, May 26, 2018


Heisenburg and Schrodinger are driving down the road when they get pulled over by a cop.

The cop says to Heisenburg, who is driving, "do you know how fast you were going?"  Heisenburg replies "no, but I know exactly where I am!"  The cop says "well, this is a 60 zone and you were doing 75."  Heisenburg says "oh great, now we're lost!"

The cop then goes to the back of the car, opens the boot and says "Do you guys know you have a dead cat back here?"  To which Schrodinger replies "we do now, asshole!"

Anti social

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Country holiday

Currently staying up in the Victorian highlands for a few days away.

This is the only form of log on I'm doing this week:

The locals obviously have strong feelings about foxes though.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

How to restore the classic Youtube interface

In classic large-company fashion, Youtube have managed to totally fuck up their latest no-reason-just-because interface "refresh" into bloatware.  From something that was clean, minimalist and informative it's now a "metro" mess of iconic rubbish that looks like Fisher-Price designed it.

No worries, just click the link to go back to the Classic interface, right?  Wrong, the pricks have removed that too.

To fix this (in Chrome) -

Start in a tab with Youtube open
Hit Ctrl+Shift+I to open the Developer Tools pane.
Change to the Applications tab inside that pane.
Find "Cookies" in the left hand menu and select the Youtube entry.
In the main table, find the row for "PREF" and edit the Value field to:  al=en&f5=30030&f6=8

Close the Developer Tools pane and refresh and you should be back to Classic.

Note this is a per-browser setting, not linked to your account, so you have to hack each PC you use.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Bloody cars

The handbrake's POS runabout has been giving me the irrits for a couple of days with a large chunk of the gauge cluster shutting down intermittently.  Some stuff works, some stuff does not.  Doesn't seem related to vibration, heat or any of the usual suspect causes.  Fault resistant to foul language and percussive maintenance.

I chucked it at an auto sparky today who was very unenthusiastic about fault finding a complex, intermittent and generally pain-in-the-arse fault, he spent a couple of hours proving a whole bunch of stuff it wasn't, and gave up with the fault unwilling to reproduce.  I gave him $40 cash for his time, silently thought he could reproduce off and thanks for not much, and stalked off home.

When I returned a couple of hours later with the handbrake in tow to collect it, the bastard thing failed instantly on being started.

The only good thing about it now is that I'm pretty sure it's the cluster itself, which is absolutely unobtainium to get in the right combination of year model, trim level and all-electronic sensor type.  Best I could do is a repair service in Perth which would cost me a couple of hundred bucks and two weeks for the experiment.

Then I ran across this thread via Dr Google, which turned out to be very relevant reading.

With the cluster on the bench, flexible PCB track fracture hunting began.  The thing looks like this, click here for the full horror of the situation.

See the break?  Stop looking, because I can't see the bloody thing, and I know where it is.  It's here.  And this is what it looks like with some sort of clarity.

Luckily in a very accessible spot... it's pretty much the red circuit at the top of the image on page 2 of the thread I linked to.  Meter said clean open across the break on the bench, so I'm guessing it was heat related after all.

I just ran a bridge wire from a couple of the solder pads for the lights it feeds, and added a few boogers of hotmelt glue to prevent more vibration.

So far it works, we'll see how it goes on a full day's drive tomorrow.