November 2013


The Race Technology Dash3Lite and the CANBUS adaptor have now gone to a new home. I've sold them as I couldnt get the CANBUS adaptor to talk to the ECU, or at least, I couldnt get it to transfer the data from the ECU to the DL1 data logger. It just became another distraction. And thats not what you want when lined up to start a competitive run. A bit like the GoPro. Now I've used it daily since August I'm far more confident that it works, and will work when I press the button. So no more missed timed runs for me next year.

I've also just bought a 1000W Sony surround sound system, from Amazon, as part of their Black Friday sales offerings. I cant wait to get that setup, and test the sound track from the Days of Thunder DVD out on it.


I've half emptied the workshop, and made another trip to the city tip at the weekend to get rid of tins of paint, old engine oil etc, and the volume of stuff we'll be taking to the new home is gradually diminishing.


One of the projects I worked on, required the user to type in a phrase in to the Subject line, before any emails would leave the network. This soon became a major PITA, as you'd often mistype/misspell the phrase, or forget to type the phrase in, and the message would be bounced. So I wrote a macro that would automatically ask you if you wanted the phrase adding to the Subject line, and if you clicked Yes when prompted, it added it.

To use this macro in Outlook, go to Tools, Macros, Visual Basic editor (or press Alt-F11), and add it to the Project1:ThisOutlookSession. When you start Outlook, select Enable Macros. When you press Send, the Subject line is checked to see if the Phrase is already present. If it isnt, you will be asked if you wish to Prefix the Subject with the Phrase, and you can click Yes or No. The message is then sent.

Private Sub Application_ItemSend(ByVal Item As Object, Cancel As Boolean)
    If (UCase(InStr(Item.Subject, "INSERT_PHRASE"))) = 0 Then
       response = MsgBox("Add INSERT_PHRASE to Subject?", vbQuestion + vbSystemModal + vbYesNo, "Question")
       If response = vbYes Then Item.Subject = "INSERT_PHRASE " + Item.Subject
    End If
End Sub

The Service Hydraulics Speed Championship are surveying their members about changes to the rules, to no longer require entrants to run in at least two hillclimbs or two sprints in order to be eligible for awards. I dont agree with this rule change. I believe forcing drivers to do two hillclimbs or two sprints is what makes the championship unique, and removing the requirement dilutes the championship. I'll certainly be filling in the questionnaire and returning it before the December 2nd deadline.


The loft is now cleared, in preparation for moving house. In the roof I found an old FM CB radio, all sorts of electronic gadgets and gizmos, including a Palm PDA, with dock and charger. I also found a load of old hard disk drives, some SCSI, which I destroyed and took down to the tip. I had no means to wipe them securely so there was no chance of selling them for a profit. The pillar drill came to the rescue with a 10mm drill bit through the spindles, thats usually sufficient to render the drives irrecoverable. Working in computer security, one thing you can never take a chance with is letting personal information in to the wild.


I've converted some of the CCTV footage taken from the driveway, in to animated GIF's. This allows for far easier distribution due to their small resultant file sizes. We watch with horror in the mornings as one of the neighbours relatives tries to reverse their car up the shared driveway, with no apparent awareness for their surroundings, or the other vehicles parked on the drive, or aptitude for controlling the car. We've nicknamed them 'Drivezilla', or 'Reverzilla', and the footage I've captured is being retained in case they hit any of the vehicles. I'll post the clips just as soon as we've moved house. Which wont be long now. Thank goodness.


We've passed 500 likes on the Facebook page. Thats a lot of likes. Now to see if we can reach 1000.



I'm upgrading my CCTV at home to High Definition. I'll post a review once its installed and up and running. It records at 1920x1080p which will give incredible picture quality, and it has sound on all four channels plus internet connectivity.


Well done to Paul, who finished the New York Marathon in 3h11m20s on Sunday, raising a considerable sum of money in the process.

I've converted all of the 2013 Archive News pages to php format, which means that they are also now locked to Subscribers only. This is another step to keep the undesirables at bay.

Last night I downloaded the ECU logs from when I was at Castle Combe in September, and I'll analyse the information in due course. I've just written another article for Retro Ford, and needed to connect the laptop to the ECU to take some screen shots, so it was the ideal time to download the files. The DTA stores around an hour of data, and records whatever channels you decide to monitor. Useful for playing back water temperatures etc. I'm interested in see what happened prior to the ignition coil fuse blowing.

In other news: this week I discovered that the Gray is an International System of Units measurement; and that Mr Blackwell is a song performed by Kiss. The Lyrics I'm sure, roll off the tongues of both my st@lk3rs.