atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#417: This rules.

So here I am, even as I type this, laying in bed with the Indianapolis 500 (currently in rain delay) on TV, surfing the internet and working on a blog entry.

I bought a used laptop.

It's a Dell Inspiron 8000, with a P3 running at 900 MHz and Windows XP. The wireless PC card NIC I got for the old Compaq laptop (and which didn't work) works fine in this one--so I can do all kinds of internet stuff while laying in bed.

It's turned into a pleasant day. It started cool and humid, but now it's sunny and pleasant. The cicadas are singing and a pleasant breeze is blowing.

The laptop needs a few things, though. After being plugged in for quite a while the battery still has no charge in it, which will tend to limit its portability. Whatever the reason for that, I want to get it fixed. The hard drive is only 10 GB; I need more than that.

But the price was excellent, and even as a portable computer (rather than cordless) it rules to be able to surf anywhere in the house.

Also, it prevents frustration. When running my Bittorrent client on the desktop and try to surf at the same time, Netscape will randomly freeze for several seconds at a time, which interrupts my thoughts. Argh etc. This way the desktop can download anime and I can surf and not get annoyed too much.

As for the Indy 500, it's raining pretty steadily there right now. They hope to re-start the race, but if they can't, that'll be it with Tony Kanaan as the winner.

The LT actually arrived on Friday. I went to work on Friday night, as always, and then was so tired on Saturday that I didn't really get to play with this thing until late Saturday night. I installed some of the software I always use but otherwise didn't do much.

This machine also has the ability to burn CDs, so if I can find a way to get this machine access to the MP3s on my main system, I could use this machine to make audio CDs.

* * *

The Corvette has pretty much become the official pace car of Indy. What other American cars have rear wheel drive and can sustain speeds over 100?

When I went to FieroRama in 2005, they had the actual pace car from the 1984 race--a Pontiac Fiero with a special engine. One of the Fiero community bigwings got to drive it around the parking lot a few times, which was pretty cool.

I've been wondering about what I'll do with my '86 Fiero project car. With gas hovering near $3.50 per gallon (it's spiked to $3.66 for the holiday weekend) my original idea of installing a Cadillac 4.9 V8 may not be a good idea--and I'm even re-thinking the idea of re-installing the V6, with or without an overdrive transmission.

Quad-4 engines are hard to mount and their durability is not really good. The GM Ecotec is a real pain in the ass to install, but once there, it should be quite good both on fuel and in terms of performance. (And if I really want to get performance, GM makes both supercharging and turbocharging kits.)

Just installing an overdrive transmission should improve fuel economy by 20-30%. The 3-speed that came in the Fiero was a mature part, but if you drive at 65 MPH your engine is pushing 3,500 RPM. That was fine when gas was $0.90 per gallon--as it was when my Fieros were designed and built--but when it's four times that price, it just doesn't cut it.

GM's 4T60 would be perfect. I even know which car to get the transmission from. The problem is, of course, getting a good one which won't grenade on me the first time I try stepping on the gas. It would suck to take the newly-completed '86 for a drive and have to have it towed home....

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