Thursday, March 21, 2002

The RX-7 saga continues. The shop called with more bad news. Not only are the injectors bad, but they also need to replace both sets of vacuum hoses (dozens of little hoses) and a duty cycle valve. He said these hoses should have been replaced as part of the engine rebuild a few thousand miles ago, but that the current hoses are the originals. So either this mechanic is jerking me around, or the shop that did the rebuild didn’t know enough or care enough to replace the hoses while the engine was apart. The bill is at $2500 now.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

f/8 and be there.

— attributed to Weegee the Famous; his recipe for good photographs.

Had fun last night building illustrations for the home page. Three of the images were new for the purpose. The Palomar and vehicles images were recycled.

I had to call the shop myself to find out what’s up with the RX-7. The good news is they were able to isolate the problem to one or both of two units, the pulsation dampener and the fuel pressure regulator. The bad news is that these two parts are well hidden deep in the inaccessible bowels of the engine. It’s a 10-standard-hour job to get in there and do anything. That’s $1070. And the really bad news is that the fuel injectors might also be involved, and that’s another $600 if they need to be replaced. They said it might be done by the end of tomorrow, which would be three full days in the shop.

Monday, February 25, 2002

After wiping the hard disk, upgrading to OS X 10.1.3, and re-installing everything, the iBook is finally back to where it was two days ago when I confidently allowed the auto-updater to try the upgrade. More or less.

Luckily, I had saved the installers for everything I downloaded and installed, so I didn’t have to try to remember what everything was or where to find it on the web.

Now I really need a better backup strategy. Maybe this is the excuse I need to go buy a gimongous Firewire hard drive.

Friday, February 22, 2002

I’m having a Windows moment with my Macintosh. Automatic software update downloaded the new version of Mac OS X, version 10.1.3. It’s supposed to be a minor improvement to 10.1.2, which I’ve been running up to now. But instead, the iBook won’t finish rebooting. It gets almost all the way through the reboot, and then just sits there with a blank blue screen.

I’m not the only one, either. I see others posting on the Apple discussion forums with an array of symptoms, including some that exactly match the ones I see. Arrgh.

The underlying OS is up and running. I’m able to FTP into the system, for instance, and I’m currently copying all the important files over to my Windows laptop via wireless Ethernet. I can even boot it in single-user bare-bones Unix mode with a text screen (!). But I don’t know how to recover the GUI, short of reinstalling everything from scratch. Sigh.

Maybe if I’m feeling really patient tomorrow I’ll try calling Apple tech support.