Saturday, January 28, 2006

Google video of Evo 6 and Porsche GT3RS

Video(5 min 30 sec) of Evo 6 and Porsche GT3RS at Belgian F1 track. The GT3RS is a freak....

SMC Barricade firmware upgrade

Been having issues with the SMC Barricade (2804WBRv2) and SCV Maxonline lately. If the computer goes to sleep mode and wakes up, it is usually assigned a random private IP address i.e. connected to the wireless gateway but no route to host. Wired connections don't have this problem. Rebooting the copmuter, router and cable modem also didn't seem to help.

Happened to discuss this with BK and it appears that he has the same symptoms.

Decided to just upgrade the firmware and take the opportunity to change the encryption scheme to WPA and so far it's working perfectly. It also allows the SMC to function as a WDS. Nice.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Say NO to CCTs

Let's talk about the CCT segment in trackdays.

CCT stands for "Circuit Component Test". It's an euphemism for an unsanctioned race, usually organized at the club level. The problem is that Sepang cannot conduct races without authority since it is bound by FIA rules and regulations which are very stringent. However component testing is allowed. In component testing, one or more vehicles are allowed on track, and timekeeping is permitted. Thus a "CCT" is exploiting a technicality in the rules.

CCT participants commonly cite the thrill of "the chase", "driving their best under pressure". They claim the adrenalin rush makes trackdays interesting, and is the ideal platform for showing their skills and machines.

What a load of crock.

Ninety-nine percent of the time, it's just a bunch of people with big egos out to prove that they're "the best" (whatever that means). What's worse is that the car clubs are fueling the fire by going out of their way to make CCTs a point of attraction.

Today in Sepang, there was a car which left oil on 11 out of 15 turns. After hitting one such oily patch, a driver lost control of his car and ended up in a gravel trap. Scrambling out of the stricken vehicle, he tried to warn oncoming traffic about the danger, only to have another car coming his way at high speed. The second driver also lost control of his own vehicle and subsequently slammed into the former. Fortunately the first dude dived for cover and managed to escape with his life.

This is fun?

This is not an isolated incident. Over the past several years bad wrecks have become a common sight at track events. In the purest sense an oil spill would put even the best driver to the test; but in a CCT, one's better judgement is easily impaired by the "red mist" and rivalry. If someone isn't trying to beat someone else to the corner, then maybe, just maybe, he could've seen that safety marshall frantically waving that yellow flag and slowed down to avoid the crash.

It's one thing to lose control and crash when one is trying to improve one's driving ability, but is well-prepared and willing to take the risk. It's quite another thing altogether to be maimed or even killed by someone who is not qualified to drive his vehicle at eleventh-tenths.

Which brings us to this observation. Most of the drivers taking part in a CCT have no business participating in a race at all, because:

a) they lack the necessary skills to control their vehicles at the limit
b) they do not possess the knowledge to bring their vehicles back under control
c) they have no respect for the rules of racing
d) they have even less respect for the well-being of their fellow participants

CCT junkies aside, the car clubs, and Sepang International Circuit itself have a moral responsibility of ensuring the safety of everyone. And by allowing CCTs to go on unchecked, surely some of the blame must lay at their feet. It is my wish that it should not take a serious injury, or fatality, to make everyone involved come to their senses.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Evo X Spy pics!

Via Car Connection

Dyno Day

The motivation of this post is twofold: first, to find out the baseline of the car's performance prior to installation of an aftermarket intercooler (the Nisei looks like the main contender at this point), since the last dyno was done more than a year ago. Second, to silence the critics who do not believe the car is mostly stock but is capable of sub 2'40"s at Sepang.

Here's the "mod list":

1) MoTeC M800
2) Upgraded fuel system (800cc injectors, Walbro fuel pump, SARD FPR)
3) AC Delco boost solenoid controlled by ECU
4) DIY intake, DIY downpipe, no cat, SuperSprint catback exhaust
5) Ogura Carbon-Carbon clutch assembly
6) Cusco front and rear anti-roll bars
7) Bridgestone RE070 tires
8) Ferodo DS2500 brake pads
9) Goodridge SS braided brake lines

Everything else is stock, as in "supplied by factory". This means stock cams, stock turbo (TD05HRA), stock bottom end, so on and so forth.

Put the car on a local Dynapack, results (at wheels) were: 378 Nm @ 3800, 270 PS @ 6100. For the benefit of Americans, this would be 278 lb-ft @ 3800, 266 whp @ 6100.

Boost was at 1.35 bar between 3600 to 5100, where it went up to 1.5 bar until 5750, and went down to 1.4 held till 7000 RPM redline. Total of 4 pulls, all done in 4th gear.

Granted that different dynos produce different outputs, my car is a 2003 Evo 8 with the smaller turbo housing and no MIVEC, but still compares favorably to Shiv's Evo 9 tunes which are said to do about 285 lb-ft/285 whp (with boost at 1.6 bar peak, holding at 1.5 bar and tapering to 1.3 at redline).

Sunday, January 15, 2006

How do you catch flying fish? Flying fish madness


Boing Boing: Chinese Lunar New Year hailed with kitschy pop songs at malls: "Update: A number of Boing Boing readers wrote in to remind us that 'Chinese' New Year is considered by many a culturally insensitive term -- after all, millions of people in Korea and other Asian countries celebrate the tradition. The more accurate term 'Lunar New Year' is preferred. Apologies to all."

I'm sorry, but this political correctness bullshit has to stop. I'm not a Chinese nationalistic chauvinist by any stretch of the imagination but Chinese New Year is celebrated by Chinese, Chinese-style, using the Chinese lunar calendar. What next? They going to claim that the Chinese writing system (漢字) was invented by Koreans/Japanese/Vietnamese?

Permas Jaya Go Kart Circuit as seen from outer space

Satellite imagery from Google Earth. Outer circuit in use, in clockwise configuration. Inner circuit currently used for mini-bikes.
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Permas Jaya Go Kart 14 Jan 06

We took advantage of the good weather and tried our luck again at Permas Jaya this week. After 10 minutes of go-karting we turned our attention to the mini-bikes.

Boy was it fun! :)

Like the go-karts, not all minibikes were equal in performance. The #38 red minibike was very torquey and was fairly quick.

The rear brakes on both bikes I tried were totally ineffective as the play on them reached the grip! I found this out on the very first bend going into the run-off, and leapt out of the seat while holding on to the bike, saving myself from a nasty fall.

Riding was challenging. Your elbows would bang into your inner thighs (ouch!) should you try to steer using the handlebars. So the only way to steer is to use body lean, but not too much or your foot will scrape the ground (double ouch!) The other thing I found out is that the minibike follows where your eyes go, much more so than even on a go-kart.

Overall a very fun experience that's strongly recommended. :)

Flickr photos link

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Video link is up... check out the quality!web statistic
Goodbye PowerBook, hello MacBook Pro... Apple has also dropped the G5 for the new iMac and will be using the Intel Core Duo. iLife 06 is out with new features as well, notably tighter .Mac integration.

Can't wait to see what they're going to do with the desktops. It's going to be an interesting year.

Link to MWSF 06 Keynote Video (link is temporarily down)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Random geek tidbit of the day

Check out the "Architecture" field for Apple's Photo Booth software...
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"Creativity is a gift to keep", indeed! Shame on AMD for ripping off the 1st Gen iBook design completely. Via Engadget.
Fields announced that the GT500 would go on sale this summer, with prices starting in the low $40,000s. Quite a bargain for 475 hp!
Via Autoblog
For the benefit of those who are still not subscribed to the video podcast feed, here are some links to videos of interest. Note that these are NOT permalinks, which means that they may be moved to locations unknown in future:
Videos are encoded in H.264, resolution @ 320x213, AAC audio @ 44.1 kHz. Open with QuickTime. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Permas Jaya Go Kart 7 Jan 06

So the weekend came round and we decided to have some karting fun. A little apprehensive cos it's the long weekend and we weren't sure if the Causeway would be jammed up. Anyway we took our chances and the traffic turned out to be smooth, fortunately. After lunch we made our way to the Permas Jaya go-kart circuit. It was beginning to drizzle but we decided to have some fun in the wet.

The karts were on slicks but we didn't want to pay the extra RM10 to change the tires. Where's the fun in that? :D First turn... understeer. Second turn, understeer. And so it goes. Hitting apexes seemed to be more a matter of luck than skill. Braking earlier didn't help either. Even trail-braking to assist with the turn-in was proved to be of limited success. Same thing with getting out of the corners. Understeer was the operative word. So I gave up driving proper lines and went for the Scandinavian flick: tap the brakes in the middle of the turn to upset the balance of the car and catch the oversteer at the exit. Daniel seemed to be extremely successful at this and was all but uncatchable.

At the end of the first run it was starting to pour so we waited for a while before going back out again. This time the circuit was very wet. On top of this my kart kept stalling out since I would hit the corner really sideways and water would get into the intake. After helping me restart the kart the marshall headed back out on his 125cc and spun backwards into the tire barriers, crashing heavily. Daniel said the guy was literally ejected out of his seat.

The rest of the day we spent hunting for car accessories for Shireen's Suzuki Grand VItara and ended with dinner at Han's at Seletar. Good fun, should do this more often. :)



Finally got round to downloading MarsEdit and trying it out as my primary blog editor. We'll see how it goes. OK first thing I noticed, it doesn't include an option to fill in the Title field. But editing is fast and easy without having to go through the horrid web interface.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Suicidal gecko

Decided to end its life on New Year's Day. And take out the electricity at the same time.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Beautiful outdoor photos

The next best thing to be being able to take good-looking photos is to share them. And since I don't know the first thing about photography, here is John Hyde's site. Enjoy.web statistic