Life Outside My Cube

My life, a work in progress.

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Jailbreaking my Kindle 3 WiFi

It wasn’t long before I became annoyed with the ads, both at the bottom of the home page, and as screen savers. The former can’t be removed, but the screen savers can, first by jailbreaking the Kindle.

I started with the How-To Geek article, which was very helpful. The jailbreak code provided, however, wasn’t the ticket. Apparently v3.2.1 has problems with that particular hack. I did find one by Yifan Lu that almost worked, then a mod to that one written by Serge Levin that almost worked too. :-( Apparently there’s something in 3.2.1 that prevents it from working. I gave up, unregistered, and restored the factory defaults.

I found a couple posts by chas0039 that offered yet another solution, including links to the latest hacks. Basically, they go through the hacks above, but with wireless turned off. Also, creating a blank .assets file in the KSO system folder. Finally, everything worked great!

With trepidation, I turned on wireless and connected, then registered. Still working!

There also seems to be some rumor that things will change yet again with v3.3. We’ll see!

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Peace Amidst Tension

This morning I got up and immediately threw on some dirty clothes. I lumbered downstairs – walking is clearly an “awake” activity – and out to the garage and my bike for a bit of early-morning tweaking. I’d noticed a rapping sound when decelerating that I surmised was a loose chain hitting the chain guide; a quick visual inspection showed about a couple inches of play, about one inch too much.  A quick adjustment on the chain tensioners and I’d be done.

I reread the notes in the shop manual, just to to be sure, and got out the tools. Loosen the axle nuts, loosen the double-nuts on the threaded tensioner shaft, tighten left side a half-turn at a time until tension is right. Rotate chain, verify measurement. Dupe on right side, lock double-nuts, ensure wheel is straight, and torque back axle nuts. How hard could that be?

Until I got to the right tensioner (4) and tried to loosen the larger of the two nuts on the right side (14, not 21), still a bit sleepy. A quick twist of the wrench… and the shaft broke off right at the end cap (6). Drat. No way to cobble up this one. So it looks like I drive the car today.

I took a half-hour drive to the nearest cycle parts place – to find that the store location (of their two) that I was at only carried 4-wheeler parts. Another half hour to their other location, to find that the part would have to be ordered. 5 days. And it’s just over $20 for a little part. Ridiculous. I wish I had $40 so I could order two, for next time. On the wish list it goes. So now I’m stuck without a ride for few days.

This is actually a good thing, as I wanted to deal with the dirty chain anyhow. I bought some degreaser and lube the other day, so I’m going to take the chain off and soak it, clean it real well and lube it before I put the new tensioner on. Something good to do while I’m waiting.

Wouldn’t be a problem for most riders, who only go out on the weekends, I suppose. For us commuters, it’s a big interruption. All in stride, though, it’s an opportunity to get more “intimate” with the bike while I wait. I’m discovering that while a bike and car might require similar amounts of maintenance, the former is more likely to involve a wrench, the latter a checkbook.

Soggy, but in a good way

That was a busy weekend. Pretty much spent all of it focused on riding. You guessed it – I won the lottery to fill one of the 2 empty spots in the MSF Basic class. Woot!

There were about 24 people in the class, 2 instructors. We spent the first rainy evening going over the MSF manual together. Pretty boring. Rainy Saturday and Sunday the class split and we spent going over “drills” of various kinds in the rain on provided bikes (I had a Kawi dual, though several others rode on the several Rebels provided for the class). Sunday we took a skills test in the rain and I passed and got my card, which allows me to skip the BMV skills test – all I need to do now is get my license updated for a motorcycle endorsement.

Did I mention the rain? We had some clearing on Saturday afternoon, but were soaked by the end of class, and it pretty much rained all Sunday. The instructor joked that we were going to get in more riding in the rain than most riders get all year. I didn’t quite care for it. :-)  I didn’t have a real waterproof jacket, the rain pants I bought at Wally World on Friday night weren’t that much good after a couple hours of hard rain, and I had to literally wring out my leather gloves at each break. At least my feet (thanks, mom, for the hiking boots you bought at Christmas!) and head (I bought a helmet in 20 minutes before the Friday night class) were warm.

So now I have all the basics in my head. It’ll be a long time before I feel comfortable, though. I was pretty tense going above 20mph, and never shifted above 2nd gear. I really need some time on the road around my home town. I’m still a bit apprehensive about riding the 30 minutes to work, despite the fact that I’ll never be going over 45mph the whole way. Maybe Friday; it’s supposed to be nice weather then.

So I’ve taken the first step; the road awaits!

Licensed to ride

Passed the test for my motorcycle permit. I can riiiiiide!

Well, I *may* ride. I still don’t know beans about it. Unfortunately, the MSF course I was planning to take asap is Sold Out until September! I didn’t notice that before when I checked out class times! Well, I still may be able to sneak in – they have a “standby” list in case someone doesn’t show. I’ll show up for this weekend’s class – it’s Friday night, half Saturday and half Sunday – and continue to show up until I get in. And it looks like rain all weekend, so perhaps there will be some dropouts.