Tag car (7)
Hello new Prius! (2013-)
Posted on 2013-07-06 15:07:00
Tags: pictures car
We bought a new Prius this morning! It is blue. See?
Yesterday we learned that the car was totaled. I had been doing some research, and I was pretty much down to either a Chevy Volt or another Prius. So we test-drove both yesterday afternoon. The Volt, while being technologically awesome and all, had a few big problems:
- The front seats were just not comfortable. It felt like there was zero padding between you and a board or something. This sounds trivial, but considering how much I drive my car it was a big minus.
- The back seats were extremely small and tight. I understand there have to be compromises given the huge battery in the car, but I felt squished at my average size. (David, being taller, had even less kind things to say about it)
- The trunk room was OK but not great.
Anyway, I just felt that we'd be spending substantially more for a car that would be less comfortable. I was hoping my next car would be a Volt, and I'm still hoping that :-)
- Service King - A+ We had our car towed to a towing company lot, and then USAA recommended we have it towed to the Service King in Round Rock. They were extremely responsive, and both emailed and texted me to get in touch with me. They determined that it was totaled very quickly and let me know that, and we were able to come in that day and pick up our stuff.
- USAA - Incomplete, but probably A USAA, as always, has taken good care of us, and explained very clearly what was covered and what wasn't. We'll hear on Monday or Tuesday how the car-totaling process works.
- Charles Maund Toyota - B They were running a pretty good Fourth of July promotions, so I think we got an OK deal. Negotiation is not my strong suit, but at least they didn't try to hard sell us the warranty/rustproofing/all that other stuff. (we said "no" and the guy moved on) Interestingly, the woman who sold us the car said she had just moved in with her girlfriend! So we sort of bonded over that. But it's hard (impossible?) to buy a car without feeling like you're getting screwed at least a little, and today was no exception.
Farewell sweet Prius (2004-2013)
Posted on 2013-07-05 23:59:00
So we got the news today that the Prius has been totaled. We went to pick up all the random crap we had left it in this morning. So long!
On a more serious note, we're certainly lucky that this is annoying to deal with, not financially crippling or anything. So, no more complaining!
Karma catches up
Posted on 2013-07-01 15:30:00
Last week was a pretty great week thanks to DOMA/Prop 8. It was also a good week for me personally - I got to go to Microsoft's //build/ conference in San Francisco, where I got to hang out with cool people (and got some free stuff!), and I got an award at work.
As I was waiting for my bags at the Austin airport I got a call from David that started with "I'm fine, but" - he had been sideswiped on his way to pick me up. (and then the other car drove off...) Thankfully he is indeed fine, and while the car isn't drivable, the damage doesn't look too bad so it probably isn't totaled. (apparently Priuses maintain their value well!)
finishing Android, starting Windows Phone 7. And happy car milestone!
Posted on 2011-11-14 10:40:00
Tags: car windowsphone projects android
I'm basically done with FlightPredictor for Android. I started almost three months ago, so one major takeaway is that apps take a long time to write. It took a bit longer since I hadn't done any Android work before, but most of the design was just copying the existing apps, so maybe that balances out?
To set the record straight, some of my Android complaints were unfair, and once I got into the swing of things I got things working in fairly short order. (although some still stand) So it's not a terrible environment to develop in, although Java isn't my favorite language, but having to design for a ton of different screen sizes with a ton of different OS versions combined with the fact that there doesn't seem to be many standards for interaction really made it a drag.
Oh, and I tried filtering a list on David's phone and it was very fast. I'd estimate the emulator is something like 20x slower than running on a phone. Which worked out nicely since I didn't have to optimize anything further, but it sure does make testing on the emulator painful!
Next up is a Windows Phone 7 version, which I've just started. I'm guessing with the holidays it will take a bit longer than three months, but since I'm already moderately familiar with WPF/Silverlight/C#, perhaps it will go faster.
My Prius hit 100K miles last week! I've been pretty happy with it - since I bought it 7 years ago it's only had a few problems. It's averaged just under 43 MPG over that time. A quick comparison with a Camry (which gets ~28MPG):
|Gallons per 100K miles||2325||3571|
|Price for gas (at $3/gallon)||$6975||$10713|
the advantages of living in a medium-sized city
Music: Foo Fighters - "Let It Die"
Posted on 2009-03-06 14:15:00
Tags: car projects
2.5 years ago: My car's check engine light turns on, I have to drive 40 miles early Saturday morning to get it checked out.
Today: My car's check engine light turns on, I drive 3 miles to drop it off during the middle of the day. (and hitch a ride back with destroyerj) Life is good!
My next project: This guy genetic algorithmed his way to a Mona Lisa with translucent polygons, and then this guy did something similar. I like images and especially genetic algorithms. Hopefully will have pretty results soon!
A Tale of Two Stories
Posted on 2007-05-24 09:22:00
Tags: car story computer
So, djedi looks in the trunk and finds no spare tire. Ack! So I call AAA (the fact that I have a membership gives me great peace of mind, as I'm not so good with cars), and after they transfer me to the Maryland office (I hadn't changed my address...) she sends a tow truck out. Luckily we remember there's a Firestone just down the road, and they're only open until 7 (it's around 6:40 by now) but I can drop the car off out front.
While we're waiting, we both think it's awfully odd that the car, which definitely came with a spare tire, doesn't have one now, despite the fact that I've never used it or anything, so we go back to the trunk to check. Turns out all the storage is done origami-style - so you fold up some stuff to get to the jack and stuff, but then if you fold it up again there is a spare tire! Whoops. I read the instructions while djedi changes out the tire, which goes pretty smoothly. Just around the time we finish I see a tow truck driving the other way that honks as it goes by, and sure enough it turns around and stops. I explain to the friendly driver that we did in fact have a spare and so we could drive it ourselves :-)
Anyway, djedi walks home to start dinner and I carefully drive over to the Firestone. It's already 7:10 but they're still around finishing up, so I watch some "Jeopardy!" while I wait and finally tell them the situation, drop off the key and jog home. I don't like jogging, but this wasn't a long way and it was really a beautiful day out so I didn't mind.
Afterword: Since the hole was in the side of the tire, I'm getting four new tires. I needed an oil change anyway, so this works out decently. (and I'm not getting a Firestone charge card despite getting halfway through the application before realizing what the guy was trying to sell me...)
I went to my computer and did the timing tests with
hdparm -tT /dev/hdc. The "Timing buffered disk reads" came back with 1.67 MB/sec, which even my years-old book says was laughably low. Encouraging! So I tried turning on lots of stuff with
hdparm -d1 -u1 -X66 -c3 -m16 /dev/hdc. Unfortunately, it said that turning on DMA was "not supported", but everything else was turned on, and that got the speed up to around 3 MB/sec. (it turns out the old
hdparm settings weren't working because my hard drive had changed from /dev/hda to /dev/hdc)
Not bad! But I wondered why I couldn't turn DMA on, as that would in general help the most. So after doing a little research I discovered the problem was that support for the IDE controller wasn't built in to the kernel. I decided to go ahead and download a new kernel anyway and (after eventually finding the right option) turned on the IDE controller supported. After installing it, I was indeed able to turn DMA on, and now the speed is anywhere between 30 to 60 MB/sec! I had to recompile a couple of times to get my sound and iptables filtering working again (I think the options changed between kernels), but I finally got it all up last night. My system is noticeably more responsive, and loading WoW screams (at least comparatively).
This makes me a happy panda!
Posted on 2006-09-30 16:02:00
Tags: music car
So as djedi and I were pulling up to our complex yesterday and all of a sudden my Prius freaks out a little and puts up a warning light. No smoke pouring out of the engine, but I pull in to a parking space and djedi checks the manual. Some sort of brake problem, but it's not so serious that the car can't be driven. But it does say to take it in to get checked ASAP. "Crap" is the general thought, since we only have one car right now, so it being out of commission means no easy way to get to work. (and we're not sure what the hard way would be)
We get in and I call the nearest Toyota dealer, who says that they can maybe fit me in on Saturday, but Jeannie isn't in and this guy doesn't want to mess with her appointment book or something. Ooohkay. He tells me to call when they open tomorrow (8 AM).
Ugh...was looking forward to sleeping in, but we need a car! So I get up and call them. Nope, no way they can see it today. Great. So I go down the list of dealerships close to us. Get all kinds of "no"s and the occasional "we can't promise we can see it today but you can leave it here", which is just as bad for our purposes. I'm starting to get annoyed and a bit concerned when I make it down to the tenth one on the list (which by now is really not that close, but I figure it's OK to drive...). The guy is friendly and says I can bring it in, and to hurry. So I throw on some clothes, get directions and head out there.
40 minutes or so later I find the place, and again they're friendly and the guy at the desk says they'll diagnose it within an hour(!). I sit down to read (having planned to be there most of the day in the worst case) and start the David Sedaris book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, which is absolutely brilliant. Slightly more than an hour later I hear my name being called, and I rush out to see what the verdict is. Turned out they didn't find anything wrong: brake pads were fine, brake fluid was sufficiently present, and the code that set off the master alarm (that sounds like Apollo 13!) was nothing in particular, or something. The best part is that they didn't charge me anything!
So if you're in Maryland and need a Toyota dealer, I recommend Fitzgerald Lakeforest.
Some sort of crab-related product for dinner and then I'm going to another game nightish thing, all in the vain hopes of replacing the one we had in Austin!
Also, I have the theme song (track 3) to House irrevocably stuck in my head. I should buy that.
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