HOWTO: Upgrade the CDI on a 2006 Yamaha Jog ZR

So as some people in the world may know, I live in Japan and have a much-beloved 2006 Yamaha Jog ZR, which I bought in Sept. 2006 not only as a means of transport (rush hour traffic jams mean nothing to me now, as I zip between cars, between lanes, and in front of stopped cars so I'm always the first through the intersection), but also as a "fixer-upper," as there is an almost endless array of custom parts available for these bikes in Japan (and elsewhere--but they all begin in Japan).

Arduino Stepper. Plus, how to run it off of a Makita Battery!

I put together another video of what i've been doing with my dorky geektoys. This is a cool steppermotor/gear assembly i got out of an old dot-matrix printer. I originally assembled it all with a mess of 4 radio shack transistors, but then i found this tutorial (and discovered that nice clean transistor array chip) which made it simpler to work with.

apple: I like itunes, but you're starting to break my mp3 player...

NPR began distributing 'This American Life' as a podcast. TAL is one of the best radio shows out there, and it kicks ass that NPR is being forward thinking enough to jump on the podcasting bandwagon.

This American Life is available for download only for the week it is aired. After that, you can buy it from Audible for a buck. As people can turn on their radios and listen to the show for free, podcasting it loses them no money, and increases their exposure/word of mouth.

Apple took this great plan and screwed it up just because they can...

For some reason Apple assumes that an iTunes library is a single, personal thing, and it would never be shared between multiple people. For that to work, everyone with an ipod MUST have a computer.. As you can't (to my knowledge) configure iTunes to support 2 libraries simultaneously on a single system.

User Verification Gone Horribly Wrong

We've got a client, named ''. They do a modest amount of business on the web, and they need an SSL Certificate in order to do it. Their SSL Cert expired in October. In September I received a reminder email about renewal, and I called up their web host to renew their certificate.

I keep our client's account information in an encrypted password manager called KeePass Password Safe. So when I called up the sales people to renew the domain, I opened up the password manager and read off my 'secret word' which they use to verify me.

The nice sales person (the real humans are in sales, tech support gets their flunkies) accepted the renewal, and I told him to bill it to the card on file.

Can't easily unsubscribe? Corrupt!

Background: My asshole of a friend Jason Gentry once thought it would be funny to sign me up for whatever crap he could find on the internet. As a result, I've been receiving American Trucker magazine, and mailings from the national association of female executives for the past 4 years. These mailings have followed me through 4 address changes.

I am not a trucker, nor am I a female executive. Today, my mailbox was filled with both an AT catalog, and a massive (about a big phone book * 2) Mouser Electronics catalog. I ordered a single $5 part from mouser a few months ago, and now my mailbox is stuffed with a half a tree EVERY month. (which seems odd for a company that has a page about their commitment to the environment posted prominently on their site.)

The Statistics of Blink-Free Group Photos (and the Beauty of Statistics)

This is the best thing to come out of Australia, ever. This physicist and his statistician buddy figured out how many shots you need to take of a group of people before you can be 99% certain that no one is blinking.

Read about it here.

Hello Pig! My first Arduino project.

It's an ambient orb style pulsating pig!

that's it... really. but i learned to read digital and analog pins, and how to write to the analog out pins, and before that the digital ones. Woot!


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