Friday, 26 January 2018

The projects don’t stop

This is the last post which for some reason didn't get published.
Now that my sister has a shinny new computer she was contemplating of throwing out her old one.  However I asked (nicely) if she would donate it to me.  I now have a reasonably fast computer.  Well it’s faster than the Asus laptop.  Of course the desktop pc didn’t come with a hard drive. But it did come with 10 years of dust!
This afternoon I sat at the table with a one inch paintbrush and the vacuum cleaner hose carefully removing all the dust from inside the case.  The computer no longer gasps for air and is running much cooler.  I’ve decided to convert it into a part-time data backup machine.  The first copy of all out data is on the home server and the backup copies are on several usb external hard drives.  This pc will be our second backup.  I found six old hard drives which I mounted in the case.
I’m using Ubuntu linux as the operating system (because it’s free).  If I used one of the hard drives for the operating system it would be a waste of a hard drive.  Ubuntu takes up very little storage space and my alternate strategy has been to install Ubuntu on a 16GB usb thumb stick which is plugged into one of the usb ports on the back of the pc (red arrow).  This seems to be working!  All I have to do is copy all our existing data onto the six hard drives and configure the computer to run headless on the network.
There has been more progress on the 4x4 project.  Yesterday I was able to purchase five used steel rims and tyres off the internet for $70.  They are off a Holden Colorado, but will fit the Isuzu 4x4.
This means I now have nine steel rims.  The five tyres are worn.  I might be able to get some more life from them on the camper trailer or as trailer spares.  Having nine rims started me thinking about how they might be used.  Initially I was going to keep five for the 4x4 and offset my costs by selling the remaining four.  But now I’m thinking of keeping all the rims and converting the camper trailer wheel hubs to accept the rims.  This would mean all my outback travel rims and tyres would be the same size which has obvious advantages.  I could then sell the three original (new) trailer rims and tyres.
I’ve also had conversations with three vehicle suspension suppliers.  I know the 4x4 will be carrying a heavy load when I head into the outback and I obviously want to minimize the risks.  I also know the track conditions will be so bad they are likely to shake the fillings out of my teeth.  So I don’t think the standard suspension will suffice.  It’s manufactured to a budget and is designed for a comfortable ride on bitumen.    I’m going to need to replace the springs and shock absorbers with something stronger.  After listening to all the sales pitches I think I’ve settled on a supplier.  He carefully listened to my requirements and didn’t try to sell me the most expensive system.  More on this project later.
Finally, this afternoon I bought a secondary diesel fuel filter.  Boaters will know all about the need for a secondary fuel filter and I believe one is required on the 4x4 for similar reasons.  Remote Australian fuel outlets don’t have a high turnover and the storage tanks were probably installed when Joseph received his rainbow coat.  I need to allow for contaminated fuel!  Well after a considerable time on Google I found the best priced distributor for a ‘Fuel Manager’ secondary filter to fit the Isuzu was in Perth <surprise>.  Their price was $285, which was $50 cheaper than the next supplier.  But then I also discovered they were selling the same filter kit on Ebay for $275.  Before I could click the purchase button Jan had found an Ebay discount voucher which resulted in a further reduction of $13.65.   Well that was a win!  Smile

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