Category Archives: Technical

My surface Pro X Nightmare

I violated my rule of “Bleeding Edge”

I’ve been into computers since the late 70s — when you had to assemble them yourself. I was a business computer salesman in 1982 when the IBM-PC came out with 16KB of RAM and a pair of single side floppies. I automated a collection agency I had ownership in back in 1983, sold that software to many other agencies. Was behind rewriting that system again to run on PCs, and started over again in 1990 with a clean slate – with the system know as WinDebt. I’ve owned a couple of computer software companies — and consider myself pretty savvy computer guy for an old man.

Every couple of years I treat myself to a new computer — always the top of the line as I do lot on it. I use to have a desk top in my bedroom, home office, main office and shop — but a few years ago I bought my first Surface Pro (a 2) and I have a hub, keyboard and monitor in many locations and just bring the tablet from place to place. About three years ago I upgraded the Surface Pro2 to a 2017.

For the last few months my 2017 has been showing signs of age. I have to have it plugged in all of the time as battery has expired — and the tablet mode (which I use most) has had the touch screen acting flakey. I knew the new Surface Pro X was coming out in December — so I hung in there and waited.

I received my X last week and immediately regretted it. It started with McAfee antivirus failing to install. The only message was call tech support. I did, and then hung up after 45 minutes on hold. I completely factory reset the computer and started over again — same deal. I uninstalled Windows 10, reinstalled and no soap. After wasting 3 hours I started doing Internet searches. There was nothing on the Internet about this problem — so I started looking for reviews on the Surface Pro X.

That’s when I started to find out that that while the hardware is Top Shelf with the fastest ARM microprocessor and 16GB Ram — on a 64-bit operating system — it changed a 25 year-old school method of how it uses DLLs. That rendered applications that didn’t get it together and rewrite their application to the faster standard inoperable – Just about all of them.

After finding out that I had to use Microsoft’s Firewall and Anti-Virus because none of the others yet work, I found most everything else I use is also useless. Fortunately Quickbooks Desktop and Quickbooks online both work. However, I use a virtual printer called Chax — which prints checks on blank check paper. I called their Tech support — and was lectured by their techie who knew nothing from what he speaks about Surface Pro being like an iPad — and not a computer. I explained to him that I had the most powerful personal computer on the market and it is nothing like an iPad. I tried to explain to him that its a new type of Microprocessor (ARM) and that I’ve read that there was going to be compatibility issues with older software. He told me that their software wasn’t older and that he could get it working. I gave him control of the computer with Gotomeeting — and he jacked around for an hour. I finally convince him to go to my Settings and About to see what I was running. When he did, he said “oh, your got a very powerful computer that is too advanced for this application” — I’ll have to tell management that we need to get to work on this.

Yeah Great! I spent the next hour ordering check printing on line for Quickbooks.

Next I tried to install and older version of Photoshop and it won’t install. I knew better that to waste my time — as the only option would be use the on-line per month charge version.
Next up was a VPN — Express VPN — the biggest, best, and most expensive. I tried twice to install and then got with Abi from their tech support. I explained that I had a new Surface Pro X and the ARM version of Windows X. He told me that won’t make any difference as Windows 10 is Windows 10. So an hour into this I have to reboot and he tells me that he’ll email me the steps to finish. An hour later and still no email — so I get ahold of Keajy and explain the deal. He puts me through the whole deal again — not listening to me explain about the ARM version of Windows 10. 90 minutes into it and I finally convince him to look at my about. I get the “Oh I’ll need to look into this.” After looking into it he says the only VPN I can do Spoofs my IP but adds no security. I don’t need to Spoof — I need security.

Next up is Microsoft, after my Brother laser printer driver won’t install and the Windows driver make white black and black white — to where documents look like negatives. At least when I explained to the Microsoft tech guy — he was prepared for a nightmare. I gave him control to the computer and watched him and someone else try like Hell to fix. The end result was that they were going to have to get with Brother to fix the driver and will get back to me in 24-48 hours.

So I write this to warn others — as this computer is so new that there’s nothing on the Internet about these problems. The surface Pro X is a great computer — but if you need a Surface Pro right now — get a 7 as it might be a year before all of this Windows 10 ARM app incompatibility is fixed.

Petty Update

Shop today:
Detroit locker waiting for the carrier bearings and chunk gasket.
Took the rear wheels I painted along with the rear wheels to the Magnum XE to my bud at Discount. He took the 245s off the Magnum wheels and put on the Petty wheels, and put 255s on the Magnum.
Painted up the shifter handle extender and bought some Stainless Steels bolts, nuts and split washers.
Remounted the door cabinet 1/2″ to left as it interfered with other door.

A Facebook Clone

But without the Liberal Gestapo tracking your every move, collecting information and reselling it, and punishing anyone posting to the Right of Bernie Sanders.

It’s called Old Hippie’s Damn Face Book. It “Looks & Feels” identical to Facebook, with most of the same features. You have your Profile, a Newsfeed of posts from friends and your Groups, Pages for businesses, Groups for like interests, a Marketplace to buy and sell, Photo albums and more.

The web address is a very simple www.OldHippie.com

It works perfectly with computers, tablets and even smartphones.

The simple goal is to grow a small community of a couple thousand like minded individuals, their family, and their friends. There is no desire to be huge, to make money, to have a Gestapo moderation department apply a Double-Standard of “Community Standards”, or to collect and sell your private information.

If you’re looking for a social community that will not be looking over shoulder and over-aggressively moderating your free speech – then why not be part of our small community by registering, checking in a few times a week, and participating, Old Hippie’s Damn Face Book would like for you to join us.

Engine & Transmission Stabbed into Petty Tribute

Got the engine and transmission stabbed in the Petty Tribute today. I ordered an aluminum cross flow radiator, starter motor, coil holder, set of pulleys and brackets, 1-wire alternator with on-board regulator, throttle cable, 800cfm AVS2 carb, and MSD Box to distributor wire.

Need to get all of that in/on, punch a hole in the floor for the shifter and measure/order a driveshaft before we can start it up.

Taped up and wetsanded the horn button
Hit I with Primer
Hit wit the turquoise paint used on interior
Repaired the steering wheel, scuffed, wiped down, sprayed with adhesion promoter and primed. That’s when I noticed the gouged not previously seen. I’ll repair, prime again, wet sand and paint turquoise.

That’s about all that will get done on the car until next week

Update On The Petty Tribute

Engine & Transmission

The engine, clutch and transmission were mocked up, including the shifter (after the above photos). When it came time to install the starter, we found we bought the wrong Flywheel. $300 later, a new one was shipped from Summit Racing. It will be here Thursday.

Under The Hood

Heater block off plate was fabricated out of sheet aluminum, painted blank and installed. The brake master cylinder and clutch slave cylinder were mounted.

Steering Wheel

I’d bought a Grant Wheel that I thought would look good, However, Grant doesn’t make an adapter for a 60 Plymouth. I bought and tried a 61-66 Mopar and 67-69 Mopar. As opposed to cutting up a good 60 Plymouth steering wheel to make an adapter, I decided to repair and paint the one that came with the car.

There were numerous cracks and breaks in this 60-year-old steering wheel.

First I V’d out the cracks and breaks. Then I wiped down with wax and grease remover. I mixed up some JB Weld Marine Epoxy and used it as the first filler. I let it harden for three hours before spending an hour with a razor blade and brown 3M pad cleaning up the high areas.

I then mixed up some fiber reinforced filler and slathered it into the on wounds. It’s setting up. Tomorrow I’ll trim the high areas and sand to shape. I’m hoping I’ll only need to apply one last coat of filler. Then I’ll sand smooth, hit with a coat of adhesion promoter, a coat of primer and wet sand. If it looks good after that, I’ll paint. Not sure if I’ll match the interior’s turquoise or go black.

This is kinda backwards, because I need to post the car build from the beginning to present. Stay tuned, as it will be coming soon.

Getting A Little Trim

I didn’t send the grill to the paint shop, but masked it off and painted myself.

The grill on a Magnum is chromed plastic, which has its edges masked off and painted over the chrome. I started by washing the grill, then wiping down with wax & grease remover, then carefully mask off the edges needing to stay chrome. Next I lightly scuff with a rough (brown) 3M pad. Some of the paint was very loose and exposed the chromed plastic under it when scuffed.

I sprayed the part with paint adhesion promoter. I started with two light coats, and finished with two wet coats.

A couple hours later I pulled off the tape and it looks like brand new.

The rest of the trim was reinstalled. I’d say that the paint job was a total success. I’m very happy with how it came out. Tomorrow the car gets washed and detailed.

Screamin’ Woody Gets New Oil Pan

I post this mainly in case someone had same issue as me.

Charlies Oil Pans had been making the fabricated oil pan to fit the Screamin’ Woody, my 60 Plymouth wagon. Charlies went out of business and when I contacted Stef’s, they said 2 months and $1000 to make one. Milodon made a off the shelf that. fits, but no windage tray for a 4.50″ stroke.

I found that 440 Source makes a pretty good looking 7-quart fabricated aluminum pan that fits, and there’s a windage tray for strokes up to.4.501″. It only cost about $225 for both and looks to be pretty high quality.

Hopefully the crank comes back from machine shop this week and engine can start to go back together. Need to cut a hole for the external oil pump and swinging pickup.

Brand New Classified Ad Web Site

Specifically for Motor Vehicles, Only Motor Vehicles and for ALL Motor Vehicles.

There has been and will be a lot of effort put into the creation of this site. If you have any car or car parts for sale, check out this site and help me get it rolling.

Click the Link to check it out.

Home – Old Hippie’s Ads http://www.oldhippiesads.com

Ginger Gets a New Interior

I pulled the seats out and replaced the carpet and floor mats. About 20 years ago, I pulled a ratty console and tilt column out of Gilligan, a Magnum parts car. I sent the console to an interior shop to be recovered, and bought a new console lids on eBay. I sanded and painted the non-granny steering column. The original tilt steering is available – if anyone with a 70s B-Body wants to convert their non-tilt steering to tilt. I bought a set of near new black leather BMW Coupe power seats, and installed them in the car.

The seat looked great, but felt too small for my wide back (and fat ass) – as I weighed 330 at the time. I weigh 250 now, and they’d most likely be great – but I ordered and waited 3 months for aftermarket black leather seat that were the widest on the market. They’re now installed. I have the BMW power seats wrapped and for sale. They be great in any muscle car with black interior. Black leather seats from a 2-door (allowing passengers to get into backseat) are rarer than hen’s teeth.

These seats then had a semi-gloss leather coating used on interiors back in the 60-80s.

You may note that the door panels and gauges are also different. Let me tell you about them. First the door panels.

The above is how they looked after 40 years of use. I scuffed and wiped down with wax and grease remover, and masked off.

I generally start with two light coats, and then one wet coat of spray vinyl dye. That worked well for the hard plastic and carpet, but the soft vinyl would have parts that looked like it was soaking it up. It was splotching with parts being gloss and parts being flat. I thought I’d must done something wrong in prep, but it finally came out OK by the time I’d hit the soft vinyl another six or seven times with a wet coat, waiting about 2-3 minutes between. It took a full 12oz can for first panel.

Same deal with second panel. I made sure I’d rubbed off all of the wax and grease remover, and let it air dry for an hour. However, same deal. Hard plastic and carpet looked good after two light and one wet coat, but I had to keep hitting the soft plastic with more wet coats where the dye dries in a flat splotches. When the soft vinyl finally was a consistent gloss, I had just enough left in the can to give the entire soft vinyl an even wet coat instead of just dressing up the splotches.

I think it came out looking pretty good. The gloss made the soft vinyl look a little loose, but it tightened up when clipped onto the doors.

A Couple of decades ago, I made an aluminum upper and lower panel, painted flat black; and then filed then with switches, vents, little lights and Dakota Digital Gauges. That look didn’t work for me, but it’s for sale if it works for you.

So I bought an empty gauge panel on eBay, and ordered about $1000 worth of custom gauges close to the size of the holes. I bought a large Speedometer (with Tach) that works off GPS; and a large gauge that has Volts, Oil Pressure, Coolant Temp and Fuel Level to fill the two big holes. To fill the two smaller holes I bought an Oil Temp gauge and a clock.

The two big gauge holes with the sleeves in them were too small by about 1/16″, so I had to cut the welds attaching the sleeves to the panel and pop them out. Once out, the holes were now 1/8″ too big. On the small gauge holes, I had to cut the inset hoods off as the gauges were too shallow for the screw on collars that attach the gauges to the panel to screw on the back of them.

To make the big gauges fit, I made some spacers from 4″ schedule 80 PVC sleeves, by hand sawing about 3/8″ off the end and wet sanding until they were smooth and the same size.

I mocked the gauges up to make sure they fit prior to doing any sanding and painting on the gauge panel. They did, so I glued the spacers onto the panel.

I wet sanded the panel and masked off the idiot lights.

After painting gloss black, it looked too gloss and cheesy. Some of the glue around the rings (that I swore I’d sanded all of the way off) was also showing.

So I decided to leave the coves glossy black, but have the flat portion in a hammer tone black – to tone down the gloss and hide imperfections. So I taped off the coves, sanded some more on the glue around the rings, and wet sanded the areas to get the hammer tone paint.

I hit it with two light coats with an hour between, and then a very wet coat after another hour.

And ready for installation.

Ginger Gets A New Suit

Of Poly Urethane Paint with Clear

IN the mid-90s, Ginger had it’s vinyl top Ripped off, scuffed and had a couple coats of lacquer applied. After 25 years, there’s some bubbling happening under the paint. So most of the trim was removed, the car washed, and I went over the car with a magnifying glass to mark any flaw with pink liquid chalk. I dropped the car off to the paint shop. They’ll grind and repair the flawed area, scuff the car with 400 grit wet sandpaper, spray a coat of adhesion primer, and a couple of coats of black poly urethane.

I”ll pick up the car after my road trip to Detroit, to replace the trim – after its been polished. I’ve done a ton of work on the car since I bought in the 90s. Search this site if You’re interested.

MOPARSTYLE.COM FOR SALE

19 Year Old Mopar Web Forum with Large Member Roster

I started this site on January 1, 2000 and at one time it was very active and had high sponsorship. My racing schedule caused me to neglect the site and activity dropped. Some fresh blood with fresh ideas and the time to call vendors to buy “Pay for View” or “Pay for Click” banners could soon have the site very active again, and very profitable.

This sale could include any or all of the following options:

  • The domain name
  • The perpetual Vbulletin License
  • The existing membership of the forum
  • A year of premium web hosting on a fast and secure server, including automatic backing up site each night and retaining multiple copies of backups
  • All of the old forum posts, or start off with a clean sheet with a fresh install of VB
  • eMail notification to all of the members of the new ownership and your message to them
  • Upgrading to most current version of Vbulletin (or fresh Install)
  • Changing look & Feel, colors and graphics to your design specs
  • Changing the forum structure to your plan
  • Installation and integration of a banner serving application that allows you to generate sponsor revenue through “pay per view” or “pay per click” rotation banners, with different priority serving and full reporting to administrator and/or sponsor
  • Installation and/or setup of a Word Press as a front door to the forum with or without graphics work EXAMPLE
  • Installation and setup of a Classified Ad web site which can be linked with Front Door and Forum Sites EXAMPLE
  • Installation and setup of a photo album application where members can each have access to upload event photos into its sub album EXAMPLE
  • Installation and setup of a wiki. Example
  • A set number of hours for setup and configuration, or per hour help
  • A set number of support phone calls and per call (if needed) thereafter
  • Act as your Hosting Administrator or not
  • Act as your Forum Administrator or not
  • You tell me what else you want

So who would this be a great opportunity for?

  • Any person or group of persons who loves Mopars and has always wanted to build a better Mopar Commu ity than what’s out there
  • Any vendor with a product or service used by Mopar owners, wanting the Goodwill and audience that a site like this could bring them if properly ran. Admittedly, I didn’t run it well.
  • A Mopar club or organization, or collection of organizations wanting to become more dominant in the Mopar Fan sector
  • Any person or group of persons not liking the way they’ve been treated on another forum, and wants to crush them with a better mousetrap.
  • An entrepreneur willing to dedicate the time required to build the site into the One-Stop place to go for all things Mopar and aggressively market “Pay for View” or “Pay for Click” banners
  • Any Combination of the above
  • ???

The price is really based on how much of my time you need. Outside of the Vbulletin application, other applications are free public licenses – but take a little time to install and set up to your specs. They also require more server space. If you’re a computer and graphics whiz who requires no help with set-up and maintaining ( or know that guy) – then you’d only be buying the domain name, VB license, the existing member roster, installation of other apps (if wanted) and hosting – but not my labor. Don’t want hosting as you’ll transfer to another host. Even less!

If you are interested, email me at DaveTheOldHippie @ Gmail.com with what it is you’re interested in, and I’ll shoot you back a price.

NSSRACING.COM FOR SALE

I no longer have the time to maintain this site the way it deserves

This sale could include any or all of the following options:

  • The domain name
  • The perpetual Vbulletin License
  • The existing membership of the forum
  • A year of premium web hosting on a fast and secure server, including automatic backing up site each night and retaining multiple copies of backups
  • All of the old forum posts, or start off with a clean sheet with a fresh install of VB (suggested)
  • eMail notification to all of the members of the new ownership and your message to them
  • Upgrading to most current version of Vbulletin (or fresh Install)
  • Changing look & Feel, colors and graphics to your design specs
  • Changing the forum structure to your plan
  • Installation and integration of a banner serving application that allows you to generate sponsor revenue through “pay per view” or “pay per click” rotation banners, with different priority serving and full reporting to administrator and/or sponsor
  • Installation and/or setup of a Word Press as a front door to the forum with or without graphics work EXAMPLE
  • Installation and setup of a Classified Ad web site which can be linked with Front Door and Forum Sites EXAMPLE
  • Installation and setup of a photo album application where members can each have access to upload event photos into its sub album EXAMPLE
  • Installation and setup of a wiki. Example
  • A set number of hours for setup and configuration, or per hour help
  • A set number of support phone calls and per call (if needed) thereafter
  • Act as your Hosting Administrator or not
  • Act as your Forum Administrator or not
  • You tell me what else you want

So who would this be a great opportunity for?

  • Anyone who loves Nostalgia Super Stock Racing and wants to bring all of the splintered organizations together in one place
  • Any vendor with a product or service used by NSS Racers, wanting the Goodwill and audience that a site like this could bring them if properly ran. Admittedly, I didn’t run well.
  • A NSS Racing club or organization, or collection of organizations wanting to become more dominant in the class
  • An organization wanting to standardize the class
  • An organization wanting to block any other organization from becoming dominant
  • An entrepreneur willing to dedicate the time required to build the site into the One-Stop place to go for all things NSS and aggressively market “Pay for View” or “Pay for Click” banners
  • Any Combination of the above
  • ???

The price is really based on how much of my time you need. Outside of the Vbulletin application, other applications are free public license – but take a little time to install and set up to your specs. They also require more server space. If you’re a computer and graphics whiz who requires no help with set-up and maintaining ( or know that guy) – then you’d only be buying the domain name, VB license, installation of other apps (if wanted) and hosting – but not my labor. Don’t want hosting as you’ll transfer to another host. Even less!

If you are interested, email me at DaveTheOldHippie @ Gmail.com with what it is you’re interested in, and I’ll shoot you back a price.

Shit I Learn From Experience – Locked Out of Vehicle

Shit That Happened

I drive quite a cars/trucks that have key fob push button start. In theory, if the key fob is within 25′, the vehicle unlocks when you put your hand on the handle, in theory. Because I own and drive so many different vehicles, I tend to leave the fob in the vehicle, as the vehicle is in a locked garage. It makes it easier to move them around. If I carried all of the keys and fobs to my 31 vehicles on one key chain, I’d have to have annual Hernia surgery.

One of my cars, a Challenger RT, must have a loose power lock switch – as twice I’ve been locked out at a gas station from just closing the door. Boom, door locks. Since it’s a 2009, it was before the hand on handle unlocking the door. The two times I was locked out, someone was close by with the second key. I’ve learned to take key or leave door open when gassing up.

However, today I was driving my Ram 3500 Dually from my race shop to my lake house. They’re a little more than 100 miles apart. I take back roads and take my three dogs with me in the truck. I stopped at the only gas station on these back roads, which was about 1/2 way. I was filling with diesel, my dogs were sucking up the ac (95 degrees) and listening to Pink Floyd from my iPhone – played through the truck’s stereo via Bluetooth.

When I was done filling, I grabbed the door handle to open, and it was locked. Apparently one of the knucklehead Schnauzers stepped on the power lock while watching me. I tried the other three doors and none of them would unlock either. I could see the fob on the console – but the doors wouldn’t unlock. I’m guessing that if you lock from inside when engine is running, it disregards unlocking from outside as a car jacking preventative. My spare set was 50 miles away at race shop, and no one was there. My wife was at the lake house, which was 50 miles from me, and 100 from shop. My truck is equipped with Uconnect, but I’m a cheap bastard who isn’t seeing the value of the $20 a month. Besides, my iPhone was in the truck entertaining my dogs with Dark Side of The Moon. No phone or apps access.

So I asked someone filling up in the other aisle if I could use their phone. They agreed, and I called my wife told her my situation, gave her my address and what I was driving, and asked her to use the AAA app I installed on her phone to get me lock out service. A little over an hour later some kid showed up saying he was only one in miles who will come to where I was at, and since it was Saturday evening he really didn’t want to be there. However, AAA told him if he didn’t go, they’d stop using him. Five minutes after he showed I was back on the road.

So What Did I Learn That I’d Like To Pass Along, and To Spare Others of This Grief?

  • Renew your AAA subscription every year. Someday you’ll need it and the pressure they can put to bear on their vendors 24/7. I have it because I have so many vehicles, and I’m not changing rear tires on my dually if I don’t have to. Have the app installed on all family members phones. It would have taken three hours for my wife to get the spare key and she would have been pissed.
  • Don’t assume that your vehicle will unlock with a wave of your hand if the fob is inside. If the door is locked from the inside, the software assumes that someone inside has a reason to block all access from the outside. Take your fob with you or leave your door open when filling.
  • Take your phone with you. The dog’s will survive a few minutes without Pink Floyd. Since there is no such thing as a pay phone, your phone is your lifeline. It has the Uconnect/On Star app to get doors unlocked. It has the Uber app if you need to get other keys. It gets you help. It gives you Internet access to search for a solution. It’s GPS allows you to send a pin point of where you’re at to help.
  • Do be a cheap bastard on the Uconnect or On-Star service.

Liberals Moving To Texas Could Die

Thinking about moving to Texas from California, Illinois, or New England, considered the different ways you can die in Texas.

First we’re all armed, but that will most likely keep you safer. However, Texas is littered with animals that want to kill you, and if you didn’t grow up here, you aren’t going to be prepared to survive.

Texas has millions of Cotton Mouths, Copperheads, Rattlers and Coral Snakes – all of which can kill you.

Texas has African Killer Bees, the meanest hornets in the world, Black Widows, Brown Recluse Spiders, Wolf Spiders and Tarantulas – all that kill you.

Texas has Coyotes, Wild Dogs, Feral Hogs, Wolves, Mountain Lions/Cougars, Panthers and Bobcats – all that can kill you.

The Texas Gulf Shores has about every breed of shark known to man cruising up and down the coast, Lion Fish, Sting Rays, Sea Snakes and Portuguese Man of War – that can kill you.

Our ponds and swamps are filled with gators that feed on 300 pound deer (which will also kill you) – and they’ll kill you. We have huge Blue Channel Cats – and they will kill you.

As many people who have died of all of that in Texas, more people actually die from our special breed of Fire Ants than any other wild animal. I have millions of Texas Fire Ants on my 5 acres. They’re bad enough when its hot and dry. It takes almost a year from the scars from their bites on my feet to go away. Fortunately I’m not allergic to them, or I’d died 100s of times since the late 50s. However, when it rains hard in Texas, a group or rafting Fire Ants will cause you a slow and painful death before eating every piece of meat on you.

So you can see that Liberal Pussies don’t stand a chance in Texas. You’re gonna die. It is best to just stay in your State Sanctioned Safe Spaces, and not travel to Texas. You just haven’t been properly prepared as a child on how to look for and survive all of the things that will kill you.