My friend Scott is a technician at an Audi dealership

Written by vtluu on November 26th, 2014
A few weeks ago he thought he'd seen everything when a customer brought their car in to have a dropped burrito extracted out of the engine bay. Then yesterday this happened.
#ns

 

A "fun" late night rewiring my home network

Written by vtluu on November 26th, 2014
What Windows' network map leaves out (other than the craptastic Uverse modem, now running in pass-through mode and sitting between the "Archer C7" router and the Internet) is that the top switch is in the living room, the lower switch is in the (half-)basement, and the router is in the attic 3 floors up. The longest stretches of Ethernet cabling are run through the vertical HVAC shaft that runs from the basement to the back of the upstairs walk-in closet (almost to the attic).

Gone is the "slow" 300 Mbps powerline Ethernet link between the living room and the basement (which, other than not being gigabit, would result in most of the network getting cut off in the event of a power outage), and everything wired is on gigabit Ethernet and able to access the full 50 Mbps Internet connection (no more mysterious inexplicable bottlenecks).

The wireless network is still not perfect: the rather crowded 2.4 GHz 802.11n band maxes out at 25 Mbps to the Internet, the 5.0 GHz network tops out at around 40 Mbps in N mode though the sole 802.11ac client is able to speed-test the full 50. TBD: add another access point (which I already have) for better WiFi coverage downstairs…

 

Just helped a random stranger newly arrived from South Asia (I presume) gas up his…

Written by vtluu on November 25th, 2014
Just helped a random stranger newly arrived from South Asia (I presume) gas up his car for the first time. Made me a bit nostalgic for when I first arrived in the Bay Area and everything was new and amazing to me. I shook his hand and told him "Welcome to California!"
 

It took the AT&T U-Verse tech over five hours to work through all the installation…

Written by vtluu on November 21st, 2014
It took the AT&T U-Verse tech over five hours to work through all the installation issues but we finally completed the upgrade to the 45 Mbps service (tested a bit over 50 Mbps, don't know how that's possible…).

Next stop, gigabit fiber!

 

There, she (+Casey Fiesler) fixed it.

Written by vtluu on November 18th, 2014
There, she (+Casey Fiesler) fixed it.

Barbie, Remixed: I (really!) can be a computer engineer.
I am a PhD student in a computing department, so I guess it’s not surprising that my social media feeds have been full of outrage over Barbie’s “computer engineering” skills. The blog post that ori…

 

The seeds of unconscious bias and sexism are sown early and often

Written by vtluu on November 18th, 2014
And we wonder why girls don't grow up to be young women who pursue STEM studies and careers?

Pamie » Barbie Fucks It Up Again
I recently paid a visit to my sweet friend Helen Jane and was excited to find this book at her house. barbie1. (The second book of the “2 Books in 1!” is “Barbie [i can be…] an Actress.” We’ll get to that later.) Helen Jane has two little girls under the age of six.

 

More photos of the rod and bearing damage from the Miata engine

Written by vtluu on November 17th, 2014
The #1 rod end has a dark spot and the corresponding rod journal shows damage from the failed rod bearing.

What's more interesting is the #4 rod end which shows heavy bluing, a sign of severe overheating, even though the rod bearing and journal show very little if any damage (other than contamination from the #1 failed bearing).

It's also worth noting that all the main bearings show significant damage due to contamination from metal from the failed rod bearing, whereas the none of the rod bearings (other than the failed one) show much damage at all.

In album 2014-11-17

 

More photos of the rod and bearing damage from the Miata engine

Written by vtluu on November 17th, 2014
The #1 rod end has a dark spot and the corresponding rod journal shows damage from the failed rod bearing.

What's more interesting is the #4 rod end which shows heavy bluing, a sign of severe overheating, even though the rod bearing and journal show very little if any damage (other than contamination from the #1 failed bearing).

It's also worth noting that all the main bearings show significant damage due to contamination from metal from the failed rod bearing, whereas the none of the rod bearings (other than the failed one) show much damage at all.

In album 2014-11-17

 

Hmm, the rod bearing disappeared, where'd it go? Oh, there it is–or what's…

Written by vtluu on November 17th, 2014
Hmm, the rod bearing disappeared, where'd it go? Oh, there it is–or what's left of it–in the oil pan. 

In album 11/17/14

 

Confession time, or, sharing my latest major screw-up

Written by vtluu on November 12th, 2014
Look at the diagram below. Now tell me how to torque the main crank bolt on the Mazdaspeed 3 L3 engine?

The correct interpretation is "torque to 100 +/- 4 Newton-meters (74 lb-ft), then tighten the bolt another 90 +/- 3 degrees."

Guess which part I suspect I overlooked?

This is a particularly lethal mistake to make on the L3 engine, which relies solely on bolt torque to hold the crank and cam timing chain sprockets in place–no keys, no pins. And it's an interference engine. Result: freshly-rebuilt engine toast.