Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Blabberer is dead, long live the Blabberer

Like I have already mentioned in my first post, I started blogging because my mind was being bombarded with thoughts, and this was supposed to be my outlet. Unfortunately, I haven't been posting posts as often as I would have liked to. What's worse is that most of my blabber, as I call it (because it filled with digression and like someone recently pointed out, I write in one big block of text, which is actually a subconscious thing, but IMO, it adds to the whole blabber theme), is now filled with details of my latest passion, exploring linux. The outlet of thoughts that I had, had been hijacked by this latest craze of mine. So I have decided, it is high time I started a new blog (where I am yet to start posting) for the all the geeky stuff.
Even though I have not been posting that often, my mind is still under siege. I wake up everyday with the same thoughts that I had slept with. Man I need to reset. I need a fag. It is ironic that I feel the urge to light up on the World No Tobacco Day, but a cigarette really does reset your mind. Sigh! It's been nearly an year n a half since I pulled in my last drag from a fag, but I still feel like having just one last puff whenever I see a lit cigarette. But I am smarter now, I know it isn't worth it. Anyway I still get up like someone had put me hibernate the night before, with all thought right where I left them. Man i need to reset. I need booze. Told ya I was smarter now :P

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dream on

A few days ago, a really terrible thing happened to me. There I was facing my kryptonite and like superman, I crumbled. It was awful. I had never felt more miserable. But all of a sudden, poof! everything's gone. Turns out it was a nightmare, and now I was awake. Life goes on as usual, D-day (the day I was to face my kryptonite) comes again, this time in real, but what the... Everything happens just like it happened in the dream. Argh! No no no! this can't be real. And then again poof! Turns out I never really did wake up. I mean I did wake up but only in my dream. Wow! how bad can life be? I was having nightmares in my nightmares. I was scared now. Then yet again D-day came, I choked n I crumbled again. I am just waiting to wake up. I hope I wake up again.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Blogger wouldn't post comments

Yesterday I was trying to reply to a comment on my blog when the reply just wouldn't get submitted. I copied the comment to post it later and in the mean time typed down the reply to another comment, but this time, when I clicked submit, it worked. I went back to the first comment and tried to post it again, but to no avail. Then I thought maybe the comments have a limit, like those orkut scraps, I hacked off a major part n tried again. Success. Pasted the next part n posted it, and it wouldn't post. So I chopped off the last line this time, n again had no problems posting it. Now came the last last line, I pasted the last line, clicked post, and the page would reload, with no indication of any change, with my comments still in the text box. Damn it! Why can't I post comments on blogger? Carefully analyzing the comment, I realized I had made an error with the HTML element required for using italics. I had used two </i>'s instead of a <i> and a </i>. Such a silly mistake, and it wouldn't post the comment. It wouldn't even give a preview. Couldn't they raise an exception if they noticed a mistake in my HTML elements? What's more, is that in the year 2008, people are still expected to know HTML tags to use basic formating in their comments. Isn't it high time that they replaced the text box with a rich text box? Or at least raise an exception on the users typo, in the meanwhile. IMO Blogger sure could do with some improvement.

PS: It does post an exception in the post for when I tried to post it. It says:

Your HTML cannot be accepted: Closing tag has no matching opening tag: </i>

Looking for an escape from the escape characters. Google people could you please have a look at this bug?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fedora Core 9 Live Preview

Okay, so yesterday Fedora Core 9 was released, in two flavours, one a Gnome 2.22 and the other a KDE 4.0.3. I googled the two desktop environments and after finding inconclusive results as to which of the two is better, I decided to try out the K Desktop environment since my current Ubuntu (Gutsy) uses an older version of Gnome and I do intend to upgrade it the hardy release, which too is equipped with a Gnome 2.22 DE. So anyway, I downloaded the FC 9 installable live CD for x86_64 and burned it onto a CD. Rebooted and waited patiently for the Live OS to boot. Unlike Ubuntu's live it didn't ask me a million questions about my hardware and the settings I wanted to keep, so far so good. While the OS was loading its various components, I instinctively clicked on the detailed view, only to realize that it required my approval for loading most of the components. I chose to hide the details just to check if it prompted me for my response in that mode, but it didn't. So I went back to the detailed view and strangely most of the times I had to enter 'Y' twice. Baah! it finally loaded after what seemed like a million 'Y's. Okay, it looks cool, except for the giant sized KDE panel which I am sure quite a few not-so-young linux users would appreciate. Here is the screenshot of the default screen with the main menu open and set on applications.

Notice that cool search option like that in Vista, Nice. So I typed firefox in the search window but nothing turned up. Browsing through the options showed Konqueror as the default browser. Of course, how silly of me, KDE remember. We'll come back to Konqueror later. Next I checked if my drives mounted on it's own. Yup, all the drives, NTFS, FAT32, and ext3 showed up. I create a textfile in the NTFS drive, just to see if it is write enabled, click it once to select it n then double click it. 3 Kwrite instances open up. Damn it! I hate single click for opening. Now for the important stuff, the default music player. Click click, okay a music player and a media player. But none of which would play a MP3 file. This must be because of the lack of open codecs, which I had read about somewhere. FC 9 KDE live is slightly below the Ubuntu Gutsy (the predecessor to the latest Ubuntu version (hardy heron)) live at the moment. Then I click on the install to hard drive button and my system went catatonic for a while 5 minutes. When it finally came back from the dead, it asked me for a few of those settings which I gave but I aborted the install when it asked me about the drive to install it on. I opened Konqueror and went to google, for which the browser took my permission to accept the cookies. I opened about 4 tabs and my desktop environment crashed and then recovered in a couple of minutes. Now I'm up to 10 tabs but it is running fine. But there is something wrong about this browser. Firstly the JavaScript doesn't work. I checked and it is enabled. So gmail is running in the HTML mode right now, and I have to refresh it to check my mail. Even the blogger create post is working in the HTML mode. Also, the alignment on the page is not perfect. If and when I install this OS the first thing I do after I install the codec library for MP3s is installing firefox. I think It wouldn't be fair to judge this OS on the basis of how its live version ran and it would only be fair to compare it with the latest version of Ubuntu, and not an older one. So I am going to end this post without giving my comments on whether I liked the distro or not. You can get your own copy of Fedora Core 9 from here. I will surely post more details when I install and compare the two distributions.

For a detailed review check out Fedora Core 9.

For more linux reviews check out my linux blog.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Here I am, on the road again

Well, as you can probably see, I've made a couple of itsy-bitsy changes to the layout of my blog. There is a static background image now and the width of the divisions of the main post area is more. No these aren't my own ideas, I simply copied the ideas from Red Queen's Blog n Infinity's Blog. Thank you both of you. If somebody is reading this, could you please comment on whether the text is readable of should I revert back to one of blogger's themes? Oh n BTW, the theme's called Turn the page after the Metallica song since after I finished working on the image, the first words that came to my head were Here I am, on the road again.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

How To Clean The Carburettor of a Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 350cc

A carburettor (also spelt as carburetor, and will be referred to as carb. from now on, not to be confused with carbohydrates) is a device which mixes the fuel and air, before the mixture enters the engine. It is the carb that changes the amount of fuel entering the engine and in turn manipulates the power that you get. Often when you get fuel from an unreliable pump, there are chances that impurities enter your fuel tank, which would eventually end up in your carb. The first time I opened my carb, I did look for instructions for opening it on the internet, but didn't find any. So now that I am experienced enough to open n reassemble my carb, I thought why not put up a post for the newbies. Before working on machine parts, I think it is important for you to remember the following things :
  • Always open a nut/screw with the appropriate tool. The spanner/ratchet should be of the exact fit on the nut. Also the screw-driver should fit in the groove right.
  • Take care of the nuts and washer that you open. Don't lose or mix em up. If possible make use of a tray to store all your nuts.
  • While tightening nuts/screws, make sure that the first few turns should be made by hand and not with a tool. Use a tool to force a nut and you will surely ruin the threads.
  • While tightening nuts/screws make sure you don't leave any loose, or the vibration wold make them fall off. Tighten em too much and you could ruin the thread.
  • Certain tools require lesser force than others to operate, like a rubber gripped screwdriver is simpler to use than a regular one, or a ratchet requires lesser force to operate than a spanner. Make sure you do not apply too much force while using these tools.
Now where were we? Yeah, the carb. Ok, I am using a carb. called VM24 from Mikcarb, which is a standard carb for any 350cc cast iron Royal Enfield.Make the carb accessible by removing all pipes and cable that are obstructing your work space, like the pipe (1) from the airbox. Unscrew the nut (2) holding the carb with the input manifold. Also, loosen the screw (3) holding the hose coming from the air filter. Pardon me for the filthy carb, but cleaning it is a tedious job, and as far as the insides are clean n all the orifices are open it really doesn't make any difference. Also, I started of by taking decent pics, but eventually, as my hands got dirty, the quality of the pictures started decreasing too.
Now coming to the other side, unscrew the nut (4) barely visible, after you have pulled out the fuel pipe (5) coming in from the tank.
Remember to close the fuel supply coming from the tank before you pull out the fuel pipe. Also, remember that when you pull out the pipe, a little fuel (6), that is there in the pipe is going to get spilled. So put out that cigarette before you start removing your carb.
Pull the carb back in the direction shown. In some of the older models, the nut (7) holding the tank in place might restrict the movement of the carb. If you are unable to remove the carb, you might have to open up the nut.
Now all that holds the carb is the accelerator cable (8) to remove which you'd have to unscrew the top part (9).
As you unscrew the top part, you will notice a spring (10) pop out.Take out this cylindrical thing (11) (the name of which I just can't remember) which manipulates the amount of air in the mixture, carefully.Be careful while you pull out the cylinder so as you don't bend the needle (12) that controls the amount of fuel that goes in. Clean the cylindrical part of any deposits (13)

Now that the carb is off, look on the underside, and you will notice four nuts holding the bottom part of the carb in place. This bottom part contains fuel, so hold the carb upright at all times. Unscrew the four screws (two of which are shown in the picture (14), (15))The bottom part in now out. Notice that a part of the packaging (16) from my carb is missing. It happened because I wasn't careful while I was putting it back, a long time ago. This bottom half is basically your carb's reservoir. This is why your engine runs for a while, even after you have cut off the fuel. Notice the muck (17) that has accumulated at the bottom. This is what blocks the jets (will explain what it is later) of the carb. Now it's time to remove the your float (19). A float is a device used to cut off the fuel when the reservoir gets full. If your carb leaks fuel when the engine is off and the fuel supply is on, it is because this system is malfunctioning.Carefully put the pin n float aside.Once you remove the float, a tiny projection (20) would be now visible. This is your float pin, the part that actually plugs the hole from which fuel flows into the reservoir.
Carefully slide out the float pin (21) and clean it.
This it what a float-pin looks like. Clean it and make sure it isn't rusting. If in case it is, don't forget to clean the rust too. It needs to be as smooth as possible to slide up and down to allow or stop the flow the flow of fuel.
Okay now it's time for the jets. There are usually two jets in a carb. One is the Idling jet (23) which basically is the orifice through which the minimum amount of fuel that goes into an engine at all times, flows. While the pilot main jet (22) is the orifice for the fuel when you make use of the throttle. I am only going to unscrew the pilot main jet for now, but if you want you could open your idling jet too, which resides in side the small pipe. This is what the pilot main jet looks like when it comes out. Clean the tiny hole that you see in the middle with a pin. This is the thing that you need to change, to get more power out of your bike. When you put a bigger jet, you simply allow more fuel to flow into your engine. This process is called up-jetting. Although it has an effect on the mileage the bike give, it is one of the cheapest ways of getting more performance.
The float which we had removed earlier also requires cleaning. I make use of paper (not sandpaper) to clean the float. Paper is abrasive enough to clean the float, but not enough to damage it. Notice the difference in a two sides, one (24) cleaned with paper, the other (25) with a piece of cloth.
If the outside of your carb is as filthy as mine, and want to clean it, you could use kerosene and a toothbrush to do so. Although the extra fuel in the reservoir can also be used to do so, experience tells me that brushes do not survive for long (read over a minute) wen exposed to petrol.
Assemble everything back together.
When you look in from the top, you'll notice a small (possibly sharp) projection (26) which is not quite visible in this image.
That projection in the last picture was to guide this cylindrical thing up and down the shaft. Make sure the grove (27) coincides with the projection. Don't force it in. Look I forgot to clean this thing up. Also make sure that the rubber packaging (28) fits in properly. Remember, never to force this part in. Also take care of the needle.Fit back top part which is connected to the accelerator cable. And check if the carb is working when the throttle is given. Notice the 3 positions of the throttle I have photographed the carb in. Full throttle, not restricting the airflow at all, half-throttle and the airflow is partially restricted, no throttle n there is very little space for the air. BTW it was very difficult for me to take this picture with the carb in one hand, camera in the other n me precariously holding the throttle against my leg.
Fit the carb in the hose from the air filter (29)
Pull it back n fit it in the two bolts meant to hold it in place.
Fit back the nut (30) and put back the fuel pipe (31)Tighten the nut (32), and the screw (33) and put back the pipe to the air box. Start her up, n the engine should sound smoother than before.