How-To: Tutorials and Walkthroughs

Making Assassins Creed: Unity Play OK

Assassins Creed is a really nifty psuedohistorical series of parcourt assassination games, and Assassins Creed: Unity is one of the recent entries in the series — which was included in a Humble Bundle of most of the titles. This post is not a news flash. It is a summary I'm writing because I don't want to have to track this information down again, distilled from a couple of pages I found googling.

Audi 32V V8 Head Job in the A8

Quite some while ago, I bought an Audi A8 Quattro for what seemed like a good price. It was not a bad price, it just wasn't a good price after all. It's been a learning experience, which is automotive slang for I should have spent more money. I haven't become an expert by any means, but I've got a good overview of the vehicle, especially the engine. This is partly because I used Google to translate VAG1 SSP2 105, 161, and 162, which are "V8-Motor", "Audi A8", and "ABS 5 ... Audi A8" respectively, and partly because I've replaced both head gaskets. The following text is adapted from some text I wrote in response to an email question, which came in response to a post on QuattroWorld A8 forum. I thought it might be of interest to others thinking about doing a head job on the 32 valve Audi V8 Motor.

Windows XP: vmware to KVM migration

Like many others, I've become somewhat dependent on virtualization to reduce the number of computers and windows installs I have in my home. I recently took another stab at using open source virtualization, and I've had some success with WebVirtMgr, a libvirt-based VM management solution for Linux. This made me want to migrate some XP guests from vmware player to KVM, and I'm happy to say that this is relatively simple today once you figure out the precise sequence of events.

A Wrinkle in Topcoat - Solving Paint Interactions

When you paint something which has already been painted, sometimes the solvents in your new paint interact with the old paint on the surface, with somewhat unpredictable results. Generally, the results include lifting in the form of either wrinkling or peeling. This is very common in auto paints, and in anything that comes out of a spray can. But I've found a set of solutions for dealing with paint interaction which are fairly effective when combined.


How to launch an Android app from adb - And toggle bluetooth

Have you ever wanted to launch an Android app from the shell, but you were confused as to how to go about it? Me too, but after a bit of searching about I found a couple of posts that explain how to do it. Short short form, you use aapt to find the activity you want to execute, and then you can use the am command (on the device) to launch the program.

What I really needed to know about the Dockstar

The Seagate Dockstar is the lowest-end PogoPlug device, a tiny low-power ARM server which runs Linux. Devices like this are ubiquitous now, but when the PogoPlug came out it was extremely unusual. It also cost substantially more than it does today, when a Rev.2 PogoPlug (not the new-new one, the old new one) is only $20. The only cheaper ARM-based server I know of is the Dockstar, which can be had for as little as $14 through Amazon today. Regardless of which PogoPlug you might have, you probably want to run Debian Squeeze with a recent kernel featuring LED support, which is not that difficult — but finding all the information you need is.

How to access Sharp LCD TV service menu

Various online resources say to hold down INPUT and VOL- on the remote while plugging in the TV. This doesn't work, at least on mine. Hold them down on the TV while plugging in the TV, that works. Then you press VOL- and CHAN- on the TV, to get into the menu. Channel buttons select, volume buttons alter.

Replaced the F250's wiper motor

Ever since I got it, my 1992 F250 has had a bad wiper motor. The symptom, which can be caused by several different kinds of faults, is that it didn't "park". That is to say, the switch turned the wiper motor on and off, regardless of setting. High speed always worked, but park never did. I proved that the motor was the problem by taking off the cover and cleaning the contacts, and having it work for a short time. Rather than fight corrosion and continually shave switch contacts, I decided to drop the forty bucks retail on a new window motor.


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