Sunday, August 01, 2004

Silly Bug Projects
I should be studying, but hell, I HAVE been studying. I need to take my Windows 2003 Server exam next week if I expect to stay on track with my MCSE certification. Damn this exam is a bitch. But I am driving myself nuts by reading these practice questions over and over again ... and still getting the same ones wrong. Break time!!

Yes, it runs Slackware
Long ago, some PC's were manufactured strictly to run Novell Netware, and they would put a sticker on the outside that advertised the fact. Damn, that was funny. So here is my Bug, which now runs Slackware Linux. Now I know what you are asking, how is it that your CAR runs Slackware? It's a lnog story. Let's start with this photo though.

There was a Futurama episode once where Frye says "this one has a drivers side floor" in reference to a VW Micro-Bus. So here I am showing off my floor. I finally painted it. It's been installed and primed for a few months now. I painted it black. Someone start playing that Stone's song, please.

It started with a pile of parts, and an idea. Could I build myself a PC in the back seat of my Bug? It could serve up tunes through a network share to my 3-Com Audrey, which I could mount in the front area of the Bug. I losely arranged the parts inside my car to see if they would fit. They would! And so I spent the next few hours installing Slackware on a pile of junk. I would move it into the car later.

Some of the best tools I got from my grandfather have been the non-tools (junk) that he had stuffed into toolboxes. This glue-gun has proved useful on MANY occassions.

Armed with a table-saw, a gluegun, and a bunch of scrap particle board that I dug out of a dumpster, I went to work and created an "enclosure".

I use the term enclosure losely. This is basically, particle board glued onto the parts. The parts themselves are the heart of this mess, and the particle board just gives the glue something to hold onto.

Here is the PC from another angle. It's layered. Hard drive sits on the 'mini' power supply from a dead 'footprint PC', the power supply rests on top of the processor and motherboard. The motherboard is bolted directly onto a piece of particle board the same size, to keep it from grounding out.

After stuffing it into my car to see if it would fit, my glue cut lose and the whole thing started falling apart. It would need more glue!! After some more hot glue, and another piece of particle board, this thing was solid as a rock!!

Only one problem ... how would I hook up the power supply? In my rushing to get the sucker together, I forgot to leave a hole. Out came the power drill, and the miter saw. After drilling some holes, I was able to punch out a hole just big enough to get my two fingers through to hook up the power supply. This newly added side will shield the power supply from the heat of the heat duct that passes near it.

There you see I have the power hooked up, and my PC in place. This is a view of the back seat of the Bug with the seat removed. Notice all that nice empty space under the drivers side passenger. Some people keep stereo equipment or amps in there.

Now here is a veiw of the PC installed to the empty space. Notice that the hard drive appears to run flush with the back seat. The back seat however is hollow, providing an extra several inches of space above the drive to let it breathe.

Questions and Answers
Why did you do this?
  • Shut up.
Why Slackware?
  • All I needed is a kernel and Samba. I didn't need a flavor that revolves around the coolest looking desktop.
Won't the heat from your heater duct melt the hot glue?
  • UHM .... We will find out this winter!
What has the monster been up to?

Whats next?
I REALLY NEED to replace my exhaust. It's the reason my bug has been garaged the past few weeks. I have been driving it very little. I bought a muffler a while back out of California and it was the most pathetic piece of trash I have ever purchased. Just last night I closed a bid on a good German muffler from a guy in Canada. The cost, $30 after shipping. Not bad at all! It is being installed as soon as it arrives.

I am also planning a project to replace my door panels. They are in sad shape. The vinyl is started to peel back and fall off. Last weekend I went at the drivers side with some liquid weld glue, and a staple gun. I was able to get the vinyl to stay put for a while, but it still is looking sad.

I know its hard to tell by the photo, but it's just barely stretching over the particle board at the top. When I removed it I couldn't help but notice how cheaply made it was. I could definitely do a better job. And so I have planned on making my own door panels. I will need particle board, and some Vinyl. The vinyl comes cheaply from the fabric store. It run's around 6 bucks a yard. I will need maybe 3 yards for both door panels. At that cost, I could do a two color design and sew the vinyl into stripes! I may be getting ahead of myself. We will see.

In the meantime I picked up the particle board from the local hardware store. This giant sheet only ran me 7 dollars.

All right, I suppose I should make the kids something for lunch and then get back to studying again. :-( I hope you enjoyed a peer into my goofy project of the month.

Won't you join me next time when I mount the 3-Com Audrey onto my dashboard to load songs and play them from my Slackware PC?

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