Category: Uncategorized

I have a 2004 Mazda 3, and the battery was finally done after six and a half years.  I learned some new things about “newer” cars (my last car was an ’89 pickup) and I thought I’d share.  This may only apply to Mazda 3, since in the forum-reading I’ve done it sounds like people are a little surprised at the way the Mazda 3 behaves.  So here’s what I’ve learned.

When you disconnect the battery in your car, all the electronics reset.  That makes sense.  What you may not know is that the computer in your car also resets itself.  In the case of the Mazda 3, this means the computer has to relearn how much fuel to give the engine during idle.  So for a few days your Mazda 3 may rev between 500-1200 RPM when idling at stop lights.  It’s a strange experience, but after three days my car is back to normal.

I’ve heard (although it didn’t seem to help me) you can try assist the car in learning the idle by starting it cold and letting it warm up without touching the gas. I attempted this and it didn’t seem to affect things – time only solved my problem, but your experience may be different.

Additionally, the computer in the Mazda 3 does need to be updated from time to time, and I believe you can take it to your dealer to have the computer “flashed”, as they call it.  All they are doing is updating the firmware on the computer to the newer version from Mazda.  This may also help.

So if you’ve changed the battery in your Mazda 3 and you’re worried about the idle, wait a few days.  There may not be a need to start taking things apart, replacing air filters, and cleaning throttle bodies (as I’ve seen recommended).


I was over at the NAB Show on Monday, and one of the booths I spent a good bit of time at was Adobe. They showed a demo of some kind of new flash web UI tool that was all drag and drop (no coding required) and that looked very cool. Web developers have it too easy.

But what impressed me a lot was the Flash Media Server 2.5 demo. They showed, which I had checked out about 6 months ago when they were in beta (and wasn’t really impressed). It has come a long ways, and it is really quite cool now. It’s literally TV on the internet. You can watch tv episodes and movies (uncut, apparently), and they splice in a few 15 second advertisements here and there. They’ve also got HD (you can get there by clicking the “HD Gallery” link at the very bottom of their page. I’m guessing has done stuff LIKE this, but it’s really nice to have a one stop shop. I want everything to be really easy, and Hulu makes it that way.

Ok, so Adobe was also doing some nifty stuff with H.264. Namely, streaming a live feed. Up until now, I didn’t think it was possible to stream an H.264 flv if it wasn’t closed for write (there are some header issues to deal with when the file is closed). I’d like to find out how they did that… More homework, I suppose.

Well, I “fixed” my compy. I’ve known for a while that there were problems with the nvidia sata controller (i have an a8n-sli premium), and I’ve been working off the Silicon Image controller since then.

When i moved into my new place, i put a wireless card into one of my PCI slots to “borrow” some bandwidth until we got our AT&T set up. Apparently, the wireless card was the source of the problem. I had tried an AirLink card at first, and it made my computer have some serious problems booting up. I then switched to a NetGear, and i was able to get it working. It was secretly malfunctioning, though. Either i have a bad PCI bus, or my computer is not good with Wireless cards. I took the card out, and i haven’t had a crash since. It’s been about a week now. That’s good news. I don’t have to reformat. HOORAY!

April fools is tomorrow, and I wish I knew someone with a Mac. This would be a fun prank to pull. Oh well, I’ll just have to think of something else.

Well, my computer has been blue screening itself with a “MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION” a lot recently. I get about an hour of use before it dies and i have to restart it.

I ran some diagnostics, and it doesn’t appear to be the motherboard, CPU, or RAM. I had this problem before when i had my hard drives connected to the Nvidia raid controller on my board (an A8N-SLI premium), and after moving over to the silicon image raid controller, i thought my problems were solved. It was ok for about 6 months.

Well, since all the system hardware checked out, I’m beginning to wonder if the problem lies in one of my hard drives. I have two 10k raptors for an OS, and a 500GB drive for data, and one of them is … squeaking. I think it’s the 500GB. more experiments tonight…

I heard some Fats Waller music on Pandora the other day, so I bought the Handlful of Keys boxed set. Well, it’s a lot of fun. Fats’ favorite word seems to be an enthusiastic “YEAH!”, although it sounds a bit more like “EAH!”

Top songs so far are “My good friend the milkman says” and “The curse of an aching heart.” Tracks where Fats talks are most amusing. “Let me tell you something woman, you made a big fat greasy bum outta me, and I ain’t gonna stand for it.” fun stuff.

I’ve gone to a couple Cinequest movies recently. Today I went to see the Tenacious D film, which is a documentary they made during their tour. I show up just as they were starting the film, and someone had won an iPod nano i think. The film was interesting enough. I enjoy watching behind the scenes stuff for bands and movies. What was surprising, however, was that at the end of the film, the announcer girl came up to the stage and introduced none other than Kyle Gass for a Q&A. I had no clue he’d be there, and it was a nice surprise for him to be there. It was especially cool because the California theater is so intimate. Good times.

So I started a professional blog at, and it made me feel like I should have a personal blog of some sort. I though it could talk about games, project besides engineering stuff, and whatever I fancy at the time. Let’s see where it goes…