I’ve Got a Towbar! Holden Vectra

The Towbar kit I recently ordered from Towbars Australia, arrived yesterday. So today was the task of seeing if I could fit it without the need for assistance from a professional fitter. The good news… I did! Now way back when I purchased my Holden Vectra, I was given the option of getting a towbar fitted, but chose to not worry about it as I (at that time) had no need for one. Now eleven years on, you guessed it I now require one! So what were my options… As the make of my vehicle has been discontinued since 2002/03, the official manufacturers was well out of the question due to the outrageous price ($450 just for the towbar alone) so I chose to search for an aftermarket towbar. So here’s to the power of the internet (GIYF = Google Is Your Friend) I found an Australian company that had plenty of range for all makes & models that sold exclusively “Install Yourself Kits” so this was the best option, the towbar was $298 and $50 freight.

Here’s a few shots of the installation…

 

I've Got a Towbar! Holden Vectra

The Towbar kit I recently ordered from Towbars Australia, arrived yesterday. So today was the task of seeing if I could fit it without the need for assistance from a professional fitter. The good news… I did! Now way back when I purchased my Holden Vectra, I was given the option of getting a towbar fitted, but chose to not worry about it as I (at that time) had no need for one. Now eleven years on, you guessed it I now require one! So what were my options… As the make of my vehicle has been discontinued since 2002/03, the official manufacturers was well out of the question due to the outrageous price ($450 just for the towbar alone) so I chose to search for an aftermarket towbar. So here’s to the power of the internet (GIYF = Google Is Your Friend) I found an Australian company that had plenty of range for all makes & models that sold exclusively “Install Yourself Kits” so this was the best option, the towbar was $298 and $50 freight.

Here’s a few shots of the installation…

 

Duck reach Power Station

Over the last few weeks the weather has been rather wet (rain) this of course has the byproduct of flooding, in particular in the north of the state. I happened to be visiting Launceston where most of the heavy rain has taken place. The images below are of the (now) disused Duck Reach Power Station located on the South Esk River, this flows through the Cataract Gorge (a popular swimming & picnicking place) I’ve never been or seen the power station nor the river in flood so it was certainly a spectacular sight!

image
image
image

Also I’ve included a 2 minute video clip to attempt to capture the moment as the still images don’t quite achieve this!

Duck Reach Power Station

See more information on the power station here

HTC Desire Android 2.3 Upgrade

HTC released their version of what is to be most likely the final update for the HTC Desire on the 1st August. However, this will not be an OTA update (as you will see below) but is aimed at “expert users” that wish to have Android 2.3.3 (GingerBread) on their phone. The preamble below is the official release noted from HTC (when you download the ROM from them)

This update is only recommended for expert users who want to experience Android 2.3 and understand the limitations which apply to this update. Due to memory constraints several applications have been removed from this update and we are only offering the ROM upgrade utility (RUU) for you to download. Please note that flashing this ROM will erase your previous customizations, including any messages, emails, contacts, and other personal information. We suggest you take advantage of your Google account and other backup solutions available on the Android Market to ensure you do not lose your personal data. Your SD card will not be erased or modified.

The major changes in this update include:

  1. All customizations, including operator applications, will be removed.
  2. All wallpapers, except the default wallpaper, will be removed and placed online on the HTC Developer website.
  3. Several HTC applications will be removed and placed online on the HTC Developer website.
  4. The official Facebook application will be removed and is downloadable on the Android Market.

Note:This ROM update is for development only and not for general public use.Upgrades to non-authorized phones may result in loss of functionality.In addition certain functions may no longer be usable after re-flashing the ROM if you are using an excluded variant (listed below), including but not limited to MMS and SMS and HTC also disclaims liability for any unusable functions.HTC disclaims liability for the loss and/or leakage of any personal data resulting from the re-flashing of the ROM. Exclusions:The following regional variants are not-compatible with this upgrade: Germany (Deutsch Telekom), North America, South America, South Korea, and Japan.Is this the official update for HTC Desire to Gingerbread? Yes, this is the official update for HTC Desire to Gingerbread. Will this release remove the ability to send SMS / MMS like in the disclaimer? Only certain regions, specifically the ones listed below, will have some functionality removed. For the majority of regions, there is no impact to your SMS / MMS functionality. Why is this only for developers? Due to the complicated nature of the update we suggest only expert users proceed. We have provided the update in as user friendly way as possible and also included the instructions in the download file but we were unable to provide the update by our usual over the air method. When can I download the upgrade for my phone? You can still access the download at http://developer.htc.com for the upgrade for your phone, unless you are in the regions listed below. Will HTC issue an over the air (FOTA) for HTC Desire update to Gingerbread? No, this downloadable RUU is the official update to your phone. The update required that we conserve space by removing customizations and wallpapers, we had to release the update as a downloadable update.

Ok so I’ve tried many custom ROM’s for the HTC Desire in the last 12 months. I’ve used both AOSP and Sense based ROM’s some with good results and some not so good. Now one of the main draw cards for me as to why I decided to purchase an Android phone was the option to one day have an attempt at either making a ROM from scratch (AOSP source) or modify an existing Sense ROM. Well finally I have got around to the latter, I chose to try my hands at Sense because as much as I’ve cursed it (for being slow/bloated/over sized) I keep coming back to Sense! The tools needed to modify this ROM source are fairly straight forward, You need dsixda’s HTC Android Kitchen and your rooted HTC Desire (it can be either S-ON or S-OFF) I’ve only added nine items (listed below as “YES”)

Working folder information

 Android OS version             : 2.3.3
 Device                         : bravo
 Model                          : HTC Desire
 ROM Name                       : 3.14.405.1
 Rooted (Superuser.apk + su)    : YES
 Rooted (unsecured boot.img)    : YES
 BusyBox installed              : YES
 BusyBox run-parts support      : YES
 Apps2SD (Apps to EXT) enabled  : YES
 /data/app enabled              : YES
 Custom boot animation allowed  : YES
 Nano text editor installed     : YES
 Bash shell support             : YES
 /system/framework is deodexed  : NO
 /system/app is deodexed        : NO
 radio.img found                : NO
 ROM will wipe all data         : NO

I’m not going into detail on how to use the Android Kitchen, as you can read all about that on the link provided above. Bear in mind that this ROM is stock there’s no added item to the ROM other than what has been added by making the ROM rooted and adding BusyBox, Apps2SD, nano & bash support. the flash light application and teeter (game) are provided in the source .zip for manual installation should you want either of them along with the default HTC wallpapers.

If you would like to grab a copy of this ROM then you can do so on the link provided below, I must state that although this ROM  is working fine for me, it comes with the usual disclaimer of no liability or guarantee “SO USE AT YOU OWN RISK!” be sure that you understand that this can not be used on branded phones as mentioned above in the first insert.

http://vk7hse.org/download/HTC-Desire/

BlogGlue Review

It’s almost been two months since I switched from YARP (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin) to BlogGlue. So how has this improved the exposure of my blog to the outside world? Well as the content of my blog at times is fairly limited to just my opinion or ranting about things I’m really never expecting people to flock and read what I have to say, but so far the way that you can select your target audience (the people you link to) helps to in suggesting people with similar interests/views of the content etc…

Now pictures always explain things better right? well here’s two images of traffic that has been directed to my blog since I started using BlogGlue…

So as you can see the traffic isn’t huge! (as mentioned above I never thought it would be) but at least there’s a little. I’m only currently linked to two people (maximum is five for the free account) but as I pointed out to the site developers of an few typos they upped my default limit from five to seven! (I’ve not filled all my allocation just yet)

So for the time being I’m happy to continue to use BlogGlue for both referring to internal blog links as well as external as it has provided just a little more exposure along with the posts I put out on both Twitter & Identi.ca (when a blog post is published/edited)