May 22, 2013

Quantification of Car vs. eBike

Ongoing eBike build

Last update: 6/19/2013

The Car
Plans for The Electric Bike:
$18,000 car$375 '06 Marin Nail Trail (purchased)
$2,000 for gas a year$100 Overhaul tuneup by:
$600 for insurance$749.99 Phoenix II 4840 Motor Kit 28mph
 48V 40amp Controller
 7-Speed Freewheel
Active Power Management LCD
Spoke Wrench
$180 for oil changes$30 Brute 26" Rear for more torque (my route has hills)
$200 for wear on tires, smog check, and wheel balancing alignment$689.00 LiFePO4 Lithium 15AH Battery w/BMS + 4A charger + 12 month warranty
$150 registration$50 Shipping
Air pollution/noise pollution
Enjoy outdoors
Good for long distance travel

Fun when turbo kicks in

Total: $18000 car + $3130
Total: $475 bike + 1469.98 kit + $50 shipping

Useful eBike Links



YPedal's Intro to eBikes:


Choosing a frame:

 Phasor Frame Made in the USA

Battery Supplier:


Electric Rider - USA

e-BikeKit - USA
My brief customer experience with was excellent. Communication was fast and top notch here. Well known on the internet for their 5 star customer service.

FalconEV - USA

Conhis Motor - China

Bike Maintenance 

Production eBikes


Torque Arms

Storage in the triangle

Mount Battery Ideas:




May 21, 2013

XBMC + Xubuntu 12.10 + VDPAU working flawlessly [Nvidia ION Media Center]

Xubuntu 12.10 is lightweight, stable, and fast. It's Ubuntu with a turbo slapped on. In this post, we'll go over setting up a XBMC media box with Dolby Digital/DTS out and Chrome with adobe flash over HDMI.

With the newest version of XBMC, the installation was smooth. I did not have to configure the sound output for DD over HDMI--the sound worked immediately after installing XBMC. In my previous blog posts, you'll notice the issues I ran into getting sound to work over HDMI. The only challenges I ran into this time around was getting overscan issues corrected and getting Google Chrome to work with Adobe flash hardware acceleration to which a solution was eventually found. Let's give this a go.

My set up:

Zotac Nvidia ION, Atom N330 Dual Core
Xubuntu 12.10 x386
XBMC Camelot Beta 1
Western Digital 150 GB Velociraptor

1. Download Xubuntu 12.10 x386 (I chose 32bit because Flash was more stable for me)
2. Either burn it to disk or create a startup USB:
3. Install Xubuntu and choose login automatically. Then reboot
4. On your HTPC, open up Firefox and go to this blog post
5. Install Nvidia drivers by opening up terminal and copy and paste line by line

Copied from mygeekopinions blog:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

6. Reboot

7. If you have Overscan issues, open terminal and run (more info on nvidia-xconfig):
sudo nvidia-xconfig

This will set up a xorg.conf file located /etc/X11/xorg.conf

For my installation, I used this nvidia-settings to find the right resolution for my TV. You will need to modify this to best fit your TV. (from the pclinuxos forums):

nvidia-settings --assign 0/CurrentMetaMode="DFP-1: 1920x1080 { ViewPortOut=1820x1020+50+30, ViewPortIn=1920x1080 }"

Once you find the optimal settings, do the following to set it permanently:

cd /etc/X11/

sudo apt-get install gedit

sudo gedit xorg.conf

Paste the Option line, in the Section "Screen", between EndSubSection and EndSection

Option "metamodes" "DFP-1: 1920x1080 { ViewPortOut=1820x1020+50+30, ViewPortIn=1920x1080 }"

8. Save & restart

9. Enable VDPAU (from the linuxforums)

sudo apt-get install libvdpau1 vdpau-va-driver

10. Unmute HDMI/spdif

11. Open Firefox and install Flashaid

12. Restart firefox and open Flashaid and choose Adobe Stable 32 from the repo

Under tweaking options, place a checkmark next to Override GPU Validation and Enable Linux HWDecode

Follow the instructions, and once complete, restart Firefox

13. Install XBMC

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/unstable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xbmc

14. Install Amazon Prime Video addon via HowtoGeek

15. Go to Xubuntu Settings Manager
Then Window Manager Tweaks
Go to the Compositor tab and uncheck Enable display compositing

16. Install Chrome
* Go to: http://about:plugins
* Click on the + Details to expand details
* Disable all versions of flash except for Version:11.2 r202
* Restart Chrome
* Confirm flash hardware acceleration is on by playing a video, right click, and Show Video Info
* Accelerated video rendering, accelerated video decoding should be displayed

May 17, 2013

Intel WiDi Sucks

*********Update 9/4/13*********
WiDi hit a new level of suckiness. With the new driver update, my WiFi still randomly disconnects and is unable to reconnect. WiDi disconnects and is unable to reconnect. Now, the Netgear PTV2000 goes into some kind of screensaver mode and doesn't wake up out of it, so I have to disconnect the power to the device and reconnect power to the device.

I have updated the drivers listed on the Intel site. Download them here:

I try not to complain about technologies because technology is always improving. There's always a positive. Intel's WiDi on the other hand was such a bad user experience, I felt the need to share this with those looking to invest in the technology.

Intel WiDi sucks as a wireless display technology, and here's why. The connection constantly disconnects, fails to connect, freezes, laggy refresh rate, and has poor driver updates. As a consumer, it's already frustrating finding the right driver, and to add to this frustration, Intel instructs the user to install multiple drivers and install the drivers in a specific order as well.

Once completing the driver installation, it's like rolling the dice to see if the WiDi connects to the display. Most of the time, the dice come up snake eyes. If you're lucky enough to get the device to connect, a few minutes later, the screen freezes, so disconnect, reconnect, rinse repeat.

If using WiDi as a monitor extension, the mouse cursor and screen have laggy refresh rates. There is an option to scale down the resolution to 720P, which helps with refresh rates, but if you're trying to do some gaming, you can forget about using WiDi.

My setup:

Asus Zenbook UX51VZ with latest Intel Wireless drivers
Netgear PTV2000 with updated firmware

May 3, 2013

nexus 7 turns off/shutdown when bumped [solved]

My nexus 7 would always shutdown with the slightest tap. The nexus would shutdown at the worst time too: when I was using GPS Navigation. 

Turns out it was a loose battery cable. Using my nail, I was able to pop the back cover off and push in the battery cable. 

Now, the nexus 7 no longer shuts down when bumped.

Thanks itoldyouiwouldeatyou on reddit: