Parodies about Cupertino are fun, thanks to the Verge for posting this link.
Every now and then I read something online that makes me reply “Grosse Pointe Blank moment!” which is not necessarily a good thing.
Martin Blank: Who’s the ghoul?
Marcella: Whoa. This guy is a badass. Felix LaPoubelle. An accomplished amateur with the Basque Nationalists.
Few odds jobs with the Algerian Separatists. Went pro with a stunning debut aboard an elite Caribbean cruise liner.
Martin Blank: Oh, that’s where I know him from. He’s an asshole.
See, there’s a lot of wisdom in John Cusack movies.
People? Don’t be Felix La Poubelle.
This turned into a 'what if it's a girl?' conversation, to which it'll be Ivanna, which means Joanie…
— ipstenu (Mika E.) (@Ipstenu) August 25, 2013
Made me think of this dialog.
Debi Newberry: So, is there a Mrs. Mysterio?
Martin Blank: No, but I have a cat.
Debi Newberry: It’s not the same thing.
Martin Blank: Well, you don’t know my cat. It’s very demanding.
Debi Newberry: “It”? You don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl?
Martin Blank: I respect its privacy.
It’s not my fault, I’m on vacation and I’ve had good wine.
*Turns to Lily who’s reading the instructions to new her juicer*
Me: See? Who needs Facebook? This is why there’s an Internet.
Lily: That’s nice dear.
Well I like the Beatles anyways.
The robot security was a nice touch but if I were that kid I’d hire that robot as a body guard.
I recently received an e-mail from my free dynamic DNS provider that said I can upgrade for a fee or I can every month login and re-validate that I’m still using their service.
As I’ve been mooching off of them for over 8 years I really can’t blame them and I fully understand this change.
When I moved my domains to Namecheap one of the options they provide is dynamic DNS so that’s the solution for me. But my FIOS router doesn’t support Namecheap so I setup ddclient on my basement Linux server.
Using Namecheap’s support forum I found what I needed. This post is really my note to myself for when I wipe out my Linux server again and I wonder “How did I do that again?”
Enable Dynamic DNS for your domain
Login to your Namecheap control panel and enable dynamic DNS for your domain. You’ll get a really long password string to use. Save that for now as you’ll need it later on.
Create the DNS entry you want for your host as an A record
I created it with an entry of 127.0.0.1 just as place holder. I’m not sure if this step is really necessary as dynamic DNS should let you create new entries on the fly. But Namecheap’s page says to do it and there’s no harm in prepping for that A record.
Install the ddclient package on your Linux server
I’m using Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS and the command is simply
sudo apt-get install ddclient
The debconf setup will ask you some questions, just put in what you like. You’ll need to change those values in /etc/ddclient.conf anyway.
Modify the ddclient.conf file
My /etc/ddclient.conf looks like this.
################ # ddclient.conf # namecheap ################ use=web, web=checkip.dyndns.com/, web-skip='IP Address' protocol=namecheap server=dynamicdns.park-your-domain.com login=my-domain.com password='ReallYLongStringLooksLikeMD5orso' my-server
Details have been changed to protect the innocent.
Don’t mess with the server= line, they’re not being cute that really is the name of the dynamic DNS client end point.
The debconf settings that were put in previously won’t work so I deleted /var/cache/ddclient/ddclient.cache and re-ran ddclient manually.
$ sudo rm /var/cache/ddclient/ddclient.cache $ sudo ddclient SUCCESS: updating my-server: good: IP address set to 22.214.171.124
Cool. My server in on my private network so I’m using what my IP address looks like to the outside world.
The ddclient is running as a daemon and when my DHCP assigned IP changes (FIOS does that frequently, no idea why) my basement server will still be resolvable as my-server.my-domain.com. The client will run as long as my server is booted. I use that for testing
dumb and harmful ideas and it’s always on.
DNS tranquility has been restored to my world.
There are two types of people who play with R/C cars: serious racers and backyard bashers.
Racers are the one’s who start with an RTR or build-it-yourself kit and commence to customize their car for better acceleration, traction, and overall performance. They assemble their own tires, balance the wheels (on a 1/10 scale car!) tune the suspension, select and break in the motor etc.
Racers are hardcore R/C car enthusiasts. I don’t know any racers.
Backyard bashers are everyone else. Me and the kids are into bashing meaning we race around, jump of home made ramps and we break things. Here’s some tips.
Do your research and start with RTR kits
RTR kits stand for Ready-To-Race or Ready-To-Run depending on who you asked.
My brother got a couple of Traxxas Nitro cars but I decided that I wanted electric and shopped around for a good Kyosho model. My last R/C car was a Kyosho Ultima and I thought they’d have something for me.
That was a wake up call. Kyosho is a fine R/C car manufacturer but no one in Long Island sells them. So I went to look at blogs for inspiration and made my way to Jang’s UltimateRC YouTube channel and forums.
Jang’s reviews are really good. He covers what he likes and dislikes as well as does a durability montage. It was his Bandit XL-5 review that convinced me that the kids could handle getting one. We upgraded to the VXL LiPO version and the kids are having a blast.
Thanks to those YouTube videos I got a good idea that Traxxas is just right for durability.
If you do go electric stick with 7.4v LiPO batteries
My R/C car is a Traxxas Rustler VXL and the kids have a Bandit VXL each. They each came with a Traxxas 3300mah 7.4v 2s 25c battery. I wanted another battery so I took the advice of one of the hobby store guys (they’re very cool) and got a Venom 35C 3S 5000mAh 11.1v LiPO battery. Yay! More current! More voltage! The car goes noticeably faster!
It also doesn’t last as long. Using the 3300mah batteries I get about 20 minutes of run time. With the bigger 5000mah pack I get about 15. Going forward I may get a high capacity 7.4v battery but unless I’m racing (and I never will) I’ll stick with more play time versus more speed and power.
LiPO batteries are scary
OK they’re not really scary but the do have some risks especially if you puncture them: these batteries can catch fire. That’s if you abuse them; if you treat them as they should be handled then you will be fine.
This is the reason the kids cannot charge these batteries. When they get them to plugin into their cars I make sure to supervise them. They know to treat the batteries with respect and handle them carefully.
I haven’t yet but I am getting a LiPO charging bag as well as a fireproof box for storing them. I don’t really think I need that but A) you never know and B) parents need to set good safe examples for kids. Safety is not a game.
Visit and make friends with your local R/C dealer
You are going to break R/C car parts. Yes, you can get any of those parts online but getting them locally is faster and you’re local shop will take care of you.
I live near a shop called Elwood Hobbies and they’ve got parts, tools, kits, everything. I could probably rebuild my entire car just from the parts they already have in stock. If they do not have anything they’ll get it. They also service vehicles from big 1/8 scale nitro cars to R/C helicopters. They really know what they are doing and prevented me from making a few boneheaded mistakes already.
Find your local shop and get to know them. They’ll have parts plus advice and you’ll be glad you did.
Expect to buy upgrades
A not very sensitive friend of mine visited while I was replacing stub axle carriers on my son’s Bandit. My son broke them and I replaced them with aluminum versions. He summed up his thoughts concisely.
“Wow, what a scam! And the lexan shell uses cancer causing paint too???”
He’s like that. We all still like him anyway.
What he was referring to is that when I break things I upgrade to the anodized aluminum parts if I can. I didn’t just buy R/C cars (Lily is a very tolerant woman) I also had planned to maintain these cars.
This is not an inexpensive hobby. I limit the amount I spend simply by buying from a durable manufacturer. Our R/C cars will not win any races but high speed 10 foot jumps are usually alright.
Even if you destroy them it’s all good fun
This is a hobby and you may eventually ruin your toy. I mean R/C car. It’s happened to my brother and sort of happened to me in the past.
That’s fine and this hobby is all about fast, fun, and more fun. The kids and went to a parking lot nearby and had had hundreds of feet to zip around in all directions. It was great! And we broke all three of are cars in minor ways.
Using the tools that came with our cars (another upgrade coming soon) I was able to get 2 of the cars working for a while longer. But if the kids and I had wrecked them then we’d be upset but it would be alright. These little rockets move around 30 miles per hour and you can’t change physics.
I’m having a little unique fun with my kids. Even my daughter likes her customized R/C car (although I do wonder how much of this is just about competing with her brother). They’re learning to take care of their expensive toys and I’m learning to be more patient and tolerant of our mistakes. That experience alone makes me recommend these to any Dad.