Tuesday, February 2, 2010

./configure; make; make install

Just opened up and checked my fuel tank; it's clean. So I finally changed the fuel filter, after it had been plugged with disintegrated rubber sludge. I also put in a new fuel heater since the old one had fallen apart; that might be helpful next winter.

The engine is running somewhat better now, but the engine computer is very confused since the running conditions have changed. I'll give it another dozen or so miles and see how it goes, but it certainly does seem to have more power now with a clean filter and no more sludge in the system.

Checking the fuel tank, and even draining it, took an hour. Changing the filter this time took a couple hours. It's becoming routine. I know how to get the air filter off in the most efficient way, get to the fuel filter, lube up the threads, etc etc. This has to be the 5th fuel filter I've put in within two years. No more homemade fuel for me! From now on, it's only ASTM-grade commercial biodiesel.

I'm almost at the point where the maintenance work is routine. It's become like the "./configure; make; make install" dance to compile software on Linux, which I've been doing for a decade now and is second nature.

It's very similar to diesel mechanical maintenance. Most of the time it's routine, but there can be all kinds of crazy stuff that goes wrong if you don't have everything together, and knowing what to do in that case requires expertise. I remember the first time I did it-- either compiling software or doing maintenance on my truck--, there was all kinds of drama and crazy things going wrong that I didn't know how to fix, and turned the whole procedure into a huge, long, drawn-out nightmare. But no more. I can compile software, get it to run, and fix bugs that prevent it from compiling, often without much thought. I can do most of the maintenance required on the truck now, and it's routine and drama-free, most of the time, just because I've done it enough times now to know how to prevent things going wrong, and what to do if it does.

And now, I've got to get to work on my actual work, what I started living in a van in order to be able to do. The means is nearing completion, now it is time to focus on the ends.

The one small distraction is that I still have to reconfigure my living/working space for more efficiency and to give me more time for my work, and more convenience in my life. And I'm almost there with that too. Good times.

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