Wednesday, August 24, 2011

'98 Ford F-150 won't start, part II

Yesterday my truck wouldn't start again. All the lights would come on, but it would just do a heavy "click" when I tried to start it.

Going through the steps from last time, I quickly narrowed it down.

Bad starter.

A few tips for those trying to change a starter on this type of vehicle:

  • This is not an easy job -- maybe 3x harder than changing a battery. If you have the right tools, though, it's a lot easier. You'll need:
    • jack and jack stands
    • pneumatic socket wrench (otherwise you'll loosen and tighten the nuts one 16th of a turn at a time)
    • regular socket wrench (since pneumatic ones can't fully torque the starter bolts (at least mine can't))
    • 13mm socket (for the starter mounting bolts)
    • 13mm DEEP socket (for the starter mounting bolt that has the ground attached)
    • 10mm wrench (for the relay lead)
    • 8mm socket (for the battery -- yours may be different)
    • 3" and 6" socket extensions
  • Be sure to disconnect the battery first.
  • The starter is wedged up to the right of the oil pan, and looks sort-of like a large soda can with a large spice container attached.
  • There are two bolts that you can't see, and that are very hard to get to. Use the standard socket wrench with 13mm socket on a 6" extension to break those loose, then use the pneumatic wrench to get them out.
  • The rest is fairly intuitive...
  • Except don't tighten the nuts on the leads too tight when installing the new one! I snapped off the back of the new starter relay and had to start the whole process over again!

Hope someone benefits from my experience.

Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

What better time to resign than after leading a company from the verge of extinction to being the most valuable company in the world (for a few days anyway).

Sounds like sad news, but he actually hopes to remain on as Chairman of the Board, director, and "Apple employee". Which means he spends less time on CEO stuff and more time squeezing miracles out of turnips.

I'd bet on Apple's best days being yet to come.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Global health database

Imagine President Obama standing up and announcing a partnership with Google to build the most comprehensive anonymous health database the world has ever seen.

Google would be permitted to put ads in a small box off to the right.

Everyone in the world would be encouraged to create an anonymous account (or they could use their existing Google account if they trust Google), and input all of their health information -- i.e. diseases, medications, conditions, symptoms, diet, exposure, activities, cities lived in, etc.

Why would anyone do this?

Individuals could be completely anonymous in their inputs. It could be touted as patriotic, and scientists and doctors would encourage everyone to put in their inputs. The system would offer health recommendations and potential risks based on their inputs. They could see whether they have shots due, or if their yearly colds happen to line up with allergy season. Or if their particular symptoms have a new treatment, e.g. stomach ulcers can be cured with antibiotics now.

Google would love it, they make money any time ads are shown, and they could target the ads to your conditions. They'd get access to a massive database of coincident health conditions and could use that to improve ad targeting to others.

The gov't, hospitals, medical universities, and even regular individuals could go in and do searches and download data, such as "What percent of folks with arthritis also have strokes"? or "In what cities are cold sores most common?"

Reputable organizations could request more information from folks with a given condition, e.g. "Have you ever lived near high voltage power lines?" sent to to all folks who get migraines. Users who wish to help the medical community by answering these kinds of questions would only have to click the "Help with research" link to see/answer them.

No one's name nor address is never entered, or even requested. Fraud would be rare since there'd be no motivation for it, and it would quickly get washed out in the volumes of data. Google could investigate or weed out obviously false info.

I could see something like this changing the world.

Does anyone read this thing?

views since Feb. 9, 2008