Archive for August, 2009

Sabayon 4.2 Gnome

August 20, 2009

I finally finished my distro test of Sabayon 4.2 Gnome. Read it here:

LhX Distro Test of Sabayon 4.2 Gnome


Train time again

August 20, 2009

Well, it’s another Thursday and I’m out on the patio fixing a loose soldering connection I attribute to the high temperatures of late. I couldn’t figure out why things were derailing and taking a sled ride down the hill rounding the curves. I found one of the soldering joints on a track joiner had a bad solder job…a little reheating, a little more solder and things were rolling smoothly again.


The break was right between the 2 container cars. I tried out a few more locos and cars to make sure I wouldn’t have any more problems that would have me breaking out the soldering gun again.




Here’s a tight shot of my coupler conversion car. It’s a Katy line (K-T-Y Line) boxcar that I had to change one coupler to Kaydee style so I could pull older cars with newer equipment.


My weekly boat ride

August 20, 2009

I always go across the lake to the Indian casino on Thursdays to by our smokes for the week….it’s half the cost of premium brands and there’s not much difference in taste.


This shot is of the boat leaving the dock. The algae problem in the channel is getting worse. The next shot is of the growth in the channel, which is 10 – 12 feet deep at that point:


These next shots are us leaving the channel and our destination in front of us and looking back on the city:



Many times, I’ll run into a friend from work or my oldest son will go for the ride. Today was my lucky day at the machines; 2 dollars won $166 on the penny machines….I should have played the Lotto, huh?

Trains and dual mode control

August 12, 2009

You hear so much about DCC these days and rightfully so. DCC offers many enhancements to a layout. I was bitten about a year ago with the DCC bug. After looking and comparing many systems, I found a Wangrow System One on Ebay for a great price. The System One, which is comparable to NCE, had everything I wanted; Computer interface, slow clock, along with a few other features.

I was all ready to install the system when I started thinking about my older DC equipment and what I would have to do to get them converted. The sad part was that nearly half of my current roster would not make the conversion for one reason or another, but they ran fine and I still wanted to run them alongside my new DCC equipment.

Now it is possible to run DC equipment on DCC, but it’s not the best idea to do so. After thinking about it, I thought, why couldn’t I run either or when I wanted? A trip to the local Radio Shack gave me some ideas. I found some Double-Pole Double-Throw (DPDT) center off switches at an Ace hardware store. The reason I chose them was that they were lighted switches, making it easier to tell which system was in use at any time.

Wiring the switch was a simple matter of attaching the center lugs to the track bus and one side to my System One and the other two lugs to my MRC power pack. Unfortunately, The layout went into storage before I could finish it and test it out.

So when I built the patio layout, I decided to try it again, only this time, with an Atlas Commander/Generator set.


In the above shot, you can see the switch mounted in the table frame. I built a frame on which the Atlas Commander mounts to the table on. The two screws correspond to holes on the bracket and it hangs on the table at a nice angle for operating the layout. I connected the Commander to the layout by a male/female Molex plug (the white plugs used to hook up hard drives inside of computers) for quick hookup and storing of the Commander. To the right of the switch is the programing track. it is mounted by two pieces of threaded rod that slip into holes on the frame and is also connected via a Molex plug


What a sunset tonight

August 10, 2009

I was out on the patio last night and saw this sunset. This is why I live here…


Sabayon Linux 4.2 in VMware

August 6, 2009

There’s always been an attraction to Sabayon for me…I don’t know what it is I like about it exactly. I would normally walk away from a .iso image that’s this big (1.6GB )…when it’s so bulky on a disk, it installs a ton of crap on the HD. This time around, it’s not like that. The install is very well thought out and installs only what you want, with limits.

My distro test for LhX is coming soon, but for now, here’s a teaser in VMware


It's Train Time!

August 6, 2009

It was nice to get out on the patio and watch the trains running last night…its been awhile since I’ve really ran anything. I had to convert one boxcar to dual couplers to accommodate my fully converted Kaydee style coupler equipped cars so I could run cars with my Atlas engine.





August 5, 2009

I got Chickenfoot’s album a few days ago…what a combination; Sammy Hagar, Micheal Anthony, Joe Satriani, and Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

They all sound great together and it’s not one of those 1 or 2 song albums with the rest a waste of time….

Chickenfoot on Wikipedia

School's back in session….

August 5, 2009

This is my first day off with the kids back in school. I don’t know how to act…I’m going to catch a movie and go to the pool before it’s time to pick the girls up.

Pros and Cons of Windows Vs. Linux

August 5, 2009

Well, I know this is a subject that has been debated for years and by countless people…Windows is better than Linux and vice versa. I have been running Linux as my choice of OS now for over 3 years, but there are times when I need to run Windows, so reluctantly I keep a Windows partition and have a copy of Windows 7 on pre-order (Oh boy…I might have just pissed off the Linux fanboys, but ‘ya know what?..OH WELL). My girls need Windows for school as well.

Rich, the administrator of Linux-Hardcore has an eloquent saying which I have adopted as well…”Use what works for you”…and that’s the best advice I could give anyone who is looking for the best OS.

These links are the best overall pro and con points on both OS’s and wanted to share them:

10 Reasons why Linux will triumph over Windows

10 Reasons Linux isn’t triumphing over Windows

Let the debate rage on…..