The Alfa romeo 4C is just not worth it.

Alfa spent a lot of money building the 4C.  And in turn they are going to charge you a lot of money for the privilege of owning one.

In the US the first 500 will cost over $70,000.  Why the high price for a stripped out go kart?
First is the name this is the first car with the Alfa name to be sold in the USA for ages.
Second is this car is carbon fiber and it costs a lot to make.
Third. It looks great.

But I feel in typical Italian fashion they missed something in the engineering department.  They used exotic materials,  cut out all non essential items (like power steering) and made it really small with no trunk storage space and still the car will weigh in over 2500lbs for the us market.

2500lbs is light for a modern car. But the 2015 Mazda Miata mx5 will weight under 2300lbs and not be made of exotic carbon fiber.
As a result you will probably be able to buy 3 MX-5s for the price of an Alfa.
Not to mention the Alfa will be

really

expensive to insure.
I have yet to drive both of these cars (the mx-5 is not out yet) but I am pretty sure my opinion will stay the same once I do.
For 70 grand there are a lot of other cars I would want to own. Porsche cayman. Even at the 55 grand entry point to come later. I will would rather live with a bmw m235 or buy 2 mx-5s.

But come ask me I get to drive it.

Server down as mysql corrupted

So I have been struggling the last few days with keeping my sever up.   I thought I was simply running out of memory and I probably was.  Today nothing I did would work to bring it back up.
In the end it seemed the mysql table was corrupted.  This was most likely caused by running out of memory.
Well I upgraded my server with more memory and restored the site from a backup and all seems good now.

Apple CarPlay

Apple announced the launch of CarPlay today.  My initial reaction is UGH! NO! and my bias is based with my experience with BMW and Apple.   Current BMWs integrate with Apple and only Apple.  I dont like this. I am not an Apple guy and if i was I don’t like my $40,000 + car being locked down to one eco system.  My cars I keep for a long time like 10 years or so, but my phone i change every year currently.

As a business move I think Apple is a genius.  they are going out and making it very hard for users to choose another Ecosystem.

Automakers are not the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to consumer high tech so I am very worried about their implementation. IF they take the BMW approach, Your choice is Apple or nothing then I think this a very bad move.  If they give us options it would be great, but that means other players need to step up and offer options.  There is already Microsoft Sync, and now Apple CarPlay.  Samsung and/or Google need to step up ASAP! (or any other serious android player).

I think competition in this space could be amazing boost for the Consumer.  I can see a smart Samsung/Goolge actually subsiding its option to try and gain market share.  $1,500 -$2,500 for built in navigation in cars is ridiculous specially when I have a better piece of tech in my pocket.

HTPC build – ATOM Baytrail Celeron. Part 1

So as some of you may know I have recently bought another house and moved in to that house. This issues I have been faced with is that I now need to have live TV available on both TVs(and for fun in my office).
I have a cheap discard PC from an office that I have been using for over a year as my main HTPC. I don’t remember the specs, but they are poor. It really just gets the job done. I have been looking to build a new system for the living room.

My requirements are small.

  1. Run Windows Media center
  2. Be able to record at least 30 hours of HD
  3. Run Netflix
  4. Run XBMC
  5. Run Plex

All the barebones light weight systems were either too weak Atom systems or expensive Sandy bridge system.
Well this week Intel launched a new BayTrail/Celeron based NUC. Intel Next Unit of Computing Kit -Celeron DN2820FYKH0 and it was cheap too at just $139.
I also picked up a 4gb SODIMM Kingston Value RAM 4GB (KVR13S9S8) and I am gonna use a leftover 500gb 2.5 inch drive. So my total cost is about $180. If you need to buy a hard drive this is what I have. 500GB WD Blue WD5000LPVX

Everything should be here by Thursday and I will document the build.

I Hacked my own site.

I did something stupid this week. I took down my own site. I was using the config file from this site as example for my new site and My new site went up fast and easy. At the same time I didn’t realize I had copied the new file in to the wrong directory. Ouch! my site was down. even worse it wasn’t really down just blank content so my monitoring service didn’t pick it up.

DAUH!!!

Review of Gorilla Gadgets Uhuru! 11200mAh Portable Battery Pack

This may have just saved my life.


 

It is early 2014 and we are getting an artic blast here in good ole USA. -10 F and blizzard conditions.I had to drive 270 miles through a mostly rural state.
My rental car has a USB port for charging my phone which is also my GPS. I am set and ready for the journey.

shortly in to my trip the weather and the roads turn nasty and my 4 hour drive is now a perilous journey. Did I mention I am doing this between 11pm and 5 am? ohh yeah I am.

Average speed is now reduced to about 45 or 50 MPH. My once 4 hour trip is gonna be a lot longer. I hunker down and get on with it. On my phone I am playing an audiobook while the GPS guides me to my destination.

I am still 2 hours away when my phone pops up that it’s battery is almost DEAD. Whaaaattt! I can see that it is charging, how is it dead? Well the anemic amperage out of the USB port in the rental car wasn’t enough to cove the power usage or the phone. I quickly shut screen off to hopefully save precious seconds of battery life. I dont have a car chager with me, I am not sure how I am going to make it with out the GPS and now at 3ish am on a country road in the snow no one is going to find my frozen dead body till spring, when it hits me. I have my Gorilla battery pack that I use on long flights to power my tablet and phone.

I wip out the Gorilla pack, plug in my phone to the 2 amp usb port and pray this will get me to my hotel. My battery symbol is still red and my Gorilla pack is only half way charged…. I am not sure this is going to work.
I cautiously navigate the road ahead and try to memorize the next few turns from the GPS.
Then I notice my phone battery is not in the red anymore, in fact my phone is charging and providing GPS and not loosing charge. in fact it is gaining charge. Wooo Hooo I am going to make it.

Pros:Works, hold a charge forever, has 2 Amp USB port, can be charged via mini USB.

Cons: Takes forever to recharge this pack (like over 8 hours), is a bit heavy, it is not clear when it is outputting voltage or not you have to rely on the gadget your charging to tell you.

2014 – Getting more done by doing less.

focusI like hobbies,  I like everything really. I dream that I could hook up to the Matrix and download whatever I needed straight to my brain. I may have a little Attention Deficiency.  I have TONS of ideas that I want to try.  I have no time or extra money to do them.

In my younger days I tried to do all the hobbies that interested me, I got nothing done and I had a ton of unfinished projects (I did became a pretty good skier).  About 6 or 7 years ago my “willing to try new things” got me bit by the Auto Racing bug.  All I knew was that I wanted to go auto racing, but it is expensive and all consuming hobby and I took a really long look at my priorities. I decided that all my other hobbies had to go if I wanted to go racing. Within just a short while (minus a job/finical bump) I had built a race car and got my license. BAM! Racecar driver. (Note I have taken the last year off from racing to buy a 2nd house, but 2014 I am going back to racing)

My business  ideas and hunger is much the same as my hobbies.  I have decided that the only way I am going to make alot of progress on the business is to cut it to the core and focus.  In 2014 I am putting my effort into ShorePerformance.com and CallCenterScene.com.  I am going to be making a time and finical investments in these sites to make them successful.