Friday, November 2, 2012

I knew it was a mistake ...

... to have that second mug of coffee. 05:30 and I was still going round and round in my little room without the slightest thought about sleep.

When I did eventually drop off (simply lying down on the sofa), having switched off all of the alarms, it was all of 09:56 when I woke up - probably less than 4 hours sleep.

After a quick breakfast I went off to Pionsat. The tool lorry was there and I was bent on buying a new toy - and I bet that you are wondering exactly what it is.

All cars made since 2002 (and many earlier ones, my 1988 Senator for example) are in principle fitted with an on-board computer, an ECU (Electronic Control Unit) that analyses and stores all of the data about the running of the car, and keeps a list of faults on a computer chip. Garages have machines that plug into the ECU (something with a connector like a SCART socket) which enables them to read the ECU and note any problem from which the vehicle might be suffering (a series of "fault codes"). There's a computer program that can decipher the fault codes and translate them into plain English.

In the USA all of this is in the Public Domain but in the UK, certainly as recently as 5 years ago, and maybe still today for all I know, this was all jealously guarded. I've no idea what the situation might be in France.

Anyway, to cut a long story short - "hooray" ... ed -  the tool lorry was selling hand-held ECU readers and the associated computer program, for just €69. That kind of thing is worth its weight in gold, as you can imagine. And now there's one here.

This afternoon, with the pouring rain, I carried on with the shelving. One of the side rails is now finished, and looking quite impressive too, rather an upmarket version of Richard Hauptmann's ladder, and the other one is cut, worked and polished and will be assembled in the next rainy spell. All that will remain then will be to cut the shelving to size and to varnish it all.

With the temperature up here being just 13°C that was the signal to light the fire again. And I cooked rice and some red pepper-and-lentil curry in the oven. Beautiful it was too.

So now I'm off to bed, early for a change. I have a full weekend ahead of me and I need to be on form.

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