Well Saturday was supposed to be an enjoyable day working on Amy's MX5 after a frantic week handing over Volvos to their owners.

Our computer told me that it wanted to do a routine update to the Ubuntu (a Linux derivative) operating system, so I told it to get on with the task and reboot. It never did, reboot that is.

I've since managed to get access to our files and webmail using a temporary "trial" Ubuntu, but nothing I do will coax the GRUB file into life, which is where the problem lies. So the weekend and Monday has been mildly stressful, however I am now making progress, and all should be sorted on Thursday pm when I've spent a good day on the task...

On the topic of techie stuff, it's always been a delight to tell BT to sling their hook after appalling support for years from them, and SAGE come under the same heading of profiteering prices and forever making their software incompatible without paying more money. So we've ditched them also, and returned to QuickBooks, which was a superb system till our accountant at the time forced us to switch to SAGE. Such a pleasant feeling of getting better service and paying less money.

And what of work you ask? Well the Volvos have taken a wee respite whilst I sort Amy's MX5 for rallying...

  • First of all was Sophie's MG Midget, since she was home from Edinburgh for the week, and headed down to the in-laws in South London and back, then across to mates in Oxford and back
    • I replaced the steering rack, just £75 from our local automotive supplier, what excellent value.
    • Took out the passenger seat to sort out the runners (which weren't) and the missing bolts - and discovered that the Pirelli webbing has had it, but ran out of time so both seats need to come out again and replace the webbing.
    • I hadn't checked the rear brakes since buying the car, and discovered that the RHR adjuster was horribly seized, so I've bought new adjusters and shoes, and will strip them down and rebuild before her return in December.
  • Then Amy's Mazda MX5...
  • Fitted the Brantz rally timer, that we sent away to be uprated to the new firmware since Amy keeps complaining that the funcionality of my old Brantz is too ancient for her...
  • Replaced the sensor for the tripmeter, now we have a full set of rally instruments
  • Fitted the sump and gearbox guards that we designed back in September - they fitted excellently: it's good enough for the Preston Rally, and I'm very pleased with it. Perhaps I should try selling them...
  • Amy observed after the Knutsford Targa that the MX5 steering is far too over assisted and not enough feel. I removed the belt to the PAS pump and sent Emma out for a test drive, who pronounced the car much nicer.
    • So this morning I set to the very satisfying and enjoyable task of removing the steering rack, the hydraulic hoses and cooling pipe, the PAS pump & resevoir, the AirCon pump,and all their bracketry.
      There is now a lovely empty space for'ard of the exhaust manifold, and I reckon the weight saved is almost identical to the sump & steering guards - ie we are now running under book weight again.
  • What's left?
    • I now have to strip down tne steering rack and delete the collar and seal that separates the L & R PAS chambers, rebuild the unit, plug the 6 hydraulic holes, then the steering should be even lighter than when Emma tested it yesterday.
    • Oh, and sort out the rear screen heater wiring, which clearly have caught and ripped out during the car's life.

 Simon Heath & I are heading out in the Porsche 924 on Chelmsford's Bonfire Targa on Sunday, which will be nice practice calling Tests for me, as we enter the last days before the Rally of the Tests. I have plotted two of the Regularities that arrived in the RotT finals, and am awaiting Amy's verdict on my plotting when she goes through the plotting at the weekend with Niall Frost...
As for the RotT: Amy will be in Paul Dyas' Amazon (car #30), I shall be in Gareth Hockridge's Amazon (car #43).

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