December 21, 2015

Maruti 800: DIY renovation

I took way too long to publish this post. I blame it partly on Facebook and Instagram. Have been posting there every now and then but haven't blogged here for quite sometime.
I bought an old Maruti 800 about 6 months ago to handle local commutes. After moving in to our new flat, we realized it was important to have a 4-wheeler for convenience and safety.

We bought the car at 50 grand. We knew there'd be some issues so we had it serviced at a local mechanic. He sorted out some issues with the engine but there was still some work to be done. The seats and the door fabric were in pathetic shape. The dashboard had lost color and there were broken bits here and there. I decided to get my hands dirty and do the restoration myself. I forgot to properly document the "before" pictures of the car. That would have given a better idea of how much has changed.

Some description and pictures below:

The air filter looked filthy so I ordered a new Bosch filter from Amazon. Swapping it was real easy.

The dashboard got a fresh coat of dark brown paint. For a moment I thought that was a mistake. Maybe black would have made a better choice? But seeing that the paint itself is not heat resistant, black might prove to be a headache in summer. A friend did the same on his car and ended up with molten paint all over the place. So the brown stays.

The doors fabrics were repainted to Siemens grey.

One of the doors had a broken back board so I patched it up with pieces of laminate and lots of glue.

The push-to-open cover on the middle of the dashboard was broken so I fixed it with a bit of plastic and covered it in 'carbon fiber' vinyl I bought from Amazon. Used the same material on the left hand side just above the glove box. End result below.

The window borders were painted matt black. Not sure if this was a good idea but I like how it looks overall.

The two rear tires were replaced with new Bridgetsone S322s which set me back by 5k.

More updates on the way:

- New paint job for the whole body
- New brake pads
- Basic wheel caps
- Reflective stickering on the back
- New stereo

October 30, 2015

Jugaad: DIY Easel

I bought a large size canvas board couple of months ago but was not able to start painting due to the lack of a good easel. All my attempts at oil painting have been on paper no more than 8x12 in size!

Instead of buying a new easel I decided to make one myself using a camera tripod that's been lying around useless at home.

Things used:
- Vanguard camera tripod
- Ceiling fan mounts (pictured below)
- A wood clamp
- Pliers or small spanner
- Scotch tape

 I marked a height on the tripod and put scotch tape over the location to prevent scratches from the mounts.

I then screwed on the mounts making sure there was room on both sides to hold the canvas in place.

I placed the canvas on the tripod and used a clamp to secure it to the camera head on top. Done!

I'll post an update on how the rig performs later. One thing I can notice right away is the angle is too steep. The board is almost vertical.

September 4, 2015

Remembering our teachers

I was fortunate to have great teachers in my life.

  • A super cool principal who introduced me to the joys of reading.
  • A Maths teacher who changed my perception of the subject by his support and encouragement.
  • Social studies teachers: One had a great teaching style, one had rib-tickling humour. Who remembers "Cobra ij a  bird?"
  • A great art teacher who taught me how to paint. A librarian who was the favorite of everyone. The list goes on...
There were bad ones too. The one who'd make school kids run personal errands; the guy with the flute who, in my opinion, is a clear psycopath; and few others come mind,

All in good learning though!

I can safely say my career and personal life was heavily influenced by school life and I have only the greatest memories from AECS Manuguru.

A Happy Teachers Day!

August 26, 2015

A whole computer in a lunchbox

That big, black box in the above pic is our now defunct home PC. We bought it second hand as a simple, browsing machine for home use. Before it we had a custom built Pentium D unit which lasted a full 6 years.

The IBM box is so heavy it takes both hands and whole lot of effort to move it around. We even bought a Dell PC for Dad for his room at Manuguru. We jokingly referred to it as 'the generator'. The power unit on it was that loud.

All three PCs died, most recently the Dell and Dad was badly in need of a replacement so I started looking around online.

I was looking for a compact PC so considered the Intel NUC units, very customizable but the asking price was a bit too much. Zotac and Gigabyte have models too but difficult to find and VERY expensive.

I stumbled across the HP Mini 300-010in on Amazon. The price was just right. I just had to get it!

It is surprising how small this unit is...It is as big as a school lunchbox!

I installed it at Dad's desk and he is quite happy with it. The decidedly low 2 GB RAM is adequate for his browsing needs and the core i3 should more than make up for processing. I'm hoping this setup will last at least three years before requiring an upgrade.

Dad's always yearned for an L-desk, similar to the one he has at his Office. Next on list!