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Running On Empty

Posted by editor on September 4, 2007 at 6:45 AM PDT

Tim Boudreau's NetBeans tour faces an unforeseen delay

You might have gathered from yesterday's blog that I've driven much of the I-80 route that NetBeans Evangelist Tim Boudreau is taking for his informal NetBeans tour / personal relocation. I did the midwest-to-SF back and forth three times overall in the 80's and 90's. And on one of those trips, a leaking coolant hose led me to drop into neutral and coast down the slope of a foothill in Nevada, somewhere between Wendover and Winnemucca, in hopes of getting enough air through the front grill to keep the engine from overheating. Again. I finally made it to a tiny service station, where I paid $40 to a passer-by who fixed the leak with a pocket knife. Filling up with a jug of coolant, I was able to make it to San Francisco two days later.

Moral of story: it's not a great route to take a vehicle that's in a dubious state of repair.

Tim's latest update is that he's Almost mobile, explaining, "I got the NetBeans Mobile loaded, and picked up a slew of NetBeans t-shirts, books, USB drives and squishy balls. And got all of 3 miles."

Unfortunately, I'm having some alternator trouble - and it's probably my own doing (baf! baf! ) - when I replaced the hot wire to the battery the other day, well the solenoid is above the transmission, in a tight spot where you pretty much do everything by feel. I suspect there is a wire I didn't reconnect :-( Driving by day you don't notice that all the electrical systems are running off the battery, and I'd assumed that the jump starting was simply the battery not having charged earlier. I knew I should have checked the current across the terminals with it running earlier!

Keep up with Tim's progress via Twitter and a rolling update page, and wish for good things or say a prayer for him or whatever... having smokily rolled to a breakdown at the base of a twilight foothill, that's not a route I'd want to take an old painter's truck on.

Also in today's Weblogs.