I was invited up to the highlands for a week on the shores of Loch Lochy. It was not necessarily for my company, sparkling intellect nor my incisive wit for which I was invited. No, I was required to set up my chum’s second computer for her printer and internet. This was the culmination of several months planning and work as the internet can be a thorny problem in the rural highlands. I had changed her internet provider in Edinburgh so she got free wi-fi roaming and it was this that was going to provide the internet access.
We arrived in the evening and by the time we had settled in and I had prepared the dinner it was too late to do any work. The next day just as I was getting going the electricity went off, too many trees had fallen on too many power lines. It had been blowing a wee bit just prior to us arriving with gusts approaching 100mph. The eletrickery (sic) was down all day and all night and we did not get it back on till the next afternoon. I sorted out the prerequisite details and connected to the internet first time. Time to show Maggie how to do it. It did not work. I wasn’t getting the hotspot log on page. I tried using Google Chrome instead of Firefox and it worked so I thought I had found a bug in Firefox but no, on the third attempt using Google Chrome it too failed. I checked the IP settings and found the computer had been assigned a DNS server on a different subnet from the computer’s IP address provided by the DHCP server and I am fairly certain that could never work work. Not even in a month of Sundays. So the fault was in the hotspot router and depending upon fortuity it worked or it did not and had nothing to do with the browser I was using. I had too leave it with the instruction to Maggie that if it did not work first time just walk away make a cup of tea then try again.
Connecting the old Epson printer though was no problem. I am not a Windoze fan but Windows 7 seems to be quite good and it recognised the printer without having to download a driver.
All the hard work I had done did not impress Maggie and I was forced to carry many logs of wood from the wood shed down to the cottage and fill the coal skuttle and fix the fire basket and hold the ladder steady whilst she cleared the roof gutters and fix a few other things. Of course I cooked all the meals. All in all I would say a holiday in the highlands with Maggie is not really a holiday at all.
The work did not finish when I got back to Edinburgh. Since the hotspot Maggie is using is only in range in her bedroom I decided I had better arrange for a repeater to extend the cover to her whole cottage. I have an old Netgear WGR614 router but it had proprietary firmware installed which barred the repeater function. I had to telnet into the router and modify it so it would accept standard Netgear firmware and now I have it set up as a repeater and I will install it the next time I go up there.
I finally got back to the new love of my life, the Honda C90. I ordered an engine gasket set, semi synthetic oil, and rubber ‘O’ rings for the inlet manifold. I have not been able to find these ‘O’ rings except as part of a carburettor refurb kit which costs £20. So I measured the old ones and got the minimum order of 16 (I need 2) for £10 including postage from an ‘O’ ring manufacturer.
So now I have all the pieces and consumables I need for the next few jobs on the C90 which include resolving a leaking inlet manfold, oil change and filter cleaning, cylinder head refurbishment. Hopefully when that is all done I will have restored the engine to the performance it had when new.
But that will have to wait until after christmas and New Year which I will be spending in Englandshire with John and Amel. Amels’ parents will be over from Algeria and her mother insists that I be present for inspection.
For those interested the exploded parts manual for a Lifan 125cc engine:
1P52FMI(Lifan125) Right click and open link in a new tab (I know this is clunky but I just cannot be bothered getting into HTML to fix it right now}