1200 Conversion Pt. 1

After paying off some bills I had enough bonus money left over to pay for the 1200 conversion for my Sportster. After doing a bunch of research I settled on the kit offered by Nallin Racing Head Service. Basically I’ve got to pull the motor apart and send the cylinders out to them. Once they get them they’ll bore and hone them, match a set of pistons to them, and ship everything back along with rings and gaskets. I wish I could go for something a little more wild, but this conversion will give me some added power and won’t decrease reliability like the bigher power conversions have the potential to do.

Digital Fortress

For various reasons I haven’t read Dan Brown’s other works but a friend loaned me a copy of Digital Fortress after the Superbowl party and I finally got around to reading it. It’s a pretty good read, with short chapters that move quickly and good, believable character and plot development throughout.

The story starts with the discovery of an unbreakable code and the NSA’s hunt to find it before all of their code cracking abilities are rendered useless. From there it goes on a whirlwind trip through the NSA’s headquarters, Japan, and Spain. The book kept me engaged throughout and left me guessing until the end.

A Captcha For b2evolution

I’ve been getting slammed by more and more comment spam over the last few days and have finally had enough. I’m implementing the captcha solution from village-idiot.org. I know it’s not perfect and that there is software out there to defeat them but it’ll stop me from having to delete literally hundreds of porn spam comments from my posts while still leaving them open for people to post .

The directions are pretty good but I did make a couple changes to authimage.php and comment_post.php to clean up a few warnings generated when the spammers try to hit the page directly.

Basically, you need to change two blocks of code in authimage.php, both up near the top of the file. First, wrap the if/elseif block that checks to see if you’re requesting a text or image with a test to see if $_GET[‘type’] is set. Then in checkAICode you’ll need to change the if/then block at the beginning to make sure that $_SESSION[‘AI-code’] is set. Here’s what the two blocks look like after being changed:

if (isset($_GET['type'])) {
  if ($_GET['type'] == "text") {
  }elseif ($_GET['type'] == "image") {


if(!isset($_SESSION['AI-code'])) {
  $return = 0;
} else {
  if ($code == $_SESSION['AI-code']) {
    $return = 1;
  } else {
    $return = 0;

And then in comment_post.php you’ll need to wrap the captcha checking routine with this code:

if (isset($_POST['code'])){
} else {
  errors_add( T_('Error: Please don\'t try to bypass the access code.') );

Furies of Calderon

Furies of Calderon is Jim Butcher‘s first book in a new fantasy series. It’s a good, quick read with great character building and a believable universe. The book and series are certainly a departure from the Dresden Files books, but he’s doing a really good job with this genre as well.

It’s set in a world where the people have bonded with spirits of the elements, called furies, that help them throughout their lives. All except Tavi, a young boy who is thrust into the center of a budding civil war and an invasion by one of the non-human races.

Video Chat With Webcams

I picked up a pair of Logitech QuickCam Communicate STX webcams today to set up on the computer here in Peoria and on my Windows box at home so that Reese and I will be able to do some video chats instead of just phone calls. The installation went well and the image quality, especially in poor lighting seems to be pretty good. They claim that the cameras work with MS Messenger so we should be OK. If not, Logitech’s got a pay service that does video conferencing, and while I’d rather not pay if I don’t have to, the rate’s reasonable and getting the video chat going is more important than spending a little money.

H.M.S. Surprise

I got to finish off H.M.S. Surprise on the flight out to Peoria today. It’s a little shorter than the previous volumes, but still a fantastic read. I’m still learning 19th century naval terms and was a little stumped on a few, but it didn’t detract from the book at all.

The book opens with Jack Aubrey’s prize money being taken away by political games which also expose Dr. Maturin’s spying. It then moves on to India and the main acion of the book. There’s not as much combat in this one as there were in the previous versions, but it does a good job of showing Capt. Aubrey growing in to his command and sets the stage for where the series is going to go.

Roady Walkman

I got an e-mail announcing that Delphi was having a quickie sale on a few accessories for the Roady2 XM receiver. And a sale it was! I got the Personal Audio System (a Walkman-like adapter) for $20! And then for kicks added in the home kit so that I can listen at my desk. $40 for both with free shipping. Sweet!

The site was getting hammered so badly yesterday that it was all but inaccessible. Note to marketing folks, check with your IT guys before starting an e-mail campaign. I’ve run large e-commerce websites (NokiaUSA.com) and you don’t do this kind of stuff in a vacuum. Because of that I was worried that it’d be all sold out before I could get my order in, but no worries. It was happy this morning and the order went through.