David Butcher

Movie of David pedaling furiously on the rebuilt PPPM I Have you ever wished you could create useful power solely with your own body? To be able to travel, move heavy loads, perform machine work, and generate electricity with your legs, arms, etc? I went beyond wishing. I imagined, designed, and built what I needed to achieve my dreams.

I have always been a mad scientist at heart. Three projects that I am particularly fond of are a pedal generator, a pedal-powered "pickup truck" and a pedal-powered canoe.

The Pedal Generator has "morphed" into the Pedal Powered Prime Mover - a universal Human Power Generation Platform. I have plans for sale enabling anyone to build their own.

My most recent project is a Solar Powered Ultracapacitor LED Automatic Outdoor Lighting System.

I have a voice synthesizer waiting to help you say 'Hi' if you like.

And on very rare occasions, you can see me.

A Datsun Roadster Fuse Box Diagram is here in a small (9k) postscript file.

If you have a Datsun Roadster, you may be interested in the details of rebuilding the heater, a project I finished in the summer of 1995. In 1996, I tackled the SU Carburetors. My latest project (1997) was to enhance the ignition system before the cold weather sets in. With summer on the way, you may be interested in the cooling system enhancements I designed.

I recently replaced the wheel bearings in the left front hub of the roadster. If you would like a write-up of the activity, please mail davidbu"at"www.los-gatos.ca.us and ask. If enough people write I will create the write-up.

This is my Datsun Theft Deterrent System.

A short story by me - About Three Seconds

In the summer of 2000, I decided to go green, and I signed up for both Green Mountain Energy and Corbin Motors Sparrow #95, an electric vehicle. The Sparrow is here and it is a blast! If you like reading about other folk's experiences with things, you may enjoy my Sparrow diary.

Of course, my autobiography would not be complete without mentioning "hal", a program I wrote in 1983 and ported to the WWW.

P.S. My ex-wife owned Nine Lives, one of the first "Electronic Storefronts" on the Internet. The physical store is now closed, and I am in the process of archiving the online store.

And last but not least, here are some project pages:
WACI - Web Access Consignment International - Software I wrote in 1993 for managing a Consignment Store. Use your Web browser, there is nothing to install on your computer.
My home-made Do-It-Yourself Toilet Tank Top Sink Water Saver.
Here is a write-up of my home-made Micro Solar Lighting System.
A solar photovoltaic panel array energy output calculator with both pedal power generator and petroleum fueled generator equivalent power calculations.
How I successfully solved an intermittent X10 troubleshooting problem.
An "intelligent," automatic, weather-aware watering system I developed to save energy, water and my sanity.
Fixing RAM Memory Problems in a Sony VAIO Laptop
Connecting my Linux system to DSL.
Listen to SHOUTcast streams, from radio stations for example. from the command line.
Radio Shack Model P Video Repair.
The world's first solar calculator, which I invented.
Faster UNIX Bourne Shell Scripts.
A Linux or Unix shell script for printing Avery 5266 labels.
A Music Link and Resource page for Linux users.
Magazine Sales Scams to Avoid.
The work we did to diagnose and cure a stumbling and backfiring problem on a 1998 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 pickup.
40 years of trying - I still can't remember the words...
A Thanksgiving poem or rhyme from the early 1900's - can you remember the words?
The system I assembled to enable my ex-Mother-in-law with poor vision to read large print - and read books for the first time in years...
My favorite energy and environment links.
Short story about my Spirit of the 60's CD
A "dos" batch file I wrote to compare the checksums of files in two or more directories - use it to compare files you have synced in multiple locations, and even saved or burned to disc to ensure they were accurately reproduced See the directory comparison program here as plain text.
A little "dos" batch file I wrote that creates a table of contents of the files in your current directory See it here as plain text.
If you are suffering from the infamous cupsd error message "cupsd: Child exited with status 98!" on your Linux system, take a look at /etc/cups/cupsd.conf Check the file carefully to see if somehow the file appears duplicated - that is, the contents appear twice in the same file. It happened to me. I cleared out the second copy of the file and everything works perfectly now!

Problems with Microbarn and SilenX 80mm fans.

Happy Holidays 2012: A do-it-yourself gift basket I created from Fresh and Easy products - delicious!.

My list of antique computer hardware, for sale or trade.

Did you know? If you cut a common US business card (two inches by three and a half inches) into quarters lengthwise, the pieces are PERFECT replacements for the paper labels on Ikea HELMER drawer units?

Persistence pays off. I bought a NetGear WN1000RP Range Extender to extend the range of my Cisco DPQ3925 Cable Modem/Router. It would not connect to the router for three days! I tried everything. Then, thanks to this post I tried changing the security on the router from TKIP + AES to just AES. Unbelievable. It worked. You may also wish someone had told you that you need to enable keep alive - 60 seconds seems to work - in putty with this Cisco modem. Your putty sessions will drop repeatedly without it.

I love inventing things. Recently I invented a way to create reusable concrete fence post footings. It's stronger than setting fence posts in sand but just as easy to remove and replace the fence posts. Never replace concrete fence post footings again. Just reuse the concrete footing with a new fence post! Eliminate all the CO2 caused by replacing fence post concrete! Tell your friends!

Are you using port forwarding to make port 25 visible to the internet? Having trouble proving that port 25 is blocked by your ISP? Yes, you can try telnet xxxx 25 to test the port, but what if you receive cannot connect or connection timeout? Is it the ISP, or your port forwarding configuration? Here is a simple way to test whether port 25 is blocked: Reconfigure your port forwarding so that port 25 on your system is forwarded to port 26 on your router. Then try telnet xxxx 26 where xxxx is your router IP. Do this test from a computer that is OUTSIDE your LAN. If you see the MTA (mail transfer agent) welcome message on port 26, it's proof that port 25 from your system is being forwarded correctly AND that port 25 is blocked by your ISP. Get the port unblocked, and then reconfigure your router to forward port 25 to 25, and everything should work.

So, you are running Vista 32bit and IE9, and no matter what you have tried you receive the error "No more threads can be created in the system" but you are not out of memory! Try these two things before you waste your life trying to track the problem down: run sfc /scannow (google it) and then start IE in safe mode and see if the problem is gone. If so, it's likely an IE addon. Make a note of the ones you have enabled, then disable them all. Enable them one at a time until you find the one that is causing the problem. It worked for me. I used to experience spontaneous program failures and I could not start any program requiring administrative privileges without receiving that error message after 2-3 days of continuous uptime. Now I can leave Vista running indefinitely. Note: On June 21, 2016 I rebooted due to software updates after 1009 continuous hours. WOW.

Windows Vista 32 Bit Shocker! Up Eight Days!

Another tidbit: When google hangouts is running (even minimized) it causes windows explorer to reload C:\Windows\System32\nvd3dum.dll once a second, resulting in 4% CPU load (and keeping my laptop fan running all the time). Nixie on your tintype, hangouts.

Interesting. When I run Office 2007 winword.exe in XP compatibility mode to prevent high CPU usage at idle, it hangs on autosave.

I just disabled the Live HTTP headers 0.17 Firefox extension and Firefox memory use is now stable. Live HTTP headers 0.17 has a memory leak.

Take me out to the swim meet
Take me out to the pool
Buy me some sunblock and sugar snacks
I don't care if I even get lapped
And its root, root, root for the relays
They will win in the stretch
And it's one, two, false starts you're out
At the old swim meet!
(by me)

To bed, to bed, said Sleepy Head

Tarry a little, said Slow
Put on the pot, said Greedy Gut, we'll eat before we go!

Nursery rhyme from my grandmother, as I remember it 50 years later.

Est-ce que vous vous en souvenez? La "Bombe Atomique" en Nice, FR: De la glace avec chantilly et un cierge magique. 1973, Bd Gambetta

How I lost, and then regained half a gig of Windows Vista 32-bit RAM

Whitehouse.gov petition to Force FEMA to Allow NFIP Direct Flood Insurance Payments to be Made Online - please share it. $2.5 million is spent annually just on postage to pay the premiums! Policy holders should be able to pay FEMA NFIP flood insurance online.

Here's a little tidbit if you use BitDefender 2013 Antivirus software and you discover that your winmgmt svchost.exe process keeps consuming memory until your pagefile is full and windows crashes: exclude svchost.exe from the Active Virus Control scan via the exclusions menu choice. Monitor the svchost.exe memory afterwards using VMmap and you will see that the Unusable memory no longer grows forever, increasing your commit charge until it uses your entire pagefile. Turn off heuristic scanning too! It leaks handles.

And for BitDefender Antivirus Plus 2015 Windows users, de-activate the BDMenu Class shell extension using ShellExView or the equivalent. It leaks 4 handles every 2-4 seconds. You will no longer see BitDefender in your right-click context menu, but your system will stop crashing if you leave it on all the time :-)

Hey - here's a trick I invented for dusting occasional pillows and throws - you know, like the ones on sofas and suff:

5 minutes in the dryer on NO HEAT with three tennis balls.

It beats the dust off of them without damaging them.

Lots easier than taking them outside and beating on them or trying to vacuum them off with an upholstery brush.

Wow. After 10 years, I discovered this feature on my mobile phone: My T-Mobile Nokia 6030 has a radio! It requires the Nokia earpeace. It plays through the earpiece, but you can also have it play radio through loud speaker. You must have your Nokia earpiece/headset plugged in for the radio feature to work. FM only. It has 20 "Channel" presets for favorites and a seek feature. Pretty darn cool for a 10 year old mobile phone.

I just upgraded the wireless card in my Acer Aspire ES1-512 to an Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 - Dual Band - and it only works AFTER you put the computer to sleep and then wake it up! At the same time, I added a drive caddy that supports both mSATA - and - M.2 cards, and it now has a 32GB mSATA card serving as both the pagefile and ReadyBoost. The laptop is MUCH faster and it only cost around $35 for the caddy AND the card!

I just invented a device that you can drop down the hole that a rotten fence post leaves behind to enlarge the hole in the fence post concrete footing so you can just slip in a new fence post. It works in dirt or with concrete fence post footings. It uses leverage to enlarge the fence post hole so you can re-use the concrete footings. This is cool: you can build one yourself!

Symptom: Mouse batteries run down too fast. Cause: Dust in the On/Off switch causing a bad contact. Fix: Blow or clean the dust out of the switch.

Are you trying to print on your Postscript Brother HL-1270N print in Windows 10 and getting error messages about printer driver not installing, invalid parameter, or just ending up unable to print? You need the Universal Printer Driver for BR-Script (PostScript language emulation) driver and you can download it directly from Brother (good luck finding it) - here it is. The Printer driver will be listed as Brother Universal Printer (BR-Script3). If you don't see that driver when adding a Brother printer, and your printer is networked, it's not going to print. I lost a day of my life discovering that. This was after Windows Update listed my exact printer. That driver failed. Don't bother with Microsoft support - here, I'll give you every bit of helpful advice from them, all totally wrong: Try a clean boot. Reboot your system. Uninstall and reinstall the driver (it never installed). Get the driver from the manufacturer (the manufacturer points you to Windows Update - endless loop). Roll back to a previous restore point. Reset Windows. Reinstall Windows. Buy a new computer. Note: The printer on the download page is an HL-4570. Nevertheless, the Universal Printer Driver for BR-Script works just fine on my HL-1270N.

Is your Windows 10 DCOM Server Process Launcher service constantly running and taking too much CPU? Try restarting Diagnostics Policy Service. Both should typically be using 0% CPU.

Are you plagued by extremely slow WordPress Admin performance? Try turning off LastPass. My system is 1000x faster when the LastPass plugin is deactivated.

One of my grandmother's favorite nursery rhymes: To bed! To Bed! said Sleep Head. Tarry a little said Slow. Put on the pot, said Greedy Gut, we'll eat before we go!

I upgraded the batteries in my eGo from Lead Acid to LTO - Lithium Titanium Oxide. They are good for thousands of charge/discharge cycles. They will probably live longer than the rest of the vehicle. Pretty cool!


This information is provided in good faith but no warranty can be made for its accuracy. If you notice something incorrect or have any comments, or information to add to these pages, feel free to mail me.

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David Butcher
Los Gatos, California 95030
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