Ten Year Plan Number Plate

s/v Ten Year Plan received it’s official number plate today. U.S. Coast Guard documented boats are assigned a lifetime documentation number. The requirements are the number be affixed to the interior of the boat in such a way as altering them would damage the numbers or the hull. Folks solve this problem in a varieties of ways, including wooden plaques, plastic or metal carved plates.

A friend of mine, Al, owns the AutoMetalSkin company, and offered to make a number plate for me. Using a jewelers saw, he cut out the numbers from a sheet of metal, then using his unique finishing process, coated the number plate with brass. He left it exposed, without a clear coat, so we can watch the metal patina over time. See the video below to see more of the reveal process.

Al describing the AutoMetalSkin process.

I’m really happy with how the plate turned out.  It’s now mounted at the nav station, in an honored position just down the companionway ladder. I found some stainless screws to mount it, but hope to find some nice brass screws soon. Love how it looks. Thanks for the hard work!

Prius Display Fix

Since I added an aftermarket stereo to my car, the center display hasn’t been displaying. The issue is the Prius expects the stock stereo to be plugged in, and if it doesn’t see it, then it turns off certain features for the display. It still worked as a backup camera, but that’s it.

The fix was pretty simple, just add a 68 ohm resister between two wires on the stock stereo 20 pin connector.

Done! I have the full display back. And I made a point of driving a bit this afternoon to make sure the car wasn’t going to suddenly burst into flame. All is well.

The Sublime Regex

Sublime Text is a really wonderful text
editor. It’s flexible and extensible enough to cover just about any
need, but still simple and clean to use. This post is not a long
discussion about either text editors or regular expressions, but a
simple post about a problem I needed to tackle and the simple solution.

I pulled a bunch of data from our issue tracking software, and I needed
to create a simple list of all the issues resolved and the person
assigned the issue. Simple. I grabbed the text I needed from the csv
file created, then used a simple find/replace in Sublime Text to put the
text in the format I ultimately wanted.

The change is simple. I have a long list of issue summaries followed by
a comma and the persons name. All I want to do is find the last comma in
each line and replace the comma with a colon and a space.

The sample starts like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit,sed do eiusmod tempor
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit,sed do eiusmod tempor
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit,sed do eiusmod tempor
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit,sed do eiusmod tempor
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit,sed do eiusmod tempor
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit,sed do eiusmod tempor
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit,sed do eiusmod tempor
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit,sed do eiusmod tempor
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit,sed do eiusmod tempor
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit,sed do eiusmod tempor

The regex is fairly straight forward. Think of it this way, “I want to
find the comma that isn’t followed by another comma.” That will guide us
to a negative look-ahead instead of trying to decipher “the last comma.”

,(?!.*,)

Regular Expressions can be very confusing, and incredibly frustrating.
Patience, and plenty of google juice are required. In Sublime Text, open
the Find / Replace panel, and select the Regular Expression option.

Our regular expression basically says, “find any comma that is not
followed by another comma.” Sublime Text, if the option is enabled,
shows which items match our find criteria, so it is just a matter of
adding the Replace with text and clicking Replace All.

Enjoy!

DIY Weekend

I did a bit of DIY this weekend. I love my car, but also really wanted bluetooth audio with the stereo. The factory Toyota options are a bit on the pricey side, so I screwed up some courage, picked a cool new stereo off of Crutchfield, read many websites, and watched many sample videos, then installed the new stereo.

Taking apart the dash turned out to be pretty darn easy, and not all
that frightening. It’s all snapped together, with two screws holding the
base pieces. To be honest, I wouldn’t have accomplished this part with
the instructions alone. Watching a couple of video’s on youtube showing
how the dash comes apart to access the built in stereo really helped.

My first install was Friday night. Everything went fine, but I didn’t
feel comfortable with the wiring required to connect the steering wheel
controls, so I bailed on that part. Also, I didn’t have some things
‘quite’ right.

Today I didn’t have those hesitations. I took the dash apart again, and
gave the steering wheel connections a go. It took a couple of attempts
to get the
Axxess
device connected correctly, but once done it auto detected with no
problems and all is working.

The other problem was how everything fit. Again, some more trial and
error. Now that I had taken everything apart once (Friday), I was much
more conformable fiddling and getting it right.

The final product looks great and works great! Now when I get in the
car, I throw my iPhone 5 into it’s little holder, the stereo auto
connects and my music or podcasts play as expected.

You may note in the picture the wire for the wired microphone. I tried a
dash mount, but the volume was a bit low, so I just routed the wire up
and around the rearview mirror and clipped it to the visor. We’ll see
how long that lasts. For now it works just fine.

To my great delight and surprise, everything is reinstalled and works as
desired. DIY Success.

Enjoy!