Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Truth About Nissan Ester Oil

Finally, some legitimate information on Nissan Ester Oil. I've attached papers published by Nissan Engineers that demonstrate how their new techology really works so you can decide for yourself if you should go with a high quality synthetic oil like Amsoil or if you should stick with Nissan's Ester Oil Product.'Bouchet_2005_Tribology-International.pdf

Your comments are welcome...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

See Parallel Processing In Action with Java - Part 1

Today I am going to begin my journey to convert some existing java code from whatever state it is in into a parallel state. In order for me to really be convinced that my parallelization effort has been successful, I will need to get a base measurement of cpu utilization to compare "before" and "after" program output.

I've written two classes and

source code here...

SerialExample Run:

main took 5.485s to run.
main took 5.481s to run.
main took 9.139s to run.
main took 9.143s to run.
main took a total of 29.25s to run.

As you can clearly see in the graphs above, CPU 0 was heavily underutilized, whereas CPU 1 was maxed out.

Parallel Example Run:

t4 took 7.713ms to run.
t1 took 10.354ms to run.
t2 took 11.498ms to run.
t5 took 15.008ms to run.
main took a total of 15.106s to run.

In the graphs above, both CPUs appear to be performing an equal amount of work. Additionally, the total running time of the application has been cut approximately in half.


It appears that running the cpu intensive work in separate threads actually got the job done much faster. This would imply that indeed java is making full use of my dual core machine.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

2010 Motobecane Fantom Team Mountain Bike: First Ride Impressions

We recieved the bike and promptly took it to our local bike store, Calmar Bicycles, for a thorough inspection and complete assembly. A day later, and his wallet $80 lighter, Rohit was ready to ride his new Motobecane, however, it wasn't until yesterday that we finally got out to Saratoga Gap to test out his new ride.

The following comments are directly from Rohit and his first experience riding on the Motobecane:

The first thing I had to do was to adjust the seat post to my desired height, but this proved to be difficult because it was not a quick-release type but a screw-on type, which can easily be remedied. After taking a small ride around the parking area, I felt confident enough to attempt the trails. I rode the bike but I wasn't used to the shifters and it was difficult for me to understand how to use them since I was used to using GripShift type shifters. By the end of the ride I would be comfortable using the shifters and they provided very smooth shifting - excellent shift quality.

The brakes on my previous bikes were not nearly as nice as these Avid Carbon Elixir brakes and by having these nice brakes it gave me much more confidence when riding down with various obstacles in the way.

The front suspension felt seemed to activate to some degree while pedaling uphill, but I did not feel it was necessary to engage the remote lockout. However, at one point I did use it and it did make a difference. The front suspension made the ride very smooth and I am fully satisfied with the front fork. The rear shock seems to have performed equally well and I am also satisfied with it. I never engaged the lockout on the rear shock and I guess that can be credited to the suspension design, although I can imagine at some point wanting to lock out the rear shock as well.

The 2.35 Kendas (I put these on instead of the 1.95 Kendas that came with the bike) served well with accurate grip and confidence inspiring handling. Overall, I am fully pleased with the bike's performance, quality, and value. Also thanks to for offering such a great deal.

If you have any questions about this bike please post them to this blog page.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

2010 Motobecane Fantom Team Mountain Bike: Initial Purchase Decision & Order

Frame: TripleActive 4B, 3"/4"/5" Adjustable Travel - Four Bar Rocker Arm. Gussetted SL 7005 Aluminum (Disc Brake Equipped) SuperSmooth Sealed Cartridge Bearings at critical pivots, replaceable rear derailleur hanger

RockShox REBA Team with BlackBox MotionControl Damping
Advanced ROCKSHOX Monarch 4.2 + advanced Floodgate damping

Crankset: FSA Carbon Pro Team Issue or SL-K Light carbon crankset (no choice) with Integrated spindle 22/32/44T

Bottom Bracket: FSA MegaEXO External Bearing System

Pedals: n/a

Front Derailleur: Shimano XTR FD-M970

Rear Derailleur: Shimano XTR RD-M972 Top-Normal Shadow with Carbon pulley cage

Shifters: Shimano XTR RapidFire Plus 27 speed SL-M970 with push-pull release (Double Action)

Cassette/Freewheel: Shimano CS6500 HyperGlide cassette 9 speed 12-27T

Chain: KMC super narrow X9 speed

Hubs: Black Anodized Vuelta XRP Team Edition, Precison Bearing with QRs

Spokes: Stainless steel black finish with alloy nipples

Rims: Vuleta XRP Team SuperLite Disc, doublewall aluminum/eyelets

Tires: Kenda Klimax Lite 26 x 1.95 Kevlar bead, presta valve tubes

Brakes: Avid Elixir CR Carbon, 160mm rotor 6 bolt IS mount (standard)

Brake Levers: Avid Elixir Carbon

Headset: FSA Orbit XL II cartridge bearing for threadless

Handlebar: Ritchey WCS Triple butted TRX50 aluminum 31.8mm

Stem: Ritchey WCS 4Axis aluminum

Tape/Grip: Ritchey WCS Hex foam

Saddle: Ritchey Streem Hollow CrMo rails or Skye Turbo saddle Crn/Ti rails (No Choice)

Seat Post: Ritchey WCS Aluminum 31.6x350mm

Seat Post Clamp: Super Light Polished Aluminum

Sizes: Small/42c fits up to 5'8", Medium/47c fits up to 6', Large/52c fits 6'1" and taller

Brushed Aluminum with ClearCoat Detailed Images

I finally managed to get Rohit seriously interested in mountain biking. So far, he has been riding my KHS A-Lite 1000, my first mountain bike. The KHS is a hard tail, with bottom of the line components, and "grip shift" shifters...

On a budget and with a strong desire to get quality components on his ride, Rohit started shopping around for the best deal. Knowing absolutely nothing about mountain bikes, made me his source for information and advice. Naturally, I directed him to the oracle ( to get all of his questions answered.

The first idea I had was to point Rohit to I, myself had just recently learned about the site and as a matter of fact ordered a Kestrel Road bike from them a few days ago, however, that story is for another post :)

We took a look at and found the 2010 Motobecane Fantom Team Mountain Bike for sale at $1899 after taxes and shipping (ie, free shipping and no sales tax).

Our first step was to part out the bike to see if it was worth the advertised price, assuming the frame was not good and we might have to buy another one eventually. Our estimate quickly escalated past the advertised price of $1899 so we knew we were at least getting the parts at a good price.

Our next step was to consult friends to see if they thought the bike was a good investment. After speaking with one avid mountain biker, whose name shall remain confidential :), his strong advice was that the frame of the bike was the most important thing and that Rohit should not buy the Motobecane, however, he did note that although he didn't think the price was spectacular, he didn't think it was overpriced either... quite the critic!

Anyways, we ditched his poor biased advice, and decided to read some reviews on random forums. After reading many of them, from different sites, it became apparent to me that I could not figure out which ones I could trust and which ones were being posted by employees or anyone else that may benefit from increased Motobecane sales. This fact alone is what has inspired me to write about my experience with so that others, seeing the great deal on the site, could read this article and get a first-hand review from an honest person about what it's really like to deal with the company, and how good the bikes really are.

Just a little more about my background and what makes me qualified to ride such a review; I started out riding on my KHS A-Lite in 2002 and then upgraded to the Santa Cruz Blur LT in 2007 and have been riding it since. I have a lot of friends who ride from all skill ranges and I actually bought my wife a Blur as well. So you could say I am not the most experienced or knowledgeable, but most likely that is the average consumer at

After reading the reviews we decided to go to a local bike shop to check out their offerings. I was actually picking up my Blur after some maintenance was performed on it and I spoke with the mechanic briefly about the Motobecane we were considering purchasing. The mechanic said right away that the Motobecane would be fine and would serve our needs just adequately. He did, however, mention that bikes like the Motobecane are considered "parts hangers," because all the parts are so good, but the frame is pretty generic. Well Rohit and I figured that we probably didn't care too much about that (generic frame), and in the worse case Rohit could always get a new frame to hang those nice parts on :)

We went ahead to try out some other bikes at the store like the StumpJumper and the Superlight. We decided in the end that the generic frame with top end parts was better than an "ok" frame with low end parts.. so we went home and ordered the Motobecane in size small.

Days before the bike shopping, I had been emailing bikes with random questions about if 2.35 tires would fit the Motobecane Fantom Team and the response was usually received with 24 hours (towards the end of the 24 hour period). I received a call from Bikes Direct the day after placing my order (just a few hours ago they called) and a sales person confirmed with me that I had ordered the correct size bike and they wanted to confirm my billing address, since it was different from the shipping address.

So far at this point we have decided to upgrade the stock 1.95 Kenda Klimax tires to 2.35 Kenda DTC Nevegal tires. We also received a tracking # from UPS this morning for the bike, so when the bike arrives I will post again on the progress. Until then, we are excited to see what happens next, and anticipate a good quality bike from

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Toyota Nation & Factory Service Manuals

I received a private message today from someone on the forums. Apparently, this individual was looking for a Toyota Sienna Factory Service Manual and the moderators had deleted my link, to make it more difficult for people to work on their Siennas. I frown upon this kind of behavior, so here are links to the first and second gen sienna factory service manuals.

1st gen FSM
2nd gen FSM


and here is the original thread on ToyotaNation: link

As you can see, the thread has been closed to prevent any further posting of service manuals - well they can go eat it!

Friday, April 2, 2010

DIY Video (partial): 1994 Toyota 4runner v6 4WD Companion Flange Seal Replacement

The underbelly of my 4runner was starting to get coated with gear oil around where the rear companion flange hooked up to the rear propeller shaft. I decided to go ahead and replace the seal in there. This was my first time replacing the seal and I actually ripped the first one I bought from Toyota of Palo Alto. I ended up having to drive the G35 over to Piercy Toyota in Milpitas to pick up another seal ($5). I didn't have anyone around to help me film, so the video footage is partial, but it's better than nothing and gives a general idea of what's required to get to the companion flange to replace the seal.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Denso Engine Air Filter 143-2057

A few days ago, my good friends at Independence Acura let me get my greasy palms one one of these Denso engine air filters for the VQ35DE Motor. This motor is used in a wide variety of cars from Nissan, including the Maxima, 350z, and the G35 from Infiniti.

I've been searching for a lower cost, higher quality replacement air filter for quite some time now, and finally I am satisfied to say that I have found a replacement that makes the OEM filter look cheap.

For starters, let's just note a few things about the OEM engine air filter. The oem filter has oiled paper media. This is superior to dry paper in that it is better able to catch debris, however, because it is paper, it does not flow quite as well as cotton gauze media. The trade-off here is that paper simply filters better, and that is why Nissan has chosen to go with the oiled paper style media in their filters.

Now if you take a look at the OEM filter, you will notice the rubber molding process surrounding the filter, is not quite as clean as the Denso filter. Additionally, I can't say this for sure but, I believe the rubber gasket on the denso filter, is actually silicon or nitrile. Then again, I can't say the oem filter isn't using a similar gasket either.

In general, I my vote goes to the Denso hands down for better quality at lower cost while retaining the "OEM vision."