Friday, April 29, 2005

Repair Problems

The paper machine's speed controlled drive system was down and the company was losing $10,000 anhour in profits. They placed an emergency call to theGeneral Electric repair service and, since it was 3:00am on Saturday night, the only repair man they had available was old Charlie.

Old Charlie had been a repairman for 35 years andwas only two years from retirement. He had seen it all and wasn't impressed by much.

As old Charlie pulled up to the guard shack at the plantentrance, he was waved through and greeted by no one less than the plant manager. "Thank goodness you'rehere. How long will it take you to fix it?"

Now Charlie had had nothing more than the sketchiest description of the problem but he replied without hesitation, "Oh, about fifteen minutes."

"Great!" replied the plant manager, "My men will show you where the drive controls are and get you anything you need."

After three hours of testing, reading prints, asking questions, the drive system was still not working.The plant manager became increasingly enraged and accosted old Charlie,
"I thought you said you could fix this thing in FIFTEEN MINUTES!"

"I can and I will, " he replied, "As soon as I figure out what's wrong with it!"

Monday, April 18, 2005

Pavement Drawings

I found this guy brilliant. He is an excellent artist. Take a look at his page.

Google Maps

Hey, Check out the satellite image view (link on that page) here. It is really brilliant of Google to do something like that ! Now the chances of getting lost is even minimum and you do not have to go for a costly GPS system. Hah !

The next step will be a virtual walkthrough or should I say a driving experience!!!

Any plans for this ?

Buzy with Car Purchase !

Mmmmmm...Finally my car purchase is over. It had gone well over 2 months. Finally I came upon the technique which works.
1. Search for the car in Craig's list (Private seller). (This list is useful for a whole lot of other things also) Also check out these websites also: and

Check MSN Auto for reviews on your car and whether it has a recall and user's reviews:

2. Check the VIN number in for any salvage/damage title, odometer fault. If yes, forget the vehicle. If things are clean, next step is

3. KBB value at

4. Finally contact seller, take a drive and if you find things good, then take to a mechanic or dealer for a 100 point inspection.

You can request the seller to meet you, most of them oblige (specially Indians in US). If you don't have a car and are dependent on friends, you can mention it to the seller, he will mostly come, except in exceptional cases.
If the car has cleared the 100 point inspection also, yes, the car is good. Go ahead and strike a deal with the seller. Try to purchase at the good KBB value of the car, if you do not get it for any less.

5. The next step is change of ownership title. You will have to register this at your local DMV office.

Not so fast..

6. U need a smog certificate

7. Also an insurance certificate to drive the car. (providing u hold a licence). You will find that the IDP can also be used. Get one before you come to US. You can complete an online quote and deal for the insurance. Companies like Progressive (the best one so far), GEICO(the costliest), Allstate (very costly and unfriendly). Also, join up AAA, they offer you maps and roadside assitance 24x7 for punctures, empty gas tank and towing services for the next 1 year.

I have given below the format for car follow-up.
S.No - 1
Year - 1998
Car Brand - Mitsubhi
Variation / Model - DE Sedan Mirage
Miles - 97000
Condition - Good
Asking Price - 4000$
Mail ID - mail id of seller
Where ? - Craig'slist (shortcut)
VIN - 123456789ABC1234
KBB Value-Fair - 2850
KBB Value-Good - 3950
KBB Value-Excel - 4600

Contact Name - ABC
Contact Number - 1231231234
CarFax Report - Rental Use but Good

Lastly but not least base your car purchase based upon resale value and car movement. Better to go for Japanese cars since they sell faster and last longer (upto 2 hundred thousand miles or more) The good brands would be Acura, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Mazda.
Any one needs any other queries answered, please place a comment, I shall get back to you.