CRF250X Tip: Sunline Case Saver DOES NOT Fit

Category: Motorcycles

Perhaps this is more of an anti-tip, but here it is anyway.

As we all know, sometimes 250R parts fit, sometimes they don't. In this case, it didn't. I tried a Sunline Case Saver (Part # 101-00-002) on my 2004 CRF250X, and the chain rubbed on it big time. $30 down the drain. I think it's because of the D-ring chain (or whatever it is) that differs from the 250R, so if you aren't running the stock chain and you have the offset spacer, you might be able to get it to fit.

Incidentally...anybody interested in buying a slightly scratched but never actually ridden Sunline Case Saver for a 250R?

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CRF250X Tip: Fuel Screw Installation, Reconnecting The Carburetor Boots

Category: Motorcycles

I recently installed a new Sunline Fuel Screw in my 2004 CRF250X. In order to do so, I had to break the carb loose from the airbox-to-carb boot and the carb-to-cylinder boot so that I could turn the carb out toward me to get to the bottom of it. Boots circled below, although airbox-to-carb boot is hidden behind frame.

CRF250X Carb Boots
CRF250X Carb Boots

First I had to remove the seat, shrouds, tank and fuel line, side panels, muffler mounting bolts, and lower subframe bolts. Then I had to loosen the upper subframe bolt, the airbox-to-carb band screw, and the carb-to-cylinder band bolt. After lifting and rotating the subframe up until the rear fender rested on the tank-or rather, where the tank used to be-I could now break the carb loose from the boots and rotate it.

However, upon finishing the job of installing the fuel screw, I ran into a nightmare of a time getting the carb reconnected to the boots on each side. With the aluminum twin spar frame, there is hardly any room to work and maneuver the carb. I'm ashamed to say it took me 3 times thinking I had it together and then having to tear the bike back apart again to fix it.

The trick that I finally figured out was to take a tiny bit of grease and run it around the inner lip of each boot. This allowed the carb to slip into it with far less effort on my part. It was amazing to me how I could spend so much time trying to get these parts to fit together inside the bike and then just by adding a tiny bit of grease I had them both connected in a couple minutes.

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Wordpress 2.5.1 Bug - Admin Can't Publish

Category: WordPress

In Wordpress 2.5.1, after you've created additional publishing users, the administrator account can no longer publish posts or pages. Or rather, the administrator can publish, but it appears under another user's name as the administrator's account is not an option in the drop down.

After quite some digging, I found a solution, or rather a work-around, posted by jmrussell on this Wordpress forum:

  • Once the error occurs, go to the Users page in the admin section of the site
  • Select the checkbox next to the administrator's name
  • In the dropdown above, set "Change role to..." to Administrator and then, with the administrator only selected, click Change.

Now your administrator should be able to publish. You can go back and edit each post that may have accidentally been published under another username by modifying the Post Author field and setting it to your administrator's name.

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Kobayashi Maru For Developers

Category: Web Development

Being the geek that I am, I remembered the reference to the Kobayashi Maru from Star Trek many years ago, but I was surprised when one of my professors in college brought it up in reference to a sorting algorithm. His linking these two references changed the way I thought about solving problems.

But first, a brief history...

In Star Trek lore, there is a test that captains must go through. Notice I said "go through" rather than "pass". The purpose was to test the character of the captain-to-be. The test setup a no-win situation in which the captain had to choose between letting one of two groups of people die. It was impossible to save both groups of people. However, as the story goes, Kirk was the only captain to find a way to "pass" the test. He did so by reprogramming the simulator such that there was a way to pass.

And now back to our story...

In my Data Structures II class in college, we were given the task to write the most efficient program to sort a list of 1000 random integers from the set 1 to 1000. (I think it was 1-1000, it might have been 1-10000 or more. It doesn't really matter for the purpose of this explanation.) That is, the list could contain the same number twice or more or there may not be any instances of a particular number. Every student would be given the same list of numbers, so the test was to see how fast you could sort the list.

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Yahoo vs. Eric Meyer CSS Reset

Category: Web Development

In my post titled WebVisions 2008 Conference Debriefing, I mentioned the concept of a CSS reset and provided links to two versions: the Eric Meyer CSS Reset and the Yahoo UI Library CSS Reset. Both address the issue of browser having their own internal stylesheets that don't necessarily match.

For example: an h2 tag in one browser might have font-size: 16px; and margin-bottom: 12px; while another might have font-size: 18px; and margin-bottom: 14px;. That means that without any of your own CSS work, the same plain-Jane <h2>Some Subtitle</h2> code will look differently. These are the battles web developers have to face and why we hate IE for its non-standard renderings.

The purpose of the concept of a CSS reset is to put all browsers on an even playing field before you begin to style the content. That is, make sure that all elements render the same on all browsers (or rather, all major browsers) so that adding your own styling will have the same effect across the spectrum of renderings. That's not to say that you won't need to make special hacks to fix inconsistent renderings *cough-IE-cough*, but a CSS reset puts you a lot closer to the end goal than where you started.

I've only tried implementing and developing CSS with the Eric Meyer CSS reset and the Yahoo reset once each, so my experience here is somewhat limited, but these are my initial impressions. While both are essentially the same technique and could be adapted to behave more like the other, I'm going to address the out-of-the-box functionality.

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Remove Fancy Quotes From WordPress

Category: WordPress

If you're annoyed by the fancy quotes that WordPress replaces your normal quotes with (i.e. “these quotes” rather than "these regular quotes"), there's an easy way to get rid of them. Just use Semiologic's Unfancy Quote Plugin For WordPress and presto chango, your fancy quotes are gone!

I had found some lower-level hacks to WordPress and some crazy-complex Javascript that fixed this, but none of them were as simple and easy to use as Semiologic's solution.

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Remove Generator Field From WordPress Meta

Category: WordPress

WordPress automagically interjects meta content specifying that the generator of the webpage is WordPress and, specifically, what version it is. Like this:

<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 2.5.1" />

If you want to remove that, there's an easy way to do it. If you don't already have a functions.php file in your theme, create one. Make sure that it starts with <?php and ends with ?> and has NOTHING outside those tags or it will cause your theme to yak.

Now add the following line to your functions.php file:

remove_action('wp_head', 'wp_generator');

And that should do it! Now you can go through all your plugins and remove the comments and other garbage they interject in order to try to hide the fact that you're running WordPress.

Edit: As Jerry pointed out in the comments, you could still see the generator meta in the RSS feed. I found a solution to this at

Simply add this code to your theme's functions.php file.

// Remove WP version info
function hide_wp_vers()
    return '';
} // end hide_wp_vers function


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Sending Email From PHP On GoDaddy (And Possibly Other Hosts)

Category: Web Development

Recently, while working on the temporary site for Moonfar, I wanted to send the user an email as confirmation that they had signed up for email notifications. Essentially, you define the recipient, the subject line, the body, a few headers, and then call the mail() function while passing those parameters to it. PHP's mail() function does the rest, provided that your host has PHP configured properly.

Let me preface this by saying that I've only tested this on GoDaddy's Linux Deluxe Hosting plan. If you are trying to do this with another web host, you need to make sure that the install of PHP you are using supports the mail() function.

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WebVisions 2008 Conference Debriefing

Category: Web Development

I recently attended the WebVisions 2008 conference in Portland, OR. It was my first conference, so I can't speak to the quality with much experience. However, my general opinion was that there was some good, some bad, and some ugly, as one might expect. That said, the good was well worth the experience. Plus, I won the grand prize raffle: Adobe CS3 Premier. Although, as of the date of this post, I have not yet received it.

You can find the podcasts of the presentations and the associated presentation slides with these links:

Here is a quick debriefing of my impressions of the presentations and the most important things I learned:

Blogging For A Living

Jim Turner

  • Bloggers are social media managers
  • Be an evangelist through your blog
  • Monitor the net for negative or inaccurate information about your organization and use your blog to rapidly respond and provide an official statement to correct misinformation
  • "Control is an illusion. You can't control what is being said. It's already happening. You can't stop employees from spreading information, so push forward with positive blogging." (Paraphrased)

Hacking Social Media

DL Byron

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Guitar Tips And Tricks

Category: Guitars

This is intended to be a living document, so check back often for new tips and tricks to help your guitar playing. These appear in no particular order.

Use a metronome when you practice. This helps establish consistent timing, accuracy, and synchronization between your left and right hands. Your playing will improve much faster by using a metronome. You can also build up speed by slowly increasing the tempo in small increments such as 8bpm at a time.

Shorten the length of your strap. Sure, it looks cool to play with your guitar hung really low, but it hurts your playing. If you're more concerned with looking cool, then you probably aren't reading this anyway. Your left hand can't reach or stretch as far as it can with the guitar high up. The higher the guitar, the more your thumb can be behind the neck and the more your wrist can be pushed forward and your hand can wrap around the neck. Think of holding the neck like you'd pick up a pencil, not how you'd pick up a shovel.

Pay attention to where you fret. Fretting in the middle between strings has a different sound and feeling than fretting right behind the fret. For accuracy, precision, and tone, you should fret as close to the back side of the fret as possible without muting the tone of the string. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule, as Eric Johnson is quick to point out.

Less is terms of gain. Many beginning guitarists want their sound to be completely distorted because it sounds cool. Surprisingly, a lot of the music you might want to emulate isn't as distorted as you might think. Also, it's important to understand that tone is a big part of playing guitar. If you have too much distortion, there is no tone. No tone, means less distinction between notes, which equals poor dynamic and melodic contrast.

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