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Comment: Re:High power use doesn't have to be dirty: (Score 1) 706

Or, I may buy another old car and convert it to electric, so that it would have almost no software (the only software would be charging and motor control though maybe motor control could be done without software using analog electronics, with everything else being mechanical).

So, it would be an electric car that looks good (not like the modern aerodynamic cars) and has no internet connection, no touchscreens, no operating system inside and one that does not need any software updates.

Comment: Re:High power use doesn't have to be dirty: (Score 1) 706

Electric cars eliminate most of those things.

And add new problems - long refill time, limited battery life (the gas tank in my car is as old as the car - will the batteries in an electric car last 30 years?), huge cost. Now, all new cars also are built very weak (just drive on a gravel road a few times and the car will be full of dents), not to mention that they use aluminium for the chassis (good luck straightening that out if it gets bent driving over potholes). Also, all new cars (electric or gasoline) look bad - the manufacturers put too much effort into making the car aerodynamically efficient that now almost all new cars look exactly the same no matter what manufacturer. Again, I do not care that much about fuel cost that I would sacrifice everything else just to get that fuel consumption down 1%.

More to the point, you argue from your specific case - someone who drives a very old car and does his own repairs

Well, yes, I arguing from my point of view. I repair my own car (mostly) or my radio or tape deck. As such, I appreciate when I can find the schematics for it and if the hardware in question is not overly complex. You know, kinda like a lot of open source advocates here or on other forums, who say that closed source is bad because only the company that created the software can modify it etc. This is the same, except for hardware. While I may never need to patch a PC operating system myself (or be able to do it anyway), I know that my car or other mechanical devices can and will fail over time and I will need to repair them. No matter how good something was built, it will wear out and need repairs over time.

As for reliability - I have noticed that other cars (newer ones especially) are very reliable, but if something fails (and you are away from home) then you're stuck. With my car, something could be not working right more often (then again, I repair that and it will be working right for the next 10 years or so) but complete failures (I cannot go home) happen much less often and are usually the result of some oxidized connection somewhere - that can be fixed by a piece of wire bypassing the affected system (maybe the car won't run as well but it will get me home where I can repair the problem properly).

Comment: Re:High power use doesn't have to be dirty: (Score 0) 706

No matter how full of computers a car is, it will still have the same mechanical components - valves, pistons, camshaft, throttle, steering, suspension. In some cases, with modern cars the system might actually have more mechanical parts than my car. Just because the throttle is controlled by a computer does not mean that there are no mechanical parts - actually there are more - the electric actuator that moves the throttle on command and the sensor at the pedal.

Comment: Re:High power use doesn't have to be dirty: (Score 0) 706

Fuel efficiency is not my only concern (though my car is modified to use LPG which costs about half what gasoline costs and the car only uses slightly more of it). I can do most of the repairs on my car myself, I can understand how it works (try that with a car that has 20million lines of code in it). Everything is accessible - replacing a burned out bulb takes a few minutes and does not require removing of a wheel or bumper. No repair whatsoever requires me to go to a dealer so that he can reset the warning lights (since that is DRM protected).

I prefer manual transmission over automatic - more reliable and I can push start the car if needed. I have two working hands and legs, I can shift gears without any problem (and is discourages me from talking on my cell phone without hands-free device - it is extremely inconvenient to shift gears while holding a cellphone).

You can also add that I am wasting fuel because I am not retuning the carburetor and changing the air filter every day or at least once a week :)

126 is a good car, though a bit too complicated for my tastes. And if I had one I probably would swap the transmission to manual (if there were 126s made with it so I can get an original).

In my experience, VW, Audi and Nissan cars that I rode in had very stiff suspension - not fun when the streets are full of potholes.

Comment: Re:High power use doesn't have to be dirty: (Score 1, Informative) 706

Not everybody started putting computers in cars in 1975. For example, my W123, built in 1982 does not have computers in it (the MCUs in a much newer tape deck do not count, as they are not required for the operation of the car).

The car in the link uses fuel injection and that usually requires an analog (or digital) computer. However, a carburetor does not require a computer and my car uses a carburetor. Neither does vacuum ignition advance. Or a manual transmission.

Comment: High power use doesn't have to be dirty: (Score 3, Insightful) 706

As long as it's cheap, I do not care how the power is generated - coal, gasoline, nuclear, enslaved environmentalists...

Oh, and unless there is an electric car with decent range that does not have software in it (actually, you can have a single ATMEGA MCU, but the source needs to be open), I'm keeping my gasoline powered car (that does not have software in it).

Comment: Re:Automotive-grade? (Score 1) 88

by Pentium100 (#47365811) Attached to: Automotive Grade Linux Released For Open Source Cars

1982 Mercedes W123. It has a carburetor and does not have an ECU. Ignition is electronic, but not a computer, other circuits are analog (I have seen two versions of the turning signal relay - one uses two transistors and a bunch of passives and the other uses a 555 chip).

The tape deck (much newer than the car, but still plays tapes) has a couple of MCUs, so it is more complicated than the car.

Comment: Re:Automotive-grade? (Score 3, Interesting) 88

by Pentium100 (#47363395) Attached to: Automotive Grade Linux Released For Open Source Cars

Every time I read news like his, I start liking my car that does not have computers even more. Everything's simple, no software to mess up and I can change a headlamp lightbulb in it in 5 minutes or less. The carb needs new seals though, but rebuilding a carburetor is easier than understanding modern cars.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27