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Comment Re:It's the economy, etc. (Score 1) 135

A 2017 Ram 1500 base truck is about $26,500 MSRP,

Have you driven the Ram? There's a reason why it's the least popular truck.

A Ram Promaster 1500 (based on the large Fiat van chassis) is around $30,000 MSRP.

It is a complete fucking shitpile. Every review of every model of Fiat Ducato (by any name) shows that it is underpowered, handles like dogshit, and is the least reliable vehicle in the segment.

FCA is circling the toilet bowl for a reason. Expect them to get bought out by VW within the next five years, because VW is going to need a new partner.

Comment Re: It's the economy, etc. (Score 1) 135

It's really odd to blame Trump for the current state of the economy.

That would be odd. It's only due to your poor reading comprehension skills that you think that I'm doing that.

He has been in power for only 2 months.

So? He has already made sweeping policy changes and more to the point, taken credit for bringing jobs back to America which are in fact not coming back to America. If he wants to take the credit, then his athletic supporters can be reminded of the fact that he has done no such thing.

Democrats have been delaying the confirmations of his nominees for various administrative positions, too, which has limited what he had done and can do.

Yeah, they've managed to delay some Russian employees from being placed in our government. Good on them.

The current economic problems aren't because of the administration that has been in partial control for only 2 months. These are problems thst go back to the last two administrations.

Trump claimed that he would make deals with the automakers to bring jobs back to America. But the jobs are leaving America. Exactly the opposite of what he promised is happening. And some of them are leaving specifically because Trump has become president. Notably, trust in American services is at an all-time low, and people are being dissuaded even more strongly from traveling to the USA than ever before by his travel policies. It's not just these muslim bans, or the muslim laptop ban for that matter, travelers from many countries are reporting having their laptops imaged and the like. Trump is having a chilling effect on America.

Comment It's the economy, etc. (Score -1, Offtopic) 135

All the automakers are cutting production all across the USA because they have back inventory piling up, and heavy truck sales are down, two sure signs that the economy is tanking. Despite rhetoric to the contrary, nothing Trump has done has done the slightest bit to turn this around. Rather, he has accelerate the process. Amusingly, the only plants where production is up are in Mexico. So much for bringing automotive jobs home!

Comment Re: please use a password manager.... (Score 1) 106

Doesn't even require Safari - there's a password assistant built into the OS, even though it's not exposed as an application.

I still have (and use) a third-party utility called "Password Assistant", which was written by the guy behind the now-defunct website It provides a wrapper application which gives you direct access to the built-in password generator. It's extremely handy, even outside the web browser.

Comment Re:sunset mode (Score 1) 110

Every project goes this way eventually. Firefox is usually the other poster child, right after GNOME. For my part, I really miss avant-window-navigator and compiz+emerald. For me that was kind of the apex of eye candy and usability. I haven't tried to build that stuff recently, but last time I gave it a shot, it was a long and uphill battle with very little satisfaction at the end.

Comment Re:Finally, I can switch to Gnome! (Score 1) 110

Ugh, no. Nobody means CDE. Though frankly I'm not clear why anyone would use mwm when they could use fvwm2. It looks just as bad, out of the box it works pretty much the same way, but it has all the bells and whistles that we expect to at minimum be contained in a vaguely modern window mangler. I have used mwm without the rest of CDE — I forget what the panel was called, ISTR it had some long and descriptive name which is no doubt why I can't remember. But the panel was arse, whereas just good old mwm was still fine.

Comment Re:Tractor investors, not breakers. (Score 1) 456

Part of the reputation for things going wrong in luxury cars is due to there simply being a lot more *to* go wrong,

That's why I bought the 300SD, and it's also why I bought the A8. The 300SD is as dead-nuts simple as it is possible for an S-Class to be. It has none of the fancy stuff they put on the gasoline models, except a sunroof. It does use advanced materials — it's got Aluminum hood and trunk lids, and it made early use of composite bumper pieces. This was a design completed in 1978! But it has extremely advanced driving characteristics for its age, due to the combination of its multilink front suspension and semi-trailing arm rear that provides controlled toe in response to body roll. When the springs and bushings are in good condition, the whole car completely cooperates with the driver even when pushing it past its limits. Without going into a lot of detail, the A8 is as close as you can get in a more modern luxobarge that has a slushbox, and there's a six-speed manual transmission available for it unlike, for the Mercedes. The AWD is based on a mechanical center diff, for example.

Another thing worth considering is cost/availability of parts...

That's why the W126 300SD has to go, and the D2 A8 is incoming. You can actually get parts for the A8. In fact, my 1998 is a "parts car" that I got for $300 which, except for the failed transmission, is actually nicer than my 1997 for which I paid... more. I hope to recoup some of the costs there by selling some of the more valuable parts from the 1997. The nineties were truly a time at which Audi really only sold one car but in different sizes, and there is a lot of sharing between the A4, A6, A8, and even the VW Passat. (Wikipedia claims that the B3 Passat was a completely distinct design which does not share parts with Audi models. Nope.)

Jaguar parts are easy to source in the UK and relatively cheap, but in other countries they can be difficult to find and expensive for instance.

For large parts, that's a problem. For small ones, I can reasonably source parts from the UK or Germany. I've done both, though I'm not sure I've done both in the course of working on the Audi. I certainly have for the Mercedes.

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