Traffic Circles

I can hear it now – “I hate them!”.

You’ll have to get over it. More are coming every year. They provide for increased and quicker traffic flow when used properly.

How often are you at the front waiting to enter the circle only to have someone exit leaving a nice gap – but you weren’t ready. You didn’t know you were going to get a chance because they didn’t use their turn signal.

Traffic circles work best when the flow of traffic is smooth and continuous. That only works if drivers exiting the circle let other drivers know they are exiting. If you have ever been through Tallmadge circle in rush hour you know it can work pretty well. That’s because people who use it then have learned how to use it properly.

I know there’s more to it to make it better but good communication is a good start.

So don’t be afraid of traffic circles – and use your turn signal.


Driving in the Rain

Driving in the rain, particularly in the early morning or evening, can be a bit of a challenge. It’s important to be able to be seen and to see other vehicles.

That’s why, in Ohio at least, you are REQUIRED to operate your headlights if you are using your wipers. It doesn’t matter why you operate your wipers – you just need to turn on the headlights.

NOT your PARKING LIGHTS! Parking lights are for PARKING. You can be cited for moving while you have only your parking lights on in Ohio.

This is not that hard. It’s mostly to make you more visible during nasty weather. It’s for YOUR OWN GOOD!

A New Motherboard for the Desktop PC

After more than 6 years I figured it was time to upgrade the hardware. There is nothing (almost) wrong with the old hardware – it’s just a bit dated.

The old motherboard was populated with an AMD Athlon XP 250, 4 GB of ram, an ATI video card, a 4-port USB 3.0 card, and an Adaptec 29320 SCSI card. Windows 10 did not like the USB card and the video card had a fan issue. Otherwise it all works fine. If I was to reuse this board somewhere else I would probably just drop the video card and use the on-board video.

I upgraded to a new motherboard (Asus with a B350 chipset), CPU (AMD Ryzen 2200G), and memory (8 GB). I kept the SCSI card but otherwise everything else is new.

I had a few issues:

1. I use two monitors (one is actually a TV) and the board supports up to three using the usual three different connectors – after you install the real drivers. The problem was that the Windows driver picked one – the TV. An annoyance of course but at least I could start the ball rolling. My first attempt at drivers was to install from the DVD that came with the motherboard – almost always a bad idea. It was in this case too. The result was basically unusable. I downloaded the CURRENT drivers and all is well now.

2. My backup software (Backup4all) didn’t like that I changed the motherboard and invalidated the license. I’m still working on this but if I had known before the upgrade I could have ‘disconnected’ the license then reactivated after. I’m waiting on a response from them for a final solution but I have a temporary workaround.

3. And Windows 10 was not happy. When I tried to reactivate it said ‘NO!’. There is a pretty good explanation of what to do after a major hardware change but it didn’t work because I don’t use a Microsoft login. There was no way to associate a previous activation so I could reuse it on the new hardware. A call to Microsoft was super unhelpful. Fortunately I had a spare license key which worked perfectly.

If I had set up a Microsoft account for login BEFORE I upgraded the upgrade would have gone smoothly. If you are not using a Microsoft account login I recommend that you set it up NOW before you need it so your license can be associated with the Microsoft account. You can turn it back off later and go back to a local login.

4. One last observation about this process – Allow a FULL day to do this kind of update. Don’t start at 8 PM like I did. Without problems that would have been plenty of time but I should have known better – Murphy was just waiting for me on this one.