Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A quest towards faster start-up on Ubuntu 16.10

Recently I was noticing slow start-up on my laptop. It has Ubuntu 16.10. It comes with systemd. I had a number of programs collected through almost one year of use.
So I first went through Synaptic and removed the ones not required any more. This helped to some extent. Systemd has a nice tool called systemd-analyze that gives you a clear picture of all that's happening with your system at start-up. So using systemd-analyze critical-path, systemd-analyze blame, and systemd-analyze plot > plot.svg, I got loads of information about the bunch of things that are making the start-up slow.
So I went through disabling a number of unwanted services and removing few more programs/utilities and finally got the boot time down from 57sec to 32Sec.
I'm stuck there though. But again my laptop is five year old Lenovo with Pentium D 2.1GHz processor and 2GB of RAM and a 320GB SATA HDD, so maybe that's the best it can do!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

3rd Service of Hero Duet

    We have been struggling with the leaking front fork seals for a while and Pratibha Motors Authorized Service Center didn't have the replacements for about a month. So I searched and found Mulraj Auto Authorized Service Center. Wife took the bike there for servicing. Next day we got the bike back. Actually previously we were looking only for seals replacement, but by the time the bike reached the service center it had covered about 3100KM, so we thought to get the 3rd servicing done. 
    The bill was INR 430/-. They had tightened the bike. Looking at the engine assembly it looked like it's all opened up and put together. The bike was cleaned, with grease applied to brakes etc. The leaking seals were fixed of course. The idling was tuned a bit and the scooter doesn't stop while idling. But still it idles like a haffing dog!!! I checked it out with a 5km short ride, and I could see the difference in pickup. Maybe they replaced the faulty crankshaft and flywheel. So the bike is very peppy now from idle. Previously the torque would come after you have crossed initial dog-zone where it was like 5yr old activa. Now it's comparable to Jupitor in terms of pick-up and acceleration. 
    To test it out further we decided on a long ride to Lavasa next saturday. The distance is about 100km. The traffic till Pirangut was light, and after that no traffic. We had fun riding the empty roads doing 60-70. Also we came to know about the engine overheating problem. The engine was almost fine till 40Km and we reached Temghar Dam fine. Since then it's uphill climb and the engine heated up and started knocking and puttering. But it was just few more km to Lavasa so we didn't stop. Just kept going. It was funny hearing the engine do putt-pott and have the bike do hee-haww. But it got us to Lavasa Entry gate. 
    We did not have any plans to go ahead and visit Lavasa. The 200Rs per bike entry fee confirmed our belief that Lavasa is not worth any repeat visit. So we had Chai-Poha in a nearby hotel and started our return journey. The Chai was awesome and we had two cups each. Also there were about 2 dozen bikers each on a Duke/Pulsar/Enfield etc. 
    By the time we left the bike had cooled off. So not much engine putt-pott till we reached Hinjewadi. Also the traffic kept us at low speeds of 30-40. By the time we reached Hinijewadi it was 10'o'clock and the heat had climbed up several degrees and so the engine started knocking a bit. But we kept to low speeds and reached home safely. 
    So after 3rd servicing the Duet is doing much better. But still there are issues. Also we didn't measure the fuel consumption this time. But I think I should start on the fuel part to see how much fuel efficient the Duet is after 3 Services. Lets see. Ciao!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Hero Duet Silent Recall

https://www.motorbeam.com/2017/03/bikes/hero-maestro-edge/hero-maestro-edge-recalled-silently-1-5-lakh-units-affected-scoop/

So some news about our Hero Duet. Looks like hero motocorp has fucked it up for good. 

We have done about 3000 km till date. And the scooter has become kind of rubbish with leaky suspension and reduced pickup. Probably needs a service. So hearing this news I asked wife to dump it for servicing. 
Let's see if the servicing guys fix this turd. 

On the positive side - Hero did get some things right. Above 55kmph no vibrations. So good for highway riding. So is stability at high speeds - which may be because of the weight. But still with good suspension it gives you confidence. The light is not enough in night and needs tune-up for proper focus. But we keep on forgetting it every time we give it for servicing. Maybe I'll correct it when I start self-servicing the bike. Oil change and basic engine tune up doesn't look all that difficult. 
The seating is not that bad. We got a replacement seat cover that's made up of mesh like material which keeps bottom aerated and so saves on ass-burn on long trips. In India's hot and humid weather leather seats don't make much sense. 
The accelerator is easy on pull. Recently I rode an old active and the accelerator was murderous. After 10mins my wrist was burning like hell. The brakes are also fine, though being drum type they lack bite and you have to be cautious when riding at high speeds. 
Storage space works fine. The two hooks at front work great. The grip at the back is bit overkill but is comfortable. The styling like looks too much like Activa but works. Overall the Duet is a fine dream designed in a hurry. But seems like hero was not finished with the refinement. And still the rushed the product to market without enough testing. And so now thousands of units later, the black dots are coming to the fore. 
From my experience working in automotive domain, getting a vehicle working perfectly is difficult. The many parts sourced from number of suppliers often have their own issues and in the middle of it all maintaining the desired quality is difficult. Due to this an often given advice is to skip the first generation of any product. 
So where to from here? If hero can fix the problems and the bike experience gets better, then there is future for Duet. Or else people will avoid all hero branded bikes. And in this competitive bike market that can cause your downfall however big you are. 
Let's see what happens. Ciao.