Sam Trenholme's webpage
This article was posted to the Usenet group alt.hackers in 1995; any technical information is probably outdated.

How to make people back off...

Article: 7935 of alt.hackers
From: (Gavin Sallery)
Newsgroups: alt.hackers
Subject: How to make people back off...
Date: 1 Jun 1995 20:45:03 +0100
Organization: Demon Internet News Service
Lines: 68
Approved: Clearance UV
Distribution: world
X-Newsreader: Risc PC TTFN Version 0.36
Status: RO

> In article <tdi.801952834@choices>, Tod D. Ihde
<> wrote:
> >ObHack:
> >I recently mounted a momentary switch on my steering wheel. When
> >tailing me, I just thumb the switch until they back
off. Unfortunately, it
> >doesn't seem to work on some people.
> So what does the switch _do_?  (I assume it must do _something_, as
I can't
> imagine that people back off just because you're pressing a switch that
> does nothing :-) )  Trigger your brake lights, perhaps?

I'd guess it was connected to the reversing lights. I use this trick on my
Astra, but it doesn't require any hackery. Here's the gearbox layout:

	R 1 4 5
	! ! ! !
	  ! !
	  2 3

If you move the gear stick to point A (you have to pull up a collar to do
this, but no problem), then the reed switch (I assume) that triggers your
reversing lights activates, without the car actually going into reverse. It's
very effective if you brake sharp(ish) beforehand. Seen it in a Volvo, too -
a Mercedes was following about four metres away at 50mph, so the driver just
dropped the clutch, pulled the stick across, and that Merc slammed on its
brakes and backed off a *long* way - nobody wants to follow a maniac!

Anyway, now for an:

ObHack: Hmmm... what have I done recently? Reprogram some graphical demos to
run as screensavers under BlackOut on Risc OS 3.5? Naah, too easy. Re-wired
my room? No, tricky but too straightforward. How about a hacker-ish but
pointless one? Here goes:

Making a 'speed indicator' for my Risc PC. Actually, as a measure of system
speed, it's utterly useless, but it serves it's main purpose, which is to
provide some sort of visual feedback which lets me know if the system's
crashed or not, and also provides some flashing lights, for appearances'
sake! Basically, just hooked up a row of LEDs to the parallel port (no
buffers circuitry - that's why I have a *real* computer), and wrote a program
(BASIC, would you believe - I haven't downloaded PERL yet) to do a barrel
shift on the parallel port every time it was polled by the system. So I get a
little 'running light' display, which gets faster the fewer tasks there are
running on the system. And more importantly, it stops when the system stops
polling - sometimes useful, as you might not notice a system crash for a
while due to the fact that the mouse pointer updates on a hardware interrupt,
so even if your system has crashed, you may get mouse response. Oh, so it was
lame. Let's think of something better:

Most wateful way of sing a walkman - make an audio lead from it! After
shifting the layout of my desk around, I found that my audio lead would not
run from the computer to the amplifier. And I didn't have any 3.5mm headphone
sockets in the house (foolish me :-)	). So, simply take apart a dead
walkman, snap the PCB a couple of times, and voila! A rather chunky extension
box, with the added advantage of a volume control (!). The wire threads in
quite neatly through the external power hole in the chassis, and if I can be
bothered I'll run my other audio lines through it and use it as a switch box
(never waste a box, that's what my grandad used to say... I suppose that's
why we buried him in a cornflakes packet...	    (humour, allegedly)).

 ______  _________
/__	(_	  \ Hertfordshire, England
\_|avin __)allery  \______________________
... Divers do it deeper.


Back to index