Monthly Archives: January 2006

More Paint and Flooring

At one point, we thought we were done with the living room.  After painting the floor trim, we are not so sure anymore.  I don’t think anybody, including ourselves, really like the ugly brown / orange that the color ended up being.  We’re going to wait a little to see what it looks like with the floor boards, but I don’t think we’re going to paint the dining room floor boards the same color.

We already painted the ceiling and put the first coat on the walls in the dining room.  We’re going to be putting the second coat of paint on the walls today, and then finish the room up by painting all the trim in the room white.  After that, we just need to wire the living room and dining room.  That’s not counting flooring of course.

I stopped at Home Depot two days ago, and passed by some laminate flooring that was what Kristin and I liked on sale.  Was only $.97 / sq foot.  Stopped at home and picked up Kristin so that she could check it out.  We ended up buying enough laminate to cover the living room and dining room floor.  We’re going to have to work on the floors a bit to level them out before we can lay it down though.

All Moved In

The moving in is finished and everything has been moved over to the house.  Funny part was that when we moved the couch in the apartment, there was this little circle under it where the cats always laid down.  Anyways, the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen have everything moved into it.  If it is not related to those rooms, then it is currently in the basement waiting for the room to be finished.

We’ve painted the living room ceiling and the walls.  We ended up having to put two coats of paint on the living room walls to get it looking nice.  The walls really do look great now.  I think today Kristin is planning on taping the walls so that I can finish up by painting the trim in the living room.  We’re  not going to do the window trim until the new windows are in.  I also found this really awesome remote switch for the fan.  Currently, the switch for the fan / lights is located inbetween the two windows (which is just hard to get to especially since the TV was going to be there.  The remote goes in a standard box and then there is a second piece that gets connected between the wiring in the fan.  This allows us to put a box in next to the door, with a switch that works, without need to rewire the power to the fan which would be very difficult to do.  I haven’t installed it yet, but am planning on doing it later this week.

For the dining room, George has boxed in the HVAC duct that was next to the fireplace and made it flush with the fireplace.  It now blends in nicely.  He is planning on doing the second coat of joint compound today so that tonight we will be able to primer the walls.  I have already primered the ceiling last night.  While I was taping the chandilier, a wire was loose and disconnected the light.  We ended up just removing the chandilier right now until we’re finished.  Once the room is all painted, we’ll put it (or a different one) back up.

Living Room Colors

Almost forgot to write about the living room.  We’ve already primed the living room and have painted the ceiling last night.  We should be able to get started on the walls before next week.  We have another color sheet that I uploaded that have the colors we’re painting the living room, dining room, and hallway with.  The one change that is not on the sheet is with the window trim.  We’ve decided to paint the trim around the windows the same color white as the ceiling, but with Eggshell.

Some Remodeling Pictures

Found the camera cable today and managed to get the few pictures Kristin took with the camear.  My Mom also posted her pictures so I added those also.  I created a new album under the 2639 Bremont album for the remodeling pictures.  Where moving the bedroom, bathroom, and misc stuff today and then the rest tomorrow.  I’ll be taking more pictures of what has been done with the house today and post them tonight or sometime this weekend.

Block Windows and Carpet

The block windows were installed yesterday and they really make a huge difference inside and out.  They just look so much nicer from the outside of the house.  The installation of the windows probably took about 6 hours.  The windows look great from the inside also, and you can already tell a temperature change with the windows.  That’s mostly because the old windows were single pain cracked windows where you could feel the draft coming through.

The carpet in the master bedroom was also done yesterday and the color Kristin picked out really goes very well with the room.  We’re both really excited because things are coming along so nicely.  Only thing left in the bedroom is vacuum, screw in the closet bars, and then connect the closet light up in the attic.  Nothing that will take long at all.

I also started working in the basement cleaning it out.  I removed all the wood that was screwed into the walls that were there just to hold coats, tools, etc.  I also cleaned out the little workroom downstairs and tore out the drywall ceiling.  It really needed to be tore out and I need to waterproof the ceiling better.  The workroom is actually under the back porch so you can see where a little water came through in the past.  We’ve decided to make that little room the server / networking room for me.  I’m planning on washing the floor down there today / tomorrow so that when we move all the living room / dining room / office stuff down there, it won’t get too dirty.  We’ll start moving the stuff out of the basement once each room gets done.

Plans for the rest of this week are mostly moving.  We’re going to be spending Friday and Saturday moving out of our apartment and into the house.  The lease is up on the 21st for the apartment, but the power is being shut off on the 20th.  Friday we will be moving mostly bathroom / bedroom stuff into the house and then Saturday will be spent moving everything else.   I think Sunday will be spent painting the ceiling in the living room and working on the workroom downstairs since the server will be ready to be in there.

We’ve taken pictures that we hopefully will be posting this weekend.  The camera cable was packed away and was one of the first thing packed away.  The problem being that it’s the box hardest to get to and we would need to move everything else out of the way.  Just going to grab it when we move.

Moving Along

Well, we’re moving along.  Kristin finished painting the door trim and the doors in the kitchen today.  She just painted them a flat white with no coloring (boooooo).  I just vacuumed a bit in the master bedroom and cleaned everything off the floor since we are having the carpet installed tomorrow.  I also went downstairs and started hanging the telephone and ethernet wires.  I have finished hanging the bedroom phone line and have connected it already.  I ran the ethernet wires next to the heater next to our cubby room.  I have decided if I’m going to drill a hole into the cubby hole and have all the wires meet in that room.  I’m kind of leaning in that direction though.

Tomorrow I took of work so I can be at the house while the carpet is installed and the glass block windows are taken care of.  By the end of tomorrow, the kitchen, garage, and master bedroom will be finished.  We already have moved everything in the apartment kitchen over and need to move the bedroom from the apartment to the house next.  We will probably do that on Friday, possibly Thursday after we get off work. 

Kitchen and Master Bedroom Check

Been a while since the last post about the house, mostly because of being so busy.  Kristin and I are really tired from working so much lately, but here is what is going on.

The kitchen is almost finished.  It’s so close that we’ve already moved all the kitchen stuff from the apartment to the house.  The only thing left to do is paint the door frames.  The new dishwasher was installed, the ceiling was primed and painted white, the cabinets were painted white inside and out, and the walls were primed and painted yellow.  Kristin picked the color and loves it, just reminds me of an omelet. The panty has been finished also.  The light in the pantry was installed and works great also.  The new electric outlet for the fridge has been wired up and is working correctly.

The master bedroom is almost finished also.  We’ve finished painting, George installed the extra wood so that we can have a two level closet, and I’ve wired up the cat5, cable, and phone line.  We have carpet coming in on Wednesday.  We’ve also added a light inside the closet, we just need to connect the line up for power which won’t be too much of a problem.

We also looked into getting block windows for the basement windows.  The price was lower than we were expecting, so we decided to get the block windows now.  Each window will have a vent and we went with the Decora pattern.  We are getting the windows through Ace Glass Block.  The glass block windows will be installed on Wednesday also.

My Dad was able to stop over Sunday and he finished installing the garage door.  He actually managed to get it to work perfectly which was amazing considering some of the height and bar problems that we were running into.  It was really great of him to do since he is working 60 hours a week at work.  Today I cleaned out most of the garage, scrubbed down the concrete, and Kristin cars fits in the garage great.  It’s actually in there right now since we car pool to work every day.  I still need to clean out the 1/2 part of the carage so that I can store the Jet Ski in there.

I had also started to rewire the phone lines in the house.  Zoomtown was turned on Friday, but was not working correctly.  I ended up rewiring the phone lines starting outside and then moving on to the inside of the house.  Pulled all the wire except the new wire George ran and the wire going to the kitchen.  I created a setup where the dsl modem will have it’s own line and the rest of the house will be filtered from the basement (so now we do not need a filter on each line in the house). 

The last thing that I can remember that is done so far is that work on the living room has been started.  The ceiling has been primed, my Mom started pulling the screws up on the floor, and George has started putting dry wall up around the sides of the fire place. 

ZCE 1000

Looks like Zend is celebrating their 1000 person to receive a ZCE (Zend Certified Engineer) certification.  They sent me an email about it a couple days ago, but I’ve been so busy that I really have not had a chance to look at it until now.  Apparently, they have created a new ZCE logo for the first 1000 ZCE’s to use.  I just happen to be one of the first 1000.  In case you’re not sure what the Zend Certified Engineer means, it basically is a certification for programming with PHP.


Electric Rewiring

Well, there was a very important lesson learned.  Just because an electric wiring system in a house has been approved by an inspector does not mean that the electric wiring system is actually good or alright.  Problems can still exist.

George had mentioned that a lot of the upstairs were on the same circuit yesterday, so I took the task of mapping out every light, switch and electric outlet in the house.  I saved the result in a excel matrix of plugs and circuits.  By looking at that sheet, a few problems should automatically jump out.  Almost all the living room and a few lights in the basement are sitting on circuit #9 which is only 15 amps.  Almost the entire second floor, plug in dining room, front porch lights, kitchen lights, and back porch lights are on circuit #17.  Some other issues here and there where the bathrooms / outside should be on their own GFCI protected circuits, but share the circuit with other rooms around the house.

After looking through this, it looks like for my power needs, there will need to be a bit of work done on the electric system to bring it up to my liking.  Other work on the house has been getting done also, but I’ll talk about that later when I have more time. 

MAME Input Controller

After doing a bit of research, I’ve decided that I will be using I-Pac from UltiMarc to handle the interface between the joystick / buttons and the computer.  I’ve spent about a week or two researching the different options.

For those of you that have no clue what I am talking about, here’s a little better description.  Each joystick has 8 wires and each button has 1 wire.  Each of these need to be able to send a signal to the computer when they are moved or pushed.   This is not a simple solution once you think about it, because where are you going to put these wires into the computer?  This is where teh I-Pac comes in.  You can plug each of the wires up to this controller, and then the controller plugs into the computer in the PS/2 port (where the keyboard goes) or can be plugged into a USB port (which is what I am doing).

I went with the 28 keyboard controller, which is enough for a two player system like the one that I am building.  The inputs will be for 2 joysticks, 6 buttons each player, coin slot 1, coin slot 2, player start 1, player start 2, sound up, and sound down.  That will leave me with 2 open buttons that I can use later if I find a use.

Here are some of the benefits that set this controller apart:

  • It has a fully programmable key code set which is stored even after power off unlike some other interfaces which lose all data when powered off.  This is nice for setting up the buttons to correspond to certain keys once and never have to worry about it again.
  • All joystick/button connections easily made via screw tag strip, the connections are marked on the board.  This makes life easier so that I won’t need to use a solder to get each wire on the board.
  • Does not use a matrix, so there will be no ghost keys.  This is a huge benefit.  If you hit a bunch of keys at once on a keyboard, you will notice only two or three keys will register at once.  This is a problem if playing games with two players (joystick movement x 2 + button presses x 2).  This allows for as many inputs to occur simultaneously.
  • Does not use a scanning method which causes a variable delay, each input has it’s own dedicated connection to the on-board CPU.

Once this part comes in, I will have all the pieces needed to start building the control panel.  I plan to build the control panel first, before I start building the rest of the cabinet.  This will make life easier since I can start working on the interface and the front end, without having the big clunky cabinet until more of the house is done to store the cabinet.