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So, here’s the reason I have been a little tied up this last month. After a night of very high winds at the end of last month, I awoke to find a large section of the roof of my workshop lying in the yard! I guess it’s fortunate that the damage was as limited as shown here, although one sheet did hit the side of our Alfa 156 putting some big scratches and a dent in the rear quarter.

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 I had intended to re-roof and extend my workshop this year anyway but hadn’t planned on doing it yet, however it seemed mother nature had other ideas. So, after clearing up the debris and making some temporary repairs to ensure the rest of the sheets stayed put, I sat down to draw up some plans…

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Space!

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After a great deal of work using the minidigger which I borrowed from my neighbour, plus a fair amount of backbreaking work with a shovel, I now have a completed yard and driveway. I could have done with all of this parking space a few years back when I had loads more cars! There’s still plenty of work to do to finish the job such as putting in an edging along the side of it and some paving (the existing concrete paths are getting paved with Victorian Diamond pattern bricks). I also need to take up all of the concrete next to the house and grass that area. It’s really nice to  have lots of space in the yard though, especially as it’s no longer muddy when it rains. I had the opportunity to roll the surface with a huge industrial vibrating roller so it’s now compacted hard enough to jack cars up on. I’m keen to get the ground work finished as I want to start on the workshop itself… new cladding, an extension and new window frames. Lots more work!

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Three weeks have slipped by without me making a single post. I feel kind of bad about that but the truth is I have been working pretty hard and haven’t much felt like sitting here editing pictures and writing in the evenings.

One of the downsides of living in the sticks and having a little land is that now and then you need to do a bit of maintenance. The last couple of winters, we have been having problems with rain water drainage (or the lack of it), resulting in a fields behind our house partially flooding along with that of our neighbour every time we had heavy rain. It turned out that the problem was caused by the drainage ditch which runs along the rear of the field. It hadn’t been cleared for at least 20 years and in one place was blocked completely. Thankfully, I was loaned just what was needed to remedy the problem… a 3 tonne mini digger. So I set to work and since then I’ve been able to make use of this machine to do a couple of other jobs as well… Continue Reading

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Although it has served me well, I have finally come to the conclusion that my ancient desktop PC running Windows XP is no longer up to the job as it’s becoming tiresomely slow, especially for editing images, plus support for XP ended last year. My PC has lasted a decade without and trouble so I think I’ve had good value from it! It’s hard to move on as my old PC is a like a comfy pair of slippers, but times change as I guess I must accept progress eventually, so this last week  I have been trying to get up to speed on using my new laptop with Windows 8.1 installed. It’s horribly cumbersome compared with XP but the machine itself is so much faster that it should make editing and work online a breeze once I get used to it.  I might even be able to put together some videos, which was always a bit of a chore on the old machine!

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I was unaware, but it would appear that there has been an issue with users not being able to post comments. When posting a comment, you probably received an error message that read…

 “Sorry, there was an error. Please enable JavaScript and Cookies in your browser and try again”

…even when both were already enabled.This turned out to be a problem with the anti-spam function. It has now been resolved so you should be able to post comments again now!

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Many years ago, I wrote a post which gave a fairly detailed explanation on how to decode Nissan part numbers with a view to enabling users to identify parts and model application from part number alone. This is useful when presented with new old stock parts at a swap meet or autojumble, or when all you have is a stock list or printout.

Whilst the information given was undoubtebly useful, I felt it was time to update it.  So I have reworked the post, giving additional information along with new, larger images and added a downloadable (and printable) PDF version of the all important Part Type tables… the data that allows you to tell what model a particular part might fit.

You can take a look at the updated post HERE

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Work to resurrect this blog continues unabated so be sure to have a browse through the archives in a couple of weeks time as by then I will have added a few of the unfinished and/or unpublished posts from waaaay back.
I will also be re-uploading some of the older images. Why? Well back when Ratdat.com was first launched, a lot of folks were still viewing the web in an 800 x 600 resolution so a lot of the images used were quite small. These days, most people have a minimum of 1024 x 768 but often higher resolutions so I think it’d be good to update everything to suit modern monitors. Secondly, back in the early days of wordpress, images were all just chucked into one folder on the server but later a change was made where they were sorted into folders by year and by month. This doesn’t really affect the reader but it makes life easier for me. If I re-upload images to an older post, the images are automatically placed into the correctly dated folder, thus making it easier for me to keep track of things. This is not a small undertaking as there are thousands of images on here but I will begin this process this week and hope to have it completed by the end of the year.

I think every post should always have some eye-candy so here’s a nice press photo of a 1968 Datsun 1000 wagon…

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It’s just gone 10pm on Saturday night and I can finally announce that all of the missing posts have finally returned after three days of work! I have also been working on tidying up the categories to make navigation a little easier. There may still be one or two missing images from earlier posts and a number of page links that are broken but I will work on correcting these problems until they are all repaired.

Sadly, all of the subscriber comments posted after 7th April 2010 are lost and although it’s theoretically possible to manually edit the database to replace then, I think it’d be time better spent on writing actual content for the site. The registration and contact page is now back and operational but the post tagging needs fixing still.

I have also done a little work on the aesthetics of the site. The plan as always is to keep it reasonably simple. I decided that I would go with light coloured text over a dark background this time as I feel it is less tiring on the eyes.

In the immediate future I will be finishing some of the posts that were left as drafts in 2011 and filling in some of the gaps over the last three years. I have a whole wealth of new material to post up and of course I’ll be bringing you up to date with the status of the fleet in the coming days. There have been some MAJOR changes!

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Just so you know… I’m aware that there are a whole lot of pictures that are not being displayed, especially for posts later than about March 2010. I’m working on fixing that problem but the priority is with recovering all of the missing posts first! It’ll take me a day or so to re-write the year of lost posts. Hopefully, it shouldn’t be too tricky to get the images back online. Image galleries attached to post are being resurrected as I go so they should still display fine. Mostly.

In the meantime, here’s a wintery Datsun picture taken with a 35mm SLR – old school!  Brrr…

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July 4th 2011. That’s when I last made a post here. Nearly three and a half years ago!

After three long years of gathering virtual dust, Ratdat.com finally disappeared into the ether at the end of May earlier this year but now we’re back in the game! This is wholly down to the general awesomeness of Datsun-France.com  and in particular Sylvain and Sean, who very kindly offered to host Ratdat.com . Thanks guys!

Currently, as you’ll no doubt observe, pretty much everything is broken and non-functional and there’s about a years worth of posts missing from 2010/2011, but over the next few days I shall be putting in a few hours in order to get everything up and running again. I unfortunately lost the most recent database backup in a laptop meltdown so I will have to manually re-write the lost posts. Also the blog software has moved on in the last 3 years so there are plenty of incompatibilities to sort out and as such I can’t be sure if all, or indeed any of the features work at present.

Also, this isn’t just a case of restoring Ratdat.com as an archive…  oh no…  it’s going to return to ‘active’ status and allied to the massive changes made to my car collection, it’s likely to return to being a more Datsun biased blog. Once I have fixed everything, I shall drop in a few backdated posts to bring you all up to date with what’s been happening in the last few years. Lots of work ahead!

 

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