Ok, let's take it from the top.
Turns out Enterprise will rent you a Maxima... kind of. All they give the option for is getting a "Premium" class car, and you're stuck with the 1 in 5 chance that it'll be a Maxima. Trying to explain that this was going to be an extended test drive for the explicit purpose of finding out how the Maxima rode in my daily commute didn't seem to help my cause any. Latoya Livingston (works at one of the Raleigh Enterprise locations... she's about to move to sales as it turns out) said she'd love to be able to help me, but she doesn't have any control over the situation. She did, however, explain how she could sell me a one-year-old car with about 20k miles on it for around 7k less than the MSRP. *sigh*
So the trace tool is working now. After a few hours with the HP (or Agilent, or whatever) Infinium Oscilloscope (I love that machine...just wish it didn't run Win98) and a little probing around (the trace tool current version exists as a sandwich-stack of circuit boards, and of course all the signals get broken somewhere in the middle layers), it turns out there was a stupid cold solder joint between a surface trace and an adjoining Berg connector pin... figures.. A little shoving of some wire in there (at least until I can get the soldering iron over to reflow and fix the solder joint) and the RS2 signal (most significant response bit on the P6 bus) was working fine! A6 (address bit 6) still has some issues. It seems to randomly flip between stable (almost perfect behavior) and seemingly random modes. Might also be a loose connection somewhere, but the GTL+ original signal looks a little flaky, so I'm wondering if maybe we have some issues with this preprocessor.
So the sis-in-law (Julie's S&M c/o 94 FWIW) made it down from AsheVegas and did the car swap thing. Finally I'll be able to sleep all the way through the morning without having to get woken up by Jessica having more car problems! I still want to go ahead and get her in a Maxima if possible... If nothing else, it'll keep the complaints low when I pick up my own next car :)
Python seems like a nice enough language, but I'm not sure it's going to be as easy doing all the regexp stuff I was doing in Perl... it appears to completely lack the report form printing stuff from Perl, so that may kill any chance of doing a python conversion... the trace tool software simply relies far too heavily on the ease of report forms
I really need to get some more write-up and work done on my independent study... hopefully I can dedicate next week to that, or at least a large chunk of that time.
Watched 28 days earlier this week (it's actually pretty decent, as much as I wasn't looking forward to a chick flick night) and Keeping the Faith last night (9:45 show at the Grand with The Nashville Network in some huge semi out front... only in the South). KTF was a tad long, but it had enough funny spots and nice lines ("Kosher Nostra", for instance) to keep things decently interesting. Movie letting out at midnight on the proverbial school night was stretching it, but maybe next time we'll do Milton's a little eariler than 6:30 and be able to make the earlier 7-ish show.
After a reboot, my Linux workstation is doing audio normally again, which is good as I was really getting to miss xmms. Yay!
Well, time to go get some various things done lurking on my Palm's todo list. Hasta la pasta.