Category Archives: Automotive

Tech-nopia.

While it’s impossible to have a well-balanced perspective on anything when you’re sitting in the middle of it, it’s hard not to think that we are living in a “Golden Age” for Technology. Think about it. Within my lifetime, I’ve seen the following items appear and become ubiquitous – part of the fabric of our lives (in no particular order): Continue reading Tech-nopia.

Who gets Jeep?

The American Legend.
Jeep: The American Legend.

Let’s be honest. Chrysler is RIP. Today’s announcement that Chrysler has 30 days to make a deal with Fiat does nothing but forestall the inevitable. To get the Fiat deal done, creditors must allow Chrysler to default on loans. Why would they do that, if they simply force Chrysler into bankruptcy? After all, 10 cents on the dollar is better than nothing. So let’s assume that Chrysler is heading for that big Chapter 11 (or 7) in the sky. Now what?

I think it’s pretty safe to say that we won’t see anybody buy Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep lock, stock and pistons. Nope, the parts will be worth (marginally) more than the sum of the companies. Chrysler itself is worthless – the only two vehicles they have that are in anything close to what resembles demand are the Town & Country minivan and the 300 sedan. Neither is currently considered best-0f-breed. Chrysler can sink into the sunset with few tears from the great unwashed. Continue reading Who gets Jeep?

Sellout!

I’m a conservative. I’ve been a conservative since waaaay before it was unfashionable and politically incorrect to be one. But when I say “conservative,” what I mean is that I adhere to the principles of smaller government and self-reliance – not the kind of “compassionate conservatism” and borderline soft Socialism that has been masquerading as conservatism lately.

And I’m mad as Hell this morning.

Tell you a little secret…I voted for George Bush four times – twice for Governor and twice for President. I thought – and still think – that he’s a good man, and the best candidate for the job. At no time, however, did I ever believe that he was a genuine conservative. Oh, sure, I acknowledge that he’s more conservative than Ann Richards, Al Gore, or John Kerry. But he’s far from a believer in the kind of conservatism I believe in.

Case in point, the automobile bailout decision. Continue reading Sellout!

What’s good for General Motors…

Chales Irwin Wilson
Charles Irwin Wilson

…is good for America, or to be completely accurate, “What was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa”, or so said Charles Erwin Wilson, Ike’s Secretary of Defense back in the 50’s. He believed that anything that was good for GM was good for America, because the two economies were inexorably intertwined. But what is good for General Motors?

I’ve been following the bailout of the Big Three for a long time. And I’ve got some ideas on a REAL solution…not this three-card Monte they’re playing in Congress. Real solutions. Here’s my ideas: Continue reading What’s good for General Motors…

What does “American-Made” mean?

The Big Three schlep back up on Capitol Hill, hats in hand, massaging the road sores they got from actually driving from Detroit to D.C., where they will beg for bucks once again. They are in hopes that their performance will be a lot more convincing – not to mention, vastly less tone-deaf – than their last appearence. In the meantime, we’re treated to a parade of concerned Senators and Representatives who wail that, without an immediate bailout, The American Automobile Industry Will Come To An End As We Know It.™

Hogwash.

In order to understand why, you have to grok that there are really TWO American automobile industries – the traditional one in Detroit, and the one that exists everywhere else. Continue reading What does “American-Made” mean?

Car-mageddon Update.

The CEOs are up on Capitol Hill, hats in hand, begging for small change. $85 Billion in change, to be exact. And the Big Three have marshaled the troops to hit all the news shows, declaring (in no uncertain terms) exactly why bankruptcy is not the answer, and why we MUST give them a “loan” to keep them afloat. Here are some unanswered questions – and oddly enough, for once they are the questions that some in Congress are actually asking the Big Three honchos: Continue reading Car-mageddon Update.

Motor City Madness.

Let’s get one thing straight. I love American cars. My wife and I both drive Jeeps. While Mrs. Digital has, on occasion, driven a rice-burner, I have never owned anything but an American automobile. On the other hand, I think that American automobile manufacturers management is clueless, the Unions are parasitical, their boards of directors are derelict in their duties, and the whole thing needs to have one giant hycolonic, so it can be reformed into something that is once-again a shining example of American know-how and productivity.

Lord knows, it’s miles away from that today. Continue reading Motor City Madness.

Karmageddon.


Wanna see something REALLY scarry? If you think things are dicey regarding the economy this week, imagine working in the auto industry. Unless your company’s product burns rice for fuel, before the economic meltdown, you were likely in bad shape, financially. Since the meltdown, your company is basically Dead Corporation Walking. Double that, if you’re one of the Big Three automakers. 

Lo, how the mighty have fallen. 

At one time (say, circa 1960), GM, Ford, and Chrysler were the crown jewels of American manufacturing. Those three companies were the envy of the world. Americans made things. We built cars that were not just transportation – nay, they were objects of desire, status symbols, and tangible proof that the U.S. of A. was the Greatest Nation on Earth. But the times, they are a-changin.’ Continue reading Karmageddon.

My two cents.

The Captain is IN.I’ve been in the business of using computers, in one way or another, since 1982. I wrote my first college paper on an Apple III. I owned one of the original IBM PCs (Hercules Graphics Card! 512K RAM! Two full-height 5 1/4″ Floppy Drives! Dot Matrix Printer! DOS 2.0! Ashton-Tate Framework! All for the low, low price of $4,000!!!). I’ve worked as a software engineer, product manager, project manager, marketing manager, and user interface evangelist for software publishing companies. I was around for the birth of Windows 1.0, the life and death of COMDEX, the rise of the common user interface, the Year of the LAN, and a slew of other things, long consigned to the dust bin of computer history. I’ve been a user, author, coder, beta-tester, evangelist, designer, and planner. In short, I’ve held just about every job you can hold in the software industry.

Now I’m writing reviews. Continue reading My two cents.

2007 Jeep Wrangler: First Impressions

Wrangler_3

Let me start by saying that I’m not your typical “car guy.” I didn’t grow up with my hood under an engine, and I’m not an expert in all things automotive. I did spend a couple of years working in automobile advertising, and I’ve owned twelve vehicles over my adult life, three of which have been Jeep products. I drive – a lot – and I know what I like. Those are my qualifications. Don’t look to me to talk about gear ratios, drag coefficients, and other arcane topics. I just wanna know if the vehicle drives well, handles well, is well-made, and will suit my purpose. That having been said… Continue reading 2007 Jeep Wrangler: First Impressions