May 162014
2 months, 7 days ago

R2-7X not ‘talking robot’

After announcing our intent to build a robot, Liam set his mind in motion immediately.  By the end of the next business day, Liam and his sister had conceived, designed and built a functional “robot” model.  Since they couldn’t think of a way to make it move on it’s own (automatically), they decided that it should at least be able to talk.  Add one walkie-talkie and enough Legos to encase it and viola!

 Posted by at 11:28 pm
Apr 082014
3 months, 15 days ago

Ever notice how everyone on LinkedIn is an expert in their field?

I love how skills and endorsements work.
First, you can choose from an extensive library of industry terms…


Then, your contacts (friends) are able to endorse you for the skills that you have selected for your profile.

I find it amusing that I am endorsed for skills on occasion by contacts outside my field. I am of the opinion that such endorsements can skew or even invalidate the usefulness of profile skills.

In reviewing some LinkedIn profiles, I find myself wondering why such highly qualified, experienced, industry leaders would have any interest in LinkedIn at all……?

PS Please endorse me for my bullshitting skills!

Mar 132014
4 months, 10 days ago
RF Shall Not Pass

Though I wouldn’t consider myself an expert in wireless networking, I’ve completed a number of projects that required the deployment of wireless access points, bridges, and repeaters.  I’m familiar with the setup and deployment of universal repeaters and the use of custom firmware such as DD-WRT.  I’ve witnessed the effects of environmental factors from building materials, RF interference, proximity and elevation relative to connecting devices and also misaligned directional antenna and

broken connections in the antenna array.

What I had not seen before was something so obvious, it had never occurred to me:  The affect of human bodies on wireless signal propagation.  You often hear about studies which attempt to prove or disprove the effect that radio  has on living tissue – hold your cell phone at least one inch from your ear (yeah, right).

In the midst of an important presentation, where the presenter was to use the wi-fi to put a presentation wireless signal all but disappeared. I had a technical issue with microphone feedback the previous year, so I was really not looking forward to any technical glitches. The technical failure resulted in a poor presentation which reflected poorly on our vendor. Something seemingly so easy to manage created an immediate crisis when it failed. I did not anticipate the need for a hot spare any more than I had foreseen the environmental effect of human bodies on wi-fi access.

Makes you think about where all that radio energy is going. Needless to say, there will be some high gain antenna arrays (and spares) available for 2014.

Now I just need to find an AV guy…



 Posted by at 9:28 pm
Oct 242013
8 months, 30 days ago

So Mavericks Server really made a mess in upgrading my Mac Mini from Mountain Lion.  In the end, the Mavericks upgrade went well.  Trouble began with installation of Server 3.  About half way through ‘updating data’ the system would hang, and then get stuck in the old grey screen of death loop.  Fixing permissions on the system folder solved the boot issue.  Re-run server install, and bang!  Same issue.  Since I only care about the websites, I fixed the permissions again, then renamed the server folder.  Created a new server folder and copied in the contents of my existing web folder.  This time the installer completed (without fragging permissions), and successfully migrated my data… assuming you’re reading this.  I’ll worry about what it got hung up on later… or never.  After all, it’s an OS migration.  Didn’t expect it to be flawless.

 Posted by at 11:37 am