Abraham Lincoln – Tough Love

November 5th, 2011
Abraham Lincoln letter to John Johnston.Washington, DC – 24 December 1848 

Abraham Lincoln — to brother Johnston about lending him money.

Dear Johnston:–

Your request for eighty dollars, I do not think it best to comply with now. At the various times when I have helped you a little, you have said to me, “We can get along very well now,” but in a very short time I find you in the same difficulty again. Now this can only happen by some defect in your conduct. What that defect is, I think I know. You are not lazy, and still you are an idler. I doubt whether since I saw you, you have done a good whole day’s work, in any one Read the rest of this entry »

If not a bomb….

October 9th, 2011

I routinely travel with my home made time lapse camera battery pack.  So far the TSA has ignored it…


Old Science

September 26th, 2011

I’ve been cleaning out my basement and unboxing huge amounts of my “science junk” that has been packed away since we moved a couple years ago.   There is a photo contest coming up that I occasionally enter, here are a couple test shots featuring some of my collection.

Signs of Hyperinflation

September 12th, 2011

I went to Wegmans to get some papaya from the bulk food section, and when I weighed the bag, I found the price was somewhat higher than I remember, like 100000% higher.

Almost 100% WiFi

September 12th, 2011

Over the summer we finished the final phase of our wireless deployment, making the entire campus – every square inch of it.    So when I saw these poor, abused cables….

DIY Power Supply for Pentax K5 DSLR

July 18th, 2011

This is a follow-up to my prior post about a DIY DC to DC power supply for my FujiFilm S100fs camera.  I recently purchased a Pentax K-5 which I hope to use for time lapse work.   After doing some testing I found that the internal battery in the K-5 will power the camera for 3 hours and was capable of taking more than 10,000 6MP stills in continuous shooting mode.   However for longer term shooting, a DC power source is necessary.

The K-5 provides a strange DC-IN port labeled 8.3vdc.  This is the same port used on several of the K-series cameras and would normally be connected to Pentax’s D-AC50 AC power adapter.   But this would require me having an DC to AC inverter to power the AC to DC adapter.   This DC to AC to DC conversion would be very inefficient, requiring 5x the battery capacity.   So I built a similar DC to DC converter based on Dimension Engineering’s SWADJ-3 and D-SWADJ switching regulators.

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CO2 Powered Pine Wood Derby Car

July 14th, 2011

Live from TTP 2011 in Provo Utah…   one of our TTP members, James, entered his highly effective CO2 powered derby entry.

NetWare 7 – Futures and Roadmap

July 1st, 2011

With Novell TTP Conference in Provo next week and Brainshare in Salt Lake City just a couple months after, there is much speculation as to the implications of the Novell acquisition.   These events represent “first contact” with the new management teams, and give us a window into the sentiments of Novell employees and customers.   But if the  following picture gives us any hints,  its bound to be one heck of an event!

Netware 7?   What is Novell thinking?  Perhaps Attachmate execs see there is some value left in the NetWare brand, or perhaps re-badging, in a literal sense,  of the OES product line is in the future?   Or perhaps they are understanding “legacy” means mature, stable, and reliable.   In an era where IT infrastructure is harder to defend, the alien nature of NetWare enhances its suitability for hardening the assets in the data center.

I don’t know, but I can say that I will be watching both of these events carefully.   NetWare 7?   How bad can it be?

Helioscope – Second Light

June 15th, 2011

Finally got the sun and the helioscope together and has a few minutes to play and adjust.  Its FAR from a usable instrument.   But here are the preliminary results.   Here is the actual sunspot imagery from NASA’s hundred million dollar SOHO satellite.   It shows two “small” sun spots   This represents the best possible images one could hope to achieve.

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Homemade Helioscope – First Light!

June 14th, 2011

Our media services people were cleaning out the musty, dusty recesses of the campus and found a circa 1960′s opaque projector.   It was a high quality version with a very nice, huge, projector lens.   The lens itself has a whopping 4″ diameter clear aperture, and a 18″ focal length, and is well, but not perfectly, corrected for color.      It was designed to take a letter sized paper and project it on a 6 foot screen.    The lens forms a pea size image of the sun which basically vaporizes anything in its path.   Its not a toy.

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