Land of the Orangemen

11 February 2008 Leave a comment

I’m in Syracuse to do an E911 WLG swap out – Netra 240s replacing Netra 20s – for AT&T. Got here late (for me) last night, around 10pm. I was routed through Detroit. How do I hate Detroit’s airport? Let me count the ways! There are many, but first and foremost is that of all the connecting flights, not once have I ever gotten where I was going on time. In fact, I’ve missed my connection twice. It’s loud. It’s dirty. It’s convoluted. I hate it.

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Categories: Travel, Work

Minty Boost

8 February 2008 Leave a comment

UPDATE: I now have a couple of lithium polymer powered rechargeable MintyBoosts.

Lady Ada of Adafruit Industries sold me on yet another kit, the MintyBoost. It’s a USB charging device that fits into an Altoids chewing gum tin.

I ordered one entire kit, plus five extra PCBs and MAX756-CPA+ power regulators from Adafruit. From other vendors such as Maxim IC, Mouser, DigiKey, and Futurlec, I bought parts enough to build at least 25. Looks like I’ll have to either make my own circuit boards or order more from Adafruit.


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Categories: AVR, Creativity, Electronics, Make!, Tech

Back on the Road Again

24 January 2008 Leave a comment

I’m back on the road again doing TruePosition Enhanced 911 stuffs. Since early ’04 I’ve been a field test engineer setting up 911 network overlays for Cingular and T-Mobile in South Florida (Miami), Orlando-Tampa, Minnesota, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Oregon, and Washington. Read more…

Categories: Tech, Work

Arduino Oddity — Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) on Only Certain Ports

9 January 2008 Leave a comment

UPDATE II: Edited links to Makezine’s protoshield and TodBot’s candle light code.

UPDATE: I’m an idiot. Once I removed the protoshield, I saw that the board has clearly marked these pins as PWM! D’oh!  I guess I got too comfortable using the shield and never bothered to actually look at the Diecimila itself.

Hmmm… I was modifying Todbot’s candlelight effect code to use multiple LEDs, but it seems that only certain ports on the Arduino allow such (3, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 11); the others merely flash on/off. The whole point of the code is to illuminate the LED in varying brightness such that it looks like a flickering candle.

I’m using this particular prototyping shield (others can be found here, here, here, or here) and ran the tests again on the bare Arduino, but found nothing wrong with the shield. I need to research this to find out why. I’ll update this post when I discover the reason.

How F’ing Hard Is It to Look Something Up?

14 December 2007 Leave a comment

TigerHawk rips the NY Times for, yet again, not doing simple research before blathering and making utter fools of themselves. Look, I don’t give a rat’s ass about the run up to the primaries and even less about Mitt Romney, but it is positively moronic to attempt to associate Romney and the phrase “In God We Trust” to McCarthy for at least two reasons: 1) McCarthy was right, there were dozens of communists in the highest levels of US government; and 2) it takes mere seconds to Google “in god we trust history” then select the US Mint hit. Less than half way down the page you’ll find this:

The Congress passed the Act of April 22, 1864. This legislation changed the composition of the one-cent coin and authorized the minting of the two-cent coin. The Mint Director was directed to develop the designs for these coins for final approval of the Secretary. IN GOD WE TRUST first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin. [emphasis added]

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Categories: Annoyances, Idiocy, Political

Interesting Map: Countries whose GDP Matches Individual US States’

13 December 2007 Leave a comment

Econ professor Mark Perry, University of Michigan, has on his site this map of the United States. Instead of state names, the name of a nation whose gross domestic product (GDP) is equal to that state’s.

US State GDP in World-Wide Terms

I came to this by way of the sidebar in Coyote Blog, to Houston’s Clear Thinker’s post.

The Value of Money: What’s a Millionaire?

8 December 2007 Leave a comment

By way of Cafe Hayek, to Division of Labor’s “From ABBA to Led Zeppelin, Led: Using Music to Teach Economics“, here is a Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator. How much money would it have taken in 1961 to be a millionaire in today’s dollars?

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Categories: Financial, Time