What I did this year, part one

Recently, I worked at Magelllan GPS for about six months. I got to brush up on my FrameMaker skills, and learned to use InDesign pretty well. Also learned something about crop and bleed.
And learned something about Android, BTLE, and aspects of GPS and vehicle navigation.

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Drowning in resources

So many opportunities, so little time…
There are videos, and blogs, and forums, and galleries. It takes real focus to pick relevant items, and stay away from all (most?) of the rabbit holes.

Actually, one decent on-topic item is better than any number of wonderful presentations that I don’t need.

The real challenge is determining What’s Important Now.
And realizing that almost anything else can be found again later, if it is really important.

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Connectivity Challenges

Recently, one or two of my email addresses seemed be flaky, so I tried to login to my hosting provider to check settings.
I could login to my account, but cpanel – the real management interface – refused to accept my credentials.

After submitting a trouble ticket, and several rounds of testing, it developed that cpanel would respond just fine from anywhere we tried – except for my own home DSL account.
I examined settings for my router, disabled my A-V and firewall entirely, with no improvement.
I went to a public WiFi just to test for myself – and in fact I could administer my account just fine from the free WiFi at McDonald’s.
(Yes, I know that is poor practice, and I did change my account password when I got back home. I can change the password from the Lunarpages account page, without going to cpanel.)

I then submitted a trouble ticket to my ISP.

I don’t see any response from Covad, but it mysteriously started working again.

I’m torn between annoyance and relief.

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Found – Optimo memorabilia

I found a number of software manuals for the Windows MMI systems we developed for Optimo.
There are some odds and ends as well, including two CD-ROMS.

It looks like the CDs include software and manuals for most of our Optimos, including the DOS systems.

Wow – I was afraid that was all lost.
Great techwriting samples, too.

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Vintage Computing

Time to clean out some of the junk/old computer stuff. I looked around, and it looks like there’s a bit of activity in old computers and parts.
So, maybe I can make a few dollars and save some of this from e-waste.
Here’s a place to sell for free:
“vintage computer marketplace”
vintage computer forums
Surprise – there’s still interest in old Commodore computers:
Commodore fan site
And someone is building/marketing new ones:
Commodore USA
Other sites:
Note that these (.com and .net) are two entirely different sites!

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Misc. Computing

We recently got a new desktop computer with an Intel i7 processor.
I was puzzled briefly – when observing performance of World Community Grid, I see it runs eight tasks. Then it sank in – i7 is a four-core processor.
My P4 machine runs two tasks (one core. two threads per core)
My i3 laptop runs four tasks – two cores, two threads per core.
The i7 runs eight tasks – four cores, two threads per core.
I like it.


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Something old…

I dug through my stock of Optimo goodies and took photos.
See the parts page.

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Toying around…

I’ve been working on several aspects of the Toy – engine compartment, rear cover, and instruments are the main ones.
Also evaluating rear suspension for upgrade. More soon.

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techno-social media?

tough choices for nuclear power

Good article
I’d say there are different kinds of risks, with differing likelihoods and differing consequences.

The difficulty of discussing such complex sets of choices- (ok, that’s excessively fancy)
– we need better ways to share information via graphics, text,
ways to display and compare alternatives

techno-social media?

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John Fox (the Golden Rule Guy) recently blogged about callings. http://bit.ly/g5UU28

What I started to post as a comment wasn’t going to fit, so it can go here instead.

I’ve never been sure what my “calling” was/is. If there was a voice in my heart or in my ear, I’ve been too deaf or fearful to hear it.  In such a case, how do you find your calling?

In short, do what you can, as well as you can. Then look for better things to do, and do them as well as you can. Repeat. And observe to see what you enjoyed and what was productive.

I like learning things, and I like doing things. I’ve  often been a compulsive explainer.  Don’t know if this is a calling, or just  a neurosis resulting from feelings of inferiority. Anyway, much of my work at Amada and since has involved learning things and explaining them to others. Technical writing follows that pattern.

I also enjoy helping and guiding others. Perhaps that’s another side of explaining? Perhaps that’s the more important side of the ‘itch’ that writing and teaching scratches.

At times, I’ve done work to be proud of. Sometimes, it took a while to gain perspective and BE proud of what I accomplished. Remember- we’re often too close to see the whole picture.

Perhaps a pattern is emerging.

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