Friday, November 17, 2006


Tonight I was hanging out with bob. After dinner we ended up at a store where I decided it was time to get a second DDR pad. It's not as nice as the hard pad I already have, but I think it'll get the job done when I have friends over.

Guess which one is the nice one...

DDR is alot of fun. It's even better when others can participate. Now just to get a nintendo emulator and figure out how to put it into "Track and Field" mode...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

They don't call me DDR for nothing

Today Sarahbellum wanted a demo of me playing DDR. I hauled my pad in from the car and set it up in the conference room with the projector. Here's Sarah's video...

My pad is made by a company called Cobalt Flux. Their pads are awesome!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

PIC Projects

Last night I designed a small host board for the PIC 16F688. When I have the money to spare I'll be sending it out for fabrication.

Hardware design is the one area of hacking I really want to work with. Probably because it involves more real engineering than programming does. My interest also has to do with the fact that software can never expand out of the bounds of the hardware it works with. Ergo, build more hardware.

PS: Yes, I do see that I put 18F688 in the IC socket. I just didn't feel like going back and correcting it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ashdown is a real american

Sometimes you find a candidate who is a real american interested in real freedom. I think Pete Ashdown is the only one we had this year in this country.

The video may take a moment to finish converting on youtube.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

10:40 update

65% of the votes are counted and hatch is ahead with 62% of the vote.

I find it shameful.

Shameful that Orrin Hatch can still be winning after declining to debate and ignoring the voters.

Shameful that the voters let him get away with it.

Shameful that so many people are just as out of touch with their candidates as our candidates are out of touch with their constituents.

If we don't do something we are going to be in even more serious trouble in this country.

Bob just called. Pete looks like he's about to give a speech.

The party party!!! 9:00 update

Tonight Bob, Sarahbellum, and I all met outside the big meeting room. Go local bloggers!

Making my way through the crowd I ran into Rob Miller. He is sporting the latest fasion in head wear.

Tonight I'm watching with great interest. It's my hope that Pete Ashdown will win. Right now I'm sitting in Ashdown's room using the internet service he had all through his campaign. Good luck pete!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Carrie Dickson

I'll be voting for Sherrie Swensen tomorrow. It's not that I'm really pleased with her attitude on security, but she's not as bad as Carrie Dickson. With any luck in another 4 years we'll get someone with a background in security to run for clerk.

Last spring Bob and I went convention hopping. We went to the county conventions for both the democratic and republican parties. We also went to the state democratic convention. We would have tried for the state republican convention had they been on the same day.

The reasoning? We may be voting for some of the republicans.

Bob took his video camera to the republican convention and took video of me asking Carrie Dickson some questions about the security of electronic voting machines.

The audio for my questions isn't that great. For what it's worth I didn't realize he was filming until part of the way into the conversation.

My first question was about what will be done to assure the security of the voting machines. My last question that is hard to hear is what could be done to make the electronic voting machines tamper evident.

I was not very impressed with her responses. Yes, there is an oath of office, but just because a politician promised not to do anything bad doesn't mean there aren't those that will disregard such promises. She also referenced that there was an agreement signed that clerks would not tamper with the machines. In my view this precludes security auditing that is part of the reasonable due diligence process I would hope every clerk is going to go through.

Finally she says that we must remember that the security of voting systems is "only as good as your officials word".


Saturday, November 04, 2006

My first microcontroller

Ok, so maybe it won't have the same nostalgia as my first car or my first something else that people find memorable, but it's something.

Today I earnestly worked on my Pickit 1 until I got the lights on the board to light up based on what the dial on the board is set to.

I think I can best demonstrate what I mean with youtube.

Yeah, it's fun. My next step is to control a servo with it. If I keep working at it I may have that later tonight, or next week if I decide to get out of the apartment.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Best BBQ

Today for lunch Quinn suggested going to Pat's BBQ. It was awesome. The three of us that went split a full rack of ribs and a side of pork and beans. For dessert we had the bread pudding. Half way through my fourth rib I knew it was staring me down, but it was just so tasty I had to keep going.

As I consider the many places I've eaten and the things I have enjoyed, I think that Pat's has just earned a special place in my heart. It was all I hoped good BBQ could be.

You should try it sometime.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happy Birthday Sarahbellum!

Today Sarahbellum had a birthday.

Today I learned how to use the video feature of my Canon PowerShot SD450.

Today I learned how to use YouTube.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Oops... That kind of hurt

Today one of my friends called me. Standard phone call.

Me: Hey, what's up?
Friend: What are you doing right now?
Me: Getting a little work done.
Friend: Could you give me a ride to the emergency room?
Me: Ok, where are you?

Apparently my friend had put a 16 penny nail into the side of his middle finger earlier this morning. Turns out that kind of hurts...

He's not alone in having damaged his left middle finger. One of the nurses had messed hers up, and I have even had a little trouble with mine.

I'm not sure what it is about that finger that makes it such a target...

As for me. 7 years ago I learned a valueable lesson; when working with small explosives a statement of "I've made one of these before" in no way means you are working with a sound design.

At least I have a good reason to tell kids not to mess with explosives...

Embedded work

While lappy was gone I spent some time working to set up an embedded linux environment. I compiled up a kernel, built busybox, and installed bash on a little compact flash card.

It's pretty cool. The goal is to get an embedded erlang environment running on it.

It didn't take too long. Once I rememberd that you can only open /dev/console when /dev/console exists things really came together. It only took an evening to compile the kernel and get the other utilities in place.

It's hard to get much more basic than this when running linux.

This all reminds me of the days when I worked at Century Software. Embedded linux can be fun. I hope to have time to do more of it.

Lappy comes home

I was going to show you a picture of Lappy with the nice new power adapter they sent me. It was going to be cool. The only trouble is that blogger is failing me. 35 minutes is just too long to try uploading one picture.

That said... Lappy is home safe. In fact, I'm using it right now. It's nice to get back to business as usual. It's also nice not to burn myself on the end of the power cable.