Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nerd Humor, read at your own risk!

I found the below here.  Quite funny.  So are the other jokes listed in the post.
Top 10 things likely to be overheard from a Klingon Programmer

  1. Specifications are for the weak and timid!

  2. You question the worthiness of my code? I should kill you where you stand!

  3. Indentation? I will show you how to indent when I indent your skull!

  4. What is this talk of release? Klingons do not make software releases. Our software escapes leaving a bloody trail of designers and quality assurance people in its wake.

  5. Klingon function calls do not have parameters - they have arguments - and they ALWAYS WIN THEM.

  6. Debugging? Klingons do not debug. Our software does not coddle the weak.

  7. A True Klingon Warrior does not comment on his code!

  8. Klingon software does not have BUGS. It has FEATURES, and those features are too sophisticated for a Romulan pig like you to understand.

  9. You cannot truly appreciate Dilbert unless you've read it in the original Klingon.

  10. Our users will know fear and cower before our software! Ship it! Ship it and let them flee like the dogs they are!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Election Results are in!

My dear, dear friend Sam(mot) Trask has summed up my feelings of this election in words far more apt than any I could write.  So I link you here.  Thank you Sammot for expressing so clearly and God bless the United States of America.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Link

So I have been using this great program called TrailRunner to import information from my Garmin Edge 305 (hopefully someday a 705 I do love toys) into my mac.  It has the cool feature of creating a diary entry for imported routes and exporting them as html.  I have added a link to the top that allows the running entries to be seen as well as maps and some statistics about my rides.  Fun stuff.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Nearly 3 months ago I was given one of these by Sean.  I spent some time doing proof of concept work with it, but the living situation necessitated stealing the wife's laptop and sitting in the hot car without internet access.  Due in part to the unpleasantness of the work environment and a major move, new job, etc... this fell by the wayside for a bit.  I have resumed work (and re-learned some things) this weekend with a much better working environment (read garage with work bench).  So without further adieu here is what I now know about the OBD-II portion of the carputer.

OBD-II comes in many flavors, my 2001 Honda Accord comes in the ISO 9141-2 flavor favored by Asian car manufacturers.  The scantool I have is using an ELM 323 IC for converting ISO 9141 to ASCII transported via RS-232 then further translated to a USB connection using an FTDI FT232R RS-232 to USB IC.  Forgive the detail here, but this is more for my own records than anything.  With the appropriate driver from FTDI I get handy little tty device that I can connect to.

After much investigation and new knowledge acquisition I was able to use the handy program 'cu' to connect to my scantool with the command
cu -s 9600 -o -l /dev/ttyUSB0

Using the handy dandy list from wikipedia I was able to get some information out of my ECU.  Unfortunately, not as much as I had hoped. Below is the most relevant.

41 00 BE 3E B8 10

This shows me what data is available from the ECU. 41 01 is a header telling me what mode I am in.  The remaining four bytes then tell me what PIDs our available.

BE 3E B8 10 = 1011-1110 0011-1110 1011-1000 0001-0000

Which means I only have PIDs 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 0B, 0C, 0D, 0E, 0F, 11, 13, 14, and 15. So of a theoretical 96 (though more common 64) I have 15 PIDs supported, which is a little disappointing. I can't get some of the fun data I otherwise could have. Maybe I should get a new ECU... ;)

Next step for OBD-II is interacting with the terminal in code.  I found this great tutorial that will make that a piece of cake.

That's it for now.  Next up is my Fusion Brain. This has all kinds of possibilities.

Friday, August 01, 2008

It's Mountain Time!!

Well, because Myles is busy and I have time, I am here to give everyone a LONG OVERDUE update on our doings. We had a very long and tiring move - total of 31 hours actually traveling in the vehicles, not including time spent stopped to eat, fill up with gas, and sleep. The trip started at about 6:30 on Wednesday morning, and we arrived on Friday around 1:00. Talk about exhausting! Here's the overview from beginning to end:

Loading the truck. This went better than I expected, though it wasn't without minor snags. Big thanks to Melody, who came by on Monday and helped me with the packing. She pretty much packed my entire kitchen by herself while I worked on other things... and I really appreciate that because I hate packing breakables like cups... it takes way too long.

Then on Tuesday Mom, Michael and Garrett drove out from Templeton and helped us load things up... Mom was awesome and kept everything moving while we all lifted, carried and loaded. She even cleaned things up and vacuumed for me, so by the time everything was in the truck, the apartment was clean, too! Thanks, Mom! Michael helped Myles load a lot of the heavy stuff, which was great because I wouldn't have been able to help him... I just didn't have the strength So big thanks to Michael for making the trip out, we couldn't have done it without you! Garrett was in charge of the smaller items and packed up boxes in the living room, and I also enjoyed sitting next to him at dinner when everything was done. It was good to see you, little bro. :)

David and Tracie came by later in the day, and not a second too soon, because we were all getting really tired and had encountered a small issue - the truck was full and we still had stuff to pack! Minor problem. But David is really a Tetris Master in disguise, because he did what I thought couldn't be done... he pulled some things out and repacked some things here and there, and somehow, amazingly... got everything into the truck! Awesome. Tracie helped with the Tetris-mastery and the last-minute packing and carrying, and slowly we were able to get... everything... finally... out of the house and into the truck! It was such a strange feeling when the door closed... we had finally completed a very monumental task, and we did it together. Then a fun dinner and some tearful goodbyes... it was hard to see everyone go. Love you all, and thank you!

The 1200-mile drive. As mentioned before, this took a while. Myles drove the truck with the Volvo on a trailer, and I drove the Honda behind. After a little effort where we had to re-pack the Volvo in order to fit 2 disassembled bicycles that didn't make it into the truck, we left on Wednesday at 6:30 with one of the nicest sunrises I've seen (at least in the Central Valley) coming up over Fresno. A quick stop for coffee at Dutch Brothers and we were off! It wasn't very long before we realized that the truck/trailer combination was very unstable. U-Haul wasn't kidding when they told us the speed limit was 45 mph. Myles got onto the freeway and at about 60 the trailer started rocking back and forth in a menacing way. Then he hit 65 and it began to shake harder - the trailer was physically pulling the back of the U-Haul, and instead of balancing they were actually working against each other. It reminded me of the Galloping Gertie bridge collapse. Very scary. Myles got the truck back under control, but wasn't able to drive it much faster than 50 mph without danger. So slowly it was!

We drove east through CA and then took the I-15 northeast up to Las Vegas. It was a mind-numbing drive through the desert... nothing to see out there. Then we hit traffic on I-15... some accident had us at practically a standstill for hours. We had some hand radios with us, and used those to chat with each other. I wonder if anyone else was on the channel listening? I also chatted a bit on the phone and text-messaged with people... it kept me going. By the time we got to Las Vegas I was exhausted, and the traffic was stop-and-go again through town, so we decided to just stop. We got a room at the Holiday Inn and went out for some dinner. We drove down the strip for fun... wow! But we didn't so any sight-seeing... too tired.

Next morning it was a quick stop for breakfast and coffee and then we were off again! We drove briefly through Arizona and then into Utah, up the I-15 to the I-70 East. What a beautiful drive! The red rocks were gorgeous. One of the only times we stopped. Unfortunately, this was also when our picture-taking stopped... we had been taking pictures like mad and the battery ran down. We realized too late that we had forgotten to leave out the battery charger for the camera... so we took pictures of red rocks until the camera could go no more. We continued all the way through Utah and into Grand Junction, Colorado where we stayed for one more night.

The last leg of our trip took us up over the mountains through Vail Pass. How gorgeous, how gorgeous!! I spent more time looking around me then I did looking at the road! The altitude at the peak of the pass was over 10,000 feet and I could feel it. The air felt thin and I felt like I wasn't getting enough air. The mountains were beautiful, and there were these beautiful little towns just dotted throughout the passes, and many ski parks. I can't wait until this winter, when I can go skiing! We drove along the Colorado River for a while, which was beautiful and had signs warning of Bighorn sheep crossing. There were no sheep to be seen, but we did see people rafting down the river and a hang glider flying down from one of the mountain-tops. Very neat!

By this time we were very tired, and still moving slowly. My stamina and patience was reaching its end. But it got better as we came into Denver, because I knew we were almost there. A brief and frustrating bit of traffic slowed us down outside of Denver, then finally we headed north and made it to Fort Collins. Boy was I happy to arrive!

Home sweet home. We arrived at around 1:00 and Sean came to help us unpack. I met our neighbor and her dog, and she was very relieved to find out that I was moving in with my husband and not a bunch of roommates. The unpacking went very well... I carried the light stuff and Sean and Myles carried the heavy stuff. I was very glad Sean was there, because I would not have been able to handle the heavy stuff with Myles. Thanks, Sean! It only took a few hours, and after we were done we went to Oldtown for some much needed dinner and relaxation.

I think that overall, the trip went very well. I know that we've promised pictures to everybody, but that darn charger still hasn't shown up. Myles is working and I'm at home unpacking. I know that it will turn up soon, and then we'll have pics for everyone to see! I know this was a long post, but I wanted give everyone the details. I'll let Myles have the blog back for a while, and if he doesn't post again, I'll write more.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Project

I have a vision for the Hondat (our 2001 Honda Accord, yes I know, original name). I see a GPS guidance system, voice activated environmental controls, and engine stats. I see digital maintenance logs, gigabytes of media, and integrated hands-free over bluetooth. I see...a carputer.

I am starting down the long (and potentially expensive) path of designing, installing, and implementing a custom carputer.  I plan on using this blog not only to share my adventures, but to help organize all my ideas.  Thus begins the feature list:

  • 7" Touchscreen interface

  • Additional 4.5" LCD monitor

  • Micro-ATX form factor for the computer

  • Bluetooth

  • GPS integration

  • Media player (mp3, mpeg, jpeg, etc...)

  • Engine stats via OBDII

  • Engine diagnostics

  • Maintenance Log with reminders

  • Digital Environmental Controls

  • Voice activated controls

  • Trip logs

All this will be integrated into one slick interface.

Other low-priority possibilities include:

  • Door lock and trunk control

  • Bluetooth auto-unlocking from phone application

  • Window control

  • External sensors (ie. weather sensors, IR, tire pressure, etc...)

  • External Cameras, automatically engaged with reverse

  • Wifi

  • Car Alarm

  • Customized profiles based on driver with some sort of auto recognition (keyed fobs, voice recognition, something...)

I know there is software already out there that does all of this, but I'm looking at this as a learning tool and an exciting hobby.  I plan on using quite a bit of third party components, but I want to integrate them all myself.  I plan on this all being based off of a Linux OS.  Probably something like LFS so I am aware of every package installed on the system.

So here is the first draft of my carputer requirements.  I will most likely be editing this page as new ideas pop into my head, or initial ideas are refined.  I will also be using the tag system to expand on my adventures with each feature.  OBDII will be first up on that list, since I already have an OBDII to USB connector, compliments of Sean (thanks for the birthday present!).

Monday, June 23, 2008

Where the Pels go

So I have completed an entire week of work at Pelco and things appear to be going well.  I am amazed at how pleasant it is to work in a linux development environment.  I have already learned several new tricks on the command line, customized my gvim experience, and even learned some more reasons to hate IE.  Yes, it is quite an experience and I am looking forward to assuming my place in Fort Collins.

Speaking of Fort Collins, Kim and I are quite excited to get out there.  Move day is July 16 (our 3 year anniversary!) and every weekend between now and then is booked.  Including this past weekend and the weekend prior to that.  This means all of our packing is going to be happening in the copious amounts of free time we have during the week, ooof.  This makes the thought of being in Fort Collins even more appealing because that means our move will be complete.

As I mentioned in my last post, Kim and I moved a mere 4 months ago to the place we're presently occupying.  It is a one bedroom flat that has been very nice, but involved a fair amount of trimming down to fit in there.  This has actually been a blessing now that we are moving again.  So we continued the trend this past weekend by weeding out another 3 or 4 boxes of stuff.  Shedding oneslef of predominantly unused stuff is a very good feeling.

In other news, I have developed a strong desire to deck out our Honda with a carputer.  I am planning on using this blog as an organizational tool for my ideas, so plan on seeing several posts regarding the project as it develops.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Kimberly at the Moon Rocks

Hello all my faithful readers (read people who have me on their RSS readers)!

This will be my first substantive post in about 9 months.  Believe it or don't some things have happened in that time.  The first thing I will draw attention to is the new theme.  It has been heavily customized to suit my needs and features a photo that I took with my DSLR at Yosemite.

Kimberly has cut her hair really short and we have moved again since last time I blogged. One of the biggest changes however, is yet to come. I recently received and accepted an offer from Pelco that entails the two of us moving to Fort Collins, CO. So in as little as six weeks from now, we will no longer be Californians.  This job came about with many thanks (and a dinner!) to Sean for getting my foot in the door.  Without his recommendation my resume would not have made it past HR.

Hopefully more details will follow over the course of the next six weeks, but I won't make any promises given my current track record. Before I go I would also like to note that the gallery has also suffered a theme change.  This theme is still in its infancy, so be patient with it.  Eventually it is going to make a far superior viewing environment than anything flickr presently offers.

Until next time...