Friday, December 31, 2004

walmart IMPACT wrenches

I love walmart tires, they are cheap, last a long time, and for the most part the service is fast. I can usually get out in less than 1 hour. with that said, let me tel you something...

WALMART TIRE TECHNICIANS ARE MORONS. I'll give you a few examples, ending in the telling of my most recent climatic event.

everyone knows they are suppose to rotate their tires every 3-5k miles right? well, i kinda think this is alot like that crappy propoganda that they say about changing your engine oil every 3k (I go 10k on my oil change in the diesel). so, after I got my tires I checked what the terms were on my walmart warrenty. it said that you had to go in for regular rotations, or else you wouldn't get your warrenty on the miles of the tires. I got 80k douglas tires for around 55$ each, plus probably 12$ each for road hazard warrenty junk. so, not wanting to screw up my investment I started going in every 5k like a good little customer to get my tires rotated.

the technicians were slow, they opened late (I tried to go in at 8 when they opened) and no one knew the 'correct' torque specs for my tires. now thats just plain bad business. on top of this they would set the lugnuts with the impact wrench (if you get it wrong, you screw the theads in my hub). I would stand and watch them and I was never convinced they used the torque wrench correctly.

so.. screw that, after about 3 times of going in for rotations I just do it myself. I can do it in half the time and I do it the way I like it, slow and CORRECT.

this summer I got jen new tires for the jeep. again walmart had a good deal, so we went in, they were fast to mount and put them on the jeep. now, 6 months later I go to remove the tires to put the studs on (we have alot of snow here now) and I SNAPPED A 3" extender, 1/2" drive. you know what that means? these jokers set the torque at about 150lbs when it should be closer ot 80. so see ya later wallmart. your getting a big letter from me and if i EVER have my studs stretch, break, misthread, or my lugnuts strip I'm sending you the bill.

check out my broken extender.. thanks walmart.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Big news! I'm going to enroll in an MBA (master of business) program. if I'm lucky i'll be done after 3 years of night school. check out the GMAT overview, a stupid test I have to take as part of my application.

You begin the GMAT® with the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). The AWA consists of two separate writing tasks—Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument. You are allowed 30 minutes to complete each one.

Now someone correct me if i'm wrong, but this just sounds like the kinda BS kev was born to answer. I hope I do as good as I think kev would do on this, and I really hope they let me use a computer/keyboard to 'write' as I can't even read my own writing.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Hey, did you guys ever wonder what the difference was between a circular and Linear polarizer? I knew the difference, but didn't understand the importance. When I stopped to by a stocking stuffer for jen, a Polarizer for the EOS Rebel, the people at the store were unable to find a linear polarizer. all they had was circular ones, so I shelled over my 27$ and bought it. getting home I did a little research and discovered that the Circular was probably what I really wanted as Its needed so the autofocus will work correctly in modern SLR cameras. I"m not too sure if it is required for Digital Rebel but it can't hurt anything. Read Cokin Filter Systems for more info.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Gmini 120

The Gmini 120 was purchased for ofloading pictures from a sandisk 512Meg flash card for my Canon digital rebel SLR Digital camera. we purchased all of this equipment for our 3000 mile motorcycle trip in cananda this last summer. It was all mounted in a Pelican 1300 bright yellow water tight plastic box. The box when packed for the trip included:
Gmini 120
Canon digital rebel body
canon wide angle lense (with body $950? at costco)
canon 75-300mm zoom lense
battery charger and spare battery for camera

With this we were more than set for a week of motorcycling and photography. when the 512meg CF card is full you just take it out of the camera, put it in the CF slot in the Gmini and download it to the interal 20 gig HD. it made for an awesome trip which allowed us to take low or non compressed images on a 6 megapixel camera and not worry about space constraints. I know you can purchase up to about 4 gig CF cards now for a reasonable price, but the Gmini 120 gives you 20 GIG! I Think they were even planning a Gmini 140 (40 gig drive) but I have never seen it for sale. I think I could probably open the Gmini and put a larger drive in it but I haven't had the need yet. The main thing that made this a usable MP3 player was the addition of the CF card reader that allows it to backup CF cards.

one MAJOR downfall of the Gmini is that you can only DOWNLOAD from a CF card. you can't go the other way and put pictures back on the card to look at with your camera. arg.. they gotta fix that. maybe i'll email the manufacture and suggest it.

all in all the gmini is a good and affordable solution to photo storage. I did see a CF to IDE reader/copier in a little box for sale at compusa the other day. it cost $99 wich isn't to bad but it did NOT have the 2.5"ide drive, so you had to do it as kind of a kit. by the time you finish 'building' it i'm sure the price would be closer to 150. so given even the options I have today I'm happy with the gmini as it gives me a good level of refinement. enhancements over the 99$ option?
mp3 player
imbedded rechargable battery
nice USB interface
nice small METAL finish

if ya need it, check it out!

Guess the kitty

I'll give you a clue.. it came in a cardboard box, and as a kitten it was able to jump ontop of full sized doors from the floor.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

out of office

heres the note I am putting on my monitor.....

I [keith] am out of office (think vacation) starting Wednesday Dec22 and will be returning MidMorning Wednesday Dec29

person1 is my alternate on Wednesday, Monday, and Tuesday, so if you need something turn around and say Hi.

If you have an ICT problem talk with person1, person2, or person3
If you have a board test problem talk with just about anyone that’s left in the department.
If you have a new product development issue talk with person2 or person4
If you have a donation for me, leave it on the desk
If you are here to steal something ,you can leave now.
If you are NOT having a merry Christmas feel free to steal something off my desk
If you ARE having a merry Christmas steal me something from someone else’s desk.
[end if]
Merry Christmas!

No more sales Tax!

ok.. not quite that good, but close. the IRS is now giving us a choice between paying sales tax or state tax? hmm.. sounds too good to be true but its on the IRS web page. check out the tables for P600 here and it looks like I'll get back between 600-800 more than I would normally. you see in nevada we don't pay state tax anyway, so I'll be choosing the sales tax refund.
Heres an example:.....

Update: I think this is just a deductions line item so expect 15% of this, or around 100$'s extra.

suprnova dies?!!

Check out The Register Article that talks about how suprnova is getting pushed off of cyber space. ah man.... that sux. also read about it on

Suprnova Closure Faq available is available.

Monday, December 20, 2004

super defense

defense may be a great thing in football, but it has no place in the office. I'm sick of this coorelation that the 'bosses' always draw to working as a TEAM. arg..... the whole thing is irritating.

today I was working a problem. I exhausted about 3 hours of troubleshooting something by myself and couldn't figure it out so I went to the guy that built it. I explained what my problem was and that I was stumped. the first thing He said was
"mr so and so, and you, and this other guy ALL gave me input to this board so if its not working its your fault"

now I'm thinking "oh really?" but instead of provoking him I Just try to calm him down and get one useful piece of information out of him. about that time a guy from across the cube throws some witty remark at him and it just sets him off again (mr sensative.. no wonder he's not married). great.. just great. its like working with the worlds oldest cry-baby.

finally I just left. after a few minutes he came over to talk with me. it was his way of 'making up' i'm sure but I had already determined he didn't have any useful information so I really didn't want him around. its not that I harbor any ill-will against him, its just when your trying to get something to work bystanders are either part of the problem or part of the solution. he was a whiny by-stander, and one that wanted to 'learn'. great.. just great. and He's Senior Engineer? I hope I'm NEVER blessed with that title.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


I'm in good shape. I climb mountains, cut firewood, ride my motorcycle (dirt bike) and even manage to make it on a stupid peddle bike on thanksgiving trips and so this came as somewhat of a shock.

I got a free colesterol check from my works heath clinic because my twin was diagnosed with a tad high cholesterol so in the off chance I had beaten nature I decided to get mine tested as well. nope. I didn't win.

The HDL is alright, but can stand to be improved, nurse said I need more exercise, so I will most likely start workig out over lunch or whenever I get sick of doing my normal job (we have an onsight gym where I work)

the LDL (bad cholesteral) can be improved by diet. i'm vegetarian for the most part (1 burger every 2 weeks... MAYBe....) so all I can do is improve my consumption of walnuts, and flaxseed oil so that My omega3 is improved. probably should cut out some cheese. thats animal product so contains bad cholesteral.

bic proof

one of my coworkers is a bicycle "enthusiast" (think 1/5 of your annual salary worth). He went to buy the best lock on the market and discovered it can be picked with a BIC pen! i'm sure this will go down in history as an engineering screwup.

a better writeup is on Wired, and they say the flaw has been known about since 1992, and the axial pin tumbler was invented more than 50 years ago. many locks including laptop security cables can be vulnerable to this kind of exploit. I wonder if the vending machine is too?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

projector idea

This thing seems to sell for $130 at radio shack. I think it has external video input, so whats to keep me from taking the screen apart and putting a lamp behind it to make a projector (add a few lenses, heat protection, and some cooling). this solves the problem of how to get video into your LCD.

Monday, December 13, 2004

hack the printer

I absolutly hate inkjets. maybe its because they ALWAYS clog on me just when I thought I was going to print something. and since I've never owned one I am no expert on cleaning or for that matter even getting one to work properly. it seems I'm not the only one to have this problem. check out unclogging epson inkjet heads and it seems I'm not the only one to have this problem. following one of the links from this page it talks about building a CIS (continuous inking system). this is a must see as his printer looks like it was runover by a semi. just like I wish the inkjet "all in one" unit would look here at work. translation.... I wish it looked dead. this website is a must see, and later on it talks about the chiphacks to get the ink running. i'm all for color laser. and even given the exceptional price (1500$+) I still think its worth it.. oh wait. the HP 2550L is $500. since the cartridges are 100$ each I wonder if the ones that come with it are full?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

ever wanted some artificial intelegence (one that can spell) guess what your thinking? then head on over to and give it a go.

maybe its because the game is sensored, but it was unable to get what I was thinking of (a booger) after 30 questions, so I 'won'. heres the censorship info:

The Game is censored. The moderators assign a censorship level to assign to each new object and question. The Game will not choose questions or guessing objects above the player's current censorship level.

If you are playing as anonymous, the game will be G rated (suitable for all audiences). If you become a member, you may change your rating level from the options page.

its guesses for what I was thinking (booger)
I am guessing that it is a breath mint?
Yes , No , Close
29. I guess that it is a cough drop? No.
28. Does it contain Vitamin C? Irrelevant.
27. Could it be found in a classroom? Yes.
26. I guess that it is chewing gum? No.
25. Would you use it in the dark? Yes.
24. Would you find it in an office? Yes.
23. Is it a common household object? Yes.
22. Can it be dried? Yes.
21. Can you control it? Irrelevant.
20. I guess that it is a stick of gum? No.
19. Is it straight? Sometimes.
18. Can it affect you (cause an effect to you)? Yes.
17. Do you chew it? Yes.
16. Is it smaller than a golf ball? Yes.
15. Can you put something into it? No.
14. Is it multicolored? No.
13. Can you eat it? Yes.
12. Do you use it in cooking? No.
11. Is it a synthetic material? No.
10. Can it be used more than once? No.
9. Do you use it at work? Probably.
8. Is it soft? Yes.
7. Is it man made? Yes.
6. Does it have a hole in it? No.
5. Does it get wet? Yes.
4. Is it a tool? No.
3. Can you get information by using it? No.
2. Is it larger than a microwave oven (or bread box)? No.
1. It is classified as Other.

Its the End.....

Sing with me now.. "its the end of the world as we know it......" If I do nothing else I hope I get that tune stuck in your head. its the least I can do for this you as we are all stuck in this pitiful day we call THURSDAY.

Its the END of the IBM PC! wow.. its been what, 25 years? and billions of dollars spent cloning and improving the architecture and big blue SELLS out! to CHINA no less. That was a no brainer... how fitting they do this as all of the news has already been looking at 'outsourcing to china' and I can't say I blame em.

Lenovo is the lucky recipiant and its nice to read that IBM is reportedly doing the its best to transisition the technology and personal in a manner that will disrupt as few lives in both companies. that maintains my view that IBM is indeed a good company.

Hurahhh!!! now instead of the clone wars (not star wars either) we'll have xChina nock off instead of ibm pc COMPATIBLE.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

QNX pitch

today I'm taking the bulk of the day in a QNX presentation and i'll share what I have learned so far.

This is on of the leading RTOS (real time operating systems) in existance. of course people always claim they are better than their competetors but in this case I believe it.

Must be a 32-bit CPU
must have an MMU (memory management unit)

programs are NOT compiled with the kernel. they share normal memory space so are much easier to debug. as a result a machine can be upgraded without turning it off as the program is just updated without takign the kernel offline.

Standard coding methods (endian vs Endian and memory vs IO method) they let you write device drivers in a standard way so regardless of the end target (x86, PPC, etc) your code is the same, it is the work of the compiler to translate.

remote control. a process can be way away on a backplane, over serial, over ethernet, where ever and the kernel handles everything transparent to the program.

its an interesting method. who knows how much the license is, but it was pretty interesting when they said they could gurantee the origions of all of their code (remember the linux issues of open source?) so there are no problems in the future. This is most definatly NOT opensource.

windows CE (haha)

and a few others I cant remember.

back to the meeting where I only understand 10% =). maybe i'll learn something through osmosis.

Friday, December 03, 2004

no speakers

speakers should be outlawed in a 'work' environment, that is if they want me to get any 'work' done. my last cube mate would play songs each and every day. its really hard to concentrate when someone else is playing THEIR music to the world. If i'm not mistaken thats why they invented the head phones. for PRIVATE enjoyment.

on that note another coworker only listens to ONE song one last breath. he listens to it on his SPEAKERS about once every two months. cranks it up for the first half of the song and then turns it back down. I've gotta say, listening to one decent song every 2 months on speakers is much more enjoyable to having a cube try his hand at mixing each and every day.

since one last breath is a little depressing it gives great insight into his mood. usually he plays it when a project is due.. or when its friday. I'd think its more of a monday song but maybe thats just me.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


openTCPis the the free stack that is included with the NE64 demo kit. I did some reading about it over lunch and depending on the target I think the target needs almost 20k of flash and 2600bytes of ram. I think the free tools that come with the demo kit will only compile up to 12k of program so i'm wondering how much of the openstack I can fit in there without having to shell out a ton for the real dev. tools. the only way to tell is to just do it. its cold so I'm out of excuses for not spending more time developing on my off time. oh wait.. one more excuse, bittorrent =)

VXworks vs QNX

I really wanted to learn more about embedded development. since I'm an EE I've had minimal exposure to code level development although it seems I'm able to fix the programmers problems fairly well. when I was an intern at qwest I debugged some mainframe code in about 10 minutes because I Just wanted to go back to my desk. because of that the lead programmer dude offered me a job when he transfered to a startup. now in this job I seem to be the only one to know what an RTOS is. the guy across the cube is writting code for an HC08 and I"ve gotta tell him what he's doing. how ironic. but i digress.....

is what I wanted to say is that we do some work with VXworks, but we have brought in a speaker on QNX next week so we can compare to the competition. I got myself signed up for the lecture (even though I"m not an official programmer (yet)) so that should be fun. I'm really looking forward to learning more about it and I seem to remember something about QNX having an opensource offering? I haven't looked it up but I thought it was them. ahh.. I might even get a free lunch out of it.

stupid nerds

I work with stupid nerds. I Posted this outside my cube and people keep coming back because they can't figure it out.

BYO LCD Projector

ever though of building your own LCD video projector? well I Have. and now I see someone has done EXACTLY what I was going to do and it works! how awesome is that. the contrast/brightness is probably a bit poor. (as in you will only be able to watch it in a dark room) but who cares. its cheep! now all I gotta find is an old video projector that takes those 10$ bulbs (as compared to the 300$ bulbs in the professional projectrs). check it out at TOMs hardware and be sure to go through a few pages and get the 20meg video to watch of how to construct it.


you guys ever heard of a honeypot? I'm not talking about the winny the pohh either. its a nice little system used for all kinds of things. mostly I interpret it as a big piece of BAIT set out there to get hacked so you can learn what the 'bad guys' methods are, or get an early warning on incoming threats.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Blu-ray vs HD-DVD

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are the new standards in portable optical storage. Do the rest of you remember the jump from 1.44meg diskette to 650mb CD's? that was awesome, a gain of 450. With this type of improvement we need too START our next standard at 293gig. yeah, you read that right, we need to START there. not this measly 25gig crap. how am I suppose to back up a 400gig HD on 25gig media. thats stupid.

Blu-ray is projected to hit 200gig when they get to 8 layers thick. HD-DVD is starting out at 15gig with projections to hit 30gig. 4 major studios (45% market share) are now backing the crappy HD-DVD standard with toshiba. the rest of the industry is moving to blu-ray.

I vote for blu-ray, but its still lacking.

i'm Aqua

Proof I have a split personality. I'll be like this monday, but you better look out on wednesday


You enjoy life, humor, and being exuberant. Wherever you go you usually find yourself stealing the spotlight without even trying. You love to let go and have fun.

Find out your color at Quiz Me!

Your score was 134/180.
1,835,427 people have taken this quiz.
And 153,961 got Aqua like you.

Dirt Dumper

well where else am I suppose to dump my dirt?

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

twins research

check out this article that talks about somone doing research on twins to prove infedility. now when are kev and I gonna be asked to join a cool study!


The makers of kazaa sold kazaa and then moved to making some form of P2P VOIP software called SKYPE. I'm not sure how well it works, but theres even hardware for it to allow you to interface a traditional VOIP phone, check out the Gigaset M34 USB . I wonder how hard it will be to interface to the network and build an adapter for my normal LandLine phone so I can make the computer Line#2 and make calls for free [with the use of a computer/interent] with my normal cordless phone.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Golden Eye

The vending machines in our building are equipted with the GOLDEN EYE and the machine looks like this:

The golden eye gurantees that you get the product you purchased and if you don't get it (the eye doesn't see it fall) it will continue two more tries to deliver the product and then refund the money or let you make a new selection. This is an ingenious idea. what better way to keep morons from encouraging a 400+ pound machine to fall on them because it won't give them what they payed for.

I have heard rumors that some have tried to 'blind the eye' with a laser in hopes it would continue to dispence product (much like some slot machine hacks I've heard of) but alas, it is rumored to have not worked. If I were to design this I would pulse data on the golden eye so they eye could not be faked. how would you build it?

Since it will keep trying to dispence product until it sees something fall it often results in multiple items being dispenced from a single purchase.
method1: item falls and nocks something loose below it
method2: an item gets hung up, so the machine keeps turning the screw, then two products fall from a single purchase.
This gambling addition was a very good side effect. I have personally witnessed people buy more than they normally would because they want to take the risk to see if they can 'cheat the system with a two-for'. in the end, they sell more product and I'm sure it offsets the minor loss they incur for the doubles payed out. either someone was really thinking when they designed this or they got lucky.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

cool place

I wonder where This Place is. they sure got some interesting pictures. I wish I could read it
Update: judging from the pictures and comments HERE, it must be in iceland. AWESOME.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


it seems there is some kinda 2k program that can read, write, and program the uC through the serial line. its talked about in AP2548. seems interesting. according to the aplication note there is no way to destroy the program without a real BDM ... famous last words I'm sure. so, all I gotta do is attach the serial port of my PC at 115kbaud and see if I get a prompt!

sci is BDM?

check out this article on the HCS12. maybe the SCI line is BDM line!

french translation

I used babelfish to translate part of yesterdays french email, heres a snippet:
Dear Sir, Can you please do what is necessary with the service of guarding to let return on the site with its vehicle Kiné which will ensure the gestural formation of the back

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Received NE64 Demo

after going around the block with fedex, I got the NE64 Demo kit from Freescale. Everything seems to be there, including some plugs for the 'universal power adapter' to fit power from the north pole. I've never seen one of the connectors before. I'm thinking it may make a good hood ornament.

The kit includes a cross over cable that has a sticker on it that says 'corss over'. I got a good laugh outa that.

The finish on the Demo is VERY good. a nice little plastic box that is silkscreened. from my cursory inspection and going through the first demo the box has 3 push buttons, one toggle switch, one pot, 2 red LEDS, and a green LED that comes on with power. the one thing you can't tell from the pictures is that the PCB is double sided. I haven't taken the box apart to admire the board yet, but it looks quite nice through the semi transparent case. The ethernet plug is the type that has the LEDs embedded in it. there is a DB9 connector for serial in, and a 2x20? header for GPIO expansion.

I haven't fired up the programming software yet but I was able to ping the box. you have to set your computer to some IP and then you can ping it. that kind of confused me but it must be that your IP has to be close to the one in the box so the subnet mask works.. thats all I can come up with after thinking about it for 20-30 seconds.

Yup... it seems witht he serial (goes through SCI line?) you are a little limited on the programming abilities. there is a warning that if the unit gets corrupted then you will need a BDM, back ground mode debugger (not supplied) to reprogram it. I think there is a programming mode that is supported through the serial connection but if you destroy the serial loader program then I assume you need lower level access. arg.. now I gotta make sure I can recover if, I mean When, I screw it up, or build a BDM.

HC12 Resources
AN1230 has a BDM schematic!
GDB with BDM


Graphs in excel are fun... thats what I keep telling my self. check out the latest rendition...

translate this

one of the 'perks' of working for a larger company is that when someone mis-types a name in the email system you get screw ups from all over the world. this time it was from someone in france. now I got nothing against the french, especially if they are a fellow coworker, so I did my best to respond in french and tell the guy he got the wrong person (unless i'm being transferred to france, who knows)

I used one of those free translator thinggies on the net, just did a quick google search for 'free translator' and turned up i'm not so sure its a decent translator because when I used it to translate the message I got it made very little sense.. but oh well.. so I used it to translate

I think you sent this to the wrong person.
Je pense que vous avez envoyé ceci à la mauvaise personne.

any french people wanna tell me how bad the translator screwed up?

Monday, November 15, 2004

That aint chicken

the That aint chicken picture that kev dug up continues to be a HUGE time waster on my cube wall. everyone that passes by is STILL reading it and commenting about it. I think that me posting it on the wall is starting to cut into corporate profits!

a venerable cornucopia!

remember how I told you guys that I found a decent spice simulator for windows and shared it with one of my co-workers? welp... in no time flat he told one of his professors about it who promptly posted it on UIdaho VLSI Class information next to it the professor actually put a venerable cornucopia! how cool is that! I'm sure the rest of you already ran across the LTspice but it seems there are still a bunch of people that don't know about it. I think i'm going to send it to my VLSI instructor I had in college and see if he knows about it.


Future-Electronics was/is running some kind of promotion. all over their site there are buttons that say CLICK here and register, and see if you are eligible to receive [insert product name here], so thinking I might qualify (i'm a professional electrical engineer in a field pretty close to a real application for this) I filled out my registration info. I think its been about 4 days now, and I finally heard back. [rejected] so I wonder who does qualify?

Melissa McNally to me
More options 10:44am (3 minutes ago)

Thank you for your interest in the MC9S12NE*.

Unfortunately you do not qualify. If you are still interested in this design solution you may make a purchase by:

* Calling Future Electronics at 1-800-655-0006 and referencing part # DEMO9S12NE64
* Visiting our on-line catalogue at
Thank you

embedded ethernet links

Justin's Links has a good links section on embedded ethernet. check it out

Ham repeater location

Circuit Cellar had a nice writeup on an project that located repeaters based off of your current GPS location. very good read.

Friday, November 12, 2004

freescale goes down now reads:

The system is currently unavailable. Please try back on Friday, Nov. 12th, at 10 PM MST. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

hmm... thats like calling a company and getting "were sorry, that number has been disconnected".. it just doenst instill confidence in a company.


I was looking at lizzys life and noticed she had some way to show the most recent comments on the main page.. only a few weeks ago she was asking for help on editing her template and she finds and implements the coolest thing! so thanks for the idea lizzy.

I hopped on over to bloggerhacks and took a looksee at the javascript. its been about 4 years now, but I actually wrote some in javascript when I did my intership at qwest in downtown denver. to bad it all looks like giberish to me now.

it seems to work great on this page, but over on nerdytails it seems to have some issues. maybe one of the crew over there can fix it up. I'm sick of dinkin' with it. you guys are on your own! =)

I have replaced the recent post links with recent comments as I'm not sure why we need recent links if they just link to same page your reading. recent comments is much more interesting.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Re: Gunzz

check out this comment from Gunzz in regards to the Freescale MC9S12NE64 post:

gunzz said...
What mailing address do you want the demo board sent to? I know the Marketing mgr for the product and have inquired about a free demo for you.

HOW COOL IS THAT! I've read all the literature I can find on this bad boy (actually, I've read most of it twice) and its the BLOG that helps me find more info! thanks for the offer gunzz, I will most definatly take you up on it. you can email me at I'm in the process of trying to stay some what anonymous so I'll give you the address through email.

now I wonder which one they'll ship?
DEMO9S12NE64 is the demo board, 75$
EVB9S12NE64 is the evaluation board, 250$

The Demo Board:

The Eval Board

The Eval board has lots more goodies like IRDA, LCD driver, keyboard port (ps2?), 512kb of sram, dual com ports, and a prototype area. The interesting thing about the Evaluation board as compared to the Demo board is that I think it was built by someone else (Axiom Manufacting).

yup.. sure enough. if you look HERE it talks about Axiom Manufacturing is among the top of Motorola's Third Party Tool vendors for PowerPC development and evaluation systems. Axiom specializes in single board computers, embedded controllers, custom design, and manufacturing solutions.

Interestingly enough they list their freescale application experience as:
Automotive Controller Area Network (CAN) Applications
Consumer Electronics
Internet Appliances
Industrial Control
Motor Control
Motor Control
Motor Control

yeah.. they actually list Motor Control 3 times. they must be pretty proud of that. I read in another article that said Freescale has product in 41% of cars in the US. so I'd think they should list Automotive Controller for CAN 3 times instead of motor control!

Because the Eval board is about 3x as expensive as the demo board, I suspect if freescale samples me a board it will most likely be the demo board which is fine. The demo board should do enough to prove the embedded ethernet concept that is the main thrust of the chip. BUT, who knows, if those upper ups want to really impress me they may choose to send the Eval. I haven't found alot of third party info about the NE64 chip so maybe this blog will serve as a good intro into using their tools.

I look forward to it!

if y'all get the chance, hop on over to Gunzz's Gripester


it seems everyone has moved to linux for modeling circuits. I guess all of the windows modelers have serious limitations unless you want to spend a TON of money.. so I was looking for a live CD distro of linux that had Spice (graphical version) for one of my co-workers and ran across LTSPICE from Linear technologies. it seems this is a full blown windows modeler! so for all you students (and silicon based designers) out there check out LTSPICE.

freescale NE64

ok.. thanks to an anonymous post from an article I did a few days ago I am relooking at the freescale processor. it turns out there is a demo board available for 75$, and I think it comes with a TCP/IP stack.. so that sounds really reasonable. I already contacted the manufacture to see if they will sample the demo board (most likely not) and upon rejection I will probably order it.

This article talks about how CMX has a small free stack. that may be worth looking into!

I'm thinking of contacting one of my professors from school (bryce) to see if he ever got someone to make him a datalogger for stream temperature. that my be a fun first project.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

lizzys life

part 2 of lizzy's life horror date is on tap. Excellent!

One of the suits

One of the suits from across the hall (in finance, human relations, etc) was heating his food up for lunch at the same time that I was in the break room.

suit: what did we ever do without microwaves?
me: wait until summer so we can put it out at noon.
suit: Yeah.. it really is a modern convenience.
me: Actually, I think way back then the women actually stayed home!
suit: hahah........ actually I've done some calculations and the wife has to take home more than 14k just to break even! by the time you factor in daycare, nice cloths for work, another car, more insurance... its just not worth it!

ahh.. yep.. I got a good laugh.

Try 'n Call

OK, I"v been thinking up a project. I've really got to get a hobby project so I Have something fun to work on. the projects at work are just plain BORING.

heres my latest brainstorm, feel free to critique: I call it Try 'n Call. Build a device that merges VoIP (voice over IP) and wardriving (using free open wireless network access points) and possibly a GPS to help that searching out a bit.

ideal solution:
some embedded device that has 2+ wifi adapters, a GPS, and a line-in/out -> telephone adapter. This thing would sit in my car adn while i'm driving look for open access points. Upon connecting to one it sends my ID to a server (or group, or something) to let them know I am within a calling region. now that one antenna has a good lock, the other antenna searches for the next network so I can attempt to seamlessly transfer within my personal wifi cells. The line-in/out -> telephone adaber is useful because i can plug ANY standard land-line phone in it, including 900mhz wireless ones (so I don't screw up my 2.4 ghz wifi signal) and actually take the phone in to work, or a store, etc. Some kind of lights [blinking LEDs for us geek people] would tell me that I have a cell lock, and other lights would tell me who in my buddy list is online.

yup.. I might just get 5 minutes of talk time on my way home!

Monday, November 08, 2004

touch & die

I am currently working on yet another 'project'. I had to have a quick meeting with one of the auditors of the project to close it out and so he showed up at my desk to get the final info. I explained it all. He was stuck on the fact that in order to convert production quantities from year to date quantities you multiply the numbers from jan1-oct31 by 1.2 to scale it up for estimated yearly. for you pseudo geeks, that means we have only 10 months worth of data and we want to predict what a linearly scaled 12 month data will be. simple enuf? no. and this guy even had 'master' in his name (no really, he does, master blackbelt)

to top it all off, when i'm showing him excel he finds the need to touch my monitor all over. now this reminds me of college when dan would let the dust build up evenly. I have also used this method and rather enjoy it. well, the dust is more than destroyed and we actually have the culprits FINGERPRINTs all over my view area. arg...... now I gotta find a way to clean it without scratching the preciouse coating.

embedded ethernet

OK.. I started out my blogging experience talking about embedded ethernet, now I think it is time to revisit this interest of mine. there is an add on the inside cover of this months Nuts and Volts magazine that has a web server (hardware) for $29. for the LIFE OF ME, I can not figure out who sells it and I'm just to impatiant to wait to get home see what the URL is. so, in my google quest, I run across Freescale Semiconductor. I read about them over the weekend, and just ignored one of their new release notes, that said they have an entire network enabled processor in a single package that does EVERYTHING for $8 (in bulk). now that sounds pretty interesting. I Just wish I"d heard of this freescale before so I could have more faith in the product.

so.. I'm going to read more about MC9S12NE64CPV and the datasheet can be found HERE. for a few hundred dollars the evaluation/development kit may actually be realy fun to play with. if so I know what my christmas present will be.

The freescale chip is a tad complicated. its a full blown uP which is cool, but I think i'd have to write my own protocol implementation which would suck.

I FINALLY found the $29 device I was thinking of.. this implementation is a tad on the senior project side, but interesting none the less. check out or a review on

time wasters.

so if you have been following along on nerdy tales, dan thinks I'm a slacker, so I'm going to give him a little more ammo.

Jen got me a dilbert daily calander for christmas last year. at times I read it once a week, sometimes once a month.. at anyrate, whenever I read it I keep all the good ones to post on the outside of my cube wall. The time wastedness is awesome. When I first update my post (on my cube wall) I can waste hours of potential productivity for others. I havne't kept track of how many people stop by, or for how long, but I've even caught the boss stopping for a read.

the potential cost to the company is amazing!

The incredibles

We went and saw the incredibles this weekend and really enjoyed it. we went at 7:45 and since its a kids movie it was too late for the kids so we basically ahd the theater to ourselves. A must see movie! anamiation was very good and the story line was very well done. turns out most of the heros were modeled after the writers family or something. elasti-girl was modeled after his wife? (streched in all kinds of directions), the sub humore was awesome.

to top it all off I found out how much of a movie going-under-informed individual I am. jen had to point out that every other row either has reclining seets or foldup drink holder arm. I never noticed that!

Friday, November 05, 2004

"°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸ [FKS] °º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸

I ran into this really cool page on abandonware. ahh.. the old games I loved

I was also reading about GTA san andreas at

self review

I just submitted my self review here at work. I blog it for you for your reading pleasure.

Other Training
*GE 102: Success in GE (2004)
*GE Time Management (2004)
*GE Change Management (2004)
*CKC Labs EMI Training (2004)
*Intrinsic Safety Pepperl+Fuchs (2004)
*Halt/Hass Methods/Procedure (2003)
*Fex Methods (2002)
*ORCAD Training (2001)
*Test Methods Course (2001)

Other Qualifications
*Peer Award for design flaw found on 3500/60
*Peer Award for assitance on barrier certifications
*Night on the Town for 6CH redesign resulting in major time savings and multi-up testing capability

*Professional Engineer 2004
*Six Sigma Green Belt Certification 2002
*Amateur Radio 2001
*A+ CompTIA Certification 1999

*Lead the board test redesign for the 6CH / Temp Monitor project and was able to improve the technology in Test Engineering. As a result the new board level test can test 4 boards at a time. The test runs 6.32 minutes faster per board and with HASS we can test 48 at a time. The test time reduction alone accounts for $19,600 of our first year savings.

Project Leader on 5 Productivity Deck Projects:
*QPTS: B96756.22 Orcad Expert
*QPTS: B96756.23 ICT Preventive Maintenance
*6CH Redesign Time Savings
*Neuron Savings / Scrap Reduction
*ICT Logon Time Reduction

Team Member on 5 QPTS / AWO Projects:
*AWO QPTS: B85237.24 ICT/Burn-HASS
*AWO QPTS: B98362.12 Okuma Lean Setup Time Reduction
*QPTS: B96756.28 ICT Software Enabling
*QPTS: B91422.1 ICT DR project
*QPTS: N100211.1 4CH Flash ROM/RAM Combo Chip Failure

*Board Test resource on the 1900/65 project.
*Generated ICT test for qualifying barrier modules from an outside vendor.
*Designed Flying Probe logon script to enable proper machine operation.
*Removed ICT routing on 104723 to save time.
*Authored Failure Analysis method using TheDR for the test department.
*ICT Expert on the 3500 power supply outsource to china project.
*Transferred ICT maintenance to Machinery Maintenance.
*Department resource for computers. Assisted in recovery of Ron’s Laptop.
*Reviewed more than 60 test and design changes, directly affecting the quality delivered by the test department.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Election Results

The election results are fun to look at. check out

you can pick your state and it will break down the strengh of voter support by county so you can see if you have the same mindset as your neighbors or not.

I'm still trying to figure out the trend for KERRY support. all of the west coast, and north east. strange. all I can think of is he got huge support from people in metropolis, maybe everyone else already knew that. I don't read the news, so it was fun for me to find out on my own..

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


so we hit the early bird election. we were there at 7am. and it still took us 1:45 minutes to make it through the line (that 1 hour and 45 minutes). it was a pain because 2 precints were using teh same location. we were in the long one (350) and the people kept coming out and yelling that 338 was free so any 338 people could go to the front of the line. as it turns out 350 is the largest precinct in northern nevada.. go figure our luck

but we got it done. and out of the 10 or so voting machines only 2 were broken. I wonder how many will be broken by 5pm?

Monday, November 01, 2004

organic solvents

We have an HP laserjet 4000 (network enabled) printer. It really is an awesome piece of machinery and I hope that the compaq/HP merger won't ruin this line. well.. its been having a little trouble picking paper. so we have been using the manual feed tray and that seems to do the trick.

so today I see a guy from computerland working on it. a few people are standing around and the boss was there as well.

Boss: does your simple green have a posted MSDS sheet?
tech: ummm... no, its organic.
me: so is gasoline.

it was beutiful. totally on the fly.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

lamp fun

an oil lamp that mom got jen and I awhile ago. its lotsa fun. see it normal, with an 8second shutter, and then what my computer can pull out of the blackness.

Friday, October 29, 2004

knoppix rules

ok.. i'm just dinking around cause i got nothing better to do, so I put knoppix 3.3 in the dead laptop and fired it up. it connects to the net, and even connects to blogger and I didn't do anything! nothing to configure, nothing.

totaly remarkable. I love this, so next time windows goes down I don't have to reinstall it to fix it. i just throw in knoppix and i'm good to go.

i dl'd knoppix 3.6 the other night. i'll have to load that up and compare. but if its half as good as 3.3 i might jus have to throw my HD away and run off a cd cause it seems to do what need.

nevada day / halloween

this friday is a waste of time. half of the company is gone for NEVADA day, the funny thing is we don't even get it off, so people took personal vacation to take it off. most likely because a spouse has it off or something

to compound the problem half of the remaining people are 'dressed up for halloween'. now if you know engineers and i think you do you'd know such a nerd would never bother him/herself with such a pointless endeavor. well, you are correct, but we have tons of assembly people that feel the need to dress up like various things. in less than 20 minutes I have seen the following
darth vador
women dressed up like suckers that ask people if they want a lick
purple head lady with a sign on the back that says SINGLE

this is going to be ONE POINTLESS DAY.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


so I have almost all of my materials to get started. the plan? an 8x16 'storage' shed located on the side of my house. it will be apprximatly 4 feet from the house and at the other end 5 feet from my lot line (a street). i'm kinda pushing the code. the code is pretty vague here so I'm taking advantage of that. if no one complains i'll be set. if they complain, i'll just have to get a winch and move it, that or a chainsaw to cut 8 foot off of it, or whatever else the neighbors decide to complain about.

total cost? i'm hopeing less than 500$. now at first glance that sounds expensive doesn it? well add up the cost and you'll find that is about 1/4 the price that you can find at homedepot. i've got lotsa lumber from a friend.

things left to by
siding: (13) 4x8 sheets @ $17/ea
roof sheeting: (6?) 4x8 sheets 7/16in $ 14/ea
shingles: 2 squares, cost not estimated yet
tarpaper/roofpaper stuff: cost not estimated
floor hangers / misc. hardware $50
screws / fasteners $75 ( purchased a 25lb bucket of 2 1/2 inch screws, i'm looking forward to using them

This county seems very specific. i kinda like it all spelled out yet with those rules i'd be in violation on several counts.


in todays staff meeting they gave out some awards. I couldn't belive it, I actually got some! (kev, don't read into that last line)

Awhile ago I told the boss 2 levels up that don't waste my time with an award that is valued at less than 1,000 dollars. its more papework than its worth, and if you really appreciate something I do then show that you REALLY appreciate it. I said that a few years ago, and until this year I didn't get anything.

earlier this year I got a 25$ certificate to best buy for helping find a fundamental design problem, and saved potentially hundreds of thousands of dolllars worth of damage in the field. ah yea... that was worth 25$ to the company.

The other day I helped one of my coworkers test something. his method took two days. I took a few hours and worked up a test that does it in a bout 3 seconds. that earned me ANOTHER 25$ gift card, this time to chilees (i think i'm gonna trade it for a homedepot card)

then my boss gives me ANOTHER award for some work I did on saving the company money. I saved the company around $20k. really pretty small, but they gave me an ward for $150 'night on the town'. now, you might ask, what is a night on the town? I'll give you my rough translation, but you can make the call for yourself. I think it is spend this money on some entertainment I wouldn't usually do and HOPE it qualifies for reimbursment, but you make the call

You are granted up to $150 to be used for a special event of your choosing. Reimbursable expnses may include dinner, entertainment, and expenses direclty related to the outing, such as childcare and othe rsimilar expenses. simply remit the receipts along wtih a copy of this memo to human resources for reimbursement. this award does not have to be used in a single evening, but you must submit all of your receipts at the same time to ensure proper reimbursement. expenses for durable goods (dvd players, grills, books, etc), services not related to the outing (car repairs, home improvements, etc.), bill and atm withdrawls.


for an engineer a calculator seems to be some type of status symbol. It is much comparable to how a jock needs to drive the biggest truck, or fastest car to make up for his inadequiasies. (bad spelling day). such it is with the engineer and his calculator. Many prefer the TI89, or one with a keyboard the TI92. then those that are stuck in the ancient HP camp like me, owning an HP48 or the more modern HP49 that seems to be the exact same thing with 2 lines of the OS updated. so while these calculators can cost around $150 they don't really make you smarter.

I'll give you an example. I took and passed my professional engineering exam from the state of california with a $15 walmart calculator, the Casio FX-1115MS. any where in the the entire US you are not allowed to use ANY of the name brand calculators found above to take the exam. (except for the 15$ one).

Why you ask? does it make the work easier, does it make me smarter? none of these are the issue. with a modern calculator it is possible to COPY the exam questions and then take them with you when you leave (a serious offense). you see the brain dead people that come up with the questions spend much time on them they don't want to repeat the same amount of work next year so they RECYCLE questions. if people took the questions, then they couldn't reuse them without the test being unfare to those that just took it because next years attendees would know what the questions are.

The ironic thing is that engineering is one of the most ethical professions yet they STILL have to guard against giving someone a certification that isn't ethical. how about we just allow normal calucators and at the end of the exam the final step is to take a polygraph test, after all, if your that unethical we don't want you in the field anyway.

The exam was great. I now own a 15$ calculator that I like better than my 150$ one. why? because its cheep and does all I need for day to day work. If I have somthing big to solve I use a COMPUTER. with the advancements in microelectronics I doubt theres any reason to continue on with the whole advanced calculator idea. the next generation will probalby just be a PDA running maple, matlab, and spice. why do crap approximations when you can just punch your variables in and let it simulate the whole thing. and you get to learn the tools you'll be using in industry instead of how to punch numbers in 'normal' or RPN style.

Its probably the calulator industry that is responsible for myopicness in the engineers.

To actually learn how to do math a calculator is about as worthless as it comes. it does not reinforce key concepts, or memorizaton of fast apprximations, it reinforces ASKING for the answer. there isn't always an answer! at times a crap approximation is all that is needed or possible. yeah yeah.. you super geeks out there will say there is ALWAYS an answer. yeah, there is, but yours will probably be way different than mine. we all make approximations and assumptions about a problem. if you dont' believe me then you have never tried to get $ values signed off by managment or finance. they can come up with the screwiest math to justify a $5 purchase I have ever seen.

keep on calcin

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


I'm sure theres alot of things one could think up what THL means. like:

Totally Horendous Loss
Tom hugs lisa
Two Hours Lost
Thumble hitting loser

but what it really is is the ranking system. You see T is Top Talen, H is Highly valued, and L stands for LEP, least effective performer, or rather it did. I"ve heard that now it stands for LESS effective performer because LEAST was not politically correct.

how is calling someone a LOSER ever politically correct? gotta love this place.

Wad or not

Our trash can in the bathroom is constantly full. most often do to the fact
that no on actually makes good use of the space. you see I actually
compoletely wad up my paper towl. I want to reap the complete beneifits of
its moisture capturing capabilities instead of wasting yet another sheet or
rough cat tounge. I must be the only guy to wad up my papertowl, either
that or they expand once thrown in.

Column of Smoke II

an update on the column of smoke (remember I can't write comments, just posts cause of the firewall). it turned out to be the power supply in the dell desktop. the guy was frantically saving all of the stuff he was working on and was successful!

as for the fire extingiusher (sp?) yeah.. that was the first thing one of the other enginerds sayed was "do i need to go get the fire extingiusher". we just got our VPP star certification so that'd be pretty funny if we caught the place on fire.

no fire extinguisher needed. just alot of smoke. later I returned to the cube to see how it was going and these guys were disecting the power supply. I'm sure they'll pull parts out of stock and try to get it running again.. after all, with the management around here it'll take weeks to order him a new desktop and if we need IS to transfer data or the HD that'll be about 6 months in addition.

Column of Smoke

I'm was returning to my desk from a trip I just made to the other side of the building and I smell the Spicy Mustard! I look everywhere and cant find, so I continue on my merry way. halfway through the rat maze of cubicles I see a column of smoke coming up over the wall. I look over and POORING out out of the top of someones monitor is smoke! in about 5 seconds a ton of people join me in our forensic analysis of the stink. The poor guy shuts the monitor off, and moves it a little on his desk. (it is a 19 or 21 inch, so a bit of a beast). I reminded him to also UNPLUG the monitor, as it does no good if the power switch/relay is fried and current is still applied. [ah, another rhyme]

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Go ahead, Quote Me!

I just wrote this in an email. I'm very proud of the wording. Its too much work to go into the history, but I'll post it anyway. The rest of you enginerds can cut and paste it in your next rant to a co-worker.

I have a concern that without proper data analysis the full benefits of the process may not be realized.

Cube Walls

Cube Walls are great, or rather the stories that come over them. as I type this my coworker is talking about his childhood in the swamps of Georgia and how him and his friend both got M-16's and went hunting. He got a regular M16 and his friend go the partrooper variety. They did deer hunting with full auto. his friend almost cut the telephone pole down with full auto.

ahh.. how times have changed. when we get invaded by iraq I think I'd want the 'troops' of georgia to have full auto.

wheres an NRA representative when I have something to say....


again, blogthis ate my post, so I do it yet again....

It happened in 1985:

Nintendo enters home video game market.
Cray-2 supercomputer does 1.2 billion calculations per second.
Hollywood amends ratings; now G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17, X.
U.S. household ownership of VCRs rises rapidly to 20%.
Cellphones go into cars.
Images can be broken into digital bits.
Microsoft ships the Windows 1.0 operating system.
Synthetic text-to-speech computer pronounces 20,000 words.
Television broadcasts can be heard in stereo.
U.S. TV networks begin satellite distribution to affiliates.
Typical modem speed now 2400 bits/second.
America Online founded as Quantum Computer Services.
Pay-per-view channels open for business.
Kids can't get enough of Super Mario Brothers computer game.
New videotape formats: 8 mm and VHS-C.

AND it was sometime around 1985 that Teradyne released the Z1860, and ICT [in circuit tester] machine. it was large, expensive, and clunky. It is still Large, clunky, but is now cheep. It seems to cost of maintance is inversely proportional to the lifecycle. (duh) as it gets older we spend more and more to maintain it. this will be the second time in a few years that we have had a catastrophe and i am on the support team so i gotta help fix it. its actually not that bad of a machine except teradyne will stop supporting it soon and we will have to move to a machine that is more reliable, more expensive, much smaller, harder to work on, and incompatible with our multi million dollar fixturing for the old machine. oh well.

Saturday, October 23, 2004


I found it.

Mormon Friends

I posted this to Lizzy. I hope the rest of you can get something from it.

About half of the department I work in is Mormon, My boss is even Mormon. I'm a member of a different protestant Christian religions (born and raised) and surprisingly enough interpret the bible and the basic call of morality in basically the same way that my Mormon friends do.

In talking with my friends at work it seems Mormons have some unpardonable sin categories. things that once done, or never done, or something, can result in a lesser heaven.

I for one, believe in only one God, only one heaven, and only one unpardonable (eternal) sin. That sin is turning your back on your savior. This sin can even be redeemed (read Job). thus leaving the only true unredeemable sin to be turning your back on God forever.

We are still called to uphold the law (exodus 20, the 10 commandmends) and to the new law of love (new testament theme) but it is the grace of God that frees us from our just punishment of death (The wages of sin is death), and through Jesus's death on the cross we are given the GIFT of eternal life. All we must do to be saved is ask. Thus explains how there is only one unpardonable sin.

Every person has their own believe. Most share their core belief with a group of believers (church or sect) but deep down every person does have their own individual belief.

I truly hope for you that you can be convinced of the saving grace of God so you don't have the feel the shame of leading a sinful life. No one on earth with the exception of one man (the perfect sacrafice, Jesus) has lead a perfect life. We are called to do the best we can, and through the sacrafice of Christ we are all made perfect.



I was reading random blogs and ran across the following saying on GunderBlog

Maybe you should climb up there with a stick and a cake pan and poke at it for a while.

That SO reminds me of something kev would say or actually do!

sick of picture

i'm already sick of my picture. i'm removing it from my profile. if you really wnt to see me look here

who reads this?

so.. the question was posed do people at work read this. well.. I highly doubt it. I haven't given but one person the link and I really don't think he'll ever read it. on the off chance someone from work does end up reading It i've made the attempt to not use real or specific names, and you may have noticed that I haven't referenced my company name, location, etc at all.. in the off chance someone thinks I'm talking bad/good about the company.. thus I hope i have my basis coverd.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Social Skills

I posted this as a response to marys post here. I liked it so much I'm putting it here for the rest of you.

Social skill is most definatly a SKILL. I think it can be learned. one example of this is etiquite [sp?]. this can be learned. it is one suggestion for proper public methods. I don't think this exists anymore, I Just use it as an example.

in the same sense, social skills can be learned. people that are natural leaders have more attempts to hone this skill and their failure is hidden in the early depths of childhood instead of the visible spectrum of adulthood.

people that are NOT leaders even when given attempts to hone their social skills usually pass up the opportuinity because they are to intravert. social skill takes a certain boldness.. and last of not least TIMELINESS.

you see, once you are in a group you have a very limited time to prove your social skill. if others learn you have none, then you have lost all oportunity to prove you ever will. one of my coworkers transfered jobs because he screwed up his social skill. he had plenty, but he wasn't very timele with it.

so.. to hone a social skill
BE FAST [don't wait for them to learn otherwise]
BE FUN [everyone likes to be around someone fun]

ok.. my 2 cents. I'm at tims a social failure so they may not all be good tips.

Company Jeopardy

The other day we had a small quiz on company policy, if you filled it out you got a ticket for $5 in the lunch room. I actually did my quiz, most everyone else just copied off of others.

my $5 got me 1 personal pizza, 1 small bag of cheotos, 2 SOBE drinks (Fuerte and Courage). it came to $5.10, so I owed 10 cents.

now you'd think that since it took over 1/2 hour of work time to fill out the survey the company would just leave it at that, but no, in fine print at the bottom of the survey it said you could be called for the Jeopardy game on friday [today]. so, not wanting to waste even more time and get up and make a complete fool of myself I sat in ate breakfast in the break room instead of going to this game show thinggy. wouldn't you know it. i was the about the 10'th person to be called up. luckily they only had about 25% turnout. I got a big kick outa that. I told the guy eating breakfast with me that his name was probably coming up and as soon as I said it they read his name.

So we just sat in the cafe for a few more minutes watching it on TV.... very amusing.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

the history of k2h

So, some may wonder why I have used k2h for the name of this thing. probably about the only person to remember why is Kev and Dan. You see it all started in highschool when we needed a way to indetify the students. way back then the school just used some form of initials and since my initials are kh and my twins initials are kh that posed a bit of a prolbem. I was blessed with the name of k2h in the system and I have used it ever since.

ahhh.. those were the good old days. I actually got a job as the computer/typing lab maintance, admin, grader type guy. it really sucked. the novell network was run with RG-58? cable. that old point to point crap. I think it even had marks on the cable where you were to cut and add connection so you wouldn't mess up the wave form. hmm.. not much to mess up at 10mbits. but I digress.....

the printer was always going offline and the only way to get it online was to get the lab instructor back to logon to novell and reset the print server. what a crappy system it was. I was totally sick of always calling because this happened on a daily basis and I WAS THE LAB GUY. so.. i loaded up my trusty keyboard logger TSR program and got the password to the system (banana).

Kev.. tell us the story of how you used that against her later!

Plant ate my post, so I'm reposting. I Hope its as good as the origional one. if the origional one shows up you can compare for yourself. until then I'll recap.

It seems every engineer wants something green around. If you've been following my earlier posts you'll now my form of green appears to be algea [mold, thanks janell]. You may be surprised to learn that I also have a PLANT. yes, my very own plant. one of my coworkers has 11 potted plants in/on/and around his desk. including 2 empty pots. his desk looks more like somekinda zen sanctuary than the desk of an engineer. another coworker has i think 4 plants. he optained one from someone that strated 15 years ago [and then quit] so its rumored it is the oldes plant in the building. the only problem i have with his plant is that it does not keep to itself. it insists on crawling down MY SIDE of the cube wall. most of my coworkers have either NO Plants, or multiple plants. I fall right in the middle with a single loanly plant.

Don't be fooled, my plant actually has a history. Andy brought it in when he was here. Andy was a good guy. he got the bosses to sign up for letting him have EVERY friday off during the winter so he could go skiing. it wasn't until after he purchased his season pass that they revoked the request. I think it had something to do with the fact that even if he worked 4 10 hour days, he was still physicall absent on one day and someone would have to cover his responsbilities. so that made it more of a vacation type thing since he wasnt even coming in.. but anyway.. Andy quit to go to law school to be with his girlfriend. somewhere in seattle or something.

The plant was donated to Shawn. Shawn was a good guy. he was actually my manager for awhile and I enjoyed working with/under him. Shawn had some interesting history with the company.. in his time here [5-7 year?] he managed to quit the department several times but the bosses let him come back. well shawn got fed up and quit for the 3rd and most likely final time. I 'won' the raffel at the going away lunch for shawn and received the plant. Shawn made some kinda speach about how when you leave the plant, you have to leave the plant.

thus begins my life with my very own plant. The first thing I did was put Leave the PLANT plant on it. its own little plaque taped to the front of its pot. This has blessed me with multiple inquiries about what exactly that means. Most of my coworkers harass me and ask when i'll be quiting since I do have the cursed plant. I have voed to let it die before I leave.. and to my surprise no one has sabatoged it yet, despite the office hick threating to urinate [water] it for me.

The latest addition was a jack in the box head to one of the unopened frond leave things. its a palm looking plant about 3 foot high, 7 open leaves/limbs and 2 stems starting. a very nice looking subject if I do say so myself. I water it 1-2 times a month, whenever I run out of 'productive' things to do.

leave the plant

I did a writup about my plant. the post keeps coming and going. I dont understand!

my picture

One day we got an email from corporate. we were all to report to some odd conference room to get our picture taken for the online system. so I showed up and got my picture taken. then, a few days after the event we got an email that said it was just for MANAGEMENT because it cost to much money to take everyones picture and publish it online. welp.. to late. my picture was taken and i actually exist with a real head in the online who's who database. it is that picture that I have chosen to attach to the blog. if it uglies me out i'll remove it.

i'm so cheep I had to use a FREE hosting for my picture. i finally settled on we shall see how long the link lasts.

kevs blog

has anyone seen kevs blog? me? nah. I have yet to find it in the depths of cyberspace. maybe I should just start reposting his emails. they are usually pretty interesting and then at least we'd get something from him firsthand instead of getting his posts as a rebutal to an origional idea.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

best weasel

Jen said no one would click all my links but i'm just betting that some of you are tired of working on your thesis and may just click them all. Vote for you favorite weasel.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

inline images kill

OK. I removed an inline image cause it killed my sidebar. I've learned my lesson. from now on you guys will have to click to view.

on a side note I see that simple ramblings is online. your now on my link list.

rebuttal to ASCII

welp. I'm glad to see that I was right. Jen had a very good writeup in her ASCII article. I would like to point out that windows for quite some time has come with the very table you have been looking for. It is called CHARACTER MAP. in WINNT it is an optional install and if installed is usually in Start \ Programs \ Accessories \ System Tools \ Character Map.

If I do Start \ Run \ Charmap that seems to get it up and running as well.

Now if you look very carefuly you will see that at the bottom of the program it gives the character code, and most often the shortcut keystroke (ALT+0123) The interesting thing is the shortcut keystroke is not listed for all characters that you can see.

Open up word and select ARIAL font. ALT+0247 gives me a ÷ simbol. in fact I used the shortcut to put it in here. BUT if i use something like SYMBOL font it gives me a . now this was the exact same shortcut. I changed the font. the font is mearly a collection of vector images that is mapped to codes. any font could use any code to map to any symbol.

conclusion: the shortcut method in windows ONLY WORKS IF YOU KNOW YOUR TARGET FONT. Maybe sarah can tell us what the standard font browsers use to render web pages?

VPP Star

our facility just got VPP Star certified. as a reward the employees got to 3 gifts from a selectin of 5. our choices were between 1 of two clocks, a 6 pack cooler, a hat, car sun visor thing, or a mug? I can't remember what the last choice was. but check out the pictures i found.

one of the clocks. it has indigo backlight, alarm, and it came with the single AA battery. The other clock we got is very small. pewter type thing with the face of a wrist watch inlayed in it. one of my coworkers refered to it as 'a weapon'. I'm very dissapointed that I can't find a picture of it.

the 6 pack cooler thing, of course it has VPP STAR on it instead and ours is blue.

by the suggestion of sarah I have visited Cooking for Engineers. It is indeed interesting. I was very entertained by Surprise in SnacksIt reminded me of the time that jen and I got snow peas mixed vegetables and the package only had two snow peas in it. we called up the manufacture and said how can you label this as snow peas if there are only two! they sent us coupons.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Office Algea part II

thanks to feed back from janelle (sp? you'll have to post so I know how to spell your name) it turns out my cup/bottle is probably growing MOLD not algea. somehow I like the idea of seaweed better than condemned house. I attended a free lunch today have added one more bottle as backup in the event the current water carrier gets moldy. see origional article here

Big Win

In the business I work in they have been throwing around the term 'Big Win' for way to long. It only took about a year for the term 'digital cockpit' to die [don't ask]. Every time the department gets something done we get an email from the big boss dude and it says 'this was a BIG WIN for the department'. what exactly does that mean? who were we fighting anyway? the other department? Its high time we kill this saying. I post it here not for you to use, but for you to avoid. every time I hear it i think of The big L.

stolen ideas

So the other day I was in a meeting with one of my co-workers. the only other person in the group [besides me] to pass the California Professional engineering exam. now he was presenting some ideas for a circuit design and I piped up with some suggestions. he right away said he didn't like the idea. so hey.. brainstorming, no big deal. it was just an idea.

then TODAY, i pass the interns desk and see my circuit on his screen! My coworker took my idea and then made the intern build it [of course he had to bad mouth my idea first, and then never tell me he liked it]. I sat down with the intern and had a second look at it at we reduced the parts count by about 50%.

what a joke! my coworker, the one with the PE should be DESIGNING the circuit, don't send it to the intern!! on top of that, how about he design it himself instead of stealing my idea without credit.

Path of Least Resistance

Thanks to kev for his comment on the path of least resistance. you have given me yet another topic to ramble about.

I have to agree with you that the path of least resistance often makes good sense from several perspectives but the complicated part is to have the foresight, insight, and wisdom to determine what decisions and outcomes will lead to the simplest solution. I myself often try to go down the path of least resistance but due to circumstances beyond my control often end up going down the more complicated one.

The path of least resistance is a good friend of insight. and its to bad thats not a class in school. it would probably be lectured by the same professor that taught common sense. they would all be highly subjective classes. keith would fail. kev would argue till he got a grade out of beating the teacher and jen would get an A cause she made the professor cry. Dan would Slop through the proof in unreadable gyberish and then make his final line legible, thus fooling the professor into a grade. Sarah would probably do the homework and be the only one of us to get a well deserved grade.

Monday, October 18, 2004

The Power of Symmetry

Dave told me one time that he solved part of his thermodynamics test with ratios instead of the method presented in the text. The instructor gave him a hard time about not using the correct method. Now I'm all for the 'proper' way, but come on, a right answer without cheating is a right answer. If the problem was trivial enough to be solved with an inferior method then it really wasn't a problem was it?

I think that Ratios is outclassed by symmetry. Just the other day I was reviewing some design changes for someone and it was symmetry that told me the person screwed up. Logic dictates conditional outcomes, If -> Then. thats usually not to hard to follow, where most people stop thinking is in the If -> Then -> Applies to ALL OF THIS mentality that symmetry has to offer.

Given my discussion on Symmetry I think I will give you an example of Symmetry mis applied. you see, one day I got a call from the city that said one of the fences that goes around my house was in violation of some building code. Upon close inspection of the code I determined that indeed it may be. The fence existed before I ever moved in and was not erected by my hand or my $. The big question was WHY NOW, why did the city all of a sudden care? well, someone down the way was applying for a permit to build a fence very similar to mine. when the city did not issue a permit (against code) this person walked around the neighborhood and turned in every one that was in 'violation'. This guy tried to use Symmetry to get the permit. the city was bound to code and thus he never got it. an inspecter never showed up to review my fence. The correct application of symmetry would have been to build a fence in violation like the rest of the neighborhood and never apply for a permit. you see logic dictates that if the city turned a blind eye to everyone else, he should have tried without a permit.

Do you have a good application of Symmetry? if so, post.

Friday, October 15, 2004

kittie puffer

The other night fempto [our black and white cat] was going CRAZY at the window. the blinds were closed and she was jumping up, crawling in the blinds and looking outside. she came out about twice the size she went in, and was BY FAR the puffiest I have ever seen her. I opened the front door and ran out to check out what was up. she is after all our only line of defence against attackers. halfway out the door I briefly rethought my actions since we do have a family of skunks that live under the back porch.. but hey.. if I get shot maybe i can use a few sick days to recover.

nope.. wasn't a skunk. instead one of the other neighborhood kitties. its really pretty, black with lots of white on the front half (maybe it fell in the milk). I'm not sure what it is about this little gem, but fempto sure loves/hates it. is there a way to tell the difference?


so I've started to rethink my schooling position. I currently have a BSEE and everyone else around here is getting their masters in either computer science or EE. I'm thinking an MBA should be pretty easy given my background. kev. you got any input? is business pretty easy, just plain stupid or what? I'm thinking given an undergrad in engineering, an MBA, my PE, and wh at ever else I pick up along the way maybe I can get my own leather chair at work some day. jen. when I get a nice chair i'll let you come sit in it with me.

speaking of two people, a chair, and after hours activities I think that happened not to long ago. I'm still trying to figure out which chair it was. I hope it wasn't mine.

Jeep Door

Last night was interesting. We successfully hauled a 3x7 foot door that weighs a TON in the soft top wrangler. people looked at us funny at the stop lights, but it will make an AWESOME addition to the construction material for the new shed. I think we can fit the motorcycles through it is starting to make me rethink the need to have to 4foot doors on the one end. we'll see.


I'm absolutly SICK of procedures. the other day one of my coworkers got a little upity about me not following the procedure but when pressed he was unable to explain. I then procedeed to find several examples of his incompotence [to his disliking of course]. SO TAKE THE PLANK OUR OF YOUR EYE BEFORE YOU EVEN HINT AT MINE.

i'm still looking for the procedure to find a procedure.

procedures we still need
1) how often is it normal to use the restroom
2) do I call security or not when i see someone leave their lights on in the parking lot? after all, it may be one of those fancy new cars that leaves the lights on for a time even after the person leaves. how do I tell?
3) how often does something have to be performed before it is considered REPETATIVE and in need of the ergonomic teams assistance?

the rest of you can post me your worst procedure related problem, or if you have none (sarah, you got any procedures?) give me one you'd like me to try and release here.. something like how many times to flush the toilet if it just wont go.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

gmail no longer hot

Kev sent me a link yesterday to turn your gmail account into a hard drive. yeah.. you've all heard about the linux hack that does this but I think this one may actually work on Win32. check out out HERE.

In my never ending quest to get someone to actually read this I have again posted on I think I am only 1 of two people that actually read so its not surprising no one is taking the invites. my post went something like this:

advantage? (12:48pm EST Thu Oct 14 2004)whats the advantage to Wi-Fi VOIP access? does not not use my minutes? will it increase my coverage? I really don't see the point. Liky Scully said the only significants is if I can use it over my own network [not using minutes of course]Somebody PLEASE take my GMAIL invites! - by

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Office Algea

It all started when I first hired on. I got a small bonus, an office cubicle, a hand-me-down computer and my very own welcome pack! It came with things that discussed benefits, a pen, a folder, and A REALLY COOL STEEL MUG.

now I'm not much of a coffee drinker but our break room also contains hot chocolate, tea, and pop [soda if your from the south]. With the plethora of choices my new mug got a work out. It got a workout each and every day and was an excuse to take a break, cross the hall, and refill with some cancer ridden drink that was an excuse to cross the haul. [insert some witty why did the engineer cross the hall joke here]

after several years of leaving my mug on my desk over the weekend not drained it began to grow its own special form of algae. Now a little dish soap [also one of the beverages in the break room] would work wonders on this. But alas. I let it slip one too many times and I wouldn't even trust an hour of boiling water to clean this babby up, so off to the interoffice waste bin it went.

now you wonder.... How am I justified in taking the trip across the haul with no mug to fill? Easy. We also have Styrofoam cups. The smaller the item to fill, the more trips it takes. Filling these small cups is well.. A bit time consuming. I'm spending more of my day crossing the haul than I am working on retarded reports so something had to be done.

we have many optional training classes on site. When you are lucky enough to get enrolled in one of these classes you get breakfast, brunch, lunch, and a snack. During one of these times its simple to retain your bottled water bottle and that is how I got my newest water/beverage carrier.

well.. We are back to the same old problem of algae. After a few months the bottle starts to smell like a well... Less pleasant hole... So it finds it way into the inter office rubbish bin. The other day I was out of bottles, and back to the 'making too many trips across the hall' routine. Lucky for me Pepperl+Fuchs showed up with a seminar to save me. We didn't get breakfast, we didn't get lunch, and we didn't get a snack, but we DID get brunch. I now have two shiny Aquafina16.9 Floz (500ml for you chemists out there) bottles.

and.. Its just a matter of time before they start growing the dreaded algae. I better plan ahead and get signed up for another 'training' [bottle] class.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Google Labs applications


Based on Google's share price of around $130, senior vice president Bill Coleman estimated that around 60 percent of the 1,900 Google employees with the company at the end of March each now hold stock options worth at least $1 million.

I love mind puzzles.... The Google Labs application is quite fun. now i'm off to figure out how many faces an icosahedron has.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

k2h @ blogshares

It looks like blogshares spider for finding things is better than googles submit engine. you see, I submitted to googles search engine awhile ago, and you'd think that since is OWNED by google maybe they'd at least list their own pages but apprently not.

so I finally get linked to by SOMEBODY and it turns out to be blogshares. you can see me for sale at k2h on blogshares.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

embedded ethernet

I have recently worked on some projects that involve ethernet on the embedded level. I think this technology [old as it may be] deserves some attention. in my off time I'll read the following

Deeply Embedded networking [berkly class]
Toms Networking, hacking linux on a linksys NSLU2
Ethernut, hardware, RTOS solution
Contiki, ultra micro solution [in the kb]
Contiki author
micro TCP/IP stack [contiki]

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Remove the blogger bar

Someday I may want to remove the blogger toolbar. if or when I ever do I think i'll check diaphaneity or I'll try remove the bar.

Gmail, already hacked?

It seems some group AusPhreak wants to assist the general public in cracking gmail passwords. Thats nice of them. with the lack of anything else to crack. check out the heads up at Bonar Media.

Gmail Hack 0.9b
I really don't think THIS gmail hack is the one that lets you use a perl script to save all of your 'useful data to your gmail account for free web storage' that you've already heard about.

I also don't think its the one that tells you to SHIFT+F to forward a message.

someday I'll check it out and assess its threat. until then I think i'll stick with somewhat of a secure password for Gmail. something along the lines of:

1) much longer than the minimum
2) must contain at least one 'special' character (yeah.. I don't use that yet either)
3) must be a good mix of alpha / numeric

if your still a stranger to strong passwords, get started at your local microsoft site.

Gmail, a social virus

Gmail is most definatetly a social virus if I've ever seen one.

I remember the good old days of the origional bots on aol. The thinking was if you could JUST GET YOUR NAME ON ONE you'd have 560 emails [or whatever it was] that contained up to 15 meg each of 'warez'. yup.. those were the days.

Then we all moved on to IRC, then to crappy P2P networks like kazaa/grokster/k++ (all same thing by the way) and most reciently bittorrent. yup. maybe the good old days are back. if we want them secure maybe we'll give WASTE a chance.

Until then I wonder how long it will take for people to revert back to the click and send mentality that AOL had us nursing on. With Gmail I don't think it will take long to find out.

If you look at the bottom of Gmail you'll see something like this:

You are currently using 0 MB (0%) of your 1000 MB.

Heres my giving back to the community. many of your very own Gmail invites. first come first serve (of course)

Invite 1 [k2h.admin]
Invite 2 (Stale because you waited too long)
Invite 3 [achi1313]
Invite 4
Invite 5
Invite 6 [bordekar]
Invite 7 [nachiket.bordekar]
Invite 8 [bordekar.nachiket]
Invite 9 [bshripad, from kev]
Invite 10 [tanmay1313, from kev]
Invite 11 [ameyaa from kev]
Invite 12 [ssaagar from kev]
Invite 13 [gadkar from kev]
Invite 14 []
Invite 15 []
Invite 16 []
Invite 17 []
Invite 18 []