sailing the NorSea


WEEK 31 2014

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Saturday 2 August 2014
Saturday - Roasting hot and humid in the morning. I futzed around in the garage, getting out the laser level and measuring things. The question is: how many shelfves should I use? I can put a shelf every 16", that's what the store bought metal units do. I can put them every 12", which is really enough room for most stuff: bottles, cans, storage boxes, etc. I can mix it up, 16" on the bottom, 12" on the top, or even put a 24" or 30" space at the bottom for large items. Decisions.

Anyway, about 10:30am some friends called needing my help in installing some C compilers for courses coming up.

I showered, went over, and installed Xcode (free) and showed them how to do ANSI C rather than Objective-C on their Mac Pro.

Then we started the download and install of Visual Studio Express 2013 (free) onto their Windows laptop, so that there'd be a resource when they're on the road. That took forever, so we went down to the Antelope Valley Mall and had a late lunch / early dinner at The Yard House. Really good burgers and a huge beer selection, including on tap. When we got back it had installed, and we fooled around for a while trying to get it to compile plain C. It really, really, wanted to compile C++, and we never did get the compiler to work properly. I know that I did it myself years ago, 2005 or thereabouts; so either they've broken it for C completely (hard to believe) or they've just hidden the build options so well that I can't find them.

I'll use my google-fu, but if it's incredibly hard we can just delete the visual studio and use any one of dozens of perfectly good compilers available for free. I thought the Microsoft option might be easiest, but I've already been proved wrong there...

We were going to go for a walk about 7pm, but I'd developed a nasty headache, so I just went home and rested instead.

Friday 1 August 2014
Friday - Hot and Yucky, again. I had things to do in the morning, so not much got done on the garage shelf. I did find my dado blades, and I also remembered that I have a laser lever, which will help.

Worked on the app for most of the day. I 'objectified' a part of the more spaghetti-ish section, and it seems to run - except that the views no longer show up on the screen! Also the debugger is broken - it tells me that I have a memory leak but the symbols aren't found. Huh? Isn't that the point of a debugger? Telling me the hex code of an address in memory isn't much use on a four core multi threaded machine. Looking around on the net there are various fixes to make the symbols display (stand on your head while whistling 'Dixie' backwards stuff), but, you know, WTH Apple? WTH?

friday cat photo
suzy watching birds in the tree
Suzy, venturing a good 20' from the patio, watching birds in the planter under the fruit trees.

Thursday 31 July 2014

Thursday - Very Hot. I think it was officially 104F, but near the house it was probably more like 110F. It was definitely a 2 a/c day - the humidity was in the high teens which meant the swamp coolers weren't working at peak efficiency.

I spent several hours repairing the radial arm saw. For some reason the wooden table was gone. I found a 2x6, a 1x3, and a nice piece of finished plywood that was almost big enough for the main table. I had another piece of plywood that was big enough but rather rough and (after examination) kind of warped. Eventually I went with the first piece of wood, and added a 1x2 to make it fit. I had to look at the manual, the plywood bit is fastened down, and then you can rearrange the other two (3 now!) bits to suit yourself. So I drilled and used four countersunk 1/4x20 carriage bolts to fasten the plywood down, then added the other bits, and cut them to size. (I'm not actually happy with the bit of 1x6, it's a bit warped.)

After admiring the table top for a while I realized I'd put the rough edge of the 2x2.5' table top against the fence. Sigh. I'd seen the rough edge on laying things out originally and just spaced on my mental note to orient the wood using the other edge. The bolt pattern isn't symmetrical, so it'll look terrible if I try reversing it. For now it's fine, only out about 1/16".

I then adjusted the saw so that it made a nice perpendicular cut to the fence. I still need to adjust the indicator, and then adjust the heel and the planarity to the table, and cut the 45 degree groves for beveling, but at least I can make fairly quick cuts now. This is nice because my Skilsaw has issues, and the table saw motor doesn't work.

I am now wondering: what I did with the dado blades? I think they're in the garage, but I'm not sure. They aren't really needed now, I'm going to use particle wood shelfs and 2x2's as shelf supports, rather than simple pine in grooves (I have lots of particle wood and 2x2's), but I think I had them at one time.

My friend Can called from Panera Bread, asking if I wanted some nice chicken soup for lunch. Yes! And she brought frozen yogurt with her. We talked for a few minutes, but it was the kids nap time so she couldn't stay long. She is taking 'C' at the local JC this fall, and asked about compilers. She has a Mac with Xcode, so there's a C compiler there - Objective-C is a superset of C, and she can get C with Visual Studio for free on her Windows laptop as well I believe.

In the afternoon I worked on the app, playing around with the 'Instruments' in Xcode, profiling the code and looking for allocation issues and memory leaks. Right now there is apparently about 200MB of leaks per turn, which means the app dies after about 15 tries. That's so huge that I obviously did something really wrong, but what? The single biggest array in the code is 400 integer elements, which would only be in the kilobyte range...

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Wednesday - Did a bit of yard work in the morning, various small things. It's getting hot, and is supposed to get even hotter tomorrow.

Working away on the garage, in the cooler morning hours (somewhat curtailed by letting the cats roam, supervised, for an hour after breakfast). I moved various bits of stuff to the point where I could get to my lumber stashed and fetched down a couple of dry 1x12's. This took rather longer than it should have, as I needed a place to put stuff and had to clear room for it.

Working away on the app in the afternoon again. Not too exciting there...

Talked to S a bit about the Sudoku app. The Sudoku is just the McGuffin, the point of the app is to get kids to understand certain basic reasoning skills that many autistic kids lack. Everyone harps, S says, on "matching" tasks in educational software, but there's a lot more that's needed.

Tuesday 29 July June 2014
Tuesday - Hot, humid, overcast. Yuck.

Did a bit of yard work, trimming shrubs in the front and a bit of weed whacking and vegetable fertilizing in the back. It was too unpleasant to work in the garage, I'll just wait on that.

Did some work on the app too, mostly just cleaning up and trying to modularize and objectify the code. Not very exciting.

Monday 28 July 2014
Monday - Disgustingly humid in the morning. I was doing a bit of yard work and yuck...

I had lunch with S and K and discussed the next app, probably a  'latin squares' based training aid. We were calling it Sudoku, but really it isn't...

Then back to the house and and app work. I want to 'objectify' the code a bit more, right now it's still pretty procedural...

Sunday 27 July  2014
Sunday - Not much to say, just another Sunday morning. Oatmeal and coffee while watching the cats wander the yard. Suzy has now ventured a full six feet from the patio....

I did go down to Ojai with friends to visit their parents. It was a nice outing, they are always fun and pleasant to be around, and we had a nice visit and lunch before heading back to Lancaster.

They are enjoying their ebooks. I mentioned that there is a Kindle App for the Nook and iPad, and a Nook App for the iPad.

Putting a Nook App on the Kindle can be done, but it's kind of a 'side load' thing, not really supported. Too bad.

There is a iPad App for the Kindle, but you can only use it to read stuff in iBook format that you bought from Amazon. I guess stuff that you bought at Apple won't run. I imagine the same is true for the iBook app on the Nook (a droid is a droid) though I haven't found a source specifically saying that.

DEVICENook App AvailableiPad App AvailableKindle App Available
Kindle HD*??x

Book #22 (As Maxwell Smart might say, I missed finishing this on Saturday by that much...) was The Dead in their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce #6), by Alan Bradley.

The last book was kind of a cliffhanger: we read at the end that Flavia's long lost mother is returning home. In this book we learn that actually it's her body that's being returned, finally found after being frozen in a Tibetan glacier for ten years. This is my least favorite of all the books, it's more of an introduction to what the author plans with the rest of the series I guess, and the English manor mystery stuff takes a decidedly back seat to a bunch of other stuff.

But one bit had me hooked...Flavia decides that she's going to open her mothers sealed coffin and try to resuscitate her ten year old corpse! Gahhhhh. It doesn't happen, but it was pretty suspenseful there for a bit.

Picture of the Week
Lancaster after Sundown, looking southeast. 
Photo Notes: A shot of Lancaster after sundown, from near Fox Field, July, 2014.

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