WEEK 3 2017
Sun- Mon- Tue-
Picture of the Week
Years Ago, This Week, 2003
Years Ago, this week, 2004
Years Ago, this week, 2005
Years Ago, This Week, 2006
Years Ago, This Week, 2007
Years Ago, This Week, 2008
Years Ago, This Week, 2009
Years Ago, This Week, 2010
Years Ago This Week,
Years Ago This Week,
Years Ago This Week 2014
Two Years Ago This Week, 2015
One Year Ago This Week, 2016
Saturday - Still raining, off and on.
And windy: the weather service has issued small craft advisories
for the Antelope Valley....
I was removing the 'old' Roku player, preparatory to sending it to eWaste
and noticed, on the bottom, that it said 'Refurbished'. And then
I remembered: my old unit was going bad, and, tired of listening to my
complaints no doubt, R&S gave me a new one for a birthday or Xmas.
And then, for some nominal fee, $9.99 or something, the Roku people agreed
to replace the broken unit with a refurbished unit. It had been
sitting in a drawer unused for several years.
I had thought the Roku broken because I assumed the LG teevee automatically
synced to an active input, but, perhaps not? So, I hooked up to the HDMI
cable that had been hooked to the Blue-Ray player (which worked). That
cable was known to work, and, once hooked up to it, so did the Roku! After a
bit of configuration I had streaming...
Without the 'smart' remote I can't change the input source, but I probably
won't watch it often anyway so swapping a cable isn't a big deal, it's just
my OCD coming out and wanting it to work.
Friday - Still
I have moved a bunch of stuff around whilst re-organizing and, temporarily
anyway, can't even get my car in the garage...
While working out in the garage I heard a bunch of clapping and whistling
coming from houses in the neighborhood. It was puzzling - too soon for
the playoff's, so I just shrugged and ignored it.
Later I received a few and emails and realized it was people watching the
Talked with S and cleared up some of the questions I had on the switch
interface stuff. We've been told that the standard with apps is to use
a single switch, so that single switch has to do multiple
tasks, easily and more-or-less intuitively to the user.
I received a text from Dave, who went and checked on the boat in
Oxnard. One of the line snubbers had broken, so he fixed that, but
said everything looked good otherwise. He mentioned Trump's speech.
I fiddled around a bit, trying to get audio into the linux computers from
the one functional cassette player, but without any luck. It may be
old broken sound card stuff, old broken cassette stuff, but more likely just
some sort of configuration issue. I can play MP3's ok, and Audacity
says it knows about Line-In, there's just nothing showing on the
Thursday 19 January
Still raining. Working away on this and that. Did some more cleanup
around the house.
My copy of STARS has expired. I was trying to run a testcase and got
the warning about an expired license. I will see if I can get another.
Interestingly enough you can get Nastran-95 from GitHub. I was
searching for a Nastran manual and ran across the repository there, together
with two of the four manuals.
I remember now that there was a big court case, where MSC was forced to
cough up the code, since they had developed it using government money.
They can keep their later changes proprietary, but had to release a
fairly mature code base, which a lot of other companies and organizations
(and individuals) have taken and used as a basis for their projects and
And it even keeps the time/temperature emissivity dependence, which I was
thinking of trying in a little test case. I even ordered an old $6 textbook
from AbeBooks about it. I can assemble the matrices, but was unsure
about the time-accurate calculations. I'd normally do Amazon, but their
prices were outrageous, even for used stuff. I'd given up on AbeBooks
years ago - Amazon was easier - but Amazon is no longer to be trusted as the
most inexpensive choice.
It's not even remotely an urgent project - I need to save my hands for
actual (notionally) paying work.
Wednesday 18 January
Wednesday - Cool in the morning, then
scattered clouds, then finally rain about 5pm. This is the first front
of what is predicted to be several big rainstorms - the lord knows we need
I was given another flat-screen TV the other day, so I took some time to put
it up in the master bedroom (the only room with an empty wall) and give it
power. I think it works, but without a remote I can't actually access
or change the settings... I found my old Roku, but it was
(still) broken, as far as I can tell - the new LG didn't notice any input
via the HDMI. I'll try it downstairs on the working TV, and add it to
the eWaste pile if it's dead.
At least the new-to-me TV up out of the way of the cats.
My back is a little sore after carrying it around by myself, it's 47".
It's not so much the weight but the awkward positions one ends up in, trying
to get it onto the wall mount.
While installing I moved a big dresser. And found (along with a number
of cat-batting-sized objects) a printout of the FAA 1995 Private Pilots eye
examination requirements under it. Sigh. That, and lack of time
and money is why I never finished the private pilots license.
Working away a bit on the app. I had to re-install Google Drive on the
MacBook. It was a bit startling when it opened containing a bunch of
old Triunfo Santitation District reports, then I realized I was logged into
my personal drive, rather than the Task Mechanic account. So I logged
in appropriately. Sheryl had redone some of the images, and I needed
them. She also is re-doing the Work and Settings pages, and I went
over to her house in the evening and took a gander - beautiful
work. She's improved a lot more as a graphic artist than I have as an
Objective-C programmer. We discussed, at length, the changes needed
for switch control and left-neglect clients.
And, since she was shearing her husband anyway that evening, I got a haircut
out of it. I think my last cut was before Thanksgiving - she
was quite amused by the curls. It's probably been since 2001 or so
since I had nine or ten weeks worth of hair upon my head...
Thinking about the insolation problem a bit. Since the emissivity can
vary, that means that, at least, the forcing vector in the FEM will
change. And maybe the stiffness? I'm so rusty on this stuff.
Tuesday - Cool and frosty again. It's
been relatively warm in the evenings, so I haven't started a fire in a few
weeks. But they are predicting rain in the next few days, so perhaps
Did more cleaning, started up working on the app again as well. Not much to
say there. Some friends came by and picked up the old tower speakers I
wanted to get rid of - I haven't owned a receiver/amplifier in 10 years at
least and was tired of looking at them. The eWaste pile is building: an old
17" CRT, a tiny 14" flat-screen, my dads old dead Vista laptop (I removed
the hard drive), a broken DVD player, and so on. There is a box of
dead batteries in the garage that needs to go as well.
It's odd, here it is, two weeks into the new year - and I haven't finished a
Monday - Sunny, but cool. Frost on the grass
in the morning.
I feel better, still congested, but my energy was mostly back. I had
decided to start working on the app. But I couldn't find my notebook.
Which, eventually, led me into cleaning house most of the day. In
particular the smaller bedroom, which was reduced to a hoarder's pathway by
clutter. I'm going to toss a couple of big bookcases, and some unused
old monitors, the old speakers, and a bunch of unneeded books. I put
the small desk in there, and updated the old Mint Maya computer and put it
By getting rid of the shelves I'm forcing myself to triage away some books.
Also I want to rip the books-on-tape to MP3. It's perfectly legal, I
own the originals, but I couldn't get the Kubuntu box to do it. It has
problems, so I'll try with the other system later. I actually contacted a
guy on Craigslist that had a dual cassette relay player for $20, but didn't
get a (responsive) answer. My father's ancient RadioShack units are failed
and failing, respectively.
I like the Mint distro, but Maya is about 3 years old and its support 'end
of life' is in April. I'll probably just install whatever the most
current LTS version of Mint is at that point. I put SAGE and OCTAVE and a
bunch of other stuff on it, back in the day, but never used it much.
The other Kubuntu box has issues - a failing motherboard I think, so I'll
pop the hard drive out and sent it to ewaste-recycling. Unless I
decide to keep the case, which is a nice, though older, Antec case.
I have boxes of old software - I wonder if a set of Win 3.1 install disks is
worth anything on eBay?
I did exchange some emails with Steve, suggested he start small, cut away
everything by the horizontal tail in +Y, fix the root, and then see if
it ran. Generally, if there is an error in building a model it's the
same error everywhere in the model - and it's a lot easier to debug
a 200 node model than it is to figure out whats wrong with a model
I was also thinking
about my little thermal insolation FEM model a bit. I was going to use
a sphere, but it occurred to be that I could just use a ring of quads or
triangles for a first test. Then it occurred to me that I could even
use line elements...
Sunday - Still sick. S stopped by with
some lemonade and chicken soup, very welcome.
I didn't do much, but did play around a bit with the STARS model from
Steve. Didn't get anywhere, but it made me feel like it wasn't a
completely wasted day. The preprocessor won't read the file - I think it
(the preprocessor) is out of date, compared to the input file. It's
frustrating, but maybe I can use gnuplot or a VRML viewer, though the syntax
for the latter is, to say the least, verbose. I don't care for XML.