Server Problems

I picked up another domain ( and was working on implementing ADS and DNS roles when my server manager decided to give up.   I keep reminding myself that this is a silly first world problem, but it still vexes me.  I did what is said not to do and changed one small thing while it was installing the new roles.  Most likely, I killed the registry with my stupidity.  I've searched online for an easy solution but haven't found it yet.  Finding a fix will have to wait till I get some more time to deal with this properly.  

On a happy note, I received a new sensor the other day.  It's a microwave Doppler effect distance sensor.  I'm curious to see how this thing works and what I can do.  It seems that when you combine it with a PIR, you can eliminate false positives and get great motion detection.  I don't have much need for this right now, but I couldn't resist the Doppler effect.  

Part's Ordered

Yesterday we spoke with one of the sponsors for this project.  He seemed like an Indiana 'good ole boy.'  A nice older gentleman who wants something to sell.  The group members had some qualms about the legal contract and he made it seem all good.  His words "just scratch out whatever you can't sign."  That was a pretty cool statement from the financier of this little endeavor.  

After that we spoke with the doctor.  The sponsor, Jim, stated that whatever the doctor wanted is what we should build.  We chatted about what we could do for him.  It turned out to be a very productive and worthwhile meeting.  Seeing this device from the doctors eyes really narrowed the scope to a place I can work.  

Today, we got parts ordered.  They, the sponsors, ordered twice as much as we asked for.  Close to $1400 in electronics coming our way.  We won't need all of it, so hopefully after I create an amazing prototype for these gentleman, they let me keep some of these sensors.  I'm like Gollum for sensors.  And we ordered some pretty sweet, precious for me to pine over.  

Server @ Home

I needed to make a visual document today.  From school, I already had the license key and a copy of Adobe Creative Studio 6 Premium.  The old machine would never have been able to run this taxing of a program.  Most software has loaded ok onto my OS, Microsoft Server 2012 R, but some like Office won't install because of user licenses.  I have needed to use a VM for Office; very annoying.  

To my surprise, Adobe loaded great!  I used it to make a block diagram for my IoT toilet.  It took a minute to remember how to use it.  But once I got going, ;).  Having dual monitors for illustrator and photoshop together is pure joy.  

Three Projects

@Work; I should be getting our first PCB's back from the fab house.  I'm anxious to see how my device operates once I throw some proto's together.  I have already spotted a few things that will need tweeking but nothing major.  For some of the other physical build, I have been playing with dielectric gel.  It has been a crash course in material  engineering.  We are looking at eliminating conformal coating  and trying to create a nearly indestructible product.  We did some testing with a small a firearm a few weeks ago.  It failed the 357 test, but it might pass a .22.  We'll see.  

@School; My main thing is the beginning of my Capstone Design.  I have picked a slight modification of an idea that I had already been toying around with, "A Twitter Shitter."  Basically, its a toilet seat with sensors that connects to the internet and provides usable data.  With the Arduino Yun, I can send that Data almost anywhere.  My adviser has steered me toward focusing the attention toward BioTech and the elderly rather than sending tweets and FB posts about poop.  

On another project, I am working with some ME's from the 'other' building.  They need an EE for their senior project.  The project manager asked around and my name come up.  It's a funny situation where I am grossly outnumbered by Mechanicals, the project is mostly electrical, and there is only one other code monkey.  It should be fun and it seems to be a good group.  This project is another BioTech thing, but this time involving gimpy feet and the way people walk. The great thing is it's sponsored and I can engineer this without having to worry about nickel and diming the thing.  

Making My Own Class

I had a strange issue this semester where I signed up for the wrong class.  I realized this a week in and dropped the class.  Now being left with fewer credits than I would've liked and not enough to keep full time student status, I was in a pickle.  I went and talked with my amazing program chair Prof. Cooney.  She has allowed me to do an independent study class this summer.  Basically, I get to pick what I want to study, how I want to study, and then have at it.  I decided to learn more about sensors.  I already am pretty familiar with using sensors and integrating them, but I want to become an expert.  This will be one of my favorite classes.   Here is the syllabus I wrote for the class.  Labs will follow.  

21st Century Computing

It's time for a more powerful machine.  I have been using the same cheap netbook for 3+ years now.  It's a good device but I have asked way to much of it.  Sarah's laptop isn't doing great either.  We have a glut of devices that would work great as content delivery machines but only Sarah's machine(CHIP) can really be used for serious content creation.  As I enter my final year in school, I need to create a lot of content very efficiently.  

Last semester I learned a fair amount about servers, networking and general IT skills.  Because of those skills and the free software I get from school, I have decided that I'll start using a server and virtualizations for my computing needs.  The tablets are great for watching a movie, but in the near future I need remote clients, VPN, and the ability to refresh an OS without losing a beat.

I've chosen a Lenovo ThinkServer TS140 and added a bunch of RAM to it.  This is a great machine for the money.  

Interviewed By Solidoodle

I was recently interviewed by the company that makes my 3D printer, Solidoodle.  They saw my bowtie featured on CNET and reached out to me.  They have a series where they interview makers using their machines for cool projects.  The guy they interviewed before me is 3D printing a car with his solidoodle. The recognition is always nice.