The machines and the systems we trust


Last day of RSA Conference 2018 in SF the exhibits closed 3pm Read the rest of this entry »

Long-term usable HTML and SVG


Making lasting documents doesn’t have to contradict agility, but conflicts occur.  Of that I was reminded when switching index.html of the technical User Guide of Adj (before starting work on Elasticdraw) from XHTML to HTML5, on a branch.

Traditionally building for endurance

For more than a decade I have preferred XML compliant documents, such as XHTML, because one

  • can query one or many documents with XML tools (XSL, XPath, XQuery, XML databases) without need to serve documents from a specific server (which would have to be running), and
  • can query content without documents having to be open inside a browser (which regularly change with version updates), for example as files on disk.

Documents being pure data means Read the rest of this entry »

Working remotely often


When living in a hotspot of technology, people at times made derogatory remarks about the large valley further east, an agricultural area: Read the rest of this entry »

A bucket for cutting trails

bucket for cutting trails

Custom Bucket For Cutting Trails

As a counterbalance to computer topics, here is a picture of an adjustable loader bucket I designed on the spot a few years ago.

Had driven with a toddler a couple of hours to pick up a used dirt bucket. On inspection I recognized it had been advertised incorrectly and wouldn’t match our loader. Not to disappoint the kid Read the rest of this entry »

GUI on headless Linux server [SOLVED]


I merely wanted to run NrvrCommander to do load testing with Selenium – a combo working quite well – but circumstances forced me to first regain control of a remote computer I had been driving just fine until one morning VNC stopped working. Presented is a documentation of working solutions, and how we got here.

The failure of VNC started with no clearly identifiable single cause. There have been multiple causes: Read the rest of this entry »

Cooling a notebook computer on a deadline


Thursday 10pm knew this notebook computer fan is dying, way noisy. By 11pm knew a warranty replacement would be here Monday at best [got here Wednesday]. Working on a different computer would have been daunting. How to keep this one working?

Tried to install software to control fan speed, maybe avoid resonance frequencies. No luck despite several related utilities such as GNOME Sensors Applet, fancontrol, and dellfand (found via I8kfanGUI). Reading the fan speed was possible, controlling it wasn’t. Went to sleep.

Friday morning decided to blow air through the computer with a fan we had made for breathing clean air when soldering: An old computer fan on a cell phone charger. Apparently a blade had broken, so it was rattling too much. Time to make another one like it.

Found fan on motherboard on kid’s bookshelf. Ran it from adjustable power supply to find right voltage for reasonable fan speed. For a 12V DC labeled fan that was about 7V. Found a leftover power supply 6V DC. Verified with multimeter it did output a voltage matching its label, verified with adjustable power supply 6V would spin fast enough. Cut wires, soldered wires, hot glued and electrical taped it up. Grabbed leftover lumber and kids’ building blocks and stuck it under the notebook, aligned to blow where the built-in fan should blow.

notebook external fan

Making a Notebook External Fan

Read the rest of this entry »

The duality of a graphics library


Most any machine one makes or designs one can get so involved in that one is preoccupied with the making or the workings of that machine, one could forget there was a purpose.

Having worked to make Adj viable, in several ways, now this very moment I am not directly facing any of the enterprise software design problems that originally made me want to have Adj. I am sure some will occur sooner or later, complexity is here to stay – just try to understand your CPU chip, all its transistors, how it works, or how it is made.

This made me think though, how do others see Adj? Is Adj

  • something to use, or
  • something to develop?

Read the rest of this entry »