What I Did at Work Today

Usually at work, I don’t have a product at the end of the day to say: here is what I did today. In the last year or two I have been learning to draw because all of our drafters are retiring and we can’t get replacements. For the first 15 years of my career, I never drew anything (well, a little when I was in training) because we had drafters to do that. One nice thing about drafting for myself is I don’t have to sketch things out and explain the idea to someone else, I can just go. The bad thing is that it takes more of my time. Anyway, I made this drawing today. Normally I wouldn’t post what I drew, but I drew this from scratch (based on a hard copy of an existing drawing), and the bad thing is that it may not actually be used due to circumstances beyond my control.

ducts

Self-closing Tags

I have been using HTML for a long time, at least since 1997. HTML is just text, but you add tags in <tags> like this to get things like bold text, big text, and to insert pictures. Usually you have an opening tag and a closing tag, so to make something bold you put some text between two tags like this <b>some bold text</b>. The slash at the beginning of the second tag means you are closing the tag. Not all tags need to be closed because they don’t surround text, for instance an image tag is all one big img tag. To start a new line, you use a break tag which is just <br>.

XML came along as a souped-up version of HTML and then spawned XHTML. While HTML was pretty forgiving, the idea was to be more rigorous with XML and XHTML. For a while, it was common to use a paragraph tag to start a new paragraph in HTML, so you could put it at the end of a paragraph like this.<p>
Continue reading

Spy Pen

After getting a rocket for my birthday, I saw a video on YouTube where someone attached a video camera and filmed the launch looking directly down the rocket. It was pretty neat because the rocket goes up quite quickly and you can see all the people standing around the launch and then see more of the surroundings. Then the rocket peaks out and you actually see the parachute come out, but it gets a little frantic as the rocket spins a lot on the way down. Still, pretty neat.

In the video, they said it was a gum camera because it was like a stick of gum. I went looking for a gum camera, hoping I could find something cheap (since you could easily break or lose the camera the first time you try it). I found a spy pen on eBay. It looked outwards from the pen, not directly down, and they seemed to go for about $20 shipped. I bid about $13 on a few of them, but never won. I looked around further and found the exact same looking pen at dhgate.com, a sort of Chinese version of Amazon for less than $10. You had to supply your own micro SD card for memory, but it came with a micro USB cable to read the contents. It claimed to be High Definition, but some reviews pointed out that while the resolution was high, really it was just VGA video at twice the size, but not twice the resolution.

spypen-cross
Continue reading

Wikimedia Database

This past week, a guy signed up to edit the Flashlight Wiki, and he even sent me an email asking to be confirmed, like the instructions say to do. I went ahead and confirmed him for editing and he went to work on the article about Maglites. Apparently on Wikipedia, there was some information being added that was kind of critical of Maglites, and some people said the information didn’t have legitimate sources since it was from flashlight discussion forums. Because it was still good information, this guy thought it would be good to move it to Flashlight Wiki, where sourcing isn’t quite as rigorous. I didn’t have a problem with that.
Continue reading