An Engineering, Motorcycling, Electric Vehicles, Dark Music, Furry Blog
Below the towers of the citadel, Seems someone overlooked the cost. Forgotten soldier of paradise, now paradise is lost. – Duran Duran, The Edge of America, 1988
In there is a new world! In there is our future! In there is our destiny! – Kevin Lynn, Tron Legacy
I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? Ignorance is bliss. – Cypher, The Matrix
I’ve wrapped up my last few days at my current engineering gig and looking forward to starting my new gig next week. Winter quarter at UW is wrapping up too, and the post title is a bit hyperbolic, but not much. Translating opaque equations and buggy MATLAB code from various academic papers into Python and NumPy is no cake walk and I have two weeks left to get it done.
But I’ve gone further down the VR rabbit hole too. I got my first gaming rig to drive the Oculus and its an order of magnitude more addictive this way. It’s a HP Omen 30L with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-Core 3.8 GHz CPU, 16 GB of memory, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GPU and a 1TB SSD. When the Oculus is connected to it via USB 3.x the system has no trouble keeping up with the intense visuals of Club Citadel in the Oasis, a delicious virtual goth club in VRChat.
And it is delicious.
Oontz oontz oontz.
Yes, and the “Reading List” too (down below), but as Part of a Kind of Weekly Update
I’m starting a new engineering gig soon! (No, despite the Quest picture, it’s not at Meta - keeping reading for why a Quest is shown here.) And it is my birthday today :) Here’s some of the things that have been shared with me or caught my attention in the last week or so. A nice balance of engineering and non-engineering this week.
Some of the things that have been shared with me or caught my attention in the last week or so. A nice balance of engineering and non-engineering this week.
Some of the things that have been shared with me or caught my attention in the last week or so. This is very engineering heavy this time.
A sampling of some the things (engineering and non-engineering) that have been shared with me or caught my attention in the last week or so. I’m going to try to post a post like this frequently.
“A Question of Time” was Depeche Mode’s seventeenth UK single, released on 11 August 1986. - Wikipedia
I think cyberlox (aka hair falls) might just be the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. They come up frequently on my Insta feed these days (what with my dressing in more of a dark asthetic again) and I was so happy to see them in one of my favorite Omnimar videos - Ресурс - where Мария Мар (Maria Mar) rocks a red and black set to great effect:
This was my very first furry convention, Anthro NW 2021, held November 18 - 21 at the lovely Hyatt Regency in Seattle. I had an incredible, wonderful time. Over 1300 furries enjoying a special “Furry Feast” and many more beyond that attending. I got a lovely tail made by Star Fursuits which fits me perfectly. The fursuit dance competition was my favorite part, as was seeing in-person so many furries (Omnom!)I’ve only known from their Instagram accounts.
Look at what I found printed on the bottom of my LiveWire’s display unit:
TLDR: So… like others, I am unable to use iOS Settings > Bluetooth to pair my Harley-Davidson LiveWire… the motorcycle doesn’t even appear (making it impossible to pair with) or if it does appear, pairing usually fails. However, I have been able to successfully pair using the LightBlue app by Punch Through - its a developer tool for debugging Bluetooth connections - and once paired, it stays paired (thankfully, although it sometimes takes a few power cycles of the bike to get it to connect - see Part 1 for details). Anyways… this post tells you what you need to know to get the LiveWire to pair. (You can find Part 1 of this series here.)
Let’s take a brief diversion from all things engineering and wireless and embedded and mobile to talk about something else close to my heart.
National Drive Electric Week, Sep 25-Oct 3, 2021, is a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more.
Edit (Oct 2, 2021): I later found a similar article on the Bluetooth SIG website
Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind. Seneca
We replaced our indoor-camera-pointing-outdoors and conventional doorbell with a Logitech Circle View Doorbell. We chose it based on its tight HomeKit integration including the promise of HomeKit Secure Video (just in case package thieves rear their ugly heads again here.)
I came across this wonderful somewhat recent article on Clean Architecture and SwiftUI. Bookmarked. Thinking of printing it out even. In color even.
Apple’s September 14th event introduced the new iPhone 13 and what caught my attention was a brief mention by Tim Cook of “new bands and antennas” for the iPhone 12 successor. Looking more closely at the specs shows that the iPhone 13 adds support for 26 GHz mmWave (n258), which builds on the 28 GHz and 39 GHz support (n261 and n260, respectively) my iPhone 12 Pro Max has.
I just came across this wonderfully detailed guide to iOS CoreBluetooth written by Gretchen Walker of PunchThrough. It goes into the details any iOS developer should try to keep in mind when integrating with Bluetooth devices. It is very much worth bookmarking and referring back to.
This post serves as a brief summary of the technical specifications of the many radios in the Phone, iPad and the Apple Watch and as index for easier deeper exploration into each. Most of these are very broad categories (for example, there are many types of Bluetooth with differing data rates) and I’ll be linking each of these to more detailed breakdowns.
It’s an electric motorcycle… but it still needs an oil change 🙂
Wow. Just learned about this today. This should be interesting.
We’re one of 100 households participating in a energy conservation pilot program by our local utility - the Snohomish PUD. It’s called “FlexTime.” We qualified by agreeing to install a ChargePoint Home Flex charging station for our electric vehicles - one that allows for charging to be delayed to overnight to reduce demand on the grid.
TLDR: If at first you don’t connect, try, try and sometimes try again. I found my LiveWire would only connect to my phone roughly half the time, and waiting beyond 30 seconds for it to connect is unlikely to help.
Now this is interesting. Was reminded about it on the IoT Podcast this morning.
Announced today - a fully electric scooter from Motorrad - with decent specs to boot. So many electric vehicles being launched lately. It is truly an incredible time for electrical engineers and humanity.
Parts 1 and 2 of this short series are available here and here.
Activated! OK, so here’s what happened since Part 1. I took it to my dealer, Emerald City Harley in Lynnwood, Washington and repeated what the H-D support engineer said - that the TCU and cellular needed to be activated on the bike - five minutes later and that was done and I was able to get past the “There appears to be a problem…” screen on the activation website.
I’m in the process of setting up H-D Connect on my new LiveWire. It’s a cool service that uses a cellular connection directly to the motorcycle to retrieve motorcycle status (like how much longer until the battery is charged), tamper alerts (like it the motorcycle is being jostled) and service-needed notifications.
This is going to keep me busy for a while, and that’s wonderfully OK - even exciting. I wanted to take the bike further and faster today and I also wanted to try out a fast charger. The club is doing a ride from Lynnwood, Washington to Leavenworth, Washington - a 110+ mile trip with a 4100′ mountain pass in-between - which means my new LiveWire might make it, but might not, so I wanted to see how the bike managed its battery with highway speeds.
It’s a dream come true! I picked up “Elvira” last weekend at Emerald City Harley. She’s a brand new black Harley Davidson LiveWire and a thrill to ride.
The Internet of Things + Computer Vision = “Remote Roller”
I just finished the latest course towards my Masters in Electrical Engineering at UW - Probability and Random Processes for Electrical Engineering. And yeah, I got an A (>100%). And I’m glad I took it even though I had, years and years ago, taken Stochastics at Johns Hopkins. Although core concepts like probabilities, random variables and the like haven’t changed, the options available to engineers for numerical methods seem more practical now.
A little over two years ago, fresh off the heels of helping ready my company’s part of the Internet for the GDPR, I offered to again take up the leadership of a small team I had led before - this time to launch another SaaS offering - this time in payments. The opportunity aligned well with my personal goal of leveling up my leadership skills with what was then an eye on a director of engineering role, and it also aligned with a engineering roadmap I had set forth nearly five years ago to get hardware related work (specifically integrating our software with mobile payments and point of sale hardware) into the company.
I was excited to start setting up the Z-Wave bridge. That excitement has dimmed. I’m got the device in the mail, whipped out the installation instructions, plugged it into my Pi and…
We’re moving away from Z-Wave tech and investing more deeply in Apple HomeKit. Part of that will include using a Raspberry Pi to act as a Z-Wave bridge until we (eventually) replace the Z-Wave devices with devices supported by HomeKit natively.
The family and I headed up to our “local” comic book store, Everett Comics, to pick up the latest issues waiting for us in our subscription box. Because of the pandemic, this involves parking and calling inside the store and asking them to bring them out for curbside delivery.
Microsoft announced the release of .NET 5 today… and included an example with the quintessential “blink an LED” that is the Hello World of the embedded IoT space. Can’t wait to try it on one of my development boards.
There is a world of distance between being expert in this system and being an actual expert in your chosen craft. The second is seniority; the first is merely .. familiarityhttps://charity.wtf/2020/11/01/questionable-advice-the-trap-of-the-premature-senior/
This was odd. I’m noting here so 1) I don’t forget and 2) in case anyone else runs into this. My STM32CubeIDE 1.4.0 based project was building fine, I used the STM32CubeMX editor to unlink PC13 from the user button since it was limiting my RTC configuration.
I am so happy I tapped on Episode 27 of the POPCAST this morning. And so glad Dan interviewed Charity and especially the focus of the podcast: her post about the “Engineer/Manager Pendulum”
I’ve added a link to my most recent project… which is still in progress - it is an IoT weather station I started developing as part of my MSEE at UW. So happy to be working with embedded devices again.
Microsoft is making in-roads into embedded devices in an interesting way - this walkthough was released just last week. Time to order some more hardware 🙂
C# based WebAssemblies. Interesting. Official preview was last year. Blazor WebAssembly released a couple months ago.
Remote Development is my new favorite VS Code extension. Not only does it seamlessly present the remote file system, it presents the GitHub state like it would for local files and includes an easy to access terminal. Nicely done, Microsoft 🙂
I saw this on Hacker News today. A nice breakdown of each system in the popular gaming console and a lot of history too.
In software development, a phrase that gets used frequently is “code smell” - referring to an “odor” that code has or develops due to poor initial design or inattention to refactoring during continued development or maintenance. Hallmarks of “code smell” include things like copying and pasting blocks of code instead of refactoring into callable functions, classes that have or develop multiple responsibilities, overly broad interfaces, and so on.
Well now, this is an interesting development:
I’ve been working on a ARM Cortex M4 based weather station with APRS transmitter as part of my Masters in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. I’m making good progress. It is FreeRTOS based and I’ve gotten all the tasks and queues running and time, location, and weather data flowing. I integrated with the real time clock just to find out that it drifts 5 minutes per hour - looks like I’ll need to periodically re-synchronize that with the GPS signal, LOL.
Kepler achieves a world-first for satellite broadband with 100Mbps connection to the Arctic
Going out for fabrication soon. Project we’re working on in Planar Microwave class (UW EE Master’s Program).
When you get your Apple Card, you’re invited to hold your phone near the card to activate it. I wondered if it was communicating with the card or something in the packaging.
The e-moto has five processors to manage performance and app-based connectivity, according to HD’s chief engineer for EV Technology, Sean Stanley.TechCrunch, “Inside Harley-Davidson’s EV shift with a ride on its LiveWire”
The Heat Death of 5G 5G phones get hot. Really hot. Probably not hot enough to ignite your battery (probably), but enough to generate a definite burning sensation in your pants pockets.
This past weekend, I was excited to see that the cosmonauts on the Space Station were commemorating Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space with a special Slow Scan Television (SSTV) broadcast. I hadn’t set up the antenna since we moved into our new home, so I took this as the perfect opportunity to do so.
An (overly) ambitious title for the post notwithstanding, Simon Dowling offers a fair number of actionable insights on this quick read on the Venturi Group blog, including this:
A firm warning about career blind spots from the Harvard Business Review couched in an amusing metaphor.
Valuable advice from the folks at Know Your Team:
A great article from Entrepreneur on the downsides of having employees overly reliant on leaders for decision making.
By the end of the project, we had done more than we probably needed to. Honestly, far more than we needed to. The requirement had come down to build “Service X”, and the team rallied and pulled it off. But, in hindsight, I think we might have been able to deliver sooner - if I had put more effort into clarifying what success looked like for our stakeholders, and been more ruthless about stripping down the service to the bare essentials to meet that yardstick.
It’s a quick read, focusing on some of the unique challenges of leadership at technology companies, and the progressive structure (e.g. team lead to manager to manager of managers) makes it easy to jump in at whether level you find yourself at on the ladder (and to see what you missed and should have picked up on a lower rung… or what to expect on the next rungs.).
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