Saturday, January 28, 2017

Building a Button Box: Overview

I have a daughter (not Cindy Lou Who, but she is slightly less than 2) who loves buttons and lights ("yight!").

If something looks like a button, or looks like it could be a button, she'll press it.  Repeatedly - especially if it clicks!  Clicking buttons are the best, and I'm glad things like dishwashers come with button locks now.

She's also learning colors and letters.  I had some time off over the winter, so I built her a button box that's useful for all of these things!


This is the non-absurdly-technical description of my build.  If you're looking for the gory technical details with an awful lot of advice about how not to do things, you'll want to check back next week for a radically longer post.

Otherwise, read on for how I built her button box!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Progress vs Decline: What to expect going forward

What on earth just happened?  Donald Trump is now our president.

For quite a few months now (since early in the primaries), I've been saying that, while I don't support Trump, I saw a viable path for him to be elected President.  I caught a huge amount of flak for that.  Even the week before the election, pointing to the closing 538 probabilities and extrapolating out, I got accused of being ignorant of math, clueless about polling, and generally a complete moron for saying, "Folks?  Don't be so sure of a Hillary victory just yet."

Why?  And what does this mean?  I'll try to explain.

Something happened that wasn't supposed to happen.  Donald Trump is the new President of the United States of America.  This wasn't how the story goes.  Following eight years of Obama's Presidency, Hillary Clinton, who is, by the way, a woman, was supposed to Fight the Good Fight against the Evilly Evil Forces of Mordor (represented by none so vile as Donald Trump), triumph in a landslide, and rule over America, representing the fluttering flag of Progress.

That didn't happen - and the howling was incredible.  Trump wasn't supposed to win.  Trump was most assuredly not supposed to win with 304 electoral college votes (which would have been more, except for the faithless electors - of which there were only 2 from Trump, but 5 from Clinton).

Why wasn't Trump supposed to win?  What happened?  And what can we expect going forward based on this?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Charging a Tesla S/X at 350kW: Plausible!

In late December, Elon Musk tweeted something interesting about 350kW or faster supercharging - and there has been a lot of talk and speculation since then.

Some people think he's talking about trucks - which would make plenty of sense.  Trucks need large battery packs which will require a rapid charge rate to be useful - there's definitely a good fit there.

But... what about a current Model S or Model X?  Could you actually charge one at 350kW with the current hardware?


I didn't know, and I couldn't find anyone who'd actually done the math - so, working with some basic back of the envelope calculations, I decided to find out!

Read on to join me and see what happens if you try to charge at this high rate - but I'll tell you up front - it seems entirely plausible to me!


Saturday, January 7, 2017

No Actual Post Today, Sorry.

I have plenty of posts nearly ready to go - but none fully ready this weekend.

Unfortunately, my wireless ISP and I have been having... conversations since about Thursday, over the extreme lack of internet they've been providing.  This poses a problem for my normal schedule of polishing a post on Friday and Saturday - and going elsewhere isn't worth it with all the snow and ice.

I've learned many things with a packet sniffer (including my radio's IP address), and learned that their level 1 techs are utterly full of shit about a wide variety of issues.  One particularly annoying one is the claim that a 5Ghz AP will interfere with their radios - which are operating in the licensed 5.4/5.7Ghz band - not the unlicensed 5.2/5.8Ghz spectrum 802.11 APs operate in.

Along with almost everything else they've said.  Yes, restarting my AP did temporarily resolve issues, but this is only because the normal IP lease is 60 seconds, and the "We can't talk to the real server, here's a 10. IP address" lease is 40,000 seconds or so.

Not entertained...

Hopefully, back to your regularly scheduled posts next weekend.