Archive for the “Miscellaneous” Category

This has very little to do with integration other than the fact that these guys “integrated” an Airsoft automatic BB gun, video camera, a photography tripod and some servo motors.

I’m not sure what is more impressive, how well the thing actually works or that Aaron used his kid brother, Ezra, as a target.


Sentry Gun details

Sentry Gun video links: QuickTime Windows Media

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I attended the first DC-area advanced screening of the new movie Serenity tonight.

Having not seen any episodes of the short-lived series Firefly, on which Serenity is based, I was a little unsure whether that would make it difficult to get up to speed on the storyline and characters. However, the film doesn’t assume that the viewer knows anything about the series and I never felt lost or that I needed to go rent the 12-episode Firefly DVD in order to “get it”. I will say, though, that the Firefly groupies, er… I mean, fans, in the screening did seem to have a head start in their reactions to the crew’s joking with one another.

The film is action-packed from the beginning but has interesting characters whose chemistry together conveys a sense of camaraderie forged in shared struggles both from the long over war against the Alliance and the hard-scrabble existence of a freighter of questionable reputation eking out an existence on the edge of civilized space.

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My Dad, whose birthday is today, got me hooked on Science Fiction years ago with Isaac Asimov’s “I, Robot” and Robert Heinlein’s “Have Spacesuit, Will Travel”. So I was interested to read about the new Sci-Fi film Serenity on one of the blogs I frequent.

Universal is piloting a unique promotion technique by getting bloggers to review advanced screenings of the film. I’m registered to attend the Washington D. C. showing next week and will update this post with my impressions.

Movie Synopsis:

Joss Whedon- the Oscar(r)- and Emmy-nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel-now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity.

The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family – squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.

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I recently added new links to make subscribing to the Conneva Blog easier than ever with your favorite RSS Reader or news aggregator.

FeedBurner publishes a feed for my site and provides handly little “chicklets” to help reader subscribe quickly.

FeedBurner also offers something they call a Headline Animator that looks like this:

Conneva Blog

Drop me an email or post a comment, if you subscribe using one of these new links.

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Slashdot pointed me to this LinuxWatch article on five reasons not to use the Linux operating system. Here’s a sample:

Reason number one: Linux is too complicated

Even with the KDE and GNOME graphical windowing interfaces, it’s possible — not likely, but possible — that you’ll need to use a command line now and again, or edit a configuration file.

Compare that with Windows where, it’s possible — not likely, but possible — that you’ll need to use a command line now and again, or edit the Windows registry, where, as they like to tell you, one wrong move could destroy your system forever.

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I must admit when I first saw the headline for this Slashdot article, I thought to myself “serves them right, ’bout time they suffered from the security holes in their own products”.

However, the article was not about the latest worm to exploit an NT vulnerability, but was about a Microsoft employee or contractor who brought a case of the measles back from a trip abroad.

Now this really hits close to home, since I once started an outbreak of measles at Baylor University as a freshman computer science major in 1982.

Apparently, The CDC was preparing to announce that measles had been eradicated in the U.S. later that Fall. However, I returned from a medical mission trip to Honduras and brought an epidemic of the rubeola or measles back with me. Several hundred of my classmates (including my future wife) contracted the viral infection. The case was even written up in several medical journals (see footnote 3).

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I’ve been a huge fan of GoogleMaps since it was released a few months ago. I’ve even been willing to forgive it for providing directions to my house which route guests all over the neighborhood before finally arriving.

As we’ve come to expect from Google, they provide the GoogleMaps API which allows you to use GoogleMaps to display mapping data on your website.

Click here to view a page from the Conneva web server that displays a GoogleMap of Evergreen Lake near my home.

The map centers and zooms on a lat/long point and displays a single marker. Clicking on the marker displays information about the point, in this case, Evergreen Lake.

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Google launched a new IM service today called, of course, GoogleTalk. It works with the Google-provided client as well as other IM clients such as GAIM, TrillianPro and the Mac-based iChat.

My username is “Conneva”. Give me a shout.

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I’m just getting around to reading Ed Burnette’s great article summarizing the recent developments in Eclipse 3.1 (hat tip Ben Booth).

In four short years since Eclipse exploded onto the scene, it has come to dominate the Java IDE landscape. User groups have sprouted up around the world, and hundreds of books and articles have been written about it (two dozen in Japanese alone!). Eclipse 3.1 is the culmination of a year’s worth of development effort on features such as J2SE5 support, performance improvements, and rich clients. If that weren’t enough, it will be the base of the next wave of software releases from the Eclipse Foundation and its partners. Whether you’re a programmer trying to build the next Killer App or an entrepreneur building a business model on open source, this is an exciting time to be involved with Eclipse.

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Since May, I have been commuting from my home in Colorado to northern Virginia for a project. Being a road warrior is not something that is unfamiliar to me having spent the first 9 years of my career working for large consulting firms. It was good, however, to start a new phase of the project yesterday that will will allow me to do most of the work from my home office.

Our home (and therefore my home office) is in the foothills of Colorado west of Denver at about 8,000 feet above sea level. I was on two conference calls yesterday in which I spent most of the time during the call on my deck enjoying the fresh air and cool(er) temperatures. During the afternoon call a herd of elk wandered by with several new calves in tow.

It was very strange to be listening to a conversation about the typical events of the first week of testing while watching the pastoral scene of recently born wildlife grazing in my yard.

I think I’m going to like this.

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