Saturday, January 09, 2010

I guess I'll blog later tonight or tomorrow.

I suppose I should get some more beer.

... Dylan

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Allo Community...

Back by request because we (Jenn is) exhausted from the holidays -- and I don't spend enough time on this laptop writing -- I have been convinced to be a "guest" blogger on Jenn's blog. Since I will be a "regular" contributor to this blog, I need to know some rules: those do's and don'ts of blogging.

I've heard that I shouldn't talk bad about work. Done. I don't really like to talk about work when I am at work.

Actually, it's not that bad. If I had to say anything bad about work, I have to say it's challenging. It is challenging because my job is very complex, and there's so much I have had to learn and processes to get familiarized with. Even after the last year and half, it still feels like I don't know half my job. I opened a document today that I am the "owner" of and realized I haven't even read the document since I took "ownership" of it.

Maybe I put too much pressure and responsibility on myself, but there are days, meetings, and e-mails I get that challenge me to make a quick, accurate, and logical decision based on factors that I know, scenarios I might anticipate, and make assumptions on factors and a history of the equipment that I don't really understand.

The thing I fear the most is the question "Why?" The answer to "Why?" is filled with facts (and usually a face-to-face conversation. There is no avoiding the "Why?" question when you are in a meeting), and those facts come from all over the place. I keep those facts in three different places: my memory, my computer, and my notepad.

A "Why?" question from a technical person is not the same as a "Why?" question from a toddler. A "Why?" question is scary if you get it wrong. Try to avoid those "Why?" questions.

OH YEAH, blogging....

Jenn bought me a new camera for Christmas. A nice DSLR. It's not in the professional layer, but it's great for what I want in a camera.

Priority 1: It must work. I hate when an electronic device tries to tell YOU that it is smarter than YOU. For example, when I try to take a picture with another digital camera, it may tell me that there is not enough light, or the subject is moving too fast, etc., etc. BS!!! Total BS!!! Why is technology telling me what I want to do? Frak that!

But the camera did not come with a remote control, and Jenn and I wanted to get a good family Christmas picture this year, so I made a wired remote control. I didn't do an Infrared (like the TV remote) or an RF remote (like an RC car) because we wanted to take the picture that day. So I found on the Internet someone else who did one, and this is what I made.

It's two switches wired into a DV tape cassette case with a stereo jack to connect it to the camera. When you press one button, the camera focuses. Press the second button, and the camera takes the picture. Just press ONLY the second button, and the whole process happens automatically, but it could be hit or miss with the flash/focus.

I am working on making a two-stage switch, the kind that is in the camera, but that takes skill. I'll post that DIY when it's done.

I made everything, except for one of the jacks, for $1.09. I had to buy a special jack from Radio Shack for $0.96, so I guess RS doesn't stink so much after all.

All other parts I scavenged from the basement and old electronics that don't work. This is why you don't throw anything away. You will never know when you need a part for a project. Why pay $1.09 for a part at Radio Shack when you can keep it in the basement for four years and finally get the satisfaction of using old, useful junk. Pack rats UNITE!!!

Maybe this is my shtick? I post my thoughts, then follow up with a DIY project? Browsing the Internet, though, I'm not doing anything earth-shattering. Most of my projects are purely researched from the Internet.

So kids, if you want to be as smart as me, get the Internet. It's the best thing God invented. (Editors note: I believe Al Gore invented the Internet, Dylan.)