General

Calculus Made Simple

To many, integral and differential calculus may as well be a foreign language from an alien planet. Many people don’t grasp the fundamental concepts which drive the calculus, and consequently fail to derive the value they otherwise could from that knowledge. I’ve always found the key to making use of some bit of knowledge is to internalize it, to restate the concepts in terms that are familiar and comfortable to you, but to compare this restatement and internalization to the…

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Kernel Design: Microkernel vs. Monolithic

Motivation This hotly debated topic has been around for decades, and it is just as alive today as it was 28 years ago. The truth is, there are fundamental differences in the theory which drives the design of a monolithic kernel versus a microkernel. In this post, I will extrapolate from my knowledge of various kernel designs to explore what these two primary types are, what their features, benefits, drawbacks and implications may be. I’ll also briefly explore the extension…

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Turning my Hallway Closet into a Drop Zone: Gallery

Genesis of a Project In our new house, we had a hallways closet that was massive. It was very deep, and fairly wide, but had low overhead, due to the stairs passing above it. My wife had the brilliant idea to turn this into a dropzone for shoes, parcels, mail, etc. She took to Pinterest to gather ideas, and I turned it into a weekend project. The Project Plan Regrettably, I didn’t capture all the “design” pieces, and only have…

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Pickin’ On Series

I was poking around YouTube and found a great channel and project, you should check them out!   The Pickin’ On channel is filled to the brim with great acoustic bluegrass interpretations of some of the best songs around. From Nirvana, to The Guess Who, to Lynyrd Skynard, they’ve done it all! Check out one of my faves:  

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Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day USA! I hope everyone enjoys their day off, but pauses to remember those who have served and do serve to keep our country safe daily. Thank you to our military, police, fire, emergency, and medical staffers work tirelessly in service to their fellow Americans.  

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I’m back!

The server was down for about 24 hours while I performed some hardware and software upgrades. I’ll be bringing all of my blog entries back as soon as I can get the SQL imported! For the nerdy and techies who wonder: Hardware Upgrades 512MB RAM to 1GB Single Core 32bit to single core 64bit Software Upgrades Debian 7 to Debian 9 Installation of security (super secret stuff!) software to mitigate the endless torrent of hacking attempts PHP5.4 to PHP7.x  …

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It’s been a while again!

I have been very busy with Capstone Design again this semester so I’ve not had any time to myself. However, I have quite a lot to write about! School I am wrapping up my final few classes and getting ready for graduation! This semester I have taken several rather applicable classes to my upcoming work situation. My favorite class has absolutely been Embedded Systems. This class goes from the question What is an embedded system? through What are the considerations when designing an embedded…

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It’s Been a While!

I’ve not posted in a few months, mainly because I’ve been extremely busy! Here’s what I’ve been up to recently. School I just finished up the semester and finals were rough, but I came out with great success. I really enjoyed a few of my classes. Namely, Computer Architecture, where I studied how the MIPS32 ISA was designed, and then implemented several hardware versions of it. The second best class was Digital Systems Design where I was introduced to VHDL and was able…

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Autonomy is Cool… and Hard!

Beginning in the last week of August, I joined The University of Alabama’s IEEE Autonomous Robotics Senior Design Team for 2016. I am the System Architecture and Integration Lead. UA has sent fiercely competitive teams to this competition for the past several years, though none have won. This year’s team is staffed with motivated, driven individuals and we are attempting to bring home first place for UA for the first time. I have linked the official competition rules below. IEEE…

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NSA Playset

Today an article ran on ArsTechnica which caught my eye. It’s titled The NSA Playset: Espionage tools for the rest of us and talks about the creation of a collection of NSA-ANT-like devices for doing… NSA-like things. One device — a deceptively simple device — caught my attention. It is called the CONGAFLOCK. This single transistor RF reflector can be implanted into anything that transmits data via wires. The resultant device can be hit with a continuous wave at the frequency of the bug’s…

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