Friday, May 4, 2012

Future tech

Saw avengers.  Everytime I see Tony Stark I get violently angry.  No not "hulkingly" angry, I don't want to smash things - I'm not mad at Tony - I'm angry at the state of technology as it is.  Why can't we build amazingly awesome technology.

I want to be a crazy tech wizard in a world that is not compatible with that vision.  Imagine knowing how to build a jet fighter and then living 500yrs in the past.  Imagine you get the hair up your ass to build one.  Could you?  Would you?

I realize the only thing stopping you is actually just tooling.  Just machines, machines you could make but would take you a long time.  I mean do you know how to actually make a copper wire?  What about a vacuum tube, or a simple water powered calculator?

Imagine needing to do the math involved with toroid inductance for your ever so finicky new power supply you made from raw materials...

I want to boot strap the tooling that will be use to invent the future.  I want the wizbang amount of computing power and the ability to just buy 10 more computers and they automatically contribute to the processing needs.

Do you know how much effort I would have to sink into a cluster to just add 10 more computers?  Tony does it on a whim... what kind of operating system does he run?  How do they integrate?

How does his wireless network even operate? That shit has amazing bandwidth - he's talking live to Jarvis, when I can barely get my voip to work....

I'm thinking about how to make this work, and the tools I will need to create - just to create the tools I really want, which ultimately make the tools I will eventually need.

I'm thinking something like yahoo pipes, only ... with more abstract basic input and output operations, agnostic inputs, if it doesn't like what you are giving it, it just turns red or something, it never refuses to connect things.  (I hate that about pipes)

Lots of filters and crap to parse stuff into stuff - abstract I can do this.

Anyway I'm gonna code some crazy stuff this next week.  I'll probably post an update, or maybe I'll abandon my blog for another year.

All in all to me the future of tech is ... brutally clear or Stark I should say. Read more...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Anime St. Louis

In the beginning, there was Anime.

I was having a rather boring Saturday. If I had shaken a magic eight-ball, it would have told me "Outlook not so good".

My roommates were all planing on attending Anime St. Louis. I had walked unknowingly into their preparations. I had known about the con, but had put it out of my mind, I just didn't have the money to spend.

Upon hearing my interest in going, BT offered to pay for my ticket. And not one, to turn down awesome offers, I accepted (mind you I did half-heartedly try to refuse, but he was seeing past my ruse)
Out of the gate, so to speak, the worst most annoying thing that can happen to a tech savvy person such as myself. My cell phone wasn't charged, and unbeknownst to me this would lead me to the most fortuitous afternoon.

My cell phone is stupid, there is a firmware glitch, if the battery is extremely low, it will NEVER charge in the phone, you have to use an external charger. As luck would have it, my phone batteries (two phones same type) were both in this condition. After BT forgot to lock the back door, and then forgot his giraffe hat (yes seriously... its a con, what did you expect?) We ended up going back to the house, which gave me the opportunity to grab everything I could think of to get my cell phone charged in the car, AND build a mobile charger, so it would hopefully stay charged during the con
Some rather unimportant details later and a jumble of wires, I jump started the battery charge in my batteries and constructed a +5v regulated usb charger to stick in my pocket, right as we arrived.
And as the day unfolded it became obvious that I chose the wrong batteries to do this job, I managed to gain 2% battery life, and then sustain the phone @8% for about 40 min - my batteries were dying and I began a quest for new batteries

The quest

I left my friends, strode out talked to a few "con-ies" and tried to locate a place that sold batteries, convinced that I could find 4 AA for 3.50$.. (HAHAHA) (FYI: that's not going to happen) My trek took me the long way around the convention center, back to the otherside, and eventually I saw what I was looking for: A Wal-Mart and a Walgreens. I hike over there and looked through several racks of batteries, but they are either sold in packs of 8 or 6 at wal-mart and for a good price too Walgreens faired no better, and as I was about to throw in the towel, and be disconnected for the day, I saw a U.S. Cellular location, my mind was set Eureka, I intra-cranially declared, they'll have a charger! Hopefully they'll be kind enough to plug my phone in.

I walked into the store and was kindly greeted by Crystal, the first thought that popped into my head was - I never feel as if any of the ATT employees are this polite, interested or kind. And Kind she was, she talked to me for a few minutes as I explained my situation and my phone charged, made a few phone calls and figured out what to do next, and she walked into the back and came out with a randomly marked wall charger for my phone. The charger I wish I had brought in the first place.
After handing me her card, and offering a friendly goodbye, I was off with the key to what would make my epic quest all the more awesome. The charger was the key to me recovering any good moments from the con, even though my quest was fun (I love to do these things) - the con was all that more important. I trekked my way back now, happy that my phone was charged, I could charge it more myself and maybe snap some pictures post some good comments, etc.

Enter Pepper Potts

I walked along the corridor, looking for an open outlet. No, not that one, it's too close to furries. Those guys are all playing Magic. Well, it could be worse... As I was scouting around (using the decision making process of most males at cons) I picked the outlet next to the pretty girls. (Can you blame a a fella?)

I plugged my charger in and the most unexpected thing happened: I was asked if I was a robot, and if I was charging my "arc reactor". As I turned around to see whom would ask such things, I was greeted by the prettiest Pepper Potts I've ever seen (okay okay, lets not get pedantic: No I've never really seen another Pepper Potts, but... come on).

She was gushing with kindness and personal curiosity, which threw me off so much.  I told her I made an arc reactor once before.  This statement, made in casual conversation ended up garnering a lot of attention, I didnt' realize she was pepper potts just yet.  And that she's a big fan of Iron Man, and Robert Downey Jr.

Amy and I talked for a long time about movies comics and anything that we could think of and of course Iron Man! Told her "trade secrets" on how I made my arc reactor.  Her sister who was with her dressed as Black Widow was having issues with her arm bands kinda falling apart :P (it happens) so we talked about things she could do to make better ones.

After we talked we all wandered down to the um... Japanese "knot tying" demonstration and during the show she and her sister left to go see another one.

It was a fun afternoon, and .. I'm kinda miffed at myself for not getting her information.  Maybe I'll see her at the next con right?

All and all a great experience, good times and lots of fun!  ( mostly thanks to Amy ;) Read more...