Last night I went to a lecture series hosted by the Janelia Farm Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The talk, on the evolution of human color vision, was terrific—and I was given the opportunity to take a tour of their lab facilities.
(Click the image above for a small gallery of additional pictures).
Continue reading Janelia Farm
I have a thermal imaging camera made by FLIR Systems. These cameras are really interesting devices; they pick up long-wavelength infrared radiation (wavelengths of 8-12μm, versus 380-750nm for visible light). We’ve all seen objects heated until they’re hot enough to glow visibly, but it takes a lot less heat to glow in the infrared spectrum!
Why, you might ask, do I have a thermal camera? Because. That’s why. Actually, there is a reason.
Continue reading Adventures with Infrared
If you’re not a pretty serious gadgeteer, this post isn’t for you. Nothing to see here; move along…
The intersection of hardware and software has always been an interesting place, even more so when security engineering is involved.
I recently bought a Rigol DS1074Z oscilloscope. It’s a neat gadget and I’m really pleased with it.
Continue reading Bad Crypto and a Good Oscilloscope
I’ve long been a user of the Asterisk open-source telephony software, using it as the core of my home and office telephone systems.
Recently I’ve been experimenting with the Raspberry Pi single-board computer. This is a device that has a half-gigabyte of RAM, an ARM-based processor, USB, and Ethernet. It uses a common SD card for its disk and costs $35.
Continue reading Portable PBX
As everyone knows, things change quickly in the technology industry. Storage and processor speed in particular have grown enormously over the years.
My first computer had a 2-MHz eight-bit processor (the Z80) and an amazing 48K of memory. I’m writing this post on a machine with eight 3-GHz processors with 9G of memory. When adjusted for inflation, I think both machines cost about the same amount.
It’s the growth in mass storage, though, that amazes me most.
Continue reading Storage and Scale
January 7-10 was the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. A few thoughts…
As always, CES was an interesting event to attend. The scale of the show is pretty hard to imagine if you haven’t been there before; it’s just huge. I don’t think attendance figures have been released yet, but projections were in the 140,000-person range. Exhibit space was something like 1.8 million square feet.
Continue reading CES 2008
Holly and I were in Los Angeles a week ago, visiting family and friends.
Our rental car was a Toyota Prius, a gas-electric hybrid. I’ve seen these vehicles many times, but this was my first time behind the wheel. A few notes on this experience: Continue reading Fuel Economy
I was talking with a couple of friends recently about high-definition television, and they were a little surprised to learn that I really haven’t done anything of substance with HDTV. I’m an early adopter of technology, but I still haven’t made the move to high-definition television.
Yes, I have one high-definition set at home, but it’s only there because its predecessor spewed actual flames and then refused to power up. But even this lone HD set operates in standard-definition mode 99+% of the time.
Here’s why this early adopter is still on the sidelines.
Continue reading [HD] Theatre of the Absurd
I recently acquired a Sony TR2A laptop system. This machine, a capable subnotebook system, comes with a copy of Windows XP Home Edition. It’s possible to order the machine as the TR2AP, which comes with Windows XP Professional Edition pre-installed, but I already own the requisite XP Pro licence and didn’t want to pay for a second copy. Even if I had gotten the TR2AP, I’d have likely wound up reinstalling, since the disk comes weirdly partitioned and with more than ten percent of its usable space reserved as a “recovery partition.”
Continue reading Installing Windows XP Professional on the Sony Vaio TR2A Laptop
I ran across a few photos I’d originally taken for equipment inventory purposes at The Parent Institute back in early 2000. It’s remarkable how much everyday technology has changed in the ensuing years.
(Click the image above to view a small album of semi-ancient technology)