So last week I was at InstructureCon giving a presentation on ProctorHub (UCF’s passive proctoring solution). InstructureCon was held at Keystone, Colorado this year, and it kicked my butt. Those mountains and high elevation are no joke. It was incredibly hard to breath that first day.
Everything went well, presentation was awesome, met a lot of great educators doing all sorts of neat e-Learning.
The best part of the trip was that They Might Be Giants performed after the keynote.
Just got back from Austin, Texas for an educational conference.
The University of Texas at Austin is beautiful! Had a good conference, the LBJ Presidential Museum is on campus, so I was able to check that out. There is a really nice Makerspace located in the basement of the engineering building. Had a great feel. Blink-182 blasting in the background, students just working on stuff. 3 laser cutters and 14 Flashforge 3D printers available to use. Small mills in the back, vices on every table. Lots of room to work, lots of supplies to purchase. It’s great. Good Job UT.
I also got to visit two arcades! One is called Pinballz and true to the name, has about 40 pinball machines. Everything there was in great shape, and the video game selection was incredible. Got to play a Typing of the Dead, SF4, and SF X Tekken. They even had the non deluxe version of Star Wars BattlePods which was fun to try.
Sorry for not posting last weekend. I needed a break. I have been super swamped these past two weeks. Fall semester begins on Monday, and for some reason, this feels like a weird one. Something is in the air. My team is launching a new app for teachers and students. It’s coming out of pilot phase after a year. I’m so excited and nervous!
Of course things didn’t roll out as they were supposed to. Network errors, department ticket freezes, ubuntu issues…everything but the software has been blowing up around me. Though this means on Monday, everything will work A-Ok!. If everything went smoothly, I would really be worried 😀
Next week, once I hopefully have some time to breathe, I will have some big things to post about.
Have a great weekend, and a great start of classes to my fellow friends in Academia!
Happy Friday! Brain fried from a week of getting some new software at work prepped and ready to be moved to production. Scary doing a push because some 60,000 faculty and students might run into an issue. We test as well as we can, but theres always that one case that you miss. So nerve wracking.
For the past two weeks my coworkers and I have been printing out tons of things on the Micro 3D Printer. After the first week, everything started to shift horribly to the left on each new layer. Nothing would print right. A vocal minority was also having this issue on the forums. Micro3D has a huge support backlog, so communication was very sparse, BUT they DID keep us in the loop on how they were fixing the issue. Two new software releases in 2 weeks and it seems to be working fine again. I am extremely happy with the prints now.
Eevee (with support structure)
Winnie the Pooh bear (with support structure cleaned off)
Don’t mind the weirdness with the Eevee, that’s the support structure that pulls off. I’m mailing it to a friend so I’m leaving it intact. It’s like 3D printed bubble wrap, I can’t deny her the joy of ripping it off 😀 You can see a couple remnants of the support structure on the pooh bear as well. I need to clean it up a bit more before I send it to my Mom. She will love it.
My conclusion: It’s a $300 3D printer,You get what you pay for. I am extremely happy with it. It was broken, now it’s fixed to Micro3D’s credit. I am hoping the shifting issue is now in the past and that it was just a software bug.
I’ve been plagued by a bug at work for the past 6 months. Every so often, my oAuth library would fail out of the blue, causing some of my apps to die. It never occurred in production, only in our development environments. If I made the oAuth token by hand, or used the console, it worked fine. If I waited a few minutes, it would authenticate, and everything worked. Totally random, no rhyme or reason.
It wasn’t until this week when I was trying to use a library and upload some test files to an AWS S3 bucket that I got an error. My request time signature was 19 minutes behind the Amazon server. AWS (and my oAuth lib) have a 15 minute time window. But why was this happening? My clock was synced using NTP. I went to check my app and it had also failed. Then it hit me. I hadn’t rebooted my machine in a week. Our dev environments use vagrant, which runs a small virtual machine that containerizes our software. The virtual machine has its own clock, which gets synced on reboot. Over the week, it’s clock slowly drifted just enough that my timestamps failed for Amazon, and then for oAuth. Every so often it will resync, but not fast enough.
In 2014, I thought Time Drift was a thing of past, a relic of dying CMOS batteries, but it still exists today. So if you are ever using vagrant to develop your applications, setup an NTP daemon on the virtual machine, or just vagrant halt / vagrant up every so often 🙂
Couple really cool things going on right now. First of all, I got the physical copy of my book in hand. I’m so proud! Also Adafruit linked to my blog. I was so surprised when I got the email, thanks for the link!
This past week I’ve been having tons of meeting about software our team has been working on. It’s really validating to have our projects get the attention of the higher ups and other vendors. We work on cool things that help our 50,000 students learn in new ways. I love working for a place that allows us and encourages us to make a difference!
Orlando Mini Maker Faire
Tomorrow is the Orlando Mini Maker Faire at the Orlando Science Center. There will be 4 floors of makers showing off their creations, and that includes myself and FamiLAB. I will have a ton of pictures tomorrow, but if anyone is in Orlando, I encourage you to go.
This has been a fun week. Trying to fight of the germs going around now that everyone is settled into classes. This is usually when the colds start going around. A few coworkers are already coughing. I may need to put up a fort around my desk. On the plus side I am seeing Yellowcard this weekend!!!
The PyCon call for proposals deadline passed. I put in 2 talks and a poster session. I am volunteering this year as part of the program committee, and I am really excited about going. I hope one of my proposals makes it.
I caught all of the Pokemon NFC figures. Yeah, I have a problem. The Gamestop near me allowed me to bring in my Wii U and scan the Pokeballs before buying them so I could pick out the ones I needed to complete my collection. Some Gamestops really are awesome.
In exciting news, I saw the final pdf of my book, and it is being sent to the printer now!!! In a few days I’ll have the Amazon link to post.
The laser cutter at FamiLAB bit the dust. The controller board’s heatsink fell off causing a short and frying the board. I had some prototypes I wanted to cut so I ended up uploading my SVGs to Ponoko.com and getting them cut there. They quoted me $18 to print out a prototype DeskCade, which isn’t bad considering the amount of space I had left free on the material. I could probably have printed two for the same price if I spent more time rearranging the parts. On the plus side, they said it would take 10 days for cutting and 5 days for shipping. I ordered it on Thursday and it was shipping by Wednesday, so I’m really happy about that.
I can’t wait to see the quality of the parts!
PiMAME update should be soon. This will be include a custom kernel for the Xin-Mo controller.
Very short Friday Post. I’ve been on vacation since Christmas. My promotion goes into effect next week, and I start my graduate program the following week. I am enjoying this vacation because it is probably going to be the last free time I get until the next semester.
Now to sleep until Sunday 🙂
Happy New Year everyone. Here is to a happy and a healthy 2013!
It’s been an exciting week. Pushed new code to our QA servers which has taken up most of my time. Been doing late shifts and weekend shifts to make sure everything works. I’ve also been tapped to be a Technical Reviewer of a book, so that has taken up some time. And I also have an exciting project that I can’t talk about just yet, but it’s really cool.
I have so much on my backlog, I promise I will get to it. After tonight, my plate should be a lot cleaner and I will actually have time to do more than just eat, work, and sleep.
Have a great weekend. Go see Wreck It Ralph. I’m going to enjoy my first Saturday off in a month by sleeping till Sunday 😉