Category: tech

Software Page Updates

Updated my software page with some changes and additional programs.

Removed the Office Office link as the Oracle Corporation bought Sun and promptly started messing with the development so it was forked to LibreOffice and that will be the future of development of the open source office suite.  Also added Essentials, as I have stated to use it and it seems work fairly well.

Digg v4 Sucks

The new Digg version (v4) is up and running, and it sucks.


The reasons :

  1. less content (way less than before, 3 stories were on top news in 8 hour period)
  2. very buggy (getting better)
  3. the my news section being default (may be fixed shortly)
  4. links don’t open in separate tab (may be a bug)
  5. no picture section
  6. no videos section
  7. Digg is trying to be a like Facebook and/or Twitter (hint it’s not and shouldn’t try to be)

The less content/stories issue the biggest.  I use Digg as a filter for all the articles/pictures/videos on the internet.  If it can’t do that, then whats the point in Digg at all.

I really don’t understand organizations that take away features that many users/customers like or demand.  And when they don’t succeed they just try again latter.  Case-in-point the pictures section on Digg.  Digg got rid of it in a previous update and the users complained until it was put back, and now Digg has removed it again.

Ares I Launch

Ares I launched this week, after several delays.  I watched it live, it was awesome.  But two of the three parachutes malfunctioned and caused some damage to the booster.

ISA Expo (ISA100.11a)

wireless-iconBack from ISA Expo 2009 in Houston.  Attended several class for wireless technologies and ISA100.11a.  It looks to be a very good standard and should help bring order to the wireless landscape to the instrumentation/process/industrial automation industries.

I attended a one day class taught by Dr. Peter Fuhr, and several technical conferences about wireless systems and technologies.  A tool that Dr. Fuhr was using caught my eye.  He had a RF spectrum analyzer on his computer that only cost $200, that would be get for my work.  It’s from Metageek and comes in 2.4 GHz and a 900 MHz version.

“This standard is intended to provide reliable and secure wireless operation for non-critical monitoring, alerting, supervisory control, open loop control, and closed loop control applications. This standard defines the protocol suite, system management, gateway, and security specifications for low-data-rate wireless connectivity with fixed, portable, and moving devices supporting very limited power consumption requirements. The application focus is to address the performance needs of applications such as monitoring and process control where latencies on the order of 100 ms can be tolerated, with optional behavior for shorter latency.

To meet the needs of industrial wireless users and operators, this standard provides robustness in the presence of interference found in harsh industrial environments and with legacy non-ISA100 compliant wireless systems. As described in Clause 4, this standard addresses coexistence with other wireless devices anticipated in the industrial workspace, such as cell phones and devices based on IEEE 802.11x, IEEE 802.15x, IEEE 802.16x, and other relevant standards. Furthermore, this standard allows for interoperability of ISA100 devices, as described in Clause 5.” – ISA page (ISA-100.11a-2009)

ISA100.11a Released

wireless-iconISA has released the 100.11a standard on September 9th 2009.  I’ve update the Wikipedia entry for it.  I’m going to a conference and several classes at ISA Expo 2009 this year that cover the new standard.  Hopefully this standard will bring some order to the wireless gas detection and industrial control industries for wireless devices.  It uses IEEE 802.15.4 for the lower level which dictates a center frequency 2.4 GHz and uses DSSS for the modulation technique.   It also uses some of TSMP from Dust Networks for the mesh and networking protocol.  This should allow for battery operated devices with automatic routing capability, via time synchronized sleeping.