Planet Geek!

A man out of society. Lost in his own world.

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From Youtube to Pilot – My Journey Into the World of FPV Drone Racing (Part 1)

2015-04-12 15.47.29
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It started innocently enough. A video linked on youtube showing some “pilots” gathered in the woods. An obviously well organized group, with safety crews, a well marked course, and referees. The pilots were several guys sitting in camping chairs, with goofy looking goggles on, or staring intently into small video screens. Then the racing started, and… Read More

One Week with the Chevy Volt

onstar app
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So a week ago I traded in my Jeep Wrangler for a Chevy Volt.  It was a hard decision, but made sense on so many levels.  I have a long commute (70 miles round trip), do other road trips, etc.  And while I’ll miss being able to bang around in the woods and romp through the… Read More

Goodbye Jeep, Hello Volt.

2015 Chevy Volt
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Today I made a hard decision. 8 months ago my venerable VW Passat became unmaintainable. It required a new oil pump, which was going to run around $2000. It had been good for me for 4 years, but with 140,000 miles on it, I was concerned about shoveling more cash into it. I’d always wanted a… Read More

The Desktop Mail Client is Dead.

GMAIL Inbox screenshot
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It’s no secret. I’ve been a rabid IMAP user for ages and ages and ages. To the point where I’ll keep shifting mail clients around to stay ‘current’. My preferred poison for almost 10 years had been Thunderbird. The tool that started out as a potential replacement for Outlook, but in the end never quite had… Read More

Sorry Jekyll, I’m done with you.

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I’ve been working with Jekyll on the US Drone Racing Association site. It seemed like a nice idea. Check all your content into Github, then, when ready to do work with it, check it out, make your edits, run a local test site (that part is really nice), and when finished, check it back in.… Read More

My Vacation in Crawford Notch

Back on Mt Willard, beautiful weather!
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Around mid-November of this year, my boss pulled me aside and said “Son… I’m kickin you outta here.” Okay, he really didn’t say that, but he did let me know if I didn’t take some vacation time by the end of the year, he was going to be cranky. Since my company only rolls over 2… Read More

Soylent – 10 days in.

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On September 1st, I started what I was calling “my great experiment“. Altering my diet in a significant way to make me more aware of what I was eating, how I was eating, and where my food came from was a huge step for me. So now it’s a week and a half later, how… Read More

Soylent – The great experiment begins

2014-09-01 11.23.30
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6-8 months ago I participated in a kickstarter for Soylent – an artificial food mix that is compact, nutritionally complete and storeable. I received my 2 weeks of food on Friday. The cup in this picture contains an entire meal – all the nutrients a body needs to function well. There are people who have… Read More

How not to compliment a photographer

Zach at arisia
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Not too long ago an acquaintance of mine asked if I would do them a favor and come  photograph their event.  No problem, I enjoy shooting, and any chance to work is an opportunity to improve my skill.   I went to the event, spent a few hours taking pictures, and had a great interaction… Read More

Today, I tried to read a book.

Books books books
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I tried. I really did try. The book is “The Republic of Thieves” by Scott Lynch, third in the Gentlemen Bastards series. A neighbor had a copy here, and he loaned it to me. I’ve been reading books on my phone for years now. This is the first time I only had a physical copy… Read More

Arduino Code for driving the Staff LEDS

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A couple people have asked me to post the code I use in the Staff.  I’ve uploaded it to Github, and I’ll try and keep copies active there. I’ll give you a fair warning, the code ain’t pretty  It works wonderfully, but it was “Hack it until it works, doesn’t crash, and does what I… Read More

The Technomancer at Arisia!

The Technomancer!
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This past weekend I packed up and headed to Arisia to work, play, socialize, and, finally put all the costume elements together and become… THE TECHNOMANCER. This was the final unveiling of the entire costume the magic staff was created to drive. I’d been adding parts and components for weeks, waiting for others to come… Read More

CONGO is going GPL.

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(This announcement is also being posted on Over the last 12 years I’ve been working hard to develop CONGO into the best convention registration system I can manage. Since 2002, CONGO has been used for many events of all sizes, registering and printing badges for tens of thousands of attendees. There have been many… Read More

Arduino Nano “Programmer Not Responding” on a Mac

Arduino Nano v3
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For the Staff project, I’m going to be replacing the existing Arduino Uno R3 with a smaller, more easily embedded Arduino Nano.  The Nano is a heck of a lot smaller than the Uno (makes sense – it’s meant to be permanently installed, while the Uno is a prototyping platform).  I received my Nano a… Read More

Video Demo of the Staff

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Several people have asked how the project’s coming along, and I realized that the most recent video only showed a little bit of the functionality.  So I dusted off my iMovie skills and whipped up a little demo (complete with background music!  Aren’t you impressed?).  All the current modes are displayed, though the most recent… Read More