Archive for December, 2011

December 2011. Time for an update.

19 December 2011

Summary of ongoing projects

In a seemingly lame and naive attempt to re-connect to my pre-Los-Angeles successful actions, I have pursued projects in 3 main areas:

1. Electronics. Around the age of 17, I decided to make a career of electronics. I had no previous (this life) direct involvement with it, but armed with a Navy training manual from the Ann Arbor Public Library and funds from my babysitting and odd jobs work, I took on electronics with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. It was a good balance of mass and significance for me.

2. New Age thought. I use the expression advisedly. In the late 1970s there were several things going on in the Bay Area and around the planet, and I got interested in several of them. There was Planetary Citizens, currently being run by an ex-aerospace engineer turned Zen master. Then there was Planet Drum Foundation, founded by Peter Berg. This was a back-to-nature, protect indigenous species kind of group. I took a free class at the Henry George School, a more down-to-earth organization dedicated to teaching the basics of political economy. And I also read Erick Von Daniken’s first book published in the US, Chariots of the Gods? about the ancient astronauts theory. Since this basic theme had been developing in popular culture throughout the 1900s, I had been aware of it earlier, but for some reason finally read that book in the late 1970s.

3. Computer technologies. Though they have become an integral part of most electronics gadgets, computers used to be large electromechanical devices and so required special expertise which I was not that eager to learn. However, working in electronics, the writing was on the wall, and I came to learn more than the average guy about computers and software. I did not take formal classes in the subject until recently, here in Seattle. I now put regular time into developing personal web applications.

Electronics

Interactive Environmental Devices

Such a device senses its environment by various means and produces a display in the form of lights or sounds. I hope to sell these as art forms. I have worked through two revisions of my basic designs so far. They have a long way to go. Re-using electronic “junk” is an integral part of these designs.

Demonstration Projects

This includes several different projects aimed to demonstrate various electronic and physical phenomena such as junction voltage, transistor effect, resonance, and machine control. I have a prototype of a panel that demonstrates the behavior of various electronic devices.

Private Power Systems

This is a very recent idea that I have featured on my website, but is not in hardware form. Other designers have already produced a variety of portable rechargeable off-grid power systems, but they usually include an inverter, which is absent in my design.

New Age thought

The goal of this project is to get “New Age” people to LOOK at LRH materials. They should take them as seriously as they do all the other materials that are out there. Note as of 27 June 2018: This project has been terminated.

Computer Technologies

Universal Knowledge Base

This is my attempt to develop a more semantic approach to search. I have written about this in previous posts. My first test case centers around by folders for individuals. In my system, individuals are OBJECTS, not CLASSES, and thus present a peculiar problem. Human beings are objects who like to create classes of things and then play with objects based on these classes. The whole universe is literally their playground, and it will be interesting to see if relating individuals back to the classes they like to study or talk about will be workable. So far, I have found a way to query my people folders and compare them to my people database, and rather quickly add new people to the database. Building up a database of links between people and classes is more of a challenge, however.

Personal Stats System

Everyone should run by statistics. But recording stats and creating graphs in Excel is not very fun. I have just started to create a system with 21 stats only using a web application with a database back end. As usual, my technologies of choice are Apache (web server), PHP (page pre-processor) and MySQL (relational database).

Computer Programming

I have found it difficult to make time for programming work. Though it is a valuable, skill, it is tedious work and can take LOTS of time when you’re a newbie. The number of different languages and development platforms in use today is truly daunting. I have a student version of Visual Studio, but I have seldom used it since I left school. This may be a skill that will take some compelling need to develop further. I do get a good deal of programming experience using PHP with mySQL, and that seems to be all I can tolerate right now.

I have had a long-term interest in data acquisition, industrial control, and human interfaces. And if my electronic art idea ever becomes viable, it will probably be with the help of small computers or micro controllers.

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