23 days…


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July 31st 2013.

23 days now until the boys start high school. It doesn’t flow tripping off the tongue. My sons are nearing the time they will move on. My daughter is very close to that time you can hear it in her voice. She likes being around people right now so that is the one thing that is keeping her at home I suspect. But the reality is she is month’s from moving out. The boys are probably a decade or less from moving out.

What will we do when our house is free and clear of children? First off I suspect move to a smaller house. We have successively moved from largest house (Indiana) to smaller house (Kentland’s) to smaller still house (Germantown) which means when I think about it we have the terror of moving one more time in front of us.

Dylan now has his official personal bed – Fran doesn’t go near it. The strange little dog wants that dog bed under my big principle’s desk (that used to be my father’s). My parent’s gave me the principle desk when we were in Cincinnati Ohio. It has moved with me now 3 times and is still the best desk I have ever had, partially of course because it is now Dylan’s cave, but also because my parents gave it to me.

I learned to read at this desk. And no, for my various smart aleck friends, I didn’t learn to read at this desk last week. I learned to read at this desk almost 47 years ago. My dad introduced me to the wonderful and fantastic world of Dr. Seuss while sitting at this desk. I’ve written the contents of all but three of my books while sitting at this desk. (published books – overall I have a number of books that I’ve written that could never be published they are well at best bad).

23 days.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage,

Rage against the passing of the light.

Dylan Thomas…

.doc

IASA Fellow

There are days…


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I finished my third serial story on my “other blog.” I got a great email yesterday from an old friend saying I should do a serial Fred and Ed story. Seems like a fun idea overall I may give it a whirl.

Lots going on right now. Trying to get caught up. I find myself focusing on one task and I really need to be looking at the big picture rather than that one task. Sometimes its harder.

I am taking a vacation day Friday. I just need to sleep in and relax for a day. I have a long month of August coming with lots going on so its important to stay on track and focused.

We are planning on heading back to Indiana for the first time in nearly two years for Christmas. We missed last year’s trip due to my inner ear infection so it will be good to get back to family for the holidays this year.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Rain rain go away…


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Interesting question posed to me yesterday. What could Noah’s Properties have done that would have made everything all right. Well the initial thought I had was fix the things that didn’t work the first time, and not leave a mess nearly every time they came into the house. (by the way if you are ever in the mood to rent or lease a home, I would think twice before engaging Noah’s “don’t worry we will fix it” Properties.)

But after mulling it for a bit I realized something. The reason I am frustrated with Noah’s is their poor customer service.. That service ranged from not responding to the first email or voicemail, all the way to not fixing problems for more than 18 months. I guess in the end all I needed from them was a simple “hey sorry about the (insert one of many) issues with the repair. Sorry we didn’t disclose a number of issues with the house.” Either or both of those would have been nice. In fact had they even once acknowledged that at best they didn’t do a great job working with us I would have been happy. I didn’t really need them to apologize just work with us. Now its more than an apology to put things right. Injustice is not a fine wine, it doesn’t age well.

Oh well. So the answer is longer than expected but simply had they acknowledged us as human beings I would have been fine.

Progress was made in the basement this weekend, looks like I have about two more weekends of un-packing and I will be done. Then I can have the home theater guys come in and install the home theater equipment.

Interesting question from my kids “why does it always seem to rain while we are walking.” It doesn’t but we managed to get wet two out of the last three times we were walking.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

follow up on the leap controller


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Update to the Leap Motion Controller. As noted in the earlier review (PC only) I was and did install the leap motion controller on the Mac. That was accomplished yesterday during an organization break (yes after more than 2 months we are still moving into the house, although now its more finalizing than actual moving. The home theater remains the last room to be formally touched.

Anyway no issues installing on the Macintosh. I have a slightly better desk surface for the Macintosh so I was able to use the controller more easily in space. Overall it was very impressive. Leap has adopted the apple licensing model which remains much nicer than the original Microsoft model (1 software license per machine).

I love the ability to interact with my computer in space.

There are two other projects I am waiting for. One is from Kickstarter and is a stylus and software for drawing on the iPad. I am still convinced that the end game remains somewhat  connected between your hands and the stylus. For the most part I understand Steve Jobs hatred of the pen input, but there is a level of control for us folks who grew up before touch screens that makes all the difference in the world.

So the iPad pen is the first project I am dying for. The next project is the upcoming Google/Vuzix glasses. I’ve seen a number of reviews and all are skeptical but I would like to try those myself. Sometimes reviewers are caught in their own personal view of the world.

#RIPWINP8 is a great example. I’ve seen those devices from inside and out and wonder if there is any life left there. But you have to see my review as being somewhat biased. The person who complains most about smoke in a restaurant? the reformed ex-smoker. In the end I am a #reformedwinphoneuser.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Better portable dog watering system…


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Follow me on Twitter @DocAndersen the posts are shorter but perhaps the wit is a little sharper Winking smile,

Recently the boys and I have been playing with portable dog watering devices for our walks. When it is really hot, Dylan gets uncomfortable. You can understand that his only method of cooling is panting which dehydrates a dog very quickly. So we’ve tried a number of them.

Most of them are poorly made. We’ve bought a couple that were a great idea but really poor execution. They lasted two walks and then were dead.

We found one that was intriguing but its design is lacking. We modified it with duct tape so that the bottle would stay in place.  It isn’t pretty but in the end it is effective.

Why is it that its so hard to build something like this. We’ve looked as I said at several. We’ve sent three back to Amazon simply because they didn’t do the trick.

Maybe I need to design a better one, and then launch a Kickstarter campaign to get them made. We can’t be the only people on earth worried about this particular problem.

Ah the wonder of a 3d printer. I suspect I will see if I can create the right parts to build a better dog watering system Smile

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

I feel old


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For some reason the very thought of my sons entering high school at the end of this summer is bugging me. I don’t quite know why just that it is bothering me. Seems strange that in the next 10 or so years we will have an empty house. The sounds of fighting which now seem so jarring will be gone. What sound will bother me the most then, silence?

The journey begins with the first step.

I was in Toronto Canada when Barb called me. We were awaiting confirmation that she was pregnant in 1997. We had decided to have one last child for the road. She started the conversation with are you sitting down. At the time and the moment it seemed like an odd way to start the conversation and I wasn’t sitting down. Later I would wish I had been, but luckily in the hotel room there were any sharp corners.

“We are having twins.” was the next line. I did in fact fall back onto the bed and scrambled to pick up the phone.

You hear so many people say “I just want twins so I can be one pregnancy and done.” It isn’t that easy. Barb was on bed rest from week 13 and on. Actual stay in bed, don’t get up bed rest. Jackie was a little kid but she hopped right in to take care of her mommy. She was so excited to have a little set of twin sisters. (later when she found out we were having boys around week 18, she was determined to name them “Phil and Lil” from the rug rats. I think Barb would have gone crazy without Jackie there helping and taking care of her.

Twins are different. No they don’t have their own language that they use to exclude all others but they do have a natural rhythm that is the same. They walk the same pace, often side by side.

Luke and Nick arrived in March 1998. Suddenly they are only 1.2 months from high school and frankly I feel old.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Shameless Review– LEAP controller


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I acknowledge I am a geek.

That said I got the new leap motion controller for my computer yesterday. First off let me say the following:

“HOLY FREAKING COW.”

First off I have been a windows user for more than 20 years. This is the first time since windows 95 where I sat at my computer and simply said “Wow.”

What I loved:

  • Setup was a breeze. I was up and running and using the tutorial in 9 minutes. 7 of that was waiting for the download which I suspect everyone else who pre-ordered their Leap controller was doing at the same time.
  • Introduction is freaking cool.
  • Logging into the app store – very easy.
  • They give you two USB cables one long – one short, very nice.

What could be better:

  • Clicking the app store icon takes to you a new instance of your browser view of the store.
  • support for a tripod would help

Overall a quick run-through of a very exciting application and hardware combination. They have done a great job with fit and finish. Overall this device is simply amazing. The couple of nits I have are interesting future solutions that I suspect they will include anyway.

My recommendation – run do not walk and get one. Simply put the best computing solution I’ve seen in the past year. Plus it also works with the Macintosh (that is my goal for tomorrow – setting it up and playing with it on the Macintosh as well).

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow