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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware For Bandwidth Management?

LoRdTAW Re:I'd seriously think about a dedicated router (98 comments)

I concur.

Been running m0n0wall for about 5 years on an Alix board and for many years before that on a P3 500. Never had to reboot it once. When my WAP54g started to flake out I replaced it with an Ubiquiti UniFi UAP which blows the old Linksys WAP54g away. The old 54g could barely push a signal 2 floors down to the kitchen, living room, and the basement was a dead zone. Now I have a strong signal throughout the house. It has a boat load of features and is 70 bucks on newegg.

I did not know about the APU.1C, thanks for posting that. The only thing is m0n0wall is not SMP aware, though it will run on an SMP system like the APU.1C. You are better off running pfSense which has SMP and 64 bit support. That board should have no issues pushing over 100Mbps while running multiple services and VPN encryption. My only concern is the use of Realtek gigabit chips. I wish there were Intel nics on there.

Soekris Engineering makes some pretty solid hardware but it comes at a price. The net 6501 has up to 2GB ram, single core Atom 1.6Ghz, 4 intel Gigabit ports, SATA, mSATA/USB, mPCIe and up to 2 PCIe x1 slots for actual PCIe cards. A top of the line 6501-70 and case will run you $470 without any accessories (storage, power supply, etc.). Before the 6501 came out I was going to buy a net 5501 but I couldn't justify the price so I went with the Alix.

2 days ago
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Anyone Can Buy Google Glass April 15

LoRdTAW Testing...testing...testing...1...2...3 (167 comments)

Sounds like Google is testing the waters of demand for glass. It would be interesting to see the actual number of glass units sold. My guess it they are using this as an indicator if they should continue to push glass in its current form, abandon the project or make a big change.

about a week ago
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Interviews: Ask Bre Pettis About Making Things

LoRdTAW Re:Materials (69 comments)

The problem is cost. The best process is sintering using either a laser or electron beam. Additive systems using a welding head are nowhere near accurate and very dirty in terms of smoke and soot. Sintering has its own can of worms including a cheap source of powdered or granular metals.

To sinter with a laser you need a laser and a box to put it inside of filled with an inert gas like nitrogen or argon. Nitrogen is cheap but people would have to buy or rent gas cylinders and keep up on getting new filled cylinders from a gas or welding supply company. Not exactly user friendly.
Now for the laser: A 500 watts cheap, compact, continuous wave laser would be needed but from my research, they don't exist. The ideal laser source would be a fiber laser. They are simply a cluster of LED's and the fiber that couples them together is the laser gain medium. The fibers then feed into a delivery fiber and off to the workpiece or yet another coupler to add more LED clusters. A CO2 laser would also work but they are bulky, inefficient and need a lot of cooling. I work with both NdYAG and fiber lasers so I know the industry. And the industry for fiber lasers is a patent minefield. So good luck getting a cheap 500+W fiber laser. Our 4kW IPG YLS-4000 ran us almost $300,000 including chiller, fibers and beam delivery head.
From the laser you need a galvo scanner to scan the beam around the powder surface. The galvo scanner might actually be an easy hack using cheap galvanometers.

Electron beam sintering. As crazy as it sounds, EB sintering is probably the better way to go. You don't need shield gas and the purity of a vacuum leads to higher quality parts. The only issue is again cost and bulk. You need a vacuum chamber of sufficient size and a decent pumping system including a high vacuum pump, either turbo or diffusion. Though I bet you could build one the size of a larger mini fridge. The electron gun is simply a tungsten wire or ribbon and the beam is deflected using what is analogous to the deflection coils in a CRT. And we all (well mostly) should know we can scan in the 10's of kHZ so printing can be very fast. A 60kV power supply of about 5-10mA would suffice (about 600W). All you would need to do maintenance wise is keep a stock of filaments, keep the chamber door seals clean, ensure your vacuum pump oil level is good and have plenty of powdered metal. The expensive part is the vacuum system could cost well over 10 grand.

about two weeks ago
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Land Rover Demos "Transparent Hood"

LoRdTAW Re:Off-roading? (172 comments)

How many Land Rover owners actually off-road? Im guessing a small fraction of a percent. These cars are more of a luxury vehicle than practical offroader. The transparent hood is just a marketing gimmick to get people to buy a Land Rover. The main market for these cars are yuppies and soccer moms with money. They don't have to ford rivers, climb a steep hill or drive down muddy dirt roads after a monsoon to buy groceries, make it to their hair appointment or commute to work.

about two weeks ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

LoRdTAW Re:"smallpox OR guns OR other unknown diseases" (351 comments)

Wait .. Should I stop drinking Old English and start drinking 20/20 or sould I simply stop drinking altogether? Or should I drink both to work at a ren fair?

about two weeks ago
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A Conversation with Ubuntu's Jono Bacon (Video)

LoRdTAW Re:had to be said (53 comments)

Stop feeding the trolls. All it does is give them a laugh as they prepare to reap the butthurt they have sewn. The best way to deal with a troll is to NOT REPLY and let them get modded down. No butthurt = no joy for them. Total defeat.

about two weeks ago
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Smart Car Tipping Trending In San Francisco

LoRdTAW Re:It's not trending. (371 comments)

He just enjoys feeling superior to others. I would just leave the post hanging and not reply. Takes the wind right out of their sails.

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

LoRdTAW Re:reasons to be fired (1112 comments)

I doubt he would drop a live grenade and then proceed to stand there and talk.

about two weeks ago
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Seagate Releases 6TB Hard Drive Sans Helium

LoRdTAW Re:Why not? (147 comments)

Helium is so good at leaking it is used to test for leaks using a mass spectrometer leak tester.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?

LoRdTAW Re:It does work (219 comments)

Thanks for that. It certainly was a pretty cool thing to see. I tried to convince my father to get a BUD but he would never pay for TV, not even cable.

about two weeks ago
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Interview: John McAfee Answers Your Questions

LoRdTAW WOW (124 comments)

As much as people might abhor his actions it really is an amazing interview.

Thanks John.

about two weeks ago
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Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

LoRdTAW Re:Now it's the grid engineers' problem to solve.. (227 comments)

The gas stations would have to have their own substations and high voltage service to do 30 second electric car charges. And a typical gas station has about 8 pumps. So 80MW to charge 8 cars in 30 seconds is going to be a killer unless you run a 120kV ~400A service to the gas station. Overhead lines would be a no go in many areas and underground lines are super expensive to lay. All that for a gas station.

A single 10.2 MW "pump" would require 430A @ 13.8kV. Or run 69kV to the pump and have an 86A circuit.

A bit more practical would be to aim for 5 minute charges. People can just chill in their cars and wait for them to charge in a few minutes, offer them free wifi while they wait. That would require 1.02MW per pump so a station of 8 pumps at full load would draw about 69A at 69kV which is a bit more practical. Of course they would still need a sizeable substation to step the voltage down to 480V or 600V 3 phase for the chargers. And then each pump would need a 1000-1200A breaker and multiple large cables. Imagine the cooling necessary for the switching bank in each of those pumps, they would be enormous. A better idea would be to build service stations on top of a pit filled with the substation and chargers. Liquid cool everything and a simple pump looking terminal up top with the charge cable would be the only thing visible. The footprint would also stay the same and cooling towers be located on the roof of the service stations shelter canopy. Or large ducts could be built to circulate air through the stations electric pit. The only concern would be flooding but that would be solved in the planning stages.

And then think about how large a 1.02MW charger cable would have to be. From a quick google the tesla batteries are 375 volts. So to pump 1.02MW @ 375V you have a charge current of 2720 Amps. The thickest cables for building service are 2000 MCM which is about the thickness of a baseball bat and needs to be bent with a hydraulic bender. Using special high temp jackets and such they are only rated to 1800A. They would have to make thinner flexible liquid cooled charger cables or invest in superconductors to make them practical. That or instead of a cable an arm that can be easily positioned via a spring or motor assist with heavy copper bus bars inside or liquid cooled conductors. It would look like an industrial robot arm and even grandma could maneuver it.

about two weeks ago
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Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

LoRdTAW Just need a bigger power supply. (227 comments)

If a 2000 ma/hr (2 amp/hr) battery supplies 2 amps for a full hour then we need to put the same amount of current in reverse to fully charge it. So a 2 amp charger can charge a (dead) 2A/hr battery in 1 hour. To do it in 30 seconds we need a heck of a lot more current. So a little math reveals that to charge it in a minute we would need 2A*60min = 120A/min charge current. And for 30 seconds we would need 240 Amps. Though I bet most people won't be charging stone dead batteries.

30 amps could charge a dead battery in 4 minutes. And the power supply wouldn't be that large, though it would have to be table top and have some heavy gauge cables coming out of it. Another issue is a new charge connector would be needed to handle the current. We might have to go back to charge cradles with large contacts.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon's Fire TV: Is It Worth Game Developers' Time?

LoRdTAW Re:Answer... (88 comments)

The majority of consumers don't read Slashdot.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon's Fire TV: Is It Worth Game Developers' Time?

LoRdTAW Re:Answer... (88 comments)

Depends on where the developer thinks the money is. Ask anyone on the street if they have heard of Ouya. My bet is almost no one will know who or what Ouya is. Then ask them if they have heard of Amazon. I'm guessing a very large percentage, probably over 90%.

Amazon has tons of money they can devote towards marketing for such a device. Far more than Ouya could dream of. So one could surmise that FireTV will have far more exposure and therefore has the potential to become a lucrative platform. It's certainly worth the risk.

about two weeks ago
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How interested are you in Virtual Reality tech?

LoRdTAW Re:VR again? (202 comments)

I don't think the virtual boy is a good example. Plus it was released around 1995. There were multiple problems with its design. The biggest problem with it was you had to stand it on a table and lean forward to stick your head into it which was very uncomfortable. You wanted to put your hands on the table but you couldn't as you were holding the controller. The scan rate was very low so it was not only physically uncomfortable to use but it also was almost painful to look at. Then add a bunch of crappy games and you had a total failure.

Real VR is yet to mature but we are getting there. The main hurdle appears to be refreshrate and high resolution screens. But we are getting close.

I wouldn't write it off yet. But I am not jumping on any bandwagon until the tech is mature and not tied to a social behemoth.

about three weeks ago
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Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

LoRdTAW Re:Grabs popcorn (518 comments)

Sounds like someone missed their morning coffee. That or you need mental help.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?

LoRdTAW Re:It does work (219 comments)

I had a friend whose family had a house in the mountains. They had TVRO and a BUD, I think there were two boxes one was some kind of amplifier or power injector and the other was the actual tuner.

Every so often they had to have the dish realigned to the satellites or something like that. They would pay a satellite technician something like one hundred dollars to come in and perform the alignment. He would actually chase everyone out of the room to perform his magical feat of calibration. My friend hid a video camera to see what the guy was doing (back then it was a tough ordeal as they used VHS tapes and were enormous). Turns out they guy simply went into a menu and punched in some numbers that were available in the monthly guide. My friends father ripped the guy a new asshole after he found out he was taken for a ride.

The fun part about BUD TV was you could receive uplinks from reporters/camera crews in the field. So you see a reporter standing there playing with his tie, conversing, picking his nose etc. Then suddenly he would stiffen up and a few seconds later make his report, go silent, ask if he was finished and then walk off camera. The feed would either continue for some time or go blank.

about three weeks ago
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Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

LoRdTAW Re:Grabs popcorn (518 comments)

When reversing I use my mirrors almost exclusively. Turning your head only gives you a nice view of the roof pillars. For some idiotic reason they teach you that in drivers ed. When I first took drivers ed in high school they make you stick your right arm behind the passenger seat headrest and turn your head to the right. That may work in some vehicles but with increased rollover protection in the form of thick roof pillars and the current trend of chopped roof look you have an obstructed rear view. Nevermind you can't see to your left and in front of you.

When I first learned to drive I started out in large vans and trucks (also pulling trailers) where rear view mirrors were non existent; all you had were your side mirrors. It also helped that my teacher was a retired truck driver with 25+ years behind the wheel of just about any kind of large on-road vehicle you can imagine. First rule: USE YOUR MIRRORS! Don't stop looking and always assume something or someone is in your way. Second rule: take it slow, there is no reason to rush. Third rule: always know your surroundings. Are there kids around? Are there any poles or obstacles along side you that you might forget? Anything behind you that you might forget? Is there a lot of foot traffic where you are parking? All of those things must be taken into account when driving anything, be it a smart car or a semi pulling a 20 meter long 100 ton lowboy.

I have no trouble backing up and I take my time. The number one issue when reversing are people who aren't paying attention and blindly walk or drive behind you. But you have to expect that when reversing. Simply go slow and use your mirrors. Another thing I like are convex "fish eye" mirrors. On trucks they are a must but I find they are a good addition to cars as well to help eliminate blind spots.

Even after taking everything into account there you can't avoid everything. I was hit when reversing out of a parking spot and the guy tried to blame me. Turns out he was fighting with his girlfriend when driving and didn't see me. He tried to blame it on me and intimidate me to pay cash on the spot. I told him either the cops are called or we part ways, no cash. He jumped in his car and sped off like a maniac. Assholes like those are always out there and you cant avoid them all.

about three weeks ago
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Michael Abrash Joins Oculus, Calls Facebook 'Final Piece of the Puzzle'

LoRdTAW Re: Facebook is written in php (232 comments)

Do you really believe the only way Facebook can make money from this is to turn it into a Facebook device?

Late reply but, Yes. Its pretty much a no-duh answer. They spent TWO BILLION. They must see and awfully big opportunity to make much more money to drop that spend that much. They may not tie it in at first. But sooner or later they will start throwing money at developers to make facebook enabled VR games. And it all goes downhill from there.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Linux embedded system needed for a project

LoRdTAW LoRdTAW writes  |  more than 5 years ago

LoRdTAW writes "I am in the process of designing a custom heating control system for my home. Its an older house with steam heat and the heating is very uneven and I believe wasting allot of energy. Instead of spending upward of 30,000 dollars to upgrade (and ripping the house apart) I want to create a system to help me make my house more energy efficient and give me something to brag about. I am a Linux guy and I want a low power Linux powered x86 system with vendor expandable I/O options (Digital I/O, analog I/O, key pad, LCD, 1 wire etc.), removable flash storage (SD/CF) and RS232 / Ethernet interface for PC connection. The hardware needs to be easy for me to work with, I don't want to have to re-invent the wheel trying to get digital/analog I/O and external communications working together. An all in one development kit that includes the hardware, compiler and vendor I/O modules is a must. The local storage is important because I don't want to dedicate a power hungry PC for logging, it must be stored locally and remotely accessible for analysis when needed. Thermostat units are going to be built with the help of my friend who is experienced with PIC micro and the 1 wire bus. As for programming language, C is preferred but any language will do as long as it is flexible enough for my needs. The interface is going to be a small character or graphical lcd with a button pad and some led's."

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