Tesla, leading.

In a huge and stunning move, Tesla invites all comers to help themselves to Tesla’s patents: All Our Patents Are Belong You.

Elon is refreshingly candid, explaining exactly why, “Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars.”

In other words, Tesla gathered their patents to protect against competition from the market incumbents (Ford, GM, Toyota, VW, etc.) who are almost entirely disinterested in eCars. Instead, Telsa’s most worrisome problem is a lack of consumption. If Tesla and electric cars are to succeed long term, they need to disrupt gasoline powered cars. To accomplish that, they need a thriving marketplace with strong competitors pushing forward the state of the industry.

I want a Tesla Model X more than ever.

The creativity of a child

It’s the time of year when I need to sweep the deck of Wisteria blooms daily. Today the kids were home so I called them and their neighbor friend out onto the deck. Then I shook the branches while the Wisteria plant rained petals upon them. I like to think that most any parent would have thought of turning that chore into a game. But the kids took it to the next level.

As soon as I was done shaking the vines and started sweeping them off the deck, they high tailed it down the stairs to the patio so they could relive the experience. When that was over, they loaded the flowers in buckets, carried them back upstairs onto the deck and raining them onto each other again.

Matt’s Deep-Dish Blackberry Pie

Recipe: Blackberry Pie
Yield: 9 or 10″ deep dish pie

  • 6 c. Blackberries
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp. Lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. sanding or other large grain sugar
  • 1 blind-baked pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, and starch. Reserve 1 cup of berries and fold the rest into the powder until no white powder remains. Set aside to macerate.
  3. Make the crust. Do *something* to keep the bottom crust from being soggy. Blind baking followed by an egg white wash works well. So does adding a 1/8 layer of oatmeal.
  4. Taste the filling. Add sugar to taste. Our fresh picked Washington wild blackberries tend to be plump, sweet, and easily crushed. Berries that are firm and/or tart will require more sugar. I prefer the least amount of sugar that will make the berries taste fully ripe.
  5. Fill the baked crust until just below the rim. Eat the extra filling. Spread the reserved cup of berries on top of the filling. Optionally dot the top of the pie with butter. Spray or sprinkle the lemon juice over the berries.
  6. Roll out the top crust and cover the pie. Seal and crimp the edges. Brush the top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. sanding sugar. Cut a few slits in the crust to vent.
  7. Place a pie shield over the crust and bake at 425 for 15 min. Reduce heat to 375 and bake until juices start bubbling, about 20-25 min. Cool completely.

chained commands are SMP friendly

I just wrote a command chain (something unix admins do often) that looks like this:

  1. gzcat threeGB-file.gz \
  2. | grep ‘match this’ \
  3. | grep -Ev ‘but not this’ \
  4. | cut -f1 -d’ ‘ \
  5. | uniq \
  6. | /usr/local/bin/idn -u \
  7. | tr ‘[:upper:]’ ‘[:lower:]’ \
  8. > infile.fifo &

That command pipeline decompresses a file, filters out the metadata, weeds out dupes,  converts punycode IDN names to  UTF-8, converts caps to lower case, and makes the data available as a file.

While sucking the contents of that file into a MySQL table, I noticed that each of the commands in the pipeline was running on a separate CPU core. While it’s not the same as Grand Central Dispatch, it’s fun to see just how well the Unix Philosophy had weathered the decades.

Windows is so much fun

I have a Dell R610.

  1. I want to update the firmware (BIOS, NIC, iDRAC, etc..)
  2. I can’t update the firmware using the built in Lifecycle Controller because it’s too old (as of 2012) to recognize the signatures on the current Dell firmware updates.
  3. I can’t update using a USB drive with the updates for the same reason (signature not recognized).
  4. The only path forward is to install from a host environment (Windows or Linux)
  5. I happened to have a Windows 7 installer on a USB thumb drive, and I only need the OS running for about 20 minutes, so I chose Windows, because then it can natively run the the Dell Repository Manager, which fetches the firmware updates.
  6. After installing Windows 7, I can’t install Dell Repository Manager because .NET 4 isn’t installed.
  7. I can’t install .NET 4 because SP1 is installed.
  8. I can’t install SP1 yet. Maybe because these 103 other patches need to be installed first.
  9. First attempt to install patches fails.
  10. Install a half dozen patches. Reboot. Install 25 more. (Repeat 4x)

PS: After a few dead ends, the solution to getting all the updates applied was booting the system onto Windows and installing a newer (v1.5.X) Lifecycle Controller. Once that is accomplished,  booting into it via F10 at the BIOS POST, and let the lifecycle controller upgrade everything else directly from ftp.dell.com.

IPv6 works on Comcast!

Yesterday my ancient TimeCapsule was misbehaving. Our network connection still worked, but nothing else did. Because of its age, I decided it was time to retire it from being our home’s gateway to the internet.

I reconfigured my v6 Airport Extreme and connected it to the shiny new IPv6 enabled cable modem that I installed in 2012. I had been anticipating that eventually IPv6 would arrive. My 10 year old Motorola Surfboard 5100 was retired because it didn’t support IPv6. After rebooting the Motorola SB6121 cable modem, the IPv4 network came right up. I went in to set up IPv6 tunneling and noticed I had native IPv6 addresses assigned!

Apparently Comcast rolled out IPv6 in Washington in Sept. 2013.

Lucas & Matt Veggie Soup

Dice all ingredients (small 5-8mm chunks) and dump into an 8+ quart pressure cooker pot.  Barley needs the most time, so start it immediately and then prep the veggies. Add just enough water to keep ingredients covered. Set the pot over medium heat and add:

  • 1 Matt handful and 3 Lucas handfuls of barley (~1/2 c.)
  • 5 bullion cubes (beef, chicken, whatever)
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 bunch (6) of colored carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 4 hot dogs
  • 1 Tbsp. of dried basil (or 4 fresh)
  • enough water to cover

Pressure cook for 5 minutes. Cool immediately and serve.