Tuesday, May 7, 2019

QR Codes

QR codes don't have to be ugly.

This first one streams live radio from WTLS in Tallassee Alabama.
This one should launch your favorite browser and bring you here.

These can be read because the specifications for the percent of fill or emptiness of a cell allows for less than perfect printing. Ditto for the contrast levels.

While the QR code can contain numeric, alpha-numeric or even Binary data, what your phone does with the text will depend on particular phone, operating system or App you use to scan the QR code.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


Converting a binary number into a Decimal Number is confusing.
Seems simple enough.

16 8  4  2  1   <--- The weights of the bits in a Binary Coded Decimal number (BCD)
 1  0  0  0  1    To find the decimal value just add up the weights of all the "1" bits.

So, to convert 10001 BCD to decimal, we just add 16 + 1 and get 17 decimal

To be more exact, we just converted a Binary Coded Decimal  (BCD) number to decimal.
However, BCD isn't the only way of coding a binary number.

Consider 2 of 5 binary numbers. The weight of each column is different from regular BCD.

 6  3  2  1  0     The weights of the bits in a 2 of 5 coded binary number (2 of 5)
 1  0  0  0  1      Again, we just add up the weights of the "1" bits.
                         So 6 + 0 = 6
In 2 of 5, we always have 5 bits and two of them are "1"s while the others are "0"s

Here is the complete list:

6 3 2 1 0 <--- The weights of the bits in a Binary Coded Decimal number (BCD)
0 0 0 1 1     1 + 0 = 1
0 0 1 0 1     2 + 0 = 2
0 1 0 0 1     3 + 0 = 3
0 1 0 1 0     3 + 1 = 4
0 1 1 0 0     3 + 2 = 5
1 0 0 0 1     6 + 0 = 6
1 0 0 1 0     6 + 1 = 7
1 0 1 0 0     6 + 2 = 8
1 1 0 0 0     6 + 3 = 9
0 0 1 1 0    2 + 1 =  0  (there are two ways to form "3", so this combination is taken to be zero.)

Notice that there is no way to combine two "1"s and three zeros to represent a decimal zero. Yet, there are two ways to convert a decimal 3 to two of five binary,

6 3 2 1 0  <--- The weights
0 1 0 0 1     3 + 0 = 3
0 0 1 1 0     2 + 1 =  3 


Future Paleontologist.

This has to be the only Science fiction  movie ever made that is also classified as a musical.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Movie Shorts on DUST - Frankie

My movie pick this week is Frankie(click to watch)
Frankie is an inventor and watchmaker with severe OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
When he receives an old pocket watch, he discovers it is a time machine. 

The only problem is that he is not the only one who wants this watch. Frankie is also paranoid.
He becomes obsessed with a stranger who Frankie believes is going to steal the time machine.

An almost silent film with few words. If the ending leaves you a little confused, it's supposed to. It's about the Grandfather Paradox. Your not supposed to be able to go back in time and kill your grandparents because you would never have been born.
Frankie is a "pure-bred" sci-fi adventure with retro elements. I love the timer Frankie made that is a modified part of an old hair curler. 
Here is a wallpaper I made for Frankie. Download it and set it as your desktop background.
My wallpaper for Frankie.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Bobs home made drive.

As a geek, I like speed. But, I'm a cheep geek. Spending a grand for a hard drive is fatuous. Especially when I can build one that is four times faster, for one fourth the price. 

While You can buy enterprise grade PCIe disk drives, they are pricey. An Intel 1 TB PCIE SSD drive  is over a thousand bucks.

My home built internal drive uses the same intel SSD chips mounted on four M.2 drives. The ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 card holds 4 M.2 256GB SSDs. But, instead  of just four data lanes, it puts the drives on 16 PCIe data lanes.

Some cautions here. In order to work your motherboard and processor chip must supply 16 lanes of data to the PCIe slot where you plug in the Hyper card. Most won't. You must use a Intel processor that has 44 lanes, not 16 or 28. The CPU chip must also support VROC, (Virtual Raid on CPU). VROC is a hardware RAID controller built into some i7 and i9 Intel CPUs. I used a i9-9720 chip and an ASUS Prime Delux II motherboard. The drives I used are the Intel 9720p 256GB and the ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 Card.

The Bios on the Asus motherboard will load a VROC extension and allow you to create a RAID-0 of the four individual Intel M.2 drives. When you install Windows 10 you can load a driver from Intel for the combined drives during the Windows 10 installation. The four M.2 drives will then show up as a single drive when you boot Windows. The drive will be drive C: so EVERYTHING will be fast.

  • 2.90 gigahertz Intel Core i9-7920X
  • 768 kilobyte primary memory cache
  • 12288 kilobyte secondary memory cache
  • 16896 kilobyte tertiary memory cache
  • 64-bit ready
  • Multi-core (12 total)
  • Hyper-threaded (24 total) 
  • Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
  • UEFI: American Megatrends Inc. 0210 10/08/2018 
  • Intel Raid 0 Volume [Hard drive] (973.01 GB) -- drive 4, s/n Volume 0, SMART Status: Healthy
The difference between using Four lanes of data and using 16 lanes of data will blow your socks off.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Rendering Terry Redlin paintings in 3D

Is it even possible on a PC?

Best Friends
Best friends is a panoramic overview of several buildings, bridges and locations that can be found in other painting by America's favorite artist, Terry Redlin.

Would it be possible to draw his world in 3D?
Look at the barn, In it's simplest form it is just 4 walls and four roof panels with bitmap images stamped on them. Just 6 objects to render.

But what about the fence? Not just the one in the foreground. Look close and there are fences around all those fields. And telephone poles. And two dozen other buildings. But that is nothing compared to rendering the trees. Use Microsof't's 3D Paint app and download a realistic evergreen. How many pine needles are there on just one tree? I count over a hundred trees in just the "Best Friends" painting.

Terry created hundreds of paintings. These two show one homestead. One looks east while the other looks west. Perfect for creating 3D images.
Terry painted real places. Buildings in the background of one print show up in other prints.

While we can obviously create a video biography and fly a virtual drone through all his paintings, the question is, can this be done on a ordinary PC? I created a 3D image with two barns and a house. Then I rendered a video walkthrough at 30 fps for just 7 seconds. A modern quad core PC took 28-1/2 minutes to render this short video.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Captain Charles Reed Grosh

The Story of Captain Charles Reed Grosh. This is some information I am putting together about my dad for my grandson who has asked about his great grandfather.
0000 Introduction

0005 Studies
Charles graduated high school, worked in a bakery and attended the Ohio Institute of Aeronautics. He wanted to be and aircraft mechanic like his father.

When World War II broke out he and his older brother joined the Army. Charles qualified for the Army Air Corps and learned to fly.
0010 Trainee

0020 Airman First Class

The allies were trying to free Italy from Germany.  Charles was sent to North Africa. As a fighter pilot, he would escort allied bombers into Italy.
0040 North Africa
After the bomber dropped their loads on the german supply lines, the American fighters would drop down to tree level and search for more german trucks and trains that were supplying the German soldiers who had invaded Italy.
0050 Italy

Charles took this photo of Italy while searching for German supply lines.

Back in Camp

After a mission across the Mediterranean, Charles would try to catch some sleep before dark. During the night the germans would bomb the allied bases in North Africa. The Allied anti-aircraft guns defending the base would make it impossible to sleep at night.
060 Camp Life
In the morning the desert around camp would be littered with busted up German bombers. Having learned about aircraft mechanics, Charles and other pilots along with their flight crews began salvaging parts from the German bombers, together they were able to build a complete German plane. Their commander would not let then try to fly it because all the instruments were in German and he was afraid they would crash it. He didn't want to lose any pilots, or waste any fuel, on such a foolish adventure.

Meanwhile - Back In Italy

An Italian mayor wanted to get his family out of Italy because of all the bombing. He convinced a German pilot defector to fly him and his family out of Italy to North Africa. They landed at Charles's base. Now Charles had a german pilot that knew how to fly a german bomber. The squadron convinced the base commander to let them fly a reconnaissance mission over Germany in the rebuilt bomber. Together with the german pilot, they flew over Germany taking photos. The german defector even convinced the german ground control to let them land and refuel the bomber so they could extend the spying activity.

Charles's Flight crew.

0080 Fellow Pilots