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Category: work

Doughnet Adapter

The Doughnet Adapter, as seen on 15-Jul-2008. This was assembled in 2000 or 2001 from a Compaq loopback adapter and Dunkin Doughnuts doughnut hole. The N label (done in Sharpie) has faded with time.

This is the Doughnet Adapter, a very special network adapter I assembled in 2000 or 2001 from a Dunkin’ Doughnuts doughnut hole and a Compaq loopback cable. It has occasionally been branded with an N, but this seems to fade a year or so after it’s written.

I’ve kept the Doughnet Adapter in one of the overhead cabinets in my cube since I made it, finally bringing it home tonight so that I could photograph it.

A few months back I broke off a small piece from the bottom and tasted it. It is rancid, but still quite sweet and smells faintly of vegetable oil.

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GM Eliminates Retiree Healthcare

As part of General Motors’ press release from this morning (this link may only work in IE), it has been announced that:

…health care coverage for U.S. salaried retirees over 65 will be eliminated, effective January 1, 2009. Affected retirees and surviving spouses will receive a pension increase from GM’s over funded U.S. salaried plan to help offset costs of Medicare and supplemental coverage.

This is awful. I can only hope that it helps push through some manner of base level (at least) socialized health care in the US.

Oh, and (as of right now) the stock is up almost 6%.

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Lots of Driving

These last two days have found me driving to Lansing each day to work towards sorting some work stuff out. It was about 240 miles each day, and thankfully that’ll be reimbursed.

Today when I got home I ended up going on a 15-16 mile bike ride, just to get out and about a do something. Unfortunately, after the 55 mile ride and today, I’ve found that the spokes in the new wheels are creaking a bit, and some of them are quite loose. I think I will need to take them to someone who can properly tension / readjust them. I’d do them myself, but the tool is $55, and I’m still without a truing stand.

Now that I’ve finished replying to email and balancing my checkbook I think I’ll relax for a bit, then get some sleep. I’ll probably need it.

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Bus Routes To Work

I just decided to look up the bus routes to work, via this area’s wonderful SMART bus system.

It turns out that there actually is one bus route which I could take to work, number 559. The closest stop to my house is Lakeside Mall and the nearest to work is Hamlin and Squirrel, meaning that I have to cover 3.4 miles from my house to the stop, then around another .75 miles after the destination stop (without sidewalks) to the building I work in.

The times are also pretty pitiful, with the westbound buses (yes, there are only two) leaving at 5:51am and 6:48am, arriving at 6:14am and 7:11am, respectively. The eastbound (home, again only two) busses are at 3:33pm and 4:38pm, arriving 4:38pm 5:00pm.

This isn’t really usable. If you’d like to see the route for yourself, look up route 559 here.

I think I’d have to get up particularly early bike the first segment, hope the bike rack on the bus works acceptably on the highway, bike the last bit, then find a place for my bike. I may as well just bike the whole thing.

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Clean, Clean Feet

There is something surprisingly satisfying about washing one’s feet (and thus hands) after working a bunch.

After another very sleepy class today I stopped at Sears and picked up a small scale (inch pounds) torque wrench (the same as borrowed earlier) along with some bits. I then cleaned up parts from my bike a bit, confirmed the torque on parts like the cranks, hand grips, and a few other things. Come Monday (I believe) I’ll be able to reassemble it with the new wheels and brakes, and the torque wrench should make it lots easier.

Sweeping, cleaning, and lots of wandering around had turned the bottoms of my feet deep gray, so it was into the bath tub to wash them off. They feel really nice now.

I think now I’ll run out to Sears and return the bits, as [info]replika is going to facilitate my acquisition of an adapter which will make them useless. Then I’ll grab some food, come back here, and probably start reading the Official (ISC)²® Guide to the CISSP® CBK® which I received in class today. I strongly suspect it’ll be more useful than the training materials I’ve been given thus far.

For what it’s worth, I’m taking the New Horizons Training for CISSP Certification. It isn’t a formal CISSP class and I’m finding it a bit strange. The instructor seems okay, but he’s living up to the stereotypes of someone who would teach an “ethical hacking” class, which he does. It’s a bit bothersome, particularly in the way which he’s made some direct, but inaccurate statements about technical issues. For example: no matter what it’s always possible to hack into a service listening on a port, DSL uses the unused phone wires coming into your house, an SMTP packet won’t contain a TCP header, and a few other things which I’ve forgotten.

The class is very pointedly designed to teach only the things known to be on the test. I would prefer a much faster paced class, but I think it’ll be useful as I’m now feeling reasonably confidant that I can pass the CISSP exam. I guess it’s a good thing I’ve worked doing what I do at EDS for so long; it means I have the paper / job qualifications to get the cert too.

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HP/EDS and Fog

Fog seen looking out my front window / doorwall on the morning of 13-May-2008.

When I was leaving for work this morning, and throughout almost the entire drive, it was abnormally foggy. This was really nice, as I like fog, I just wish I could have gone out in the woods on my bike and enjoyed it that way.

Also, it’s been confirmed that HP is going to buy EDS. I don’t know many details, except that EDS will probably maintain its name / brand, and that the drastic (~25% or so) increase in EDS’ share price made my 401(k) go up a bit, which is kinda nice.

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Updated Resume

Page 1 of the latest copy of my resume, updated on 02-May-2008, just after midnight.

Today after getting home from work I decided that I would finally update my resume. It wasn’t updated for any particular reason, but I felt that I should condense it a bit, incorporate the work I’ve been doing for the past six months or so, and generally tighten it up. So, I did.

While I still need to put together the plaintext copy (which shouldn’t be too difficult), and barring any last minute quirks or tweaks that might be needed, it’s done. If you would like to see it, here’s a PDF copy: steve_vigneau_resume_02may2008.pdf

If you are one of those folks who just doesn’t like PDFs, here’s it in two 150dpi PNGs: Page 1 · Page 2

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/mode +w #beer

Victory's Hop Wallop poured into a glass. It's a somewhat syrupy, very hoppy beer. I like it.

Tonight I ended up staying at work until about 8:20pm helping a coworker out with something. It’s not set and he’s on vacation tomorrow, so I’ll end up working on it too. Ah well.

Since I got home too late to go ride my bike I ended up boxing up Ivan’s P3, making a frozen pizza, then watching some TiVo’d stuff and WTVS-HD before wandering back up here to my computer. So, why did I box up the P3? Well, remember the failing PLED post? Yep, it’s bad. While the first one didn’t display very well, the second doesn’t display at all.

I had actually emailed the pictures of the questionable display (1, 2) to the tech support people at Crystalfontz to see if what I was seeing really is indicative of a failing PLED. One of the tech support people replied, confirming that it is what I thought, and suggesting a replacement display. If you’d like to read the whole thread between the tech support person and I, it’s archived as a PNG here.

So, now Ivan is sorting out grabbing a new LCD and then I’ll get back to work on his P3. For now I’ve boxed it up and it’s sitting in a safe place, above ground level, not below any water pipes.

My next (current?) project is now a set of PCBs similar to the RS232 to Eaton Leonard Level Shifter boards which I did last year, but instead accepting ~7VDC – ~40VDC (or straight 5VDC) for the power, with the conversion being handled by a reference implementation of a switching supply. (This is the supply whose ripple is shown here.) The parts are ordered for the first run of them, I just need to wait until they arrive, confirm the footprints, order the PCBs, test, and build.

But for now? I rest.

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