Friday, November 17, 2017

THPOE


Yesterday was spent at Disneyland. For me, mostly at California Adventure since I had never been there before. It is built on what used to be the Disneyland parking lot. We met some friends of Bridget’s oldest son who got us park hopper passes for the day. Very generous of them as they are limited to the number of such passes in any given year. They get them as an employee benefit. We had a wonderful day exploring THPOE aka "The Happiest Place on Earth" and finished the day at the laser/water show (video to be added later). In spite of the crowds, I still enjoy the Disney parks. This one opened in 2001 which shows how long it’s been since I last visited. Actually, I was in the area about four years ago attending an Educause conference but was “strongly encouraged” not to go into the park. I didn’t and just spent an evening exploring Downtown Disney. 

Most of the photos of the day are still on my camera. I'm working on the IPv6 video today so I'll take a look at the pictures later. These photos, including the video, are from the iPhone. This one form the Little Mermaid ride was pretty dark. I was just curious how the phone would do. With the exception of the Cars ride, we mostly went to the less busy attractions. Some other guests clued us in on the "single rider" line for Cars. They seat three to a row and they fill the 3rd seat from the single rider line. Instead of a forty-five-minute wait, it was closer to ten minutes.

The Soaring ride may be my favorite. It was like you were flying over, under, through all of these well-known locations around the world such as Kilimanjaro, the Eifel Tower, the Great Wall, and Monument Valley. A very cool ride made even more interesting by the scents and mist coming out of vents towards you as while traversing the sites. We actually waited the forty minutes for that ride.

For me, the most disturbing part was a sore knee. This has never been an issue in the past even when walking three times the distance. Yesterday was only about nine miles. A distance I used to walk on an almost daily basis.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

WTRE in Fairbanks

This afternoon, there was a get together for the group of four KLR with home-crafted side cars, Where the Road Ends. They left Prudhoe Bay on Saturday (I think) and arrived in Fairbanks last night (Monday). Rich, the rider from Fairbanks shown in the picture, thanked me for the Grip-Stud recommendation though he only had them on the rear tire of his bike. He mentioned that he looked all over Fairbanks for more but couldn’t find any. I still had around a hundred left from my last order so they bought whatever I had. I also mentioned that Goldstream Sports had the smaller ones in stock. One of the employees was there and showed the size they had in stock and if they wanted some, she would open the store early for them tomorrow.

Most of them were using the screw style studs and were sliding all over the road. I mentioned that they only seemed to last around 20-30 miles before wearing out. That seemed to be their experience as well. JedR, one of the Fairbanks Ural riders, transported some of their rigs from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay in his trailer. They also have a support van and equipment trailer. I’m not sure what is actually being carried in the sidecar rigs. For cost reasons, they opted to design and build their own sub-frames and sidecars. They do seem very sturdy though the small wheel on the sidecar seemed an odd choice.

The sidecars will be dropped off as soon as they are done with the snow and ice. Initial plans were to drop them off in the Pacific Northwest. I wish the group the best of luck and will be following their adventures. Especially the notorious Darian Gap. Total trip duration is expected to be five months. Much more info is on their website and the following promotional video.



Friday, November 10, 2017

No Riding

It’s been a hectic week. And the Ural is still tucked in the back of the garage though now it is no longer surrounded with 540 lbs of gravel. All of that is not in the bed of the truck for snowplow ballast. Plus the truck handles much better on the slippery roads. When I tried to pull the tarp off of the plow, it was held down by a large block of ice formed from rain dripping off the roof and pooling on the tarp. The plow was moved into the garage to allow the block to thaw a bit. After a little prompting with an ice chisel, it broke loose.

The weather is less than ideal for riding. Many of the side roads have a layer of ice which is now covered with snow. Not as slick as it was while we were out of town but still bumpy with lots of ruts frozen into the ice.

This first picture was taken from the Butrovich Building at the university. I had stopped by my office to look for my old HP 32S calculator. You are not allowed to use the iPhone calculator during the amateur radio test and there are a number of questions where you need trig functions, log functions, exponents, and square roots. Much easier with a calculator and, in my case, easier if the calculator uses RPN (reverse polish notation). I haven’t used the calculator for over ten years. But the batteries are surprisingly still good!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Heading Home



It was raining in PA when we left this morning. It was raining in Chicago as we passed through. And it’s now raining/sleeting in Seattle. Not very nice traveling weather. Actually “passing through” Chicago isn’t really a good description. American Airlines refused to check our luggage through to Alaska so we had to retrieve our checked bags and re-check them in on Alaska Airlines. The rub was that they weren’t open for several hours. So we hogged a table at the Starbucks next to baggage claim for several hours. 



On Saturday evening, I did get a chance to visit an old friend that I knew in Fairbanks back in the early ‘80s. He was originally from Lancaster and opted to return there. We is a very talented carpenter/artist as evidenced by the canoe. Unfortunately, it was a short visit as we needed to get packed for our 5am departure for the airport.

This post was done using BlogTouch Pro on the iPad. If you tried clicking on the wonderful rainy window photo you’ll see that nothing happens. The app uploads smaller versions of the picture to conserve bandwidth. I don’t think that there is a better solution. Someone suggested Blogo but it won’t stay running for more than a minute at a time each time creating a new blank draft post. Not very functional for me. This is on an iPad Pro.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

E-Town, PA

On Wednesday afternoon, we arrived in Elizabethtown, PA, after a very early flight out of Chicago. This is not where we are staying but I thought that it was a pretty impressive building when driving up the entrance road. I ended up walking out later as there wasn’t anyplace to park the car. Shoulders on roads seem to be rare in this state. Why waste all the extra asphalt on an unnecessary bit of road. 
 
Oh well, I needed the exercise anyway. The weather forecast for today claims 70°F for the high. It felt really warm on my morning stroll at 58°F probably due to the lack of wind. West Chicago felt really cold with the wind and humidity. Right now, I’m enjoying sitting in a screened in porch on the third floor of a housing unit overlooking the local countryside. It really is a nice area to visit. 
 
On Thursday afternoon, we went to Hershey, PA, to visit the Chocolate Town store. Lots of chocolate including some varieties that aren’t available anywhere else. Such as the coffee mocha Hershey Kiss. The guy handing out samples said that they were “made right here in Hershey”. I told him that according to the animated TV commercial, all of them were made here. He replied with “you can’t always believe what you see on TV”.

But we did find Fall (again) but this time with some red. Something besides the boring yellows of Alaska. A lot of trees haven’t changed yet but it’s not like we are going to be sitting around waiting for the color change. And the forecast was right on. It’s 70°F right now at 3:30pm. Pretty nice. Especially when compared to the ice storms we keep hearing about back in Fairbanks.

This post was done on the iPad and to get the formatting I wanted, I needed to use the BlogPad Pro app to upload the photos, BlogTouch Pro for easy text entry, and Mobile Safari to fix the html formatting errors generated by BlogPad Pro. And even then, the pictures are still lower resolution versions. Someone needs to write a good iPad, Blogger compatible posting program. There seems to be good WordPress apps but no Blogger apps. I prefer Blogger due to the Google authentication for commenting. For some reason, that seems to be missing in WordPress. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Another Day, Another Flight


There was a lot of traffic in the Chicago freeways at 6am. Where is everyone going? We are back in the airport waiting for an American Airlines flight to PA. Here at O’Hare, TSA has there act together especially when compared to Fairbanks. It was a long line but it was moving almost continuously. Plus, just like before all your stuff remains packed. No complaints here. 


Monday, October 30, 2017

West Chicago

We arrived in Chicago on Saturday morning 24 hours after we planned on due to a mechanical problem in Fairbanks on Thursday evening. We stayed at the La Quinta near the airport since it wasn’t much more than the Uber/Lyft charge if we went home. It’s nice to know that they have a “local” discount. All weekend, I’ve been getting messages from public safety on the horrible roads in the Fairbanks area. Freezing rain, ice building up on the roads. It seems to be a good time to be out of town.

We spent Saturday wandering around West Chicago through several shopping areas. We had lunch at Portillo’s for a Chicago style hot dog. Complete with bright green relish and small peppers. A nice treat. In the afternoon, we stopped at Cantigny Park to take a short tour of the Robert McCormick House, the beautiful grounds, and the 1st Division Museum. This is our grandson and his mom enjoying the sunshine in one of the many gardens. He was semi-patiently waiting to go climb on the many tanks on display such as the M41A3 pictured below. 

M41A3
The 1st Division Museum had quite a few exhibits highlighting some of their history and many battles. There was even an virtual reality display using Oculus Rift headsets of an urban warfare training exercise. Lots of memorabilia and personal stories were highlighted with some very well done large displays. Around the outside were over a dozen tanks from a tiny (this is relative to some of the other tanks) M1917 up to an M1 Abrams. They permitted people to climb up on them and the ground was well padded with what looked like recycled tire material. A great museum honoring many great individuals. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Tasks Mostly Completed

Let’s see how I did with my tasks…

  • Remove RV house batteries 
  • Remove anything that has a battery 
  • Disperse de-humidfying buckets
  • Empty cabinets and leave all cabinet and refrigerator doors open
  • Cover RV
  • Install wooden frame for ballast
  • Move snowplow clean garage 
  • Park Ural in front of the Prius
  • Remove 5th wheel hitch
  • Place ballast in the bed of the truck
  • Remove generators and prep for storage
Oh well, eight out of eleven isn’t too bad. Plus the truck is now parked in the garage again for the first time in a while. Getting the RV covered was no small task. Warm snow on a rubber roof is kind of slippery. It’s not lined up perfectly but I was getting very wet crawling around on the roof. Arctic RV completed the grim task of replacing all three of the dump valves. They also replaced all of the insulation as they said it was in pretty bad shape from mice. The RV is being stored in their lot. 

I finally found out what my Call sign is. KL4PD. They originally said that it’ll be a week before it showed up in the FCC database. But it actually took around three weeks. And I’m now studying for the General and the Extra license. I’m amazed at how much electronics I still remember as there is a lot of it in the review materials. I’ll be taking those exams in the beginning of December. Still not sure what to do with the license…

Monday, October 23, 2017

Welcome Back to Fairbanks

You leave town for a bit and look what happens. Winter arrives. This was the temperature on Saturday morning. One of the regulars at coffee mentioned that it was -12°F at his place a few miles west of Fairbanks. Of course, it didn't stay this cold all day and by late afternoon it was up to 20°F again.

This week I need to get the trailer straightened out as in storage, cover, batteries removed, dehumidifying containers, cupboards emptied, etc. The original plan was to store the trailer next to the garage but due to the delays in getting it repaired, it will probably winter over at the RV storage lot. Not my preference but I don't want to try getting it into our driveway with the snow. As it was, I needed 4WD to get it out of the driveway at the end of August. The other task for this week is getting the truck set up to plow snow again. This means removing the fifth wheel hitch and reinstalling the wooden frame to hold the bags of gravel in place near the tailgate. I should probably remove the generators and add some Stabil to the gas left in the generators. I already added it to the gasoline left in the gas cans, the lawn mower, and the snow blower. I may even rearrange things in the garage sufficiently to park the truck in the garage again. We'll see how it goes this week.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

San Francisco - Day 5

This morning was a cool 50°F but I didn't need to be to the conference hotel until 9. I picked up a cream cheese & tomato bagel on the way. It's a great combination. This was the view from the meeting room looking towards the bay and it may be the best view I've had this whole week. My 7th story room looks out into an alley at a brick wall. Today (Thursday) is also the last day of the meeting. I head home tomorrow morning.

Here is a picture of the group that is meeting for most of the day. The group is made up of network engineers from either research universities or regional networks. In some cases, it's the same individual.

This picture would be a good Apple advertisement as the room is about 80% Mac, two Microsoft tablets and most of the remaining PCs are running some Linux variant. I believe out of the thirty six participants, two are running Windows. It would also be a great example of why STEM education initiatives are so important. Out of the 36 participants, only 3 are women.

Just in case anyone is interested, here is the preliminary list of topics...


Discussion Topics and Notes
  • Next Generation I2 Infrastructure
    • Equipment
    • End-to-end
    • Flexible Edge
  • How can I2 improve cloud connectivity
    • What does the community need
  • SDN for real, not just as a plaything.
    • Intentionally provocative language for the title. Most of what I see in terms of SDN is point solutions (often around the Science DMZ) that seem more oriented towards solving the problem of not having SDN. That’s fine at small scale, and it adds spice to the job, but is it really scalable? What does real SDN in a production, campus network look like? Probably not what has been done to date.
  • Automation
    • Ansible and Salt
    • Docker, Docker Swarm, Kubernetes
  • IPv6
    • State of IPv6 implementation on campuses across US - SLAAC vs DHCPv6
    • Device registration portal with IPv6 support - does such a thing exist?
    • Challenges in tying IPv4 and IPv6 addresses to a user without .1x
    • Experiences with NAT64 or some variant
  • IPv4 - Buying more space vs. NAT?
  • Data Center Networking:
    • Virtualization of the networking
    • NSX? Contrail? ACI?
    • EVPN? MPLS? VXLAN?
    • Extending to the Cloud
  • Wireless
    • 5ghz only SSID?
    • Device Registration & Fingerprinting
    • Service Assurance
  • On-campus speed test/self network diagnostic tool solution
  • On-campus CDN installs
  • Security topics
    • DNS RPZ feeds
    • Border/Edge Firewalls
    • IDS/IPS in-band/out-of-band
    • NAC & Client Posture Assessment
  • Traffic flow and pcap monitoring tools
  • R&E Connectivity
  • Cooperative grant funding projects and ideas

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

San Francisco - Uh, the Next Day

With the BlogPad Pro iPad app, you have to give a new post a title before you can add any other content. I was here before 7am for a breakfast meeting. The AV person setting up the projector for this one meeting scheduled for the room made a comment along the lines of “I hope someone puts up da** PowerPoint”. Shortly thereafter, one of the participants connected his laptop with a picture of Hoover Dam and the Three Gorges Dam. That’s the nature of this group.

One of the real topics discussed was the “why” of SDN (Software Defined Networking). After all, most of the time the data being shipped was IP based. We speculated that the problem to be solved was to be to bypass the campus security device i.e. firewall. It would also bypass all of the L3 devices along the path. This was the original justification as this used to be the bottleneck. Not the case anymore.

Tomorrow, there is an all day meeting where a group of network engineers get together to discuss various topics. As you may expect from a group such as this, there is no pre-announced agenda. Sort of done on the fly. Most of the group went out this evening to a restaurant near the hotel. Even though the restaurant promised that they would be willing to split the check into smaller chunks, that's not what they did. The end of the table I was on had folks from North Dakota, North Carolina, Texas, Michigan and Guam. Quite the diverse group. (BTW, that's not who is in the picture)


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

San Francisco - Day 3

Ready for the day. Coffee, iPad w/keyboard. Today’s focus seems to primarily be security with the first couple of talks on DDOS mitigation. Then SDN (Software Defined Networks), a topic that I found fascinating but not much of an opportunity to try it out. Now, it looks like it may be ready for actual limited pseudo-production deployment.

It’s kind of interesting to see all of the new faces here at the meeting. It means that the organization is healthy and growing. I don’t know what the actual attendance is but I’m seeing a lot of “First Time Attendee” tags on the name badges.

This is a lunch meeting of the Performance Working Group. Maybe a couple dozen people. Some of the tools that the group had been relying on are no longer being supported so things are changing even though the net result rarely changes. Over the years, we’ve had workshops in Alaska from several of these working groups but generally there wasn’t a lot of interest within the university community. IPv4 multicast once, IPv6 twice, and Performance once. 

One of the topics was the deployment of small devices running PerfSonar (the name used for the toolset by the Performance Working Group). Different campuses have used small x86 PC’s and Raspberry Pi’s. The main advantage of the x86 devices was 1Gb/s interface versus 100 Mb/s. I used to run PerfSonar nodes in Fairbanks and Barrow. The Fairbanks installation was limited by the lack of 1Gb/s port for the server. Probably no longer an issue but I have the server turned off. The Barrow server is turned off right now since I’m not up there often enough to keep the node updated. It was useful for local network testing and verifying the throughput on the satellite link. Testing does impact user throughput so it was not done on a regular basis.

This was followed by an afternoon of talks, a vendor reception, and a connectors meeting. By 7 I was pretty exhausted and passed on several dinner invites and headed for the hotel. This 24 hour diner is right on the corner next to the hotel and has decent food. I stopped for a quick snack on the way.

Monday, October 16, 2017

San Francisco - Day 2

At most of the Internet2 meetings, there is usually some sort of performance component. Partly to highlight one of the traditional features of a high performance network. Specifically, no traffic delays. In this case, they were demonstrating a masters class from the SFJAZZ with the instructors and students in three locations.

In this case, the three locations were pretty close together geographically though the music was less tolerant to delays compared to other demonstrations. The two instructors were on the stage in San Francisco, the student was at Stanford, and his musical accompaniment was down the road in San Francisco at the SFJAZZ theatre. They were using LOLA a low-latency audio/video encoder which has a latency of about 5 ms. To this you would add in the round trip time over the network. For modest distances, this would be tolerable for the individual performers to hear each other. In the past, music was selected that would tolerate modest delays such as modern classical.

After the performance, there was a reception then I walked back to my hotel. On the way, I stopped at the newish Apple Store Union Square. I was a bit underwhelmed as it seems to be less than I expected. Two floors of high tables with their products available to play with. Plus there were quite a few places for potential customers to just use the wi-fi. Maybe while they wait for appointments.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

San Francisco - Day 1

On Sunday morning, I went through Chinatown with the thought that I could get some dim sum. I found what looked like a decent place but during the 20 minutes that I was there, only one cart came by with one item. I left and continued on to the Hyatt Regency. On the way, I stopped for a Vietnamese sandwich at a to-go place. It had a lot of fresh veggies and a pate. Nice, spicy and tasty.

We met at 11am to set up for the workshop which started at 1pm. Here is one of the presenters from Syracuse talking about IPv6 Security. His challenge was to pare down his 1½ day presentation to fit in under an hour.

Here is most of our intrepid group. One I've known for years from Hawaii and the other originally from Louisiana but now hails from Texas I've known for maybe ten years. This picture was taken after the workshop was completed so everyone is feeling much more relaxed.

On to another topic. Last week after passing the amateur radio Technician test with a perfect score, I decided to go ahead and take at least the General exam. I signed up for an online course and they plot your progress through the course material. During the past week and sitting in the Seattle airport, I had been going through the material. You only need a 75% score to pass, I think that I'm ready for the next test. Now I'm thinking that I'll study for the Extra class exam as well and take both of them at the next opportunity. Which, in Fairbanks. it looks like that'll be early in December.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

From This --- To This

Friday brought a combination of snow and rain along with fog. This is on the gravel road along the north side of the campus. By this time (mid afternoon), the snow had mostly melted.

This was taken on Market Street in San Francisco even though the writing on the streetcar suggests San Diego. I'm not sure what that is all about. It was 70°F this afternoon and not very smoky at all. The Lyft driver said that most of the smoke was in the east bay i.e. Oakland, Berkeley, etc. I walked down to the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero where the Internet2 Tech Exchange is being held from my boutique hotel on Sutter Street. Tomorrow, I'm working with the IPv6 Working Group to capture audio and video of an IPv6 Solutions Tutorial. The plan is to edit the video and put it up on the Internet.

On Sunday evening, a small group of us met in the atrium of the Hyatt to look for dinner somewhere. Very artsy restaurants around here. I'm not sure where we ended up but they had dungeness crab spaghetti. I have never heard of that combination before so I had to try it. A bit spicy with chili peppers and grilled corn in addition to the crab. A tasty combination. There were about eight of us including a couple of guys from Guam who had never been to San Francisco before. So there were a lot of suggestions on where they needed to visit. At dinner, we had guys from Hawaii, North Dakota, and Houston in addition to Guam. An enjoyable evening.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

That Time of Year

This morning, everything was covered by a couple of inches of the white stuff. By the time I left for coffee, it was 34°F and slushy. I was thinking about taking a picture somewhere but everyone knows what slushy, wet roads look like. I thought that it may be a good time to install some studs into at least the pusher and the steer tires. The front tire is pretty worn but there was enough rubber on the outside knobs to hold the stud. Not so much in the center. This is a picture of the rear tire and there is still room for about 30% more studs if I see a need.

The led bulbs came in from Amazon and they really light up the inside of the speedometer. I don't think it's ever been this easy to read. Maybe I only had one working bulb in the past. Not bad for only $5...

The boot repair proved to be less effective. Pretty wet inside of the boots after about 25 miles of errands on really wet roads. It may be time for some new riding boots.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Amateur Radio

In 2007, the morse code exam requirements were removed from the amateur radio tests. I had considered taking the tests a few years back when one of my son's Boy Scout friends mentioned that morse code was no longer required. Last week, I discovered that the exams are administered on the first Saturday of the month in Fairbanks and the tests are free. The test admins are members of the local amateur radio club and volunteer their time. It was a pretty straight forward test with only 35 questions. This was the entry level Technician class test. I'm planning to take the General class license test in December.

Bridget asked if this was the next hobby (such as the motorcycle, followed by the sidecar, the Ural, and the RV). But I don't think so. It is just something that I always wanted to do but never had the time. They mentioned that I should be in the database within a week or so...

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Slow Slide Towards Winter

Yesterday, someone mentioned that it's been a nice, slow slide towards winter. That is a great way to describe it. Last year, I posted that I replaced the roof clearance lights on the truck with LED versions. Well, I ended up replacing two of them as they "burned out". I thought LEDs lasted almost forever... Oh well, they were cheap from Amazon so I simply ordered another set of five. Now I have three extra.

On Monday, I went out to Fox for the monthly BMW get together and on the way home I noticed that I had no lights in the speedometer. I rarely need to actually see the speedometer any more due to familiarity with the Ural but being able to see it would be nice. The bulb was one of the original and didn't have any sort of number on it. Simply 12V 3W or 12 volts, 3 watts. The glass bulb is pretty small and the local Napa and Batteries & Bulb place didn't have anything that would fit. I found some LED replacements on Amazon. I guess I'll see how well they work...

Icy roads in Fairbanks is inevitable no matter how nice the weather is. Last year, I opted not to stud the tires since they were brand new and the rubber was softer. This year, I ordered 150 #1200 studs from Gripstuds.com. They are the same price as Aerostitch but the shipping is less. This is the same size that I've been using for years and they seem to work pretty well on ice and packed snow. And I don't use as many studs per tire as the 2-wheel riders so I don't have the clear road problems that they report. (i.e. The studs reduce traction when there is no ice or snow)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Up the Elliot Hwy to Globe Creek

On Friday afternoon, I went to Globe Creek Camp which is located on the Elliot Highway north of Fairbanks. It was 33°F and sleeting when going over Wickersham Dome but otherwise, a nice ride. I did opt to dig out the heated liner and gloves for the first time. I'm still using the old First Gear riding gear but have received a tracking number from Aerostich. I'm looking forward to getting the Roadcrafter Light back. This is the first snow of the year for me.

I did attach the GoPro to the sidecar and filmed a time-lapse. I couldn't figure out any good places to stop for a picture on the way out as the weather was overcast and foggy. The lens ended up getting covered with snow on the trip out so here is the footage from the return trip. I left when the temperature started to drop again. The Ural started easily and I even used the kick starter partly to make sure I reassembled it properly a few weeks back.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Wet and Dreary

Another kinda dreary day around here. But as they say, if it's raining then it's not snowing. After riding to coffee this morning, enjoying the lack of the road construction we have been subjected to for the last month or so, I headed up to my office to do a mandatory training session. The First Gear jacket seems to be still  weather tight but the First Gear pants are past their prime. In other words, some dampness but I'm still basically dry upon arrival. The riding boots aren't working as well. Even with the seams sealed up with Shoe Goo, they still are letting water in from all of the cracks in the leather-ish material. It's probably time to get some new riding boots.

I thought about stopping somewhere to get a nice shot of the low clouds with the Ural in the foreground but every time I started to ride somewhere, the sky would open up. I just didn't feel like standing on the side of the road trying to dig out the phone. So here is a shot at home after getting back from the university this afternoon. Note that most of the leaves have fallen. There just haven't been very many dry days. The fallen leaves are soaked and will probably be there until next summer.

As you may notice, I still haven't taken off the sidecar windshield. This has been contributing to me getting soaked as it redirects the wind and rain right onto me from the right.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Post Fall

Fall has pretty much come and gone so now we are just waiting for the snow to arrive. It has been pretty dreary for the last week or so with just occasional bits of blue sky. The Ural has been plugging away but just running to College Coffeehouse in the morning followed by errands around town. No recreational riding. I'm still waiting for the Roadcrafter to get back from Aerostitch so riding in the rain isn't as nice as it could be. They estimated a minimum of three weeks which is right about now. I'm also still waiting for the trailer to get repaired after dropping it off about a month ago at a local RV shop. Maybe I should look at it as free storage.

This picture is of a friends Suzuki GSX-R that he has set up for moto-camping. He used to race the bike but rather than get rid of the bike, he added homemade aluminum racks to carry his gear. It's a nice setup though I'm not sure how comfortable it would be but that's just me. He loves the bike and that's all that really matters.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Getting Ready for an Event

I had a web conference for an I2 working group this morning and those are much nicer to do in my office than at home. One of the many advantages of still being able to use my office. Also, quite a few Apple and app updates were released starting last Tuesday and I was able to take advantage of the fast Internet.

The conferences (Thursday and Friday) are partly preparation for an upcoming Internet2 meeting in October. I will be recording audio and video of one of the workshops. After I offered to do this, I realized that my Macbook Pro no longer has any analog audio inputs. Just four USB-C ports. I had picked up the Focusrite Solo earlier but haven't needed it. Basically it's a two port mixer with a USB interface that will link in with audio editing software. I only plan to use two microphones, a lav for the speaker/presenter and a roaming wireless mic for questions. The mixer only has one XLR input with a microphone amp but since I'm using wireless mics, I have the option of using a line level input.

So far, I've tried Apple's Garageband and Pro Tools First and both work flawlessly. For this upcoming event, I'll probably just use Garageband as I don't have to figure out how to add the EQ and compressor plugins within Pro Tools First. The Pro Tools First app is way more flexible but is also much more complicated. Basically the same as the full app except you are limited to only sixteen mono or stereo tracks. I only need three. Two input and one output. Video will be done with three cameras. One of the presenter, one for the participants plus one more wide shot just in case. I won't be relying on the audio from any of the cameras.

Saturday Afternoon Update - After a couple of days of playing around with Pro Tools First, I've discovered some "limitations". There is no local storage of your projects as it has to be stored in the Avid Cloud to force compliance to their "no more than three projects" rule. This means that Internet access is required. Also, export to MP3 is not supported. But I really do like the flexibility and options for both live and post processing so I'll be keeping the software installed but probably won't use it for this event. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Mid-week Update

On Monday morning, I was flying to Anchorage for a meeting and took this snapshot of the Tanana River. It definitely looks like Fall here in the interior with hardly any shade of green remaining. Even though it does look a bit dreary, the weather in Anchorage was cold and wet. At least it was dry in Fairbanks.

Tuesday was spent upgrading devices to the new iOS. The 9.7" iPad Pro was registered in the Apple Beta program so it received the update last week. Today was the iPhone and the Apple Watch. Both went without incident though the watch update process took several hours. I think it was because the new OS was transferred to the watch via Bluetooth.

I'm still digging into them looking for any real benefits. The new Siri watchface (pictured) is probably not one of the real benefits though Siri on the watch has always been much better than on the phone. I've been running the public iOS betas since July and like the new features though it seemed to increase battery consumption. Hopefully that has been addressed in the final release.