SecondBar is Nice

I have a very nice set up now at work with a Retina 15″, and a Thunderbolt 27″ display. But the single menu on a single monitor is not so nice. SecondBar adds a copy of the menu to the second monitor. I find SecondBar from http://blog.boastr.net/ very handy and recommend it. Thanks! Remind self to drop the fellow some quatloos.

Windowserver Crash on Retina with Lion

I seem to be getting these every couple days to a few times a day with my new Mac Pro Retina. Some claim Mountain Lion fixes the issue, and that the issue has to do with switching graphics drivers from internal to external. I don’t know about that as I did not think the built in Intel driver could run my external monitor, and the issue is happening with the monitor. I also do not want to upgrade to Mountain Lion until the battery usage issues are worked out.

Dashcode Bug – Disappearing widgets

The quick answer is from the terminal run:

$ defaults write com.apple.Dashcode NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false

The issue goes away after doing the changes to defaults and opening and closing Dashcode twice.

Long Version

There is a bug in Dashcode 3.0.5 that seems to cause project corruption on opening a project. In my case elements of my design disappear. What should look like

opens looking like:

The issue goes away after doing the changes to defaults and opening and closing the app two times.

Wipe Nokia 3650

I wanted to recycle my Nokia 3650, but not to give up the memory card with any info. Turns out the Macbook Air has a slot. Let’s see what happens.

Using the System Information App - I get
 Built in SD Card Reader:
Vendor ID:    0x05ac
 Product ID:    0x8404
 Revision:    2.00
 Serial Number:    310
SDSC Card:
Capacity:    16.1 MB (16,089,088 bytes)
 Removable Media:    Yes
 BSD Name:    disk1
 Partition Map Type:    MBR (Master Boot Record)
 S.M.A.R.T. status:    Not Supported
 Volumes:
 NO NAME:
 Available:    10.1 MB (10,133,504 bytes)
 Capacity:    16 MB (16,039,936 bytes)
 Writable:    Yes
 File System:    MS-DOS FAT12
 BSD Name:    disk1s1
 Mount Point:    /Volumes/NO NAME
 Content:    DOS_FAT_12

Cool.
Lets get a dd of what was there.

dd if=/dev/disk1 of=nokiasdcard.dd

That worked to get a mountable version, and then I wiped the card using Disk Utility.
In the end my son wanted the retro phone, no doubt to show his friends the ancient technology.

DARPA META

META is part of the DARPA Adaptive Vehicle Make program. I participated as lead software engineer for BAE Systems Burlington, MA. Our participation in the program lasted about 18 months and was the first time I’d interacted so broadly with academic participants.

Our team put together some pretty interesting ideas and demo’d software every 8 weeks.

The software we wrote for the project was done under a BSD like license per DARPA requirements, and so it is probably the largest amount of software I’ve written that I can not only show to people outside the project, but also reuse on other projects.

Here are the program deliverables, and my team’s specific contributions.

Note that I included MD5sums in the delivery, but DARPA chose not to post them that way.

Mathematica

I’ve been an occasional user of Mathematica since version 2.0. While it is a rare and lucky project that has enough math making it necessary to break out Mathematica, when it does happen it is nice to have the Swiss Army Knife of symbolic math and graphics manipulation there in my box of tools.

 

Spring Tool Suite

My preferred Java IDE is Spring Tool Suite (STS), which is a customized version of Eclipse. STS has good support for all of the Spring libraries, as well as good default support for Maven and Subversion.

X-Plane Simulation and Visualization

Single Integrated Air Picture (SIAP) was the first project I worked on at BA; a great idea to have all participants share information on aircraft location and identification. Our task was testing the SIAP software, and there were some nice simulation tools running on an open source HLA RTI. But there was no visualization, nor were there any accurate complex aircraft models. Airforce guys would come in and ask how do we know if the we can follow an intercept, or how will it look to the AWACS and so on.

Enter X-Plane.

Source X-Plane Website

Source X-Plane Website

I had looked for a flight sim that supported an external API which X-Plane did. This allowed me to connect X-Plane to the HLA RTI sim and provide completely realistic flight parameters for aircraft like the F-4 and F-15 and F-22, as well as some tankers and sensor platforms.

I could pick a plane and fly the mission and either inject the data live, or record it for playback latter.

Even better I could take generated aircraft data and visualize the flight with X-Plane. Nothing like checking your rotation matrices by watching a plane bank and fly.

Using X-Plane also added the wow factor to some of our demos, and completely stopped the question of our using valid flight models.