Back in MY Day, Animation Was Hard

AOA gimbal with EricI don’t often take long strolls down memory lane, but there’s one tale of technology that I would like to share. It’s a story about how hard computer animation used to be.

From 1978 till 1989 I worked as a mechanical engineer for a defense contractor, then called Hughes Aircraft Company. I worked in an organization responsible for the design of gimbaled systems for optical telescopes and radar sensors. A gimbal is a mechanism designed to allow the sensor in question to be rotated both horizontally and vertically (or as we say in the business, in azimuth and elevation) to point the sensor in a certain direction.  When I started at the company, we did all of the design on drafting boards with pencils and paper. Kids, go ask your parents (or grandparents) what a drafting board is.

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NC #616 udoq, CodeRunner, Olly, CrashPlan, Wynd

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell from TWiT join me this week on Chit Chat Across the Pond to talk about their swap of iOS and Android. Our last three interviews from CES include the udoq Mobile Docking Station, Olly’s Robotic Personal Assistant, and the Wind Smart Air Purifier. I’ll tell you about my hunt for the perfect code editor and why I chose CodeRunner. A surprising turn of events as CrashPlan actually succeeds at getting my offsite backups to work. It’s a really interesting story of what caused the problem and how they fixed it. It even highlights a shortcoming of Backblaze.

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CrashPlan Didn’t Give Up

A few weeks ago I talked about the long adventure I’d been through with Lawrence from CrashPlan trying to help me adopt my off-site backup from my 2013 MacBook Pro to my 2016 MacBook Pro. I explained that he’d worked really hard but never could get a backup running for me.

I tested out Backblaze, and found that in just 18 hours it had successfully backed up my new Mac. I gave Lawrence the link to the blog post about what happened, and you would think the story would end there, but you would be wrong.

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CCATP #477 Megan Morrone & Jason Howell on Switching iOS and Android

Megan jasonThis week’s Chit Chat Across the Pond was so much fun.  I was joined by Megan Morrone and Jason Howell, who co-host Tech News Today on the TWiT network together. Megan also co-hosts iOS Today while Jason co-hosts All About Android. For an entire month, Megan and Jason swapped phones. They’re here to tell us what they liked, what they didn’t like and answer tough questions like, “Did your children mock you?” I know I say this a lot, but this truly was one of the most enjoyable episodes of Chit Chat Across the Pond. They’re both so entertaining and delightful and we even had some great technical conversations too.

You can find Megan at… and @meganmorrone and Jason can be found at @jasonhowell.

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Hunt for the Perfect Code Editor Ends with CodeRunner

Code runner logoI remember years ago my good friend David Roth telling me how much time he spent trying to find the perfect Getting Things Done app. He realized that he could have been actually getting some stuff done if he hadn’t spent all that time on the tool. He eventually just picked one and got on with his life.

I thought about that because I’ve been doing the same thing with text editors while learning JavaScript from Bart in Programming By Stealth. I tried out and abandoned 4 text editors before settling on CodeRunner. But it wouldn’t be a NosillaCast story if I didn’t walk you through the problems to be solved and how I arrived at that decision, would it?

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NC #615 PAI, IPv6 and MAC Addresses, CMRA, Nag Companies About Security, Security Bits

I got to be on Clockwise again with Jason Snell, Dan Moren and Mikah Sargent. At CES, we interview Jessica Lane as she tells us about PAI Technologies interactive clay toys for kids and talk to CMRA about their camera band for the Apple Watch. I have a special Public Service Announcement urging everyone to nag companies if you see them doing things not as securely as you would hope. It features my father-in-law, who is my hero at pushing companies. Bart Busschots joins us for another scary episode of Security Bits.

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PSA: Nag Companies About Their Security

Ken talks 1PasswordBecause of Bart I know I have a much better understanding of security and what I can do to keep myself more secure. My father-in-law, Ken, is one of my heroes, and he’s just as security conscious, if not more. You may remember him from the video, “Octogenarian Talks 1Password”. If you haven’t seen it, I put a link in the shownotes, it’s well worth watching and sharing with folks who think they’re too old to use a password manager.

This week he decided to take on Vanguard, the investment company. You see, they do these great webinars, but they deliver them in Flash. He’s been paying attention to Steve and me when we advise him, and he knows we purposely did not install Flash on his computer when we did a recent hardware upgrade for him.

He decided to take on Vanguard, the largest mutual fund company in the country. He started by writing to them and explaining that he was simply not going to put Flash on his newest computer, because he understood that it has a reputation for being compromised or hacked. A representative wrote back to him and said this: Continue reading “PSA: Nag Companies About Their Security”

IPv6 Link Local Addresses – 64 or 48-bit MAC Addresses?

In last week’s Chit Chat Across the Pond, I asked Bart to come during his off season to explain IPv6 to us. After the show aired, Kevin Jones DM’d me on Twitter and DJ made a comment on the blog, both with the same correction. One of the rules of this episode was that Bart only had a few days to learn the background himself so it was expected there might be errors. As always though, Bart is weird in that he actually likes to be corrected. Seriously,

Anyway, they were both commenting on this statement:

In IPv6, the host part is always 64bits long. This is conveniently the length of a MAC address.

They both explained that MAC addresses as we are used to seeing them, are 48 bits, not 64 bits.

Now this is going to sound a bit like explaining the tax code but I hope you’ll bear with me because there are a couple of parts here I think are interesting. First of all, Bart wasn’t technically wrong, but DJ and Kevin are more specifically correct.

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CCATP #476 Bart Busschots PBS 30 – Comparing JS Objects | Introducing WAI-ARIA

Bart continues his current dual path of teaching. We learn how to compare JavaScript objects (spoiler, you can’t use == or === to do it). After that he teaches us how using WAI-ARIA as we develop our code will make it accessible to screen readers and other assistive devices. We don’t do any real coding in this section; instead he explains the foundation for what we’ll be doing in the future.

Bart’s tutorial and full show notes are at…

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CES 2017: Wynd Smart Air Purifier

Allison interviews Raymond Wu from Wynd about their new smart air purifier. Wynd creates a bubble of clean air around you by removing dust, allergens, smoke, and pollution from your personal space. It filters harmful particles out of the air around you to help you stay healthy. Wynd also provides an air quality tracker mobile app that continuously monitors the air around you and alerts you when it becomes unhealthy. The Wind air purifier will be available in April 2017. The setting is the Pepcom Digital Experience show floor.

Learn more at

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