Hey…it’s just before midnight on April 14th 2014!
We are learning the meaning of spring. Spring is a thing that bounces; warm, cold, warm, cold…
Well, I had no takers for a star party in Arizona, so here I am waiting for the Mars and Blood Moon show to begin in Wyoming. It’s not the desert, but Wyoming has lots of dark skies. In fact, light pollution is minimal even here in town. We are surrounded by a sea of grass and mountains. I am shooting the moon with a Canon SX50HS sitting on the top of my trailer. The guest list tonight includes a galaxy of stars. The moon and mars will be close together and little Spica will share the stage. I may be able to find Saturn in our shooting gallery too.
My efforts to initiate Siemens NX computer drafting software has been extremely slow. I hired computer “experts” in Cheyenne to install a new operating system, only to have two incorrect packages installed. Now the tech support at Siemens has suggested that I simply install Windows 7 which is much easier to configure. OK, I will eat a little crow and get production up to speed.
I will initiate a clean sheet design for all of my projects, leaving previous CAD files in the past. The heart of these designs is in the mind of the designer. The concepts will not become hardware until the models and blueprints have lasting integrity possible only with quality tools.
MOON, SPICA AND MARS
The first moon images are coming in pretty good now. We are blessed with a real star party night here with a cold high pressure night sky. Well, Star Trek will have to be paused while I go outside for another photo session. Watching online television shows allows me to stop and re-start them as needed. Computer: freeze program…I always wanted to say that!
SPRING LIFE ON EARTH
Well a few more photos round out the night so I can come back into the warmth of the house. Computer: un-freeze photographer!
HERE’S A CHILLING SIGHT: THE BLOOD RED MOON!
AND AMONG THE STARS; LITTLE MARS
WHILE THE MOON STEALS THE SHOW
Well, we missed the Space Access conference in Phoenix, and the celebration of Yuri Gagarin’s first (?) spaceflight they usually celebrate there. Now I find there may have been another man in space before Yuri. http://www.hulu.com/watch/536721 Wow, things are changing!
MY SUSE LINUX INSTALLATION ADVENTURE
After my 16 Mb Ram ASUS computer experienced “the blue screen of death” on Windows 8, I took the dead box 70 miles to Cheyenne Wyoming for a frontal lobotomy. ALL MICROSOFT PRODUCTS ARE GONE. In place of Windows I now have SUSE Linux as an operating system.
VENTURING INTO THE UNKNOWN VOID?
In my days as a mechanical designer on Unigraphics software I learned a few commands on the old Unix based Sun workstations. That was a typed command window like DOS. Since those days Linux has also become an icon based graphic user interface. That means that it too has icons and files.
So when I opened the born again computer I found a lot of new friends. I recognized most of their functions, but not their names. It’s like being a new guy in school or church. Everyone knows you but you are not ready to be quizzed on their names.
OR A CONSTELLATION OF ALIEN WORLDS?
Before installing my CAD software I had to send the vendor some data from the computer. I had to enter a terminal window which is like the DOS in Microsoft Windows. I had to enter a command in the dreaded Linux terminal! I got a few confusing results, asked some questions on line, and figured it out by myself. Confidence!
Pictures folder on left went right to a flash drive on the computer folder and then over to my windows laptop. Once I have everything configured I should be able to e-mail and chat like we do on Windows.
This isn’t so bad; it’s no worse than learning Klingon! So if any of you are considering a move to the foreign planet of Linux allow me to illustrate my first tour of the new universe. I will provide a few definitions as I discover them. I still have a few terms undefined until I plunge in, but many are even a little familiar.
Linux is a Unix-like and POSIX-compliant computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on 5 October 1991 by Linus Torvalds.
SUSE Linux Enterprise is the premier Linux operating system for the enterprise.
openSUSE /ˌoʊpənˈsuːzə/ is a general purpose operating system built on top of the Linux kernel, developed by the community-supported openSUSE Project and sponsored by SUSE and a number of other companies
LINUX SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS…I want this for work, so the games are dead!
application used to burn CD/DVD on the GNOME Desktop
Cheese uses your webcam to take photos and videos, applies fancy special effects and lets you share the fun with others.
Run Windows applications on Linux
Runs Old MS-DOS Games/Programs in Linux
Empathy is an instant messaging (IM) and voice over IP (VoIP) client which supports text, voice, video, file transfers
Evolution is the official personal information manager for GNOME (e-Mail, etc)
It combines e-mail, address book, calendar, task list and note-taking features.
gedit is the GNOME text editor
GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program
A personal and small-business financial-accounting software, licensed under GNU/GPL and available for Linux
Texplore is a type explorer for GObject based libraries.
Inkscape is a professional vector graphics editor
LibreOffice is the free power-packed Open Source personal productivity suite for Linux
Liferea is an abbreviation for Linux Feed Reader. It is a news aggregator for online news feeds
IF YOU MUST DO WINDOWS NOTES
This application searches for images on the most advanced image search engines.
After installing this app you’ll be able to feely browse and download images and pictures, edit them and enhance their quality.
OPEN JDK POLICY (ICED TEA JAVA)
QT 4 SETTINGS
Windows registry editing?? For Wine Windows apps??
Rhythmbox is a music playing application for GNOME
Shotwell is an open source graphical photo organizer for GNOME
Transmission is a BitTorrent client
BitTorrent is a protocol supporting the practice of peer-to-peer file sharing that is used to distribute large amounts of data over the Internet.
winecfg is a GUI configuration tool for Wine, designed to make life a little easier than editing the registry.
Winecfg sets up your wine for the first time by creating the fake windows drive for Wine
Wine is a free and open source software application that aims to allow applications designed for Microsoft Windows to run on Unix-like operating systems.
Winecfg sets up your wine for the first time by creating the fake windows drive for Wine,
wineconsole is the Wine console manager, used to run console commands and applications. It allows running the console either in the current terminal (curses) or in a newly made window (user).
XChat is an IRC chat program for both Linux and Windows. It allows you to join multiple IRC channels (chat rooms) at the same time, talk publicly, privately
YaST is free software that SUSE has made available under the GPL It is a tool for administering and maintaining a SUSE Linux installation.
YaST actually stands for Yet another Setup Tool.
So these are installed and ready to run now. I still have to set up e-mail, contacts, favorites, and other tools, but that will expand the learning adventure. Here in Wheatland Wyoming I may be the resident Linux Guru already!
SPRING 2014 March 23, 2014
A SPRING BOUNCES…back and forth; hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold. In Wyoming that is snow, blow, snow, blow, snow, and blow. It must be near spring because the dog is shedding. So we took some time to see the mountains while other work is progressing in Arizona. I will probably not make it to Arizona in April after all. We are making good progress here though.
AFTER I CLEANED SHE WENT BACK TO WORK ON HER TOY
WHILE DADDY DREAMS OF INVESTORS FOR HIS TOYS
THE MOUNTAINS LOOK SMALL FROM TOWN
BUT SLOWLY GROW BIGGER ON THE ROAD
OVER THE PRAIRIE
AND THROUGH THE WOODS
ALL THE WAY TO NEBRASKA
CABIN WITH A VIEW…OF SNOW AND 100 MPH WINDS
A PEEK AT THE PEAK
AND A ZOOM UP PEEK…SERIOUS HIKE!
BACK DOWN THE MUDDY ROAD
AND DOGGY TRACKS A MUDDY LOAD
REMEMBER THE MODEL PLANS?
THE PRINTS WERE DELIVERED TO ARIZONA
WITH IDEAS TO BUILD A CONSTRUCTION JIG
TAKING SHAPE IN QUALITY MATERIALS
AND ROXANNE PLANS A QUALITY FINISH
WE ARE ALREADY MAKING DESIGN CHANGES
WE RE-ORDERED THICKER PLYWOOD PARTS SO…WIDER NOTCHES
FABRICATION PROCEEDS ON THE MARK!
Yes, I found the stardate calculator on line! http://www.hillschmidt.de/gbr/sternenzeit.htm
That’s March 11, 2014 to you non-Trekkies!
WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?
Leaving Arizona for Wyoming in mid-winter what could I expect? Frozen bathroom pipes, and multiple wintry blasts were my rewards. Snow,melt,snow,melt,snow,melt,snow,melt…
OUR INCHES WERE STILL BETTER THAN MICHIGAN’S FEET!
DRESSED LIKE DR. JOEL FLEISCHMAN OF NORTHERN EXPOSURE!
A SUNDAY DRIVE TO CHURCH
TRUCK PARKING RAMP. On one drive I found a pure white pickup truck crosswise on a bridge with cargo, truck, and railings all bent up. The driver was standing in the middle of the road on his cell phone…in a driving white out blizzard with cars coming at up to 80 mph!
JUST LIKE MICHIGAN!
A PEEK AT THE SUN
A REAL ALASKAN NATIVE SON…HAVE DOGS WILL SLED
A LITTLE PARTING SUN
GETS A LITTLE MELTING DONE
TURNING INTO WATER FOR THE RESERVOIR AND SUMMER CROPS
I STILL DO THE BARBEQUE!
HEAT TO THE MEAT!
AND FLOODS TO THE STREET
NEXT SUMMERS IRRIGATION IN COLD STORAGE
AND SO IS OUR RETAILER’S AMBITION!
WYOMING ROCKET SCIENCE
NOW YOU SEE IT…
NOW YOU DON’T
SNOW: EAT IT WHILE IT LASTS
A whole month went into taking care of other people’s projects. I am learning from aerospace professionals so the time is well spent if not exactly my usual product. I am fixing broken computers and adding software tools ahead of more projects coming up. Just surviving the winter on the cheap is good too. I will generate a few new ideas soon so watch our posts on the “Wings” blog too: http://horizontalspace.wordpress.com/
NO MORE KIDDIE CAD
Returning from Arizona landed us in the mundane unpacking and getting settled in. I love having endless hot water instead of a splash and dash in the trailer. We have a few threats of getting paid looming out there now. Dang; I might have to get out of bed and go to work!
Well we delivered blueprints and parts and materials to the model builder in Arizona. Well the blueprints were a dash to the deadline. We had some bugs in the CAD software on the way there. We used this tool for ten years so they have done a lot of support along the way. As more tools and powers are added it must be a challenge to keep things working.
I have a little suspicion that software developers are all having trouble with Windows 8. Could a secret agent be working within Microsoft to advance Linux? The CAD program is not the only one going weird. Programs crash, and some opening folders causes the desktop to crash. I have been trying other design software tools considering a change. Even the operating system is a candidate for change if a CAD tool will run on Linux.
When I have deadlines to meet I am extremely intolerant of computer bugs that become totally fatal to the project. I have no time to help software developers when I am being charged “maintenance” that will not be delivered until the next release. So I tested the higher priced tools.
One has been and still is obtuse for most users. Another is functional but destined for a big revision soon. That firm made a change to their high priced tool a few years back, and the transition didn’t please all of their customers. Those top design tools cost about $30,000 so I have not seen one since my employment for big firms. I miss the function of Siemens NX.
NX was USED BY McDonnell Douglas, General Motors, and many major firms. Formerly known as Unigraphics it is the sensible but unaffordable tool for design engineering. I would despair of having these tools in ordinary times. These are not ordinary times.
Perhaps the mid priced CAD tool from Siemens may be struggling to compete in some ways. Perhaps this is why Siemens is offering a bargain priced version of NX. I heard an unbelievable price from my former boss and it checked out. I will run a 60 day free trial, but I expect I will be ready to throw money at them pretty quick.
While waiting for the NX trial I am doing some new feasibility studies for other ventures. I hope to deliver some interesting concepts in a timely manner. I did get a lot of components ready for use. A new vehicle concept was taking shape when the CAD software went nuts. For now I can’t create any new parts or re-name old ones. We are dead in space.
The tech support was fast to respond, but it is still time consuming and we are stopped in the middle of a project. So in a couple of days I will welcome the trial seat of NX. The big decision now will be whether to venture into Linux operating system. My desktop will be entirely off the internet and isolated from Chinese and NSA reviews. Sorry boys!
Does anyone have any views on Linux use? NX can run on it so I will only need a few other tools on the desktop computer. If it works out I may cleanse my life of Microsoft Windows-hate. (aggravate, irritate, overrate)
Well we are home, and the wheels are resting in their roost.
BACK IN HER NEST
SEE THE CHANGE? SNOW!!
WHERE DID ALL THOSE PALM TREES GO?
HEY…I RESEMBLE THAT REMARK!
LOW END CAD WORKS…AT TIMES
BUT MORE EXPENSIVE TOOLS TEMPT WITH FANCY RENDERING
LITTLE JOBS ON THE SIDE…VENDOR PARTS COLLECTION
WHAT IS IT? the ultimate hair dryer?
…A POOR IMAGE OF THIS
WHICH IS THE POWER FOR MOST OF AMERICAS ROCKETS…
A RUSSIAN ROCKET ENGINE.
Perhaps new space initiatives can rescue space from government red tape. It seems to be turning into a world effort lately. American rockets with Russian engines, an international space station, perhaps we can have a Federation of Planets.
I am letting my in-ine staging take a slow track while helping others get their visions airborne. You can follow our interest in airborne access to space on our horizontal launch blog: http://horizontalspace.wordpress.com/
WE HAVE A NEW HORIZONTAL LAUNCH ADVOCACY GROUP:
WINGS TO SPACE is a forum for the advancement of horizontal launch methods and projects. We have a post this week from David Ashford of Bristol Spaceplanes. There are a few groups pursuing this approach as it offers unique advantages. Follow our blog here:
Retro rockets firing for Wyoming reentry, departing Friday. I am packing to return from Arizona to Wyoming until April. I hope to be back to see progress on the construction of our flight test model here in Apache Junction. But for now I have to wrap my internet work and fold up the satellite dish. The big trailer will be stored in Arizona to save gas and travel time. Motel 6 has a light on for me!
We got some things done in these three months:
- Discussions with a Colorado firm for possible relocation to Wyoming and collaboration
- Blueprints and materials delivered to the model builder
- Maintenance to the travel trailer and the cargo trailer
- Auto maintenance and repairs
- Medical and veterinary checks
- Retail opportunities in the big city
- Investigating real estate investments
- Initiated a new project to build an aerodynamic off-road travel trailer
- Purchased an aluminum trailer as the foundation of said trailer build
- Tested possible new CAD systems and identified a probable winner
- Got out on the trails for health and recreation again
HOME SWEET ROAM
HOME IS WHERE YOU HANG YOUR HAT
ONE LAST LOOK…
AT THE SUPERSTITION TRAILS
AND DOGGY TAILS!
SAY GOODBYE TO ARIZONA FRIENDS
AND PREPARE TO LAUNCH AGAIN.