Formula 1 technology and other applications

I am a huge Formula 1 fan. I remember watching F1 as a kid amazed that they raced on streets and turned to the RIGHT! I started watching F1 again as an adult and really began to get into the technology side of the races. 

As I have paid more attention to the technology in F1, I've been trying to find other applications of the tech. One of my favorite F1 fan sites is F1 Technical. F1 Technical goes into great depth on the aerodynamics and power-plant details of the F1 cars. It's a great way to waste a day reading. Having a computer science background i like the data side of things. Just recently there have been articles describing the temporary high-speed networks used, size of the telemetry stream for a race, and even energy efficiency technologies. Even Microsoft gets into data analytics with F1.

That tech is cool, but McLaren has the best application of F1 tech that I've seen. Watch the TED talk below.



Tools I use each day

Inspired by Scott Hanselman's Ultimate Tools List I began keeping track of the tools and utilities I use on a daily basis. You can find the most up to date version on my Github account. Below is a snapshot.

Operating Systems

OS X Mavericks

I've only used OS X for 6 months now, but I really like it. I've used BSD flavors in the past.

Linux Mint

Linux Mint has been my favorite Linux distro for over a year now. Fast, clean, and up to date.

Programming tools

Git

My favorite source control software.

Source Tree

Source Tree is a super slick git client from Atlassian. Super slick.

OH MY ZSH!

I use zshell, therefore I use OH MY ZSH. Sure it may be conformist to the neckbeards, but I like it. I use it on OS X and Linux.

Visual Studio 2012

I write C# code by day. This is what I use

  • VsVim Must have vim bindings for Visual Studio

vim

My favorite editor. It's powerful and fast. Command line at it's best.

iTerm 2.0

Awesome terminal for OS X.

Dash

Every programmer that uses OS X should have this app

Tmux

The terminal multi-plexer to rule all terminal multi-plexers.

Databases

PostgreSQL

My personal database of choice.

  • PostGIS Geospatial plugin for PostgreSQL

Social, productivity, general applications

Buffer

Buffer is a nice way to cue up tweets and posts so you don't flood your followers.

Tweetbot

The best Twitter client I've found.

Instapaper

Instapaper keeps all the things I want to read and never have time to read. Tons of other app integrations. Very very nice.

Firefox

My personal browser of choice. I really like the web development tools.

OwnCloud

Personal cloud. Easy to setup, fast, and efficient.

1 Password

Nice password manager. It's not cheap, but it works well. Worth the money.

f.lux

Nice utility to adjust screen warmth based on time of day. This is my chocie for OS X.

Redshift

Another utility to adjust screen warmth based on time of day. This is my choice for linux.

Dropbox

Dropbox, because, well drop box. Yes, I use Dropbox and OwnCloud.

Homebrew

Nice package manager for OS X.

The tech of kitchen butcher block countertops

Wait, why is there woodworking on a tech blog?

 I grew up around woodworking. I've been a practitioner for over 7 years myself. I've had a woodworking blog for quite a while. Why am I writing about woodworking on my tech blog? Because I'm tired of keeping 2 separate blogs. Inevitably one blog will suffer. So, I've imported all of my woodworking posts into this blog, thanks to SquareSpace's import capability. You can explore the history and see my projects. The years and blogger were not kind, and some images are missing. Now, on to the woodworking.

Hard Maple workbench

Counter tops

Long ago, I made a workbench. It turned out pretty nice. My wife and I are remodeling the kitchen, and she asked me to make butcher block counter tops. Sounds fun! 

The counter tops will be made of hard maple boards turned on edge and laminated together. Most butcher block style counter tops are 1-1 1/2" thick.  For cost reasons I decided to make mine 3/4" thick with a 1 1/2" thick lip and 4" back splash. This is the same way our current laminate counter tops are made. 

Rough lumber

S4S hard maple

I began by gathering the  hard maple that I had left over from my workbench build. It is S4S with a straight line rip on one side. Since the wood is S4S it is already finished to 13/16" thick and is almost ready for glue up.  I sawed the lumber into 13/16" widths, which will end up being the 3/4" laminated face of the counter tops.

Test clamp up

Test clamp up

Our current counter tops are 25 1/5" deep including front lip and backsplash. I did a quick test clamp up to verify that I had cut enough lumber to for the required depth. In the picture of the clamp up the counter top is 23".

 

Next steps

Next will be glue up, but first I need more clamps... 

Back to tech

So how does woodworking relate to tech and programming specifically? In my opinion they compliment each other. Woodworking, like programming, is an iterative process. You design, implement, test woodworking projects just like software. Craftsmanship is also important. If you have ever investigated fine furniture, art, or home construction you have probably noticed that some have a much nicer "fit and finish". Just like those open source projects that are well documented with a complete unit test suite.

Minion Trade Study

I decided if I had power, I'd need minions. According to Dictionary.com   minions are "servile follower or subordinate of person in power". Oh, but what kind of minions? Cute minions like in Despicable Me or something more vicious?

I ended up deciding on animal minions, but which animal? I needed to do a trade study. 

minion_trade_study.jpg

As you can see Raptors won. I can see it now, me and a flock of Raptors at the office. No one would dare write a GOTO.