Dave Bullock / eecue

photographer, director of engineering: crowdrise, photojournalist, hacker, nerd, geek, human

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Vanity Callsign : N3CUE

I was just getting used to my randomly assigned callsign: KI6LZK, and I just noticed that my vanity call has been approved: N3CUE. It's sort of a play on eecue, obviously. I guess it won't matter in a few weeks when I pass my Extra exam and I can get a 2x1 or 2x2 call. =]

Phillips Big Bore PET / CT Scanner Eckert & Ziegler Multisource Smallest X-Ray Tube on Earth Xoft Axxent delivery tube Xoft Axxent Accuray Cyberknife Calypso Interface Calypso RFID implant Siemens SOMATOM Sensation Open Somatom Emotion Head and Chest Phantom by Kyoto Kagaku TomoTherapy Hi-Art Tubes for delivering radioactive pellets Nucletron MicroSelection MOSFET Energy Detector CNMC Dosimeter Hot Wire Cutter Compucutter III Mobetron iSOLoader Sun Nuclear Detector Zeis Intrabeam Thyristor Ion Chamber Ion Chamber Electron Gun HV Shunt Linear Accelerator 6MeV Klystron Multi-Leaf Collimator Novalis BrainLab robotic Table Multi-Leaf Collimator Varian BrainLAB Interface Varian Brain Lab
Blog

My Adventures with Leopard : /home, Epson 3800, ATSServer

I'm an early adopter. When the OS X Beta came out in 1999 I jumped right on it, being a FreeBSD user I was right at home with the BSD subsystem and command line. When Leopard arrived via FedEx at my office yesterday I hesitated only slightly before installing it.

I asked some of my other nerd friends if they had encountered any problems, and I took at look at Apple's discussion forums, paying particular notice to this issue, which currently has over 350 replies and 25,000 views. One of my friends said that if I ran the disk utility from the Leopard install disk before I upgraded it would solve that problem. I ran disk utility, it found a problem and fixed it and I had no trouble upgrading.

Once my system booted up I went through all my applications and checked to see if they functioned properly, and everything did until I got to Zend Development Engine, which opened up fine, but my project had no files in it! I try to add them back to the project, but when I went to /home I noticed that it was totally empty! I thought that the upgrade had delete my web development files, and I was pissed, but luckily I had a backup that wasn't too old, and most all of my projects are in CVS, SVN or git repositories. I posted this thread on the Apple discussion forums and the next day I got the following response which restored my /home directory and all its contents!:

The good news is that your files are still on the drive. This is because 10.5 is now a real, certified Unix OS. However, I think that the default setting should have been to preserve the /home as a local directory. See the explanation here.

That worked, my files in /home were unharmed, Apple's new "real UNIX" features caused an invisible volume to be mounted using /home as the mount point.

My next problem came when I tried to print to my Epson 3800, I downloaded the new drivers from Epson's website (they have a 10.5 driver) and installed it. Now when I tried to print to the 3800 the printer was auto-detected but I still couldn't print. I'm sure this will be fixed shortly and it's not an emergency for me.

The third issue I noticed this morning was that ATSServer was using 185% of my processing power (I have a Core Duo MacBook Pro). Right now it's not a huge deal as I'm about to go out to take some photos anyhow, but this could put a damper on activities that do require my processors full attention like working with RAW files in Lightroom.

All in all, I'm very happy with Leopard's new features. The system is actually faster, if you can believe that! Moving around windows, loading websites and opening applications seem to work much more smoothly than before. This is a great update from Apple, I'm sure they'll work out the kinks soon. They did just release a Software Update to fix the login problems and the 802.11 issues, none of which affected me.

Update: I forgot to mention, I check my mail through an ssh tunnel to my IMAP server and I've been getting server timeout warnings. My server isn't actually timing out though, and this was never an issue in Tiger... I'm guessing Leopard's Mail.app is just more sensitive. It actually hasn't been a problem this weekend, only on Friday.

Blog

SAR : Grass Valley Fire Looter Patrol

As I mentioned on Tuesday, my Search and Rescue team got called out. I am a member of the San Bernardino Sheriff's Cave Rescue Team, although we don't put out fires we have assisted with evacuations and security during fires in the past, notably the large fires 4 years ago, a year before I joined the team.

Yesterday at about 0400 I hit the road and drove out to the shipping container that is our gear storage shed, where I met Sonny Lawerence. We picked up the Sheriff's vehicle and headed up to the operation center in Twin Peaks where we were briefed and given our mission.

Our assigned task was to patrol the commercial districts of Crestline and Rim Forest looking for looters. If we saw anything odd happening we were instructed to call in to the command post on the 800MHz radio. We were issued Nomex shirts and rubber goggles, along with an 800MHz HT to compliment our 800MHz mobile in the truck.

We began our mission after a eating a county-catered breakfast. I spent the day driving around slowly between the two tiny commercial strips of Crestline and Rim Forest. In Rim Forest we saw a guy with his pickup trucked backed up to a hardware store and another guy inside. We called it in, and as we were waiting for the Sheriff's Deputies to come the guy in the pickup took off. One of the Deputies knew that guy inside who was the owner. Other than that our day was uneventful, although I did get some cool shots of Tanker Helicopters sucking up water from Lake Gregory:

Tanker Helicopter

Tanker Helicopter

Tanker Helicopters Refilling

We didn't get too close to the fire, here is a photo of the Grass Valley fire:

Grass Valley Fire

And here is a photo of the Slide Fire:

Slide Fire

For more information about the fires near Lake Arrowhead, check out the Rim of the World website as does the SB SAR website.

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SAR : San Bernardino Fire Callout

I just got paged. Tomorrow at 0600 I'll be at the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Station. I'm not a firefighter, I do Search and Rescue, so obviously I won't be putting out any fires. I will most likely be doing evacuations. I'll post an update tomorrow when I get back, and I may also be twittering. I'm also going to try and get some photos of the action.

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Congratulations Penelope!!!!

I just want to congratulate my beautiful, sweet, wonderful, caring, intelligent, inspiring, empathetic, hot and sexy wife, Penelope, on passing her Nursing 200 final today with flying colors. You did a great job baby, and now you just have a little over a year to go! You're going to be the best nurse ever! You are the world to me sweetie pie. I love you!

Penelope and Dave

Photo of us atop the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos, from our recent trip to New Mexico.

Blog

FJ Cruiser and the Hollywood Sign

Last night I shot some photos for a project that I'm doing for a band. I will give more details and show the finished product when the project is finished. Here is one of the out-takes from last night:

Blue-J and the Hollywood Sign

Zoom in for a closer look at the sign and the stars.

Blue-J and the Hollywood Sign
Blog

Wired Blog Post : Transformer in Hollywood

A short bit I wrote about a life sized version of Bumblebee in Hollywood just went up on the Wired News Underwire Blog. I'm looking forward to doing more writing and photography for Wired News, and hopefully for the actual magazine as well at some point.

Blog

Urban Adventures : Arroyo Seco Dam

Last weekend I went on a hike up in Altadena with an Urban Exploration group known as Urban Adventures. I've done a good deal of UE in my days and I am excited to be part of a group dedicated to said adventures. Here are some photos I took of the dam:

Dam in Arroyo Seco

Dam in Arroyo Seco

You can check out the rest here in my Arroyo Seco Dam gallery.

Dam in Arroyo Seco Dam in Arroyo Seco Dam in Arroyo Seco Dam in Arroyo Seco Dam in Arroyo Seco
Blog

Ham Radio Licensed : Technician + General Class = Yay!

When I was 10 years old, my Dad bought me a used ham radio. It was consisted of two large stereo console sized boxes, one being a receiver and the other a transmitter. I used to love listening to the conversations in far off places on the HF bands. I never did get to use the transmitter, as I never learned Morse code or took the Ham test.

Half a decade later I read an article in Phrack about the Yaesu FT-50R, and I knew I had to get one. Once again I used it for listening, as without a license, transmitting was illegal.

Last week I was at my Father-in-law's house installing some skid plates on my FJ Cruiser. He was showing off some cool electron tubes to me and offhandedly mentioned that he would probably never fire up the radios in his ham shack again. I didn't tell him about it, but this inspired me to get my license. I looked up the next testing location and found one last Saturday at the Northrop Grumman complex in Redondo Beach, which also happens to have an awesome electronics swap meet which I need to go back and photograph.

After studying the material for a few days and taking a bunch of practice exams, I felt I was ready for the test. I passed the Tech Class test on the first try, and since I had already paid my $14, I went ahead and took the General Class test as well. I ended up failing the General by 1 question.

After failing the General Class test, I made myself a study guide, and learned all the material. Last night I went to a Ham test in Torrance and this time I passed the General Class! It takes up to 10 days for the FCC to assign you a call-sign and put you in their license database, and I'm still not showing up yet.

I can't wait to work the HF bands, I'm planning on picking up my first HF radio in a few days. I really want the ICOM IC-7000, it's an amazing radio in a compact package. The IC-7000 fits what once filled a whole work bench into a tiny package roughly 6.5" x 2.25" x 7" and has a removable faceplate for remote mounting in a vehicle. Now if only I can convince Yay, my lovely, beautiful, wonderful, hardworking, intelligent, sweet wife to let is letting me drop $1500 on this amazing radio! Maybe if I remind her that And it could save our lives in an emergency.

UPDATE: My callsign now shows up in the FCC's database: KI6LZK.

UPDATE 2 Yay, my wife has given me the go-ahead to go and purchase the IC-7000... I'm excited. Heading to pick it up in a bit and then off to the Mojave to hang out with my father-in-law.