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  • Andrej Kyselica 8:58 pm on December 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    UAV Prototype Board V1 

    Placeholder for my UAV Prototype sensor board. PCB design scheduled to be complete 12/3/10.

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  • Andrej Kyselica 8:57 pm on December 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Placeholder for my UAV Prototype sensor board

     
  • Andrej Kyselica 6:38 am on March 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Art vs. Craft 

    I’m reading Seth Godin’s Linchpin—great read so far and a kick in the pants against complacency. I’ll post more of my thoughts on the book when I get through the rest of it. (Short version: Go get it now!!)

    But already it has started me thinking more about the difference between art and craft, and how that difference should guide how I use my time and target my personal development.

    Art is the design, the creative input that makes something great. Art as defined here is much broader than something that hangs on the wall: it’s on display when a salesperson engages someone in a directed conversation or when a developer designs an innovative user interface. Art is not linear or predictable and cannot be packaged as a commodity. It can’t be taught, but it can be buried.

    Craft, on the other hand is a technical skill. It is linear and can be taught. Craft is the process of building something to spec. It’s critical, but since it is predictable and teachable, it’s more of a commodity than art.

    When I look at how I spend my time and add value in my work, I sometimes get hung up on the craft because it can be fun and challenging. But when I look at my best work, I’m proud of it because of the emotional investment and creativity in it, not by any technical aspects of its execution. I think I need to keep watching what I do so I don’t get too deep into the weeds on execution (craft) and let the displace what has real meaning (art).

     
  • Andrej Kyselica 6:55 pm on March 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Going Barefoot: Week 1 Report 

    Today ends the first week of my barefoot running experiment so I’m recording my progress and thought someone else might benefit from my experience. My previous post covered off on my motivations and goals for doing this.

    My Vibram Five Fingers KSOs (Keep Stuff Outs) came in last Friday. I was concerned about the fit but they fit perfectly. I started out slowly by just wearing them around on errands over the weekend.

    Here’s a summary of the week:

    Day Activities Observations
    Sat 3/6 errands (Drew’s basketball game, etc.) It was a little cool in the morning but it wasn’t really a problem because I didn’t spend much time outside; feet felt good; got a curious look or two
    Sun 3/7 Great Wolf Lodge trip with the kids It was handy to use the same shoes outside, indoors and by the pool; once inside by the pool, I took the VFFs off; everyone’s barefoot at the pool
    Mon 3/8 weight workout; outdoor run The Monday weight workout was an opportunity to move around and use different positions; the VFFs are really good for weight training—stable, comfortable
    The great weather gave me a perfect opportunity to get a few miles in outside. I ran about 1.4 miles with the VFFs and switched to shoes for another 3.5 miles (felt fine but I’m starting slow)
    Tue 3/9 strength class Much like weight work, the VFFs were well suited for the strength class. We didn’t use fitness balls in this class, but I imagine the VFFs would be good for stabilizing
    Wed 3/10 weight workout uneventful, still good
    Thu 3/11 cardio/strength class, treadmill run The CRT (cardio resistance training) class at Lifetime is a great high-intensity workout: weights, pushups, jumping, sprinting, stairs (lost count of how many sets). it’s a high impact workout and I babied my feet a little bit this first time to avoid getting injured. I definitely noticed more burn in my lower legs than normal so that’s a good sign.
    After CRT, I tacked on a quick 1 mile run on the treadmill in the VFFs. I took a slow pace at 7.1mph and my legs felt fine, but the treadmill feel strange to run on—I could feel the thin belt sliding under my feet. Running outdoors feels a lot better than on the treadmill now.
    Fri 3/12 weights
    jump rope
    another good weight workout wearing the VFFs.. no problem there, definitely enjoying the feel of them when lifting
    I wanted to give my legs another workout before the weekend so I jumped rope in the VFFs for 5 minutes to build foot and calf strength; I thought this would get painful and I planned to only go for 2 minutes, but it felt so good I kept adding minutes until I hit 5 and decided not to push my luck

    (I did the spinning classes M/W/F but I wear cycling shoes in those so I didn’t list them here)

    A few general observations:

    • After running barefoot for just over a mile, I had changed my running style significantly: I eliminated my heel strike (that hurts barefoot!), took smaller steps and kept a straighter posture. When I switched back to shoes to finish my run, I stuck with that style and think I ran significantly better that way in shoes as well.
    • On the outdoor run, the uphills were the easiest to adapt to and downhills the hardest. My old way would be to pound down the hill landing on my heels but this doesn’t work barefoot so I’m relearning how to descend with speed. This will just take some time.
    • I can feel my feet getting stronger and more flexible. Believe it or not, I discovered that the toes actually serve a purpose other than decoration. This was particularly noticeable while jumping rope.
    • Looking into the whole barefoot thing, I kept seeing people talking about how much fun the barefoot thing was. To be honest, it seemed a little silly to me. A week in, though, I’m starting to understand it, but I’m not sure I can explain it.

    Next week I’ll continue on the same track, bumping barefoot miles up to somewhere south of 2. I’ll try to work some more jump rope in because that seems to really work the feet and lower legs.

     
    • teammayham 2:13 am on August 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Just happened along this post as a related suggestion off of my own. I was wondering, how do you not have any joint pain? I demoed just a few drills barefoot at a pole vault camp I was coaching and my knees were killing me only a few hours later. (Granted, I do have bad knees.) Do you have any trouble with this?
      -Annie, Team Mayham

      • Andrej Kyselica 9:01 pm on August 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        @Annie.. I’m about 5 months into the barefoot running thing. I haven’t had any joint trouble. I haven’t had knee trouble in the past but I have had foot problems in prior years when trying to ramp my mileage past 5-7 consistently. I’m comfortably running 7 miles 2-3 times a week in my Vibram VFFs. I map bump up to hit a half marathon later this year so that will match my personal longest run.

        I don’t like to run on back-to-back days and mix up the workouts with cycling and strength work. That seems to help.

    • Andrej Kyselica 9:04 pm on August 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I never really answered your question.. here’s what worked for me: ramp up distance and duration slowly and follow good form. Good form is a straight back, level head, loose ankles, quick strides, footstrike directly below body, push off the back and high foot kicks/knees taking the heel towards the rear.

  • Andrej Kyselica 9:42 pm on March 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Are my shoes actually causing me more foot problems than they’re preventing? 

    I have a love/hate relationship with running. Running energizes me and really clears my head. But running has also caused me serious foot problems to the point where I could barely walk. When I go beyond 5-6 miles, I start getting stress injuries in my feet. When I did finally complete a half marathon in 2005, I could barely walk for a week afterwards and it pretty much ended my running season that year. When I asked my doctor for advice, he suggested good running shoes and scaling back my miles. Even after trying several good sets of running shoes, the 5-6 mile limit remains—going beyond that still causes me pain, even if I ramp up slowly.

    So for the last couple of years, I just accepted that I have bad feet and that 6k runs are my limit. That’s a bummer because I only start to enjoy running after the first couple of miles are out of the way.

    Recently listening to the audio edition of “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall (an excellent book on all accounts), I started thinking again about barefoot running which I started to look into last year but too late in the season to do much with.

    The general idea behind barefoot running is that thick padded shoes lead to injury because they let us run in unnatural ways, while not letting our feet build the strength to act like the sophisticated shock absorbers they evolved to be. There’s much more to the argument but there’s no point in rehashing what others have covered in great detail.

    I have nothing to lose so I’m going to give this a shot. I’ll use a mix of actual barefoot running outside, combined with Vibram FiveFingers for treadmill and messy outdoor situations. My current running style won’t work barefoot (heel strike is painful without shoes), so I’ll have to change that. I have a short triathlon in April but I’m not sure if I’ll be ready to cut over by then or not.

    I’ll keep a journal here through this experiment. My goal is to break through the 5-6 mile barrier without injuries.

     
  • Andrej Kyselica 10:37 am on February 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    OneNote 2010: Docking a Window on Startup 

    I’m a huge OneNote user since it first came with Office 2003 and the way I use it has evolved over the years. I’ll come back with a post here that talks more about how I use OneNote to be more productive, but today I’ll share a quick tip for those of you using Office 2010.

    I like to have a OneNote window docked to my screen to capture quick notes and track what I’m doing that day. Here’s a screenshot of what this looks like using my Daily Journal template:

    I used to have to launch OneNote, navigate to my Journal notebook and click the Dock button to put the OneNote in position. But now I automate this by putting a shortcut in my Startup folder in my Start menu with this command line:

    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\ONENOTE.EXE" "<path to my journal .ONE file>" /docked
    

     

    If you have Office 64-bit installed or have it installed somewhere else, you’ll have to use the appropriate path to your Office 2010 install path.

     
  • Andrej Kyselica 8:50 pm on January 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Adding Ethernet to the upstairs in our house 

    This weekend, my Bride asked me if it was possible to get TV and video on the TV we have in the upstairs playroom like we have on the other TVs in the house. Hmm….

    Xbox 360s are cheaper now than most set-top boxes you can buy, and with Windows Media Center I am centralizing our recorded TV and DVD collection so anything is accessible anywhere, so what I really need to do is get a reliable, fast-ish network connection upstairs.

    As any geek that’s married to a non-geek knows, there’s a huge marriage-happiness difference between giving your spouse technology that’s 99% there and 100% there.

    Wireless is a bit sketchy at that part of the house, so I need more than an Xbox wireless adapter to make this work. That gives me two options: add another access point in the house, upgrading to Wireless-N in the process (I’m still hanging on to G since it’s just used for a few laptops to get on the Internet) or run a wired connection.

    All told, going to Wireless-N would trigger an epic upgrade cycle that could end up costing me hundreds. Running a wired connection will cost about $50, will be faster (gigabit, even though the 360 only goes to 100mbit), and once I have a run up there, I can add as many drops as I want.

    My Plan

    I already have a few coax cables running along behind a gutter at the back of my house going from the basement to the attic. I will add a Cat-5 to that bundle and send that run into a small patch panel high in one of the closets upstairs. From there I will run a connection by the upstairs TV and for now I’ll just directly connect the two lines. Later as I add more drops upstairs, I can put a switch in this closet.

    I could save money by skipping the patch panel for now, but that’s too ghetto.

     image

    Bill of Materials

    Outdoor-grade Cat-5e cable (100’)

    $26 shipped

    12-port Mini Patch Panel

    $25 shipped

    Keystone Jacks, Wall Plates, In-wall Cat-5e cable

    Already in my inventory

     

    So it looks like I have a project for an upcoming weekend. At least if I’m going to be climbing around in the attic, I’ll be doing it in the winter instead of the summer. Schlepping around in fiberglass stinks. It REALLY stinks when you’re doing it sweaty and everything sticks to you.

     
  • Andrej Kyselica 11:30 am on January 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Should I spend the extra $15 on a ‘Green’ hard drive for my Home Server? 

     

     

    Should I spend the extra money to get a ‘green drive’ for my Home Server?

    So, the multimeter reported the following: 1.06A average consumption, 1.13A maximum consumption. The oscilloscope data reads: 1.04A average consumption and 2.71A maximum consumption. As you can see, the multimeter managed to get the average value pretty closely, but failed to catch any of the consumption peaks.

    Pasted from <http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/hdd-power-cons_4.html>

    12v * 1.07a = 12.84w * 24h * 365d = 112,478.4wy / 1000 = 112.4784kwy * $.0824 = $9.27

    Note that our tests show only the overall power draw, not the individual power draw of components such as the hard drive. Western Digital claims that the Caviar GP drops its operational draw to 8 watts, down from the 13 watts consumed by a previous-generation model. The company also says the power-consumption savings can reach up to 38 percent over a previous-generation drive. We were not able to test these claims.

    You can conserve a little power with the Western Digital Caviar GP, which costs less than the Seagate–proving that going green can save a bit of green too

    Pasted from <http://www.pcworld.com/article/140982/green_hard_drive_loses_little_on_performance.html>

    Cost savings:

    Best case (mfgr statements): $9.27 * 38% = $3.52 / year

    Tested case: $9.27 * 3.2% = $0.3 / year

    No, it’s not worth the extra $15 (for me)

    Did I get my math wrong anywhere?

     
  • Andrej Kyselica 8:20 pm on April 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    E2 Diet – Day 16 

     

    Breakfast 1 Orange
    Breakfast 2 Grapes and cantaloupe
    Lunch Korean Hot Stone Bimbimbob w/ tofu w/o egg
    Dinner Kashi veggie no-cheese pizza w/ eggplant, squash
    Misc Silk Very Vanilla (very good!)
    Fruit and nut trail mix
    Peanuts

    It seems like I ate a lot today but I’m starting to trust my appetite as long as I stick with the right foods. I’m slowly losing weight so I’m probably not over-eating.

    Weight: 153 lbs

     
  • Andrej Kyselica 7:32 pm on April 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    E2 Diet – Day 15 

    Two weeks in and I can say I’m in the groove. I’m getting used to what I’m eating. I’m getting a little better about planning my meals.

    Food

    Breakfast 1 Homemade spicy chickpea bread (made it in the bread machine, turned out pretty well)
    Breakfast 2 Grapes and honeydew melon
    Lunch Asian salad w/ a little teriyaki sauce, side of mixed veggies
    Afternoon snack Odwalla straberry bar
    Banana
    Bread
    Dinner Wheat pasta w/ tomato sauce
    Dried fruit, nuts, bread

    Weight: 154

    Added a B-12 supplement to the mix for now—I plan to eliminate this once I get some dietary yeast into my routine once in a while. I’ll take one every few days just to be safe.

     
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