Tech Wiz on Pen vs Electronic (and link to a poll!)

The difference between paper and electronic is interesting. In part because I love writing on paper. There is something about the feel of a pen on paper. I know that I shouldn’t be stuck on paper, but I still love the feel. I still think better sometimes when I have a pen in hand. It is why I like pens that are connected and whiteboards that are connected. There is something wonderful about merging the two worlds (paper and electronic).

There are some fun poll questions below and a couple of tough questions. I find the reality of integrity to be more interesting right now, than the reality of pen versus electronic.

Look and feel can be very important. I know that is why I still like to use paper from time to time. Funny, when doing computer diagrams and designs, I almost never use a pen and almost always use something digital. That is more because I find that I often need to be able to refer to and reuse the diagrams I create. That makes going straight to digital a much smarter idea for the diagrams I create.

Oh, brave new world.

Interesting follow up on my initial thinking on the Oculus Go. I am enjoying the fit of the device more than the Oculus Rift. I suspect they took some time and worked with end users to make the Go fit better. The virtual world is getting a lot easier to use. My new idea for the title of my upcoming review is an Homage to Inspector Gadget (Go-Go Oculus)! The really sad thing about Inspector Gadget is that I loved that show as an adult, and effectively and to bribe my kids to watch it with me!


tech wiz

Is integrity dead?

There are so many things that make me uncomfortable right now, more, it feels like that at any time in the past thirty years. I worry about the concept of honesty now, more than I ever have before. Honestly is an important interpersonal requirement. In fairness, I should add the provider to me, in that sentence. But it is really important to me. I don’t just mean honesty in interpersonal communication; I mean the entire package of honesty for me. The importance of following rules is an example of honesty to me. If there are rules, and you choose to ignore them,  then shame on you. If you do it in a way that impacts me, I will react to that, because as I started with honesty is important to me.

Has it become the reality of the world today that honesty isn’t important? I worry about that reality now. I mentioned the other day the overzealous application of political correctness. Part of my ethics is that I try not to offend people. I do understand, however, that I on occasion offend people. It is not something I am proud of; it is something that happens. What worries me, is that people can sit and correct me, tell me that what I’ve said is offensive, when I know that person doesn’t follow the rules as well. Being PC is a rule, it is also ethics. Honesty and following rules are all part of the broader bucket we call Ethics. I worry that over-zealous application of right means you can skip the reality of the rules.

I guess I have to ask. Does personal integrity matter anymore? Do the ethics of political correctness overwhelm the reality of interpersonal integrity? Does integrity matter anymore? Let’s take the sites where I post blogs. All of them have rules for posting. I work very hard to follow all the rules. If I break one, I apologize right away and remove the post that broke the rules. I take the time to write comments for people that are both heartfelt, but also conversational and relevant to their post. I follow the rules. There are those who don’t. Sometimes they benefit from breaking the rules, and for that I am embarrassed. Because I have to continue asking myself does Integrity matter anymore? It is not just in the online world that I consider this growing problem. It truly makes me sad.


Tech Wiz

Tech Wiz and the future of entertainment devices…

I have had a chance to play with two distinctly different personal media devices over the past 20 days. In both cases, there was a learning curve, funny but in both cases, the learning curve for me was around the concept of charging. It was also, sadly in both cases my issue, not the technologies issue. Sometimes, you have to stop and carefully pay attention to what the manual is saying. What is the future of home entertainment? I know when I was a kid cable TV was new. Originally when we lived in Bloomington Indiana, we had four stations. The only one that mattered to my dad was Channel 4 because they carried IU Basketball games. But we also got a couple of other stations. There ended up being 4 out of Indianapolis that we got, 1 PBS station from IU and a CBS station out of Terre Haute Indiana. Cable brought many more stations.

But that was the wired age, when we were dependent on what came into our houses form the air (antenna) or via a cable (cable). My kids don’t watch TV. They still watch TV shows but a lot differently then I did at their age. I’ve tried a few times to explain that once upon a time you got two chances to watch a TV show. Once was the first time it aired, the second during summer reruns. If you missed it, you never got to see it. If you were lucky and the show had enough episodes to syndicate, you could watch it later. But that did require that there were more than 22 episodes. At least it did back in the day. Now shows are syndicated before they are even done with the season.

Streaming changed everything. My kids watch a show, sometimes in what they call the binge form (all of them in as long a period as it takes), sometimes they watch them once a day. The reality is, entertainment is changing, and devices like Oculus Go and Keecker are the new wave. First, because they allow you to interact with your media/ For example, I converted my grandfathers home movies. 13 hours of video. I have 13 hours a year of video, starting when the twins were born. Lot’s more video is available to be viewed and seen. Plus, who wants to go downstairs, find the family video disk, put it in the player and watch home movies. I would rather be able to stream my movies.

Keecker and Oculus are riding that first wave of change. There are more devices to come!


of what is to come…

first steps with Oculus Go

I have been troubleshooting and now using the Oculus Go headset for VR over the last couple of days. The Oculus Rift headsets plug into your computer and open up an expansive virtual world. The Go headset is smaller, portable and connects to your cellular device. I will do a more formalized review, later on; this is my initial reactions and ideas. The first thing I noticed was the new Oculus controller, made for the Go. It is much cleaner than the Oculus Rift’s controllers. The headset isn’t that heavy and watching Netflix on it as well, cool. I like the VR creation of a “living room” with a huge TV in it. It makes the watching Netflix experience that much better.

As would be expected my first official downloaded application is one I already had for the Rift. The Apollo 11 virtual tour. The cool thing about the Oculus Go version is that they now have included JFK’s wonderful speech kicking off the quest for the Moon.  The virtual tour is amazing. I watched the entire JFK speech that I hadn’t listened to in 20 years. Then wandered through the rest of the virtual tour. But, knowing my post of the past starting out with a NASA app would kind of be expected. The other applications besides Netflix and Hulu that I downloaded were the virtual tour application. I started out wandering San Francisco. The experience was smooth, although moving through pictures was a little harder than needed.

Finally, I downloaded a star map application. Like most star maps it is structured with the compass style (N, NE, W and so on). It has the above and below the horizon star map and you can point to see what you are looking at.  The virtual experience is really clean. Overall this is the version of Oculus that I was hoping for (so far) for the Rift. It is a lot more portable, flexible and frees you from the desk or tether to your computer. Without a doubt a great upgrade. I really find the new controller to be incredibly easy to use. It is lightweight and the grip fits my hand really well. There is a learning curve with VR headsets, but the Go headset learning curve is pretty low overall. Look for a full review coming soon!


tech wiz

Communication is extremely fragile…

The communication pattern and concept of overcorrection. I am a person that tries to be as correct as I can be. I know that I am not. I work hard not to say or do the various things that make people uncomfortable. I know that I do from time to time and for that I am very sorry. If I have ever said anything that offended anyone, I am deeply sorry. I did not realize my offense until later I promise you. That said the world of what is and isn’t correct had swung again. While I do truly understand the rights of people to ask that their life is respected, it is critical that both sides issue respect. I do understand when I make a mistake that someone has to or someone should correct me, but there is another story in there as well. How you correct a person shows the kind of person you are as well.

When I was younger, we were taught respect. It is a word featured in the Aretha Franklyn song, but it is also a state of mind. Adults were to be respected. You, upon entering a situation should take the course of least impact until you knew who was there.  It wasn’t that we feared the adults, it was that we respected them. We didn’t derail communication with sidebar corrections. Based on those memories, and based on dealing with people in the modern world I would like to propose a compromise. A middle road that all can take that won’t create a greater and greater gulf between those special people on both sides. Communication is a two-way street after all.

Based on that, it is the rule of respect. When you speak to someone, assume they are someone you respect. Start there; it means that many cases you don’t correct them. Instead, you pull them aside and say, by the way, many people find that offensive. I promise you if they are someone to be respected. They will be notified that they said something like that. Most people I know are, they don’t start the day out saying today is the left-handed day. On a left-handed day I say offensive things about people that are left handed on purpose. No one does that. But if you only correct and don’t show respect, effectively you are doing the same thing. You are offending the person that made a mistake. Instead of giving them a way out with dignity you’ve done the same thing. If it happens multiple times, and you’ve pulled them aside and mentioned it, then and only one should you say in front of the group “XYZ, we’ve had this conversation some people find the way you re saying that to be offensive.”


communication is critical

Tech Wiz Ramble and OODA Loops

Today is another Tech Wiz ramble, mostly because I have a lot of things on my mind right now. The first thing is the reality of peace. Over the last four or five years, I have worked to move out of stress and into a more balanced life. It isn’t easy with the world exploding around me, but I am trying. I am also trying to find and evaluate the components that make me lose the peace. Things that I know set me on edge. For many years I chased what I called communications Patterns and Anti-patterns (they aren’t exactly opposites in the software world, but anti-patterns can derail a solution built on patterns). The structure that most of us seek in our lives is often a pattern.

One of the “concepts? That resonates with me in my search is the OODA Loop process of John Boyd. Much like the original system theory from Ludwig_von_Bertalanffy a biologist and expanded to other technologies and disciplines over time. System theory is simple in the technology world; there are inputs, business processes and outputs for every system. If we combine some systems, it becomes a System of Systems and so on. John Boyd approached the concept of decision making as a system in his OODA Loop. The concept expands on the idea that Observation can be modified by orientation, which then pushes stronger decisions and actions. Body’s systems have been adopted by the military and by many businesses.

Within the OODA loops, there are also points where we stop and consider feedback or feedback loops. The value of a system like the OODA loop is that we can move decisions forward faster. Faster, better decisions, of course, is a good thing. Knowing the what and how of the orientation for the observer also allows greater interaction. You, in presenting your idea, know that you need to change the orientation of the observer before the decision and action not after. Frankly, in the now three years since I was exposed to this theory, I have come to embrace it as something that I find as well merit. I have also had the opportunity to learn more about John Boyd the human being and find that his theory of life is something he lived.

Ramble off!


OODA Loop Beginner

IoT from the Tech Wiz

When I was a little kid, I wasn’t very good at putting together models. I hated the smell of the glue you had to use, and I wasn’t coordinated. That meant my models were often a bit off. The reason for this is I was playing with the Littlebits Droid kit on Saturday. It, the Droid kit allows you to build your droid. I love that kind of stuff, in part because it is the IoT integration between the art of the possible and the art of creating.  Littlebits is a really interesting company and one that I am happy to publicize and support. I’ve played with a couple of their build kits, and I find them to be professional, well built and fun. It reminds me of the days of old for me when I had the 100 in 1 Radio Shack electronics board. You could do or complete more than 100 different electronics experiments with that kit.

There are some vendors in the IoT creation space. They each start in a different part of the market. I spend time with the creators and developers of both the software and the hardware solutions I this space. Yes, it is a geeky thing for me, but it is something that I find incredibly interest right now. Today’s art of the possible in technology, is always what empowers the technology dreams of tomorrow. I used to do an IoT presentation for various high schools. A couple of times I had a drone in the back of the room, and as part of the presentation (the first time), I flew the drone over the crowd and then showed them the footage. A principal did tell me I couldn’t do that again (risky in case the drone crashed).

I did continue to fly and show the drone video, just flying the one on stage with me instead of over the audience. With stage lighting, it was less an image of the kids and more an image of the top of my head. It was a fun presentation; I should dust it off and offer to do it again. There is something incredible about presenting to interested kids (the reverse, angry and disinterested kids are really hard to reach).  There are many more things available now for this overall type of presentation than there was three years ago when I stopped. The Littlebits team continues to build interesting concepts. The Droid kit is one of the more recent releases, the software and hardware are well integrated. Always fun to see a new idea start to come alive!


IoT fan