Wiring Adventure

I was at Baumax yesterday buying some things. One item I picked up was a plug to attach to a lamp I want to use here. The issue is I can’t figure out how I’m supposed to connect the wires to the plug. The posts that come out of the plug and go into an outlet are solid. There’s no immediately obvious way (to me) to connect the wires to those posts. Images below – click on them for larger.

Posted in General

Run On

It’s an old song, sung a lot of ways by a lot of people. I tend to prefer the Johnny Cash version the best, but that’s no surprise. One verse really stands out.

Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
Workin’ in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black and white
What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light

It’s not a popular position today but I do believe that much like there are physical laws at work in our universe there are also moral or spiritual laws as well. I believe that whenever anyone seeks to find the truth about life, that when they do it will be in line with these laws. Of course I also think a lot of people could save quite a bit of time by reading the Bible and getting a jump start on discovering what these truths are. All that to say that this portion of the song is based on scripture and is, I believe, something that can be depended on as much as gravity or the fact that 2+2=4.

Luke 8:17
For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.

Posted in General

Clean the Fan

This video is supposed to be funny but it’s actually pretty good documentation of how I spent a good chunk of my morning. Ingrid’s laptop was overheating and needed to be cleaned out. I pretty much had to completely disassemble it as shown in the song. I didn’t have to do some things they have in there, but did have to do some they don’t show. Pretty poor engineering.

Posted in Funny, Geeks In Action, Hardware, Video

Vis Per Mare

Proud of my shipmates on the Chuckie-V.

An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113 experienced an engine fire following a touch-and-go landing aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) April 11. The pilot was able to execute a single-engine approach and land on board. Upon landing, the aircraft fuselage became engulfed in flames. Carl Vinson’s Crash and Salvage team, assigned to Air Department’s V-1 Division, responded immediately with the P-25 mobile fire fighting vehicle along with the flight deck emergency hose team. The aircraft fire was extinguished using aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), and the pilot exited the plane uninjured. No flight deck personnel were injured in the mishap.

Posted in Military, Navy


I’ve never cared for moving. I like going new places, it’s the process of getting there that isn’t a lot of fun. We are getting to the point where we have to deal with a lot of the less fun parts of moving to Hungary. I found this video of Budapest to be motivating, as it reminds me of how cool it will be to live there. Technically we wont reside in Budapest. We will be living in Diósd, a small town between Budapest and Erd. But it’s close enough that I’m sure we’ll get to enjoy the beauty of the city regularly.

Here’s a map that shows Diósd in relation to the cities around it.

View Larger Map

Posted in Personal, Video, Work Tagged with: ,

U.S.A. Federal IT Dashboard

In keeping with my fondness for Drupal, I’ve got another impressive project that is built on top of Drupal. This one is the Federal IT Dashboard. This is how the site describes itself,

The IT Dashboard is a website enabling federal agencies, industry, the general public and other stakeholders to view details of federal information technology investments.

The purpose of the Dashboard is to provide information on the effectiveness of government IT programs and to support decisions regarding the investment and management of resources. The Dashboard is now being used by the Administration and Congress to make budget and policy decisions.

The site was developed by REI Systems. They are unabashed fans of Drupal. And they’ve taken the time and effort to lay out some great information on why they decided to use Drupal to build their project including the advantages it brought as well as some of the challenges.

They have posted two case studies giving brief but interesting overviews to the development of the IT Dashboard. One approaches the project from a technical perspective and the other gives a management perspective. I think both are great reading.

My real hope now is that REI might contribute back the custom work they did to the community where it is appropriate. Either way, they’ve shown what a powerful platform Drupal is.

Posted in Geeks In Action Tagged with: , ,

Open Atrium

I was messing about with some Drupal stuff this week and ran across Open Atrium. Open Atrium is a collaborative suite built on top of Drupal. It is now a product of Phase2 Technology, a company with a slew of Open Source based solutions in their stable. It originally started life as a Development Seed project.

As I mentioned, Open Atrium treats Drupal as a platform and I think they have a really good thing going with that choice. The install is a Drupal install. Including time to create a mysql database, database user and uploading the package it took me about 10 minutes to have an Open Atrium site up and running. It probably could have been quicker if I’d done it from the shell rather than cpanel.

Once the install is done, the site presents a custom admin interface, hiding the Drupal admin screens beneath. Setting up groups and users is pretty straightforward and there are 3 roles pre-built for managing rights.

The dashboard presented to the Admin on the home page.

It is possible to dig deeper into the Drupal settings via the admin toolbar. This toolbar initially only shows up for the original admin account created during setup but it can be given to other users.

Since it’s Drupal underneath it can be extended, and the Open Atrium folks call these Features. Right now there are a few built in features and hooks are provided to add others. I would hope that if the Open Atrium community grows that there would be a sharing of new features and extensions to give more functionality. I for instance, would be interested in being able to use the CAS module that is available for Drupal.

The built in features available are Blog, Calendar, Notebook, Case Tracker and Shoutbox. I hope Blog and Calendar are self explanatory. Notebook is a place for sharing and storing notes, files and other resources. It supports tagging of pages, organizing pages in books, notifications to people connected to the notebook and viewing revisions. Case Tracker supports the creation of tasks for work to be done and the creation of cases for bug tracking. The forms are very similar to those for the notebook allowing for tagging, notifications, revisions, file attachments, etc. Shoutbox is basically a little built in microblogging tool to facilitate team communication.

Group Dashboard

Member's dashboard within a group.

What Open Atrium does right now, out of the box, is impressive in my mind. It certainly would be a great jump off point for anyone looking to build a teamwork solution for their own organization. I think it would be especially attractive to working in an environment where internet connectivity was an issue. Open Atrium would provide a rather useful teamwork environment that could very easily be locally hosted. I’ll be keeping an eye on this product as well as the offerings from Phase 2 Technologies.

Posted in Geeks In Action Tagged with: , ,

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