Thanks for the Feedback

We are one week into our Kickstarter Launch here at LocalPOD central and so far we are doing great!  Thanks for the comments, they really help.  We are going to make a better video.

Also so many people said to me, “That is great, but what does it do?” That I finally gave up and wrote a formal document.  Here it is:

LocalPOD

We have one donor on Kickstarter so far!

You see, one does more than set a goal for a project like this; then carry it out.  One does not succeed in that way.  It is more like one has a dream and “throws one’s heart over the bar.”  Thanks to Reverend Norman Vincent Peale for that one!  I thought he was talking about gymnastics.

It has been hard for me to convince people that they need LocalPOD.  Not LocalPOD as it currently stands but LocalPOD as it is intended to be at the delivery date of the Kickstarter in September 2017.  For I have done so much work to bring this project to this stage over the last five years.  Knowing that I needed a small computer to make the ‘Pod a success I tried out so many devices: Arduino, programmable without a bootloader, BeagleBoard, an ARM3 Tiger board, TI DSP and MSP430.  The only thing I didn’t try was Raspberry Pi!  I think that the Galileo board is great!

Please keep your comments coming.  And please support LocalPOD on Kickstarter!  Remember you are not buying hard-baked hardware.  A lot of software development has gone into the ‘POD by myself and the free Open Source community as well!

Thanks for the Comments

What use is a blog if one never makes a post?!  Development can be slow, and I don’t like to speak up unless I have something new to say.  I have heard it said that one must start selling one’s solution to anything prior to completing development: in fact secure the promise of sales prior to investing a lot of money into overhead and inventory.  It makes sense; one needs so many things to be independent (and for me, that includes camping supplies!)  But at the same time I do not like to make empty promises.  Why promise something new before you are sure that the BETA even will be a success?!

You may be wondering, dear Reader, how my mind has wandered off technology into the sales cycle.  Maybe it was the most excellent Technology Conference I just attended in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Emerging Technology Conference.  I have heard that a good developer should attend at least one conference a year: this may have been it for me.  The tantalizing solutions presented during this two day conference made me take a step back.  What is the use of working and working only to achieve incrementally smaller results?!

Looks Like LocalPOD is working

Localpod

Hi! This is Evan!  It took about 5 years, but here is LocalPOD in operation!  This is a hub with an LCD screen that can “connect your cellphone to your computer with two clicks”  Now that I have my computer networked to my hotspot I can think about getting my phone to connect via bluetooth!

I already worked that out!

LocalPOD is made of an Intel Galileo Gen 2 board with an Intel Centrino 135 daughterboard.  It took me a long time to learn how to program the Yocto Linux Embedded Kernel Operating system that it runs.  Don’t ask me what Yocto stands for but they are a pretty good open source consortium.  Galileo is Arduino-compatible and runs on Intel’s x86 software that Personal Computers in the Windows world have long used but it is not as fast as a real Arduino.  But its good enough to get the LCD display going, for which I have chosen Vizic Technology’s 272×480 pixel screen: this unit has an ARM processor on it so that I didn’t have to map out all the pixels.

Right now it is starting to rain here and I have to get home.  If you have any questions, email me at tech@evanwilliamsconsulting.com or call me at 908-359-8070.  Thanks!  Have a Marvelous Day!

When A Knowledge Base is Needed

The great business and sales coach, Brian Tracy, in his book The Art Of Closing the Sale, speaks of success as being the cumulation of material required to win over the customer.  Does that make sense?  I own the book but I am sure that I have now wildly mis-paraphrased what Mr. Tracy actually wrote.

Let me explain in my own words.  Perhaps you have heard the adage, “Try try again!”  This expressions means “If at first you don’t succeed try try again!”  Just because one fails the first time doesn’t mean that one may not succeed on a subsequent try.  This, without reliving Einstein’s adage: “Insanity is repeating the same thing expecting different results!” A recent Nobel Prize winner was quoted as saying that it was only on the 5000th try that he was able to invent a certain kind of Light Emitting Diode, for instance.

I myself have failed at some of my activities many times and have been successful at others.  This note really concerns that fact that I actually do need a database to keep track of every time that I had failed.  You may think that is funny! It sounds funny until you remember that true scientists and engineers often do keep a laboratory notebook of all their endeavors and experiments!

Every time I try to move an image or <div> on a website, for example, it often goes to the wrong place.  When I do find out (again) the right way to place my content in a webpage I often wish I could write that down.  But a blog is not the place for each and every note about how a subject matter works.  Nor can we each keep our own encyclopedia of all these things.  Still this note is leading me to contribute the idea that a personal Knowledge Base or Wiki would really be helpful; perhaps one that is half-on and half-off the World Wide Web!

The Problem With Most Websites

People and companies that need websites start off easily enough.  They start designing their site and pretty soon they choose a domain name and build it.

Soon the new website is up! And it looks alright!  There are a lot of anticipated features but these aren’t yet filled.  Both content and functionality needs to be filled out.  That takes so much time that often it doesn’t get done right away.

We have the same problem here at Evan Williams Consulting, LLC.  Having great plans for each of the icons above in our header; they don’t all go to links yet.

This is where good web design and persistence is needed.

Please Don’t Throw Good Coffee Away!

Hello!  I diverge here from my usual technical talk.  One’s interests change and now I am starting to think and read about planning the User’s eXperience / Interaction. UX/UI.   You have to think, after all, about who is using your software and what they feel!

Nonetheless it is good to be rooted in one’s own field.  One reason that I have been “out-of-work” for a year is that almost every time I had a PHP interview, the recruiter asked me about my “front-end” and “design” experience.  Hey! I would have loved to have had those jobs!

I’m really a back-end guy with a background in computer infrastructure.  After I got my MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer) I got halfway through my MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solution Engineer) on Windows 2008 Server.  Study as I might, I really had trouble matching up those little multiple choice matches for AH and ESP – Authentication Header and Encapsulated Profile – on both sides of the Encrypted Channel.  Do you think that stuff is really secure?  Please Don’t Throw Sausage Pizza Away!

The mantra “Please Don’t Throw Sausage Pizza Away!” stands for Physical, Datalink, Transport, Session, P… hmm, and Application.  You can see why I didn’t pass the Networking exam!

Anyway I am proposing an alternative to the OSI 7 layer reference model: Please Don’t Throw Good Coffee Away.  As you can see this has only 6 layers and would be easier to implement and remember.  What does it stand for?  Physical, Datalink, Transport, Group, Code, Application.

These aren’t really Acronyms (I have written about and ‘railed against” them before).  These are “SentanceGrams.” GroupThink is here to stay!

Why Are We Not Using The New Website??!

  1. It’s Not Done Yet! Ha Ha Ha!
  2. The Data Storage System that we created using Doctrine doesn’t allow for articles that are longer than 256 characters!  Can’t we use the ZODB that comes with Python instead?
  3. There is no easy .PDF output like ReportLab in PHP.  We know ReportLab too!  We have to write our own PHP  “Thunks” to use ReportLab for .PDF production.

But if the new website is not done we will forever be offering content For Free!!!

What Sells in the IT Market Today

People might think that I have it made.  In fact I do!  After all I have just invented and launched Localpod, the next great new device! But rule One of business, I think, is “Don’t rest on your laurels.”  Don’t think that everything is alright just because things are going well today.  Or, to quote the author the The Power Of Positive Thinking: “don’t wait for everything to be safe and assured. [then it will be too late!]”

Sales have been slow on Localpod, so, following the above mantra I am thinking, “What Can I do to earn a dollar today?” while I wait for the sales to pick up on this great new gadget.  The answer, of course, is, “Don’t wait!”

So I’m looking at some new opportunities.  Right now I am learning about recruiting!  Hey, maybe I am better with people than computers after all!