Archive for the ‘General’ Category

2015 FIRST Robotics build season

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

The FIRST Robotics season kicked off last weekend and I’ll be spending much of my free time working with the Merrimack ChopShop166 software team.

Some handy links:

Tempus fugit

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Today is this blog’s 12th birthday!

It started out being hosted as static webpages maintained by blosxom which I created a debian package.

As my twitter description says, it is primarily about ‘NH, 6 kids, Linux, photog (some licensed by Creative Commons), 25+ backyard chickens, HP, Cloud, geek, android, arduino, genealogy are some words I like”

Guilford Harbor pano

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

DSC01780 – DSC01782 (Modified), originally uploaded by marcn.

…in Guilford, CT

Via Flickr:

Projection: Cylindrical (1)
FOV: 100 x 33
Ev: 14.83

Lunchtime hack

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

It started with my tweet this morning:

“I need a webcam on the downstairs coffee machine #firstworldproblems

So I grabbed Son #1′s old busted original droid, installed IP Webcam from the android market and put it in front of the coffee machine in the kitchen.


And then could see the coffee level. (hint: time to make more coffee)


With 6 kids in the house, there is no way that the hack will stay there more than a few minutes.

So I dug up a long extension cord and relocated the setup to the backyard and turned it into a “chicken cam”.



HP Tablet running Android ICS

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

I picked up a 32GB HP Tablet from the firesale and have been running the stock WebOS.

In the last few weeks some of my kids have complained that the new gmail interface is no longer fully supported by the WebOS browser. Basically it won’t load unless you switch to the basic HTML version. And then you lose the gtalk chat capability – apparently the killer app for teen girls.

This morning I had one of the college kids install Android Ice Cream Sandwich (v4.0) on it. It went smoothly and works well with the exception of the camera and microphone. At the initial bootup, I connected the tablet to my google account and apps started to automatically download to it.

What is very nice is the install doesn’t overwrite the existing WebOS and can boot back to that if wanted.

The starting point for installing CyanogenMod here:

My most viewed photos on Flickr

Monday, March 12th, 2012

The last blog post got me thinking of my popular photos on Flickr. Here are the top 10 most viewed photos:

  1. John McCain (featured on 34,251 hits — this photo spent a number of weeks linked to from Yahoo!’s 2008 election page. One of the two times I saw him in Merrimack. The colors are a bit washed out. For rare/unique photo ops I now shoot in RAW format…
    John McCain (featured on
  2. New Hampshire Nudist Park 18,506 hits — Yes chilly NH does have a nudist park. No I’ve never stopped in.

    New Hampshire Nudist Park

  3. Are you ready for the Rapture? Jesus is coming on Oct 28, 1992(!) 15,635 hits

    Are you ready for the Rapture? Jesus is coming on Oct 28, 1992(!)

  4. Gena O`Kelley (Mrs Chuck Norris) 13,620 hits — I took the kids to see Chuck Norris and his wife when they were out traveling with Mike Huckabee. I’d say most people where there to see Chuck. He is surprisingly short in person. Also see comment wrt RAW format.

    Gena O`Kelley (Mrs Chuck Norris)

  5. Barack Obama 12,071 hits — one of my ‘famous’ photos. It is available under a liberal Attribution Creative Commons license and has been used on a number of website but also the cover of a now defunct hiphop magazine. says it knows of about 153 uses. Also used on Wikpedia: Barack_Obama_at_NH See note about shooting in RAW…

    Barack Obama

  6. Gena O`Kelley 11,954 hits — another Mrs Chuck Norris photo from the same event. Guess the Norris fanboys like to look at his wife.

    Gena O`Kelley

  7. Hillary Clinton in Hampton, NH 10,607 — this is from one of her early 2008 primary events in NH. Did you ever notice her blue eyes? I really like this photo.

    Hillary Clinton in Hampton, NH

  8. If you don’t talk to your cat about catnip… Who Will? 8,420 — funny sign seen at a daytrip to Portsmouth.

    If you don't talk to your cat about catnip... Who Will?

  9. Shawn Johnson 7,205 — not a particularly great shot but linked to from a woman’s gymnastics web forum.

    Shawn Johnson

  10. Senator Joe Biden & Nozell/Thomas family 6,212 — at the time Vice President Biden was just a US Senator. As you may guess the event was in support of NH Governor John Lynch.

    Senator Joe Biden & Nozell/Thomas family

Belated Blog Birthday

Monday, March 12th, 2012

I missed a couple of milestones.

This blog turned 10 years old on March 5th, 2012. It started life as a humble blosxom script and stayed like that for two years when I migrated to a self-hosted wordpress blog. Since I’ve been tracking late in 2007, there has been 180,000 page views — a good percentage is probably spammers.

Here are my move viewed blog entries:

  1. messing around with tiles (13-Aug-2004; 16,153 hits) — a silly little post about using the taprats java app to generate some interesting titles. It is also where I got the favicon for
  2. family pictures — including one of me naked! (4-May-2003; 7,560 hits) — Seems lots of people are searching for naked photos on the internet. Who knew? The entry has some bitrot, but I had scanned some old photos as part of a genealogy project. Here is the photo of me butt naked.
  3. Getting started with the SheevaPlug (12-May-2009; 7,158 hits) — finally a geek-related entry! I’m still somewhat happy with LordShiva.local, but it sometimes flakes out losing the root filesystem. Its backup function has been moved to a DreamPlug.
  4. flickr upload for gnome’s nautilus (4-Sep-2004; 6,077 hits) — Back in the Debian/Sarge days I wrote a little Nautilus script to upload flickr photos. It got some link-love from flickr. Sadly the script is lost to the ages.
  5. I’ve seen things, I’ve seen them with my eyes… (5-Mar-2004; 4,901 hits) — damn earworm by the excellent Weebl. Surprisingly the link is still good. Best part of the song? Kuala Lumpur!
  6. Some tips to (re)install grub on an HP ProLiant server (8-May-2004, 4762 hits) — Back in the day HP ProLiant with SmartArray controllers, Red Hat and grub didn’t love each other as much as they do today. My notes were popular for a while, less so over time.
  7. Logitech USB headset & Ubuntu/Linux (13-Sep-2006; 4,263 hits) — evidence that random devices work out of the box on Linux just like it usually does on Windows.
  8. hp 2133 update (4-Jun-2008; 3,799 hits) — described some problems installing various distros of Linux on my cute little hp2133 netbook. Since then Ubuntu has been running on the hp2133 just fine and has ubeen upgraded through Oneric. Now it is off at college with Son #2 who uses it for notetaking in class.
  9. SheevaPlug customizing pre-installed Ubuntu/Jaunty (17-May-2009; 3,392 hits) — misc notes on the SheevaPlug when it was running Ubuntu/Jaunty. Currently it is running Debian/Squeeze mainly because Ubuntu dropped support for the ARM CPU it uses.
  10. SheevaPlug is now my main home server (26-Jun-2009; 2,916 hits) — A write up on what the SheevaPlug was hosting in my home datacenter. All those functions have moved to the newer and more capable DreamPlug.

The other big milestone is I’ve had the domain for 15 years — 6-Feb-1997. I have children that are younger than that domain!

Record last updated on 07-Feb-2012.
Record expires on 07-Feb-2013.
Record created on 06-Feb-1997.

FIRST Robotics – Granite State Regional (Saturday)

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Day 2 – 2012 Granite State Regional, a set on Flickr.

Tons of photos from the BAE Systems/Granite State Regional FIRST Robotics competition.

Iif your robot competed, there is likely a photo of it here!

Use, share, redistribute the photos, but you need to give me a photo credit.

FIRST Robotics – Granite State Regional (Friday)

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

FIRST Robotics – Granite State Regional, a set on Flickr.

Tons of robot photos from Friday at the NH FIRST Robotics regional competition.

Including some of the surprise concert performers Jada.

Ubuntu 11.10 upgrade works great on hp2133 netbook

Monday, October 24th, 2011

My hp1233 netbook has been sitting around in my office for the last six months after the last Ubuntu upgrade. It was working fine, but the Natty Narwhal (11.04) upgrade caused it to hang when using wifi. See Bug #772859

So the end of last week I plugged it into my network switch and upgraded to Oneiric Ocelot. I was pleasantly surprised that the wifi now works and didn’t require any fiddling around with random drivers or configs. Nicely done Ubuntu Team!