Motherlode Brewery: Introduction

I don’t remember exactly how it started, but in October 2011, Eric and I decided it would be a good idea to build a brewery. Eric had just gotten his Master Brewing certification after completing the Master Brewing Program at UC Davis, coincidentally where I got my Computer Science and Engineering degree years earlier.  We’d read more »

It’ll Only Be 5 Minutes I Promise…

Engineers are not known for accurately estimating effort.  My wife has a shorthand she uses with me: multiply the shortest reasonable time by 3 to get the actual time.  Across projects with many tasks, this is surprisingly accurate but it does go wrong sometimes. While doing some project management research, I came across this more read more »

Making Your Own Springs

Workflow Engines and Android

jBoss jBpm is a well established workflow engine. I tried running a minimal jBpmn engine on Android but found that unfortunately to do even basic tasks like loading a bpmn process definition file, jBpm has rather extensive dependencies on drools. Drools doesn’t work well on Android because it compiles bytecode at runtime which is incompatible read more »

Heater and A/C Controls Not Working on a ’99 Honda Accord

Symptoms Only the blower motor speed knob works. None of the vent or A/C buttons or their lights work. Quick solution On the underside of the board, just jumper the input (leftmost) leg of the 78dl05 voltage regulator in the middle of the board to the positive leg of capacitor C1. That’s it. Long story read more »

PhoneGap 1.3 & PhoneGap: Beginner’s Guide

Late in 2011 I was contacted by Packt Publishing regarding one of their new publications on the PhoneGap framework.  Apparently my rather negative review of the PhoneGap framework came to their attention and they wanted me to take another shot at developing with it after reading their book.  I still believe PhoneGap is a great read more »

Facebook is Making Us Dumb

Lolz, here iz a pic of my cat sleeping. A sad consequence of the ad supported internet is that websites have an incentive to waste your time. Facebook has mastered time wastage, and, in pursuit of a top spot in the social network race, Google may one day figure out how to kill hours of read more »

CocoaMojo Prototype Mark II

CocoaMojo Mark I made a giant mess in the kitchen, leaving a layer of bean shell on the floor and all nearby surfaces. After discussions with a colleague who used to work in industrial automation, we decided a winnower based on blowing air would always make a mess. The best solution was to go from read more »

Cocoa Bean Winnower Prototype Mark I

Mike Winnike, founder of Happy Goat Caramels in San Francisco (look for it at Draegers and other fancy food stores), was looking to expand into goat milk caramel chocolate and in need of an apparatus to separate cocoa nibs from cocoa shell after the beans are roasted and cracked. So he came to me. Briefly, read more »

Bending Acrylic

Really, it ain’t that hard.