Polaris Ultra

Manufacturer: Model Aero

Design: Polaris Ultra

Web sitehttp://modelaero.com/product/POL-ULT.html

Summary: Pretty awesome airplane

Model Aviation also has a nice review of the Polaris: http://modelaviation.com/modelaeropolarisultra

My story is that I missed one of the model aero sales by a day or two so I emailed the owner to see if I could sneak in my order late.  He replied that he had a couple unpainted polaris arf’s and he’d be willing to give me a package deal on one of those.  So I figured it couldn’t be that hard to paint a foam model and off I …
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Coding and Complexity

Norris Numbers

I recently stumbled on the following article about “Norris numbers”

http://www.teamten.com/lawrence/writings/norris-numbers.html

The quick summary is that for an untrained programmer, 1500 lines of code is about where they hit the wall before they succumb to complexity and organizational issues.  The next big barrier is 20,000 lines of code for those that have some training and a bit of experience.  The next big barriers are at 200,000 lines, 2 million lines, etc.  At each level, a programmer or team has to develop new techniques and strategies to overcome the inherent cognitive limits of our human brains.

SLOCCOUNT

Linux offers …
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Cutting the Cord

Update: 10/01/2014

Things just aren’t quite falling into place perfectly for this cord cutter.  Since cancelling our satellite, I’ve been monitoring 4 possible antenna DVR options.

  1. Tivo Roamio OTA.  This seems like exactly what I’m hoping for.  Maybe a little expensive on the monthly subscription, but I’m willing to give it a try.  The downside: not available anywhere, any target date has been scrubbed.  Rumors suggest best buy is removing all tivo products from their stores.  Oof dah.
  2. Tivo Roamio.  This is $110 more than the Tivo Roamio OTA for the initial purchase with the same monthly subscription.   On the

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Adventures in Aerial Image Stitching

A small UAV + a camera = aerial pictures.

SAM_0079

SAM_0057

SAM_0053

This is pretty cool just by itself.  The above images are downsampled, but at full resolution you can pick out some pretty nice details.  (Click on the following image to see the full/raw pixel resolution of the area.)

SAM_0057-detail

The next logical step of course is to stitch all these individual images together into a larger map.  The questions are: What software is available to do image stitching?  How well does it work?  Are there free options?  Do I need to explore developing my own software tool set?

Expectations

Various aerial imaging …
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Smart Trainer Photo Shoot

Design Observations

I really like the looks of this aircraft.  It is a unique combination of design choices that I think should provide a nice balance of good flying qualities and lots of aerobatic capability.

It calls itself a trainer, but it is not a “learn to fly” trainer.  Instead it positions itself as an entry level pattern ship.  It is light weight which means it should maneuver effortlessly and not have bad habits.  It has long lines so it should fly like it is on rails.  It has thickened wing tips so it should have excellent slow speed characteristics …
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Aerosky 185 Photo Shoot

 

Photo Shoot

Don’t look too closely, but take a few steps back and I think she looks pretty nice.  I love the older style 185 tail and the tail dragger configuration.  The relatively large wheels help me imaging this is a bush plane intended to get in an out of rough strips.

IMG_20140312_181204

It is still winter here in MN and our ground is still covered in a foot of snow at least.  I’m hoping the snow melts quickly so I can get out and maiden this airplane soon!

IMG_20140312_181233

Yup, she looks pretty sweet I’d say!

IMG_20140312_181146
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Aerosky 185 Build Notes

I was interested in the Aerosky Sky Trainer 185 because it looks a lot like a Cessna 185.  It has the 185 tail and is setup as a taildragger.  Technically the rear window is not correct for a 185, but there are a lot of things you could nitpick if you really wanted to go there.   The other interesting aspect of this kit is that it includes a full set of float for water operations.  I live near a little lake so I am hoping this will fly well off water on a nice calm summer evening.

IMG_20140310_193715

In this post …
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Build Your Own PC (2014 Edition)

The World is Constantly Changing

The last time I built up my own PC was March, 2011 – going on 3 years ago.  The basic idea of building your PC and the basic skill set required are still pretty much the same, but a couple new things caught me off guard.  Because I only do this every 2-3 years, I don’t keep track of trends and buzzwords and product nicknames, so plowing my way through this is a bit of a (fun) adventure each time!

Basic Skills Required

S2-Shank-Screwdriver

  • For me, the most important requirement is necessity.  I typically am interested

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Wisconsin Dells

dellsriver

A popular tourist destination going back to at least 1856.  From Wikipedia: the Dells of the Wisconsin River, a scenic, glacially formed gorge that features striking sandstone formations along the banks of the Wisconsin River.

Today the Wisconsin Dells is a regional summer hotspot for water parks and other attractions, not to mention timeshare salespersons.

We just spent 4 days in the dells and never having been there before, stumbled on some things that were wonderful and a few things that were real stinkers.

Recommended:

Restaurant: Carvelli’s Pizza and Pasta House

carvellissalad

We went to Carvelli’s on our last night and …
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BackupPC, LVM, Cloning and Resizing Drives

I recently went through the process of trying to move my entire 1.5 Tb BackupPC tree to a new drive.  Here are some thoughts and comments from that experience.

  • I spent 40 days (literally) attempting to get various combinations of rsync, tar, cp, etc. to clone the contents of the drives to a new larger drive.  However, the bazillion of small little files hard-linked to a pool of randomly named actual files made this practically impossible to do in a finite amount of time.
  • In the end I used the unix utility ‘dd’ for the fastest possible copying.
  • In order

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