Nvidia Jetson Nano

I got a hold of a Jetson nano dev kit for a project for work. It’s got a lot of similarities to the raspberry pi, as far as initial setup. One loads the OS image on a memory card and hooks up monitor, keyboard, mouse, and ethernet, and the Jetson Nano becomes a single board computer, except it has a Tegra X1 SoC with a quad core CPU and 128 core GPU.

The Nano standard OS from NVIDIA is Ubuntu, which is debian based and has a familiar feel for me, which will be handy as I begin python scripting with the TensorFlow library.

All in all my first impression of the device is pleased and optimistic, and with the price being what it is for all the computing and graphics power I get, I wonder if I might be looking at NVIDIA products for my single board computing needs in the future. One drawback: the Jetson Nano dev kit lacks a builtin wifi radio, but then, so did the early raspberry Pi’s.

Cost Savings Placeholders in Process Development

It’s easy to get caught up in “get it working” fever and be so focused as to have an attitude of, if it works: don’t touch it. But this attitude can just be a way to reduce mental effort while working on multiple higher priority issues. This is highly reasonable, but, it can also be expensive, as rapidly developed solutions are usually optimized for meeting the success criteria with minimized guessed risks rather than for least cost. So, one must keep track of all of the unoptimized processes that accumulate in development as well as their associated cost and all of the guessed risks and devise plans to test for and eliminate the guessed risks and optimize the process for least cost and highest success rate.

Cheap Aliexpress Nanos.

I got some arduino nano replicas on aliexpress a couple of months ago for an incredibly low price. Not surprisingly, there was a reason for the discount. The pin assignments as they’d be programmed in the IDE did not match the pins as they were silkscreened on the board. The analog pins were silkscreened in reverse order to their actual hardwired positions.

Thus, among the plethora of reasons that a device might end up super cheap on ali-x are manufacturing defects. This problem happenned to just be with the silkscreen, but the silkscreen is a very important time saver for circuit assembly.

Nevertheless, the board I used still helped me blast together a device to run an experiment and log data. The physical chemistry involved has been more problematic than anything else for that experiment, but a change in approach will eliminate all such problems.

Openscad vs. Solidworks

I’m familiar with two 3d modeling programs; openscad (pronounced open-skad by the truely enlightened, and open-ess-cad by the technically correct) and solidworks. In openscad, one constructs 3d models programmatically, by typing in structured text functions to define shapes and extrusions and using loops for repeated features. This makes for fast and easy 3d modeling of simple structures. The same can be accomplished in solidworks, but the shapes are defined by cuts and extrusions of sketches which are graphically drawn on defined planes. This can also be quite fast.

Overall, If all one needs is a 3d model or stl file, I would recommend openscad in cases where all of the model is easily referenced to the origin, and I would recommend Solidworks for all cases in which the features are more easily defined based upon each other’s surfaces, especially when those may need to be adjusted later and the changes need to be carried through to all connected bodies.

If one needs to create drawings from the models, Solidworks is the clear choice, with easy dimensioning, automatic section cutting, and external views, it is a huge help for mechanical drawing generation.

Dream Distro: Xen Debian Wrapped Windows (DubDubOS?)

There are a lot of linux distributions and I’ve used and tried out many of them over the years. I started with ubunto, then I got into elementaryOS, then centOS, debian, qubes, and then back to debian. I’ve tried parrotOS, openSUSE, and tails, but never used any of those as a main system. My current favorite is debian with gnome due to speed and compatibility with a huge pool of precompiled software packages.

What I want to talk about here is what my dream linux distribution would be like. What I want is a system which grants access to all of the software of windows and debian. Qubes can do this, of course, but is more secure and less fast than what I’m after. What I’m looking for is a distribution that loads a xen hyperviser with a debian dom0 system and a single windows hvm. The distro installs xen and the debian dom0 with desktop flavor of the users choice, then sets up an HVM and prompts the user to load the windows install disk, and installs that.

The key to the distro is to control software packages to keep the virtual system from breaking, and to optimize memory and cpu use balancing to insure the best performance (though this is primarily a goal of the xen developers). The distro must provide fast and simple screen switching from dom0 debian to hvm windows, and permit maximal hardware usability in the hvm and dom0. Finally, the dom0 home directory should be shared to the hvm as a mountable drive. Does the HVM have to be Windows? No, but that should be the main goal of the project, as it is the greatest need of the user.

Watt Ave Might As Well Be The Wild West

A huge road, three lanes on both sides from I80 to 50, passing right through densely populated residential and commercial areas, Watt Ave sees heavy traffic every day with the high speed limits only controlled by traffic congestion.

In addition to all this, large sections of Watt have no lighting (where it passes through residential areas) and the road largely lacks surveillance.

Given the recent eggy attack on my person from a moving vehicle, it’s obvious that having the high speed limit road running next to pedestrian walkway poses a potentially lethal risk to pedestrians. I’m in favor, therefore, of reducing the maximum speed limit to 30 mph on Watt from 50 to I80 and installing roadway surveillance with license plate capture around the intersections, or, alternatively, installing protective barricades between the road and walkways.

Egg welt

Looks like the egg struck me with it’s long side. Sheriff’s deputy says he can’t do anything because I wasn’t memorizing the make, model, and license plate of every oncoming car on the 3 lane northbound side of Watt Ave. This rings false, given the intersection camera pointed towards the Watt and Whitney bus stop where I was hit, and additional cameras at subsequent intersections northbound from there on Watt. (The incident occurred around 9:30pm on 9/21.) It’s assault, of course, and there are no circumstances in which I wouldn’t want charges pressed for this. The question is what measures can I take to protect myself?