MakerBot DishWasher Repair

This is a broken piece from my Frigidaire dishwasher. It connects the rotating upper spray arm to the dishwasher. You can see the wear on it by looking at the large ring at the bottom of the image. It should go all the way around, but a portion has broken off. You can also see additional wear on the upper right of the part. You can click on this image or any of them in this post if you want to see larger images.

The piece no longer fits properly, and the spray arm fails to spin and rinse the dishes in the upper shelf.

Disassembling the arm was very easy. The problem was getting the replacement part from Frigidaire. We tried several times, got the wrong part once, and ended up with an utter failure. I’m sure a repairman would have been more successful, but given how simple this repair is, why should I have to pay for that? This is where the MakerBot at CrashSpace comes in to the story.

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A Trip to the Griffith Park Merry Go Round

Linda and I decided we need to get out of the house for a bit yesterday. We jumped on the motorcycle and took a ride over to the Griffith Park Merry Go Round. It’s was a fun trip. We hung out and had lunch, watched the kids, listened to the organ,and then did a brief hike in the hills and ended up at the old Los Angles Zoo location. Then a quick ride home. A few more observations and links to the photo album below. Read the rest of this entry »


Why American Home Shield is a Rip Off

American Home Shield is a waste of money. My experiences with them have been completely useless. I believe their business practices are designed to maximize their profits at the expense of the home owners and the contractors they hire. This post is an explanation of my latest encounter and a clear example of how they operate. I hope it serves as a warning to others who might consider paying for their service. Read the rest of this entry »


First Experience: Netflix on Tivo HD

Yesterday my HD Tivo received the fall update which includes support for Netflix video on demand. I have to say that it is really well done from the user experience to the quality of the video itself. For a detailed description of how it works, what I thought of the quality, and a few of my suggestions please read on. Read the rest of this entry »


Why 3D TV Technology is Coming

This post is a response to Stacey Higginbotham’s article on GigaOM entitled Why 3-D TV Technology Is All Hype. In her article she points out that the Electronic Technology Center’s efforts are aimed at testing compatability for content creators, not designing a consumer standard, and without a consumer standard you can’t watch 3D at home. She’s right that more work needs to be done, but she’s missing some of the existing technology and some of the current efforts, that will make 3D in the home a reality. My prediction is that you’ll have viable consumer options for playing 3D movies at home within 18 months. Read on to see where I’m coming from.

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How Many Cores Do We Need?

Anwar Ghuloum is a Principal Engineer with Intel’s Microprocessor Technology Lab, and recently wrote a blog post titled Unwelcome Advice. He proposes that developers should start thinking now about using hundreds or thousands of cores.This has gotten some web coverage at places like slashdot.

In the film industry we do have many problems that parallelize very well. Physical simulations is one example that people are often familiar with using parallel processing. Rendering is an extremely good example because we can often get parallelism not only within a single image, but because a film is made up of many images, we get additional parallelization by processing multiple images at the same time. My company, Digital Ordnance, builds a high performance image capture and play back system. We take advantage of both CPU and GPU parallelism quite heavily in our systems.

But, the thing that struck me about the post, is that concept that large numbers of cores are applicable to a wide audience. I’m really not convinced that’s true.

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Social Networking Overload

The onslaught of invitations for social networks is really starting to get to me. My friends have joined a variety of different trust, social, content sharing networks. They pick whatever ones they think work best for them. The problem is that I don’t want to join all of them to keep up with them.

Worse than that, I generally don’t want to share all my social activities with everyone I’ve ever met, even on one social network. Maybe that makes me weird, but I don’t tink clients I do business with, need to see pictures from a party I’ve thrown.Maybe only my family should see pictures of my father in the hospital. No social network I’ve joined (and has enough of my connections to be useful) let’s me control what type of contact the person is and easily give them different access rights.

The reality is that I have a real collection of contacts on Linked-In. I’ve found it useful for keeping track of where people I know are currently working and it gives me their current email address so I can reach them. I don’t tend to long on to Linked-In very regularly. Basically I go there when I’m looking up a contact, when someone I know sends me an invitation, and every once in a while to look for new contacts I might have missed. Of course, it’s easier to let them come to me, than it is to chase them down.

All the interest in Facebook got me to join that as well. Now I get a duplicate set of friend requests. Then I also get a ton of requests to be a vampire, ninja, warewolf, race car, etc. Those are big time wasters. All the fun boards etc seem to show is silly content.  My front page has gotten so huge with everyone’s updates that it isn’t really managable. I read today that Facebook is coming up with a new interface, but I think that misses the point. I’m not sure organizing the junk is really worth it.

Rather than just bitching, what do I want? Well I think linked-in basically works. It stays out of my way. It has useful information I can reference. It isn’t too hard to deal with the updates. I think we need a good single sign on system so I don’t have to register with every service out there. Instead I use my single sign on, and your service sets up my account automatically the first time I try to use it. Single sign on also lets me create one friend network. Now when I connect to a new service it knows who my friends are and connects them up autoatically according to a user preference. With those changes, everything gets simpler and more useful for the user. Then my final request would be for services to do a small number of things really well, instead of trying to be the wrapper around everything. Then I can decide what features I want to use, and all my friends can see my content without having to join. Personally, I’d probably stick to a few things like a blog and photo/video sharing, but that’s my choice. if you want to play all the Facebook games, then you can join that too.

I think that would make the world of social networking much easier to deal with, and more flexible. It does go against the money flow. Getting everyone locked in to one service that all your friends are on, is really about extracting the dollars. My suggestion would spread the cash around, so developers won’t like that as much.


Why Does It Take So Long?

 I was having a conversation with a colleague today and we were frustrated by how long it seems to take to get anything done. In this particular case we’re trying to schedule a meeting between a few people. We’ve both worked at large companies and small ones, but we realized things always take longer than you’d expect.

In large companies there’s a lot of bureaucracy. There are more people who have to be involved in any project and it gets more difficult to synchronize their schedules. There are more people who have to approve a project, so it takes time to process everything.

So it should be better with a small company, right? Not really. Now the problem is that lack of resources, sometimes that’s money, most often that’s time. In a small company everyone is working so hard that there’s not enough slack to add an additional project.

Either way things take longer than you’d expect.  Maybe there is some ideal middle ground, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it.


Tiger Team on CourtTV

This is the trailer for a reality program called Tiger Team which is going to be airing on CourtTV (which, by the way, will be renaming themselves TruTV in January).

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John Lee Hooker Jr., at Harvelles Redondo

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