Coffee Break - January 17, 2021

  • S02E15
  • January 17, 2021

bp9 and Peter chat about his homebrew antenna switching solution until Solbu shows up, fashionably late. bp9 shows off the "Think Outside" keyboard but Doug is not here to see it. We talk about old solar powered calculators and mapping solutions that use vector-based data to draw roads instead of raster (tiles consisting of images of maps). Solbu and bp9 discuss his client/server app and insists that signing the encrypted packets is the best solution. Also describes how open source helps all projects, big and small. bp9 is joined by Peter and Solbu.

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Topics Discussed:

- Shows off the "Think Outside" keyboard for Doug but he's not here. :-)
- Reminisces about the Radio Shack calculator with integrated cover that had buttons integrated in the cover and is solar powered.
- The calculator converts degrees-minutes-seconds to decimal degrees and back with ease.
- Converting degrees-minutes-seconds like that is very useful for vector-based mapping application.
- Wrote an app years ago that used Tiger/Line data to convert lat/lon of road segments to X/Y co-ordinates for display on a screen.
- Problem is that zooming out to entire United States means retrieving the entire data set (many millions of rows) and it took minutes to draw the roads from that data set.
- Still need to simplify the X/Y co-ordinates to provide a smaller simplified data set for display at large scale.
- Traditional mapping programs retrieve tiles of graphical images at different zoom levels. This is raster, not vector.
- Tiger/Line is not downloadable any more, now you have to register with them and take data in real time.
- Discusses client/server application with Solbu to see if intermediate solution can work without signing, but just with encryption.
- As an interim solution, can this work with multiple round trips and just encryption/decryption using both sets of keys?

- Has the pieces and parts for his new antenna switcher system.
- Lots of plugs, sockets, grommets and sealants
- Also a large secure box that has a chunky lock on it to mount all the switching relays, etc.
- He will mount it on his antenna mast so that he'll have just one coax leading into his house.
- Control panel will be in his shack (where the radios are).
- Jeff Weston take note: Peter (and a friend) is building his circuit boards at home.
- Shows off his db meter with RF filter to block out WiFi frequencies.
- The aurora was not visible in his location because there was lots of cloud and rain in the way.

- Shows up fashionably late :-)
- Notes that old radios are not as susceptible to EMP or solar radiation.
- Reminisces about old calculators that unfold like the "Think Outside" keyboard does.
- Discusses bp9's client/server application, re-iterating that all encrypted packets must be signed.
- Once you debug your solution, put the app on GitHub and watch all the ticket come in explaining how you got it wrong :-)
- This is the value of open source: a programmer solves a problem, and throws the code open to the public to let other folks see if it will work for them.
- Explained how Linus released Linux kernel to solve a problem.
- Would love to ask Linux Torvalds if he ever thought Linux would be big and professional like GNU?
- Linux was released after 1990? AFTER GNU came out in 1984.
- How does it rain without freezing when it is 8 degrees below zero?
- Raindrops have not been kicked back up into the atmosphere to freeze.


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