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  • Matthewfl 6:37 pm on 13 June, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    June 12, 2nd day of SAS 

    Again on the Semester at sea there has all ready been a great deal.  This time I did get up in time for breakfast.

    After breakfast I went to the lecture by Sandra Day O’Connor about the history of the high court I had the joy of being able to eat lunch with Sandra Day O’Connor.

  • Matthewfl 8:58 pm on 11 June, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: learning, ,   

    June 11, 2nd day of summer break 

    This is the seconds day of summer break and I am spending at least the first part on the semester at sea, for 4 days are their “Global engagement forum.”

    This has been there first day of there really being any actives.  My day started with getting up really late and missing breakfast.  Then I went and lissioned to Julian Bond talk for about 90 minutes about the past.  After all of this I then found myself at lunch.  Right after lunch I was in somewhat of a private interview with Julian Bond finding out even more of his personal view.  Then that quickly lead to the second lecture about the sustainability of society with three experts.  Followed with a 45 minutes panel of Q&A.  I must admit that I was falling asleep during this event as I am still adjusting to the  3 hours off from California time.  After coming out of a nap I went to dinner and then to a viewing of Beyond the call, followed by a Q&A with the basically everything of the movie.

    What a day.

  • Matthewfl 7:05 pm on 8 May, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Rov regional 

    Today was the rov regional. I was amazed that we were able to get first place. (Good job everyone) we have a lot more work to get through before the international competion in Hawaii.
    We are wanting to rebuild the whole robot before we end up going. Hopefully this next time we can have a better control system to show off. I am really hoping to get the victors to be able to get fine motor cotrol. But I am not sure how well running the motors at half power on the rov will work. As the system seemed to lack a good deal of responseness when working with the switches.

  • Matthewfl 11:07 pm on 6 May, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Feeling a little better about rov 

    I am now (11 pm) leaving Laurns house as we are done for the night with rov. I feel a littler better about the state of the rob as we were able to drive it around today. This was the first time that we have tested in a pool with the control system and not a moment too late with the robotics competition this Saturday.
    We are going to need to spend a lot more time working on it as now.
    I think one thing to remember is that we blew a 20 amp fuse at 12 volts and used aluminum foil to be able to run the system but it worked

  • Matthewfl 10:20 pm on 4 May, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    The state of ROV to come 

    This coming weekend is the ROV competition. I do not feel that our team is remotely ready, we could use another weekend. We have not even tested and the control system is not 100%. The victors (the one part for the control system that I am trying to get from robotics) are not working. I have 5 and I am sure that 2 are broken. I am not sure about the other 3, but we need to get 5 to run the system. And that is without any backup. So if anything breaks we will be screwed.

    We are also the first team to go in the day which means that there will be no time at the robotics competition if worst comes to worst and we need to make a change to the system.

    I have been really feeling the stress from ROV myself as I am the only one working on the control system and the problems with the victors have been a really hair puller. Along with having the lack of a control system I am also somewhat having to deal with cameras getting put on to the system. Then to top if off, two of the people that do a good deal of the work on the physical ROV will not be able to go. So if anything was to break we are going to then end up in a real mess.

  • Matthewfl 7:52 am on 27 April, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , World 2010   

    Vex world 2010 

    This last weekend was the vex robotics world. Our school sent 3 of our best teams. I am happy to say that my team (687D) was our schools best. We were really thinking that we would get in to the finals as we were talking a decent amount to the top eight teams.
    I think that in our two other teams (687B & 687K) are fired up for the next year of robotics.
    We will be back. We will chose from the top eight. And we will win.

  • Matthewfl 9:02 pm on 9 March, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    FRC 2010 San Diego 

    This last weekend we were down at San Diego as a team.  Overall we did great.  Our admin team won an award.  Also our robot got 3th place in the qualifiers.

    In the Simi-finals we were joined with the 2nd place team but beat by the 3th alliance who ended up winning the tournament.

    Nerd Herd

  • Matthewfl 4:16 pm on 10 January, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    FRC 2010 opening 

    Yesterday was the opening of the FRC 2010 robotics competition.  The game this year is center around socker for the main purpose of being easy for people that have not study the game (parents and and people that just want to watch) be able to follow it.

    I think that one problem with this game is that the rule are a little to limiting and so that there is really one or two types of robots that are really going to work for this competition, and so ever team will have some variation of a theme.

  • Matthewfl 1:08 pm on 28 November, 2009 Permalink | Reply
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    Why we love America 


    For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald’s in New Mexico where she purchased the coffee.  You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving.

    Here are the Stella’s for the past year:

    7TH PLACE :

    Kathleen Robertson of Austin , Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

    6TH PLACE :

    Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn’t notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor’s hubcaps.

    Go ahead, grab your head scratcher.

    5TH PLACE :

    Terrence Dickson, of Bristol , Pennsylvania , who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn’t re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut.  Forced to sit for eight, count ’em, EIGHT, days on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner’s insurance company claiming undue mental anguish.

    Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish. Keep scratching. There are more…

    4TH PLACE :

    Jerry Williams, of Little Rock , Arkansas , garnered 4th Place in the Stella’s when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor’s beagle – even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner’s fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

    Grrrrr. Scratch, scratch.

    3RD PLACE :

    Amber Carson of Lancaster , Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone The reason the soft drink was on the floor:  Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.  Whatever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?  Scratch, scratch, scratch. Hang in there; there are only two more

    Stellas to go…

    2ND PLACE :

    Kara Walton, of Claymont , Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000…oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.

    1ST PLACE : (May I have a fanfare played on 50 kazoos please)

    This year’s runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City , Oklahoma , who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver’s seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner’s manual that she couldn’t actually leave the driver’s seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down, $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home.  Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

    Are we, as a society, getting more stupid…? Ya think??!!

    More than a few of our judge’s elevators don’t go to the top floor either!

  • Matthewfl 7:23 pm on 21 November, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: robotic, ,   

    Cams middle school vex competition 

    Today was the cams vex compition for the middle school teams that wee mentored by the cams robotics team. I would like to say that there were many teams out there (39 teams), and that without these teams we would not have had the great turnout. I would last like to say that being the MC for most of the day was a lot of fun and compaired to last years middle school compition.

    Also today we had two cams teams that went to antother compition, from what I hear one team was knocked out in the qualifying round but wine the programming chalange.

  • Matthewfl 5:46 pm on 20 November, 2009 Permalink | Reply
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    Saving the blog from a death 

    Looking back at my last post about where I discussed the problem with my blog as it stands where it did not get updated for a long period of time.  This was mostly because of the want for this blog to be somewhat of a blog that “I would want to read.”  I my case this end up being a tech blog.  I also noticed the other blog post that would be completely off topic.

    I wrote that first paragraph for two reasons, the first being that I had time, and the second was that after that last post that I had it felt like the blog had died.  To me, this was a message that made me think about what I was writing to my audience.

    From the tracking system I am pleased to announce that is appears that this blog is not read at all.  So this gives at least me the idea the blogs are not for other to read (expect in rare cases) but for one to write, and then, as I said before, once and a while a random blog will have something useful, but one will find it not because they read that blog on a daily bases but because they can use a search engine to quickly find what they are looking for.  The blog only gives a way to quickly write document that can posted online with little effort.

    Having said that this blog is not read (which is what the tracking system is saying) the most popular page on my site is the unPacker and that has a steady supply of people going to that page every day now.  This is also the most linked page on my site.  What I find so funny about the fact that the unPacker is the most popular page is that I only made it in response to a forum posting in which the first version of this I made in under 1 hour.  Then when I had a large number of people coming to that page on a daily bases my friend wanted to upgrade the layout on that page, and I have keep upgrade that system ever since.  Now the code is at version 1.2 and I have moved the page layout over the along with the rest of the the site.

    The main purpose of this blog post is for me not to have had the last post on such a down beat.

    Also if you would like to follow the tech part of this blog yo u can get the rss feed off on of the topics that I use quite a bit and am vary good about what articles go where.

  • Matthewfl 2:43 am on 14 November, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , todo   

    What to blog 

    For some time I have tried to make a blog about what I found useful or cool. But from what I can tell no reads this blog with any real dedication. Which makes me prompt the question to myself that if I should just start writing more on the blog just so that they are so few post or if I should try and keep with I was doing with wring useful content.
    Looking back at what I have there is some tech stuff (like from the blogs that I read) but then mixed in there is the random parts from my life mixed in.
    If you read for the tech then you would care non for what is about me and visa versa.
    I think about the random blogs that I find are from Google and have that one post that makes the blog useful to me, but most of the other stuff is lost one for lack of interest on that topic. I think that a blog for the most part is not something that is followed via rss feed but is used to keep up to date website with little effort and have a way for users to give feed back to the author and the blog are found from Google.

    In summary: write more post on more topics and get more exposure on Google.

  • Matthewfl 6:53 am on 19 October, 2009 Permalink | Reply
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    Bill Gates vs General Motors 

    I have no idea if this is true but it is worth something.

    Bill Gates vs General Motors

    At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the
    computer industry with the auto industry and stated, “If GM had kept up with
    technology like the  computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00
    cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

    In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release
    stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be
    driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part):

    1.    For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

    2.    Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to
    buy a new car.

    3.    Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You
    would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut
    off the car, restart it, and  reopen the windows before you could continue.
    For some reason you would simply accept this.

    4.    Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause
    your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to
    reinstall the engine.

    5.    Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was
    reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy  to drive – but would run on
    only five percent of the roads.

    6.    The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all
    be replaced by a single “This Car Has  Performed An Illegal Operation”
    warning light.

    7.    The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.

    8.    Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out
    and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle,
    turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna

    9.    Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

    10.    You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.

  • Matthewfl 6:06 am on 4 October, 2009 Permalink | Reply
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    Cams Vex Regional 

    Today my team did a great job at the Cams vex regional.  We were the first place team out.  And the head of the first place alliance.

    687D (my team): head of the top alliance and going to world

    687B: Second place on alliance and also going to world

    569C (I think this is right but do not quote me): Third place of alliance, also won the programming and driving challenge.

    687K: won the excellence award and will also be coming to world.

    Cams Robotics

  • Matthewfl 3:38 am on 19 September, 2009 Permalink | Reply


    Now I have moved my site and Blog over to WordPress.  When looking at my home page, I saw that it was doing a ajax load of the rss feed from my blog, as I had set up.  I noticed that I had very little content to put on the home page.  I did not start out this site with the plan that the home page would be a blog, but that is what it became.  And so now I am using wordpress with its cms to run this site.  I still have the files that were from before, such as the unPacker.

    If you are thinking of trying wordpress, I would recommend it to my more technical friend.  This is only because I made my own theme based on what it looked like from before, but I am really liking wordpress and am finding the very easy to use.

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