3sailing the NorSea


WEEK 7 2017

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Saturday 18 February 2017
Saturday -

Friday 17 February 2017
Friday -

Thursday 16 February 2017
Thursday - Overcast, and some sprinkles late in the day.  They are predicting a huge storm - I kind of doubt it, but who really knows.

Worked away on the app all day, mostly. It's very frustrating.  For one thing UIAccessibilityElements can't have "tags", which is something I use to keep track of stuff.  But, I discovered late in the day, they do have an "accessibilityIdentifier" which I can use to much the same effect.

I talked to Tim in the evening, and he had uncovered some of the work he'd done circa 2010 on the NSTARS routine, and will send it to me.  Dr. Gupta also came through on the old manual (scanned), so I have a place to start now...

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Wednesday - Another nice day.

Not much new going on.  Working away on the app in the afternoon, and a little on STARS stuff in the morning, trying to figure out why the executable keeps dying.  I'd asked Tim if he had any more info on the NASTRAN to STARS conversion, and he's unearthed his old PC that he did some work on it with, and will look when he has a chance.

Also Dr. Gupta is going to send me the NSTARS manual.  The NASTRAN bulk data protocol is probably the most widely spread in industry,  a  *.bdf  or *.nas format can be read by a number of different programs.

In the past we had used PATRAN, and now FEMAP, and have NSTARS as well, but people are griping about the pre-processor, PREPROCS.  Well, it does date to the early 1990's, so what do people expect for free?  I'm going to look into some free or low cost alternatives - students and teachers at colleges, the current crop of STARS users, don't usually have thousands of dollars to drop on a program.

FreeCad comes to mind, though it's very "beta": version 0.16 I think...

Tuesday  14 February 2017
Tuesday - A nice day. I took a nice 5 mile walk to enjoy it, in the morning.

Working away on the app. Switch accessibility, particularly re-ordering switches, is tough.  It's tough to start with, and Apple makes it even harder with their undocumented behaviors of switches and scanning, and the general weirdness under the hood.  Making some progress though.

Having some issues with STARS, the executable keeps saying that it has expired, despite it being a version compiled the very same day...

Some people have suggested starting a STARS user group, I said I might be interested in joining.

I had to go complain to my neighbor across the street about the continual noise he was making.  It turns out that his boss had farmed out some work to him - making steel gates - and he has been grinding and welding and hammering for the last couple of days.  I mentioned that I was sympathetic to the idea of making money, but he needed to be less noisy.

My neighborhood is not zoned light industrial...

Monday 13 February 2017
Monday - A nice day.

Spent  the morning helping a college student come up to speed on some stuff, discussing a possible laptop and software for when he goes off to 4 year college this fall.   Microsoft has really made their Office 365 product attractive, price-wise...

Worked on the app for the rest of the day.

iPhone stopwatch

I guess I forgot that I was
using the stopwatch last week.

Sunday  12 February  2017
Sunday - Shopping.  Pretty tired.

I didn't do much.  I did go out to the local airfield, just out of boredom.  The old 3' high block wall between the terminal and the airfield is being replaced by a 6' fence of steel bars. They let all the lawns outside the terminal die during last years drought - it looks like it's actually been plowed now. Not a great place to bring a sack lunch any more.

I also drove out to the west side, just out out curiosity - it was a nice day and I thought I'd look at the solar panel arrays.  Some were oriented with their rotation axis going north to south.  This meant they could track the sun all day, and in particular, e more efficient late in the afternoon in summer.  They are on the gentle slope of a north facing hill.  I was critical of this, until I realized that in midsummer it's actually a better than a level surface in late afternoon!

The actuators only work intermittently - its a bit eerie when in the midst of a quiet field there is suddenly a weird creaking sound coming from everywhere and slight, almost imperceptible movement for ten or fifteen seconds...then it's quiet again.

Picture of the Week

an old shack
An old groundskeepers shed, at a private school on the west side.

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