People I admire…

Some of you may have noticed I like to make stuff. Or at least talk about making stuff. Regardless, the ideas are there.

Being a sharing person, let me show you the sites of some people I admire for their skills and abilities, and why I admire them:

  • Mike Harrison –
  • Kenneth Maxon –
  • Tatja Van Vark –

Let’s start with Mike. Mike is the kind of guy who picks up a discarded high speed camera from the late 1980s and tries to get it working again. Having not received the control panel, he finds a picture of it and tries to guess how the control panel would talk to the main unit. He has some success, but is thwarted by the fact it records onto an esoteric data tape format, and the tape drive it came with is broken. Not to be put off easily, Mike builds his own controller and power supply, complete with direct driven LCD panel, and puts it all in the original box. He also has a bunch of other pages on his electronics projects..

Next up, Ken, or K’Max as he seems to call himself. His page is nominally about his robots. But if you look closer, there’s a huge series of writeups on all of his tools, including his home-built automated injection moulder, and some pages about things that he actually gets paid to do, which seems to be designing avionics systems. There are hundreds and hundreds of pages on tools, machining, electronics and more on his site.

Finally, Tatja Van Vark. She doesn’t actually maintain this site, but it’s pretty amazing. She’s built an improved clone of the Enigma Machine, reconstructed the navigation system from a cold-war era bomber and lots of other cool stuff. Some of the things she’s built, like the Harmonium and Antikythera Mechanism, are so complex I don’t even know what they do, let alone how they work.

So there you go.

Can has jobs?

We went to Ontario about 9 days ago for a week. It was great to see everyone again. The day we flew was pretty busy, as we both started it with interviews. Elizabeth got offered her job, accepted it, and will be starting on August 20th or so.

Mine went well too, and I’ve been back for another meeting with them. I also had a phone interview for a job in BC while I was in Toronto, and have another interview scheduled with them for the week after next, and on tuesday this week I have yet another interview. So it’s good that things are progressing in the hunt for a job.

And if you’re any of the employers I’ve been interviewing with, I still want the job :)

Thieving gits

Before we left for Canada our plans were thrown into more than a bit of disarray by theiving gits who broke into my mum’s house and stole a bunch of our stuff, including laptops and most of my coin and banknote collection, which I had been collecting since I was 7.

I had good enough backups, and the laptops were replaced really quickly, thanks to insurance, but the coins and notes couldn’t be covered, so that’s a dead loss. On the one hand, it does save me worrying about storing and moving them. On the other hand, to the person or people responsible, may you die horribly, via drowning or fire or something like that.

For the benefits of the internet and google, this is a rundown of what was stolen. If you happen to come across these, please let me know, and I will pass details onto the Police. Or just call the Western Australian Police yourself. To save those of you at home some effort in calculating, all up it was about $15,000 worth of stuff.

– MacBook (Aluminium) – WQ8410161AQ
– MacBook Pro – W88102ZPYJZ
– iBook G4 – UV42000NQJP
– iPod Touch – 9C738XT6W4T

As far as coins and banknotes go, these are the ones I had records of serial numbers for, but I did have a lot more than that. One or two of them may have been sold prior to the theft, but not the Coombs/Randall $20:

Australian Decimal Notes
– Black lighthouse album with no outer sleeve
– Vort-Roland inserts – front page signed by MPVR with 1994 date
– various in $1-$50 denomination – mostly $20
Including but not limited to:

– $1 BEC 000570
– $1 Knight/Wheel Centre – CAN 605124
– $2 Coombs/Wilson – FCP 032075
– $2 Knight/Wheeler – HSH 225868
– $2 Johnston/Fraser – LHZ 54652(?)
– $5 Coombs/Randall – NAD 571219 (aEF)
– $20 Johnston/Frasher Gothic aUNC
– 2 x Last $2 green presentation folders

SAY 127350 – Coombs/Wilson
SDX 975038 – Coombs/Randall
UZV 644542 – Johnston/Fraser
MFR 269360 – Fraser/Cole
MRR 671604 – Fraser/Cole

XAB 161163 – Coombs/Wilson
XBQ 274438 – Coombs/Randall
VXK 965879 – Johnston/Fraser
EXZ 544259 – Phillips/Fraser
RKE 800303 – Fraser/Cole
AAA 909199 – Fraser/Cole
AAA 001076 – Fraser/Evans

Australian Decimal Coins/sets
– Proof 1984 $1
– $1 coin + $1 note in brown vinyl wallet
– Proof 1979 set in Styrofoam
– Proof 2006-2009 sets
– Uncirculated 1987-2008 sets
– Red $1 variety folder
– Blue 50c variety display case with badly scratched back

Australian Non-Circulating Legal Tender
– TV Anniversary Set
– Pipeline anniversary
– Kookaburra with Albany Privy mark and low coin number (68?)
– 1991 Masterpieces in Silver set (25th anniv dec currency) with no
cardboard box
– 1988 Holey Dollar and Dump
– $100 gold coin (Maroon box)

– Australian 5 shilling uniface vignette note in envelope
– Australian half-sovereign – vf (unknown date)
– 1967 New Zealand Mint Set
– RBA Teller training notes
– $2 and $20 Birds of Canada series notes (uncirculated)
– 10 x $20 Canadian notes – circulated
– 10 x 1000 Yen Japanese – circulated