Mark Tomlinson

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

So, my other brother passed away.

Both of my parents and my youngest brother already had passed a long time back.

We are going up this weekend to my mother-in-law's funeral and I got a letter from the City of San Francisco. 

A little back ground. My brother and I were never really close and the few times I tried to include him in my life it was ... not joyful. I left home for the military at 18 and only occasionally went back and by the time I could make time for 'family' they were both adults and he had long since left home. He had always been troubled and in and out of legal troubles for 30+ years. I often thought he had just decided to be a lifetime inmate since as soon as he got out of prison he would invariably end right back in. I do not say this to excuse me not trying to have a closer relationship, just pointing it out. I did not have hard feelings toward him, but I had made it clear a long time back that as long as he was going to act the way he was that I did not want him in my life. The last time I had spoken to him he was wanting to be an uncle to our son who was at the time 3 or 4 years old and seemed honestly wanting to straighten up and do something with his life. My son is now 27.

The people I spoke to in San Francisco hinted that there were mental health issues... I don't find that surprising.

In the end he was apparently living on the street in San Francisco (at least it was Summer). He was admitted to the hospital early last month and did not make it.

My youngest brother had died from uncontrolled diabetes. He never medicated for it and ultimately that was fatal (and no, suggestions that he seek help were not appreciated). My mother had diabetes and because of that her failing circulation in her extremities was the ultimate cause of her passing as well. All that to say that I would not be surprised to find out that he also had similar health issues. The sad part is, I would not know.

I hope he is happy now. That is all I can hope for.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Of late we have been focused on a lot of embedded projects (by "we" I mean myself and my son John). Arduino driven alarm systems for the house and workshop (including a test unit). Then each of these can optionally have a host (a raspberry pi) that communicates to a top-level pi running the home control system (db/gui) lastly there is an android app that allows for remote control of everything.

Netbeans, Visual Studio and OSS-Code (used on the Pi) as well as some other tools are making this much easier than I had envisioned.

We had looked at a number of other home control systems and just opted to roll our own.

Monday, June 19, 2017

I was having a discussion around job interviews and questions and that entire process.

I said that I worry less about what they are asking me than what their answer are to my questions. I have seen some resoundingly stupid interviews -- don't get me wrong. Things that would scare away even a soundly qualified applicant. What that does is it tells me a lot about their culture and rather a lot about what to expect working there.

I have gotten a few flabbergasted responses when they would follow-up and I inform them that the failed the interview.

I even had a couple that low-balled me on offers, one even took long enough that I was already working a different job by the time they came back.  I had to tell them my minimum had changed... that same sort of WTH? response followed by "I am not even sure we DO counter-offers" :) Well, you got my number (turns out in that case, they did).

Sunday, May 28, 2017

"I'm not dead, yet!"

Seriously, I am not...

However, life has marched merrily along :)

I will perhaps start posting back on here a bit more frequently.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

And yes, it has been a long time since my last post.
Life occurred. death occurred.

Fortunately everyone in the family is still doing great.

So, finally today I got the 3d printer web cams up and exposed. (YAY)


You never know what we are printing...Today is another tchotchke of  some sort :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

AT&T UVerse

Well, they finally got the other HD TV in HD (component YPbR is a standard...) and phone, internet and wireless are working. The wireless coverage is NOT up to par so I'll be revisiting that on my own with some additional hardware. That is totally an issue of them choosing to mount the main unit in an out-of-the-way location. So I cancelled Dish and will call the UVerse switch a win. For less money I have more channels, more features and more bandwidth (with more to come as they continue to expand the infrastructure--100 MB is their goal) I think we are currently at 12. They are continuing to expand the backbone and range.

I *love* the way the phone and TV work (together) and the way the recorder works. Everything is stored dentrally and streamed to ***whatever*** device you want too watch it on AND the streams can move (on the fly) from one device to another (yes computers can work in this mix too). Their cable/TV pricing is much more aggressive than Dish and they are far friendlier in how they bundle channels making it cheaper to get the more popular ones.

A few notes:
(1) The installers vary wildly in experience/knowledge of non-ATT stuff. If you already have a network, be prepared to deal with that. We ended up going through 3 different ones. All smart, all professional, but not all with the same level of skill.
(2) You probably need to have newer HD TV equipment (HDMI preferred). Although their equipment supports component and may work.
(3) Keep after them if you have issues. DO not accept something not working.
(4) If you have your own network, you will need to be there to help with the install. The more complicated you existing network, the more likely you are to have issues. Their equipment only supports wireless G, not N so just be aware of that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

How to build your resume with Open Source

Worked on an Open Source project?
Learn how to include that :)