Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Seagull Century 2017 With Jeff and Gork


This ended up being a great Seagull Century, but we thought it was going to be a rain filled day until the night before.  It was 60% chance of rain when we went out to dinner and while we were having a few drinks, it dropped to partly cloudy with a 20% chance of rain.  The ride had the least wind that I can remember. 

Jeff, Gork and I did the 100 miles again this year.  We were joined by Gork's wife Connie and my wife Julie in Ocean City.  It was also Corvettes at the Beach, so it was a double win for me!   We all stayed at a 3 bedroom, two level condo at Sea Watch. 

What is really nice about doing a ride like the Seagull Century is that it is a great chance to get together with friends who you have known since the mid 1970s.  From a health standpoint, what is important about a 100 mile bike ride is that when you are in late 50s, like the three of us, you simply cannot show up and ride 100 miles.  You need to put in about 2,000 miles during the earlier part of the year in order to be in shape to do it.  This means that every time sitting on the couch passes through your mind, you get off your butt and go for a long bike ride.

We averaged between 15 and 19 during the first 85 miles.  My cyclemeter app somehow reset when it was in my jersey pocket at the 85 mile mark, so that is why you see two different maps below.  What was very nice this year was the new southern route that was the most picturesque Seagull Century that I have been on since 1998.  Jeff has been doing it since 1999 and he said the same think.  This is Gork's 4th Seagull and he thought the route was the best as well.

This was the best cycling times that I have ever had and I owed it to weighing 192 pounds (first time below 205 pounds in 19 years of riding the Seagull), much better diet and putting in more miles than I ever had in preparation for the 2017 Seagull Century.


Here is the link for the specifics on our riding during the first 85 miles.

Here is the link for the specifics on our riding during the second 17 miles. 

Below are some photos from our ride and that weekend.  I am bummed and feel like an idiot that I did not get photos of the five of us out to dinner.  We had very nice meals at Liquid Assets and Hooked in Ocean City.


Above is Gork, Jeff and me at the 2nd rest stop.  They have rest stops with food and drink every 20 miles.


Here we are at the finish line with our bikes and looking forward to having a beer before we head back to Ocean City to have dinner (first a shower :-) with Connie and Julie.


Above is what you gets you through the 100 miles when it can be raining or windy -- a nice cold beer at the end! :-)

Above is the view from our condo with a very nice sunset on Sunday night.  Gork, Connie and Jeff had to get going Sunday morning.  Julie and I stayed through Monday.

On Sunday, Julie and I went to our "goto" lunch place which is the Crabcake Factory at 120th Street on ocean side.

Above is my Seagull Century wall in my garage where I put my Seagull Century Numbers.

The Seagull Century in 2018 will be the 30th anniversary and will be on Saturday the 6th of October.  Should be a lot of fun next year!

Hopefully, the three of us can keep doing this Seagull for many years to come!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Photon - A Great Dog

Today is a very, very sad week for the Edstrom family.  Our 13 1/2 year old yellow lab, Photon, died on Wednesday.

We decided to get Photon in 2004 on a trip back to Minnesota.  We were driving in our van in the pouring rain when a big four door pickup looses control slides off the road and then slides back in front of us, luckily I missed hitting him.   After that incident I said we are getting a puppy and I am going to name it Photon.  We had two dogs at that time Spike and Toot.  Spike was our first dog in 1998 - a combination of a yellow lab and a golden retriever and Toot who was loaned to us from the breeder to help calm Spike down.

We got Photon in the summer of 2004 and he was the perfect dog.  Photon was an absolute sweetheart of a dog who looked like a white polar bear.  The most gentle dog I have ever witnessed, except for if another dog picked on Nero, our much younger black lab.  That happened twice that I can remember.  Photon absolutely loved to go for walks, even when the arthritis in his legs would barely keep his rear legs going.  He also loved following either Spike or Nero around our 1/2 acre lot going counter-clockwise around the fence as if they were in patrol mode.

I am really glad we had dogs for our three sons as I definitely believe it helps in the maturity of kids when they have to take care of pets.  The countless hours of pleasure that John, Michael, Tim, Julie and I got from Photon was simply priceless.  This past year I was in semi-retirement, so I got to spend much more time with Photon and go with Julie on walks with Photon and Nero.  You could just see how Photon’s spirit would lift when he would see us grabbing the leash.

Even though you know the day is coming, it is still one of the most heart-breaking things a person can do when you make the family decision that your beloved dog’s quality of life is not where you or your dog want it to be.  We were fortunate because Photon gave us a two week warning.  He completely collapsed two weeks ago with no movement whatsoever.  The next morning he was slowly moving again, much to the surprise of our vet.  Tons of tests revealed nothing that would explain the collapse.  We treated each day after that as it could be his last.  This past Wednesday he collapsed and then later passed away at home when I was on the phone with Michael.  It was like Photon knew this was a tough decision for us to make and he decided to go on his own terms - at home.

Here are some pictures of Photon over the years.  God bless Photon you were the perfect dog and now you’re with Spike…. 
 Photon was the cutest puppy.  Looked like a little polar bear.
Above is Photon and Spike pulling on Photons toy after Spike had an operation.


We tried to introduce Photon to our rabbit Bugs.  Bugs was not that thrilled with the introduction :-)

 Above is Spike with Photon on his right.   Photon loved Spike.
Below is Toot on the left, Photon in the middle and Spike on the right.  Toot was loaned to us by the breeder to try calm Spike down when he was a puppy.  Spike literally ate our grill, our couch and a chair.  He was the alpha's alpha dog :-)

Above is Photon, Nero (our black lab) and Spike on the right.
Below is something all three liked to do - lie at the front door.  Photon is near the door, Toot is in the middle and Spike is on the left.


Wherever Spike was, Photon wanted to be right next to him.  When Spike passed away, it was really hard on Photon, but luckily Photon had Nero.  Now Nero is alone as he will be our last dog.  Julie and I are getting too old for raising puppies.


 Above is Photon and Nero when Nero was much younger.


Above was taken in the past week.  Photon and Nero become good buddies.  Photon used to follow Spike around the yard and then he would follow Nero. 


Above is Michael with Photon when Photon was still growing.  Photon was really Michael's dog.


Above is John with Photon when he was a puppy.


Above is Tim with Photon.


Above is Julie taking Photon for one of his last walks.   God bless Photon you were the perfect dog and now you’re with Spike….

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Small Functions Debate In Computer Science


This blog post titled, Small Functions considered Harmful, by  Cindy Sridharan  addresses one of canonical principles in modern computer science - small functions.  As she points out below:

"The idea is simple — a function should only ever do one thing and do it well. On the face of it, this sounds like an extremely sound idea, in tune, even, with the Unix philosophy.

The bit where this gets murky is when this “one thing” needs to be defined. The “one thing” can be anything from a simple return statement to a conditional expression to a piece of mathematical computation to a network call. As it so happens, many a time this “one thing” means a single level abstraction of some (often business) logic."

This is a long blog post, but it is well written and for anyone who has written code, it challenges some of the principles.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Machine Learning and Security


This article helps dispel the "magic" of machine learning that is being hyped so much today.

There is an excellent article by in SD Times  really brings out the challenges with machine learning and is titled: 

Black Hat USA 2017: Machine learning is not a silver bullet for security


This article is well worth reading and Hyrum Anderson clearly states the challenges below:

"Hyrum Anderson, technical director of data science for cybersecurity provider Endgame, presented research on machine learning malware evasion at this week’s Black Hat USA 2017 conference in Las Vegas. 
 
“I want you to know I am an advocate of machine learning for its ability to detect things that have never been seen,” Anderson said. “[But] machine learning has blind spots and depending on what an attacker knows about your machine learning model, they can be really easy to exploit.”

Anderson explained, machine learning is not only just susceptible to evasion attacks, but it is susceptible to these attacks by other machine learning methods. Researchers at Endgame have learned it is not only enough to provide a cybersecurity system, they have to check and double check the product as well as test and think about how adversaries might exploit or evade them. “If an attacker has access to your machine learning model, he can actually ask it ‘What can I do to confuse you the most,’ and the model will tell them.”"

What is very interesting is what Engame is doing with open source and machine learning malware detector:

"As part of his research, Anderson is releasing a machine learning malware detector into open source as well as the framework users can use to improve the AI agent, improve the malware, or attack their own models to learn about their weaknesses. “The framework that we’re providing can be readily adapted to attack your own machine learning model. To be clear, there are easier ways to attack your machine learning model since you know everything about it. But this framework represents what we believe to be the most realistic attack that an adversary can launch and that can be used to understand your model’s blind spots,” he said.  "

Friday, September 29, 2017

You Have To Love Steve Wozniak


Steve Wozniak tells the story of creating the Apple I and Apple II.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Excellent Bitcoin and Blockchain Video


I went for a 63 mile (metric century) bike ride a week ago while listening to five hours of podcasts on blockchain and this video below was more succinct and clear then anything I heard on my ride.  This deeper dive into blockchain was prompted by a very technical dinner conversation on blockchain that I had when I was at Top Shops at the beginning of September. 

This is an excellent video on Bitcoin and Blockchain.  It balances just enough of the behind the covers to understand what is going on, without getting into the lower bit-level mathematics of cryptography.  This gets into how blockchain can be compromised (51% attack), but shows enough details on why that becomes simply unfeasible. There is an excellent video on SHA-256 (Secure Hash Algorithm 256 bits that the creator, 3Blue1Brown, discusses.

Yes, I am a geek if I listen to five hours of blockchain podcasts :-)


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Donald Trump and Sports



I thought it would be hard for Trump to infuriate professional athletes, since most are like Michael Jordan, who famously said, "Republicans buy basketball sneakers as well", are reticent to speak out, but Trump proved I was wrong. 

As a huge fan of the NBA, I am complete lock step with Lebron, John and Bradley as stated in the Washington Post:


"No, LeBron James is not backing down from his criticism of President Trump, preferring not to utter his name during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ media day.
“The people run this country,” he said, “not one individual and damn sure not him.”
That echoes a tweet he published Saturday morning, one that has been liked nearly 1.5 million times and retweeted nearly 653,000 times. You know, the one in which he called the president “U bum” for pulling a White House invitation for Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors."

Friday, September 22, 2017

Equifax's Hack



Stephen Colbert nailed it in this segment.  Well worth watching what those morons at Equifax did and how they even screwed up the handling of it after the fact. 

Stephen nailed it when he said, "we are not Equifax's customers, we are Equifax's products".


Thursday, September 21, 2017

September 3, 2008 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. joined MTConnect Technical Advisory Group (MTAG)


 I started blogging in 2009.  Sun Microsystems joined the MTConnect Technical Advisory Group on September 3rd, 2008.  I wrote this global press release below and with Greg Papadopoulos, Sun's CTO,  help, I was able to get it through all of the legal and marketing hurdles at Sun.  Greg was and IS a great, great guy!  I am reposting this now at my blog because I am concerned it might fall into the Internet bit bucket of history if I do not.  I found this copy at Thomasnet.com Industry News - which is a GREAT resource for industrial news!

New MTConnect Open Communications Propels Manufacturing Technology into Connected Digital Age

SANTA CLARA, CA - September 3, 2008 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: JAVA) announced today that it will join the MTConnect Technical Advisory Group (MTAG) to further define the open communication protocol standard it helped create for the manufacturing technology industry a year ago.

MTConnect is an open manufacturing technology standard that uses proven, royalty free Internet communications technologies as its basis to allow manufacturing technology vendors and customers to safely and easily communicate.

"Sun Microsystems has a very long history of working with the industry and academia to create and promote open technology standards that drive genuine innovation," said Dave Edstrom, Chief Technologist of the Americas Software Practice for Sun Microsystems. "Open source and open standards are the keys to unlocking manufacturing innovation and efficiency around the world, particularly in growing emerging markets. I am thrilled Sun has been able to play a pivotal role in the development of such an important initiative as MTConnect."

The Challenge in Today's Manufacturing Facilities and Machine Shops A typical manufacturing facility includes hundreds, if not thousands, of machines and autonomous systems that must operate together to produce high-quality products in a timely and cost-effective manner. While each of these machines and systems accumulates information on its operation, this data cannot usually be shared, which makes it difficult to track machine efficiency, process flow, energy usage, toolpath validation and other metrics. As a result, manufacturers are challenged to coordinate and optimize machines and systems to ensure that these individual components and the factory as a whole are operating at acceptable levels.

Interoperability from Design Studio to Shop Floor

MTConnect is an essential first step to connect these production islands and will open up new markets and opportunities for the manufacturing technology industry. Bringing unprecedented interoperability from design studio to shop floor, MTConnect helps enable third-party solution providers to develop software and hardware that make the entire manufacturing enterprise much more productive.

With MTConnect, the manufacturing technology industry can mirror the success of the information technology industry, where common, open industry standards are used to design hardware and software technology to enable different manufacturers' products to work with each other. Just as large compute farms are used to accurately model microprocessors today, MTConnect should help enable the vision of "art to part, first-time correct" by taking advantage of large compute clusters.

Sun's Leadership

As a leader in creating open standards for the IT industry, Sun is in a strong position to help the manufacturing industry create a common, open standard. The Solaris(TM) Operating System, Java(TM) technology, the Sun Java Real-Time System, Sun(TM) SPOT, Sun(TM) xVM software and MySQL(TM) software are among the innovative technologies that will help enable MTConnect to deliver complete and open interoperability on the manufacturing floor, seamlessly connecting to the enterprise as well as to technology manufacturing partners in ways that were previously impossible.

Sun's long history of innovation in CAD/CAM, HPC, grid computing, simulation, real-time and modeling technology provides the ideal platform for MTConnect. Indeed, manufacturing technology companies could have immediate access to Sun computing resources via the Network.com Software Catalogue platform, allowing them to easily build, test, and deploy MTConnect enabled applications on-demand over the Internet.

MTConnect History

Although developed through an open collaborative effort, the MTConnect initiative was initially led by Dr. Dave Patterson, Professor in Computer Science of the University of California at Berkeley, and Sun's Dave Edstrom.

Edstrom was inspired to approach Dr. Patterson after attending the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in September 2006. "I was absolutely convinced that creating a manufacturing technology standard using proven, open and royalty-free Internet technologies was an imperative effort in which Sun must invest," he said. "The expected impact of MTConnect on the manufacturing sector is analogous to the effect that the browser had on the development of the Internet: MTConnect will revolutionize the manufacturing technology industry by providing a common, open platform which, in turn, will revolutionize manufacturing."

Dr. Patterson commented, "It is great news for the manufacturing technology industry that MTConnect is becoming real, and that Sun Microsystems will be officially joining the MTConnect Advisory Group."

"Sun recognized the potential of utilizing the power of information technology to move manufacturing to levels of productivity never seen before," added John Byrd, President of AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. "When the history of MTConnect is written, Sun Microsystems will be recognized as having played a critical role in the development of the initial concept. Dave Edstrom's vision and foresight enabled thought leaders of our industry to step out of their comfort zone and tackle the most significant issue the manufacturing technology industry will face in the 21st Century."

MTConnect will be demonstrated at next week's International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS 2008).

About Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems develops the technologies that power the global marketplace. Guided by a singular vision - "The Network Is The Computer" - Sun drives network participation through shared innovation, community development, and open source leadership. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at sun.com.

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, Solaris, MySQL, Network.com and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bill Joy's Investment In The "Jesus Battery"


David Levy of Wired wrote an articled titled:  Bill Joy Finds the Jesus Battery.

Levy discusses the Holy Grail challenges of battery technology and then writes:

"But earlier this month came news of a potential game changer, from no less a tech luminary than Bill Joy. A long-time investor in clean tech—for years he was involved in venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins’ ill-fated foray into “green” funding—Joy is now serving on the board of Ionic Materials, a battery-tech company in which he has invested. (His personal investment comes on top of the KP funding he oversaw; he is no longer with the venture firm.) Because of Joy’s earlier history as a legendary computer scientist—a co-founder of Sun, a co-inventor of Java, and a visionary who was working on the Internet of Things two decades ago—his views have weight, separate and apart from his financial interest in the company."

David Pogue of Yahoo writes an article on Ionic Material titled: Search For The Super Battery

As Pogue writes, "Fortunately, I got to meet one man who’s breathtakingly close to cracking the powerful-cheap-safe battery problem. He’s a Tufts University professor named Mike Zimmerman, who runs a company on the side called Ionic Materials—and until our TV cameras entered his lab, he had never shown his invention to the press."

It is certainly worth watching the three minute video that Pogue has in his article to see the tremendous advantages in safety for this new battery.   Watching the lithium ion batteries easily explode will give you greater appreciation for TSA's warnings.  Watching Pogue literally cut a battery that looks like a piece of paper with no ill affects, in terms of fires or explosions, is impressive.

Will it scale is the question.  Bill Joy certainly knows how to make things scale and if this does become the "Jesus Battery", then Bill will become a billionaire just like Sun co-founders Andy and Vinod.  Scott was a billionaire for awhile, but no longer is as he preferred to keep his SUNW stock and not dump it to protect his wealth.  Scott is still worth $100 of millions, so it is not like he is living paycheck to paycheck :-)

I did like the ending of the Wired article that asks Bill about Jini and what is on the horizon:

"Let me shift the subject. In the 1990s you were promoting a technology called Jini that anticipated mobile tech and the Internet of Things. Does the current progress reflect what you were thinking all those years ago?

Exactly. I have some slides from 25 years ago where I said, “Everyone’s going to be carrying around mobile devices.” I said, “They’re all going to be interconnected. And there are 50 million cars and trucks a year, and those are going to be computerized.” Those are the big things on the internet, right?"

What’s next?

We’re heading toward the kind of environment that David Gelernter talked about in his book, Mirror Worlds, when he said, “The city becomes a simulation of itself.” It’s not so interesting just to identify what’s out there statically. What you want to do is have some notion of how that affects things in the time domain. We need to put everything online, with all the sensors and other things providing information, so we can move from static granular models to real simulations. It’s one thing to look at a traffic map that shows where the traffic is green and red. But that’s actually backward-looking. A simulation would tell me where it’s going to be green and where it’s going to be red.

This is where AI fits in. If I’m looking at the world I have to have a model of what’s out there, whether it’s trained in a neural net or something else. Sure, I can image-recognize a child and a ball on this sidewalk. The important thing is to recognize that, in a given time domain, they may run into the street, right? We’re starting to get the computing power to do a great demo of this. Whether it all hangs together is a whole other thing."

It is still fun tracking what former SUNWers are doing these days.



Saturday, September 16, 2017

Stanford's $1 Trillion Money Machine


I enjoyed this article by Peter Cohan who is Founder, Peter S. Cohan Associates titled:

An Inside Look At Stanford's $2.7 Trillion Turbo-Charged Money Machine

 Mr. Cohan brings out the following:

"Stanford got to be such a huge economic engine due to three factors: great men, the right culture, and California's values. Great men spurred Silicon Valley's initial success. For example, as MIT Sloan School Lecturer Jorge Guzman pointed out in a July interview, Silicon Valley would still be peach orchards were it not for William Shockley -- the inventor of the transistor who moved west to found Fairchild Semiconductor. MIT Sloan School David Sarnoff Professor of Management of Technology Ed Roberts said in a July interview that Frederick Terman, an MIT professor, came to Stanford in 1925 and later helped two of his students, William Hewlett and David Packard to found HP. Terman helped HP succeed by connecting the company to Defense department contracts."

I know that I have heard the story of Frederick Terman helping his two students Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard many, many times over the years.  

 The numbers are amazing as the following indicates:

"Adding up the value of 15 well-known public companies founded by Stanford alumni yields a whopping $1.39 trillion in value - Charles Schwab & Company ($53 billion market capitalization as of September 12, 2017, according to financial information site, Morningstar), Cisco Systems ($161 billion), Dolby Laboratories ($5 billion), eBay ($41 billion), E*Trade ($11 billion), Electronic Arts ($37 billion), Google ($651 billion), Hewlett-Packard Enterprise ($21 billion), HP ($33 billion), Intuitive Surgical ($39 billion), Netflix ($80 billion), Nike ($88 billion), NVIDIA ($101 billion), Tesla Motors ($61 billion), and Zillow ($8 billion).

If you include the price at which another nine have been acquired -- Instagram ($1 billion), LinkedIn ($26.2 billion), MIPS Technologies ($406 million), Odwalla ($181 million), Orbitz ($1.6 billion), Silicon Graphics ($275 million), StubHub ($310 million), Sun Microsystems ($7.4 billion), Yahoo ($4.5 billion) -- that adds nearly another $42 billion to that total. Then there are the well-known privately held companies -- Gap, Trader Joe's, and Whole Earth Catalog - of unknown value."

 It's interesting the number of discussions I have had over the years with professors at countless universities that they should really follow the Stanford model.  I have heard one excuse after another on why it can't work and does not make sense.  I would just shake my head and say that they should really take a hard look at the numbers, because they speak for themselves.  When I hear, "well, that's California", my response is, "that culture was purposely created, so why can't it be duplicated in other areas?"

As a reminder, the Sun in Sun Microsystems stood for Stanford University Network and at one point SUNW's market cap was $200 billion.

 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Death of Solaris and SPARC


It has been widely reported this past week that Oracle has effectively killed both Solaris and SPARC by RIF'ing almost all of both teams.


I have lots of great memories on both Solaris and SPARC, that I will share in a future post.  My reaction on different forums has been, "it was a self-fulfilling prophesy by Oracle and I am surprised it took them this long."

Another couple of examples of great Sun Microsystems technology that will simply be entries in Wikipedia....

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Financial Overall Equipment Effectiveness (FOEE) at Data Driven Manufacturing Panel at Top Shops


I was in Indianapolis this past week attending the first ever Top Shops put on by Modern Machine Shop.    Huge THANKS to Mark Albert, Editorial Director, a true thought leader in manufacturing and a longtime friend as well, for inviting me to present Financial Overall Equipment Effectiveness(TM)  (FOEE)(TM) at the Data-Driven Manufacturing Panel at Top Shops!

Mark was the moderator and always does a great job.  He asked the audience of over 300 how many of them were monitoring their shops?  I saw 8 to 10 hands go up.  Mark then said, "I hope when we do this again in a year that there are a lot more of you monitoring your shops, as this is the most important thing you should be doing."  I could not agree more with Mark on this advice!

Included below are some photos of the event and at the end is my presentation on MEMEX's FOEE: The Holy Grail of Manufacturing Data.

As I have previously written, the first "killer app" I ever saw was VisiCalc.  For those of you too young to remember VisiCalc, it was the world's first "visible calculator" or electronic spreadsheet and it came out in 1979.  I remember demoing it in 1979 and the concept was so different, that it took a little while for people to truly appreciate what was going on, but when they did, they would push me aside and take over the keyboard.  At that point, I would start writing up the order :-)

I believe the MEMEX's MERLIN Financial Overall Equipment Effectiveness™ (FOEE™) will be the killer metric for manufacturing as VisiCalc was the killer app  for the entire business world. 


Bob Hansen, of OEE College and R.C. Hansen Consulting, LLC, is the creator and the thought leader who coined the term, Financial Overall Equipment Effectiveness (FOEE).

Just as a reminder, it was on Wednesday September 14th, 2016 at IMTS, where MEMEX introduced MERLIN FOEE
 
Here is a link to a number of articles on FOEE on my blog.

Below is the flight in with Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the background.




Below is my bio at Top Shops:
 

Dave Edstrom is the CEO/CTO for Virtual Photons Electrons and has spent 39 (23 at Sun Microsystems) years in the computer industry with the last twelve also in manufacturing.  In the manufacturing world, Dave is best known for his joint work in 2006 and beyond with UCB's Dr.  Dave Patterson to create the vision and framework for MTConnect at AMT's Annual Meeting.  Dave served as President and Chairman of the Board for the MTConnect Institute from 2010 to 2014.  Dave was the CTO for MEMEX for three years leading product development and releasing world-class products at IMTS 2016.  Dave was named one of 30 visionaries in global manufacturing by Manufacturing Engineering Magazine in 2016. Dave is a prolific technical writer of numerous articles, white papers, interviews and blog posts as well as he wrote the first ever book on open systems and MTConnect titled, "MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know".



Above is the program.


Above is me presenting on Data-Driven Manufacturing and discussing my book, MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know, since data-driven manufacturing is a big part of my book.   Mark Albert is to my right above. Thanks to John Rattray of MEMEX for taking the photo above, as well as it was great getting together with John and Barry of MEMEX on Tuesday evening.


Above is where I was interviewed by IMTS-TV.









Below are some cool things they have at the Indy airport :-)






Friday, September 1, 2017

Corvettes at Carlisle 2017


Every year like clockwork, I leave my house at 6am the third Friday of August to drive the almost two hours through the most beautiful country roads that VA, MD and PA have to offer to get to Carlisle PA Fairgrounds where me and 8,000 of my closest Corvette buddies meet.  In years past I have gone with fellow Corvette enthusiasts, or my wife or father, but this year was a solo trip as everyone had other plans.  It was a picture perfect day at 75 degrees and no humidity.

Here are a few photos and videos of the day.




Above is a 360 degree view from the top of the hill at the Carlisle Fairgrounds.


This is a view of a C7 with no body or seats so you can really appreciate the engineering.



Above is where I spend a good chunk of my time at the GM Tent with the Engineer and Marketing Teams.  


Above is Harlan Charles and team introducing a new and interesting color this year called Admiral Blue Metallic.  It is more interesting than the photo shows when you see it in person.  They also introduced Inferno Orange -- which looked like the orange on my old 240z.


Below is a view from the Grand Stands during the rollout.



Above is a cutaway of a 1953 Corvette with frame #3.  I talked awhile to the wife of the owner of this and I thought this was just very cool!  The actually drove it around Carlisle when they got here from Indiana.


I love the restomods :-)  (Restoring the older vehicles with modern parts)



Above is a 2017 Grand Sport with the classic blue and white color that marked the original Grand Sports.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Industry 4.0: The Network Is The Machine Tool -- Dave Edstrom Speaking At Penn State


I was asked by one of the leaders at a machine tool company if I would be interested in speaking at Penn State Behrend at Advanced Manufacturing Forum on Sept. 21st where the them for the day  will be “The Advanced Manufacturing Forum 2017: Industry 4.0.”

The forum, co-sponsored by the School of Engineering and the Black School of Business at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, will be held Thursday, Sept. 21, at the Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier, Erie.



Note:  The image above is at the Advanced Manufacturing Forum web site and is from the Image: Wikimedia Commons


Below is the agenda.  I know two of the other three speakers, so I am sure it will be a great event!




  • “Industry 4.0: The Network Is The Machine Tool”
    • Dave Edstrom, CEO/CTO, Virtual Photons Electrons, LLC
  • “Industry 4.0: How Do You Spell That?”
    • David Bassett, Corporate Director of Operational Excellence, Quality and Reliability, Hardinge Inc.
  • “The Journey to Manufacturing 4.0”
    • Dean L. Bartles, FSME, FASME, Director, John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center, University of New Hampshire
  • “The Internet of Things and Financial Services”
    • David Kuhn, Chief Architect, Erie Insurance
    • Adam Dzuricky, Senior Information Security Solutions Engineer, Erie Insurance
 NOTE: This conference ended up being canceled the week before it was to have happened.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

John Roese CTO Dell Technologies Talks IIoT



I felt this video (8 minutes long) where John Roese (CTO for Dell Technologies) was interviewed at IoT World Solutions Congress really nailed it in terms of the important issues for IoT or more correctly, IIoT - Industrial Internet of Things.

Important points he brings out are:

  • Modernizing infrastructure will be key
  • Companies will need very flexible software to take advantage of IIoT
  • The industrial sector is ALL IN when it comes to IIoT
  • Collaboration is the key driving factor with IIoT


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Oracle Might Let Java Go To An Open Source Foundation



Oracle's Aquarium blog by David Delabassee,  former long time Sun guy (Java Ambassador from early on and a thought leader at Sun) and now is the Software Evangelist at Oracle.   I am REALLY glad that David is still at Oracle and driving Java.   David is/was a great guy. David said:

"We continue to make great progress on Java EE 8. Specifications are nearly complete, and we expect to deliver the reference implementation this summer. As we approach the delivery of Java EE 8 and the JavaOne 2017 conference, we believe there is an opportunity to rethink how Java EE is developed in order to make it more agile and responsive to changing industry and technology demands.

Java EE is enormously successful, with a competitive market of compatible implementations, broad adoption of individual technologies, a huge ecosystem of frameworks and tools, and countless applications delivering value to enterprises and end users. But although Java EE is developed in open source with the participation of the Java EE community, often the process is not seen as being agile, flexible or open enough, particularly when compared to other open source communities. We’d like to do better.""

He also stressed the importance of Java's commitment to corporate customers:

"We intend to meet ongoing commitments to developers, end users, customers, technology consumers, technology contributors, partners and licensees. And we will support existing Java EE implementations and future implementations of Java EE 8. We will continue to participate in the future evolution of Java EE technologies. But we believe a more open process, that is not dependent on a single vendor as platform lead, will encourage greater participation and innovation, and will be in best interests of the community.   "

Looking forward to seeing how this rolls out!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Charlottesville by VICE and a Famous UVA Grad



These 22 minutes are a must watch if you have not see it.  Warning, NSFW - Not Suitable For Work because of language and violence.



Tina Fey said this better than anyone.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Defense and Aerospace Plant Monitoring Using MTConnect Article by SME


I have worked a lot with the folks at SME - Society for Mechanical Engineers - and they do great work.  This article is especially well written with numerous real life examples.

Zooming ahead in data-management tool adoption by Sean Lyngaas - Contributing Editor 

 The article starts out:

"Manufacturers of many stripes can save money just by making better use of data emanating from the factory floor. But for those in aerospace and defense—Airbus Helicopters is a prime example—the potential payoffs are legion.

The combination of strict product-tracking requirements and high labor and maintenance costs are driving adoption of data management products
among aerospace and defense companies, industry insiders said."


 Aerospace and defense are seeing tremendous payoffs from knowing what is happening on the shop floor.  Dave McPhail nails it below:

“Every hour that I can save in taking it from a nonproductive hour to a productive hour is of substantially more benefit to aerospace and defense manufacturing than it is to, say, automotive or maybe food and beverage packaging,” said David McPhail, CEO of Ontario-based Memex Inc., which makes software that monitors machine efficiency. The aerospace industry involves expensive equipment, personnel, and product maintenance, which are all incentives to exploit shop-floor data, he noted."

Long time friend and MTConnect thought leader, RonPieper of TechSolve discusses MTConnect and a great IIoT example that TechSolve deployed for an engine aircraft maker:

"Another enticement is the fact that some aerospace companies are starting to require the MTConnect standard in their equipment purchase requirements, said Ron Pieper, product manager at TechSolve Inc., a Cincinnati-based manufacturing consultancy.

The ROI for aerospace companies adopting data-management tools is evident, Pieper and others said. He cited an example of an aircraft engine maker that wanted to monitor the consumption of a specific gas during the manufacturing process. After TechSolve installed sensors on the manufacturers’ gas lines, he said, they discovered a gas leak that had amounted to an annual loss of roughly $100,000."

The article addresses the multi-billion question of WHY aren't more companies embracing MTConnect and shop floor monitoring?

"Despite all of the incentives for greater use of shop-floor data products, aerospace and defense companies are not immune to the cultural hurdles practitioners say are impeding digitization in the manufacturing sector writ large. Some analysts estimate that the percentage of manufacturers that have implemented data-management software on the factory floor is still in or near the single digits."

My experience tells me that the number is in the VERY low single digits.

All of the individuals interviewed for this article nail the reason for slow adoption -- it is cultural and financial.  Below are the points made on culture and MOST importantly, Crawl, Walk and then Run in your implementations.

"Making the jump to data-driven manufacturing requires a culture within the company that sees data as the glue that can hold the factory together, McPhail said. The goal is “one objective view of exactly what’s going on in the factory,” he added.

One way of getting to that shared vision of data among management is to only bite off what you can chew.

“We actually caution shops, when I go talk to them about doing monitoring and data collection, about not trying to get too much data too soon, because the big hurdle is cultural; it’s not technical,” Pieper said.  McPhail echoed that reasoning, urging manufacturers to identify business objectives up front that data-driven manufacturing can help realize.

Of course, the flood of data available once factory machines are digitized can be overwhelming.
Jody Romanowski, CEO of software vendor Cimco Americas, said customers sometimes have grand ambitions for data collection—to want operators to scan, for example, dozens of downtime codes when machines aren’t running. Such high-volume scanning is often not feasible, so her firm works with customers to break down the amount of data sought into manageable categories.

“We’re always trying to find ways to make that happen more efficiently,” she said of crunching data captured on the factory floor. “That’s a huge consideration and still a struggle sometimes.”

To avoid flooding customers with data, Wintriss only dispatches data relevant to the customer’s mission, Finnerty said. “If we send a data word from one of our controllers up to the database, every bit in that word means something."

It is great to see MTConnect to continue to really grow and thrive.



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cisco's 75% of IoT Initiatives Fail Statement

There is an interesting article in ReadITQuick titled:

 
 In the article, Kulkarni brings out:
 
"Cisco recently conducted a survey to understand the Internet of Things (IoT) scenario, i.e., its hits and misses in an increasingly IoT-crazy technology world. The results were eye-openers to the reasons why over three-fourths of IoT projects were ending up as failures. A mere 26% of the undertaken projects were taken to successful completion, indicating that there is a great deal to be learnt and implemented in our IoT journeys. "

That number is really anything but surprising to me IF you factor out the manufacturing industry.  The reason I make this statement is that in manufacturing, IIoT or Industrial Internet of Things, is really about using sensors to augment what is already being monitored.  In other words, the framework is already in place and MTConnect is the protocol of choice for discrete manufacturing and IIoT is really the addition of sensors. 

Since IIoT is augmented to MTConnect, the ratio for success, IMHO, is in the 95% and up range.

 The survey was quite extensive as stated below:

"The survey collected the responses of about 1,845 IT bodies and the results were expressed in Cisco’s IoT World Forum in London, where Cisco chief executive Chuck Robbins talked about the problems that plague IoT forays by corporations. "

 The author brings out basic blocking and tackling projects of the failure - lack of commitment.  I don't care what project is, if you do not have a champion, forget folks!  Below they bring out the Holy Grail issue that I highlight.

"The first problem that he cited lay in the lack of buy-in in the IoT concept, leading to a lack of commitment to take projects to completion. In fact, a whopping 60% of the IoT projects are seen to stall at the proof of concept stage itself. The result is that enterprises are not willing to invest in the necessary IoT infrastructure, but merely want faster results by investing in a readymade integrated architecture that works “as is.” This is why most enterprises end up looking to buy IoT as a service, rather than taking the hard way and building a strong IoT architectural foundation. "

"Ready made integrated architecture that works "as is" " is what EVERYONE wants, but is really, really hard to do and why graduates in Computer Science quickly get to 6 figures of salary.  If it was easy, any damn fool could do it.  It ain't easy.  This is why I have always believed that MTConnect will be the tail that wags the IIoT dog for manufacturing.


 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Joel Neidig of ITAMCO on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)



I have often said that Joel Neidig of ITAMCO is the rock star of manufacturing.

Here is a very nice article on ITAMCO and what Joel is up to that was written by Mark Albert, Editorial Director for Modern Machine Shop, titled,

Connecting Forklifts to the Industrial Internet of Things

In this article, Mark brings out:

"ITAMCO, a manufacturer of precision-machined components and high-precision gears in Plymouth, Indiana, has a history of integrating its machinery and equipment with networked sensors and software. Many of these connections are powered by software applications for mobile devices—apps developed in-house by its own technology team. In 2012, the company implemented an MTConnect-enabled machine monitoring system. Soon after, key pieces of machinery were connected to the company's enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Now ITAMCO has developed a communication system for its forklifts, citing this connection as a good example of how the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will benefit manufacturing. In this case, it has made forklifts, the workhorses of the plant floor, more valuable than ever at ITAMCO."

Joel uses MTConnect extensively at ITAMCO.

What is absolutely worth watching is the 13 minute video at the end of the article where Joel discusses what ITAMCO does, including building the gears for a pump that was designed for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina that can pump an entire olympic size swimming pool in 6 seconds!  That's right, 6 seconds. 

 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Exciting New Blog on Data Science -- Nina's Data Metrology World in Manufacturing

I consult for AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology and have the privilege of working with some extremely bright and passionate individuals at AMT.

AMT has always been the global thought leaders in manufacturing and this leadership position is accelerating.  It's as if there is a petri dish of collaboration between Silicon Valley and the world of manufacturing.

An example of this merge of technologies and ideas is in the very important area of data sciences and artificial intelligence (AI) branches such as machine learning.  To help make this critical transformation, AMT hired a very talented individual that is part of the MTInsight team.  MTInsight  is a leading platform for online business intelligence which delivers knowledge that leads to informed decision-making and increased productivity.  The individual's name who is leading edge data sciences effort is Nina and she is a Data Scientist.  Nina has spent the majority of her career within the quantitative realm.

Nina has started a very interesting blog titled, Nina's Data Metrology World in Manufacturing, which is a must read not only for those who have an interest in manufacturing and data, but anyone who wants to understand the right way to think about data.

Nina's has two very interesting blog posts:
I am looking forward to reading Nina's blog posts and learning!

How To Demonstrate Eight MTConnect Simulators To One MTConnect Agent


I was asked to update a set of MTConnect Hands-On Training Lab slides I did for a visit to Taiwan back in 2012.  Part of the update was making the MTConnect Simulator more interesting than just the single part being created that has been out at agent.mtconnect.org for a long time.  Don't get me wrong, it is a nice and simple simulator, with the binaries, data files and instruction out at github.com/MTConnect, but it was time for an update for those who want to dig into the details of MTConnect a little more and provide a little more sizzle as well.

This 12 minute video shows how to demonstrate eight MTConnect simulators to one MTConnect agent.

HUGE thanks to the great folks at NIST's Smart Manufacturing Systems (SMS) Testbed at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for making this data available at github.com.This is tremendously helpful for those of us in the MTConnect Community that NIST would do this.  Manufacturing is very fortunate to have thought leaders at NIST driving important ​test ​resources and data.  


I reference all of the info on how to run the simulator is out at github.com/MTConnect in the video.  You want to download MTConnect agent and simulator first, before you go through this modified version of the standard simulator demo.  You should take your time and go through the README after you download the above.  I also reference MEMEX's OPTime, which is free, and you can download it here.

Moving it to a Unix or Linux system would be trivial -- for you Unix folks.  Here is the link on my DropBox for the batch and config files to run the Eight MTConnect Simulators To One Agent.  Please note that I did modify the data to get the machine tools to start creating parts immediately.  What I specifically mean is that NIST started gathering data at 5am, but the machine tools were not making parts until 7am.  I simply removed the 2 hours of machine tools sitting idle for the purpose of this demo. 
 
Below is the 12 minute webinar I put together to show how to run this on your own Windows system.  



 

Any questions or comments, please use the comment section of my blog and I will be happy to help you out!


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Pranab Chakraborty's blog post -- 3 Common Myths Around Machine Learning


This blog post Pranab Chakraborty's  blog post -- 3 Common Myths Around Machine Learning

The article leads off with a Bill Gates quote:

"A breakthrough in machine learning would be worth 10 Microsofts"

The article lays out the premise here:

"The resurrection of AI in recent years can be attributed to significant developments in machine learning systems, especially in one of its sub-field called – deep learning. Machine learning impartscomputers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed”. Deep learning is a class of machine learning algorithms that use deep artificial neural networks with multiple hidden layers.
While evolution in machine learning drives the current AI boom, the hype has caused certain misconceptions around the capabilities of these systems. Some of these misconceptions have risen to the level of myths."

I won't spoil the punch line by listing all three here, but the author does make important distinctions between today's reinforcement learning and how a baby learns to walk.

"If we compare the learning process of a machine with that of a child, it becomes evident that machine learning is still in its infancy. For example, a baby doesn’t need to watch millions of other humans before it learns how to walk. She sets her own goal of walking, observes other humans around, intuitively creates her own learning strategy and refines that through trial and error until she succeeds. Without any outside intervention or guidance, a baby displays curiosity to learn and successfully walks, talks and understands others. Machines on the other hand requires guidance and support at each step of learning.

Moreover, a child easily combines inputs received through multiple sense organs to make the process of learning holistic and efficient. In one article, Dave Gershgorn indicates that “AI research has typically treated the ability to recognize images, identify noises, and understand text as three different problems, and built algorithms suited to each individual task.” Researchers from MIT and Google have published papers explaining the first steps on how a machine can be guided to synthesize and integrate inputs from multiple channels (sound, sight and text) to understand the world better."



I am excited about machine learning, but I am cautiously excited as I know at the end of the day it is still 1s and 0s running on hardware someplace and I remember the multiple AI winters going back to the AI Ambassadors in the 1980s at Sun Microsystems.