Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Definition of Tough

My parents are in the mid to late 70s.  They both needed a colonoscopy.  In order to save money and time, they decided to have their colonoscopies at the same time.  It is my understanding they had different Dr.s and a different endoscopes (digital rectal devices).  Apparently one Dr. can not actually do a husband and wife dual colonoscopy at the same time even if the elderly couple requests it.  I would imagine that a dual-endoscope would look like a large "Y".  Since it is not advisable to have general anesthesia and drive a car, my parents flipped a coin to see who would get the general anesthesia and who would get local anesthesia.  My mom lost the coin flip, so she got the local (awake for the procedure) and my father got the general (knocked out) for his procedure.  My mom drove them both home after their dual colonoscopies.

That is my definition of tough.  Not necessarily bright, but certainly tough :-)

This is what happens when you grow up on farms in Minnesota.  As my mother likes to remind my father, the farm she grew up on had neither electricity or running water.

Just as a technical reminder (according to wikipedia) the first step in having a colonoscopy is usually a digital rectal examination, to examine the tone of the sphincter and to determine if preparation has been adequate. The endoscope is then passed through the anus up the rectum, the colon (sigmoid, descending, transverse and ascending colon, the cecum), and ultimately the terminal ileum. The endoscope has a movable tip and multiple channels for instrumentation, air, suction and light. The bowel is occasionally insufflated with air to maximize visibility. Biopsies are frequently taken for histology.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


npg sent me this very interesting video on IPSO Alliance: Promoting the use of IP for Smart Objects 

The basic premise is that IP (Internet Protocol) should be on absolutely everything.  The electronics are so small and so cheap there is absolutely no reason not to take advantage of the incredible power of IP.  We did this for MTConnect and then made it even easier and more ubiquitous by putting XML and http into the MTConnect spec so each MTConnect piece of equipment essentially looks like an extremely small and secure web server to the rest of the network.

As the site states, "Electronic Design's Bill Wong talks with Chairman Geoff Mulligan about IPSO Alliance, an open, informal and thought-leading association of like-minded organizations and individuals that promote the value of using the Internet Protocol for the networking of Smart Objects."

For more information, visit IPSO Alliance

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Everyone Wants To Be John Meyer - New C6 Corvette

I have said it for 20 years.  Everyone in life wants to either be or comeback as John Meyer.  Why?  Because John always buy the hottest cars brand new, has the ultimate bachelor pad in Reston, travels around the globe, has an extremely interesting job at IBM and is just a helluva a good guy.  John purchased the car today on Sunday and I was there when he drove off the lot.  I told John that I now feel I am driving a 1972 Chevy Vega compared to his new C6 :-)

Above is me on the left with my 1998 C5 Corvette with John Meyer with his brand new, less than 30 miles FULLY LOADED  2010 C6 Corvette.  John received a great discount since the dealers are taking orders for the 2011 Corvettes.  There are very little changes from 2010 to 2011, with the IBM discount, this was absolute no-brainer for a fantastic, world class sports car.  Congratulations John!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Java 4-Ever Trailer - Must See :-)

Thanks to npg and my son John for sending this truly fantastic Java 4-Ever trailer.
Warning: NSFW - Not Suitable For Work viewing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The “Next Big Things” Are in the Emerging Technology Center at IMTS

The “Next Big Things” Are in the Emerging Technology Center

From the IMTS Insider.....

Everyone comes to IMTS to see "the next big thing." You can see four of those "next big things" all in one place at IMTS — the Emerging Technology Center (ETC).

The four featured technologies this year are cloud computing, MTConnect®, nanotechnology/micro manufacturing, and additive manufacturing. Get a brief overview by checking out a cool 3-D video that discusses these leading-edge technologies. Then, take a tour of the ETC and see some in-depth demonstrations firsthand.

MTConnect, the open, royalty-free standard developed to foster communication between machine tools, made its debut in the ETC at IMTS 2008. More companies have begun pilot programs with MTConnect, and the standard is beginning to garner international attention.

IMTS 2010 will feature a live demonstration of MTConnect. The demonstration will focus on the ability of applications to collect data from machines and devices and show how that data can be utilized. The MTConnect Institute is asking registered Implementers and members of MTConnect to join in providing examples of the use of MTConnect. The demonstration will be conducted over the Internet, so it’s not necessary to have a booth in the show to participate — but it might be wise to consider.

Cloud computing is a technology that has gained popularity by leaps and bounds over recent years; you can learn more about it in the Cloud Computing articles by Dave Edstrom featured in the May 2010 and June 9 editions of the IMTS Insider.

Nanotechnology is the development of materials and devices sized 100 nanometers or smaller, important especially in the fields of electronics and medicine. Come learn about "the enormity of smallness!"

Additive manufacturing, the process of building objects from 3-D model data, allows design flexibility previously unknown and impossible in traditional subtractive processes. It allows for a much more rapid production process, as well as materials flexibility.
» Come see what’s next — visit the ETC!
» Add ETC to your MyShow Planner
» Find out how to participate in MTConnect at IMTS 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

MTConnect 1.1 C++ Agent and the C++ Adapter Framework

This is from the latest MTConnect Newsletter that Paul Warndorf, VP of Technology and CTO for AMT- The Association for Manufacturing Technology.....

There have been some major enhancements to the reference implementation of the MTConnect 1.1 C++ Agent and the C++ adapter framework. There is a binary download available for Windows. All *NIX platforms can easily build from this source and includes:
  • Full support for the 1.1 version of the standard. We have added the at parameter to current to get snapshots at any point in time and we have added support for condition. The agent is fully backward compatible, so it will function correctly with 1.0 agents and XML configurations.
  • The new 1.1 agent and 1.1 adapter now support heartbeats. This will provide faster detection of disconnects between the agent and the adapter and higher reliability. With the new unavailability support, this makes detection of stale data much more reliable in the applications.
  • We have removed the libxml2++ library to make the Windows build simpler; we got the added benefit of reduced memory requirements and higher performance as a result. All the tests now work properly on Windows as well and no additional DLL are required with the exe.
  • The buffer size is now configurable to support devices with smaller amounts of memory.
  • We have performed significant performance and memory testing and it is now much lighter weight and reliable.
Thanks to Will Sobel President and CEO of System Insights for his tremendous leadership in the MTConnect 1.1 standard.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Last Recess EVER....

I remember it like it was yesterday....   It was 6th grade recess in Kansas City, MO in June of 1971 at Westridge Elementary School (which is now shut down.)   Everyone was happy, I mean REALLY HAPPY.  It is the last day of school, we are heading to Baptiste Junior High in the fall and it was a good year in Mrs. Phillips 6th grade class.   During that final afternoon recess one of my good friends, Joe Hubbard, is clearly not happy.   Joe then announces, "this is bad".  We are all amazed, shocked, surprised and puzzled.  I then ask, "Joe, what do you mean this is bad?"   Joe then goes on to say,:

"Think about it, this is our last recess EVER.  From now on, there are no more recesses.  Next year we will have multiple teachers per day, they will not be able to know who is giving out homework and who is not.  We might get swamped with homework.  It only gets worse in high school and then in college.  Then after college, you have to get a job.  There are no recesses at jobs.  Then you get married have kids, they have recesses, but you don't.  This our last recess and we should think about it."
We were all bummed.  We were just sort of standing around thinking about Joe had said.   I lost touch with Joe Hubbard, but I will never forget the last recess speech that he gave.   If Joe was as forward thinking later in life as he was in sixth grade, I am sure he is doing extremely well.  Of course, he could have gotten beaten up that day for bumming everyone out as well, but we were all too shocked to do that :-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

IMTS Insider: Cloud Computing Makes Good Business Sense

Cloud Computing Makes Good Business Sense
by Dave Edstrom
June 9, 2010 for the IMTS Insider

What are examples of cloud computing in manufacturing today? Last month we discussed the basics of cloud computing and why someone in manufacturing should care about cloud computing.  Just as a quick refresher, cloud computing simply means using remote, large Internet server farms as if they belong to your company and only paying for what you use. All of your data and all of your processing happen outside of your business, in the cloud.

A simple method I like to use to determine the relative legitimacy of a given topic is to Google the topic inside double quotes to find exact matches.  For example, the exact search text of "manufacturing in the cloud" returns 19,700 hits.  If we Google manufacturing cloud computing without double quotes, we get 24,000,000 hits.

Before we get into the specific examples of "manufacturing in the cloud" it is important to remind everyone what is involved prior to the emergence of cloud computing. Before cloud computing, the owner of a manufacturing shop would have to perform the following steps when acquiring new software:

  • Decide which software to use
  • Purchase the software
  • Acquire the necessary servers and storage
  • Install the software
  • Configure the software
  • Integrate the software with business operations
  • Customize the software for your specific use
  • Keep the software up to date with patches and new versions
  • Make sure no viruses or malware get into the servers and software
  • Make sure staff can manage the new software
  • Back up data and patched software
  • Come up with contingency plans if servers and/or software go down
  • Continuously monitor and manage the systems and software
  • Oh, and also — use the software

Now, compare those steps to what happens when you use cloud computing:

  • Decide which software to use
  • Point your browser at the new software site and download
  • Use the software
  • Most importantly: Pay for what you use and only for what you use

As you can see, there are many economic and logistical advantages to using cloud computing instead of purchasing your systems and software. The time it takes to implement, monitor, manage and support purchased software as well as systems are major factors.

A month ago, at Google's Official Enterprise Blog, there was an entry regarding Manufacturing in the Cloud.

As the article states:

"LiquidConcrete is a medium-sized Seattle-based manufacturer of high-performance concrete coatings and flooring systems for industrial and transportation markets.  LiquidConcrete relies on Google Apps for email, calendar, and document collaboration, and onSmartsheet, an integrated app from the Google Apps Marketplace, for online project management, general work management, and team collaboration."

Why did LiquidConcrete decide to go with cloud computing? As Tom Hippensteel, Vice President for LiquidConcrete, said:
"We win business because we have great products, and because we run a lean operation that differentiates on quick turnaround of custom jobs with high levels of customer service. Everything about our operation is focused on efficiency, so we’re always looking for software solutions that fit that model." is one of the best examples of cloud computing.  Many credit with starting cloud computing by offering Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as Software as a Service (SaaS).  SaaS is simply one of the categories of cloud computing that most manufacturing companies would be interested in using. The requirements for using SalesForce changed from a detailed list of what server hardware a customer needed to support a large CRM system on-site, to the very simple and straightforward, "all you need is a browser and you have a CRM system." takes care of the rest.   This is not an advertisement for, but rather an example of the dramatic differences when you use cloud computing versus the standard method.

The question for software vendors is not if they will have a cloud computing offering, but when.  If you are talking to a software company that does not have a cloud computing strategy, it would be the equivalent of a company in 1995 stating they have no plans to have an Internet presence. Cloud computing is multibillion industry that is very real for both economic and technical reasons.  Customers love the "pay by the drink" model for using computers in the cloud. Cloud computing should absolutely be part of your IT strategy. You can learn more about it in the Emerging Technology Center in the front of the North Building at IMTS 2010.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bill Joy on Open Source Software Business Model

npg sent me this interesting article by CNET's Ina Fried interviewed Bill Joy.

This was an interesting exchange and a question from Ina to Bill:

"The two examples you point to, the iPad and the iPhone, are things that came from a very tight-knit, proprietary, closed design company. Does it make you think that,  for certain types of devices, an open model is less effective?"

Bill Joy:

"I don't think the open-source community focused on this stuff in the same way. In some sense, you only hit what you aim at. What was the goal of the Linux community--to replace Windows? One can imagine higher aspirations. I think the thing is that open source has been great for hobbyists to get involved, and hobbyists in the sense of the word as somebody who really loves it. That's not a negative thing at all.
It's just not clear how it organizes a sustained and creative activity. Google is using this approach with Android. It's open source, but the money comes from someplace else. More broadly, how do people make a living and do something really creative? I think they have to organize it as a business. I'm all for sharing, but I recognize the truly great things may not come from that environment."
This was the number one area that Jonathan Schwartz did not appreciate while he was CEO of Sun Microsystems.  You must have a viable open software business monetization model (as I blogged about) when it comes to open source software or you simply can not survive. 

The article states that Bill has been working on green technologies for the past five years for Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Venture Capital.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Story of Ping - Internet Network Command

npg sent this to me which I thought was a great historical background on the network ping command.  Beth Groundwater is professional writer (novelist) as well as Neil's wife. (not sure if order matters here or not :-)    Beth writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series for Five Star Publishing and the Rocky Mountain Adventures mystery series for Midnight Ink.   Below is text from Neil referencing Beth's book and the story of Ping.   Thanks Neil and Beth!
Beth arrived home last night with her childhood copy of the above book intact.

Not so well known is that the book modeled the internet dozens of years before the internet existed!

An acquaintance, Mike Muuss, wrote a program circa 1983 that probed the "distance" to a target host across the network.  Like the same-named SONAR function, it sends a tiny packet out onto the internet and times its 'echo'.  Mike described it in more technical terms in the linked page below.

Well, in 1999, someone 'reviewed' "The Story About Ping" as if it was about Mike's software program.  And that online review appears on Mike's page and on the page about the book.  Hilarity ensues.  (Mike died in 2000, but his internet legacy lives on.)

     (The review disappeared for a while but someone re-entered it and it's found 'helpful'.)

And yes, Ping 'lives on' on both Windows and Mac computers.

In a 'terminal' window, you can type:
and it returns:

  neils-mbp:~ neil$ ping
  PING ( 56 data bytes
  64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=54 time=99.573 ms
  64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=54 time=99.175 ms
  [ad nauseam]

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekend at Cape Cod with Dr. Gawarkiewicz and His Lovely Wife Connie

Dr. Glen Gawarkiewicz, his wife Connie, my wife Julie and me in front of the Paul Revere statue in Boston after great dinner at Limoncello.  The waiter was great as we told stories all night and he even sat down a few times to tell a few stories.  We had a great time. 

Perfect weather all weekend long as witnessed by this picture of The Old North Church.

East Falmouth.  Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) is the large building in the distance. NOTE: This is not WHOI's main campus location.

View from East Falmouth.

Biking on Cape Cod.

Here I am pondering how to best answer Dr. Gawarkiewicz's question of me:

"What is the relationship between the seasonal temperature fields from the new Gulf of Mexico climatology reports stating accumulated reverse polarity, ionized isopycnals overlays in summer, while allowing for the cross mixing from non-horizontally organized storms, which as well all know, will homogenize the sargentized rock shelf water that has stochastic properties, yet partially non-deterministic when the causing affects of Lloyd Hill's vacuum slope is both increasing steeply in the shelfbreak region while realizing that any grand unified oceanographic theory that does not allow for both a ocean currents wave and particle duality to exist except in the down quark, the muon and the strange quark, and the tau lepton and the bottom quark stages of current partially-affected sectorization Earl tangents that all come together in forming the very elusive gork particle which is believed to be the godfather to Higgs boson is both contradictory in the standard model, yet correct mathematically when the Austin Peay recursive, regenerative quantum-sliced Williams model is applied?"
 My response?   "I can tell that you went to Lake Braddock Secondary School in Fairfax County, VA as your logic has been forever flawed by the incredibly stupid Open Classroom Experiment in the mid 1970s.  Did you have Mr. Patchett for Government as well?   If so, you are REALLY in trouble." :-)

Jet Skiing at Ocean City, MD

Michael 19, Tim 16, me OLD, and John 22 at Ocean City MD before we all go jet skiing.

Michael, Tim and John before we took off to Assateague Island for some 60mph jet skiing.   Julie decided I did not warrant being in the picture I guess :-)

 Four of us coming back from Assateague Island.

Nice sunset from the Marina Deck Restaurant after an hour of high speed Sea-Doo jet skiing.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Largest Chinese Machine Tool Company Joins MTConnect

Below is directly off the AMT Online news section regarding the CCMT 2010 show (China CNC Machine Tool Fair - 2010) in Nanjing, China, held April 12-16


 This was such impressive news that it is worth repeating here.  IMTS will have an Emerging Technology Center where MTConnect will once again be the HIT OF THE SHOW.  Great job Peter and Athulan! 


CCMT provides a venue to promote both IMTS and MTConnect® in China

AMT has recently taken MTConnect® and IMTS show promotion to a new venue. AMT’s booth at the CCMT 2010 show (China CNC Machine Tool Fair - 2010) in Nanjing, China, held April 12-16, included the first demonstration of MTConnect in the China market. AMT China General Manager Xingbin Li and Shanghai Regional Manager Sean Jiang were instrumental in setting up advance meetings with several of the largest Chinese builders to familiarize them with MTConnect. 

How did it go? By the end of the first day of the show, one manufacturer, Dalian Machine Tool Group, had already hooked one of their machines on the show floor into the booth demonstration and several others had made appointments for custom demonstrations! By the close of the show, several interviews were given to manufacturing publications and MTConnect was the surprise “buzz” of the show.


On the IMTS side, AMT staff met with several groups representing delegations planning to attend the show and were able to present Chicago highlights in Chinese with the support of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau.

During the show, Peter Eelman, AMT Vice President – Exhibitions & Communications, met with the CMTBA President Wu Bailin and his staff, who are assisting in IMTS promotion in China and will sponsor the CIMT Show in Beijing next April. CIMT will again include an AMT/USA Pavilion. Details on AMT member participation will be available on

The trip also marked the first visit to China for AMT Exhibitions Operations Coordinator Meredith Fabrizio, who enjoyed her first Asian show experience despite cold weather conditions in unheated exhibition halls. “Exhibiting in a Chinese Trade Show has given me valuable knowledge which I will utilize when assisting AMT/USA Pavilion exhibitors in preparing for CIMT 2011. The overall experience taught me to be very flexible and to be open to new ways of doing things. My recommendations to first timers in China are to be over prepared, but willing to adapt, and to definitely try the dumplings!”

After wrapping up the show in Nanjing, Mr. Li, Mr. Eelman and Ms. Fabrizio traveled to Beijing to organize operational details for next year’s CIMT, and were greeted with a pleasant surprise: A train line under construction will connect the new China International Exhibition Center with downtown Beijing in time for next year’s show!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to be Showcased at IMTS

This will be very, very cool - the information below is from AMT Online:

McLean, Va. . . Lockheed Martin has agreed to exhibit a full-scale model of its F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter during IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2010, being held at Chicago’s McCormick Place September 13-18.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainment, and lower operational and support costs.  Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.  Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.

“While the manufacturing technology featured at IMTS stands alone as a must-see, what’s really exciting is seeing the end result from some of those machines,” says John Krisko, IMTS Director – Exhibitions.  “Everyone at the show will have the opportunity to learn about the plane’s construction and the manufacturing technology behind it.  We are thrilled to have this amazing example of an end product featured at IMTS.”  GIE Media was instrumental in working with IMTS to secure the fighter for exhibit.

The F-35 is intended to be the world’s premiere strike aircraft through 2040.  The United States intends to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft with a total of more than 4,000 F-35s forecast to be built for U.S. and foreign customers combined.  The F-35 program’s overall value is estimated $323 billion, making it the largest defense program ever.

The F35 will be on display in the front of McCormick Place’s West Building in Booth #W-100.   Plans are also in the works to have photo opportunities with the plane available to attendees; watch for additional details.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

InfoGraphic on the Short History of Hacking

Below is  a great infographic on A Short History On Hacking by OnlineMBA.  OnlineMBA gave permission for sites to embed this image:
The History of Hacking
Via: Online MBA

Saturday, June 5, 2010

PRECISION Magazine Article on MTConnect

I wrote an MTConnect article for PRECISION Magazine that is titled MTConnect: The Holy Grail of Manufacturing and Why This Time is Different.  The article is in the May/June version.   PRECISION Magazine is a top quality magazine for Arizona Tooling and Machining.  PRECISION has hardcopy as well as online versions of its magazine.

My article is on pages 20 and 21 of the May/June edition.  

I will be writing a follow up article in the July/August edition where I go into a detailed technical explanation of MTConnect.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

25th Anniversary of the .com domain name

I missed this last week, but this video of Scott McNealy and his 15 top reasons he is surprised we are celebrating the .com domain name is classic Scott :-)

The date of this party in San Francisco was May 27th.  As the article stated:

"While the growth of .com was slow until the browser became popularized–numbering under 15,000 addresses in 1992–there are now close to 85 million .com domains. This innovative commercial designation is clearly the most important one, both financially and perceptually."