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 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 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, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, Solaris, MySQL, 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.