My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Archive for March, 2016

Not worth a title

March 31st, 2016 | Category: Life,Thoughts on Writing

So, in thirty-one days I’ve written a whole lot of nothing, which is still something. It’s been a long rut, but such is life, especially for a writer.

I am a writer… Next month I’ll prove it.

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Reader questions: Attempt #2

March 30th, 2016 | Category: Life,Opinions,Thoughts on Technology

A tech-savvy reader, Bill, asked:

Hi Michael,
Since you asked, I do have a question for you, one that does try to leverage your unique situation – I hope it’s not too personal…

I’m working to try to introduce Assistive Technology folks to their local Robotics & STEM groups. I’ve noticed as I represent LessonPix at AT conferences that many of the technologies that are very expensive and hard to get in the AT world are downright cheap & available in the Maker world and I’d like to help fix that.

So, here’s the question: what are the few pieces of technology that have been the most enabling for you. I’ve made the argument that a device like a switch interface (that takes a switch and controls a keyboard/mouse) is HUGE in that it gets the user’s input into software where so many things are possible. But what else are the things you’d focus on? Would it be notification (doorbell/phone), outbound alerts, home automation?

If you had a team of motivated (but relatively inexperienced) engineers that could help you, what would you ask them to first?

I look forward to your answers!
Bill

Way back in the early 2000s there was a company that made a USB IR Remote for OS X called, the ZephIR. I still have my ZephIR, it’s a spectacular device, and it still works after all these years to control my HD TV, Apple TV, surround sound, all from my Mac. Unfortunately, the folks who made the ZephIR went under, and the ZephIR faded into obscurity. Aside from my ZephIR, I don’t know of many others in use out in the wild, and I’ve researched it. I also haven’t found any available for purchase, anywhere. Regardless, the ZephIR is rather long in the tooth, not so much hardware-wise, but its software is quite in need of a lot of love. Its database of remotes is getting really outdated, so you can pretty much forget controlling 4K tvs, current audio equipment… I rigged an Apple TV 4 to work, but it took some doing.

So, if I had my own team of plucky engineers, I’d first want to create a modern, elegant USB IR Remote for OS X, so that people with disabilities could control their home theaters, one area in which Mac users are sorely lacking. It wouldn’t just benefit the disabled, but anybody busy on their Mac who’d rather change their tv channel or crank up the volume on their home audio system without digging around for clunky hardware remotes.

Ultimately, I see the Apple TV becoming the hub for Home Automation… climate control, lighting, security systems, the works. Therefore, true access to the Apple TV will mean access to so much more.

Still, the USB IR Remote would come first.

3 comments

Nerd time!

March 29th, 2016 | Category: Life

So, in three days, the Force awakens outside of movie theaters! Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally hits the iTunes Store, and thus, my tv. Lots of tvs! Millions of tvs! Yes, I’m stupidly excited.

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Bor-ing

March 28th, 2016 | Category: Life

As far as days go, today was rather boring. I’m just tired.

1 comment

To those who celebrate

March 27th, 2016 | Category: Life

To those who celebrate… Happy Easter!

1 comment

Tediously relaxed

March 26th, 2016 | Category: Life
It's me!

It’s me!

Sitting at a car dealership for several hours is tedious, yet relaxing.

That was my day.

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Not quite yet…

March 25th, 2016 | Category: Life

Katie, don’t bar the door, not quite yet.

1 comment

Eventually…

March 24th, 2016 | Category: Life

Eventually, eventually, eventually… Eventually, I’m going to write something real,… eventually… and when I do, when I do, it’ll be a real “Katie bar the door” situation.

In other news, we will be running WordPress 4.5 soon, which, to me at least, is pretty exciting.

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Reading… a lot

March 23rd, 2016 | Category: Life

So, lately I’ve been reading a lot. I should do reviews, I did promise a bunch. The mood just hasn’t taken me. I’m too busy reading, apparently.

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Brussels

March 22nd, 2016 | Category: Life

My thoughts are with the people of Brussels, and anybody affected by the cowardly act of terrorism.

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