November, 2014 browsing by month


Lazy Saturday afternoon in Morro Bay

Saturday, November 29th, 2014
After those huge barbecued oysters and a walk to Morro Rock and back I pretty much feel the same way. 

Sunset stroll along Morro Bay's charming waterfront

Thursday, November 27th, 2014
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

The view from our balcony for the next few days

Thursday, November 27th, 2014
Not too shabby! 

Nest owners, please upvote my product suggestion:…

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
Nest owners, please upvote my product suggestion:

Also, pro tip: before installing your Nest Protect, write down the "Entry Key" from the back of the unit somewhere, in case you ever need to reconfigure it.

"I changed my WiFi SSID/password and need to reconfigure my Protects. Apparently the only way to do this is to reset them and redo the setup. The problem is one of my Protects is at the top of a 20' cathedral ceiling; I literally risked life and limb to install it and I'd rather not do so again just to look at the back of it.

"The Nest Protect setup does provide a way of entering an "Entry Key" instead of scanning the QR code, which is also on the back of the Protect (and nowhere else). It would be nice if there were a way of getting entry key without physically accessing the back of the Protect unit. For example, something as simple as printing on/in the packaging, or better yet recover it via the website by entering the serial number."

My friend Scott is a technician at an Audi dealership

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
A few weeks ago he thought he'd seen everything when a customer brought their car in to have a dropped burrito extracted out of the engine bay. Then yesterday this happened.

A "fun" late night rewiring my home network

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
What Windows' network map leaves out (other than the craptastic Uverse modem, now running in pass-through mode and sitting between the "Archer C7" router and the Internet) is that the top switch is in the living room, the lower switch is in the (half-)basement, and the router is in the attic 3 floors up. The longest stretches of Ethernet cabling are run through the vertical HVAC shaft that runs from the basement to the back of the upstairs walk-in closet (almost to the attic).

Gone is the "slow" 300 Mbps powerline Ethernet link between the living room and the basement (which, other than not being gigabit, would result in most of the network getting cut off in the event of a power outage), and everything wired is on gigabit Ethernet and able to access the full 50 Mbps Internet connection (no more mysterious inexplicable bottlenecks).

The wireless network is still not perfect: the rather crowded 2.4 GHz 802.11n band maxes out at 25 Mbps to the Internet, the 5.0 GHz network tops out at around 40 Mbps in N mode though the sole 802.11ac client is able to speed-test the full 50. TBD: add another access point (which I already have) for better WiFi coverage downstairs…

Just helped a random stranger newly arrived from South Asia (I presume) gas up his…

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
Just helped a random stranger newly arrived from South Asia (I presume) gas up his car for the first time. Made me a bit nostalgic for when I first arrived in the Bay Area and everything was new and amazing to me. I shook his hand and told him "Welcome to California!"

It took the AT&T U-Verse tech over five hours to work through all the installation…

Friday, November 21st, 2014
It took the AT&T U-Verse tech over five hours to work through all the installation issues but we finally completed the upgrade to the 45 Mbps service (tested a bit over 50 Mbps, don't know how that's possible…).

Next stop, gigabit fiber!

There, she (+Casey Fiesler) fixed it.

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
There, she (+Casey Fiesler) fixed it.

Barbie, Remixed: I (really!) can be a computer engineer.
I am a PhD student in a computing department, so I guess it’s not surprising that my social media feeds have been full of outrage over Barbie’s “computer engineering” skills. The blog post that ori…

The seeds of unconscious bias and sexism are sown early and often

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
And we wonder why girls don't grow up to be young women who pursue STEM studies and careers?

Pamie » Barbie Fucks It Up Again
I recently paid a visit to my sweet friend Helen Jane and was excited to find this book at her house. barbie1. (The second book of the “2 Books in 1!” is “Barbie [i can be…] an Actress.” We’ll get to that later.) Helen Jane has two little girls under the age of six.