Archive for the ‘Information Technology’ Category

Making coffee in the 21st Century

March 12, 2014 Leave a comment

OK so I’m guilty of it but I do laugh every time that I think about it. Think about what you ask? That would be about how we have taken one of the most basic processes on earth and increased its complexity to a rather astounding zenith. Making coffee.

A quick review…

Now I readily admit that growing coffee, harvesting coffee, and roasting coffee have their nuances and I not trying to imply that these processes are basic. Certainly the factories that bag and vacuum seal the prepared beans are very sophisticated. I refer to the process of heating water and exposing the roasted ground coffee to it. There really isn’t anything more to review. Heat the water, and pour it over the coffee. Am I missing any steps here?

Making coffee today…

So the new and improved method for making coffee in today’s world has a few additional steps. First you must purchase a $100 to $200 coffee machine. This is the model I gave my wife for Christmas two years ago.

K-cup Coffee Maker

I’m sure you well know that these makers, don’t make pots of coffee rather they make individual cups of coffee. Each “dose” of coffee is very carefully packaged in individual carefully designed cups, keeping the coffee extremely fresh and very expensive to purchase.

K-cup Coffee

The advantage, beyond freshness is the endless variety of coffee that can be purchased. I say this assuming one can afford to purchase it as each K-cup of coffee usually runs $0.50-$1.00! Ouch!

To make coffee one, turns on the machine, lets the water heat, machine comes ready, insert the K-cup, select the coffee cup size, press the brew button. Within a few minutes, you have a perfect cup coffee. Of course these instructions assume that you have water in the reservoir if not you need to disconnect it take it to the sink and fill it first. Oops, I forget to throw away the old K-cup from the last cup. OK so now, I’m ready to make my coffee but…. ah…. no water is coming out. Hmmm, better go to Google and find out what’s wrong. Pump isn’t primed, slap the top of the unit soundly to get the water flowing again. Whack, nothing, whack, nothing, whack.whack.whack, there we go ….. WTF I asked for 16 oz and it only poured 4  😦  I can work around that, I’ll just lift the lid to make it think I’ve loaded a new K-cup and do this 3 more times.

God I love the conveniences the 21st Century has brought us!

Nothing lasts forever…

Well a $200 coffee maker can’t be expected to last forever. Although I must admit I can’t think of any other of the coffee makers I’ve purchased in the last 40 years ever breaking? Perhaps a few carafs but never the maker. Anyway this Christmas, Susan blessed us with a brand new Keurig, the problem is now solved! We can now make as many cups of $1.00 coffee as we can reasonably afford, at least for the next year or so.

What boys do with things that no longer work…

Kuerig Coffee Maker

I don’t know what everything does but I can say that I found a cool DC motor, several electric valves, a tiny DC magnetic head water pump (really cute), heating elements, thermocouples, a 14V transformer, voltage regulators, blue LEDs, microswitches and a host of wires. I have now developed an interest in basic electronics I figure I can recycle some of these parts as I learn. I was considering whether or not the power supply and motor could be used to build a pickup winder but I already have another idea for that project. Meanwhile, I may be tearing down and harvesting other electronic “junk” before disposing…..

Coffee Maker Carcass Coffee Maker Disassembly

You have been reading an excerpt from the shop journal of the Turtlecovebrewer.

What do an iPhone and a Ubuntu laptop have in common?

April 5, 2011 Leave a comment

On the surface, these two device  have almost nothing in common save they are both computing devices. But as I have been working with each of these systems I have found many “wonderful things” and a common thread linking them.

I have found versons of the Cisco AnyConnect VPN clients for both devices. I have also found software for each that will allow me to remote to virtually any computer that I need to access whether on my home or work network. Wow, I can support desktop systems virtually anywhere! I have also relied heavily on the use of the cloud products called “DropBox”  and “EverNote” which makes accessing data from any device trivial. I was actually able to remote to my desktop at work, move a Windows program into the cloud, downloaded it from the cloud, installed (Wine) a Windows emulator on my Ubuntu machine and got the program running on it.  And then it finally hit me !!

Why do I need a desktop at all? Why couldn’t I have a Virtual workspace which can be managed in the data center, created and destroyed easily but more importantly physcially protected. I’m finally seeing the big picture and it has been many years coming. Services are provided and maintained in the cloud. Consumers use the services and forget about the rest. There is a huge leap of faith here I agree but consider this, the cloud might be a local cloud provided by your institution or business. We are fast approaching a new age of centralized information accessible from “virtually” anywhere!

What the ….. ?

March 11, 2011 Leave a comment

What in the world is a gravatar?

Gravatar – Globally Recognized Avatars
Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post …

Is this information they should add to all Passports?  ….. surely you recognize me by my Gravatar?

Educational Technologies

March 11, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been attending a week long symposium on Educational Technologies here at the University of Florida. My career goals are changing and I find that I want to actually apply the tech skills I’ve developed over the last 30 years. Crazy idea or not?

There’s an app for that….

March 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Just a quick note; having just setup this blog I found this really awesome iPhone app which is going to allow me to post frequently. Please stay tuned…

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