Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My local freeway

The above image was taken by the local news paper ( Dean Coppola/Contra Costa Times). It looks bad, there's a coastguard clipper, and a huge smokey fire. What is going on? Well, this is a view of the 880 freeway in Oakland CA, taken from Alameda. The view is across Coastguard Island.

The fire is the result of a fuel tanker overturn accident on the freeway. They closed all 4 southbound lanes, and the road that runs parallel, Embarcadero, this would force all freeway traffic onto city streets around the area. Also Northbound was closed, but has since re-opened.
It took an hour to fight the blaze, and yes, that is an airport crash tender on the freeway, borrowed from Oakland International Airport, which is about 5 miles South.

Some footage here.

Last fire on 880 was about 3 months ago, that was a garbage truck, and it closed the lanes for emergency repairs which lasted about 12 hours.

The fire before that was a couple of years ago, and it demolished an overpass.

See that story in the NY Times.

This is one of the roads I use most often. Pretty bad eh.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Think I'll code in Pascal...

I am working in a very hardware centric environment, and every time I come to talk to physical devices, they are all "ones based". For example, there are three LED's, LED_1, LED_2, LED_3. I want to handle them in a table in software, they become LED[0], LED[1] and LED[2]. But that is only because I'm using C. If I were using Pascal I would be calling them LED[1], LED[2] and LED[3].

But no, I'm using C.

Of course, I could make the arrays one entry larger than I need, and ignore LED[0]. Quite right, unless I was in reduced memory space (I've got 2k RAM on one of these systems, and things are getting tight).

Then when it comes to processor pins, they are zero based numbers, and for bit masks I need to be zero based. Oh, why do hardware designers have to start with one being first instead of zero.

Plugging Serenity, an Amazon Test

I'm going to plug "Firefly" again, just for the heck of it, and to see if Amazon Associate Links work...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My camera isn't idle.

It's actually earning its keep. For example documenting a board mod. For size reference, the silver square is a USB port.

Still, I wish I had some more exciting pictures to share.