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My personal rants/raves

And... Let's try again

Saturday, October 31, 2015 by darco


I've been neglecting this blog for years. My previous post was from way back in May 2013. While that post was interesting in its own right, my life has changed since then in even more ways I could never have imagined.

For example, I'm now divorced, polyamorous*, and working at Nest Labs/Google. I've been doing lots of stuff, but for the most part I've only been writing about it on Google Plus, with an occasional Youtube video.

I'm at a point in my life where I want to start blogging again. I have quite a few personal projects that are ongoing which I think many people might find interesting.

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Startling Revelations

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 by darco

My father, Dr. Robert Bugg Quattlebaum, was born on November 23rd, 1923. To put things into prospective, he was an army medic in World War II. By the time he got around to having me he was 57 years old. There was clearly a bit of a generation gap between us.

In early 2001, my father was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. He passed away that summer. It was a bad year. I miss him greatly.

Fast forward a decade or so and the world is now a totally different place. Star-trek-like computing gadgets are common. Video phones actually work and work well. You can even spit in a tube and get your DNA analyzed, giving you important information on your disease risk, for less than two-hundred dollars.

Which brings me to If you've never heard of, it is a relatively inexpensive chip-based genetic profiling service. You start by ordering a kit, spitting in a tube, and mailing it off to them for analysis. There is a strong social aspect to the website which allows you to find both distant and close relatives. My wife and I got a great deal a while back and signed up.

During the sign up process, I found some of the warnings to be curious. Stuff to the effect of, 'you can't unlearn what you find out from this, so if you can't handle the truth then you may not want to consider this service'.

This got me to thinking: I bet a few people learn some rather startling information. Imagine signing up and then finding that you have a 25% genetic match with... A childhood friend who lived down the street. Oops. Someone just got busted.

There are many variations but they all cause a bit of an identity crisis—and potentially a strong sense of betrayal. Clearly, the experience has the potential to be profoundly shocking and life changing. But, hey, I'm not one of those people, right? No worries here.

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Comment Fail

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 by darco

It very much saddens me to discover that the comments table from the MySQL database has for some reason disappeared during the migration process. Poof. Gone. I have no idea what happened to it, but it is gone without a trace. As a result, all of the comments on this website have been lost. This is quite distressing, especially considering the immense value the comment threads on various posts added.

If I somehow manage to recover the comments I will do so, but at the moment it looks like a total loss.

Hosting Fail

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 by darco

Late last week, my web and email hosting provider decided to switch servers. It was a total cluster-fudge. My server-side email sorting script (via procmail) totally broke. SSH logins were no longer allowed. And let's not even go over the website itself—I couldn't even figure out where it was serving files from.

With my patience running low and my annoyance high, I decided that this was a good opportunity to switch to a VPS at a different company. It has been a slow process, but things are now starting to slowly come back online. Comments are still busted, but I'll get those back online soon.

Anyway, In light of this mess, I hope to totally revamp the website at some point over the next few weeks so that it will be easier to maintain and nicer to look at.

Google Plus

Monday, July 9, 2012 by darco

I seem to be one of those rare people who don't actually work for Google, but love Google Plus anyway. (We do exist!) In case you've been wondering what I've been up to, your best bet is to follow me there. Unlike my Facebook account, my Google Plus profile is public: so everyone should be able to follow me.

I'll make longer, more detailed, more formal posts here when I have time, but for the vast majority of my posts, comments, and pictures will be available only via Google Plus.

Again: If you want to see the cool stuff that I'm up to, follow me on Google Plus.

Late Blast-from-the-Past Link Day

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 by darco

Last week, Shawn Blanc started a trend called Blast from the Past Link Day. That was on the 20th, so I'm pretty late to the game on this one. Nonetheless, it seems like the perfect excuse to make a post while I bide my time waiting for more circuit boards from BatchPCB.

Here are a few of my favorite posts from deep darc, in chronological order:

Here are some posts related to projects that I am proud of:

Back in the States

Sunday, October 3, 2010 by darco

Just a quick informational post: I just got back from my ~2 week vacation, during which I had practically no time to check my email. It may take me a day or two to go thru it all, but if you sent me an email over the past two weeks I'll eventually get back to you.

Soldering a QFN

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 by darco

A while back I got my CC2530-based XBee-clone boards back from BatchPCB. Then reality set in—I actually had to solder these things! After much trial and error, I think I finally have figured out the right technique using solder paste, flux, and hot air. Here are some results:

IMG_0063 IMG_0065

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