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Joseph Mack

jmack (at) austintek (dot) com

Nov 2014


Table of Contents

1. Wifi, SysAdmin and Contract Programming Services
1.1. Wifi Installation for Business, Appartment Complexes, Events, Trade Shows, Conferences, Meetings, Conventions, Indoor/Outdoor, Permanent/Temporary
1.2. Sysadmin Services
1.3. Contract Programming

2. Webcams and wifi at the Festival for the Eno 4,7&8 July 2012, Durham, NC
2.1. Webcam links

3. Computing Programming Class: for Middle and High School Students
3.1. Introduction to programming: Python
3.2. Unused material from the Introductory course
3.3. Complex Numbers
3.4. Programming in C
3.5. electricity
3.6. mechanics

4. Videos
4.1. A class about Platonic Solids and Assembling the NOAA Icosahedral Globe of the Earth
4.2. A class field trip to the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment (DIVE)

5. HOWTOs
5.1. Linux Virtual Server (LVS), a layer 4 router
5.2. Gnucash
5.3. Dual booting Linux/WinXP from a flash drive
5.4. The simplest Model-View-Controller (MVC) example (Java)
5.5. Bayes explained: Is the coin fair?

6. Ham Radio
6.1. Software: AZ_PROJ Azimuthal Equidistant Projection Map generator
6.2. Articles on the Future of Ham Radio
6.3. Aurora Propagation
6.4. Analysis of VHF Contest Logs

7. Articles
7.1. Outsourcing
7.2. Partition Magic Critical Error 19
7.3. Don't watch the shuttle launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) 2011

8. OutDoor Trips
8.1. Colorado 2002
8.2. The Larapinta Trail, 2002, by John Ward
8.3. Canoeing and Kayaking in Algonquin National Park, Ontario, Canada; 2003, 2004, 2013
8.4. Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia, 2010

9. Book Reviews
9.1. The IBM Way
9.2. Leaving Earth; Genesis
9.3. It would be wrong to steal my sister's boyfriend (wouldn't it?)

10. Amateur Astronomy
10.1. Cloud Survey of North Carolina
10.2. Wifi in the Wilderness: setting up wifi internet connectivity at a star party
10.3. Yet another home analemma project: the Mack family driveway analemma
10.4. Moon 22° complete colour tinged halo (photo)
10.5. Restoration of a Tasco 8V Telescope
10.6. Why you should use Gloss Black, rather than Flat Black for the inside of your Telescope OTA: by Larry Shaper, presented at Stellafane, VT, Aug 2013
10.7. Figure of merit for mirror materials: by Larry Shaper, presented at Stellafane, VT, Aug 2013
10.8. Weather at Staunton River State Park

11. Other hobbies
11.1. Geology

12. About Joseph Mack

1. Wifi, SysAdmin and Contract Programming Services

Austintek is a small consulting business, based in North Carolina, USA. Services requiring physical presence are concentrated in the Triangle (RTP, Durham, Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill) area. Service in the Triad and outside can be arranged. Contract programming is available for anyone.

1.1. Wifi Installation for Business, Appartment Complexes, Events, Trade Shows, Conferences, Meetings, Conventions, Indoor/Outdoor, Permanent/Temporary

Austintek provides wifi connectivity and networking for conferences, meetings and outdoor events, and installs permanent wifi setups for businesses.

1.2. Sysadmin Services

Austintek does sysadmin for unix computers (and clusters of computers).

1.3. Contract Programming

Austintek can do contract programming, benchmarking and data analysis. We can program in -

  • languages: C, C++, Java, Fortran, Perl (and cgi), Python, mpi, omp, pvm, X-windows (Xt, Athena widgets), Motif, RPC sockets, APL, xml, html, shell (bash, csh, awk, sed, tcl/tk), Pascal, LaTeXi, javascript, css.
  • databases: mysql, postgres
  • scientific, math packages: Mathematica, Maple, Matlab, R.

2. Webcams and wifi at the Festival for the Eno 4,7&8 July 2012, Durham, NC

I'm a sponsor of the festival. I'll be providing wifi (g and a) from the Mangum house. I'll have webcams showing the stages and the food courts.

Note

4 Jul 2012: No operation today.

I was to use the Eno River Association's on-site internet connection, which they use to run the festival. At 2am today I was informed that they weren't connected and I shouldn't setup my wifi and webcams today. They hope it will be turned on for saturday. Sorry everyone.

2.1. Webcam links

Grove stage, Meadow stage, River stage, upper food court, lower food court.

If you're coming in over wifi on the Festival grounds, here is the on-site webcam server.

3. Computing Programming Class: for Middle and High School Students

Jan 2011: The classes have been going 4 yrs now. I taught python as the initial course because the kids wanted it. Python worked out well as a language to teach procedural programming.

  • It looks the same on Linux, Windows and Mac, so the kids can use any machine/OS they like.
  • You get a minimum number of errors, so the frustration level for the kids never gets too high.
  • You're insulated from the OS/machine/hardware so the kids don't have to know about registers etc.

3.1. Introduction to programming: Python

Computer Programming for Middle School students: An introductory course with Python as the high level language.

Class lessons for a group of 7th graders with no previous exposure to programming (as of Aug 2008, now 8th graders - in the US 5-8th grade are called Middle School). The students are doing this after school, one day a week for about 90min, on their own time and not for credit. My son's school didn't want me to teach the class using any of the school facilities, as they thought it would compete with a class in Java given to advance placement math 12th graders. However I could use the school facilities, if I didn't teach anything which would fullfil a requirement (which I assume meant anything practical). So the class is at my home and is free. Since this is a hobby activity for the kids, I don't ask them to do homework.

The course is finished (Oct 2009) and the kids are now learning C. I thought I would cover more material than I did in this course. I can see, with a year's hind-site, that the material could be clearer. There wasn't time for any projects. One student gave a 20min lunch time presentation to his teachers on using numerical integration to determine the value of π

Note

Google stopped indexing the programming class page about Aug 2008, when the class notes reached 1M (the other indexing services seem to have no trouble with it). There is no mention of size limits on google's guide to author's page e.g. google's addurl and associated pages. I've divided the sensible single page into smaller pages in the hopes that google can handle the material. If you want the material I'm using in class, go to the link immediately above. Here below is the same material divided into what I hope are google sized pages.

3.2. Unused material from the Introductory course

Material the wasn't used in the Introductory Course. Presumably some of it will go into the C course.

3.3. Complex Numbers

Complex Numbers. This course provoked the most interest of all the non-programming courses.

3.4. Programming in C

Computer Programming for High School students: C as the high level language.

Class lessons for a group of 9th graders who have taken my introductory programming course.

3.5. electricity

Computer Programming for High School students: Electricity.

This short course was added in the middle of the C class, when the students found that their lack of knowledge of computer hardware was making it difficult to learn C.

3.6. mechanics

Computer Programming for High School students: Mechanics.

This course was added in the middle of the electricity course, so that students would know about forces and energy. This course became progressively larger and took over all the class time. I was quite happy with this as I think mechanics is more fundamental than electricity or programming.

4. Videos

4.1. A class about Platonic Solids and Assembling the NOAA Icosahedral Globe of the Earth

A 30min video of me teaching a science class to 3rd graders (http://www.austintek.com/icosahedron_class/) at my son's school. I've been doing this for about 10yrs and it's lot of fun.

4.2. A class field trip to the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment (DIVE)

In the summer of 2009, the python class took an end of year field trip to the DIVE (http://www.austintek.com/DIVE).

5. HOWTOs

5.1. Linux Virtual Server (LVS), a layer 4 router

The Linux Virtual Server (LVS) Project is a GPL'ed layer 4 router for Linux, which allows you to combine low cost servers (e.g. web, database) into a single highly available, high throughput server.

Here's the Linux Virtual Server (LVS) HOWTOs.

Note
Mar 2014. I am no longer maintaining these HOWTOs.

For my write-ups on LVS (performance, meeting note, trivia quiz, iron-on labels, presentations, configure script), please see my LVS page.

5.2. Gnucash

Gnucash is a GPL double entry accounting package. Here's my Gnucash tutorial. This tutorial is referenced from the Gnucash website documentation page. This tutorial was delivered, on 9 Jul 2001, to the North Carolina Sysadministrator's Association (NCSA), an organisation based in RTP, NC, USA. I was the treasurer of NCSA from Dec 2000 to Dec 2003.

5.3. Dual booting Linux/WinXP from a flash drive

dual booting Linux and WinXP from a flash drive

5.4. The simplest Model-View-Controller (MVC) example (Java)

the simplest MVC example (Java)

5.5. Bayes explained: Is the coin fair?

The Bayes equivalent of "hello world"

6. Ham Radio

I've been a ham radio operator since High School (first licensed in 1964 as VK2ZJM). I currently hold the callsign NA3T. I'm interested in VHF equipment design and moon-bounce (communication using the moon as a passive reflector).

6.1. Software: AZ_PROJ Azimuthal Equidistant Projection Map generator

This projection produces maps of the world in which you are at the center. Great circles through your location are straight lines enabling you to determine bearings to anywhere in the world.

The software was co-authored with Michael NV3Z and released in 1994 under the GPL. I maintain the AZ_PROJ on-line map server, which has been online since 1996, generating 10,000 maps/year.

6.2. Articles on the Future of Ham Radio

A 50yr plan for ham radio in response to the ARRL's plan for restructing for ham radio.

6.4. Analysis of VHF Contest Logs

Analysis of the 1999 Spring Sprints (the sprints are a VHF/UHF contest on the US east coast).

7. Articles

7.1. Outsourcing

A talk (http://www.austintek.com/outsourcing/outsourcing.html) given to the North Carolina Systems Administrators (http://www.ncsysadmin.org/) 12 Jul 2004. Outsourcing is the replacement of American workers by cheaper labor from overseas. The labor can be imported into the country, e.g. by giving the worker an H1-B visa, or by contracting the job to workers overseas.

7.2. Partition Magic Critical Error 19

How I recovered a disk with the undocumented Critical 19 error.

7.3. Don't watch the shuttle launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) 2011

What I learned from attempting to see the shuttle launch.

8. OutDoor Trips

I've hiked for most of my life. I wrote up

8.1. Colorado 2002

Hiking Trip to area near the Mt. of the Holy Cross, Colorado, 8-15 Jun 2002 with an old friend Steve. Steve and I were post-docs together at Yale in the '70s. Steve, not to be outdone, has written his version the trip (also available doc format). Steve has a scientific web site `Carson science and a photography site Natural Photography by Steven D Carson.

8.4. Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia, 2010

Hiking in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Oct 2010.

9. Book Reviews

9.1. The IBM Way

The IBM Way, by Buck Rodgers, the VP of marketing at IBM from 1974-84 (publ 1986). This what Buck Rogers' wants you to think about how IBM works.

9.3. It would be wrong to steal my sister's boyfriend (wouldn't it?)

It would be wrong to steal my sister's boyfriend (wouldn't it?) by Sophie Ranald.

10. Amateur Astronomy

10.2. Wifi in the Wilderness: setting up wifi internet connectivity at a star party

Wifi in the Wilderness: Setting up internet connectivity for observers at the Mid-Atlantic Star Party using wifi.

10.3. Yet another home analemma project: the Mack family driveway analemma

Yet another home analemma project: the Mack family driveway analemma .

10.4. Moon 22° complete colour tinged halo (photo)

Moon 22° complete halo (photo).

10.5. Restoration of a Tasco 8V Telescope

Restoration of a Tasco 8V Telescope.

10.6. Why you should use Gloss Black, rather than Flat Black for the inside of your Telescope OTA: by Larry Shaper, presented at Stellafane, VT, Aug 2013

Paint it Gloss Black.

10.7. Figure of merit for mirror materials: by Larry Shaper, presented at Stellafane, VT, Aug 2013

Figure of merit for mirror materials.

10.8. Weather at Staunton River State Park

Weather at Staunton River State Park. This is the location for the Staunton River State Park Star Party run by the Chapel Hill Astronomical Observing Club

11. Other hobbies

11.1. Geology

Whenever I go hiking, I see rocks everywhere. Rocks are great. I'm the VP and webmaster for the Central North Carolina Mineral Club.

In Feb 2013, I lead a field trip to Pilot Mountain State Park, NC. Here's a talk I gave on 5 Feb 2013 to prepare people for the trip Pilot Mountain Field Trip (http://www.centralncmineralclub.org/field_trips/pilot_mtn/).

12. About Joseph Mack

Most recently I was the Senior Systems engineer and scientific programmer, working as a contractor at a US Govt supercomputer center. I have Ph.D. in biochemistry from Sydney Universtiy. I have worked at the University of California (Davis), University of British Columbia, Yale University, US Department of Agriculture, National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institutes for Health (NIH) before turning to programming for a career. I've been programming since first year in college and building and designing electronics since grade school. In Jan 2013, I became a PMP. I am a member of DSI Improv Comedy Theater (http://www.dsicomedytheater.com/). I am writing a book and thinking about a career change.

Here's my 2 page resume, a more detailed 3 page resume and my list of publications.

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