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desertdog last won the day on November 15

desertdog had the most liked content!


About desertdog

  • Rank
    Just A Dusty Dog
  • Birthday December 3

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    S.F Bay Area
  • Interests
  • First Name
  • Camera
    Whatever is in my pocket
  • Explore Vehicle
    A pair of boots, preferably Irish Setters or Danner.

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3,745 profile views
  1. Maybe I'll get a drone after all

    You could use one of the alternative apps to control the drone. There are a few to pick from, but I haven't bothered to investigate them much, yet. There are reasonable precautions to take for anything in life. What defines "reasonable" varies from person to person, being a subjective measure of balancing risks and benefits. If you really think you're going to become the attack vector, then don't get a drone, or write your own controller software, or invent a better wheel, or just sit this one out. I'm going to strike a balance, somewhere between negligent and paranoid. Having a phone with apps that only you have authored, and with code-reviewed firmware, goes well over the line for me. It also goes well over the line of what's feasible and possible for most humans. What you propose is an impossibility for 95% of the population.
  2. Maybe I'll get a drone after all

    Audit the rest of your apps, and report back. But, this is why I said >10 years ago, only a fool will put sensitive information on a black box 'smart' device. Root my phone? Have fun. Nothing to see/grab/use.
  3. Maybe I'll get a drone after all

    How else would you want live video feeds? An integrated remote? That just adds cost and inefficiency, I think.
  4. Maybe I'll get a drone after all

    Large, empty, open space is usually a good starting point. It's hard to get 'smooth' with the drone - the controls are more sensitive than I had anticipated, so a gentle hand goes a long way. Also there is a bug in the firmware (at least the version I have). You can take off and get the drone between 2 near-ground objects, with the ground sufficiently close enough that it will lock up and refuse to accept any input. The forward and downward 'vision' systems see danger and concluded there is no safe action to take other than hover. Mind you, there is at least one 'exit' route, but the drone doesn't know this. The default is to go into hover and wait, forever. This is despite the fact that the drone has a GPS lock, just took off, and has a better default 'exit' - descend and land from where you just took off - the downward vision system should register this, but it will not. Disabling the vision system in-flight makes no difference, hitting RTH is useless, and nothing else I tried will cause the drone to accept pilot input. My solution was to *carefully* reach up (it was only about 6' off the ground), grab the drone, and pull it out of the area. While doing that, the drone knew it was moving, flipped out, and ramped the motors up to full speed, trying to maintain its position. That in turn led to all sorts of motor overspeed and battery overheat warnings on the remote. Once it was clear, I pulled the battery and killed the power. How I did this all without catching the business end of a propeller, I don't know. It's a case where the engineers didn't consider alternatives beyond "just hover". Plenty of other solutions exist, but none were considered. Also I've had problems directly connecting the drone to USB for imagery download. The easiest solution was a microSD reader, pull the card, and get data off that way.
  5. Hey folks...I saw the recent spate o' spam messages this morning and I think I nuked them all. If I missed any, please let me know. I'm surprised it took this long for the bots to come along, but I knew they would be here eventually. I know there are other mods that can delete content, but I'll be danged if I can remember who those might be. Though I don't post as much as I'd like to, I do try to check in at least once a day for reasons like this. I've been out of town though, so it has been a little difficult during the past week. Bob really has his hands full with 'life', so I'll be doing what I can in his place (just for now) to keep LAW n' ORDER!!! Lol. The junk should be gone (for now).
  6. Be wary of using the cloud

    I remember the outsourcing of the 90's with great chagrin. Whether you'd include the offshoring in that trend or not, I recall having more issues with that than with 3rd party onshore support issues - but neither was optimal. I also remember how in the early 2000's and late 90's every other job listed seemed to be for Flash 'programmers'. Look where that got us. I finally got fed up with the AWS mobile app for this conference - I was using it to track my session schedule. I finally slurped the schedule down as a CSV file, wrote a quick CGI (and by quick I mean ugly) and dropped it on my own server. Now I can just look up my schedule at will, no need to rely on their app. Monday was great. iOS and Android users were experiencing failures in the app - turns out they made some changes to the back end DB Sunday night in dev, pushed to production shortly thereafter, and then started to break everything (db_connect table did not scale or some such). DevOps - Beta Testing On The Customer Since 2012(TM).
  7. Be wary of using the cloud

    So far, at AWS re:Invent, I'm not feeling much love for their crap. I can't put my finger on it, but something doesn't sit quite right with me. Maybe it's the whole DevOps 'model', which is nothing more than 'beta test on the customer', IMO. Maybe it's the flurry of solutions looking for problems in combination with the semi-opaque nature of Getting Things Done. Just as an example, I tried to set up a VPC with Internet and NAT gateways, a couple of EC2 instances, and ELB. Holy Hell To All, it took a week to get things sorted. I could have built the same physical infrastructure (and then some) in 2 days or less. The PHB's think "MONEY SAVING!" because they figure they'll roll out t2.micro instances and then autoscale as-needed. Sure they will. And the rectal removal of corporate funds will autoscale along with the instances, usage charges, etc. Or maybe it's that most of the PM's and coders (for AWS, not partners) I'm seeing are so naive that they just make me want to puke all day. "This is SOOOOO SIMPLE!" Sure, sweetheart, if you got 6 months and nothing but time on your hands to learn your byzantine 'best practices' way of doing things. Most of us don't.
  8. EWO videos

    That was a pretty intense return to video publishing.
  9. Be wary of using the cloud

    So far, I'm incredibly unimpressed with the cloud - at least AWS. It's all DevOps driven, which means "Feature/Functionality X - Here today, gone tomorrow, no announcement". Just getting a basic VPC with a few EC2 instances, NAT and HTTP/S load balancers working has been an exercise in absolute frustration. Their "architectural" people are no goddamn help - they always come back with "Well...I don't know - what are you trying to do?" This, after a long, detailed email of "This is what I'm trying to do, based on what YOU told me in our last meeting, and it doesn't work. WHY NOT?" 'Cloud' is the latest phenomenon in the race to the bottom, yet in a perverse way it's the 1970's all over again - time-sharing, per-CPU/per-byte cost structure, thin-provisioned storage, and a very 'black box' mentality. The big difference is that systems analysts/admins from 1975 knew their shit, inside and out. In 2017, their only required certification is that they be buzzword-compliant.
  10. We were out that way in May, checking out some old mines up 447, just past Wadsworth (if you check my YT channel from that period, you'll see the Fallout Shelter Mine - you may know of it already). We stopped at Olinghouse on the way out, saw that trailer w/ patio, and some of the collapsed works just a bit up the road. The road was basically a series of small streams at the time, but we made it as far as the main fenced off building. There was a dog around, and a light on, but we never saw a human. We never did make it past there and up to the older mine workings, since we both had a long drive home. I'd like to get back into the area though. I'm content to go overland from the north and avoid the road, but that would take some serious planning. I *wish* I was located in Reno. You hear that loud flushing-sucking sound? That's California. Nggh...
  11. EWO videos

    I know he's still alive. Or, at least part of his family (wife) is, which is good. Yes, I'm 'stalking', but only to make sure some horrid fate didn't befall him. I'm sure he's OK now that I think of it. He moved his family a few times in recent months, and I'm sure that was very disruptive. Hopefully he'll be back, soon
  12. EWO videos

    That's a damn good question. I can't seem to get a reply out of him via PM here, or email. Somewhere I have a mobile # for him, but finding it is the problem. Maybe he's engaged in some super-secret awesome project, and we just need to be patient.
  13. The steel i-beam sitting over the shaft looks secure and in outstanding condition. If I knew there was a landing within 100 feet of the top, I'd go in for a look. Of course ascending that distance would be tiring, but well worth it.
  14. I took a few more minutes to look at the pictures, above. The blue stalactites are COOL!!! I'm guessing they are some sort of copper carbonate? Either way, they're really neat looking,
  15. I just subbed to your channel, but haven't had a chance to watch - is everything in Spanish?(I noticed titles are, at least). If so, I'll have to brush up - I stopped speaking the language after grandma and grandpa passed away. :/
  • Our picks

    • South Pass City, approximately 90 miles north of Rock Springs, is a historic site administered by the state of Wyoming.  It consists of over 30 log, frame, and stone buildings, along with the Carissa Mine and Stamp Mill.

      South Pass City Historic Site
    • Recently, I’ve been going through my old VHS video tapes and digitizing them to DVDs.  These tapes contain my travels and explorations between 1995 and 2009.  I thought I’d start releasing some video shorts of my early travels on this forum.

      The back story for this particular video is as follows.  On March 30, 1996, I made a short hike of about a mile and a third up the lower third of Surprise Canyon, on the western slopes of the Panamint Range, Inyo County, California.  This canyon is just outside of Death Valley National Park.  This canyon has running water running year round through the stretch shown, fed by substantial Limekiln Springs, and the canyon is a water wonderland.  For those not familiar with the area, refer to the two maps.  The first one shows the canyon in relation to the region, the other a close up of the canyon and the ghost town of Panamint City.  The blue line in the close up image shows the route that was taken.

      • 24 replies
    • My next series of videos will be based on a trip in 2000 that I took with Lew Shorb.  Lew is a board member here, as well as owner of the popular website http://www.ghosttownexplorers.org/ghost.htm

      In breaking with my past habit of culling out historical sites and ghost towns and creating short videos dealing with these, I decided to keep the exploring part of Explore Forums in and create videos of each day of my travel and exploration, including our camps.  Scenery, travel, camping ghost towns and wide open spaces.

      Part one of this series, as well as subsequent videos, will all appear here within this same thread. Part I will start in my garage, where I was finishing up with the packing my truck.  The following day, after work, I begin my travels to meet Lew Shorb at Rhyolite, Nevada ghost town.

      Our three day, two night travels prowled about the "Nevada Triangle" section of northeastern Death Valley National Park; and will include such sites as:

      1. The Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad
      2. Gold Bar
      3. Phinney Mine
      4. Strozzi Ranch
      5. Currie Well (LV&T RR)
      6. Mud Springs Summit (LV&T RR)
      7. Happy Hooligan Mine

      This video, that of March 30th and 31st, will start off this series; and is brief, only being 3:28 long.  Nevada-Triangle_Shorb-2000_Part-1.wmv

      So, below is my narrative of part one of this series to give full context of what is seen in the video.  It will probably take longer to read than the video is long.


      • 9 replies
    • Exploration Field Trips:
      May 1-3, 2000
      Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley

      What do you do with three authors, two 4x4’s, two two-way radios, three cameras, and camping supplies? Send them to Death Valley, of course. For three days in the first week of May, 2000, fellow authors and historical researchers Alan Patera, Alan Hensher and myself explored Death Valley north and south.

      Alan Patera writes and publishes the WESTERN PLACES series of monograph books.  Alan Hensher has been published in several periodicals as well as authoring several books, centering primarily on the history of Mojave Desert sites.

      Alan Patera, who hails from Oregon, came south to California and picked up Alan Hensher; then the two came my way. At the time I was living in Ridgecrest, California. After overnighting with my wife and I, the three of us took off for Death Valley.  Alan was busy researching and photographing for a future edition of WESTERN PLACES, this time centering on the camps of the Funeral Range, which forms the eastern border of east central Death Valley.  Circumstances and changes of our journey lead Alan to plant the seeds of two more future books, this time centering just outside the northernmost section of Death Valley.


      • 4 replies
    • Reconnoitering Trips
      Northern Nevada, Southwestern Idaho
      (and a Blip of Southeastern Oregon Thrown in for Good Measure)
      June 19 - 28, 2001

      This is the trip that I consider to be my favorite trip I have ever undertaken.  It had been in the planning stages since the previous December.  Originally, quite a number of people were invited and had semi-committed themselves to come along.  Over time, however, eventually the number of people whose semi-commitments became firm commitments to this trip narrowed to four.  And I was one of them.

      Below, a list of historic locations we visited – in the order that we visited them:

      1. Bodie & Benton Railway, California.
      2. Stillwater, Nevada.
      3. White Cloud City (Coppereid), Nevada.
      4. Unionville, Nevada.
      5. Midas, Nevada.
      6. Spring City, Nevada.
      7. Paradise Valley, Nevada.
      8. Buckskin, Nevada.
      9. National, Nevada.
      10. Delamar, Idaho.
      11. Silver City, Idaho.
      12. Rio Tinto, Nevada.
      13. Pattsville, Nevada.
      14. Aura, Nevada.
      15. Cornucopia, Nevada.
      16. Edgemont, Nevada (from a distance – on private property)
      17. White Rock, Nevada (from a distance – on private property)
      18. Tuscaurora, Nevada.
      19. Dinner Station, Nevada.
      20. Metropolis, Nevada.
      21. Charleston, Nevada.
      22. Jarbidge, Nevada.
      • 16 replies