Monthly updates

Need to go research the phpmailer issues more.

The following NEW package is going to be installed:
  libncurses6

The following packages are going to be upgraded:
  aaa_base dbus-1 dbus-1-32bit gd hwinfo ImageMagick kernel-default
  kernel-default-base libcares2 libesmtp libMagickCore1 libMagickWand1 mailx
  ntp release-notes-sles sg3_utils sudo tar timezone vim vim-base vim-data w3m
  xorg-x11-libs xorg-x11-libs-32bit xorg-x11-libX11 xorg-x11-libX11-32bit
  xorg-x11-libXfixes xorg-x11-libXfixes-32bit xorg-x11-libXrender
  xorg-x11-libXrender-32bit xorg-x11-libXv xorg-x11-libXv-32bit zlib zlib-32bit

Monthly updates

Looks like a pretty large update this month:

The following packages are going to be upgraded:
  apache2-mod_php53 bind-libs bind-utils crash crash-eppic curl gd gtk2
  gtk2-32bit gtk2-lang kernel-default kernel-default-base ksh libcurl4
  libjasper libnetpbm10 libtiff3 libtiff3-32bit libxml2 libxml2-32bit
  libxml2-python mysql mysql-client netpbm parted php53 php53-ctype php53-curl
  php53-dom php53-gd php53-iconv php53-json php53-mysql php53-pdo php53-sqlite
  php53-tokenizer php53-xmlreader php53-xmlwriter php53-zlib python-setuptools
  timezone wget yast2-core

Flybrix – Lego based mini drone

I saw a super idea for the boy’s birthday that combined two of his passions. Aeronautics and Lego.

Flybrix promised a relatively low cost entry to mini-drone design and flight – with some interesting possibilities around the Arduino platform. Automation!

I placed the order pretty early – and eventually the kit arrived.

Unboxing was fun. An anti-static bag with a mini control board, a bag of lego bits, a bag of motors and a bag of props.

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We built the first Lego drone using the online instructions. Meh. No fun. Having the battery above the plane of the props meant this turned into an inverted pendulum – with inherent instability for the drone. We had many crashes and a particularly disappointed boy.

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Lots of video showing a five second flight and then a massive crash.

Also we found that the Lego design was not particularly strong. Every flight, every crash – and rebuilt.

Back to the drawing board – with two goals.

  • stronger Lego model – less rebuilding
  • place the battery under the plane of the props to give more stability.

After several tries – here’s what we ended up with. It flies, it hovers, it’s actually fun.

The boy is now learning to hover an inch off the ground like a hovercraft and maneuver in three dimensions.

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Excel and fiscal dates

I keep having to remember the fiscal year formulae for Excel – fiscal year starts July 1, ends June 30.

Here’s my note so I can remember:

Fiscal year:  =IF(MONTH([cell])>6,YEAR([cell])+1,YEAR([cell]))

Fiscal month: ==IF(MONTH([cell])>6,MONTH([cell])-6,MONTH([cell])+6)