Thursday, 19 July 2018

Quick Jack

This is purely posted as a reminder that I need to purchase one of these (when I get the funds!)

You can see my problem - I have to use a traditional jack to jack the vehicles up, then slide in wheel ramps under each wheel (it does the job)

The MG F experience:

The Subaru Sambar experience:

The Standard Vanguard experience:

Ah, so now you realise one of the problems.  I'd like to see you get that jack underneath the car to be able to get it up in the air to put the wheel ramps in place....oh and then go to the other end of the car and ....okay, trust me, without having to physically remove the bumpers each time, there is no way to jack up this car.  Yes, yes, it is a problem of my own making because I made it so low.  BUT, I just recently attempted to do some work under the front of our Fiat 500 and it was actually too low to get the trolley jack underneath also..... (yes, I'm trying to justify the purchase)

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Digital Humans are coming.....

As you know, I've been a bit of a fanboi over the past year for all things to do with Virtual / Digital Humans (Avatars - yes, I said that word)

UBS has teamed up with IBM and avatar biometrics outfit FaceMe to build two "animated digital assistants", which will now be tested over three months.

CHECK OUT the original article here:

What is of more interest to me is what technology is being used to make/render the Digital Humans.
Enter (another) New Zealand based Digital company - (it makes you wonder if all these companies originally did work on Lord Of the Rings or other similar movies and are now switching all that knowledge to this area? just a theory)

Anyway, here's another quick video showing the general offering from the FaceMe company.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Velindre Cancer care and AI

There comes a time when it's not all about "you"...

I met Debbie last week and she kind of changed my view on life quite a bit.  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in 'doing the work', we forget to sit back and take stock of just how much of an impact what we are doing is having (in a positive way) on real people living real lives.

I'm truly humbled to be working on this initiative and helping to make people's lives better.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

So, what "is" a Solution/Software Architect?

Just like this person, I get asked a lot "so what do you do?".

Until a few years ago (when I got caught out and it was very embarrassing), I used to say, "Oh me, I'm a plumber". 
Said in an Ironic Software development way, meaning I work on all the software plumbing that is hidden out of view, but is essential to making the things do what you need them to, not the literal "water based / kitchen / bathroom plumber person" (of whom I have the utmost respect for, as they do a tremendous job that I am more than happy to pay for their services to do as it is beyond my skill set).  Yep, that was an awkward 15 minutes chatting in a kitchen with a real plumber, wanting to open the oven, crawl inside and hope they walk away.  anyway....

So now, I just say, "Oh me, I help companies to build Skynet".  This creates two options of conversation continuation.
One: it stops.  Absolutely fine by me, then I can talk about my custom car :-)
Two: it continues and we start to talk about AI, Machine Learning, 3D printing robotic heads, advances in Visual Recognition, automated cars, personal assistants in cars, chat bots and then eventually it comes down to the description that I "help to design and build" all those things.  Then I talk about my custom car :-D

Today, I stumbled upon this article that I think is a great guide.

He lists out all the key points, I won't repeat the details as you can go read the original article, but here are the key headings.

10 key skills every Architect should have:

  • Design
  • Decide
  • Simplify
  • Code*
  • Document
  • Communicate
  • Estimate & Evaluate
  • Balance
  • Consult & Coach
  • Market

*What I did like was the following snippet - it's something I've been advocating for a long time and it is amusing because this very morning I was actually getting hands-on building an AngularJS6 app using RXJS, NodeJs/ExpressJs and Compose for MongoDB and grafting IBM AppID onto the front-end of the app, in order for me to understand how it all fits together but not just "box drawing", but actually seeing how and why you have to set these components up in different ways for different implementations (it's not 1 size fits all)

Theory is important. Practice is equally or even more important if you do not want to become an Ivory Tower Architect

BTW - for the millennials out there, no, you do not get given the job role/title of "Architect" because you've worked in I.T. for a year and think you deserve it, because you're the "best" and you've "worked hard" (for a bit) and you're "so much better than the rest of the team".

Sigh.  It takes time.  That's the sad truth, it's a bit like all professions, it takes time to learn by doing, learn by experience, learn by knowledge, learn by learning from others, from a variety of experiences and projects/implementations.  You don't get given the responsibility on a plate.  That responsibility is heavy, it can cost peoples lives, peoples ability to work/pay their bills, it can make or break an entire business, it can also make or lose millions of dollars/pounds.  You don't take on that level of responsibility lightly and it is unfortunate to say, but, you do actually have to fail.  Yep, you cannot always win.  You actually have to fail at some things in order to learn and grow.  It's about being able to mentally and emotionally accept those failures and build from them and learn from them that makes you a better Architect.

One of these days, I'll quit working with Technology (yeah, right, I'll laugh when I see that happen!) and I'll live on a Dutch Barge on a nice canal someplace, where I'll be working on the internal water plumbing for the boat and the engine....and then might look to upgrade a few components to be a bit more self-aware.... :-D

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

ABS 3D printing shall commence from this weekend...

It's probably about time I got back to working on my 3D-printed robot..... well, I did just order a glass plate for it.... so I might start printing ABS and make the much needed more flexible parts...

and now, it's time for some distracting music from the G himself:

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Can I have a hug please.....

The importance of teaching robots to hug.


AWS Innovate Online 2018

What ya' doing on July 19th?.....want to find out more about AWS....for free?...

AWS Innovate Online Conference is designed for executives and IT professionals looking to leverage the AWS Cloud to build and innovate at scale. Hear the very latest from Dr Werner Vogels, CTO, during the keynote and dive deep into any of the 50+ business and technical sessions across ten tracks delivered by AWS experts. This free online conference is designed to inspire and educate you about AWS services and help you develop the skills to design, deploy, and operate infrastructure and applications.

There are a bunch of Sessions going on throughout the day:

Oh..badges too...I like getting my Mutley medals :-)

Downloadable Agenda available HERE

And what time is it all happening?

I'll see you there for a virtual coffee...unless I'm onsite for a customer, then I won't...but you'll hear me complaining about it, a lot :-D