Some Productivity Tips

I get things done. And as a boss, if there's one thing that I look for in employees, it's not intelligence or ability, but their ability to get stuff done. So here are some basic rules I have that help me be more productive day in and day out. 1) Turn off notifications More and more the research shows we...Read More

A Letter To My Brother about Finances

My brother is about to finish school and start his first job. I'm writing this post to him, based on lessons and things I've learned along the way, but hopefully it's helpful to everyone! My financial goal here is to live comfortably (not excessively) and be able to retire someday! If your employer has retirement matching, max it out! This is...Read More

Getting started with the Particle Photon

I love using all flavors of Arduino in the engineering classes I teach. They're great tools, and students do some truly awesome stuff with them. More and more, students want to build connected devices.  This used to require an expensive WiFi shield or Ethernet shield, or require the students to switch to developing on a Raspberry Pi. Enter the particle Photon:...Read More

Wireless Google Calendar Display using Raspberry Pi and Arduino

When I'm not in my office, I like for people to know where to find me. Am I teaching a class? Working from home? In the manufacturing area? So I thought it'd be cool to build a little device that I could put in my office window that shows where I'm at and when I'll be back... On the window...Read More

The Future Value of Money

We live in a subscription society. Gone are the days of buying music albums. Instead, you can pay $10 a month to listen to all the albums you want.  When my friends are telling me about how great a subscription service is, they usually light up and say something to the effect of It only costs Ten Bucks a month!...Read More

Replacing Dropbox Pro with Amazon Glacier, and other services

Recently I've started auditing my tech spending to save some money.  One of the things I decided to drop was my subscription to Dropbox Pro, costing me $99/yr for 100 GB.  (really 140, because they double your free-space with a pro account). Here's what I did. Photos: Amazon S3 Glacier Backup A big chunk of my data in dropbox was photos:...Read More

Trip Report: South Africa (Week 3)

Sorry for the delayed post, but I was just realizing that I would be remiss if I didn't post one of the most memorable experiences of our trip: our Safari. Unfortunately, it's hard to describe just how incredible it was to see all the animals on the savana, and after our camera broke shark-diving, my photos are only from my...Read More

Trip Report: South Africa (Week 2)

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="622"] Tasting wine at our neighbors' vineyard![/caption] The end of Stellenbosch Stellenbosch is basically the Boulder of Cape Town. There is great dining, good mountain biking, and many, many wineries.  Courtney and I enjoyed walking to different wine estates for tastings, which normally cost less than $2.50 for five wines.  We've also loved the dining here, with restaurants...Read More