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Author Topic: I should've done this earlier  (Read 2595 times)
BlueMage
Vectorite
***
Posts: 274



« on: September 07, 2007, 07:24:41 pm »

I know, I know, terribly rude of me to take advantage of the forum's collective generosity in helping me sort my vector issues out without actually introducing myself.

Please allow me to make amends Smiley

*ahem*

I'm a 22-year-old mechatronics engineering graduate.  I studied at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and graduated earlier this year with honours. I've since come back to do a Masters course, in Engineering Management.  Herding monkeys, essentially.

Mechatronics, for those who don't know, is a combination of mechanical, electrical and software engineering, geared towards creating engineers with skill sets appropriate to the design, production and troubleshooting of autonomous mechano-electrical systems.  In short, robots and shit Smiley

I was lucky enough to do my final year project with an industry partner.  I got a very enjoyable project and the result was (as far as I know) a world first - an autonomous system fully capable of grading broccoli on colour and defects without human input.  Being as it was an industry project, it was intended to be presented to a client at the end, who had fairly exacting parameters for the outcome - the system had to be fast and it had to be accurate 85% of the time.  I was able to deliver less than 1 second per process cycle (very fast :O ) with an accuracy of greater than 92% and a false positive rate (ie, letting damaged broccoli through - arguably more damaging to a business reputation than not letting acceptable product through) of less than 1%.  I got that project because my talents and interests lie very much towards the software end of the mechatronics' course, my electives being in networking and embedded system design.

I started using Vector around the same time I entered full-time employment - I got a job with the folks I did the project with, and as they were a small start-up company, they needed as many talented people as they could get.  Officially, I was the Research & Development & Commercialisation Engineer, but unofficially I was also Site IT Geek, fully able to pull computers apart and put them back together and have them work.  As we didn't have too many IT resources, one of my first tasks was to outfit the company with cheap, reliable computers.  Having gotten some bargains at an IT auction, I restored to Windows what machines I could, but for my own personal machine I took the one which wasn't working and therefore presented an enjoyable challenge.  A mate of mine had pointed me to Vector a few years earlier (back when Vector was in the 3.x state and I was willing but inexperienced with *nix) so my first choice was to go with what I knew somewhat - Vector.  A few startup quirks - sorted out with assistance from the wonderful community here - and I haven't looked back.

Vector was going to be the development platform upon which our next ambitious project was going be based - an autonomous fruit/vegetable harvester capable of discriminating between ripe and unripe produce.  Unfortunately, this didn't get going for too long before issues with another partner university cropped up which, coupled with poor cash flow, ultimately led to the shutting down of the department I worked in.  So, out of a job, I headed back to uni.

I admit, although I swear by Vector, I'm still very much a Windows-person at heart - I play games frequently, so I don't have much choice Sad  That said, I find MS to be tipping their hat more and more to the open-source community with Vista - it's one of the most linux-y Windows OSs I've played with.

I've also had a few friends ask me to do up a media box for them after seeing how well my Vector media box runs.  They're even more impressed when I tell them it's running on an old P3 500MHz with integrated graphics.  Those with linux experience nearly fall out of their seats when I further tell them it manages what it does with KDE Cheesy

So, that's me in a nutshell.  This is one of the most mature, friendly and helpful communities I've been a part of and, as time allows, I look forward to becoming a more active member.
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Acer Laptop:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final & Windows XP Professional & USB (still alive!)
Compaq POS (almost dead): Vector 5.9 Light Beta 5
Quad-core BEAST: Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit & Vector 5.9 64-bit beta-2
Old 500MHz media box:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final (dead)
701 EeePC:  Puppeee (based on Puppy 4.01)
M0E-lnx
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 3187



« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2007, 07:50:11 pm »

glad you like it here. Welcome aboard
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exeterdad
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2046



« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2007, 08:30:12 pm »

That's one hecka'va intro! It's about time!  Cheesy 
I like you already.
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rbistolfi
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2290


« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2007, 06:15:06 am »

Nice curriculum, welcome to the forum.
Personally, I think 100% of the broccoli is damaged, so my broccoli robot would be like those on the American movies, like a broccoli terminator or something Smiley.

Quote
Vector was going to be the development platform upon which our next ambitious project was going be based
Hey, the first vector powered robot was almost there! Don't give up, please Wink.

Quote
I play games frequently, so I don't have much choice
Well, that was true once but not anymore! I like tremolous, you can play quake or simcity, there is several strategy games, racing, simulations games, well... this site has good info: http://www.happypenguin.org/
I used to spend a lot of time with the simple tangram game Vector used to ship in earlier releases.

Well, welcome again and enjoy vl.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2007, 06:16:47 am by rbistolfi » Logged

"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.

--
Jumalauta!!
BlueMage
Vectorite
***
Posts: 274



« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2007, 04:29:49 pm »

Nice curriculum, welcome to the forum.
Personally, I think 100% of the broccoli is damaged, so my broccoli robot would be like those on the American movies, like a broccoli terminator or something Smiley.

Hahaha, that'd be awesome to see.  Actually, the first time we tested the mechanically-actuated part, we executed about 20 different heads of broccoli due to timing issues.  Guillotine style! Cheesy

Quote
Quote
Vector was going to be the development platform upon which our next ambitious project was going be based
Hey, the first vector powered robot was almost there! Don't give up, please Wink.

Well, it wasn't by choice ... if I have the option though, I will do whatever I can to finish that robot, but I've no idea what state the project is in now.

Quote
Quote
I play games frequently, so I don't have much choice
Well, that was true once but not anymore! I like tremolous, you can play quake or simcity, there is several strategy games, racing, simulations games, well... this site has good info: http://www.happypenguin.org/

Yeah, but will it run BioShock?  Or Crysis?  Smiley

Quote
Well, welcome again and enjoy vl.

Thankee kindly, and thankee all who have offered their welcome Smiley
Logged

Acer Laptop:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final & Windows XP Professional & USB (still alive!)
Compaq POS (almost dead): Vector 5.9 Light Beta 5
Quad-core BEAST: Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit & Vector 5.9 64-bit beta-2
Old 500MHz media box:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final (dead)
701 EeePC:  Puppeee (based on Puppy 4.01)
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2007, 12:55:49 pm »

Welcome to VectorLinux! It sounds like you'll be a real asset to our community.

I find MS to be tipping their hat more and more to the open-source community with Vista - it's one of the most linux-y Windows OSs I've played with.

I found this interesting because I got a new laptop three weeks ago that came with Vista Home Premium. I repartitioned the drive to have room for a VL partition, but I can't get my sound to work there and am having a devil of a time connecting to my new wireless network. So I'm writing this from VL installed in a Virtual Box virtual machine running under Vista. No problems with sound or networking in the VM. I'm trying to sort out the problems with sound and wireless on my "real" VL partition, but this VM will tide me over until then.

Vista is okay. It's far less bad than all the predictable complaints about it. It needed taming to meet my tastes, but things are pretty good now. What has surprised me the most is how well my old software is working. In fact, the really old stuff (some going back to Win 3.1) is more compatible than some newer stuff. The only thing I tried that wouldn't install at all was Photoshop Elements 2. I was trying to install it just as an experiment. Photoshop Elements 4, which I *do* use, is working fine so far.

Now, as for being Linux-like, I wonder what exactly you mean. I consider Vista's attempts at security and a distinction between user and administrative accounts to be very poorly implemented, especially compared with VectorLinux. In VL, a home user deals with two things: a user account and a root account. We have ownership of everything in our home directory and can do whatever we want there. Other users can't touch anything there and we can even prevent them from looking at our files. As user, we can't write to anywhere else. We need to su to root in order to affect anything but our home directory unless as root we've granted us sudo privileges for certain operations. It's straightforward. I know that if I need to do a system thing, I have to su to root.

In Vista, the administrative accounts are hybrids. My account has administrative privileges, but I'm constantly finding that I get "Access Denied" when I try to look at a directory that is in my \user\me folders. What's up with that??? I'd think that if it's in *my* user folder, I should be able to at least see everything there. I never know what I can do. Ownership is weird and permissions can be all over the place.

But get this--
From this same administrator account for which I get Access Denied messages in my own user folders I can change ownership of just about any files. It's a tedious process that involves going through layers in the Properties box, but nevertheless I can change ownership from System or TrustedInstaller just by going through the layers of menus. What kind of security is that?? I don't even have to give my password (which I already did when I logged in because I do use a password for my account). Vista comes with gobs of fonts for languages I don't know, have never seen, and probably never will, but removing them from the \Windows\Fonts menu involves changing ownership and permissions on many individual fonts. I can't do it in one fell swoop. Someone did give me a command-line command that was supposed to change ownership for all the files in the folder. It seemed to do it, but actually it didn't. Certain ones were still not movable.

As for User Account Control, that was so annoying that I turned it off. I mean, I'd try to copy a file and would first have to dismiss a UAC message asking me if I wanted a file to be copied. It was simply unbearable.

I'm not particularly worried about malware because I've been using Windows since 1991 and have never had a virus, worm, trojan, or other malware. I don't expect that to change. UAC may be a good idea for the mass of users who have no clue about keeping malware out of their systems, but if you're not in that category it's just a gigantic pain in the a**.

I wonder if Microsoft has a clue at all about designing a secure OS that users can actually USE.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
BlueMage
Vectorite
***
Posts: 274



« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2007, 04:40:41 am »

Well, I never said UAC was perfect (because let's face it - it's not) but it is a step in the right direction, to my thinking.

But yeah, other than that, I don't have half the complaints I see everywhere on the net.  Maybe I'm just more forgiving?
Logged

Acer Laptop:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final & Windows XP Professional & USB (still alive!)
Compaq POS (almost dead): Vector 5.9 Light Beta 5
Quad-core BEAST: Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit & Vector 5.9 64-bit beta-2
Old 500MHz media box:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final (dead)
701 EeePC:  Puppeee (based on Puppy 4.01)
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