Tag Archives: business

Alll About Database 12c At Collaborate 13 #C13DEN – IOUG Forum

The Background behind Oracle Database 12c Revealed at Collaborate 13 presented by Bobby Curtis (BIAS Corp – @curtisbl294) and me:

And then we explain the specifics about What You Need to Know about Database 12c, and Why being part of IOUG made this possible:

2013-March Shinnyo-en Buddhism Introductory Podcast – Going With The Flow

2013-March Shinnyo-en Buddhism Introductory Podcast – Going With The Flow

Subscribe to this Podcast (RSS) or iTunes

Watching How Traffic Gridlock Forms
Harmonious Paths in Disaster
The Bodhisattva Vow

Traffic patterns, much like check-out lines at a store are fascinating to observe – people always jostling for a better position, racing ahead only to get stuck as that lane eventually slows to a crawl again. Having a higher-view, similar to what truckers can see, you start to see the larger picture of traffic. On some freeways, for whatever reason, sometimes the right-side slow lanes go faster than the left-side passing ones. Motorcyclists tend to be more aware of their surroundings, so we notice when the little red sports car that sped up quickly to race ahead, gets blithely stuck in slower traffic and fades to the rear. We notice when there’s an unusually slow driver in the far left lane causing traffic from behind to have to move right to pass.

We also notice how the large truck drivers, sentenced by regulation to an existence imprisoned within the right two lanes, also learn to drive with consistency of both throttle and path. They don’t tend to change lanes, and try to maintain a steady pace of forward momentum. Having so much mass to move, does not allow for rapid fluctuations in speed and direction, so those drivers have to plan well ahead in order to stay safe, and keep from endangering others. These professional drivers make decisions to change paths because of safety and overall-efficiency. Opening wide the throttle to jump into a temporary opening might decrease a few seconds of the trip time, but the sacrifice is an above-average burn of precious (and these days, costly) fuel. Too many snap decisions and there might not be enough in the tank to complete the trip without stopping for more fuel – adding additional delays to the overall arrival time.

Every time someone unexpectedly changes lanes, whether without signalling, or abruptly changing from one lane to another, those people displaced usually end up slowing down slightly (to keep themselves safe), and those in-front glance in their rear mirrors wondering why they are being suddenly tailgated. The people to the sides spend a few thought moments thinking to themselves “how rude!” or other distractions.  Collectively the single decision of one person to try and jump a little farther ahead of the others, ends up having collateral energy expenditures on all those individuals around them, and inevitably, that lack of focus and concentration also results in slightly slower progress.

Buddhism observes many such paths and interactions: water flowing along a stream, winds flowing through and around forests, birds migrating from place to place – each having a starting point and a destination. Each kind of energy makes its best effort to get to its ending point but deviates its path only for natural drives: danger, hunger, thirst, and fatigue. Ultimately the path of least resistance is always sought, to conserve energy.  Water gains flow and volume when it moves as a whole, widening its path and straightening its course. Air becomes powerful as it goes faster and forms streams of continuous flow. Birds in flocks expend less energy to get to their destination when they take turns leading and following each other, staying within the leader’s wake, taking the least amount of energy to maintain formation flight.

March 11 marks the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the third memorial service for its victims (In Japan, a funeral is counted as the first of the yearly memorial services, so the third memorial service is conducted on the second anniversary.) The torrential water that flooded most of the Tohoku region followed its own path of least resistance. Residents noted the risks associated with building directly in the path of the ocean’s own tides, and recommended higher altitude and raised platform construction be incorporated during the reconstruction. Living in connection with the ever-present tides and constructing flexible buildings that can sway and move with the quaking earth are similar examples of harmonious paths.

Two thousand, five hundred years ago, at the Buddha’s final moment of nirvana, Chunda, the lay follower, showed us in his purity how to truly accomplish dana paramita, or the perfection of giving. Shakyamuni accepted Chunda’s sincere offering and reassured him that he’d be there whenever Chunda needed him. “There is no need to grieve over my death,” he said, “I have entered a state of nirvana. I am in a place of eternal bliss. Listen well, with a sincere attitude. I will explain the bodhisattva vow [to endeavor for the sake of all sentient beings] to you, so that serene and tranquil bliss can be attained equally by all sentient beings. You have now listened to the truth of my ever present tathagata nature; etch this truth and what you have heard into your mind, and train accordingly.”

And so, returning to our traffic analogy, imagine what traffic would be like if the very front person on every lane were concerned about holding up traffic flow for everyone behind them. And each person in-turn was focused on the safety and efficacy of each other driver’s capacity to reach their destination safely and quickly.  And even the last person was conscientious about lagging too far behind, lest someone else follow behind them.  Races go fast because each individual has the same objective – the finish line. A careless and untrained move by any individual can lead to disastrous results for everyone participating, so they each strive to maximize their potential, which results in a collective increase in effort and effectiveness for everyone.

2012-October Shinnyo-en Buddhism Monthly Focus Podcast – Building a Trusted Reputation

2012-October Shinnyo-en Buddhism Monthly Focus Podcast – Building a Trusted Reputation

The Importance of Establishing Trust
Consistency Builds a Foundation
Learning to Say, “Yes…”
Choosing the Difficult Path
2012-October Shinnyo-en Buddhism Monthly Focus Podcast – Building a Trusted Reputation


Subscribe to this Podcast (RSS) or iTunes

During an interview recently, Keishu-sama was asked, “What would you most like to be remembered for in this world?” She replied without hesitation, “Not to be formally recognized or rewarded, but to be a person who can be relied upon and trusted – to be a dependable person.”

The timeliness of this idea is quite unmistakable. On TED.com Rachel Botsman spoke this month on how a person’s reputation will become the new perception of an individual’s value, especially out in the virtual internet universe, where we will meet virtual strangers every day and virtual identities are only as genuine as the ratings or comments of others.  In this discussion there is a clear line drawn between one’s Influence (as measured by Likes, Re-Tweets, Follows and Facebook Friends) and one’s Trustworthiness (measured by positive Comments, Recommendations by others, and References by others to your own comments and opinions.)  Botsman points out that the ability to have a positive outcome from a business activity has a direct correlation to your own rather difficult-to-measure Trust factor, and has almost no relation to one’s credit score (FICO), virtual Likes or Influence rating.

So how do you go about building a good reputation?  Trust by others starts with actions towards the benefit of others. It’s easy not to trust someone who is always thinking of themselves first, or doing things in a selfish manner. Even more interesting are those who firmly believe they are making efforts for others, and yet are not sources of inspiration and seem to be beset by troubles and conflicts. The person who always barters is a good negotiator, but seldom trusted. And yet, it’s even simpler to trust someone who always acts by thinking of others first, placing themselves in “the other person’s shoes” and doing things which have no direct correlation with a reward.

Those actions must also have a consistency to them, similar to a river or stream that never dries up.  We think fondly of returning to the cool waters of an ever-present water source to refresh ourselves and cleanse our bodies and minds, but we don’t have that same affinity towards a tributary that only runs randomly, sometimes in great gushes, and other times a mere trickle. We seek every day, to find our own reliable and trustworthy sources of our own sustenance, and that includes those who inspire us and motivate us in life.

If we reflect on the Four Virtues of a Bodhisattva: Permanence (eternity or timelessness), Bliss (happiness), Self (identity or confidence), and Purity (truth)  (Jpn. Jo Raku Ga Jo) each one is attainable only through consistent practice. Each one can be soiled each time someone strays from these invaluable measures. But someone who endeavors to hold true each one of these ideals in their daily life and interactions, becomes by their actions, a trustworthy person because of their consistency and diligence to pursue them.

In a customer service training held by the Telephone Doctor, they introduce verbal phone etiquette choices that enhance communication skills for people dealing with others. The principles are the same in their training – learn to act as you would wish to be treated by putting yourself into the other person’s place before deciding how to react.

Instead of… Try using…
I don’t know. That’s a good question. Let me find out.
I can’t do… Well, what I can do…
You have to… What you need to do…
Just a second… This may take a minute. Can you hold?
No. <…> I can do <something instead>
<silence> (as a response to anything) <say something…>

When you hear the latter responses and imagine a person you’re dealing with responding that way with a smile, can you imagine feeling a little better about the response to your question, even if it happens to be not exactly what you were expecting?

It is very easy it seems to do the opposite of the Four Virtues, much like taking an elevator to the top of a mountain, versus climbing a rocky and steep path along the rocks. You can exhibit impatience, anger or frustration, lack of commitment and lying with as much ease as entering that express lift. Just as taking the stairs once in awhile strengthens our heart and muscles, so does choosing discipline in Life over convenience. We learn more from our difficulties than we ever do from our easy achievements. The interesting change of perspective that transforms the world around you is when you start seeing those challenges in terms of their presented opportunities rather than their burdens. As Life’s hurdles transform into steps, you might find your spiritual strength increasing as you exercise your free will.

SROAUG Conference Call for Papers! 7/22/2012

SROAUG Conference Call for Papers is Open!.

Alternative Stair-climber Design for Elderly/Assistance-needed Persons

A belt-and-track based stairwell lift device that can be embedded into the stairwell wall by notching the studs; constructed of structural material that when attached to the studs will also act as a structural brace; Up/Down step controls on the lift-plate for passenger-controlled ascent/descent; lift-plate folds out-of-way when not in-use; compact motor and belt-width for ease of embedded installation in narrow stairwells.

Since there are many stairwells, in many countries, that are not wide-enough to accommodate a conventional chair-lift systems. And many of these locations are in multi-story businesses, such as hair salons, restaurants, and small service businesses that cannot afford major remodeling to accommodate the growing elderly/assist-required population. A belt-and-track based stairwell lift device that can be embedded into the stairwell wall by notching the studs; constructed of structural material that when attached to the studs will also act as a structural brace; Up/Down step controls on the lift-plate for passenger-controlled ascent/descent; lift-plate folds out-of-way when not in-use; compact motor and belt-width for ease of embedded installation in narrow stairwells.

 

Wanted: A Better Reusable Coffee Pod (K-cup)

K-cup pods – making coffee one cup at a time. So what do you do with yours? Try to recycle? Landfill? Don’t know because you use them at the office and your office doesn’t have a recycle bin?

Keurig itself came up with this idea – main faulty design flaw is the plastic cage. It should be all stainless steel, so people don’t complain about the rims breaking off after a few weeks of use.

Here’s a novel idea as well – a reusable cap that has an improved water injector design used for re-capping existing plastic pods by washing them out and re-using them.

Instead, just put it all together and call it done. All-metal design, with a reusable cap.  If you do it, you could be a bazillionaire!

Myself, I just use a regular espresso hand-pressure machine with a regular old stainless grounds cup and tamp out the puck and rinse it.

Bad Tea (bags) vs. Good Tea (bags)

Dear Tea Companies –

ImageWhen the first pyramid/silk tea bags appeared out of my little boxes of tea, I thought, “What a pretty little bag!”  Then, after drinking my steeped beverage, I, as usual tore off the string and tag, and placed it into my composter, which had been fine for many years.  A few weeks later, when turning it over, I noticed the bag was still sitting there.

And you know what? 1,000 years later, that little bag will still be there, all pristine and pretty, because it’s plastic. Very tough plastic. Plastic that apparently is cheaper than the filter paper (mostly made of wood pulp, or other normally compostable materials.) Plastic that will withstand being used as an e-cigarette high temp vapor filter.

ImageI don’t want yet another larger carbon footprint from what used to be one of humanities least bio-expensive processed foods – please use simple paper instead.

Image

Or perhaps even better, keep it loose and provide a reusable sack filter instead (only need 1 or 2 per box).

Or if you’re the tea-drinker, just use one of these infusers with loose tea. ImageThey even make tea bag-shaped versions, if you’re psychologically attached to that shape.Image I don’t need for my simple tea leaf to have turned bad because of a cosmetic packaging idea.

Thanks, from a tea-drinker (and coffee, too).

Ping Battery Replacement with Clean Republic e-Bike Motor and Controller

[Original Blog post with details of what’s inside a Clean Republic Battery pack is here.]

Received the new Ping 36V 10AH Li-FePO4 Battery from China today – very well-packed for shipment and partially charged.

Upon unboxing, the Ping Battery Management circuit is heat-shrinked to top of battery pack. Red and Black main leads are to the front (6 ga. heavy wires) and run to the Management circuit. The charging connector wires are Blue and Black are terminated in a male XLR connector which mates to the 36VDC Li-On charger (not pictured).  Battery shipped with a complimentary 2.5AH charger.

Removed the switch and plastic mount from the original Clean Republic metal battery case (which cannot fit a different battery because of a tight design), and de-soldered the 4 pin male panel mount DIN connector from its original PC board (which had the Clean Republic battery charge management circuitry on it).  Resoldered the 4-pin DIN chassis mount to the new Ping battery main leads (Red-to-Red, Black-to-Black).  The 4-pin DIN is wired with 2 pins negative and 2 pins positive (refer to the wire color from the female 4-pin DIN mate plug which goes to the Clean Republic Controller box (which connects via the multi-pin connector to the motor and throttle switch). Shrink-wrapped the connections and later zip-tied the battery leads together to stiffen them against tear-away.

Plugged the battery back into the Clean Republic controller via the 4-pin DIN and re-connected the power switch.  Temporarily strapped everything to the bike’s original Topeak beam rack and plugged it in – Presto! works fine and runs about 25% faster.  Have it charging at the moment and will take it on a test run next week once the new case is fitted to the rack.

Battery is about 6 x 6 x 4, so the original Clean Republic nylon case won’t fit. Will be substituting a standard Topeak nylon snap-in zip pack instead to hold the battery.  Power switch mount is temporarily taped to the opposite side just above the Controller box. All of this fits pretty well in a Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DX which slides right back into the MTX rack and locks in tight. (author note: actually, I have an RX rack, and had an RX/EX bag, which didn’t quite close with the battery in it.  So I unbolted the slide mechanism from the EX bag and re-mounted in into the MTX/DX bag and placed the original MTX plate at the bottom for stiffness.  Equals a MTX/DX bag mounted on an RX rack.

New, more powerful battery replaced for US$360 including shipping.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yamaha FJR 1300A 2007 Conversion to LED’s

Background

LED units were sourced from www.ddmtuning.com – I don’t have any relationship to DDM Tuning, other than as a satisfied prior customer of their HID lighting conversion kits.  They have some kind of relationship directly with the China manufacturers of many of their products, so even when it’s not in-stock in the US, it can direct-ship from China to your doorstep just as easily (my LED’s arrived 4 business days after ordering, direct from the factory in northern China.)

Most of the posts related to LED bulb conversions for Yamaha FJR 1300(A) 2007 (meaning 2005-2008 model years) are all referring to older LED bulb units widely selling from many Internet suppliers.  Most of these are the bright white “mini flashlight with a bulb-end” looking things – and universally, while they work for most brake light applications (where the bulbs face one-direction towards the rear), they have been less well-rated for signalling and non-running light applications because they were so directionally-designed.  Lots of people added extra LED mounts here-and-there trying to brighten things up.  But I prefer a more stock-like appearance.

On the same popular website, I did see a few of the Luxeon-based designs but only the 30 and 45-LED units.

DDM Tuning was advertising the newer 60+ LED (ZR60) units. A little more expensive, but worth the experiment of a 10,000 hour lamp replacement at less current.  And maybe because of having even more LED’s, the load resistance is close enough to a bulb to not have to purchase another $20 set of electronic flasher relay replacements.

The Work

Removed the seat, wiggled the brake cable covers enough to tug out the middle sockets and popped in the ZR60’s – nice and bright and everything works (as expected).

Got to the Rear Turn Signal bulbs and found off-set 1156’s instead of straight pin versions, so needed to moto-tool grind down one of the two pins on each of the 1156 ZR60 units to fit into the FJR’s offset sockets. But they still fit nice and tight and don’t wiggle even with one pin.

For the front signals, I followed one of the FJRForum.com suggestions about going in via the black shrouds from inside the front wheel well instead of removing all the exterior panels – the 2007/2008 Gen II FJR1300 only has 3 phillips head screws to remove on each side. The shrouds have plenty of bend and give to let your hands in to turn and remove the 7443 socket holders.

Once replaced, everything works: running, braking, left/right and hazard modes all great!  And draw is down 1/3 of the original bulbs (not including the HID headlights, which spared another 35W per bulb of charging current).

Photo summary below. It all just works!

Other stuff on the FJR:

Ending the Life of an old Lithium Battery

Clean Republic's e-Bike Conversion

So, my Clean Republic Lithium-Cobalt-Manganese (Li-Po) e-Bike battery pack finally gave up and had no more little LED‘s after numerous attempts to re-charge it.  It had the reported logarithmic die-off during the past month where it went from 15 minutes of usable life with numerous on/off power cycling required (because of the automatic voltage regulator which cuts off current when reaching lower limits to save the battery), down to refusing to re-charge at all.  Not bad for 2 years and an estimated 600 recharge cycles.

Contents of the nylon battery carrier

After detaching the power switch leads and taping them for safety, the block of power wiggles out of it’s nylon bag and reveals this. The main box and controller are covered in layers of duct tape to keep them packaged and vibration-resistant (since they’re bouncing around on a bike all day).  We peel off all that duct tape, which includes extra layers on the aluminum box to insulate it from the controller.

Charging circuit and voltage cut-off.

Taking off 4 small phillips screws from the box enclosure reveals the charging circuit with the 2 wires that connect to the battery pack circuit board (which basically is series connecting the batteries together to form the 24VDC 8A unit).  The white jumpers are individual battery cell connections to each pack allowing monitoring of each cell’s voltage for the charger/supply circuit to disconnect if things get too low.  Also shown is the white temperature thermistor that also cuts off voltage if it gets too hot.

Li-po packaging is flat and semi-flexible for compactness.
Make sure the voltage per cell is below 1.0 VDC before disposal.

Taking off the other 4 screws from the other end reveals a look at the packed-in battery packages from the other end (there are 14 individual mylar packages)

Salt water immersion drains voltage and oxidizes lithium.

Finally per recommendations from other battery manufacturers, we soak the packs in salt water (1/2 cup per gallon to obtain conductive salinity) for about 2 weeks to drain the residual current and oxidize the lithium into neutral lithium oxide.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Visit Clean Republic at www.cleanrepublic.com or www.electric-bike-kit.com

Moving off of Microsoft Office Live Small Business (Website Hosting)

Microsoft is one of those “Great relationship while it lasted” kind of things. Missed in one of my live.com honeypot e-mail Inboxes was a missive about “At Microsoft we love you …but we’re discontinuing Office Live Small Business starting February 2012.

Read more on this OLSB blog while it’s still up: http://small-business.web.officelive.com/default.aspx#O365replaceOLSB Image

Anyway, so I went about figuring out how to move this massively IIS-oriented site which leveraged tons of pre-built widgets in OLSB:

To somewhere else: https://sites.google.com/site/jhlui12/

Image

Open the OLSB website in a browser. Save each page using File -> Save… [Webpage, complete]
This creates a copy of the base page, with a folder containing all of the images and CSS sheets in-use. (e.g. default.aspx.htm and [default.aspx_files])

Fix the References:
Using Firefox was more successful and IE8/9, which complained about being unable to save everything properly.

Open the HTML file (e.g. default.aspx.htm) in a text editor:
Search for jameslui.org -> replace with “.” (make current domain dynamic)
Search for .aspx” -> .aspx.htm” (change to HTML file reference)
Search for %_files/ -> images/ (migrated all *_files directories to a single images/ folder for ease of transport)

Needed to freeze the header as a banner.jpg for the time being until figuring out how to code the header.

Easiest so far seems to be to open the html version in another browser.

Set the new page layout to be sort of close to the original (Layout -> 1/2/3-column w/Left or Right sidebars).

Copy/paste from the html version frames to the new frame in Google Sites. Some images come over, but usually need to be re-uploaded into Google sites to get the references correct.

Forms are registered as data entry forms in Google Docs Spreadsheet Forms (which are spreadsheets with a single-row data entry page); Once re-created as a Spreadsheet Form, you can use Insert Spreadsheet Form to place it into the website.

Change Site Layout:

Horizontal navigation (checked) – have to add each page to go across the menu individually.

Sidebar (unchecked) – gets rid of the menu on the side.

Couldn’t really embed a WAV audio file. Can upload to Google Docs and create a Share link for it. Or attach files as Attachments to the page.

Sub-Tab/Sub-Menus
Layout Left-Sidebar to insert a Sub-page navigator that floats correctly.
Used 100 pixel width; no Title <leave blank>; Appearance: Traditional TOC

Fast text reformat – place “–” delimiters in proper paragraph break places. Replace ^p with <space>, Replace “–” with ^p^p, Replace ^p<space> with ^p

Forms are semi-editable. To Change Field Order, Open the Spreadsheet (SS), Open the Form Edit Window (but don’t close either one).
Return to the SS, Form -> Delete, Return to the Form Editor, change something, Save, the SS version should update accordingly and re-connect itself. Cannot do much about spacing or field width so far.

The Google Sites editor isn’t exactly WYSIWYG – getting those widgets and images to stay put where you want them can be a little daunting unless you crack open the raw HTML and disconnect the Themes and Templates from the site. But keep playing with Left/Right/Center Justification on an object, usually with Wrap ON and it will flow better.

One strength of Google Sites is that it is pre-built for designing Mobile-compatible sites. So the emphasis is NOT on making everything 800×600 pixel formatted automatically anymore. You should be able to re-size the browser and still be able to read the page regardless of browser window size. That’s a Mobile-ready configuration.

One page/sub-page at a time, some easier than others, and eventually it’s done!  Have patience!

Another example, here’s the migrated version of the Southwest Regional Oracle Applications Users Group (SROAUG) site:

http://www.sroaug.org

versus the OLSB version:

http://southwestregionaloracleapplicationsusergroup.tech.officelive.com

Wet comb still makes wax in the solar dryer

I discovered yesterday that drying the washed honeycomb was not necessary to process completely in the Solar Dryer.