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The MIT Licence

The MIT License is my favourite license for publishing free and open source software. Its simple and short which makes it easy to embed in source code. This license basically tells the user that they can do anything they want with your software and your not liable for any damages that may result from their use of it.

 

The MIT License (MIT)

Copyright (c) <year> <copyright holder>. All rights reserved.

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy
of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal
in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights
to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell
copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in
all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM,
OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN
THE SOFTWARE.

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The Ultimate Error Message

I recently spoke with a user who was having problems with one of my web sites. He claimed to be getting an error message that said, “it doesn’t work”. Of course, Apache and IIS do not return messages like that and there is no custom message on my sites that say this, but it got me thinking.

This would actually be an interesting universal error message for web sites and apps. It doesn’t help the developer narrow down the problem, but its straight to the point that a feature failed. Fortunately, no developer would use an error message like this since it makes our lives more difficult in identifying a problem and replicating it.

An important thing to keep in mind here is that when a user claims to get an error that’s impossible, we need to remain polite when speaking to them. Keep customers happy by solving their problems and don’t make them feel like fools when they make mistakes, don’t use features correctly, or find bugs. Our customers pay our bills, so be nice to them. 🙂

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B.C.’s First Scramble Intersection

The City of Richmond recently opened the first scramble intersection in the province. A scramble intersection will allow pedestrians to cross the road in any direction, including diagonally. The $600,000 crossing can be found at No. 1 Road and Moncton Street. I go to Steveston frequently and never really understand what this intersection was until it was pointed out to me.

CIMG0045

There is just one button to press to stop all traffic to cross the road in any direction.

CIMG0044

There are more plans for scramble intersections in B.C. They are definitely a great idea since it makes crossing roads considerably safer for pedestrians.

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Well Water at Levity Artesian Spring

Water is essential to life. Unfortunately, most of the water we drink is treated heavily with chemicals and transported long distances in decaying pipes. Water filters are common in household to eliminate the dangerous elements that flow through our taps. Another problem with water filters is that they remove minerals which we need for optimal health.

When the world was a smaller place, people traveled short distances to get their water. This water was typically from a well and the quality was high and rich in minerals. I recently discovered find a spring.com where I found a well, Levity Artesian Spring, just 23 minutes from my home.

You can find the spring at Burns Bog near a truck stop. GPS coordinates are approximately N 49.112125, W 122.906776; these were taken from the truck stop since its unlikely that a GPS would work properly in the forest. You can find also get information on the site locate at the findaspring.com page.

Using Google Maps to find the spring.

NOTE: The city of Delta has recently closed the spring due to the large number of people that were illegally crossing the train tracks from the truck stop. From what people have reported, the spring has been blocked. Join the Save the North Delta Watershed Park Artesian Spring FaceBook page to re-0pen it. If you decide to contact the Delta municipality regarding the spring, BE POLITE when speaking to them. Rudeness rarely attains a positive outcome.

The following are a couple of photos of what you’ll see around the spring:

Scenic view along the way to clean water.

An old building by the well.

The Levity Artesian Spring! Its a 12 inch high pipe with water spraying out near the top. I always thought a well should be a large hole in the ground with a bucket that you lower, but we get a pipe instead. 🙂 There isn’t much room for collecting water so you should be using a small water jug.

The Levity Artesian Spring.

I collected a small amount of water just to try it out. Once home, my family tried the water and it tasted great. The water did taste different from tap water and from water from my Brita filter.

Well water is among the healthiest water that you can drink. Do we really need this kind of water? In Richmond, BC, our water comes from lakes in the mountains and the water is the cleanest in the world, but the journey from the lake to my cup does add contaminants. This isn’t a problem when your cooking with it and if you filter it, minerals may be removed from it as well. Well water doesn’t have these problems, other than the trip to get it and the effort to collect it.

I recommend that you go to findaspring.com so you can find a well. You may be surprised by the quality of the water.

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Looking Inside an Olympus D-535

My old Olympus D-535 camera stopped working after years of operation. This was the first digital camera I bought and replaced an Olympus Stylus film camera I had previously. The camera worked well and took good photos, even though it was just 3.2 MP.

Olympus D-535 camera.

I gave the camera to my kids to play with and recently noticed that the battery door wouldn’t close fully anymore. With fully charged batteries, the camera wouldn’t power up, so it was time to throw it away. But, being the curious person that I am, I wanted to take the camera apart and look inside.

Opening the Case

The capacitor for the flash is quite large and you need to be careful around it. They can still hold a large even though the camera is off. I removed the lens and lifted the capacitor to reveal the circuit board below.

Looking inside an Olympus D-535. The lens removed and capacitor lifted on an Olympus D-535.

The lens and circuit board at the bottom of it.

 Top view of the lens of an Olympus D-535. Bottom view of the lens of an Olympus D-535.

The LCD screen and circuit board. I took apart the LCD it consisted of several layers of transparent sheets which is what makes up the twisted nematic display. The nematic liquid crystal display works in between two plates of glass.

The LCD circuit board of an Olympus D-535.  An LCD disassembled.

The CCD

This is the most important part of a digital camera: the CCD. It was a real surprise to see this circuit and the photo below doesn’t do it justice. The CCD looks like a shiny jewel. The lens send optical images to this devices and the image is translated into 1’s and 0’s before being stored in xD card. DSLR’s have a much bigger CCD which gives better quality photographs.

The CCD of an Olympus D-535.

The Olympus D-535 is a low end digital camera, but it always worked well and it would have continued operating  for years more if it wasn’t physically broken. I highly recommend Olympus products and I’m currently using a digital Stylus camera. I’m planning on buying a DSLR, but I will continue using a small point and shoot camera because this they are portable and are easy to take anywhere.