Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Thursday, October 13, 2005

  The worlds's smallest IP-PBX at astricon

Kristian Kielhofner has announced the worlds' smallest ip pbx, running Astlinux.

Starting with a 400 Mhz Gumstix and cutting and squeezing Linux and Asterisk into 11MB of flash, the finger sized board supports over 40 simultaneous ulaw voip calls and runs off a 5v battery. The project is still a work in progress, but details, including more pictures, are here!
 
Tuesday, October 11, 2005

  Astercon notes

So, I'm sitting in the developer meeting, rolling my eyes in the back of my head at the painful depth of work that is required to internationalize anything.

Some parts of the standard seem to require 7 bit ascii. Others 8 bit. Others UTF 8. For all I know there's EBCDIC required somewhere in the loop.

Interoperating requires switching between each of these possible character sets for each broken device....

It's a very abstract way of looking at the basic problem of communication between people - even before you make a phone call you have to agree on a character set. After that you can express words and names... and after that you can call someone and talk voice who can't understand what you the heck you are talking about....
 
Monday, October 10, 2005

  Astercon

Wednesday I speak at astercon (My topic: asterisk on embedded systems). Tomorrow I fly down and have a chance to see f2f a bunch of people I've met on irc and on conference calls. It should be a very rewarding experience. I've been looking for my camera for hours now. I have a million things to finish for work left undone, which I feel bad about, but perhaps I can get the documentation for my current project finished on the plane, and coax the board I'm working on to do something useful before the talk... and did I mention have some fun and meet some cool people?
 
Sunday, October 09, 2005

  The broad outlines of the future for manned space exploration

The New Atlantic writes:

Gradually I've begun to see some coherent arguments around the idea of flying fuel and spacecraft separately on the HLV. The private spaceflight enthusiasists are going ape after the idea, yet not one has seriously suggested that we concentrate on getting resources into earth orbit from elsewhere in the solar system (e.g. NEOs). I guess I'm one of the few who still thinks it would be cheaper to get a grip on space that way.

In this matter, my views are congruent with the fuel depot crowd - if we can separate the propellant from the payload we can double (well, barring drag problems) the usable mass we send to orbit... and perhaps... one day... with this infrastructure in place... we could derive the propellant from outside earth's orbit. The technical problems in transferring cryogenics in space are severe, but they could be mastered - or we could settle on less difficult fuels (methane, alcohol, a variety of others).

Having a viable infrastructure for fuel delivery lowers risk and increases the size of the market for all those interested in seeing more competition in the space industry.

Consider this analogy about gas powered cars: If cars ran on Xenon, and could only refuel in Houston, would they have spread across the US and the world as fast as they did? No! Only by being able to make stops every few hundred miles are cars viable transport.

(Xenon is a popular, but very difficult to refine and rare propellant used in SEP powered spacecraft. It's a dead end fuel, suitable only for missions that can't refuel....)

In looking over the vision for space exploration I note that Zubrin slices NASA's problem in two:

I slice it in three - By the time that Apollo was hitting its stride the rot at NASA had already set in. For more details, read Chris Kraft's "Flight". I look to the upcoming moon program and especially the development of a specialized lander and return vehicle as a waste of money - we don't need specialized gear to land on an asteroid - just specialized gear to mine it - and the ability to refuel in orbit...

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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


Resume,Songs,
My new blog, NeX-6, My facebook page
Orgs I like
The EFF - keeping free speech in the world
Musical stuff I like
Jeff, Rick, Ardour, Jack
Prior Rants - Wireless and Wifi in 2015 - not what I dreamed of Saving wifi! Fixing Bufferbloat! Fighting the vend... Virgin Media - Fixing the epidemic of bufferbloat ... 49... and trying to find my navel Wheels down on mars! Tracking the landing of Curiosity, from Seattle spotting NEOs from around venus's orbit Asteroids as lunar orbit resources SOPA is bad news Departing France for England, then 'home'.
Best of the blog:
Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Where's Cherie?
UrbanAgora
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
Evan Hunt
The Bay Area is talking
Brizzled
Zimnoiac Emanations
Eric Raymond
Unlocking The Air
Bob Mage
BroadBand & Me
SpaceCraft
Selenian Boondocks
My Pencil
Transterrestial Musings
Bear Waller Hollar
Callahans
Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

If you really want to, you can poke through the below links as well.

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