In keeping with our obsession with old technology, we recently acquired a beautiful 1947 model 7H6 North Electric rotary dial telephone and got it working on our phone system in the OO office. In the early 1940’s the 7H6 body was made of metal but during the war, the units were made from a dense early plastic called Bakelite which gives the phone a nice solid feel.
Formerly favorite* intern, Braedan Kennedy, has whipped up one of our favorite Slack apps yet. You Got Mailbot is a Slack app which posts a photo from the inside of our mailbox when we receive snail mail. As a bonus, You Got Mailbot uses AI to detect and post a...
In anticipation or April 1st, we’d like to introduce you to the newest member of the Outside Open team: Say hello to Lenny!
ccze is a wonderful tool that brings real joy to the arduous task of reading or searching thru log files. #nerdalert
We’ve been using ccze for many years but recently stumbled (um, actually, rtfm’d) upon the “missing” feature, namely the ability to output the colorized results in a format that can be piped to grep. Introducing the -A flag!
The second project for the Raspberry Pi Kids class was a success! The kids programmed their Raspberry Pi to take a photo every 30 seconds and then they packaged the pi in a box with a hole for the camera module and a battery to power the whole thing.
The Outside Open team launched a high altitude balloon this past weekend and we were able to get our best photograph from near space yet! The photo, taken at approx 89,000 ft (airplanes fly at just 30,000 ft) is so high that it is above the blue and you can peer into...
So you just picked up a shiny new MacBook Pro or giant iMac, got your web browser installed, what’s next?
There are two fantastic tools that you need to add next: iTerm2 and Homebrew.
iTerm2 is a replacement for the Terminal application that comes with OS X.
Getting Asterisk VOIP systems set up and working behind a pfSense firewall has become routine as pfSense grows in popularity and as our clients switch from legacy phone systems to Voice over IP systems. The following setup instructions for opening firewall ports to...
At Outside Open we collectively love Will Forte’s “Last Man on Earth” TV show. As nerds and designers we also really enjoy the t-shirts worn by Forte’s character, Phil. Read about our latest “Last Man on Earth” inspired tshirt design!
We have shipped over 1,000 NATO alphabet posters!! To celebrate the unexpected success of our work, we are, once again, partnering with Color Services and offering a new version of the poster – on wood.
There are two fantastic tools to install on you new Mac: After you install iTerm2, it’s time to install Homebrew!
Homebrew is a package manager – think apt-get for OS X. It is trivial to install and instantly gives you access to thousands of open source tools and utilities. According to the creators of Homebrew, “Homebrew installs the stuff you need that Apple didn’t.”
After countless hours of reading manuals, schematics and myst documentation, Mike Bales and the Santa Barbara Hackerspace crew were able to successfully assemble and power up their behemoth Scanning Electron Microscope!
Let’s Encrypt is out of beta and offering free SSL certificates to everyone! Back in the day, getting SSL certs was expensive and tedious so it is a welcomed pleasure to easily deploy certs for free to all our clients.
One of our favorite Apple utilities is the OS X Server app available for $19.99 from the App Store. There are some great tools in this app and today we are going to be looking at the Caching Service. Using the caching service will boost the speed installing Apple products by several hundred percent!
Google is constantly making improvements and tweaks to their ranking algorithm (which affects the order of search results) but occasionally, the changes are far more substantial than just a little tweak. Read on as we focus on two of these major changes:
We headed out to south San Joaquin Valley on Saturday to complete test flight #2 for Mike’s Tracksoar board – a tiny APRS radio transmitter with Arduino controller, GPS and sensors all crammed onto a tiny two layer wafer. In addition to being Open Source, the Tracksoar project also aims to bring the smallest APRS tracker to the masses.
Outside Open is delighted to welcome Dave Lundgren to the OO team! Dave is a FreeBSD and Linux expert and b’dass software developer.
If you look up DevOps in the dictionary, you will see David Lundgren listed as prime example.
The OO team had a lot of fun last week as the Phonetic Alphabet poster that we designed started trending on reddit/r/sysadmin and was featured on several blogs including Man Made – super cool to get such great support from the community!
Free open source pfSense backup utility script to back up one or many pfSense firewalls.
Each team of 3 kids built and programmed their Raspberry Pis, taped them inside a small box with a battery for power and today, we launched each tied to a large weather balloon on a 300′ tether.
We got some great aerial photos of the Santa Barbara coastline and Shoreline Park.
One of our goals at Outside Open is to pass on the love of technology to others. This summer we are offering a class on computers to Kids age 9 and over in Santa Barbara. The class is based on the Raspberry Pi single-board computer and the goal is to introduce kids to programming and creative problem solving using technology.
Servers (and other SSH enabled devices like switches, routers and Raspberry Pis) multiply like rabbits in today’s cloud-ready world and sys admins often need to perform the same task on many remote server instances via SSH. If this sounds familiar, then csshX (Cluster SSH for OS X) is your friend!
This is the code that flew in our first successful high altitude mission collecting data from the sensors that I (ungracefully) soldered onto a home etched circuit board hooked up to an Arduino . We used the data to build some cool interactive graphs using Google’s graph engine.
You can see data graphs, photos and video from the flight at happycapsule.com