New team members

New team members

Over the past 5 months we’ve added two awesome and talented nerds to the Outside Open team.  We’d like to introduce you to Matt Key and Dustin Todd – head over to outsideopen.com/about to read their bios and learn a bit more about...
Electron Microscope Setup!

Electron Microscope Setup!

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 the behemoth Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) that was donated to the Space by Santa Barbara Infrared. This puts the SB Hackerspace into a small exclusive group of maker spaces which have electron microscopes for use by members and the public. The SEM has all the trappings of 1990’s complexity with multiple vacuum chambers, pumps, crystals, archaic x86 computers, CRTs and floppy drive image export.  It takes an impressive 3 hours for the SEM to fully boot up, reach high vacuum and be ready for use!  The SB Hackerspace has plans to convert the output to live HDMI feed for video and push-button image capture. This model, the Jeol JSM 6400 F Scanning Electron Microscope, also offers a nifty engraving feature.  Mike is offering to custom engrave your favorite poem onto the head of a tiny pentalobe TS1 screw in exchange for a donation to the SB Hackerspace.  You’ll need an Electron Microscope of your own to read the engraving 🙂 Because the SEM uses electromagnets and electrons rather than lenses and light, there is a much greater degree of magnification available. This electron microscope can produce very clear, sharp images all the way up to an astounding 300,000x magnification! Phoebe and I dropped by the Hackerspace to take the electron microscope for a...
Apple will speed up your home or work network for $20

Apple will speed up your home or work network for $20

Even if your company (or home) doesn’t officially support Apple devices, it’s likely that there are dozens of BYOD Apple devices (BYOAD?) on the network.  When a new OS update or patch is released, all those devices clamor for bandwidth which can have a big impact on your Internet connection. Apple has released a fantastic tool that seamlessly supports all Apple devices on a network, even if they are totally unmanaged BYOD iPhones, MacBooks or iMacs:  Enter the OS X Server app available for $19.99 from the App Store! This is also a great tool in areas where bandwidth is metered or limited – updates or apps are downloaded and cached the first time they are requested and then all future devices that attempt to install that same update or app from the App Store will receive a copy from your local caching server. See the video below demonstrating the massive speed increase downloading a 6GB Mac OS X upgrade from a caching server in under 1 minute! How to set up caching in the OS X Server app Install the OS X Server app on a Mac that is likely to be powered on 24×7. Open the app and select local computer. Scroll down to the Services menu and click on enable Caching. Toggle the service to ON. Set Cache Size to a number that makes sense given available disk space.  80GB – 100GB is recommended. Permissions (this is really powerful) For most simple networks the default of “only local subnets” and “matching this server’s network” are perfect. If you use VLANs with a single outbound NAT IP, select “all networks” and “matching this server’s network”....
Tracksoar live test #2 [U]

Tracksoar live test #2 [U]

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. The board performed flawlessly up to 66,462 feet altitude at which time the GPS stopped reporting and only the temperature, humidity and pressure sensors data was being transmitted.  After burst, all radio activity ceased and we had to use the Spot Tracker to locate the payload.  Two bugs have already been patched and flight #3 is scheduled for Saturday Aug 23rd. [Update:] You can now buy your very own Tracksoar board over at tracksoar.com! Here are some photos from test flight...
Dave Lundgren joins the OO Team!

Dave Lundgren joins the OO Team!

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. Dave has written and maintained thousands of lines of code in all the programming languages you’ve heard of and probably some that you haven’t.  If you need 1024 Linux or FreeBSD servers set up in the cloud for your latest brain child then Dave’s your guy! Dave also adds to our Microsoft Azure and hosted Exchange experience and recently helped us migrate over 8,000 email accounts to Microsoft O365 Hosted Exchange. After working together for years, Dave, Mike and Greg took a brief hiatus but have re-united at Outside Open with a vengeance! Dave is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and when he’s not sitting in front of several 27″ terminal sessions, you will find him (much like The Queen) walking his two corgis or hanging out with his...
Free Phonetic alphabet prints!

Free Phonetic alphabet prints!

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! Lots of traffic hit the site and over 250 folks ordered posters over a 2 day period!  Many thanks to our indefatigable friends over at Color Services for printing, packaging and shipping so many poster tubes for us on top of their already busy workload! Thanks again everyone and if you would like to get a free copy of the phonetic alphabet poster, head over to the nato poster page to download the vector file or order a print!  If you’re curious as to the design process, you can find the back story on the design process post here…...