Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Story thanks to Kim Komando at komando.com. Link provided below:
The hottest computer on the market isn't a $1,000+ decked-out gaming machine. It's actually a bare bones circuit board the size of a credit card. And it costs just $25!
Meet the Raspberry Pi. What's it good for?
For starters, you hook the Pi to an HDTV or digital monitor using HDMI. It can display high-definition videos, browse the Internet, play games or work on spreadsheets.
Sound great! Is it for you, though? Well, it depends.
First, let's look at a bit of history.
The low-cost Raspberry Pi is the brainchild of Eben Upton. In 2006, he was teaching computer science at the University of Cambridge. He found that computers were too expensive and too hard for ordinary users to program.
So, he set out to make a low-cost programming computer. His charitable foundation is working to get Raspberry Pis to kids all over the world. He hopes this will create a new generation of programmers.
Watch what a middle school girls engineering class in Charlotte, NC, does with the Pi. One student programmed a Pi to control brake and turn-indicator lights on her rolling backpack!Upton expected to sell 10,000 units, tops. So far, it has sold more than a million units and counting. It isn't just schools who want it. Computer programmers and hobbyists around the world are going crazy for it.
So, how can it improve your life?
At a basic level, you can use a Raspberry Pi as a media computer. It's also a capable second PC or a computer for kids. It runs the Linux operating system, which is free and very secure.
There are two models. The Model A ($25) has 256MB of RAM and one USB port. Model B ($35) has 512MB of RAM and adds a second USB connection and an Ethernet port.
Both flavors have an HDMI connection, an audio jack and an RCA video jack. You can add a USB hub to connect a keyboard, mouse and USB Wi-Fi.
The Pi is powered by a 32-bit 700 MHz ARM processor that's roughly equivalent to the performance of a Pentium 2 chip. Upton says the multimedia performance is between a Playstation 2 and Playstation 3. That's enough for most basic computer uses.
To make the Pi operational, you need to supply a 5 volt micro USB power supply. An Android smartphone charger should do the trick. Just be sure to read the label. It needs to provide 700mA or better at 5V. Otherwise the Pi will behave erratically (or won't work at all).
The Pi has no internal storage; it boots from a standard SD card. You can buy a card pre-loaded with a compatible operating system. Or make one yourself by downloading a drive image from the Raspberry Pi website. Of course, you can also hook up an external hard drive.
You should buy a case for the computer. It could get fried if it comes in contact with liquids or conductive metals. Or you can make your own, if you're so inclined. Some people have used LEGO!
Cases, power supplies and other accessories are available from a variety of third-party vendors. The two official U.S. Raspberry Pi sellers - Allied Electronics and Newark - also sell accessories and bundles.
You can use the Raspberry Pi for basic computer functions. Or you can take it to the next level with your own programs.
Python is the programming language of the Raspberry Pi. It's easy to learn but very powerful. Click here to find out where you can take free self-guided Python lessons online. You'll be coding in no time!
If you're considering buying, definitely check out the Raspberry Pi website for more information. Read through the instructions and see if it's something you can handle. Be sure to check out the forums for great ideas on ways that you can use it.
Monday, June 17, 2013
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Pete Carpenter, of Nashville, Tenn., spent 25 years as a one-truck owner-operator, many of them team driving with his wife, Christine. After working for North American Van Lines and FedEx Express, in 2003 the Carpenters finally settled on FedEx Ground.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Wichita, Kan.-based medical equipment salesman Mike Draper, 59, has been doing his current work, traveling all over the state of Kansas in a four-wheeler, for around 16 years, he says, after many years working as an officer with the Wichita Sheriff’s office. Before that, as a green 19-year-old working with Hugo Shea, owner of a series of Harley-Davidson dealerships around Oklahoma and Kansas, he lucked his way into the driving gig of a lifetime.
Daredevil Evel Knievel (pictured here around the time of his Snake River Canyon jump in 1974) had been driving his touring haul rig himself – with his wife and kids in tow – when Draper first met him at a promotional event at one of Shea’s dealerships. “Shea had a Chevy Titan 90 semi that I drove,” as well as another truck, says Draper, to move equipment and inventory around between dealerships and other locations.
Knievel asked Shea if he had someone who might be willing to drive the truck for him. Draper wasn’t the only big-rig-capable hauler in the outfit, and ultimately Knievel got two drivers out of the deal, Draper and a man Draper taught to drive diesels himself, Lee Ratliff.
The story reveals the man known for beating death in spite of the odds. Describing the then-in-planning “SkyCycle” steam rocket-on-wheels jump to Overdrive in 1973, Knievel had this to say: “I open the valve, let the water from the heater into the rocket, and when it drops from 500 [psi degrees] to 420, the engineer, Bob Truax, points at me. I’m looking right up the ramp over the canyon. I go at 350 miles an hour in eight seconds and hope like hell I get there. If I do, I drop down to both knees, grab a handful of dirt and thank God Almighty that I’m still alive. If I splat against the [canyon wall], I just get somewhere quicker where you’re going someday and I’ll wait for you. Dying is part of living.”
The daredevil had kind words for Draper and Ratliff in that story, too. In 1973, Knievel’s Post Coach living quarters was mounted on and his new trailer toted by a custom-designed Kenworth cabover, which would be swapped for the Mack currently undergoing restorationlate that year or early in 1974.
“Mike and Lee,” Knievel toldOverdrive in 1973 when asked about the drivers who kept up with the Kenworth’s maintenance. “They’re great guys. I never look at [the rig] because I know that it’s going to be taken care of like I take care of it myself. They drive it all over the United States and they’ve never put a single scratch on it.”
Draper told me about witnessing an incident in Minneapolis where one of Knievel’s planes was landed on a drag strip during one of his shows — “We had a trailer parked at the starting point of the drag strip with the back end of the trailer parked at the finish line, all the motorcycles lined up. Lee and I were at the back.”
When the airplane landed “in the middle of the drag strip,” Draper says, it was going too fast and blew its tires, “and he’s coming right for us.”
Fortunately, everyone emerged unscathed after impact — not so the trailer. “The plane didn’t move the trailer one iota,” says Draper. “There was no fire, no smoke, no nothing, but the plane was just a total wreck.” And the trailer emerged with a gaping hole in it.
Knievel mentions the incident as the “one accident” he’d had with his Kenworth in the Overdrive interview. He later “told everyone I was then going to fly a plane head-on into the tractor. I was told it would be very expensive.”
When on tour in those days, Draper says, in the trailer “we used to haul three motorcycles, all the aluminum ramps,” and one or more of Knievel’s Cadillac station wagons and pickups, as well as the SkyCycle (pictured being loaded here).
“He’d pay us twice a week,” Draper adds, “and for whatever we spent we’d turn in our receipts and he was good with reimbursements.” The drivers were paid $500 a week salary, otherwise.
What was it like driving a truck for arguably the most famous man on the planet at the time?
“We never had to drive near as hard as most of the truck drivers, unless scheduling difficulties required it,” says Draper. Nonetheless, the rig drew plenty of interaction with working long-haulers. “The truckstops we’d pull into – nobody saw many automatic transmissions on over-the-road trucks in those days. And at that time nobody was putting that big a coach on the back of a semi truck,” Draper adds. “A lot of guys got to get in there and give it a look, too.
“It was quite an experience for a 19-year-old to start out with.”
Draper drove for Knievel off an on through his mid-20s into the late 1970s.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Article thanks to Jame Jaillet at ccjdigital.om Link provide below:
American Trucking Associations Chairman and Combined Transport President Mike Card delivered a simple — though slightly dire — message to attendees of the Great West Fleet Executive Conference Thursday, May 30: Smaller carriers can’t handle the increased costs of industry regulations and can’t hold their heads above water any longer.