Monthly Archives: December 2011

Architectural Technologist – NAO, not just a robot more a ……… well its not a toy.

Anatomy of the Nao robot model used in the Rob...
Image via Wikipedia

It’s not so much the robot, but the presentation that of interest here, don’t get me wrong, the robot, named NAO is clever, but the presentation and the background music is what you should be looking at, the way the music interacts with the robot and the guy operating him, the lift scene is also well acted, the way the robot lifts its self after being knocked over, so good.

No CPD just presentation technique,  the graphics and text, are just great, plus look at the posture of the robot, it’s sitting like a human, not stiff and rigid, but slouched, text that is alined, and stays aligned as the head moves, just excellent.

Aldebaran Robotics, seem to have captured more than just robotics they have got a spirit. watch the video below and follow back to their Youtube channel,  there’s loads more.


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Architectural Technologist – What a wonderful world

Lim Jeong-hyun
Image via Wikipedia

I saw this a few days ago, and thought how good it was, then this morning, and this is a post dated blog, as I’m now away,

it appeared on Youtube, its an excellent video and just makes you think. Despite the unneccasasry stick he’s getting at present for filming plarbear cubs in a Zoo, he has done much to show the world in all its glory, so sit back and hum along.

NO CPD or construction detailing, or Architecture and as for the photo today, I just like it.

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Architectural Technologist – Google’s “Fusion Tables”

lat long google maps
Image by Scays via Flickr

You might like to read this article on the use of a little known Google map treasure, I think I might have mentioned it before, but it’s so good, and believe me it will be mainstream before long in the plotting of our buildings and other items. Google’s “Fusion Tables” are not easy to use, the article shows the way, but it’s still tricky, but so well worth it when items you have GPS plotted actually turn up on the map in the form of a red dot.

The CPD agan is huge and vast, mapping is certainly part of our lot, plotting sites, and locating our buildings accurately, so read the article and follow the only link. to  Robert Larsson’s on-line conversion utility it’s a good follow up, the gogle translate button came up for me as the site is in Swedish.


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Architectural Technologist – Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
Image via Wikipedia

It’s strange, but I had no interest or had even read anything of  Christopher Hitchens, until he dies and some of the press I read, started putting articles and interviews up on the internet,  he was a most interesting man. Opiniated yes, but interesting all the same.

I will and can not say more than watch this set of videos on The Atlantic, he has views thats certain, and you might not like what he say, but as I learn to write, (strange really at 60 I say this, but my writing has for the best part of my life been technicaly biast, writing specs and reports), I find his way and views interesting.

Much the same way I find old Dickens books fascinating, no comparison, but fascinating all the same.

I’m moving this blog away from main stream CPD over the weekends to other areas of reading that I consider god reading for my “Life long learning”. So this article and the piece I wrote on SOPA fit well.



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Architectural Technologist – US Congress meddles in things it does not understand

Deutsch: Logo des Daily Telegraph. English: Lo...
Image via Wikipedia

I’m horrified at the recent articles that abound, regarding the SOPA legislation that is currently in the USA congress. reading from some distance, ie the UK, it would appear that I or anyone outside the USA, is liable for any article I might write, regardless of whether it’s a copyright infringement or not.

The fact that I use a USA server company, and my Email is USA based, ie Google gmail, am I subject to the laws of the USA, it might seem that way, and until this law becomes live I don’t have a real problem with this. I am in effect a citizen of the world.

But once enacted, will some lawyer in the USA not like what I say about a certain company and come after me, that’s a distinct possibility if this law goes to being, luckily congress yesterday pushed it back, see the excellent article in the Daily Telegraph, but its still not been quashed just put back for comment. Read also the excellent overview on Wiki and the article in the UK’s Guardian News paper. Cnets article is also interesting reading.

In another excellent article from wired magazine, this quote appears:


“The US government has regularly claimed that it supports a free and open internet, both domestically and abroad. We cannot have a free and open Internet unless its naming and routing systems sit above the political concerns and objectives of any one government or industry,”

Who is driving this, well it seems like certain commercial industries like the movie business, who want to control the internet, just for their own bottom line, do they think they control the globe, it certainly looks like it. Why doess the committee chairman and chief sponsor of the legislation, Rep Lamar Smith (R-Texas)  think this should be pushed through. I accessed his web site and I’m still none the wiser, does he really think that Europe and the rest of the globe is stealing jobs and profit, I think not.

The Electric Frontier Foundation’s open letter from basically a long list of people who may not have created the internet, but certainly know how it works because they have written the infrastructure that we all use, have set out an open letter to congress, pointing out their folly, in a language they should be able to understand., and here’s another rub, reading about this law it seems that the people who are pushing it, just have no idea what the internet is or how it works, and who invented it in the first place, certainly not the USA, although a lot of the innovation has been USA oriented, amazing, yet they are talking and trying to pass a law they just do not understand, that will have global ramifications.

So we wait to see what happens, because if this law becomes live, then people like me will have to re-evaluate just what we do, certainly I will have to move all my work out of the USA, all my mail, will be deleted from Google,although Google keeps all mail regardless of it being deleted,  I will not use Google, or any other USA based search engine, I will not be able to visit the USA because of fear of being locked up, pending some trial for something I might have said, that some company thinks is copyright to them !, free speech will die and so will innovation, the internet will be closed to normal business, USA servers will be cut of from the rest of the globe, much like China and certain middle east states.

The USA prides itself as “The land of the free”, forget it, the USA will be owned and run by lawyers and large corporations wanting to protect their bottom line. I will not be able to crit any thing or any one for fear of reprisal, not by the company of person, but the lawyers who see a win as everything, forgetting the morality, that the Declaration of Independence laid out, because it seems to me that this senator is acting like the King of England.

We and by this I mean both the USA and UK have existing laws that protect, without undermining my right to free speech. This has to stop, Congress and for that matter, the UK’s House of Parliament, must learn about passing good law, not a companies or industry personal protection right.

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Architectural Technologist – Research and my love of paper !

Bookshelf App
Image by Scays via Flickr

I had a conversation with some friends the other night, and they were talking about research, how do you do it, my answer was depends, if I’m in front of my machine, then one of several ways, often as not I use Evernote, but sometimes its email when I need to be reminded about certain facts to write about, don’t ask its just my way of collecting data, links information.

I always have in front of me my trusty black binder, or scrible pad, its where I doodle, sketch what ever, pin cards to, recently I left it with a client, and was lost without it until I got it back, phew, all that information, my client said how does it mean anything, answer, it does to me, and thats the first  real answer to the forst question.

I use a moleskine for notes on my travels, if I have my phone I use the note application, , I have even phoned home to my office and left a message on skype, I have no set method, someone said you should use this or that app on the iPad, answer ok, I’ll give it a go, but I know in my heart, its not going to work,, it just is not me, and thats the second answer, there is no right or wrong way, it’s what ever feels good. Photos come into the equation, so do movies, the iPhone is just so good at taking and loading up that sometimes I just take a photo, in the past I have use the voice recorder Cynch, that a neet way to make notes.

I know that with all the electronic gizmo’s I have at my disposal, I should be using them more, so I can track,tag disseminate,and find notes, but paper is so usable, my black pad is full of all sorts of paper, clicks, magazine, A4, A3 folded up, A5 from some old system I once used, and as it gets full, so I start filtering, thats when I sit back and look through the binder, , Mmmm did I do that, or  thats a cool idea, rarely do I throw away, I just transfer to an archive folder, when I go to the Great Architect, my sons are going to look through these notes and  say, Told you so dad was cracked,

Other people will have there own take on notes and research, they will insist theirs is the right way, and only way, forget it, walk away, they are power controllers, look to your heart and gut, do it your way, but keep an eye on the power freaks, some times they just might be and learn.

This article from Steven Berlin Johnson is another take on this with his article  ANATOMY OF AN IDEA I was sent on a course ages ago by Dow, must have cost an absolute bom, looking at note taking, with fishbone structures, and abbreviations, something must have stuck, because I often find myself doodling and linking notes and ideas together using the tools we learned that day.

So there you have it, no real answer I’m afraid, just do it your way perhaps is my final answer…………………..

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Architectural Technologist – Jon Pickup of Archoncad – yearly roundup

Rendered view 1
Image by Scays via Flickr

This morning, early I might add, logged onto the last Vectorworks tutorial session of the year with Jon Pickup of Archoncad, I have been a member of Jons webinars right from the start, and always try and log into his monthly sessions, Busines some time gets in the way, so I have to rely upon the excellent manuals and videos jon produces to catch up. But there is one session I will not miss, that is the December round up, for just an hour Jon goes over each months topic, adding comments and discussing what we looked at.

But the best thing is the notes for this session, Jon has pulled together s roundup pdf with links to all  the session video, these are quite long, but boy are they useful. the actual notes are a separate pickup, pun intended.

If your a member, log in and down load, if your not a member, join, not only do you get to join in the monthly banter but you get access to all the past issues, I have loads on my iPad for reference.

If you want to know what or how good the quality of teaching is, go to Jon’s Youtube Chanel and see some of the free stuff he loads up. I have included one below, follow it back to Youtube and see more of Jons Videos.



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Architectural Technologist – Google -Youtube/Education channel

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

One of the major problems I have had recently is the problem of corporations, large and small, blocking youtube, for what ever reason. It’s a pain, I load up instruction videos for clients and get the complaint that they can’t see youtube because of the block they have, no amount of arguing with IT guys ever get round it.

So I’m please to report that Google might have overcome this block by the creation of a youtube education sub-domain I tried and reasonably successfully, to go round this problem by adding a TV channel but even this was sometimes blocked, so perhaps this new section might help.

The site is already partially populated with such classic talent as MIT, National Geographic,and believe it Sesame Street  (one of the best children learning programs ever, ask my kids). The list is impresive, my only hope is its properly monitored and the likes of porn and others kicked out.

The site is split into three  categories, University, Primary & Secondary and Life long Learning., of which the latter is were I see my videos being added, oh yes, I will endeavour to get some of my tutorials added.

Now, remember, this is a beginning. It’s not prefect and not all the content that you want is in there. But I will say there is a great deal of some super awesome stuff.  you can suggest playlists and content you want to be in there by going to the You Tube Teachers Channel and clicking on, you guessed it, Suggest Videos. There you can also sign up to be a content partner and provide content too.

Want to get notification of blogs every day, click on the icon above and add your email address, you wil get an automated email sowing blogs as they are loaded up.


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Architectural Technologist – Building Sensor pads

English: LVDT sensor
Image via Wikipedia

It’s now quite clear, that sensor pads are becoming cheaper, and more usable, so why are we not detailing then into our construction to monitor things like moisture, or movement, , temp, or perhaps noise. For more read this excellent article on O’Reilly Radar

GreenGoose looks to unlock the data in everyday activities.

This company GreenGoose seem to have the ideal product,  their stickers are great for this because they’re simple, flexible and they easily stick to curved things like bottles, pipes etc. Also, existing objects or things around the house can be enabled with sensing capabilities by just sticking on a sticker. they’re taking everyday things and making them more fun. there’re also lowering barriers to adopting sensors by treating them in a playful way.

GreenGoose are trying to make it really easy. There’s no batteries to recharge or USB cables or software to worry about. The sensors last more than a year, and the range is over 200 feet, so it’s completely in the background.

This has to be looked into, as I find out more I’ll let you know, but in the mean time add it to your list, I have a feeling on this subject. its all to do with home automation, the smart home. Photo voltaic’s can easily power them although a years use before they require juice is dam good.


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Architectural Technologist – Building with small robotic Helecopters

AT review
Image by Scays via Flickr

Not much today, realy trying to get on in the garden before we go away, This little video is intriguing, both in the way these little models are being used, but also in the spae of the building, interestingly this is something my partner and I were discussing recerntly re the geolocation of any object in space, this video might be the discusion point.

You might like to read the full article on Fastcodesign, an interesting blogg site.

As for todays photo, just me working in my kitchen

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