IT Developer for Mobile and Web Applications

What is a #2 Pencil?

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Posted on September 1, 2017 by

The answer varies widely by manufacturer. In this scale from Wikipedia, the pencil known as a Number 2 is also known as an HB, a middle grade of pencil. It has less graphite and more clay than a B and the 2B through 10B. It has more graphite and less clay than the H and therefore 2H through 10H.

Henry Petroski , in his Pencil book, claims that pencil grades vary “depending upon the manufacturer, when the pencils are made, and the source of graphite and clay. One analyst found that graphitic carbon content, for example, to vary from about 30 to about 65 in a variety of different pencils bearing the same designation.

The Number 2 pencil is the standard for test taking and writing, and is the most commonly available pencil. Pencils that are not marked with a grade, like promotional pencils or fun giveaway pencils are also likely within the acceptable range of graphite levels.

School pencils in the 21st century in the United States are most commonly the Dixon Ticonderoga, as teachers are now asking for them by name. And sometimes, teachers even require that each student supply 50 pre-sharpened Dixon Ticonderoga pencils! One assumes that not all students can or do comply, or that the teacher is doing a lot of writing during the summer.

These pictures show a wide variety of #2 school pencils –

Yellow #2 Pencils

Yellow #2 Pencils

– as well as other HB pencils, including brands from other countries, or ones that belong to drawing sets.

Variety of #2 HB Pencils

Variety of #2 HB Pencils

I separated out the yellow/orange ones, which take their color cue from the Koh-i-noor pencils, and have become the de-facto color for school pencils. In fact the yellow pencil is a symbol for schools and learning.

I have covered many other pencil sets in previous posts that have HB pencils not pictured here.

As you can see by these samples on Strathmore drawing paper, the pencils lay down graphite in a noticeably wide range.

#2 pencil comparisons

#2 pencil comparisons

More #2 HB Pencil Comparisons

 

Microsoft Build Conference 2017 – The Cloud Logo

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Posted on May 23, 2017 by

I had a good spot for the 2017 Microsoft Professional Developer’s conference Keynote. I was at the head of the class. I could not help but notice something while Scott Guthrie was speaking.   He has the Microsoft Cloud logo behind him.  Specifically it is in the shape of what I have seen as the Microsoft Hybrid Cloud.

Since I am at the front, it is easier for me to watch Scott talk on the monitor.

I can’t help but notice that the cloud is a bit jagged at the bottom.

It gets me to wondering. Apple has the “Golden Ratio” designed into their cloud logo for iCloud. I wonder what the design guidelines are for the Microsoft Cloud logos. There seems to be a few of them.

https://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/16/icloud-logo-infused-with-golden-ratio/

SPRING BLOOM 2017

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Posted on May 23, 2017 by

It’s a lot of work to catch it at the right time, but here it is, May 7, 2017!

the spring tree in full bloom

the spring tree in full bloom

Spring tree ready to photograph!

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Posted on May 23, 2017 by

It’s almost time: May 5th and 6th, 2017, the blooming has started.

May 6th

The sky just is not right….

Weather Tree in April

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Posted on May 23, 2017 by

By April, the tree has some foliage, but it’s not ready yet!

Weather Tree in February

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Posted on May 23, 2017 by

We hit some nice sunny weather in February, and lost most of the snow. So the blooming tree can be seen without its decoration.

Microcomputing, breaking all the rules

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Posted on November 30, 2016 by

Rule #1, work on a static free environment

Rule #2, keep the cats out of your box

wp_20160903_002

Sharpie Liquid Pencil – Do Not Want

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Posted on November 30, 2016 by

I tried the Sharpie Liquid Pencil. I found it wanting. It really was a struggle to write with it. I actually returned it to the store.

sharpie-liquid-pencil

Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 for nearly Free

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Posted on November 30, 2016 by

For a brief time, MicroCenter had offered the Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 for 99 cents. The current suggested retail price is still only $5.00 US.

raspberry-pi-zero-dollars-capture

  • 1Ghz, Single-core CPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • Mini HDMI and USB On-The-Go ports
  • Micro USB power
  • HAT-compatible 40-pin header
  • Composite video and reset headers

 

I have a lot of fun comparing modern computing power to my first computing experience. The Radio Shack TRS-80

Catalog: 26-1001 TRS-80 Model 1
Released: August 1977
Price: US $599.95 (with monitor)
Video: 64 x 16 text
CPU: Zilog Z-80A, 1.77 MHz
RAM: 4KB, 16KB max (or 48Kb with the expansion interface)

 

Migrating from XCode 7 to XCode 8 with Jenkins Continuous Integration

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Posted on November 12, 2016 by

During the latest iOS release, a new version of XCode was released. We have continuous integration using Jenkins installed on a Mac. It has XCode and Xamarin installed. We encountered problems in the initial rollout to the build server of XCode.

But, I have worked out what the trouble was with XCode 8. It does not seem to have anything to do with XCode itself, but the fact that XCode 8 uses a different svn client.

  • XCode 8 installs SVN client tool for Subversion 1.9, where the previous version was 1.7 in /usr/bin/svn. The 1.9 client cannot handle reading a 1.7 repository. The current version of Jenkins SVN plugin is set to check out at 1.7, and does not have support for 1.9, although it could be updated. There was a call in the Touch.Build.sh script to get the svn revision number ( REVISION=`svn info ../.. | awk ‘/^Last Changed Rev:/ {print $NF}’` ). This was necessary for CruiseControl on the old Mac Build server, but is no longer necessary in Jenkins because I have added an SVN Revision variable in the Jenkins configuration.
  • Modifiying the Info.plist has been a vexing problem, because the Jenkins build would report this error every time I modified the Info.plist, no matter how I did it.

Encountered unknown tag <<<<<< on line 59

Error Reading File: ../Containers/Touch.Container/Info.plist

Encountered unknown tag <<<<<< on line 59

Error Reading File: ../Containers/Touch.Container/Info.plist

Xamarin Studio Build Tool

It was actually reporting this because the Subversion client was failing to merge on the svn update for the next build. The merge conflict exists because we use a tool called “Plistbuddy” to alter the Info.plist with the build number. It actually re-arranges the XML significantly. Then the next svn merge puts text in like >>>>>>>.mine. The workaround is twofold:

  1. Go to Jenkins and clear the workspace so that the new Info.plist gets read and no merge occurs
  2. Set the svn update in Jenkins to be “revert and update” not just “update”.