bye world maker faire from FIRST

Norm and I organized the FIRST robotics presence at Maker Faire for the past 9 years. Given that Make Magazine has gone out of business, last year was the last one.

I think some of the Mini Maker Faire events will live on. The NY and San Mateo ones were quite a production to put on. NY hadn’t even opened the call for Makers yet so it makes sense for the event not to happen.

As a way of saying goodbye, I’m posting some of memories from the event.

Maker Faire was held rain or shine. We learned that it can in fact be too hot for a robot. Luckily teams innovated with a sunhat.

The first year our “rain plan” was “it better not rain.” Luckily, we got more sophisticated by the year it was really rainy and windy overnight.

Little kids loved the robots and we won a ribbon almost every year. Two years ago, Norm had the great idea to have each team there on Sunday take a picture with the ribbon.

A shout out to every participating team over the years. As we grew from a small space to a big attraction, we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for influencing lots of people and spreading the reach of FIRST. I’m proud to say that I helped *make* a *space* for FIRST robotics exhibitors.

creating a chromebook recovery disk

In the past, I have used the Chromebook utility to create a recovery image USB. This time, it hung at 0% on writing to disk. I tried with two different USBs. Then I started searching for a workaround

A reddit post led me in the right direction. This URL downloads a conf file with the direct URLs to download the image for each Chromebook. I searched the file for my model (Acer Chromebook 15 (CB3-531)) and downloaded the zip file. It was about the size of a CD (655MB)

Then I chose the gear and the local image option. I picked the bin.zip file. It still wouldn’t load. I wound up just copying the zip (and the unzipped cpgz) to the USB. (still under 3GB). That way I have it in case it is needed. My mother would have to bring the ChromeBook to best buy anyway so they can make the recovery disk if needed. We’ve never needed it so I don’t expect to!

I’m now wondering why it needs a 8GB disk when the image is far smaller. i also note that in 2012, it said you needed an 8GB disk and i used a 4GB one. So inflation?

Announcing new Java 11 OCP Books!

Jeanne and I are thrilled to announce that we are releasing Java 11 OCP books early next year. Yes, you heard that right, books plural, as in more than one! In fact, we’ll be releasing two new books, along with a complete set edition.

We’ll post links where you can preorder the books as soon as they are available!

These books have been carefully written and include the most important information you need to know for the Java 11 OCP exams. While we are quite proud of our Java 8 books, there’s a lot of new material required for the exams including modules, var, and custom annotations just to name a few.

If you’re thinking of taking the new exams prior to the books’ release, we recommend reading our posts detailing our experiences taking the exams:

In short, if you’re comparing the first exam (1Z0-815) to the older OCA 8 (1Z0-808) exam, don’t. They are quite different and the difficulty level has definitely been increased. We expect both books to be available in early 2020. In fact, we’re nearly done writing the first book already!