OK, I had this idea a wile back and I finally got round to designing the concept, I don’t know if it would fly, but I think it is quite neat. Fundamentally the principle is that people in rural areas are pretty much excluded from the e-Cash revolution on the basis that they don’t have the infrastructure. By rural I am most interested in the way in which people in small villages or remote locations interact, especially in developing countries. We don’t have a means by which we could eliminate currency in their domains, we only have solutions for client server architecture in rich urban settings. Also the proposal for NFC is being built around expensive smart-phones which also doesn’t help the poorer in society. So I designed a device which should be cheap (~$10) and which can be used without being dependent on infrastructure.

I did a PDF to illustrate the Portable Currency Device concept.

So, I was speaking today with a revenue duty specialist about the definition of products and something came up which disturbed me and it was the EC definition of a modem:

Modems modulate and demodulate outgoing as well as incoming data signals. 
This enables bidirectional communication for the purposes of gaining access 
to the Internet. Examples of such modems are: V.34-, V.90-, V.92-, DSL- or 
cable modems. An indication of the presence of such a modem is an RJ-11 
Devices performing a similar function to that of a modem but which do not
modulate and demodulate signals are not considered to be modems. 
Examples of such apparatus are ISDN-, WLAN- or Ethernet devices. 
An indication of the presence of such a device is an RJ 45 connector.

It seems to me that the definition of a modem is rather messed up and this paragraph is trying to achieve something else than the wording says. If any technology student saw this they would be very confused because WLAN (Wifi) is clearly modulated and so are ISDN and Ethernet to some extent.


We have a new Canon Multi Function Device (printer, copier, scanner) in the office and it is network ready. So I have configured it to upload scans to the office server for easy access. The problem is that I want to purge these files after some time so as not to clog anything up. The solution was to archive them all off periodically using a CRON job and to use a shell script to manage that process. Here is the file I created:


tar –no-recursion -cjf ~/canon/.archive/scan_archive_`date ‘+%Y-%m-%d.%s’`.tar.bz2 ~/canon/*
if [ $? -eq 0 ]
                find ~/canon/ -name ‘*.jpg’ -mtime +6 -delete
                find ~/canon/ -name ‘*.tif’ -mtime +6 -delete
                find ~/canon/ -name ‘*.pdf’ -mtime +6 -delete
                find ~/canon/ -name ‘*.tar.bz2’ -mtime +180 -delete

This creates an archive which has a unique time-stamp in its name and then if that goes ahead successfully then it deletes any images older than 6 days from the directory. It also removes any archives older than 180 days just to stop this going on forever and I am contemplating getting it to delete any very small archives because when there is nothing to archive it still creates a fragment of an archive. I must thank this site for inspiring these commands and give them full credit.

Now this is cool, I was just browsing looking for silicon for our products and I found quite a funky little chip from Broadcom. It is the new BCM70020 which describes itself as “a single-chip, full featured, multi-standard audio/video decoder/encoder/transcoder solution targeting volume PC and PC-based consumer electronic applications.”

Not only can it encode HD from either analogue or digital sources, but it can transcode between different MPEG formats and also act as a scaler/down-converter! I think someone in the broadcast industry needs to get their hands on these quickly and create a multi-format scaler/encoder/transcoder matrix device! A few of these, a PCI-E bus and voila there you have a cool transmission ops device.

Very cool.