Saturday, September 4, 2010

Electronic Cigarette and Open Source?

Oh my goodness! I just saw a banner add for Electronic Cigarette, the geek in me became curious... so I found this video about it on posted by...

I may freak'in be crazy, but it got me thinking about an open source e-cigarette and as always on the Internet we are never alone in our ideas.

Wish I had time to play with the idea (fyi--I don't smoke! Just a geek that thinks building one of these with an ATMEL AVR processor or MicroChip PIC and publishing the BOM (bill of materials) and schematics would be very very cool. Maybe I could find some time, since it is so closely related to Health Care and the FDA (see the other videos posted at which show the FDA discussions on Electronic Cigarettes. Maybe I should push this Blog Post over to

See other Open Source Hardware hack projects and sites...

Hack A Day
Ada Fruit
And don't forget the MakerBot, RepRap and Fab@Home

Open Source Hardware Hacks are on a huge rise, if you are interested at all ping me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

HDGraph and WinDirStat

There are many free disk drive space management and scanning tools out there in the Internet available to use.

I have used HDGraph ( for a while to show disk space; I liked the circular graph it displays. I have some vague memories of some showing me a tool, and I think it was Space Monger, but it never did appeal to me as compared to HDGraph. This morning, I decided to look for other alternatives and compare HDGraph. I downloaded WinDirStat and found that it had advantages right away. Please note, you'll need to look beyond the unattractive yet informative WinDirStat website, and consider the tool on the value it delivers. Also, please note, this is but my simple review of the two products, and I am very appreciate of all of the people involved with building and making available these great tools!

1. WinDirStat shows all the directories being processed/read and allows you to navigate the file system and see the sizes while it is processing other directories.

2. The TreeMap in WinDirStat allows you to see large files versus small files that there are many of very quickly.

If you are looking to manage your disk space, and have difficulty keeping enough space free, I would recommend WinDirStat or the many alternatives for other platforms.

Best wishes!
Pete Gordon

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Killing Innovation and Reforming Health Care

I just read this morning, that the Health Care proposal coming out of the finance committee; contains a $40 billion dollar tax on the Medical Device industry. So, I dug in deeper. Turns out it is $4 billion dollars a year for the next 10 years, it is on all medical device manufacturers with revenues over $5 million dollars and it is to be based on "relative market share".

Some background, the medical device industry in the U.S. is just less than $100 billion; that means this is a greater than 4% tax on some of the most innovative companies in the United States. Will already having a high barrier to entry through the FDA 510k process and the device registration fees required by the FDA; is this really the smartest tax to apply to our economy--or, as David Auth, a Medical Device inventor and pioneer, states, "Our government rewards dummies and punishes geniuses".

Some references for more context and reference:
New health propsoal is industry's favorite so far. -- AP, Yahoo News
Finance Committee Proposal -- Max Baucus, Senate Finance Committee
Medical Device Pioneer David Auth Seethes Over $40 Billion Industry Tax Idea, FDA Delays

Market Size References [1] and [2] and FDA Annual Device Registration Fee Reference [3] and to even create a device for the market FDA 510k Fee [4] and don't forget the 10's and 100's and of thousands and even millions of dollars to create FDA approved products [5]

Medical Device Manufacturers Association

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fiber Optics in Health Care and Pulse Oximetry

Photonics textiles eyed for pulse oximetry

I have been fascinated by the idea of using fiber optics in Medical Devices for the past couple months. I have a fascination with technology innovations that use Light. So, this blog will likely be diverse in it's discussion of technology, but don't be surprised if there is a bias towards, BioPhotonics. (Yesterday, I did ask a friend of mine who is in med school to contribute to this blog also, so that should bring diversity to this blog also--smile). Even with my Light fascination I haven't yet taken the plunge, committing time, and tried one of the training kits I found a couple months ago.

I stumbled on this today, and it involves Pulse Oximetry (which is close to my heart--figuratively--smile).

The immediate question when I showed someone else, was "how do you clean it?". Interesting, I am wondering, and am fascinated by the potential. I often see nocturnal oximetry studies that the finger probe falls off of the patient. And, for no other reason, than this looks cool and includes fiber optics and pulse oximetry, I hope this succeeds!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Meeting Martha (15 yr old) and her family

Whoops, this was too be posted on I guess it can be at both. The problems of having two blogger accounts.

Andrew, Craig and I met Martha, a 15 yr old that cares for a large family in a compound outside of N'Dola.

Child headed households are one of the most significant problems that come with HIV/AIDS and poverty.

The challenge is food and school/education. And, how do you establish trust and make a real difference--not just take pictures, and just go away?

--Posted by Pete

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Memex and the beginning of the Internet (Tower of Babel)

I stumbled on this article "As We May Think" written in 1945 and credited with the beginning ideas about hypertext and the Internet.

It is amazing... here are some of my favorite quotes. The concluding remarks are the best part...

Science has provided the swiftest communication between individuals; it has provided a record of ideas and has enabled man to manipulate and to make extracts from that record so that knowledge evolves and endures throughout the life of a race rather than that of an individual.

There is a growing mountain of research. But there is increased evidence that we are being bogged down today as specialization extends. The investigator is staggered by the findings and conclusions of thousands of other workers—conclusions which he cannot find time to grasp, much less to remember, as they appear. Yet specialization becomes increasingly necessary for progress, and the effort to bridge between disciplines is correspondingly superficial.

A record if it is to be useful to science, must be continuously extended, it must be stored, and above all it must be consulted

This is a much larger matter than merely the extraction of data for the purposes of scientific research; it involves the entire process by which man profits by his inheritance of acquired knowledge.

The human mind...operates by association.

Selection by association, rather than indexing, may yet be mechanized.

Presumably man's spirit should be elevated if he can better review his shady past and analyze more completely and objectively his present problems. He has built a civilization so complex that he needs to mechanize his records more fully if he is to push his experiment to its logical conclusion and not merely become bogged down part way there by overtaxing his limited memory. His excursions may be more enjoyable if he can reacquire the privilege of forgetting the manifold things he does not need to have immediately at hand, with some assurance that he can find them again if they prove important.

Remember this was in 1945; amazing; and we have only scratched the surface of the empowerment that comes with the existence of the memex/Internet. Man's spirit with definitely "be elevated" as he "analyze[s] more completely and objectively".

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Open Source and Technology Choices

I have been reading about HealthCare IT; since it is the industry I have been focused on the past year or more (,,  Let me start off by saying I love the Open Source community--it amazes me, fascinates me and stirs up idealism that I so wish to realize and I am very grateful to all that contribute to Open Source (see earlier interview I did with KDE News site, now archived).  I have been following VistA and more specifically OpenVistA or WorldVistA as an open source Health Care EMR, so tonight as I was reading I found that Larry Augstin is on the board of MedSphere which has this technology stack that is kind of frightening (MUMPS, GtK, C#, etc.).  For those that don't check out the wikipedia link on Larry, or recognize the name, he founded SourceForge and is an Open Source genius!  But, what was that, he is also on the boards of Compiere (I did an install many years ago as a test, Java, thick-client, Oracle database, and I thought it had a lot of potential until I went through the install, and looked more closely at the User Interface); and not only Compiere, but Hyperic--Andy Danser and I were just evaluating Hyperic for IT monitoring and it didn't make our short list compared to Nagios and/or SpiceWorks (maybe we will have to revisit Hyperic, especially since I have a sales/followup person contacting me, and not only Hyperic but JBoss has Larry Augstin on the board.  I'll mention it again, "he is an open source genius!".  But, I was hoping Compiere, JBoss, and most recently Hyperic would work for my needs--but in my experience they seemed to be too far away from my needs, more technology complicated to use, distracting from my specific goals and needs.  I would love to find opportunity to work with them to improve them, but it is a contanst delima of having to first get over the initial need/goal and then being able to contribute to help improve.  I remeber submitting a patch to Tomcat back in like 2003 for the JSP Taglib code and it was fun, but I was already getting value from Tomcat, and it was easy to work with because I was already in the mix of it.  Seems like Compiere, JBoss, Hyperic, MedSphere haven't been able to pull me into the mix as of yet.  And, it makes me wonder how many more people are like me and can't get over the open source hump to be pulled into the project.  Maybe MedSphere will be the one that pulls me in, I do belive in Open Source Health Care IT--it is a great choice--if they wrap the legacy code (MUMPS) with standard web services maybe it can take off and I can get some immediate value from it--first thing, I would like to see is a Overview Guide... maybe I can come up with one... I haven't even come close to digest all that I need to that is already out there... seems very scattered, not centralized or clear.  Hopefully, I can help at some point but often times I am scattered and unclear also!

Just some random thoughts today about Open Source, Software/System Design, and adoption.  Really needs a few cups of coffee or a couple beers to talk through fully.

As always, love to hear comments and thoughts.

Best wishes!
Pete Gordon