Heathkit Returns

A couple of years ago I found that Heathkit was staging some sort of comeback of sorts.  They had put up a web page, basically just a “keep checking here” sort of thing.  Inside the source was a link to a survey where they asked a bunch of questions about what people were interested in etc.  Info about it can be found elsewhere on the web.  One of the things they did was to collect up email addresses and have a sort of “insiders” mail list.  Not very much came out of that email but after a couple of years finally the insiders were invited to visit the site to check out their very first new kit in the 21st century.  It is just a simple, no solder, AM radio kit, no speaker, etc.  Price was a little hefty at $150 but I bit and the other day it arrived finally.

Boy is it a beauty.  I an not old enough to have had a Heathkit kit before (though I’m not young either), but I am aware of them and saw a few go together as a kid.


So far it seems as would be expected from what we hear and read.  Everything is really nicely done, the assembly/operation manual is overly complete with instructions needed as well as a bunch of theory and such.

So hopefully over the next several days or a couple of weeks I’ll be assembling and testing and making notes here as to my progress.

Here are a few more pics.




Open Data Science Conference – San Francisco 2015

A while ago a friend of mine raised the idea of attending ODSCWest.  At first I thought that conferences and such wouldn’t be that interesting or useful for me but when reviewing the info about the workshops it turned out maybe I would be interested after all.  So here I am sitting in NCal a day early getting things sorted out and ready to go.

There will be many somewhat interesting talks, lots of data professionals and cool things to learn.  Mostly I’m interested in the workshops – two days full of workshops and hands on experience with data science tools and programs.  A couple that I am most excited about are Intro to Text Analytics and Intro to Text Mining.  Both of these are very much along the lines of what I am working on personally and I hope that I will learn some techniques and gain a bit more insight about how the industry is moving.

Of the talks, and besides the keynotes, there are some great topics including things about crowd sourcing data collection, data analytics for the common good, collecting and analyzing open local government data.  I’ll be attending some of these if I can.  It feels to me that local government data analytics would be a great niche to work in.