Friday, September 5, 2014


Ascensio  tend to come on a Thursday(!), and that makes it easy to take the Friday off for an extended weekend. So the excuse for a boys on tour was there for the taking. This time we aimed for the Håøya island in the Oslo fjord.     

Håøya is interesting in many respects:
So we hired a cabin from the local recreational council and took the boat from Oslo harbor in beautiful weather.

I was there on a school camp when I was a kid, and coming back brought back memories. As with other parts of the Norwegian countryside Håøya is also suffering from the absence of cows, goats and sheep. They used to keep the landscapes open, but now every nice view is disappearing in shrubbery and forest.

But at Håøya they are trying to do something about it. A goat farmer brought his herd to the island to manage the vegetation, and produce goat cheese. We were too early to enjoy the cheese, but maybe next year!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

House of MOS Technology

Around Easter I started the process of changing the color of my house. We renovated and extended the house around the turn of the millenium. It used to be covered with Eternit, but we replaced that with wood paneling in red and details in yellow. But making sure the house looked OK when the coloring was an oil based wood stain proved challenging. As a consequence we decided to change to paint instead.

Well, the wife suggested that we use the same colors as we used on a new garage we built in 2012, but I was skeptic because I thought the result would be too dark. But when I noticed the NCS codes for the colors I changed my mind!
In the picture I have indicated how the new colors 6502 and 8502 are used. You can also see the original colors (after wire brushing and washing). I had to remove the rain gutter to get the scaffolding in place. That is why the edge of the roof does not look right.

So why did the codes of the colors mean so much to me? Well, when I was a kid in the seventies the microprocessor revolution was happening. I never had a Apple II but its processor, the 6502, was one of the technological wonders of that time, and I read everything I could find about such things. And the 8502 was based on the 6502 with special functionality for the Commodore 128.

Both of these processors were made by MOS Technology, and I fear that having these colors on my house will be as close as I will ever get to this technology.

Call me a nerd, but it is my House of MOS Technology.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beha #10603

Back in 1988 I bought an apartment that contained stuff that the previous owner didn't care about. One of the items was this electric convector heater produced by the Norwegian company Beha.
Since I have a weakness for old stuff I brought the heater with me as I moved, although it always ended up stored away. I guess it didn't fit with my style or meet elementary WAF standard, and its electrical wiring wasn't up to modern standards either.

Earlier this year I started a long overdue clearing out of my basement. Stuff was thrown away or recycled, but what to do about this charming, pre-war piece of Norwegian industrial history?
Well, I offered it to three bodies that I thought could be interested in giving it a good home.

It turned out that the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History had a similar one already, the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology declined politely, while the company was very interested. I suspect that they lacked this part of their history in their collections.

So we agreed on shipment and off it went, the Beha #10603 to Beha's facilities in Porsgrunn. Hopefully its lion's paw-like feet and old fashioned appearance will not keep it from being put on display there. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Øystein's Twine

My house is partially heated by circulating water in the floors, and this hot water is generated by a heat pump. This pump, the hot water tank and the rest of the distribution system is meant to require minimal attention. But when I found myself looking for a target for my Twine, I found that monitoring the heat pump allowed me to maximize my use of its sensors.

Embedded in the Twine there are sensors for temperature, vibration and the device's own orientation. To this I added a moisture sensor, so that I can monitor:
  • the temperature of the water pump
  • the vibration of the water pump
  • any water released to control the pressure in the system
Before activating the Twine I had to rely on observing the heat pump to get its status. As I frequently have business in the basement this was no big problem, but I had to be at home. With the addition of the Twine I can now get the status over the Internet, whether I was elsewhere in the house or somewhere with Internet access.

Access to the Twine goes via the services of Supermechanical, so I depend on they staying in business for the setup to work.

By the way, the use of solutions like Twine is included in the concept of Welfare technology, applied to finding ways to reduce the burden of the elderly boom that is expected in the future.