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eNewsletter: February 2012

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President’s Message: Why We Love Traverses – Mark’s Tech Corner: Interface with HP48 Data Collectors – Eric Tanikawa: Father vs Son(s) (Blackened vs Burnt)

President’s Message:

Why We Love Traverses

I spoke recently at one of the state surveying conferences and got to sit in on a ‘Field to Finish’ presentation by one of our software competitors. I kept a list of the neat features they highlighted like sorting points by point codes, assigning symbols and line work, nearest neighbor sort and so on.

These were all things we designed into our Point Codes years ago. So although their screens had way too many buttons and sub-menus to learn easily, folks need these tools and that’s why we all have them.

Then they jumped off the deep end. They are a CAD based system, so they walked us through how to manage groups of points (points sets) created by their field coding. I watched as the presenter went through all the drop down levels and steps required to create a point set only to hear, “Ooops! That’s not what I wanted”. Back through all the steps and “Ooops! That’s still not what I wanted”. You get the picture and I did too. They got it on the fourth try. I smiled. What is so simple and intuitive in Traverse PC requires this much effort in just a demo? How much work would it be in real life?

On the flip side, we hear it every day from folks who have moved from CAD to Traverse PC. They start working with traverses and the light bulb goes on. “Hey, I can use traverses for my point sets, point codes, boundaries, center lines, my …”. That’s why we love traverses.

John Balcom, MS, LS

Mark’s Tech Corner:

Interface with HP48 Data Collectors

In our Feb 14th releases of both TPC Desktop 2010 and TPC Desktop 2011, we updated the Windows drivers used to transfer files to your old HP48SX and HP48GX. Some of you have had trouble sending data back to the HP’s in Windows 7 & Vista. This is pretty old technology, so getting the new operating systems to look backwards isn’t always easy, but enough of you are still using your HP’s, so we made a pass through the code. We think it will work better for you so Happy Valentine’s Day!

Also for you HP48 users, here is a driver that may resurrect your old USB to RS232 converter. We used it with our Belkin adapter and Windows 7 64-bit. It worked great. http://www.mct-us.com/driver.html (Feb 14, 2013 Note: This link is no longer valid and we do not know of any other source. You may want to do a web search for an appropriate driver.) and download the U232-P9 driver.

Eric Tanikawa:

Father vs Son(s)
(Blackened vs Burnt)

Last Saturday I was in my BBQ renegade mode again, and decided to cook blackened Chicken. Southern cooking is all about Cajun! I pulled the recipe for the seasoning mix ( 2 tsp. salt; 1 tsp black pepper; 1 ½ tsp. cayenne; 1 tbsp. paprika; ½ tsp. thyme; and ½ tsp. oregano , also Tony’s Creole seasoning mix). I fired-up the cast iron skillet on the Q with melted butter, “generously” coated the chicken, and cooked it until it was black! Enter my 8 year old son, JP, saying,” What’s burning outside!” Then he said, “You burnt our dinner!” I told him this is the southern style of cooking called blackened! Enter in my 6 year old, Kenji, saying, “What’s that burnt smell?” And I am not eating that! Of course, I explained it’s blackened chicken and that it tastes great! Both boys, with a frumpy look with eyebrows raised in disbelief, shook their heads and said, “Mommy can we have a Hot dog?”

This is a Mastercard moment. Cost of the chicken breast: $10. The price for seasonings: $15. The look on my boys face after cooking the chicken: priceless, and then the look on my face!