Avoiding Humanity. Keeping Busy

I’ve watched no TV and read only tech stuff on the Internet. Seriously. I am trying to 1970 my way through the next few weeks.


I’m doing what I can to avoid humanity. I’ve watched no TV and read only tech stuff on the Internet. Seriously. I am trying to 1970 my way through the next few weeks.

To keep busy my airplane radio is being updated… if it will let me! This should have been done months ago.

By airplane radio I’m really referring to a tiny computer with a software defined radio dongle. Specialized software allows my receiver to plot and track any plane I “hear.” There are lots of dead spots, but I can usually track Hawaii and South Pacific bound planes well over 200 miles.

This is a real hobbyist’s project. It’s all off-the-shelf hardware, but there’s lots of typing cryptic commands onto text only computer screens. Plus it’s perfect for a math nerd because everything is quantified in graphs and charts.




This is my second, maybe third attempt tonight. Getting WiFi to work is a particularly difficult task.

I’m trying a different strategy this time. Installation of the operating system first. It’s called Raspbian Jessie, a Debian Linux distribution for Raspberry Pi computers. Having it in first should allow me to get the Wifi going.

And it works!

Next the radio specific software. The initialization process is a little cumbersome, lots of questions and choices, but it went without a hitch.

My radio is now upstairs, back online. My data is available to me and simultaneously pushed to FlightAware and FR24. On my best days I track around 1,900 planes and copters, receiving over 300,000 reports!

Meanwhile, this means I’ve got to find something else to help me avoid humanity.

7 thoughts on “Avoiding Humanity. Keeping Busy”

  1. Good way to keep your mind off things including current events. I always learn something new and interesting when I read your postings. So if got into a time shift do you think you would have been able to pick up the Pearl Harbor attack from your home??!!

    1. I’m a little far for that. However, El Toro Marine Air Station was a hopping place during Vietnam with its 11,000 foot runways and somewhat isolated location. I live about a half mile from a former runway’s threshold.

  2. Smart man to avoid humanity today . Cannot believe how cruel people are being This is how many people treated President Obama when he was reelected. I think it’s horrible when people are so disrespectful to our president, no matter who you voted for the President of the USA no matter who he is deserves to be respected!

  3. Come on out to northeast Nebraska to see some of your current fans. Politics is no longer spoken out loud as deer season is about here and too many folks are carrying deer rifles for any kind of expressed opinion or gloating. The weather is about right for beer and chili and braunschweiger.

    Make sure you head back to warm and sunny California before 23 December because Nebraska is an old Indian word best translated as “Stupid to live there during the winter.” I learned that from an old Indian who was headed to Galveston in his moterhome.

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