2016 event timing

For 2016, we timed these events with our new ChipCard timing system:

The following events were timed manually with CrossMgr software.

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The next generation in RFID timing

The next generation in RFID timing has arrived and is now available for timing races! For 2016, we have two new options for timing events: Race|Result and ChipCard.

Race|Result is a high precision active tag system that is available upon request and is shipped from Colorado. ChipCard is our own system that was developed and customized using RFID technology from Impinj. Both systems are compatible with CrossMgr software.

Race|Result is an RFID timing system designed in Germany, and provides ten times higher accuracy than any other active chip RFID system. Using a higher frequency 2.4ghz signal compared to the 350mhz signal used by other active RFID chips or 900mhz passive systems, the Race|Result system achieves incredible 1/1000 second timing precision.

The Race|Result system also provides increased flexibility through the use of a single timing loop on the ground, which can be extended up to 12 meters (36 feet) to cover even the widest 4-lane finish lanes.

While J-Chip and Race|Result rely on finish times generated by the RFID receiver, ChipCard utilizes the high precision event timer (HPET) in Windows to provide much higher resolution to the ChipCard finish time.

The Race|Result hardware is also supported by CrossMgr, making it the ultimate timing system for any bike race.

In addition to Race|Result and J-Chip active tags, we also provide our own ChipCard passive tag RFID timing.  The ChipCard provides a number of unique advantages over J-Chip and Race|Result active tags:

  • low cost, so there are no fees for lost or missing ChipCards.
  • the racers bib USA cycling license/account number can be assigned and printed on the ChipCard, allowing the same tag to be used at different events.
  • The ChipCard antennas can support very wide finish lines, up to 60 feet across, while active tags are limited to the antenna mat width, currently 24-feet for J-chip or 35-feet for Race|Result.
  • no overhead truss, ground mat or cables are required, so ChipCard can be used for wide finishes or roads open to traffic.
  • used in conjunction with CrossMgrCamera to provide visual confirmation of finishing order through time-stamped finish line photos.
  • there is no battery in the ChipCard, so there is no lifetime limitation on their use.
  • we have 500 ChipCards on hand with bib numbers 100-499 printed on them.
  • we have our own ChipCard printer with the ability to customize and print unlimited ChipCards on request.

Starting in April 2018, CrossMgrImpinj has been upgraded to support a new method for reading chips using quadratic regression (QR.) When the chip is read 3 or more times while passing the antenna, QR calculates the chip position in front of the antenna, resulting in 6-inch precision in front of the antenna. Initial testing shows that over 90% of the tags passing the antenna are read more than 3 times.

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2015 Cycling Events

We’re again providing computerized timing with J-Chip RFID technology and CrossMgr software for races in New York and Ohio. You’ll find us timing these 25 events in 2015:

Race timing services are provided by Jonathan M. Rosen, a USA cycling level “C” official and certified race director with experience timing over 150 races since 2012.

CrossMgr software provides the ultimate timing system for any bike race, providing lap results, prime results and finish line photos, all delivered to the Internet in real-time and laser printed minutes after the last finisher is done.

J-Chip RFID technology consistently provides 100% chip detection at any speed, ensuring every riders time is accurately recorded with 1/100 second precision.

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Using ReadyBoost in Windows Vista/7/8

ReadyBoost is a feature available in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 that provides improved performance to any computer by simply adding a USB flash drive.

USB flash drives of any size can be used with ReadyBoost, so even a small 512mb or 1gb flash drive is suitable. ReadyBoost works by saving the most recently used files inside a file named ReadyBoost on the flash drive. Since USB flash drives can read files faster than a hard drive, Windows Vista/7/8 will rely on the USB flash drive to read files it uses frequently.

For even greater performance, Windows 7 and Windows 8 support more than one USB flash drive and will operate multiple flash drives as a RAID 0 striped array. Using two or more USB flash drives with ReadyBoost will provide great gains in performance.  Windows Vista is limited to a single USB flash drive with a maximum of 4gb, while Windows 7 and Windows 8 support ReadyBoost cache files up to 32gb on either a single flash drive or spread across up to 7 flash drives.

We recommend adding a USB flash drive to any computer using Windows Vista/7/8 and enabling ReadyBoost.  In addition to USB flash drives, other types of flash memory are supported. For example, many laptops have an internal empty PCIe slot that can be used for a flash drive, or a Secure Digital (SD-card) slot. Using a PCIe or SD card allow the flash memory module to stay inside the computer instead of sticking out like a USB flash drive.

Simply insert an unused and empty flash drive in the computer and it will prompt to enable ReadyBoost.

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2014 Sports Timing Event Schedule

You’ll find us timing these events in 2014 with J-Chip RFID technology and CrossMgr software:

The following Western New York cyclocross events were timed manually (using bib number entry) with CrossMgr software:

  • Knox Farm CX
  • Cross in the Park
  • Cross in a Maze
  • Park School CX
  • Turkey Cross at the Victor Apple Farm.

Contact us if you would like to see your event added to this list for timing.

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Could a $2 battery lead to the destruction of your home or office?

Twice a year when the clocks change between daylight and standard time, public service announcements and fire departments remind people to change the batteries in their smoke detectors. While this ensures the smoke detectors are ready to detect a fire, there is another battery in the house that is overlooked and could lead to the destruction of a home or office through water damage.

Digital Thermostat Battery

Digital thermostats that have replaced the original mercury switch thermostats offer scheduled heating and cooling, providing improved efficiency. But they all rely on a pair of “AA” size 1.5v batteries to maintain the heating schedule.

When those batteries fail after a few years, the thermostat stops working and shuts off, disabling the furnace. The result is a house or office that can drop to freezing temperatures inside after only one day. As the water pipes inside the building freeze and crack, the water pours out, damaging everything from the roof to the basement. And the El Dorado plumber should be called for help. Damages are multiplied when dealing with industrial heating systems as they are generally larger, more complex pieces of machinery and are responsible for larger areas of space and materials/goods.

While it may be tempting to replace the standard alkaline batteries in a thermostat with longer lasting Lithium batteries, this is even more likely to lead to unexpected failure.

Unlike Alkaline batteries, Lithium batteries have a different discharge profile. Lithium batteries provide a steady voltage until they are completely discharged, resulting in almost no time for a low battery warning. Since the voltage on Alkaline batteries drops as they discharge, the thermostat will provide a warning for a week or two that the battery voltage is low and requires replacement.

Rechargeable Ni-Mh or Ni-Cd batteries should never be used in a thermostat, since they individually provide only 1.2 volts (2.4v for two batteries in series) at full charge, well below the 1.5/3 volts required. This will trigger a low battery warning even when fully charged. Rechargeable batteries also self-discharge and will not last more than a few weeks in a thermostat.

Regardless of the battery chosen for a thermostat, the outside of the thermostat should have a label indicating when new batteries were installed, and they should be replaced every year, preferably when changing smoke detector batteries.

Recommendations on an improved digital thermostat design:

  • include a piezo speaker chirp and flashing red LED for the low battery alarm, powered by the 24-volt furnace transformer.
  • use a replaceable Li-Ion battery as a backup battery and power the thermostat from the 24-volt transformer, so that battery power is only used when utility power is disabled.
  • track the last and next battery change date on a calendar for reference.

Source: Orlando Water Restoration – BC Restoration Services

Related: Whitton Plumbing Drain Cleaning Mesa.

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About Domain Privacy

For owners of web-site domain names, domain privacy is an option that is available to conceal the ownership of a domain name.

The international organization for domain names (ICANN.org) requires that the domain owner information is filled out and accurate, since this information is used to verify ownership of a domain name in disputes and renewals. However, this information is publicly visible and can be downloaded in bulk, leading to unsolicited advertising sent to the domain owner.

When domain names are registered, they default to displaying the owner’s name and contact details. This information may include address, e-mail, phone and fax numbers. This information is established when a domain name is first registered and is usually copied from the information used to establish the account. There are a variety of reasons the domain owner may choose to conceal or limit the information displayed.

While it may be tempting to leave the ownership information blank to prevent spam or conceal the identify of the owner, this can result in problems with establishing the true owner.  Domain ownership information is also necessary for domain renewal and when transferring a name between registrar providers.

Ideally, the domain ownership information should match the identify of a person or business that can be verified with government issued documents, such as a passport or driver license.  In a situation where ownership must be proven, the registrar will require a copy of a government issued document to establish the correct owner of a domain name.

In the worst case scenario, a blank domain owner could be challenged and seized by another person, leading to loss of the domain name.

To examine the public record of a domain name, the WHOIS command is a widely available service that every registrar provides to display the information on a domain name and ownership.  There is also a free Windows WHOIS program that can be downloaded and used to check domain names.

Recommendations for domain ownership:

* domain ownership should reflect the actual domain name owners name, not the registrar or hosting providers name.

* use a valid e-mail account that has good quality spam defense.

* do not include the fax number; enter 999-999-9999 instead to avoid spam faxing.

* avoid buying domain protection, it is a frivolous charge and it can create obstacles to domain transfer.

* domain privacy services are useful when a domain owner identify must be concealed for privacy or security reasons.

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2013 Sports Timing Events

In 2013, 48 events consisting of over 100 individual races were timed for these promoters using CrossMgr software and J-Chip RFID timing hardware:

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Common Computer Startup Problems and Solutions

There are a variety of situations where a computer will fail to startup properly. These situations often fall into one of the categories below:

No power on: 

This is used to describe a laptop or desktop where the power LED lights do not display and there is no image on the screen. For a laptop, a broken charger connector, failed motherboard,  failed power supply or dead battery will prevent startup. Test using a replacement charger and battery.

For a desktop, a failed motherboard or failed internal power supply will prevent power on. Some desktop/tower computers also have a power switch on the back of the computer that must be turned on in addition to the front panel power switch.

For desktop computers and servers connected to a “UPS” (uninterruptible power supply) the UPS unit relies on the internal battery power to start unit, even when there is sufficient utility power from an outlet. When a UPS cannot be turned on, this is an indication the internal batteries are failed and require replacement.

Power on, no video:

This is used to describe a laptop or desktop where the power LED lights indicate that the computer is turned on but nothing displays on the screen. For a laptop, power on without any image on the screen can be caused by a failed CCFL backlight inverter or failed LCD panel.

For a desktop, when no image is present on the screen, the screen may be failed. Also, a loose power cord or monitor cable may prevent an image from displaying. Test by replacing with a known good working monitor.

When a computer is using both the Hibernate and Standby power saving options, it is possible for a computer to first go into standby mode and then hibernate and shutdown. This can result in a blank screen when the computer resumes from Hibernate, and then fails to resume from standby mode, leaving the user with a black screen and no cursor.  This can be resolved by forcing a shutdown by holding down the power button for more than 4 seconds and then turning the computer back on.

Power on, scrambled video: 

This is commonly seen on laptops with a cracked LCD panel. LCD panel replacement is required. This is rarely seen on desktops but occurs where there is bad video memory or a failing video card.

Power on, Windows XP restarts:

The default behavior in Windows XP is to restart when there is an error that stops Windows from working. The result is that Windows will briefly flash a blue screen with white writing, and then restart the computer. The restarting can be caused by a bad motherboard, overheating CPU, failing RAM memory, hard disk drive error, virus, or corrupt NTFS file system.

Any of these problems will generate a Windows stop code 0x7B, preventing Windows from starting up until the problem is diagnosed and resolved. The automatic restart option can be disabled to allow display the stop error code, which will aid in diagnosing the type of problem.

Power on, Windows Vista/7/8 startup repair:

Windows Vista/7/8 try to perform a startup repair that checks for common problems and tries to fix them. This startup repair can take 5-20 minutes and will restart Windows when finished attempting the repairs. For problems including overheating, failed components, bad RAM, virus and hard disk drive error, the startup repair will not resolve the startup failure and Windows will continually repair and restart until the problem is diagnosed and resolved.

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Planning for the end of Windows XP

Microsoft Windows XP has become the most widely used and installed desktop operating system, with over 60% of U.S. businesses running Windows XP as of 2013. Since introducing Windows XP in 2002, Microsoft has provided free software updates that add features and fix security problems exploited by viruses. However, Microsoft will not be providing updates indefinitely.

Instead, Microsoft will stop issuing security fixes to Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 and Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. It is possible and likely this deadline will be extended, and its also likely that Microsoft may issue security fixes for major problems that significantly affect large groups of Windows XP users. The best course of action is to begin upgrading or replacing Windows XP computers with Windows 7 or Windows 10. Both Windows Vista and Windows 8.x should be avoided.

Windows XP 32-bit with service pack 3 (SP3) can be upgraded to Vista 32-bit SP1 and then the service pack 2 update for Vista must be installed. Only after upgrading to Vista SP2 can a computer be upgraded to Windows 7. Note that 32-bit versions of Windows XP cannot be upgraded to any subsequent 64-bit version of Windows. 64-bit versions of Windows Vista/7/8 provide support for computers with over 4gb RAM, while 32-bit versions of Windows are limited to recognizing only the first 3gb of RAM (4gb minus video memory usage).

There are no direct upgrades from Windows XP to Windows 7/8; instead, computers must first be upgraded from XP to Vista, and then from Vista to Win7 and then Win8. Performing an upgrade preserves all programs, data and settings, replacing only the operating system files with the newer version.

When changing to a 64-bit version of Windows Vista/7/8, there is no upgrade path available from 32-bit Windows. Instead, a new copy of Windows must be installed, requiring all applications to be re-installed. The previous version of Windows can be retained and the computer can be dual-booted to allow switching between versions of Windows on restart.

Along with the planned demise of Windows XP, new computers are no longer including hardware drivers for Windows XP, instead limiting their support to only Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Frequently asked questions about the end of updates for Windows XP on April 8, 2014:

Q: Will Windows XP Home or Professional stop working on April 9, 2014?

A: Windows XP and all other programs on Windows XP will continue to work without interruption after April 8, 2014. The Windows update feature will not provide new updates and security fixes for Windows XP, Microsoft Security Essentials anti-virus and Internet Explorer 8 after April 8, 2014.

Q: What should Microsoft Security Essentials be replaced with when it stops updating?

A: There are a wide range of anti-virus programs that will continue to work on Windows XP. AVG and Immunet both provide unlimited free licenses for their anti-virus software. Microsoft will extend the support of Security Essentials until April 2015 to ensure that XP computers are protected.

Q: Can existing computers with Windows XP Home be upgraded to a newer version of Windows?

A: Yes. Windows XP Home SP3 32-bit can be upgraded to Windows Vista Home Basic/Premium/Ultimate 32-bit. Windows XP Home cannot be upgraded to any 64-bit version of Windows. Instead, a new installation of Windows Vista/7/8 must be performed if choosing the 64-bit installation. The 64-bit version of Windows is an optional choice that provides support for computers with more than 4gb RAM.  When upgrading Windows, the computer should have a minimum of 2gb RAM. Using less than 2gb RAM will result in a significant drop in performance.

Q: Can existing computers with Windows XP Professional be upgraded to a new version of Windows?

A: Yes. Windows XP Professional SP3 32-bit can be upgraded to Windows Vista Professional or Ultimate 32-bit version. Windows XP Professional cannot be upgraded to any 64-bit version of windows. Instead, a new installation of Windows Vista/7/8 must be performed if the 64-bit version is selected. The 64-bit version of Windows is an optional choice that provides support for computers with more than 4gb RAM. When upgrading Windows, the computer should have a minimum of 2gb RAM. Using less than 2gb RAM will result in a significant drop in performance.

Q: What does 64-bit Windows Vista/7/8 provide?

A: 64-bit Windows provides support for computers with more than 4gb RAM. While 32-bit versions of Windows can run on any computer, 32-bit versions will recognize only the first 4gb of RAM and ignore any additional RAM memory.

Q: Can Windows XP continue to be used after April 8th, 2014?

A: Yes. Both FireFox and Chrome web browsers will continue to work on Windows XP, so these can be used instead of Internet Explorer 8. Note that Internet Explorer 8 cannot be removed or disabled, but you can delete all shortcuts to it and make another browser the default browser for all web pages. Microsoft Security Essentials can be removed and replaced with other free anti-virus software.

 

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