Christmas Letter 2000

2000 Christmas Letter

The year 2000 was much better than past years. The economy has been good enough for my clients to save up enough money that they want to spend some of it on home improvements. They are remodeling kitchens and adding outlets in the Victorians.

Paula is at UCLA for her second year. She has continued to be an eager beaver always studying and continuing to try for grade-A work. Last year one of her teachers assistants said she is “A strange bird.” because she is the first one to come in to the office, sometimes as much as two weeks before the other students. It could be said that she almost spent too much time studying. She and I agreed that it is ok to have a bit more fun and let the grades “slip” down to an A- or B+. To put this in perspective, at parent orientation we were informed that we should not be surprised if our student’s grades slipped in college. We were told that most every student had gotten good grades in High School and that they could not all get as good grades in College. Needless to say, we are very proud of her. All those stories on TV about the terrible teens were not true here.

My inventions are slowly coming along. I am still woring on my “Trace and Tag Circuit Tracer” I have had a very nice electronic controller built with a circuit that reads the sensors. I am not revealing all that it does, as I have not patented it yet. The hang up has been the current sensors. I am trying ways to reduce the size. The circuit breakers only ½ inch apart. The sensors have been about 7/8 inch tall. This means they will not fit nicely one after another around the wire that goes in to the breaker. To make it work I have to carefully pull the wires out of the panel box and clip the sensors on to some of the excess wire there. That is messy and time consuming.

The Internet has been very helpful with my inventions. It is also educational in many areas. Currently I am researching prices and details for a new VW Golf as well as learning about digital cameras. Using to search for digital camera lead me to site containing a discussion on the merits of digital cameras versus film cameras.

I have learned that to equal a 35mm camera’s resolution one would need about 5 or 10 mega pixels. There are very expensive professional studio cameras like that but most cameras are in the 2 or 3 megapixel categories. Optical zoom is much more desirable than digital zoom as the latter just reduces the number of pixels that are recorded, so you loose resolution. You might as well do that in the computer by cropping the image.

The Internet search also led me to a nice tutorial —URL— that shows how to make a battery pack. I learned that the LCD screen on the back of digital cameras uses up a lot of power.

I used to think that I would find a Distance Learning course on line. There are some there but I have learned more form the white papers and tutorials that turn up when you do a search. is the best search engine for me. It prioritizes hits by the popularity rather than how much money was paid pro placement. Popularity is determined by counting how may other web sites have a pointer that is pointing to the site that is being judged. It is hard for any one to fake out the relative value of a site under these conditions.

Jake the cat is a little more friendly. He generally keeps the mice away. The other night he was found to be chasing a little mouse. We set a trap, but I guess he know that Jake was looking for him so he left. He did not turn up in the mousetrap


John A. Peters, Brookline Electric Co.

415-239-5393 Text/Cell

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