Absorbing Lessons on Linear Algebra

June 27, 2018

Watching a series of YouTube sessions on Linear Algebra. An important part of understanding Deep Learning.

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The Visible Spirit

  • June 2, 2018

I was a member of Twin Oaks Toastmasters  in San Marcos, CA from April 2003 until April 1, 2008. I prepared many speeches that I mostly gave before an audience in those years. This was my first of 30+ speeches given in those five years. On other parts of my Time Out Of Mind website and Blog are other references to my Toastmasters experiences.

Here is one that I wrote in 2003 that I never delivered in public.

The Visible Spirit – Copyright © May 21, 2003, by Donald W. Larson

  • We are all a complex combination of DNA molecules propelled by a life force:
    • The life force is felt within us, but rarely observed
    • The Visible Spirit is the outward expression of that life force
  • The Visible Spirit is manifested by the convergence of:
    • Acknowledging those unique aspects of your life, your:
      • Personality
      • Intelligence
      • Sense of humor
      • Perseverance
    • Accepting the intrinsic behaviors we all share in common;
      • Morals
      • Empathy
      • Love
      • Self-doubt
    • The next progression towards the Visible Spirit is indicated by the diminishing reluctance to inspect our true selves:
      • Speak openly of our thoughts to trusted friends
      • Reveal periods of insecurity or other emotional pains
      • Offer compassion to those also in need
      • Think through each important issue completely several times regardless of how long it takes or how much it may hurt
    • The synthesis becomes self-apparent when you discover you are evolving in subtle ways:
      • Disturbing thoughts become less disruptive
      • You have more energy
      • Your vocabulary and style of speech becomes more positive
      • You find yourself relaxed in stressful situations
    • The Visible Spirit is fully embodied by a transformation over about a year’s time:
      • You speak with words of conviction in a methodical, logical, and convincing manner
      • Your self-confidence is extremely high
      • You recognize the equality amongst all people, but differentiate yourself by your own special abilities and forms of delivery
      • You know you can handle anything life brings your way because your eternal Spirit is now visible to you
      • People naturally gravitate towards you, sensing your inner-strengths and ethical commitments to others

Several people in this room have Visible Spirits. They are the reason these weekly sessions are so revitalizing to me. I’m fortunate to be in their presence.

One day I may actually give this speech, perhaps in one of my digital art presentations as a storyteller. Time will tell, as always…

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1998 Business Cycle Workflow

Intellectual © Property of Donald W. Larson

Concept Originated in November 1998

Further Development in October 1999


The concept of “Business Cycle Workflow” is an expansion of my workflow ideas over the nine years 1990-1999. The idea of making computers work harder and the human less is appealing to me. I think XML lends itself to making automation of information and thus providing knowledge resulting in new applications. Encapsulation of intelligence is one such goal.

This subject of this presentation is an idea I formed while working for IBM as a Project Manager. Although I conceived the idea about IBM, it applies to any organization that manages large-scale projects.


A large part of IBM’s business involves outsourcing. Outsourcing occurs when a company decides it can no longer handle part or all of its IT needs. Such a company then contracts with IBM for a period of time, where IBM will furnish the services desired. I worked in the Transition Standards & Consulting group. My job was to help develop the plans to implement away from the way the client company handled its services, to the way IBM would do them. I never worked on a project worth less than 100 million dollars. Most of those projects were between 500 million and 2 billion dollars. The largest was 10 billion dollars. We’re not speaking small change here. 🙂

There is a pattern that such projects undergo. Large profits can be made by standardization and clear delineation of what the contract calls for and how those services are delivered; the “scope” of the work to be done. When work outside the scope of work happens, it is termed “Scope Creep“. Scope Creep eats into profit and can cause other problems as well. IBM’s approach to management is to standardize the various work components with the goal of reducing contract expenses and improving profits and meeting deliverables.

Of course one of the problems with projects of this size is that standardization is hard to understand and communicate to everyone involved. Like most people, the tools they use should help them in their work effort. However, due to the way in which the project is divided into many mini-projects, inefficiencies are introduced.

One of the problems I noticed soon into my position was that there was no computerized process to handle the various aspects of the project. Sure, they used Lotus Notes, but mostly for email! The only way people knew what was happening was by staying in verbal touch with the other major participants. That is not a good solution.

My proposed solution is to develop a process where XML is utilized from end-to-end, throughout the “Business Cycle”. I think the Business Cycle starts at first contact, long before a contract is signed. Such contact may exist as letters, emails, or verbal communications. As a relationship develops, letters of agreement, letters of intent may be created between parties to help establish the formal, contractual relationship to come. A lot of time and energy is devoted to this process. Promises are made and understandings are arrived at with a vision of what should transpire going forward. Due Diligence is often performed during the time leading up to the contract. When a contract is signed the real work begins; teams are formed, resources are allocated, project plans are created, etc. I am only providing some of the highlights here.

I suggest a product be developed that can make xml-ilations of different types of input. For instance, memos should be saved in a form of XML along with its normal structure. The same applies to other forms of written agreements, especially the contract. The contract is the only enforceable article of agreement. It seems natural to me that capturing its essence in XML and related XML Schemas would help govern and track the balance of the various documents through the process.

In the project management area, the work breakdown structures, the project plans, and other administrative processes could be derived by parsing the contract XML using rules and other logic built using a database of xml-intelligent tools. I describe this today as “Business Cycle Workflow.” As the project moves through the life cycle after contract, management could track adherence to the contract from a variety of vantage points. As a result, the company would make more money and be in a better position to understand the dynamics driving the process.

I oversimplified the description of the solution. I’m not an expert in XML, partly because the entire manual cycle is very large and I cannot reproduce it here. What are important is the concept and the knowledge that not only IBM could use such a tool, but any company facing an endeavor of complex magnitude would find its benefits worth the purchase price.

I offer my initial perspective here so that others on the team can comment accordingly. There are probably market forces that could help support a development effort provided we could present a plan for the deliverable.


I need your advice and thoughts in verifying my concept of XML. I believe that XML and associated XML Schemas provide a powerful mapping capability allowing new inferences and discoveries about stored information. The ability to manipulate knowledge leads to powerful new ways to understand the dynamics of studied processes.

The trend is for most applications to support XML as a file format. Most large companies use the Microsoft Office Suite or Lotus SmartSuite to manage corporate information. One of my crucial aspects of my proposal rests with the ability to take the actual content in native form and present it in XML. How well does Word’s XML capabilities support this?

Related Links:

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Don’s Raspberry Pi Desktop Images

I use Raspberry Pi computers in my home office for various projects. A few projects involve: Ansible; Mathematica; Python programs; and Bash scripts.

I installed RealVNC Connect and RealVNC Viewer on my Raspberry Pi and iMac systems. That software allows me virtual visual access to the Raspberry Pi’s using my iMac and iPad Pro devices.

This image below displays the Raspberry Pi 3 Mathematica calculation results to my iMac  using VNC Viewer.

This image below shows two simultaneous VNC Viewer windows displaying their virtual Raspberry Pi Desktops for two different Raspberry Pi computers.

In addition to that connectivity, I use the iPad Pro app, SSH Term Pro for command line access to any computers on my home network or remote Amazon Cloud Server computers.

I enjoy these technologies for extending my knowledge and implementing new ideas.






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Master List of Apple iOS Technologies I Studied

Part of the iOS Category and Part of the Technology Category

This new updated list is the go-to place to see my online history of Apple iOS Educational Activities  that stretches back to iOS 4 in 2010. I actually started programming back in June 1980. It’s been quite a ride since then!

My LinkedIn Home Page contains my long listing of educational pursuits.

Starting 2010 and too after with iOS 5 and since, I learned many of the latest iOS development technologies from the Ray Wenderlich Team as one of my educational resources.

Each new release of Apple technologies brings new features and evolves the software development workflow. Ray’s team helps me keep up.

It takes time and effort to keep skills as fresh as possible.

I set the rest of this page up as a reverse chronological listing of my progress.

Ray Wenderlich Screencasts Watched

iOS Progress:


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Learning iOS 11 and Xcode 9 via Ray Wenderlich Tutorials

Part of the iOS Category.

Starting 2011 with iOS 5 and since, I learned many of the latest iOS development technologies from the Ray Wenderlich Team as one of my educational resources.

Each new release of Apple technologies brings new features and evolves the software development workflow. Ray’s team helps me keep up.

It takes time and effort to keep skills as fresh as possible. My LinkedIn Home Page contains my long listing of educational pursuits.

As of February 6, 2018 I began the following four courses using iOS 11 with Xcode 9 and Swift 4.

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Ray Wenderlich Screencasts Watched

As of February 25, 2018

Part of the Technology Category

As an Independent Apple iOS Developer, I continually learning new information on programming in that knowledge domain. Below is a list of Ray Wenderlich Screencast Videos and some of his other Courses I’ve watched over time:

  1. Beginning Swift 3 – Completed all 13 videos
  2. Intermediate Swift 3 – Completed all 10 videos
  3. Beginning Metal – Completed all 15 videos as of December 4, 2016
  4. iOS Concurrency with GCD and Operations – Completed all 12 videos as of December 20, 2016
  5. Beginning Collection Views – Completed all 10 videos as of February 5, 2017
  6. An Introduction to Functional Programming in Swift – Completed on April 5, 2017
  7. Networking with URLSession (iOS 10, Xcode 8, Swift 3)- Completed all 13 videos as of April 9, 2017
  8. Practical Instruments – Completed all 8 videos as of May 6, 2017
  9. How To Use Git Source Control with Xcode 8 Tutorial – Completed on May 7, 2017
  10. Advanced Swift 3 – Completed all 16 videos as of May 26, 2017
  11. Beginning Git – Completed all 13 videos as of August 6, 2017
  12. Mastering Git – Completed all 14 videos as of August 13, 2017
  13. Xcode Tips and Tricks – Completed all 10 videos as of September 18, 2017
  14. Introduction to ARKit Getting Started – Completed 1 of 1 video on September 20, 2017.
  15. Networking with URLSession (Updated Course iOS 11, Xcode 9, Swift 4) – Completed all 13 videos as of December 14, 2017
  16. iOS 11: NLP with Core ML – Completed 1 of 1 video on December 1, 2017
  17. What’s New in Foundation: Parsing JSON in Swift 4 – Completed 1 of 1 video on December 1, 2017
  18. What’s New in Objective-C Inference in Swift 4 – Completed 1 of 1 current videos on December 18, 2017
  19. What’s New in Swift 4- Miscellaneous Changes – Completed 1 of 1 current videos on December 19, 2017
  20. What’s New in Swift 4 – Dictionary Enhancements – Completed 1 of 1 current videos on December 20, 2017
  21. What’s New in Swift 4 – Strings and Ranges – Completed 1 of 1 current videos on December 20, 2017
  22. What’s New in Xcode 9 – Completed 3 of 3 current videos on January 22, 2018
  23. What’s New in Foundation in Swift 4: Key Value Observing (KVO) – Completed 1 of 1 video on February 25, 2018
  24. What’s New in Foundation in Swift 4: Custom JSON Decoding – Completed 1 of 1 video on February 25, 2018
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Apple WWDC 2017 Videos Watched

As of June July 10, 2017

Part of the iOS Category

As an Independent Apple iOS Developer, I continually learning new information on programming in that knowledge domain.

I watch some of the recent Apple Developer Conference videos from June 2017. The list below is current as of this post’s date. [ Note: To watch the item links you must be a Registered Apple Developer ]

  1. Apple WWDC Keynote – 06/05/2017
  2. Platforms State of the Union Session 102 – 06/06/2017
  3. Introducing ARKit: Augmented Reality for iOS Session 602 – 06/7/2017
  4. Introducing Core ML Session 703 – 06/10/2017
  5. Core ML in Depth Session 710 – 06/10/2017
  6. Vision Framework: Building on Core ML, Session 506 – 06/11/2017
  7. Natural Language Processing and your Apps Session 208 – 06/11/2017
  8. Advances in Core Image: Filters, Metal, Vision, and More Session 510 – 06/13/2017
  9. What’s New in Swift Session 402 – 06/14/2017
  10. Introducing Metal 2 Session 601 – 06/16/207
  11. What’s New in Apple File System Session 715 – 06/19/2017
  12. What’s New in Core Data Session 210 – 06/20/2017
  13. What’s New in Cocoa Touch Session 201 – 06/21/2017
  14. Using Metal 2 for Compute Session 608 – 06/24/2017
  15. VR with Metal 2 Session 603 – 06/25/2017
  16. Accelerate and Sparse Solvers Session 711 – 06/26/2017
  17. Modernizing Grand Central Dispatch Usage Session 706 – 06/27/2017
  18. What’s New in Foundation Session 212 – 06/29/2017
  19. Efficient Interactions with Frameworks Session 244 – 06/30/2017
  20. What’s New in LLVM Session 411 – 07/05/2017
  21. Understanding Undefined Behavior Session 407 – 07/06/2017
  22. GitHub and the New Source Control Workflows in Xcode 9 Session 405 – 07/07/2017
  23. Finding Bugs Using Xcode Runtime Tools Session 406 – 07/08/2017
  24. What’s New in Signing for Xcode and Xcode Server Session 403 –  07/09/2017
  25. What’s New in Swift Playgrounds Session 408 – 07/10/2017
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Don’s Online Laid-back Resume

Besides Linkedin, I decide to post a more laid-back version of my resume.

I currently serve as a volunteer at CyberTECH Nest  as a Senior Advisor to the companies in the Entrepreneur in Resident (EIR) Program.  I am one of the three members of the Nestketeers, a group Subject Matter Expert for entrepreneurs local to Nest and remote around the world.

My professional credentials cover almost 37 years as a technology analyst, and business owner, and previous partner in two successful S-Corp., software partnerships.

I currently serve as a CyberTECH  Advisor to the Board. I served in two previous Corporate Board of Directors, four Civic Boards of Directors.

Specialties: Former PMI Certified Associate In Project Management (CAPM), Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), and passed two Six Sigma Total Quality certifications, training, software development, public speaking, presentation skills, leadership and mentoring.

I started out with my home computer and soon discovered I had the ability to learn new programming and related technologies right at the time businesses and schools in the early 1980’s were starting to integrate small computers into their various departments. I taught a variety of adult education classes at a small Chicago suburban college and leveraged those connections to begin a sole proprietor business as a software developer and consultant. I helped teach by classroom and on-the-job training employees to improve their skills and move up the chain in their professional careers.

By the middle 1980’s I was employed in more influential positions in mid-size downtown Chicago corporations to implement multi-user relational database designs to solve complex business issues. Before the end of that decade I was a highly paid Chicago area consultant and programmer for distinguished national legal and financials firms. In one case, my work on a litigation matter, resulted in my database design being used by the United States Attorney General in a FDA Court case successfully adjudicated for that Federal Agency.

Around 1990 I was working for an global management consulting firm and by the end of my career there in 1995, I worked on top VP-level assignments and the firm’s Board of Directors Quality Program effort pursuit of the Presidential Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. That effort took me to other American and European offices of the firm providing me international business experience with other cultures.

Upon moving to San Diego County in early 1996, I continued working in my first S-Corp Software Company as CFO and Secretary. I became involved with civic organizations as the years rolled by into the mid-2000’s. In 2007 I became President and Partner of another S-Corp Software Company and worked there until the end of November 2015.

I became involved in CyberTECH in July 2013 and have contributed as an Advisor to the Board, served as IOT Meetup Co-Chair for one year, and occasionally submit blog posts for CyberTECH syndication.

I am married for 44 years to my wife, Sherry. I am a father to one daughter, herself married for 17 years. I have two grandchildren ages 10 and 8.

My hobbies include: reading, research, programming, travel, talking about my digital art, and giving presentations on topics where I hold an interest.

I am still available for part-time work and as a consultant in mutually beneficial endeavors.

Related Links of Interest:

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Learning about Board of Director Duties

Part of the iHive Incubator Posts Category.

Recently I received a special invitation via my CyberTECH activities to attend  a series of meetings at prestiges Cooley in San Diego, CA for the purpose of learning about Board of Director duties in general.

I thanked the senior executives of Cooley for offering this series to entrepreneurs.

The first meeting was held on November 15, 2016 as shown on the formal agenda below.


I enjoyed the meeting along with about 20 people who interacted with questions and business experience comments posed by the excellently seasoned presenters.

All participants were provided with a booklet containing all the materials used in the accompanying slide stack as shown below.


Many of the CyberTECH EIR Program companies I advise were present and our collective experience of the audience validated the content delivered by Cooley personnel and special guests.

I look forward to the scheduled meetings over the next year.

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