How to

Encyclopedia of Mosaic             Emma Biggs
Mosaics                                      Kaffe Fassett & Candace Bahouth
Complete Idiot Guide - Web      Paul McFedries
How to ... Genealogy                 George G. Morgan
Secrets of Successful Rail-Trails   Karen-Lee Ryan & Julie A. Winterich, Ed.     July 2006
The ... Designer's Guide ... Imaging    Carl Sesto
Who let the Blogs Out                Biz Stone
Deploying Wireless Networks   Jack Unger
The Mosaic Idea Book               Rosalind Wates
Getting it Right                           Mary H. Slawson                  Nov 2007

The Encyclopedia of Mosaic Techniques   Emma Biggs

Lengthy discussion of theory, design sources. history, color, hue, tone, intensity, grout (white, colored, no grout), symmetry.

Types of Tesserae:
Unglazed Ceramic - good on floors, earth tones, easy to cut, cheapest.
Vitreous Glass - widest range of colors, they come in glued sheets and mixed bags.  Not good for floors, cost depends on intensity of color.
Glazed Ceramic - used mainly for swimming pools, price varies
Smelt - enameled glass, wide range of color, very expensive, not suitable for grouting.
Glazed Ceramic Tiles - cutting may reduce strength, usually very cheap.
Marble - heavy, expensive
Stained Glass - cut with glass cutter or tile nippers.

Equipment: See book above, add a bucket for dumping waste and kneepads.

Techniques: Andamenti - coursing of grout lines, their flow influences the work, see Pompeii dog illustration
Backgrounds: They can vary from totally regular to being as elaborate as the design.  How the tiles around the figures alters their effect.
Common mistakes:  The use of tiles that are too similar in color, the design washes out.  Grout that is too close to tile colors, the use of grout that is too similar to one of the tile colors - intermediate tones give more contrast.  Not enough room between the tiles.
Cutting: Only nip the edges of the tiles.  Don’t cut tiles over the mosaic, little pieces will fall off.  For complex shapes draw on the face of the tile and nibble away the scrap.  Nippers are likely to fracture one side of the tile.  Glass and ceramic tiles can be scored with a glass cutter and snapped off for very accurate cuts - press hard to get a good scoring line.  For large glazed ceramic tiles a tile cutting machine can be very useful.
Design: Your figure should be bold and graphic.  Backgrounds can be enhanced by using slightly different colors.  Match colored pencils to your tile colors and draw the entire design, at this stage you can change colors if necessary.
Cleaning and sealing:  Clean the mosaic thoroughly and then seal with an appropriate sealant.  No discussion of what is appropriate.
Cutting:  For curves you should make a small cut on each side of the tile, otherwise the grout lines may go in directions opposed to the curves.  P 101 (see illustration) shows 6 different ways of cutting tiles to create a leaf.

Examples:  Illustration of birds, p 134.  Fishes p. 136.  Fish p 140.  Ducks p. 154.  Birds p. 155.

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Mosaics   Kaffe Fassett & Candace Bahouth

Mainly from a strictly artistic point of view.  How to make a mosaic object of art.  Some of them are beautiful, some are just really weird.  Since my interest is in bathroom walls and floors everything else will be ignored.

Tools:  Tungsten-carbide tipped nippers with spring handles, perhaps a mosaicist’s hammer and hardie.  A masonry hammer and a blacksmith’s hardie (a wide chisel blade with a shaft for mounting on an anvil) are good substitutes.  A tile cutter for large ceramic tiles.  Containers, old bowls, jugs, and buckets for mixing cements and grouts.  Other containers for storing tesserae.  Trowels including notched trowels for spreading cement.  A plastic kitchen spatula works well.  For buttering individual tesserae any knife works but the best is an artist’s palette knife.  For spreading grout the kitchen spatula will work but the best is a squeegee.  For hard to reach area use rubber gloved fingers.  For moving individual tesserae a long, thin, pointed tool us great, wooden sticks or scrapers work well, any small pointed tool can be useful.  Cleaning cloths and scrubbers are useful.  Lint free rags and sponges are the best but old newspapers and non-scratch nylon scourers can be used.  Use safety gogels when cutting, dusk mask or respirator when mixing powdered grouts and adhesives and latex or rubber gloves when spreading grouts and adhesives.

Cement-based mortar is the traditional adhesive.  It consists of powdered cement, sand, and water.  The coarser the sand the harder the set mortar.  A polymer additive or enhancer is sometimes added to increase strength and flexibility.  It should be thick and smooth, the consistency of heavy mud.  Slower setting and waterproof varieties should be used.  Acrylic-based or epoxy could also be used if they are waterproof.  Grouts are the same as cement-based mortar but they use fine sand.  Grout hazes or specks can be removed with dilute hydrochloric.

Making Mosaics:  Wear safety glasses or gogles when cutting tesserae, since you might be holding a small tesserae close to your eyes and nose when cutting, a dust mask is advisable.  A mess is inevitable so work in an easily cleanable area.  Make sure tesserae are clean before cutting as it is much more difficult to clean small pieces. If they are stuck to paper or mesh, clean with warm soapy water and let dry overnight.  For figures make a life-size pencil drawing.  Th cot small square glass and ceramic tiles overlap the edges only about 1/8” (3mm),  you can “nibble” the edges to make curved shapes.  Mosaics are made in two ways, in the most common, (direct) the tesserae are stuck face up directly on the base.  The other way (indirect) the tesserae are stuck face down to a paper drawing with a water-soluble glue.  The composed mosaic is then placed, upside down, on a bed of mortar.  When the mortar is hardened the paper can be soaked off and the piece grouted.  The advantage is that the design can be completed elsewhere and the finished mosaic has a very flat surface.  You can either place the cement on the base and stick the tesserae on it or you can “butter” each tesserae with cement and stick them on individually.  In making a detailed design it is best to cut all the pieces first and layout the design on a table first.  This is not necessary for larger or random areas.  You can make a design on the base by using carbon paper, draw on the reverse side of the drawing in soft pencil and rub over the design with a hard pencil or by directly drawing on the base.  On level surfaces start at the middle of the design, on vertical surfaces start at the bottom.  Vertical surfaces would require a somewhat thicker consistency in the cement to keep the pieces from slipping down.

Grouting:  Let an indoor mastic dry for at least 24 hours before grouting.  Color grout by following the mfg... instructions.  Wear a mask.  Mix in color a little at a time.  It will lighten as it dries.  Remove any cement that rises above the mosaic surface.  Wearing rubber gloves, use a plastic spatula or squeegee, spread the grout all over the mosaic, making sure to press it into all holes. Use your fingers to get into difficult places.  Wait for it to cure for about 20 minutes and wipe off the excess, use a clean lint-free cloth or a barely damp sponge.  Then buff with another clean cloth or a piece of scrunched up newspaper.  Scrub off stubborn flecks with a non-scratch nylon scourer a small wooden implement.  Dried films can be removed with HCl.  You can slightly alter the color after finishing by mixing a thin acrylic wash and wiping it off immediately with a cloth.

Mosaic Portrait:  See scanned graphic.  
1.  Sketch the design on the base.
2.  The tesserae are cut into small squares and rectangles.  The flow of the tesserae shapes the contours.  Larger areas use full tiles.  
3.  Lay out the critical areas (eyes, mouth) before drawing on the base.
4.  Transfer the complete design to the base.
5.  Her design is on a level surface so she worked the eyes first, difficult for vertical.

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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Web Page   Paul McFedries

Not a bad book.  A little irreverent but I tend to be that way also.  My major complaint is that some of the code is not tightly linked to the results.  I would like to see more minimal code examples compared to the brief output of a browser.  It has a CD with lots of examples given in the text but in some cases they are not exactly the same as the text.  Going back and forth between the examples and the text you can get everything but you have to dig a bit.  That is OK for students reading a book for the first time but it is a little awkward for using it as a reference.  There are times when a nice little list or table can clear up a lot of confusion, some examples of this are lists, tables, and frames.  The info is there, but as I said before, it takes a lot of digging.

C1  A Brief intro to HTML and the Web
C2  Basic structure of HTML, the SKELETON of a web page
C3  Formatting: Text styles, paragraphs, preformatted text, lines <hr>, fonts, colors
C4  Lists: bullets, numbers, letters, definition list
C5  Hyperlinks:  internal, external, email, ftp
C6  Pictures: <img src=”X “>, size, alignment
C7  Publishing pages:  the mechanics of getting a web site published, meta descriptions
C8  Images as links: <a href=”name”><img src=”image.gif”></a>, web page toolbars, image maps
C9  Tables
C10  Fancy Stuff: marquees, sounds, video, re-route browsers
C11  Forms:  submit button, text box, text area, check box, radio button, CGI
C12  Frames
C13  Style Sheets:  Intro, <style> tag, external SS, inline styles, style classes
C14  Styles: font style, typeface, weight, decorations, color, indenting
C15  Styles: boxes, borders, lines, margins, positions
C16  Intro to JavaScript:  simple examples, anti-spam, date & time
C17  JavaScript: mouseovers, passwords, drop-down lists, mandatory lists,
C18  Java Programming:  brief discussion and a couple of examples.
C19-C22  Brief descriptions of several HTML editors, Netscape Composer, Microsoft Office, FrontPage,  and a few others.
C23  Tips:  Check spelling & grammar, 1 topic per page, link to all from home page, consistent layout, use graphics responsibly
C24  HTML resources on the Web
C25  How to make money as a HTML programmer

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How to Do Everything With Your Genealogy   George G. Morgan

A very good and up to date (2004) description of genealogical research, both searching for original archives in government and other offices and on the internet.  I will probably buy this book for my personal library when I get around to delving more deeply into my own ancestry.

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Secrets of Successful Rail-Trails     Karen-Lee Ryan & Julie A. Winterich, Ed.      July 2006
        An Acquisition and Organizing Manual for Converting Rails into Trails  ©1993

Introduction  In 1916 the US had 270,000 miles of train tracks.  By the early 1990's 150,000 of these miles had been abandoned.  Trains are one of the most energy efficient means of transportation (and leave a very small human footprint on the earth) and helped America create the strongest economy on the earth.  Rail-banking preserves these rights-of-way for future generations (who will almost undoubtedly have much higher energy costs).  Rail trails serve as recreation areas for many types of users.  They usually act as economic assets to local businesses, they can generate up to $1.26 million dollars annually for towns through which they pass.  Home owners generally notice an increase in the selling price of their homes when a trail is close by.  Some trail proposals generate controversy and opposition when they are proposed.  There are three "secrets" of building a successful trail.
  1. building a solid, broad based citizen coalition
  2. forming a strong partnership with a government agency
  3. developing a written plan of action.
C1  Wouldn't Those Tracks Make a Nice Trail?  There are many successful Rail-Trail Projects, from Seattle to Florida, from Boston to the midwest.  The first step is to conduct an initial assessment.
  1. Are the tracks still used?
  2. Are the track and ties still in place?
  3. Is the route scenic and does it have views?
  4. Does the corridor connect to community resources such as a river or lake front, parks, playgrounds, schools or stores?
  5. Does the corridor have historical structures?
  6. If developed into a trail, could the corridor become a tourist attraction?
C2  Building and Strengthening your Coalition.
The first step is to Develop a Broad-Based Constituency.  This blunts opposition and forms a base for all further activities, potential supporters include:
Some of these will be easy to find and some not.  Some tips to assist in finding these organizations are:
Hold an Organizational Meeting  Reserve an accessible, neutral location for a convenient meeting time and then send a concise and attractive invitation to your list of groups.  Make everyone feel comfortable, coffee and donuts are a worthwhile investment.  Distribute copies of a typed agenda so that everyone feels involved in the process and is clear on what to expect.  Allow time for people to introduce themselves, identify their organizations, and tell why they are interested in a trail.  Begin the meeting by clearly showing the route on a detailed map that identifies significant features along the way.  A slide show, video or PowerPoint presentation is often appropriate.  Possibly have speakers discussing items of interest, features on the trail, history of the abandonment, the projected legal process, and the current stance of local politicians.  Arrange ahead of time for speakers on these topics.  Leave time for questions and discussion.  The purpose of this first meeting is to stimulate interest.  Strive to reach agreement on forming a rails-to-trails coalition and begin the process of naming your trail.  Select a working name for the project, if this is not acceptable to most attendants one idea is to have a contest to name the project.  Select a chairperson (or coordinator) and create several key committees for research, publicity, fund raising, and legal affairs.  This meeting is not a press event.  The first meeting is too early to "go public".

Develop an Organizational Structure for Your Group  Proper organization is very important.  Proper structure requires a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Committee Chairs.  Consider setting up an Advisory Board of prominent local citizens who are interested in participating in less time-consuming ways.  Showing that prominent people support your activities is an excellent way of convincing politicians and the public that yours is a serious group and may garner additional support.  Committee roles and duties should be clearly defined with specific duties assigned.
Strengthen Your Coalition  After your first few meetings  you should be well organized.  Now you must sell your ideas to the larger community.

Develop a Clear Message  Prepare documentation or talking points to market your trail.  Your message should at least address the following topics:
If you believe that a governmental agency should manage your trail you should be working with them from the beginning.

Take your Message to Community Organizations  Once you have defined your message include in your presentation a detailed, easy-to-read map showing the route.  Develop a slide show or video presentation.  Develop a speakers bureau, match the speaker to the audience.  Take your presentation to as many meetings as possible.  Some groups have open "Info Meetings" for the public.  Develop a trail logo that can be put on stationery, hats, t-shirts, posters, etc.  It should be kept simple so that it can be reproduced easily in any size.

Use Volunteers for Corridor Clean-Up and Construction and any other projects that need doing.

Undertake a Fundraising Campaign  Even though many people are uncomfortable with fundraising it is almost essential and will allow your group to:
Be sure that you have a procedure ready to go.  Often people will offer to help without being asked.  The book mentions many possible fund raising events.  It is probably a good idea to be registered as a tax-deductible (known as a "501 (c)(3)" organization) by the Internal Revenue Service.  As well as asking for cash donations, ask for donations of in-kind services.  At first make it clear that that any donations are for your organizational expenses and not for purchase of the trail.  That aspect will come later.

C3  Developing a Feasibility Study
 Nearly every successful rail-to-trail effort has achieved its initial level of public support by preparing a well-researched feasibility study.  A feasibility study should be a brief, clear, and compelling 8-12 page report.  It should be your first priority.  It should not cover the technical research about abandonment status, property ownership, deed history, or past governmental involvement.  You want to follow the line through history, names, places, and events concerning local culture, explain alternative present uses, and paint a picture of what it could be in the future.

Introduction  route, endpoints, length
    Location   towns, refer to maps attached to the document
    Natural features  rivers, creeks, lakes, vistas, etc.
    Physical structures  bridges, trestles, road crossings
    Historical background  railroad data, passenger or freight, excursions, connecting to historical sites, contribute to the development of the area
    Compatibility with any master plans
    Relationship to national and local rail-trail recreation
Benefits  recreation  bicycling, parks, playgrounds, etc., link to other trails
Purposeful non-motorized transportation  could it be used for commuting to work or school
Environmental  buffer between incompatible uses, wildlife conservation, traverse wetlands that are protected from development
Economic development  boost local businesses, restaurants, motels, tourism, land values
Conclusion  summary of key benefits to the community, outline next steps to be taken such as: researching deeds, appraising land, securing right-of-way, finding a management agency, planning fundraising.
Distribute your study: local parks and recreation, transportation departments, mayor, county commissioners, governor, state DNR, members of legislature and congress, private non-profit groups with in interest in trails and recreation, neighborhood and civic associations, educators, Rails-To-Trails Conservancy.  Include a request for a letter of endorsement and ask for reactions.

C4  Working with Landowners and Opposition  Why would someone oppose a rail-trail?  Possible increase in crime or vandalism, possible liability, want the property themselves, believe that government should not provide things to people, want payment for public access.  Many have no negative opinion but are persuaded to oppose it because of other landowners.  It is a mistake to try to bypass landowners.  Most opponents become supporters after a while.  Liability - Most public agencies who own trails have almost no increase in insurance bills.  State laws make it clear that trail users who cross onto private property are trespassing so there is no liability.  To show that a landowner is liable for injuries sustained on his property the landowner would have to be engaging in willful and wanton misconduct.  They would have to charge a fee for access onto their property to become liable.  What are some of the ways to work with the opposition?
C5  Working with Government Agencies  Do not expect a government agency to take your idea and run with it.  You will probably have to do most of the work for many years.  Most agencies are already "maxed out" and will require political approval before providing any assistance.  You will have to search for an agency that will be able to provide the services you need.  Most states have state trail planners who can help.  Even if an agency can/will not assist, there may be individual staff members who can provide assistance on their own time.  You can use the political process to help remove any political or financial restraints placed on an agency.  The National Park Service has a program, The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program can and has offered technical assistance in trail planning and organization.  There are governmental organizations, Army National Guard, State Conservation Corps, etc. who can provide support if it can be provided within their mandate.

C6  What is the Status of Those Tracks?
 The first things to know is the legal definition of abandonment with regards to railroads, the ownership of the rail corridor, and the current status of the rail corridor.  There are many groups that play a part in this and if you have gotten this far you will probably want an attorney on board.  By this time you should have three important pieces of information:
C7  What to Do if the Line is Soon to be Abandoned  "Railbanking:"  Section 8(d) of the National Trails System Act.  Railbanking does not abandon a rail line, it holds it in trust for the time when another railroad would like to build a rail-line in its place.  During this interim period of time, the property can be put to other uses, for example, trails which would not destroy its usefulness as a future railroad.  The process almost always requires a lawyer and it is time limited, you can not wait and discuss the issue, you must act fast.  The book contains a lot of detail on this process.

C8  What to Do if the Line is Already Abandoned  There are 4 options.  If you have the money you can buy the corridor, if you are lucky you can negotiate a donation from the owner of the rail-line, you can share the line with another user (primarily governmental or utilities that need rights of way for power lines, sewers, etc.), or you can pressure for public acquisition of the route.

C9  Negotiating with a Railroad  Railroad corridors are usually perceived as being quite valuable by the railroad.  Railroads will often not even respond to inquiries from citizens groups unless they are perceived as having a lot of money.  The railroad needs (ask the stockholders) to get as much money as possible for the property.  Negotiations with a railroad should be performed by trained and experienced persons.  Toxic wastes, cuts, buildings, rails, ties, ballast, tunnels, trestles, etc. are all items to be considered.

C10  Publicity  One of the main tools of rails-to-trails campaigns is publicity.  There are many forms this may take and there are numerous books on this topic.  Before a serious publicity campaign is started these sources should be utilized unless a formal publicity organization is engaged.  Some of the basic requirements are the following.
C11  Finding Acquisition and Development Funds  Finding funding for trails is not easy.  ISTEA  (Intermodal Surface Transportation Act "Ice Tea") is a federal transportation act which considers air quality, energy conservation, alternative transportation modes, etc.  It specifically mentions abandoned railway corridors and trails.  Every state is allocated an amount of money, for example Washington was allocated $44 million.  It requires states to develop 20 year plans which include trails.  The first step in applying for funding is to prepare a feasibility study.  The book has several suggestions for applying for these funds.  Other funding sources include Land and Water Conservation  Fund through the Department of Interior, Wallop-Breaux Fund for sport fishing through the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Community Development Block Grand Program through HUD, state DNR funds, city or county parks departments, foundations and trust funds, salvage for rails, tracks, ballast, leasing corridors for utility use, private sources, specific quasi-governmental organizations like the TVA and perhaps Bonneville Power, Natuonal Guard and other governmental groups for volunteer labor and materials.

C12  Working with Elected Officials  Numerous suggestions, their job is to work with people and to get elected.  Do not see them as adversaries, work with them.  Try to look at things from their point of view, they have many demands for money, if it is an adversarial contest someone will loose.  Try to build coalitions and work with other competing needs for money to advance mutual goals.  If you work with others you have a good chance of getting some of what you want.  Help politicians in their need for publicity and they may help you when you need support.  Make them feel the need to support you because your cause has a great deal of support and they want to get on the "correct" side of that support.  When you have a success make them a part of it in cutting ribbons, receiving awards and speaking at success meetings.

C13  Working with the Business Community
 As a part of your original organization you may want to set up a Business Subcommittee.  Determine which business would likely benefit from the creation of a new trail.  These businesses should be contacted very early.  Next approach businesses that have a track record of supporting community related activities.  Some trail organizations create a catalog of items that would be appropriate for gift giving.

C14  "Friends of the Trails"
Most successful trails need an advocacy group provide labor, political support, and public visibility.  Some specific items include physical labor for cleanup, minor repairs, and construction of support facilities, surveillance and reporting of dangers or inappropriate activities, fundraising for structures and amenities not included in a regular trail budget, maps, newsletter and other information about the trail, and promotion of the trail throughout the region and state.  There should be a legal separation between the trail managing agency and the "Friends" group.  Sometimes this process can be a little tricky when the developers of the trail see themselves as being phased out.

 The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is continually developing material to assist in constructing trails.  A parallel document is Trails for the 21st Century: A Planning, Design, and Management Manual for Multi-Use Trails.  You can also check the Web at  The book has a number of Appendices of resources that may be valuable in the design, funding, construction, and maintenance of a trail.  

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The Macintosh Designer's Guide to Digital Imaging    Carl Sesto

C1  Photoshop Essentials  Basic mouse click stuff
C2  Resolution and File Size  Bits, bytes, pixels, bit depth, resolution, compression
C3  Ratios & Rulers  Photoshop stuff
C4  Pixels, Dots, & Spots  Resolution (dpi / lpi) *2 + 1 = pixels
C5  Setting up your Monitor  White point, colorimeters
C6  Scanning  Types, resolution, bit depth, software
C7  Photo CD Resolution
C8  Rotate & Copy Precisely  Cropping tools & precise rotation
C9  Adjust Size & Resolution
C10 Adjust Gray Values  Brightness / Contrast, Levels, Correcting dark images - levels and curves
C11  Color Correcting  Controls, color balance, curves, hue / saturation
C12  Combining Images  Sealing, drag & drop, layers
C13  Unsharp Masking  Unsharp masking shapes edges, to much can create halo's and dark lines around edges, recommended 200-250% and radius of .5 to 1 pixels
C14  Retouching Defects  Rubber stamp tool, dust and scratch filters
C15  Creative enhancements  Tools, blur / sharpen, smudge, enhance shadow detail
C16  Saving Your File  Formats, Photoshop: fast, lossless compression, EPS: good for printing, TIFF: many programs can read and process
C17  Color Models  RGB (video additive), CMYK (paper, subtractive)
C18  Managing Color  Color Management Systems and separations
C19  Duotones  Mainly a concern with high quality print media
C20  Page Placement  Using page layout programs
C21  Separations for Printmaking  Techniques for making (large) posters/prints

A very old (1996) book aimed at introducing a computer illiterate photographer to the wonders of computer processing.  Most of the tools and programs are way out of date but some of the basic ideas are not bad.

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Who let the Blogs Out, A Hyper-connected Peek at the World of Weblogs   Biz Stone

What are blogs, how did they start, how do you make one for yourself?  I just may do this myself.    

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Deploying License-Free Wireless Wide-Area Networks    Jack Unger  Cisco Press 2003

C1  Introduction  He defines broadband as 128kb and up.  In 1985 the FCC published standards for license-free data broadcasting, 1-low power, 1 watt max.  2-Spread Spectrum Modulation. and 3-Three available frequency ranges (900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, and 5.8 GHz).  In 1997 they added three bands between 5.1 and 5.8 GHz.  Spread spectrum was invented by the movie star Hedy Lamar in the late 1930's.  There are two types of spread spectrum, Frequency Hopping (jump from 1 to another rapidly) and Direct Sequence (the signal covers several frequencies).  Some safety concerns:  Heights, microwave energy, weather, lightning, personal safety, and climbing.

C2  Wireless Fundamentals  When you change the direction of electron flow in a wire or antenna, you create electromagnetic waves.  they travel 186,000 miles per second and they switch direction each time you switch the electron flow.  If you change the electron flow 2.45 billion times a second (2.45 GHz) the wave length is 4.8 in.  {wavelength = 11,811/frequency in MHz}, thus the wavelength of a 5.775 Ghz signal is 2 in.  Attenuation: signal loss (resistance, friction, etc.) as the signal passes through a wire or other obstruction.  Microwaves can reflect off of buildings or water.  This usually causes interference.  Most wireless calculations are done in decibels or dB.  These are log measurements so they can be added instead of worrying about inverse square relationships.

Antennas radiate their energy in specific patterns caused by the physical shape of the antenna and their electrical properties.  If you look at any electromagnetic wave from the side it bulges in the middle and shrinks to a point at the ends, like a lens.  If some physical object extends into this lens, it attenuates the signal.  The lens shape is called the Fresnel (frA-nel) zone.  To calculate size of the Fresnel zone at a given point you need the distance (in miles) to the point from one side (d1), the distance (in miles) to the point from the other point (d2), and the frequency (f) in GHz.  The equation for this is diameter (in feet) = .6 * sqrt ( (d1*d2) / (f * (d1+d2) ) ).  The .6 factor reflects that there is usually no significant attenuation unless more than 60% of the Fresnel zone is blocked.  If we do the calculation for d1=d2=1 mile for visible (green) light (577,000 GHz) we get a result of .48 in.  If we shine a green light from 2 miles away, you can see it just fine unless a sharp edge is less than 1/2 in. away from being directly between you and the light.  If you do the same calculation for a 2.4 GHz signal you start to get significant interference if a sharp edge is within 20 feet of the line between you and the signal source.

Power Budgets:  Calculate power budgets by adding up, transmitter power, transmitter coax loss, transmitter antenna gain, free-space path loss, receiver antenna gain, receiver coax loss, and receiver sensitivity.  The free-space path loss is measured in dB and is given by the equation, PL = 96.6 + 10*log(d**2) + 10*log(f**2) where d is miles and f is frequency in GHz.  At 1 mile the loss for 2.4 GHz is 104 dB and at 2 miles it is 110 dB, for 5.7 GHz at 1 mile it is 112 dB and at 2 miles it is 118 dB.

C3  Network Architecture  Point-to-point architecture is the simplest. Point-to-multipoint architecture is more complex, more possible users, the multipoint can be broken down into sectors, many more things to consider when installing equipment.  Cellular architecture usually consists of several multipoint access points linked to a central hub.  The links may be either wireless or wired.  Cellular allows larger or more complex areas to be given access.  Cellular is also more difficult to set up and administer.  Mesh architecture is more complex technically but it can be much simpler to administer.  Each user must be able to connect to an existing user and each user needs a router that is capable of forwarding packets.  However once the basic structure is established adding new users can be relatively simple even without line-of-sight access to a primary access point.  Unger ends the chapter with a section on selecting and a rough design of network architecture.  

C4  Performing Site Surveys  There are two parts of a site survey, the physical and the radio frequency (RF).  Physical Survey: Contact the owner, be prepared (info and equipment), place to put your electronics, minimize distance between equipment and antenna, access, routing of cables, survey site, placement of antenna (pointing, mounting, height, grounding).  There is a sample form on page 106.  RF Survey: Obtain test equipment (purchase, lease, contract services), understand a spectrum analyzer, test in a controlled situation, test possible sites for antennas.  Negotiate for permission to install an access point.

C5  Selecting Antenna Systems  A dipole antenna is 1/2 wavelength long and looks (electrically) like a fluorescent light tube.  It radiates to the sides and the radiation pattern is like a circle.  Several (say 4) driven elements mounted in a straight line will tend to flatten out the radiation pattern so that it extends farther but not so deep.  A reflector can be mounted 1/4 wavelength from the driven element.  It will bounce the signal back so that most of the energy goes in one direction.  A reflector should be about 5% greater than the size of the driven element.  A reflector can be parallel to the driven element or it can be curved.  A director is about 5% less than the driven element.  It acts like a lens to focus the radiation pattern.  It is on the side that you wish the signal to be stronger.  A Yagi antenna contains both reflectors and directors.  Antennas are polarized, they are typically vertical or horizontal but can also be circular or crossed.  For good reception, both the sender and the receiver antenna must have the same polarization.  Circular polarization is most commonly used in environments with reflective surfaces.

Types of antennas:  Omnidirectional - usually mounted vertically, gains of 6-8 dB.  Yagi - multiple elements, quite directional, gains can be up to 20 dB.  Corner reflector, quite simple, gains as high as 15 dB.  Parabolic reflector, a curved dish, depending on the size the gain can be between 18 and 24 db.  Very directional.  Panel antennas, a flat metallic reflector with active elements in front of it, very unobtrusive, often called sector antennas as they can be directional to 30, 60, or 120 degrees and can be used for isolating sectors of customers.  Unger finishes the chapter by discussing methods of isolating antennas so that they do not interfere with each other, using multiple antennas to cover separate sectors, and some of the specific details about antenna mounting and cabling.

C6  Evaluating and Selecting Wireless Equipment  His first statement in this chapter is to not believe anything you read about equipment.  The field is changing so fast, and new equipment is coming out on a weekly basis, that anything that is written is almost instantly out of date.  He can only describe a particular moment and suggest general principles.  The first step is to review your equipment needs with regard to your network design.  Then you can research your proposed equipment, visit working sites, test possible equipment in the lab, and then test it in the field before purchasing.  If it then works, take the big step and buy.

He next discusses the OSI and TCP/IP specifications, essential to understand but too complex for this discussion.  Next are the wired port features, Low-speed ports, Ethernet ports, and high-speed ports (DSL, cable, T1-1.544 Mb, E1-2.048 Mb, T3-45 Mb, OC3-155 Mb, and OC12-622 Mb), voice, and security.  Wireless features - Bands (900 MHz: bandwidth 26 MHz, greatest resistance to obstacles;  2.4 GHz: bandwidth 83 MHz, low resistance to obstacles; 3.5 GHz: not available in the US; 5 GHz: 4 subbands, total of 425 MHz bandwidth, little resistance to obstacles; 60 GHZ: bandwidth is 5 GHz for a total throughput of up to 622 MHz, no resistance to obstructions-need line of sight, it is attenuated by oxygen in the air so the maximum path in air is about 1/2 mile.)

An expansion of the earlier discussion of modulation types.  Bandwidth is typically twice as great as throughput (actual data transfered) for most wireless applications.  Brief discussions of many topics related to ethernet protocol concerns.  Too many and too specific to repeat, essential for the system designer, installer, and managers.

C7  Installing Wireless Systems  Three stages, planning, installation, testing.  Planning:  Of the many possible technical options, choose only a few to use in your system.  Be safety conscious, use proper tools, verify all steps before you start.  Installation:  SAFETY!  Details for tower and rooftop.  Cabling, guy wires, raising the antenna, lightning protection.  Testing:  Measure the throughput, fade margins, and internet access.  Document and preserve all test results.  

C8  Solving Noise and Interference Problems  Understand (measure) SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio).  Know where your noise is coming from and measure (record) the amount and timing of external noise sources.  Equipment to use is a spectrum analyzer, directional antenna, compass, map, attenuators.  Monitor (record) network performance for SNR, retransmission percentage, and ping latency.

C9  Providing Broadband Access  A basic business "How To" chapter.  Isolated topics on how to run a successful business, avoid known problems, keeping customers happy, dealing with the FCC, network security, coexisting with other providers, etc.  He does recommend using a commercial, licensed radio for high speed backhauls.  Radios in this range (6, 11, 18, and 23 GHz) typically cost about the same as a good quality license free (802.11) radio and the license typically costs about $2,000 for 10 years from the FCC and can be availiable in 45 days after you first apply for the license.

Unger includes 3 appendices and an index.  These are a summary of the 802.11 and 802.16 standards, a list of hardware, software, and service provider organizations, and answers to chapter review questions.

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The Mosaic Idea Book   Rosalind Wates

The book starts off with many of the basics discussed above.  The book is mainly composed of a number of examples with a couple of variations each.

Leaping Hare p 32, Goat p 34, Snail p 39, Curly Lizard p 43, Wriggling Snake p 44, Dove p 47, Dragonfly p 54, Bee p 55, Salmon p 65, Swimming Turtle p 61, Fan Shell p 63, Flower Symbol p 68, Oak Leaf p 74, Skeleton Leaf p 75, Swaying Tree p 78, Cut Apple p 94, Bunch of Grapes p 96, Ducks p 120, Dog p 121, Two Doves p 125.

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Getting it Right                       Mary H. Slawson                  Nov 2007
            Subtitled:  The Definitive Guide to Recording Family History Accurately

This is NOT a how-to-do-it book on how to do genealogy or family history.  It is a book on how to spell it right and put in the right columns and headings.  It will not help a bit in your own personal genealogy with 500 or less people being recorded.  If you are planning on submitting thousands of records to the Mormon Church and a lot of them are from countries other than the USA you will probably want to have this reference work on your desk.

It is really a book of lists with explanations of many of the entries which might not be obvious to many readers.  It is not really a how-to book with respect to the use of genealogy programs - especially those with close ties to the Mormon Church - it is a book telling you about the proper terms and how to use them when entering data into the many fields of these programs.  Much of it is devoted to foreign names, titles, and obscure church relationships.  This is very reasonable because it is the unfamiliar terms that cause the most problem.  Most of us are just not up on English, French, Dutch, and East Indian heraldry.

The book is well documented with Appendices A-F on 16 pages and a 27 page index.

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