Bert JW Regeer (畢傑龍)

An engineers technical notebook (a.k.a new blog)

If you are still reading this blog (all 5 of you out there according to Google Webmaster1), then you may have noticed that most of the content has been technical in nature, at least, that is what most of it has been lately. The idea is to save notes about setups I have done so that I can refer back to them at a later time, for a long time I've been wanting to do that on a domain called, but I just never really like the name for just a blog, I have other ideas for it.

Recently I was going through domain registration again and I was looking at a list of domains that I wanted, but couldn't get because at the time I looked they were already taken. I got lucky, I finally got and immediately purchased the two.

So without further ado, I introduce my new technical notebook named funcptr which is where I will be writing longer length, well thought out (hopefully) articles. The whole idea is for me to start writing down the solutions to technical problems I have encountered in both software engineering as well as system administration and various other technical tasks. It won't be strictly limited to software but will also include hardware projects, and electronics.

I hope you go over and take a look. I am slowly but surely migrating technical content from this blog to funcptr such as my NAT with pf on an interface with multiple IP addresses article that describes a problem I ran into with PF automatically enabling round-robin causing issues because the secondary IP address was not on the same network as the default gateway and thus NAT didn't function as you'd expect. I am setting up 301 redirects so if you have linked to a post here before, don't worry, it will transparently send you to the correct location!

Let me know if you have any suggestions, you can find my contact information on my portfolio site: contact Bert.

  1. I think Google Webmaster shows me the amount of people that have my RSS feed added to Google Reader... not entirely sure how else they are getting that statistic. 

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Jamie Oliver, also known as the Naked Chef is a well known british chef that has done several different TV programs as well as written some excellent cookbooks. He was able to start a revolution in his home country to get the school menu changed so that kids are eating healthier food, and thus grow up to be healthier kids.

He has taken this message to Huntington, West Virginia where he was met with resistance and close minded people who did not want to make a change because of how it had been done for years. Jamie kept going even with the amount of resistance, he persevered and after just two episodes of his new TV show "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" available on Hulu (watch the episodes).

He was also recently awarded a TED prize wish, to teach every child about food, where he discusses some of the things he encountered in his first episode of the TV show.

Jamie has a petition available on his website, and I urge you to go sign it to show support for not just a healthier United States, but World in general. Teaching people how to cook for themselves is an absolute must, having people learn how to take care of themselves, what goes into their food, and what goes into their bodies.

I'll be the first to admit that I am not the healthiest person, and yes the first two episodes of the show hit close to home, I don't always eat the healthiest food I can find, especially since I don't always like cooking for myself, and fast food is so much, faster and easier.

My wish is for Jamie to succeed in helping change the way the United States looks at food and what is acceptable for people to put into their bodies. Getting rid of even 10% of all processed food will make the United States a healthier place to live and eat, and will lower healthcare costs in the long run as less people will need medicine and medical procedures to help them stay alive because of the amount of grease in their arteries.

Once again, I urge you to please go sign the petition, watch the TED prize wish, and watch the TV show. And if you too, are in the same boat I am in, start making a positive change in your life.

Arizona; I'm here to stay for a little longer

Major corporation contacted me this past monday while I was in Colorado (Helped a friend move there!), and unfortunately they do not think they have a place for me on their team.

On the 15th of January I had my first interview with the corporation, and unfortunately I really think I didn't get hired because of that interview. During the interview I was extremely nervous and was unable to calm my nerves as I was unable to gauge the feelings of the guy on the other end of the phone. The connection quality was extremely low and there was much static as such I had to repeat much of what I said during the interview multiple times, and had to ask for the interviewer to repeat the questions. During this same interview I also completely blanked out and mixed up seven different programming languages. Afterwards when I was able to think clearly again I realised how easy the question was and implemented what the interviewer had asked for in minutes.

The second interview came an hour later. This one went extremely well, best of all the phone connection was perfect so I was able to understand the interviewer and him me. He was interested in some of the projects I had worked on in the past and was able to get me to loosen up and feel more at ease. The programming questions he asked me were easy to implement and I did much better, this time writing almost valid C++ programs without any significant issues. The guy was much more easy going, and we even had a pretty good conversation over email after the interview was over regarding the Near Space program I was a part of.

As mentioned before, I did not get the job. I was really looking forward to it as it would provide some very unique and interesting challenges that I wouldn't have been able to find at any other workplace. Great perks and benefits and I would have been amongst some of the smartest people in the world. I'm attempting to put it all behind me. I've been firing off my resume to all kinds of different job opportunities. If you happen to know anyone that is hiring a computer programmer/software engineer with experience in Unix based operating systems and a big interest in hardware design (electronics) please contact me using as my email address.


Before I went on vacation I decided to purchase a Flickr Pro account to upload my staggering amount of pictures to the internet so that I could more easily share with my friends and family. Please feel free to peruse my Flickr Photostream. I took some pictures while I was on break in Hoboken from across the Hudson towards New York, I personally find them to be absolutely fantastic, so please take a look at my pictures of New York during the day and night. I've always loved doing night photography of cities and towns, but never really get the opportunity to do so. These pictures were taken from the balcony in my dads apartment, which is right on the river.


In closing I just wanted to link to the XKCD comic that was just published a couple of hours ago: Spirit. Now, generally XKCD's comics are funny, however this one just hit close to home as I have always thought of the robots I have built as beings, as equals. The first thought that came to mind was Fry's dog in Futurama. It is by far one of the saddest scenes in Futurama invoking some very powerful emotions. Randall does a good job in personifying Spirit in this cartoon! I really have to stop cutting onions while browsing the web!

Late nights and Interviews

244 is a Hardware Studio if you are to believe the sign outside of the door, however really it is just an empty workspace/lab where individuals such as myself can sit down and start doing work, or procrastinate. It is open 24/7. Every Saturday a group of ex and current students from UAT gather in the lab and sit down together to work on various projects and to just have fun. We off course have our very own resident pizza connoisseur, and everyone adds to a large pot of cash so that at around 10 PM we all get some of the best pizza available around town.

Last night was another of such nights. Some people were playing MW2, others were working on Java/C# homework and I was working on my next project. My next project is rather interesting in that it has required research on my part as to how to accomplish what I want safely. Being in the lab surrounded by people also working generally gets me working on my projects as well. I've got a general layout of the electronics involved in my head, and I know what I need to do it safely, so now I need to start gathering the parts, sampling certain chips from manufacturers and sourcing other parts that I can't sample.

All of my research gets collected in various locations, right now most of it is still in my bookmarks bar, which is starting to overflow so much that it is becoming a useless tool, I've been trying to look for a tool that can help me organise my projects far more efficiently and in a way that will allow me to add notes to web pages, or at least to links.

My phone screens with the large company I mentioned in my previous post went okay. The first phone screen I was extremely nervous and was unable to really understand the guy on the other because of a bad phone connection (It was his end, my phone had full signal strength). Not only that, but I felt that he wasn't really interested and I couldn't get a good vibe from him. I was so nervous my brain melted together multiple programming languages to create a mish-mash of crap that wouldn't compile unless you happened to write a parser that could take JavaCPythonJavaScriptRubyC++Scheme syntax. If you have done so, well kudos to you! The second phone screen went much better, this interviewer was interested in my Near-Space balloon launches which helped ease my mind, and while on the interview he was able to give me feedback, tell me a little bit about himself and just in general provide some banter while I was trying to program which really helped. Hopefully they average the two of them out, and I get a passing grade. Now the waiting game starts all over though, so I hope to hear back from them within the next week. I really hope I didn't screw it up for myself.

2010 -- Where is HAL to tell me that it can't do this?

The absence, or rather outdated blog posts on this blog have a myriad of different reasons for existing, and while I feel guilty for not having updated nearly as often as I believe I should have it was with good reason.

2009 was my year. It was the year that I completed an awesome internship courtesy AEC Consultants, and it was also the year that I completed my last two semesters (I took a break over the summer, my first break in eight semesters of non-stop schooling). This past December 22nd, 2009 I turned in my last assignments and my paperwork for my degree application. If everything goes right (and that is a big if, considering UAT has screwed people over before), I will have finally graduate with a Bachelor in Computer Science: Software Engineering, or something along those lines. It took me nine semesters, over a three year period to complete my degree.

Only recently has it begun to sink in that finally I am considered to have the knowledge and the know-how to be responsible enough to WORK somewhere. Society believes that people that own a simple little piece of paper that says I have a degree means I can be a meaningful part of society. Little did they know they were wrong, but let them dream! ;-).

Yes, this also means that this time I am looking for a full-time work position. In the past year I have found that Phoenix is not exactly the greatest city for finding work in the software engineering field, however I will keep looking.

There is one thing going for me, a major company located in California contacted me, and asked me if I would like to work for them. I eagerly answered yes, and I am now going through their very rigorous and stringent interview process. To me it is an interesting challenge and so far I am actually enjoying it.

A new chapter has started in my life, and it was started in full with the change from 2009 to 2010. Kind of fitting that my life takes a major new turn, with new roads and new obstacles after society as a whole celebrates having lived yet another 365 days through four different seasons (there where seasons exist, Phoenix does not count).