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Name: Dale Mahalko
Email: dmahalko at
Residence: Gilman, WI, USA
Occupation: IT Administrator
Employers: Two K-12 public schools

Mahalko in other languages[edit]

Searching Google for the surname Mahalko turns up many unusual links. This is because the phrase "mahal ko" and "mahal ka" translates to "my love" or "i love you" in various southeast-Asian countries.

This appears to be an entirely accidental coincidence, because the Mahalko people emigrated from a war-torn Carpatho-Rusyn region of Eastern Europe, approximately in the region of the former Czechoslovakia.

The Americanized name is likely a transliteration of a differently-spelled or pronounced Czech name, as written down by an immigration official at Ellis island.

The original spelling was likely Mihalko or Michalka and is probably a Czech regionalized pronunciation of the Biblical name Michael.

About Me / Userbox collection[edit]

Mad scientist.svg This user is aware of how silly this huge table looks on their user page, but acknowledges that its real purpose is twofold: statistics and standardization.

While I do like Wikipedia's user boxes to quickly summarize my interests and so forth, I'm of the opinion that my ridiculously huge table of boxes is distracting from the articles I'd like to discuss. So these are now in a subpage: User:DMahalko/about me

My Agenda - Wikipedia Needs Videos![edit]

Putting video on Wikipedia is currently a big minefield of problems and glitches. In 2010 there was a big announcement about how uploading video was to become so much easier but very little has happened so far.

As of 2011, support for the free and open source video standard (Ogg) is improving in many web browsers, but still there are no clear guidelines about playback bit-rates or file sizes.

We need to hash this out. Internet society is now well into the YouTube era, and video documentation on Wikipedia is sorely lacking right now.

Image thumbnails vs Video thumbnails[edit]

A continuing technical problem is due to "thumbnailing" or inserting a small, reduced quality preview of a video into an article, which can be clicked on to view the video at a larger (or full) size.

  • For images, the WikiMedia software will transparently recompress the image to create a new, low-kilobyte thumbnail file of the larger image. This preview file is internally tracked by the WikiMedia software and is automatically substituted wherever the thumbnail image is used, to reduce Internet bandwidth requirements for readers on a slow connection such as a dial-up modem.
  • For videos, no recompression is done by the WikiMedia software when a video is shown at a smaller thumbnail size. The video playback quality and bit-rate remains the same as the original video at its full size.

Extremely large high-detail video files are not viewable by low-bandwidth readers when squished to a smaller size in this manner. It is necessary for editors to download the large video, manually recompress it on their local computer, and then re-upload the smaller video for use as a substitute in articles in place of the full-size video.

My Agenda - Wikipedia Needs Illustrations![edit]

It works like this.

I think Wikipedia needs more technical information, and it needs more pictures and illustrations. Text is relatively easy to contribute, but quality illustrations that are not copyrighted are a big problem. Who is going to provide detailed technical imagry for free? And if there are people that do this, there won't be very many. And so I am trying to provide pictures and illustrations where possible, and I won't deny that I'm taking advantage of the US Copyright law that says books are in the public domain.

My major article projects[edit]

Popular Science archive on Google Books[edit]

On Friday Feb 6, 2009 I stumbled across a massive new archive of information that has not been publicized much at all. Virtually the entire history of Popular Science has been digitized and made available for free online access by anyone. It spans back to the first issue in 1872 up to just one year behind the current published issue.

One of the big public complaints about Wikipedia is that articles are poorly cited and do not have enough background information. Well this free archive seems to be a way to greatly enhance the reliability and trustworthiness of Wikipedia articles.

Probably the best part is that the citations are very easy for anyone to verify. Just click on the Google Books link and the page instantly appears for review. Compare this with traditional citing reviews... the editor needs to physically visit a library to obtain the cited material or wait weeks for it to be delivered to them through "inter-library loan" services. Here the cite verification becomes practically instantaneous.

Subpage for Cites and Images[edit]

When I first started making citations I just randomly jumped around looking at whatever caught my eye and citing it. However, this procedure is highly random and good material may be missed. So instead I pick one issue and slowly work through it from cover to cover. When I feel the issue has been thoroughly searched I flag it as "DONE" and move onto a new issue.

Due to the immense number of issues in the archive and the potential for edits to grow into the hundreds, I moved this project to a subpage that sorts edits by issue number/date:

I was hoping to get other people interested in this as a "WikiProject" but it appears the interest level is too low for now. Oh well. Contribute to it if you want.


One suprising fact about Wikipedia is that it has such incredibly sparse agriculture-related articles. Many are still just stubs after all these years. I believe the answer here is a bit of a joke but also probably honest truth: Most farmers are too busy doing the work of farming to step back, slow down, grab a camera, and actually document what they are doing to put it on Wikipedia.

While I grew up on a dairy farm, I have zero interest in farming myself. I'll take a desk job, thanks. However, my father Ken Mahalko and older brother Kevin are continuing to profitably operate their very small 35-cow family farm, doing Management Intensive Rotational Grazing in Chippewa County in northwest Wisconsin. So I am happy to take the role of passive observer and documentarian of what they're doing, while they get on with the business of their usual farm work. ;-)

Baler article[edit]

I added a lot of content to this a few years ago, and now I'm putting in video as an experiment. We shall see how this works.

I don't think this really belongs in the baler article but bale is just a redirect to baler. So we're going to have to make do for now with the way it is.

320 kilobit Video of High Moisture Round Bale / Silage Bales... Left: Pickup and wrapping. Right: Sealing the bale ends together

History of Step Saver milking system[edit]

(Click on the images for a close-up view.)
My freehand paper drawing of how a complete Step Saver system was installed in a typical dairy barn, also including other common barn structures in the drawing for perspective on how the Step Saver was used.
DMahalko-Step-Saver-Cart-Closeup.jpg DMahalko-Step-Saver-Inside-Cart.jpg DMahalko-Step-Saver-Vacuum-Breaker.jpg
Left: A closeup view of the Step Saver cart construction, and how milk was poured from a bucket milker into the top of the Step Saver. Middle: The milk is filtered as it pours into the cart. A float ball under the screen seals the drain when the milk is sucked out. Right: How the vacuum breaker was constructed.

One of my projects is to try to find a complete and working dairy milking system from the 1950s called a Step Saver. It was a transition step between the bucket milker and the modern milking pipeline. It was a stainless steel cart with hose coiled around it that was wheeled out into the barn aisle, and saved a farmer with bucket milkers the backbreaking labor of carrying a 50 pound bucket of milk 100 ft from the cow to the bulk tank. Instead the farmer pulled the cart along as they milk cows in sequence and dump the bucket milker into the Step Saver which automatically sucked milk through the hose to the bulk tank.

The Step Saver was once extremely common and most farmers in their 50's and older probably remember using it. But, it appears that nobody ever took pictures of the system or made any effort to document it all these years. It cannot be found with Google except on articles in Wikipedia where I've written about it. I would like to correct this gap in the history of dairy equipment.

The entire system consists of a stainless steel 3-wheel cart, with a 5-inch plastic ball and filter screens inside the cart. In the milkhouse was a glass vacuum breaker device about 18 inches tall and maybe 8 inches in diameter, containing a stainless steel float ball on a vertical arm through the center of the float. There was also a washing system for cleaning after milking, and a warm air blow dryer to dry the 150 ft of milk hose on the cart after washing.

If you know where I can find a complete working Step Saver system I would like to come out and photograph it, and make a video of milk being poured into a functioning Step Saver. I would also be willing to buy new hose and rubber parts for an old mothballed system in a vacant barn, to get it back up to operational state for my documentation project.

My contact information is at the top of this page.


1917 Hawkins Electrical Guide project[edit]

This is a small 10-book set I bought on ebay for US$100, with the primary intent of scanning the images and using them in various technical articles.

1917 Hawkins Electrical Guide - Titlepage.jpg 1917 Hawkins Electrical Guide - Copyright.jpg 1917 Hawkins Electrical Guide 9 Volume Set.jpg

Since I intend to eventually scan hundreds of images from these old public domain books, the images list would be far too large to include here. Since it is a notable book due to the massive technical content useful in Wikipedia articles, I've created an article for the book, listing all the illustrations and what Wikipedia articles use each image.

Latest additions for Oscilloscope[edit]

Chapter 68: Wave Form Measurement

Hospitalier Ondograph Diagram.png Hospitalier Ondograph.png
Page 1850, Figure 2957
Main article: Oscilloscope
Description: Diagram of Hospitalier Ondograph
Page 1851, Figure 2958
Main article: Oscilloscope
Description: View of Hospitalier Ondograph
Oscillograph Duddell Moving Coil.png Oscillograph Time-Index Generator.png
Page 1858, Figure 2607
Main article: Oscilloscope
Description: Duddell Moving Coil Oscilliograph
Page 1865, Figure 2620
Main article: Oscilloscope
Description: Time-index marking generator for use with Duddell moving-coil oscillograph
Oscillograph Cinematograph Camera.png Oscillograph recorded on film.png
Page 1866, Figure 2621, 2622, 2623
Main article: Oscilloscope
Description: Interior of cinematograph camera as used on Duddell moving coil oscillograph for obtaining long records.
Page 1867, Figure 2625
Main article: Oscilloscope
Description: Oscilliograph recorded on moving film showing sparking as a high-voltage switch is opened

The quality of the line art in this book set continues to just blow me away. I will note that I've done extensive touchups to some of these images to remove 90 years of dust, dirt, smudges, and ink splotches from printing. But I see it as a labor of love, so I do not mind.

Article for the Otto engine at WMSTR[edit]

This is a video montage of the Otto engines running at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion (WMSTR), in Rollag, Minnesota. (2min 16sec, 320x240, 340kbps video)

On September 1, 2008, I went to the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion (WMSTR) for the first time. I've been wanting to go for years now, and made sure I was prepared for it by purchasing two 16 gigabyte memory cards to record video of the various antique engines and devices. I will likely be spending the next several weeks and months adding these videos to Wikipedia articles.

Wikipedia really has had nothing about the Otto engine. The page was a redirect to the four-stroke engine page but I have taken it over and I'm working on turning it into a real article specifically documenting the history and technology of this first practical four-stroke engine.

Honestly, I think every single Otto on display at WMSTR should get its own section of this article, including history and a video of each one. But I was dashing through at the end of the show and only spent about 15-20 minutes looking at them.

Dye Sublimation Printer Insecurity[edit]

RGB dye sublimation panels.jpg Dye sublimation printing insecurity.jpg

How Laser Printers work[edit]

These are my originals, whipped up with Microsoft Word, screenshotted, and saved using Windows XP Paint! It appears JPG's and even PNG's are hated by some people, but I'm not spending money to buy an SVG editor just to make other editors happy. And so these have all been redone as an SVG by others for the article.

RIP Data Flow.jpg Corona charging.jpg LaserPrinter-Writing - ReplacejJPG.png LaserPrinter-Fusing.jpg

History of the HP LaserJet[edit]

LaserJetPlus ControlPanel.jpg LaserJetPlus Montage.jpg

Portrait and Landscape Page orientation[edit]

CRT rotation and color changes.jpg Portrait LCD polarization.jpg Landscape LCD non-polarization.jpg

Where should plenum cable be used?[edit]

Building Plenum - NoPlenum.png Building Plenum - Normal.png BuildingPlenum-Unintended-BiggerYellow.png

How the old 3D game Quake ran so well[edit]

Quake Vertex Pruning Preprocessor.PNG

inkjet printer spitoon[edit]

Spittoon in HP Deskjet printer.jpg Spittoon filled with in in HP Deskjet.jpg