- Family and Friends
Archive for category Family and Friends
This is Leela. She is a 7 year old lilac white British short hair cat that lives with us. Leela had a sister who used to live with us as well but she developed a heart condition and passed away last year. Witnessing how quickly such conditions develop and evaluate we thought that we can do something to monitor Leelas health a bit to just have some sort of pre-alert if something is changing.
Kid in a Candystore
As this Internet of Things is becoming a real thing these days I found myself in a candy store when I’ve encountered that there are a couple of really really cheap options to get a small PCB with input/output connectors into my house WiFi network.
One of the main actors of this story is the so called ESP8266. A very small and affordable system-on-a-chip that allows you to run small code portions and connect itself to a wireless network. Even better it comes with several inputs that can be used to do all sorts of wonderful things.
And so it happened that we needed to know the weight of our cat. She seemed to get a bit chubby over time and having a point of reference weight would help to get her back in shape. If you every tried to weigh a cat you know that it’s much easier said than done.
The alternative was quickly brought up: Build a WiFi-connected scale to weigh her litter box every time she is using it. And since I’ve recently bought an evaluation ESP8266 I just had to figure out how to build a scale. Looking around the house I’ve found a broken human scale (electronics fried). Maybe it could be salvaged as a part donor?
A day later I’ve done all the reading on that there is a thing called “load-cell”. Those load cells can be bought in different shapes and sizes and – when connected to a small ADC they deliver – well – a weight value.
I cracked the human scale open and tried to see what was broken. It luckily turned out to have completely fried electronics but the load-cells where good to go.
Look at this load cell:
That brought down the part list of this project to:
- an ESP8266 – an Adafruit Huzzah in my case
- a HX711 ADC board to amplify and prepare the signal from the load-cells
- a human scale with just enough space in the original case to fit the new electronics into and connect everything.
The HX711 board was the only thing I had to order hardware wise – delivered the next day and it was a matter of soldering things together and throwing in a small Arduino IDE sketch.
My soldering and wiring skills are really sub-par. But it worked from the get-go. I was able to set-up a small Arduino sketch and get measurements from the load-cells that seemed reasonable.
Now the hardware was all done – almost too easy. The software would be the important part now. In order to create something flexible I needed to make an important decision: How would the scale tell the world about it’s findings?
Two basic options: PULL or PUSH?
Pull would mean that the ESP8266 would offer a webservice or at least web-server that exposes the measurements in one way or the other. It would mean that a client needs to poll for a new number in regular intervals.
Push would mean that the ESP8266 would connect to a server somewhere and whenever there’s a meaningful measurement done it would send that out to the server. With this option there would be another decision of which technology to use to push the data out.
Now a bit of history: At that time I was just about to re-implement the whole house home automation system I was using for the last 6 years with some more modern/interoperable technologies. For that project I’ve made the decision to have all events (actors and sensors) as well as some additional information being channeled into MQTT topics.
Let’s refer to Wikipedia on this:
“MQTT1 (formerly MQ Telemetry Transport) is an ISO standard (ISO/IEC PRF 20922) publish-subscribe-based “lightweight” messaging protocol for use on top of the TCP/IP protocol. It is designed for connections with remote locations where a “small code footprint” is required or the network bandwidth is limited. The publish-subscribe messaging pattern requires a message broker. Thebroker is responsible for distributing messages to interested clients based on the topic of a message. Andy Stanford-Clark and Arlen Nipper of Cirrus Link Solutions authored the first version of the protocol in 1999.”
Something build for oil-pipelines can’t be wrong for your house – can it?
So MQTT uses the notation of a “topic” to sub-address different entities within it’s network. Think of a topic as just a simple address like “house/litterbox/weight”. And with that topic MQTT allows you to set a value as well.
The alternative to MQTT would have been things like WebSockets to push events out to clients. The decision for the home-automation was done towards MQTT and so far it seems to have been the right call. More and more products and projects available are also focussing on using MQTT as their main message transport.
For the home automation I had already set-up a demo MQTT broker in the house – and so naturally the first call for the litterbox project was to utilize that.
The folks of Adafruit provide the MQTT library with their hardware and within minutes the scale started to send it’s measurements into the “house/litterbox/weight” topic of the house MQTT broker.
Some tweaking and hacking later the litterbox was put together and the actual litterbox set on-top.
Since Adafruit offers platform to also send MQTT messages towards and create neat little dashboards I have set-up a little demo dashboard that shows a selection of data being pushed from the house MQTT broker to the Adafruit.io MQTT broker.
These are the raw values which are sent into the weight topic:
You can access it here: https://io.adafruit.com/bietiekay/stappenbach
So the implementation done and used now is very simple. On start-up the ESP8622 initialises and resets the weight to 0. It’ll then do frequent weight measurements at the rate it’s configured in the source code. Those weight measurements are being monitored for certain criteria: If there’s a sudden increase it is assumed that “the cat entered the litterbox”. The weight is then monitored and averaged over time. When there’s a sudden drop of weight below a threshold that last “high” measurement is taken as the actual cat weight and sent out to a /weight topic on MQTT. The regular measurements are sent separately to also a configurable MQTT topic.
You can grab the very ugly source code of the Arduino sketch here: litterbox_sourcecode
And off course with a bit of logic this would be the calculated weight topic:
Of course it is not enough to just send data into MQTT topics and be done with it. Of course you want things like logging and data storage. Eventually we also wanted to get some sort of notification when states change or a measurement was taken.
MQTT, the cloud and self-hosted
Since MQTT is enabling a lot of scenarios to implement such actions I am going to touch just the two we are using for our house.
- We wanted to get a push notification to our phones whenever a weight measurement was taken – essentially whenever the cat has done something in the litterbox. The easiest solution: Set-Up a recipe on If This Than That (IFTTT) and use PushOver to send out push notifications to whatever device we want.
- To log and monitor in some sort of a dashboard the easiest solution seemed to be Adafruits offer. Of course hosted inside our house a combination of InfluxDB to store, Telegraf to gather and insert into InfluxDB and Chronograf to render nice graphs was the best choice.
Since most of the above can be done in the cloud (as of: outside the house with MQTT being the channel out) or inside the house with everything self-hosted. Some additional articles will cover these topics on this blog later.
There’s lots of opportunity to add more logic but as far as our experiments and requirements go we are happy with the results so far – we now regularly get a weight and the added information of how often the cat is using her litterbox. Especially for some medical conditions this is quite interesting and important information to have.
Quite an interesting read of things to have in mind when doing, you know… life 🙂
“Make time to pursue your passion, no matter how busy you are.“
I was asked if it would be possible to get the ELV MAX! Cube interfacing functionality outside of h.a.c.s. – maybe as a library. Sure! That is possible. And to speed up things I give you the ELV MAX! Cube C# Library called: MAXSharp
It’s a plain and simple library without much dependencies – in fact there’s only some threading and the FastSerializer. Since I am using this library with h.a.c.s. as well I did not remove the serializer implementation.
There’s a small demo program included which is called MAXSharpExample. The library itself contains the abstractions necessary to get information from the ELV MAX! Cube. It does not contain functionality to control the cube – if you want to add, feel free it’s all open sourced and I would love to see pull requests!
The architecture is based upon polling – I know events would make a cleaner view but for various reasons I am using queues in h.a.c.s. and therefore MAXSharp does as well. The example application spins up the ELV MAX interfacing / handling thread and as soon as you’re connected you can access all house related information and get diff-events from the cube.
Any comment is appreciated!
Source 1: State of Reverse Engineering
Source 2: https://github.com/bietiekay/MAXSharp
I am very pleased to congratulate a good man and ex-colleague for his accomplished mission: He handed in his PhD thesis with the Subject (german): “Anwendungsentwicklun für intelligente Umgebungen im Web Engineering“:
“This book describes a holistic approach to develop complex software systems based on the WebComposition process model. It shows how to integrate soft- and hardware components in a cost efficient and effective way using Web technologies and the Semantic Web. The WebComposition Concurrency System, a formal language to predict system dependencies and conflicts, allows efficient planing and monitoring of the development and operation process of the overall system.”
I had the pleasure to work with Andreas on several occasions. One that I remember with the strongest feelings is a 2 1/2 day around-the-clock hack-a-thon at Microsoft Research. We got it working back then!
For the last 8 years I am constantly trying to get him interested and convinced to work on things directly or remotely connected to some of the stuff I do – but up until now luck wasn’t on my side. Maybe someday 🙂
My sincere compliments on achieving his goal on this. Congratulations!
Source 1: http://www.aheil.de/books/
Source 2: http://blog.aheil.de
Source 3: http://www.schrankmonster.de/category/familyandfriends/aheil-de/
A new year started and it’s time once again for the best wished to all readers of this weblog.
I am managing my appointments using Outlook on windows and iCal on OS X. Since I am not using any Exchange service right now I was happy to find out that Outlook offers a functionality to export a local calendar automatically to an iCalendar compatible ICS file. Great feature but it lacks some things I desperately need.
Since I am managing my private and my business appointments in the same calendar, differentiating just by categories, I had a hard time configuring outlook to export a) an ics file containing all business appointments and b) an ics file containing all private appointments. It’s not possible to make the story short.
So I fired up Visual Studio as usual and wrote my own filter tool. I shall call it “iCalFilter”. It’s name is as simple as it’s functionality and code. I am releasing it under BSD license including the sources so everyone can use and modify it.
It’s a command line tool which should compile on Microsoft .NET and Mono. It takes several command line parameters like:
- “include” or “exclude” –> this determines if the following categories are included or excluded in the output file
- a list of categories separated by spaces
- an optional parameter “-remove-description” which, if entered, removes all descriptions from events and alarms
Grab the Source and Binary here: https://github.com/bietiekay/iCalFilter
UPDATE: You can now access the source code on github! You can even add your changes!
Wir sind dieses Jahr nicht direkt auf dem Kürbisfest, das ja heute stattfindet, sondern bei der Kürbisnacht gewesen. Da kann man entspannter Kürbisse kaufen und kommt mit den “Kürbisbauern” auch leichter ins Gespräch um nach Rezepten oder dem Verwendungszweck der einzelnen Kürbisse zu fragen.
Es gab wieder unzählige Kürbisse in zahlreichen Farben und Formen:
Da kann ich nur zustimmen !!!
this time a XPS M1330 blue-screened and only shows colored lines if you restart it:
If only the hardware would be as great as their service is!
Mission accomplished. I successfully talked a co-worker, who needed to buy a new car, into buying a gadget-packed BMW 1 series.
He calls it his “cluster on 4 wheels” – because obviously there is some processing “horse-power” in this machine 🙂
May he always have a safe ride!
Source 1: http://blog.ahzf.de/index.php/2009/09/21/mein-cluster-hat-vier-rader/
So here we are on a new blog engine. It took me the better part of two days to do the Migration of 2,869 posts and 2,732 comments, a lot of pictures and movie files.
I will write an article on this but for now only two captures images from the migration:
Ich hab mir angewöhnt die Kröten nicht mehr als nötig aus ihrem Becken zu nehmen, wozu auch? Nur ab und zu muss es halt mal sein. Ich mach das immer vor und nach der Winterruhe und ca. einmal mitten im Jahr einfach nur um zu schauen ob alles ok ist, dass heißt den Panzer mal genau anschauen, ob da noch Reste von den alten Hornplatten sind, wenn dann abmachen und schauen ob der Panzer da drunter auch ok ist. Eben alles was man nicht nur durch anschauen und beobachten checken kann. Jede Kröte lässt das geduldig über sich ergehen weil es danach auch immer lecker was zu fressen gibt. Nur der Willy ist einem dann meistens tagelang stinkig, will nix fressen usw. Dieses mal war er hinterher nicht wirklich stinkig, allerdings hat er während er in meiner Hand war mehr als genervt reagiert. Zum Glück hat er nicht geschnappt sondern einfach nur das Maul ganz weit aufgerissen. Mal sehen wie er beim nächsten mal reagiert, meinen Finger oder teile der Hand würde ich ungern zwischen diesem Maul sehn wollen.
Wer Moschusschildkröten schonmal länger beobachten konnte weiß das sie sich ohne Probleme selbst in den Schwanz beißen könnten … Und es ist auch kein Problem den Hals lang zu machen und einfach in die Hand zu beißen die einen da festhält was er bestimmt auch noch gemacht hätte wenn ich ihn noch länger in der Hand gehalten hätte.
I was in desperate need for an DDate equivalent running on Windows. DDate is an unix implementaion of date accoridng to the erisian calendar described in the principia discordia.
I only found some C Implementations. And since it’s fun to do I ported the original Discordian Date C code to C#.
You can download the C# sourcecode, licensed under CC-BY-NC here.
I also created a web page which displays the current discordian date and offers you to convert any gregorian date into discordian date representation.
This page can be accesses here. You can call another page with parameters and you only will get the ddate output back:
Source 1: http://ddate.schrankmonster.de/
Source 2: http://dropbox.schrankmonster.de/dropped/SharpDDateLib.zip
So it’s been some days with the new Mediacenter Setup. And all I can say is: Oh boy that is some serious cool setup. I wouldn’t want to chance anything beside adding a new Sound System (>5.1 FTW!).
The Display itself is thinner than thought:
I strongly recommend the Mac + Plex + Full HD display setup. Even if you don’t get any HD content from your cable provider you can live-stream or download HD content through the different provider plugins inside Plex. The plugin infrastructure with the built-in “App Store” is just great.
Since Plex is a XBMC based Mediacenter software you have tons of information scrapers regarding series and movies. So you’re eventually huge collection gets indexed and presented in a way you would not get from any other Mediacenter. You get pictures, movie posters, descriptions and many more just by automatic indexing your collection.
Needless to say that HD content is something different. I only had some HD content on normal computer displays in the last years – having it now huge and sharp is different – better.
BTW: It’s on the floor right now because my wife couldn’t decide until now which tv-stand would suffice…
Welcome our newest member of the team:
More of him/her on www.dreikiel.de in the future.
We still seeking for a name for him/her – since we do not know right now if it’s a male or female it would be great to have a gender-neutral name.
After more than 53 hours inside of our BMW are enjoying the car as much as we thought we would. Well I think we enjoy it even more than we would have thought.
In this nearly 54 hours we travelled 3252 km which translates to 2020 miles. With about 8,7 l of gas per 100 km (which translates to about 34 mpg) it’s less than I expected.
At around 2100 we had the first full-throttle run getting us up to about 230 km/h followed by the first car wash session and the first replacement windshield…(narf!)
Two weeks ago we had the chance to take the car out for a great drive through the “Franconian Switzerland” (I still like “Fränkische Schweiz” better). The only thing I write about this weekend is: great fun!
After around 2500 km my Beemer needs a new Windshield. It happened while washing the car – don’t leave the windshield wipers up while opening the bonnet… a cracking noise is what you will hear next.
The replacement will be installed next wednesday…
Since we moved into a new apartment in the last 3 weeks I had no stable internet connection – neither had my private Mailserver.
As of today everything is in place – the mail- and fileserver is up and running and connected to the internet again. So I had a server which buffered all the mail that came in during that time. That sums up to:
63.671 Mails in about 18 days. Hussah!
Go little Mailserver, go!!!
Finally after more than 10 weeks of waiting the ordered Apple MacOS X Finder Pillows arrived at our door.
Ich fahre ja seit 2000 privat diesen wunderschönen SEAT Arosa. Nun ist das Auto Ende 1999 gebaut und damit auch nichtmehr das jüngste – eine kleine Excel Tabelle hat aufgezeigt dass das Auto de-facto durch die verschiedenen Durchsichten und Reparaturen mehr als zweimal komplett bezahlt wurde. Auch machte sich ein verstärkter Öl-Durst in den letzten Monaten eher unangenehm bemerkbar – unter anderem bekam ich erstmals die “nicht genug Öl”-Lampe zu sehen.
Das Auto meiner Frau ist da noch viel schlimmer dran gewesen – als Baujahr 1997 und mit dem Geburtsfehler “Opel” ist es ein Wunder dass es überhaupt bis ins Jahr 2008 durchgehalten hat. Nicht ohne Blessuren: die gesamte Elektrik tut mehr oder weniger das was sie will, die Rad lager hören sich an als wären ein paar Stahlkugeln in einer Waschmaschine unterwegs und die Lenkung an sich zieht so böse nach rechts dass man sozusagen die ganze Zeit nach Links lenken muss um geradeaus zu fahren. Und da ist dieser Geburtsfehler: Die Hütte rostet dass man glaubt das wäre ein Hochseeschiff ohne Lackierung. Nun ja.
Den Opel haben wir schon frühzeitig in 2008 dem Gebrauchtwagenmarkt zugeführt und auch – wie ich finde (meine Frau ist da etwas anderer Meinung) – reichlich Geld dafür bekommen. Für den SEAT Arosa haben wir uns ein anderes, endgültigeres Schicksal ausgedacht:
Im November 2008 klapperten wir die verschiedenen Autohändler in der Umgebung ab – all die üblichen Verdächtigen mussten befragt, begutachtet, bewertet und letztlich ausgewählt werden. Prinzipiell stellte sich die Frage: Ein Japaner oder ein deutsches Fabrikat?
Wir hatten einen Honda Civic im Auge – aber aufgrund glanzvoller Ignoranz der Händler und dem doch extrem schlechten Preis-Leistungsverhältnis haben wir uns schon frühzeitig entschieden: ein deutsches Auto soll es sein. Genauer gesagt ein BMW.
Die ersten Erfahrungen mit dem ortsansässigen BMW Händler haben dann auch recht schnell Herz und Brieftasche geöffnet. Schon nach dem ersten Besuch war die Probefahrt klar gemacht – wir hatten uns nämlich recht schnell auf einen “Einser” eingeschossen. Den gab es in der richtigen Größe und viel wichtiger: Mit der gewünschten Gadget-Dichte.
Am 08.11.2008 ging es also mit einem blauen 3 türigem 1er in den Thüringer Wald – gerade noch rechtzeitig vorm ersten großen Schnee. Wir haben natürlich die Gelegenheit für ein paar Fotos genutzt:
Die Kaufentscheidung war getroffen – nun ging es an die Planung. Der BMW Konfigurator ist da ein ganz nettes Spielzeug, wenngleich ich mir da noch die ein oder andere Verbesserung gewünscht hätte. Über Weihnachten und im Januar wurde das Wunschauto konfiguriert und dann am 13. Januar mit der Hoffnung dass der Winter ein Herz mit uns haben möge gleich mit Sommerreifen auf den baldmöglichsten Termin bestellt. Abholen wollten wir das Auto nicht beim Händler sondern direkt in München in der BMW Welt.
Den Termin bekamen wir ein paar Tage später vom immer noch sehr zuvorkommenden, engagierten und überaus netten Händler – ja das ist nicht übertrieben, der Mann ist auf jede unserer Fragen eingegangen und hat sich speziell beim Rätsel-Thema “iPod-Integration” extra nochmal kundig gemacht.
Nun ging die wirklich anstrengende Phase des Projekts “BMW kaufen” los: das Warten.
Da trudelten dann im Wochen-Rhythmus die Bestätigungen, die finalen Rechnungen und so wichtige Dinge wie Kennzeichen-Tragetaschen und Informationsmaterial zur Abholung ein. Alles in allem hat das die Vorfreude natürlich enorm gesteigert.
Am 12. März war es dann soweit. Unser BMW war gebaut, poliert und fertig zur Abholung. Wir sind an dem Tag extra früh aus dem Bett da die Abholung selbst auf 14:20 Uhr angesetzt war. Das ist natürlich reichlich spät wenn man hinterher noch eine BMW Stammwerksführung machen will. Deshalb haben wir die Werksführung vor die Auslieferung gezogen und mussten so recht früh (4 Uhr, urks!) raus und nach München. Wir waren rechtzeitig da und natürlich war wie erwartet ein wirklich schöner Tag für uns vorbereitet worden. Der Empfang, die Werksführung, die BMW Welt selbst, die Präsentation unseres Autos – da fällt einem nur ein “WOW!” ein.
die “BMW Welt”
die Treppe für die Abholenden – da geht man
gaaaaaanz langsam runter
Auf den Bildern ist ja auch diese Treppe zu sehen – da geht man nach dem Fahrzeug-Briefing – also dem Teil wo dem Abholer sein neues Auto in Theorie und Simulations-Praxis erklärt wird – gaaaanz gaaaanz langsam hinunter. Um dann direkt vor seinem Neuwagen zu stehen. Und ganz ehrlich, bei der ganzen Show ist das schon ein erinnerungswürdiger Moment wenn das Auto dann endlich vor einem auftaucht.
Außen weiß und innen ganz in schwarz.
Endlich war das Warten vorbei! Wir haben uns dann direkt auf die Sommer-Socken gemacht. Die Fahrt versprach nämlich spannend, oder doch zumindest interessant zu werden: Schneeregen und Nebel war angesagt. Das kam dann auch, war aber nicht die Spur eines Problems – schön langsam und sicher sind wir nach einem ewig langen Tag wieder zuhause angekommen. Die Nacht war dann aber auch nicht besonders lang – denn nur zwei Tage später sind wir umgezogen. Ja da ist sozusagen die “Coole Sache Nummer 2”. Den Bericht gibts dann aber in einem anderen Artikel.
So the one cool thing that took place the last two days is: We moved into a new apartment which is 4 times bigger.
It’s just one minute walk away from the sones offices which makes it just perfect. Pictures will follow in the next days when everything clears up.
We just arrived in Munich.
The final last pieces are falling into their place: We’re at 99.98% completion of the SONES Office Space.
Today we got the soda delivery. Since it’s unclear right now who likes what the most (pretty clear for myself: Dr.Pepper FTW!) the first order contained three different sorts.
Look that gorgeous fridge:
That means: Free Soda for every employee!
It’s time for a review of last years numbers regarding the schrankmonster website empire. I did not write that much – and I could clearly see that reflected in the monthly statistics. Nevertheless I am quite impressed what numbers where reached in the end:
the year 2008 in numbers:
- 1.671.932.652 kbytes ~ 1.6 Tbytes of Traffic served to the visitors
- 6.393.160 unique visits (532.763 on average per month)
- 17.716.918 unique pages delivered
- 63.656.905 hits overall (5.304.742 on average per month)
Sounds like a lot of work for one machine. In 2008 there were 3 machines that hosted schrankmonster and the sites around schrankmonster. I think schrankmonster now finally arrived on a machine where it can grow in the future. (I think the new machine will handle peaks like the famous “iTunes for Windows Mobile” articles easily)
“In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
Finally a DSLR landed at our premises: the Canon EOS 450D is as of now in our toy park – perfectly timed for the holidays and christmas.
SONES just moved into the new place – and after having all the ordering done we’re now waiting for the delivery of the various bits and pieces of the new office.
To make it a little bit more SONESisch my wife and I decided to paint a 1,5m huge logo of the company on the wall that can be seen first when you walk in. So we went to the nearest hardware store and bought all the needed tools aaaaaaaand we found somebody who could mix the right shade of green to fit our company color.
Back at the office we started with placing the projector and the logo itself so we could draw the borders with a pencil on the wall.
When the borders where on the wall we started the masking tape attack! It was the first time that I had used masking tape but it everything went surprisingly good.
The last and final step is to paint it. So we got the paint, we got the rollers – and after half an hour:
The shades you’re seeing in the picture above are just because of the wet and already dry paint which has a slightly different shade. So after a bit of drying and the removal of the masking tape:
This week I ordered a new machine for all the websites which are now consolidated on one machine. I might have broken the previous subversion server logins for now – but this will be fixed in the next days or so.
So if you’re seeing this post you’re already on the new machine.
Well I don’t talk about voltage in the electrical sense but the brand new flavor of Mountain Dew. Since it’s not officially purchaseable in germany it took some time till I had the chance to judge the 3 new flavors. Since the winner is already confirmed to be the voltage it was just a “I want to see by myself”-test 🙂
So here they are, the 3 flavors that were eligible for election:
the 3 flavors:
Revolution: Wild berry Fruit Flavor and Ginseng
Supernova: Strawberry Melon Flavor and Ginseng
Voltage: Raspberry Citrus Flavor and Ginseng
The voltage was my favourite too – the Revolution and Supernova taste just to artificial and strange… I could not drink more than a can… with the voltage I immediately wanted to have another one.
The one thing about the voltage that I don’t like is the color…
but hey, the other flavors colors… well…
So since Voltage won the vote there hopefully will be a new great flavor of Mountain Dew be available in germany too. (PLEASE!)
Halloween is due in a few weeks and we had the time to cut our Jack-o-Lanterns today. After buying them last weekend at the “Kürbisfest Alterndorf” (see pictures of this at my wifes site) we decided to do 3 different ones this year.
So… here are the three Jack-o-Lanterns of this year:
and in the dark at the house entrance:
Source: Kürbisfest Altendorf at dreikiel.de
Almost every video game company emphasizes the realism in their racing games. In at least one case this marketing lead to strange consequences: Carl Edwards hits a wall with is NASCAR racing car on purpose.
“Carl Edwards did everything he could Sunday, including purposely bouncing off the concrete wall at Kansas Speedway, but it wasn’t quite enough to beat two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.”
“I planned on hitting the wall, but I didn’t plan on the wall slowing me down that much,” Edwards said. “In video games, you can just run into the wall and run it wide open. That’s what I did, but it didn’t quite work out the same as the video game.”
“This is a road in Lancaster Ca. that makes music when you drive over it. It was created for a commercial and they designed harmonics in the asphalt to create the music when driven over. Apparently other countries have been doing it for awhile.”
For the real windows geek – use them when you need a soft-reboot or a force-quit from work.
Some weeks ago I came across those cool color changing LED lamps made by Philips in a hardware store. It’s a mood light with a remote control – you can even control up to 6 lamps with one remote… Oh I really do think that several of these would be great in the new office or at home.
Uhh… I ususally don’t do that stuff but in this case I just was curious how it would work for me. Quite well I think:
…if you do have a decent printer and if you haven’t got any graph paper – you could print it yourself.
thx to Kristian.
Da surfe ich hier und da mal herum – schaue mir ein paar Internetseiten über Bamberg an und da werde ich Zeuge einer ganz seltsamen Darbietung.
Bislang wusste ich dass Verbreitungsrechte im Internet auf Länder vergeben werden können – also dass man beispielsweise einen Webseiten Inhalt oder Livestream nur innerhalb der USA abrufen kann.
Nun scheint diese Art der Gängelung auch innerhalb von einzelnen Staaten Mode zu werden. Offenbar kann man in Deutschland nämlich die Rechte nur für ein bestimmtes Bundesland erwerben… Leute Leute wo wird das noch hinführen?
Photosynth is publicly available and it’s time to give it a try and play with the technology. Before starting you should be aware of some facts about the public photosynth technology-preview:
- all synths are uploaded and only available online (broadband needed)
- all synths are public, everyone can access them
- the synther tool runs only on Windows
- you’ll need a Live ID
When everything is checked you can go and upload up to 20 Gbytes of image data – my test synth takes up 200 Mbytes of the available space – so you have plenty of space to play with.
To start just install the photosynth application to view – and click “create” on the website. After the obligatory login you immediately can upload your pictures. Give it a name, ssome tags and a license and select your pictures.
Your pictures should show the same scene from different perspectives – photosynth is all about matching perspectives. After clicking on “Synth” the process starts.
And after a surprisingly short period of time your synth is done. Click on “View Synth” and you’re taken back to the website and you can browse your synth. That’s it – easy!
Okay. Offensichtlich ist bald Weihnachten denn wie ich eben lesen musste gibt es wohl schon Lebkuchen zu kaufen… so langsam aber sicher verliere ich komplett den Bezug zu Weihnachten überhaupt.
Google Streetview is bad. It’s just unbelievable what you can see and since the StreetView Vans are currently here in germany I don’t think I want to get captured…
In this case they captured…well…:
Source: Google StreetView
I finally found a way to get Mountain Dew frequently and cheap here in germany. Oh joy!
Now the soda wishlist is completed. Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper – soda heaven.
It’s a piece of art in a carpark:
“In Melbourne I developed a way-finding-system for the Eureka Tower Carpark while working for Emery Studio. The distored letters on the wall can be read perfectly when standing at the right position. This project won several international design awards.”
When I thought of self replicating machines I thought of end-of-time scenarios and a robot armies conquering the world and enslaving the human race… it’s not that bad right now but we’re getting to it… sort of 🙂
“Adrian Bowyer (left) and Vik Olliver (right) with a parent RepRap machine, made on a conventional rapid prototyper, and the first complete working child RepRap machine, made by the RepRap on the left. The child machine made its first successful grandchild part at 14:00 hours UTC on 29 May 2008 at Bath University in the UK, a few minutes after it was assembled.”
“RepRap is short for Replicating Rapid-prototyper. It is the practical self-copying 3D printer shown on the right – a self-replicating machine. This 3D printer builds the parts up in layers of plastic. This technology already exists, but the cheapest commercial machine would cost you about €30,000. And it isn’t even designed so that it can make itself. So what the RepRap team are doing is to develop and to give away the designs for a much cheaper machine with the novel capability of being able to self-copy (material costs are about €500). That way it’s accessible to small communities in the developing world as well as individuals in the developed world. Following the principles of the Free Software Movement we are distributing the RepRap machine at no cost to everyone under the GNU General Public Licence. So, if you have a RepRap machine, you can make another and give it to a friend… “
It seems that I missed that Augmented Reality Toolkit all the way until now. It’s ARToolKit and it’s completely OpenSource.
As a matter of fact there are a ton of demos available… HOW could I possibly miss that for so long?
“ARToolKit is a software library for building Augmented Reality (AR) applications. These are applications that involve the overlay of virtual imagery on the real world. For example, in the image to the right a three-dimensional virtual character appears standing on a real card. It can be seen by the user in the head set display they are wearing. When the user moves the card, the virtual character moves with it and appears attached to the real object.
One of the key difficulties in developing Augmented Reality applications is the problem of tracking the users viewpoint. In order to know from what viewpoint to draw the virtual imagery, the application needs to know where the user is looking in the real world.”
Here is a short video demonstration of what you could start with:
…not talking about the things that would be possible if someone had a great idea 🙂