For some weeks now I am working on the design of something that is being built within the next couple of weeks out of wood and metal (and electronics).
It’s hopefully going to be as nice as I dream it up… What could it be?
I did this design based upon some pixel-material and pictures I’ve gathered around the internets – and took a lot of inspiration from them.
Although I had to create everything in vectors from those small pixel templates… But now everything above is going to be printed on vinyl in glorious vectors – no pixeljunk.
It’s been 12 years that I’ve married my wonderful wife.
And there’s story to the rings. We have them, we were wearing them on the day of our wedding. But actually never since. They don’t fit anymore anyways.
But, the story: Both rings got the date of our wedding engraved.
The 19th of April 2008 – or 190408 or – and this is what actually is engraved:
After the demise of Skeuomorphism and material-design there’s a new kid on the block to take the trophy: Neumorphism!
Neumorphic card however pretends to extrude from the background. It’s a raised shape made from the exact same material as the background. When we look at it from the side we see that it doesn’t “float”.uxdesign.cc
As you might have noticed I have already switched the drop-shadows on this blogs theme to also use this very simple shadow-recipe.
And if you want to – you can go here and generate all you need in a handy configurator:
After years of use the display of my trusty Apple Watch popped off. It seems the glue had given in and failed.
As there was nothing wrong with the watch otherwise I am attempting a repair.
I’ve got the new adhesive seal, a new force touch sensor and a new battery while I am at it.
Add opening and disassembling was an adventure in itself I had to give up for now as I am missing an exotic Y000 screwdriver.
While I wait for this to arrive – here is the screw I had to stop at:
You might want to get one of these. Can be ordered since today. Delivered starting February 6th.
It runs emulators up to Playstation 1. Most importantly it will run SNES and NeoGeo flawlessly (so they say).
I will report when mine arrived.
So this is interesting: Normally a Windows program (executable) if you try to run it anywhere else will show a message “cannot be run here” and terminates.
Printing this message is actually done by a little program whos task is to only print out this very message. So it can be overwritten.
Michael Strehovský did exactly this, very impressively. He documented what he did to get the game “snake”, written in C#, running on DOS instead of the “does not run here” stub. In an executable file that would run both, on standard 90s MS-DOS as well as on Windows with the .NET Framework installed.
He used a quite elaborate toolchain – namely DOS64-stub.
You can read all of this in the full thread. I recommend a deeper dive, as it’s a great start to better understand the inner workings of your computer…
Apparently the german main train operator does offer their regional and nationwide train network in an overall one-pager plan version:
Now, if you take the nationwide one, it looks like this:
It looks okay, but not that great. Given the many examples of proper train network plans.
Someone as well was not satisfied, so this person created one and put it on reddit:
This is so much nicer! Of course this has to be taken with the addition of: there are several “jokes” hidden in the names and lines. Don’t take this as an actual reference – rather go by the official ones.
When you are dealing with IoT protocols, especially at hobby-level, you probably came across the MQTT protocol and the challenge to have all those different devices that are supposed to be connected actually get connected – preferably using the MQTT protocol.
Recently this little project came to my attention:
OpenMQTTGateway project goal is to concentrate in one gateway different technologies, decreasing by the way the number of proprietary gateways needed, and hiding the different technologies singularity behind a simple & wide spread communication protocol: MQTT.OpenMQTTGateway
OpenMQTTGateway support very mature technologies like basic 433mhz/315mhz protocols & infrared (IR) so as to make your old dumb devices “smart” and avoid you to throw then away. These devices have also the advantages of having a lower cost compared to Zwave or more sophisticated protocols. OMG support also up to date technologies like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or LORA.
Of course, there is a compatible device list…
Every once in a while I need to take an image or duplicate an SSD/SDCard/Harddisk. And it’s gotten quite complicated to get the proper formatting and alignment when you want to achieve certain things.
For example creating a EFI compatible bootable USB stick is not as straight forward as one would think.
In those cases, a tool called rufus helps:
For all other cases I am using the HDDGuru tool on Windows.
HDD Raw Copy Tool is a utility for low-level, sector-by-sector hard disk duplication and image creation.
- Supported interfaces: S-ATA (SATA), IDE (E-IDE), SCSI, SAS, USB, FIREWIRE.
- Big drives (LBA-48) are supported.
- Supported HDD/SSD Manufacturers: Intel, OCZ, Samsung, Kingston, Maxtor, Hitachi, Seagate, Samsung, Toshiba, Fujitsu, IBM, Quantum, Western Digital, and almost any other not listed here.
- The program also supports low-level duplication of FLASH cards (SD/MMC, MemoryStick, CompactFlash, SmartMedia, XD) using a card-reader.
HDD Raw Copy tool makes an exact duplicate of a SATA, IDE, SAS, SCSI or SSD hard disk drive. Will also work with any USB and FIREWIRE external drive enclosures as well as SD, MMC, MemoryStick and CompactFlash media.
When you need something to listen to it could be Podcasts that you are missing in your life.
A good place to start with those is a directory of podcasts, that even helps with categories and search functionality. Just like fyyd:
Of course as you can find all sorts of podcast there you can also find ours.
brace for marketing:
Friend OS, a modular, fully-customizable operating system accessible via any device that can support a modern web browser, or Friend’s Android and iOS apps. Friend OS leverages Internet and blockchain technologies to offer all the features of a commercial operating system, but one that gives you access to a secure and private cloud-based virtual desktop anytime, anywhere, no matter what hardware or software you use.
So what does this all mean? It’s apparently a web application scaled up to behave and be used like an operating system. It encapsulates an application and directory/filesystem like concept and essentially lives in one of your browser windows.
As long as you’ve got a supported browser, all your apps and data will be accessible through this. They claim.
It’s interesting as there is a lot of open source in there and even some docker effort made to get it running. Seems abandoned / not updated at the time of writing, but it’s a nice concept to begin with anyways.
It started with this tweet about someone called Ayliean apparently drawing a plant based upon set rules and rolling a dice.
And because generative art in itself is fascinating I am frequently pulled into such things. Like this dungeon generator or these city maps or generated audio or face generators or buildings and patterns…
On the topic of flowers there’s another actual implementation of the above mentioned concept available:
Jiří Praus@jipraus has made a nice LED sphere.
I was pointing to BitSavers before. And I will do it again as it’s a never ending source of joy.
Now some old schematics had been spilled into my feeds that show how logic gates had been implemented with transformers only.
BitSaver brought it up:
And not only BitSaver is on this path of sharing knowledge, also TubeTime is such a nice account to follow and read.
Previously you had to be in Japan or to have a japanese AppStore account to get access to software that allows you to manage and add SUICA cards to your wallet and use it right-away for public transport.
Now with the 2020 olympics approaching more and more tourist support-apps are made available to non-japanese audiences.
Just like this little helper:
So the scenario was: You arrive at an airport in Japan. And the first thing you needed to do to use the public transport system was to get such a SUICA card either purchased or topped-up.
This is a straight forward process and they even came up with “Tourist SUICA” cards that will deactivate themselves after a certain amount of time and are cheaper to purchase upfront – still it was a process you had to know how it works.
With the above helper app you’re simply doing this:
- Download app.
- Make sure you’ve got Apple Pay set-up with at least one of your credit cards
- Use the SuicaEng app to create a brand new SUICA card out of thin air and top it up right there.
- (optional) push your SUICA card to your watch to simplify the purchase processes even more – you’ll just tap your wrist to pass through gates or purchase goods.
When you own a recent iOS device (iOS 11 and up) you’ve got the choice between “High Efficiency” or “Most Compatible” as the format all pictures are being stored by the camera app.
Most Compatible being the JPEG format that is widely used around the internet and other cameras out there and the “High Efficiency” coming from the introduction of a new file format and compression/reduction algorithms.
A pointer to more information about the format:
High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF), also known as High Efficiency Image Coding (HEIC), is a file format for individual images and image sequences. It was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and is defined by MPEG-H Part 12 (ISO/IEC 23008-12). The MPEG group claims that twice as much information can be stored in a HEIF image as in a JPEG image of the same size, resulting in a better quality image. HEIF also supports animation, and is capable of storing more information than an animated GIF at a small fraction of the size.Wikipedia: HEIF
As Apple is aware this new format is not compatible with any existing tool chain to work with pictures from cameras. So you would either need new, upgraded tools (the Apple-way) or you would need to convert your images to the “older” – not-so-efficient JPEG format.
To my surprise it’s not trivial to find a conversion tool. For Linux I’ve already wrote about such a tool here.
For macOS and Windows, look no further. Waltr2 is an app catering your conversion needs with a drag-and-drop interface.
It’s advertised as being free and offline. And it works a treat for me.
Almost exactly 1 year ago I wrote about transit maps. And it seems to be a recurring topic. And rightfully so – it’s an interesting topic.
Along the presentation of a redesigned Singapore transit map, there’s more content to gather on the “Transit Mapping Symposium” website.
The “Transit Mapping Symposium” will take place in Seoul / South-Korea on 20/21st of April 2020 with researchers and designers meeting up.
The Transit Mapping Symposium is a yearly international gathering of transport networks professionals, a unique opportunity to share achievements, challenges and vision.
Our participants and speakers include experts from all fields of the industry:
– Network Operators
– Transport Authorities
– Digital Platforms