Rik's Ramblings

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sagar Junkbot [continued]

Found some more relevant info on the home robot project

PPRK: Palm Pilot Robot Kit

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Philips Invents ... the candle

From the company that brought you such catch phrases as:

  • Simply Year's Ahead

  • Philips Invents for You

  • Now they have a device that is wireless, portable, provides a dim - almost useless - amount of light. They call it a Candle.

    Let's Make Things Better.

    Philips Lighting - Lighting for the Home

    p.s., I'm not bitter! I left of my own free will.

Curve Hugging Cars

Toy carz like this would be really kewl. I was so ready to get out my creditcard...

    Line Tracking Hot Wheelz

Then I read on a little further and it turned out it was only a concept... Then I read on a little further and it turned out there is a similar toy ...

But they don't look anywhere as kewl or fast as the Hot Wheelz (imaginary) alternative.

Oh well, another project for the back burner ... really, how hard could it be to make one. I think Nigel Barber made something similar for his 'O' level Control Technology project.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Sagar Junkbot

I've wanted to work on a robot project with Ben for some time. I had a good collection of appropriate technology when I was at Philips;

  1. Richochet Modems

  2. Singleboard computer

  3. RC5 IR transmitter/receiver

  4. Handspring Visor

Unfortunately, when I left Philips I left all that good stuff behind - didn't think it was appropriate to pilfer all that.

Over the past couple of months I've been fortunate enough to come across similar suitable components.
  1. Some from my friend Gareth back in England (lego motors/technical lego he just happened to have lying around.

  2. Old Palm, Handspring, PalmOne PDAs from work, that are legitimately being junked in the move to our new offices in Sunnyvale

So my task now is to get the lego motors hooked up to some vintage of Palm PDA.

I have some relays and stuff lying around at home that I was using a good 7 years ago when I last attempted to make an autonomous vehicle - but halfway into the project I emigrated from Surrey to Cupertino :)

I think I need 4v to drive the Lego motors, so I'm going to call in at Frys to get a little battery holder (3xAA). 4.5V - near enough!

I'll get Ben hooked on Electronics before too long :)   Although I think he'd rather be a space man.

Anyway, once we get through the basic principles of forward and reverse, based on polarity of a battery, we will progress onto remote control via wireless or RS232.

I tracked down a copy of PDA Robotics
. That should help!

Don't know whether to pilpher a copy of code warrior from work to do the software, or be legitimate and use the GNU toolchain.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

KGAY Weekend Addendum

In an earlier post entitled KGAY Weekend I speculated that either the DJ at the Entertainer or our illustrious student president may have been a closet homosexual. I should add:

Tim Fountain was a screaming bender and now is a professional fudge packer!

Tim Fountain: Fudge Packer

Eeeeeewwwww! He was in my tutor group.

Well, what can I say ... good luck with the 'career' Tim!

KGAY weekend

Live105 did it's usual trick of going 'KGAY' for the weekend.

Great music!

  • Soft Cell,
  • Bronski Beat,
  • George Michael,
  • and more ...

All for the pleasure of the million or so out of town homos that have converged on San Fran for the annual Gay Pride festival.

This year KGAY went all the way (f-narr) and got some real gays to do the DJing for the weekend.

From listening to the music selection, I have to deduce that the DJ, between 1984-1986, at The Entertainer was GAY.

No? Well, if it wasn't the DJ then someone else was telling him to play gay music and that person was a raging queer. But wait a minute, that would have been the student president - Tim Fountain - and he was a real ladies man. There's no way he could have been a puff ... right?!

Home Depot Free Weekend!!

Hi, my name's Rik and it's been 6 days since my last trip to Home Depot.

I did spend the weekend putting new springlers in the back garden. It involved digging a big trench along the back of the deck, then chopping out some old tree roots, hacking off the old sprinkler pipe and building a new sprinkler rig with some pipe and sprinkler heads that I bought on Monday night when, I have to confess, I did pay a trip to Home Depot and spent $50 on sprinkler equipment.

But for me, it's impressive that I managed to get all the pieces in a single visit :)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Bionic man controls artificial limbs with mind

Not as sexy looking as Steve Austin, but it's a start!

    Bionic man controls artificial limbs with his mind - Engadget - www.engadget.com: "Jesse Sullivan lost both arms after touching live wires as a Tennessee utility lineman. Researchers have been able to fit him with artificial limbs he can actually control merely by thinking, moving them by will just as if they were real limbs. He also reportedly feels sensation in the bionic arms and, eventually, tiny sensors in the fingertips will allow him to feel texture and temperature as well."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Nyko Movie Player - iPod sleeve thing

An interesting (read crazy) idea.

     Myko Movie Player iPod 'sleeve'

    iPodlounge | First Looks Special: Nyko Movie Player: "Nyko plans to take a giant evolutionary step forward: its Movie Player morphs any iPod, iPod mini, or iPod photo into a full-fledged video player and recorder. Plus, thanks to a high-resolution color screen, it also displays considerably more detailed digital photographs than even Appleā€™s own iPod photo. "

But wait ... it does record as aswell as playback! Basically it's using the iPod as a hard drive. Why didn't they just put the harddrive into their product and do away with the iPod. Oh, I guess it's a marketing thing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

liveplasma music, movies, search engine and discovery engine

liveplasma music, movies, search engine and discovery engine

See exactly how detacted from reality your favourite folk band realy is!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Anti-Spam - Fight Back Against Spammers | bulk unsolicited unwanted junk email

Anti-Spam - Fight Back Against Spammers | bulk unsolicited unwanted junk email

Sounds like a good idea to me!
Fight Spam! Click Here!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

ACTLab Peer-to-Peer Streaming TV

actlab.tv | Technology

Something like this is what we need to get a video 'broadcast' model running over the internet.

I like the idea of independant content sources. For instance, my favourite technology 'show' these days is the TWiT-cast produced by a group of well know technology journalists.

The only thing that puts me off the whole Torrent and p2p space is the need for me to open up a couple of ports on my home network and allow some third party software of uncertain origin to run sit on those ports serving traffic off my hard disk.

Me no trust people ...

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Jaws - 30th Anniversary

Jaws Poster

Blimy! Don't it make you feel old!

Golden State Theatre, 30th Aniversery Showing of Jaws. To benefit the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Old Time Radio - Free Radio Show Downloads (MP3, Real Audio)

Worth exploring. But what about copyright? How old does something have to be to be out of copyright? I know Disney would like it to be verrrrryy old!

Old Time Radio - Free Radio Show Downloads (MP3, Real Audio)

Lexar Media - Piece o' Shite!

Don't bother buying the Lexar Media USB2.0 Multi-Card reader. It's a load of old bollox.

Seems to work OK with SD cards, but Compact Flash - forget it. I don't know, maybe it's the San Disk 512Meg CF card that's to blame, but I doubt it. That thing seems happy inside my Zaurus.

Life Drive picture ...

Rik, Ben, Pool, Florida, palmOne Life Drive

See also: http://sagar.org/boystoys

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Could Portable DVD players get any cheaper!?

Wal*MART now have a portable DVD player for less than $100!

Venturer 3.6inch Portable DVD Player
Venturer 3.6" Portable DVD Player


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Cover is blown!!

So, it didn't take the wife long to work it out!

Debbie: Why did you TiVo Toolbelt Diva?
Rik: Well I thought it would give a good overview into some of our DIY proj...
Debbie: Are you sure it's not just because you fancy Norma Vally?

D'oh! I guess I'm that obvious!

In a similar vain ... I'm trying to convince Ben that he wants to see the new Herbie movie:

Herbie and Linsey Lohan

Rik Says ...
DirecTV with Philips TiVo RCA DirectTV with installation
Buy DirectTV with Tivo to record Toolbelt Diva on Discovery Home Channel Get DirectTV with FREE installation ... Installation not by Norma