“I should post something on my blog every single Wednesday,” I said to myself a few weeks ago. “I can just write things whenever I get time and set them to post automatically. That way I can post on a schedule, but I don’t have to write on a schedule. It’s perfect!” Needless to say, that plan went directly to hell. A combination of school and outside activities to which I had committed myself weeks ago conspired to usurp any control I had over my schedule. Sadly, this means that my projects over the past few weeks have been a little thin. Since this was intended to be a blog detailing my adventures in building, hacking, cracking, designing, soldering, CAD-ing, Makerbot-ing, woodworking, sewing, etc, even though my projects aren’t all that exciting, I’ll post a few to show off what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks.
- Installing Ubuntu 10.04 Beta. I ❤ Ubuntu. 10.04 includes alsa drivers that make my Mac happy and, by extension, make me happy. I can now listen to sound again, and everything else just works. My power consumption is about 9.8W, which gives me an estimated battery life of 4.5 hours or so. Not quite up to Mac standards, but with a little tweaking I’ll get there soon enough.
- Kite Aerial Photography – Yes! Yes! Yes! Attempt number two was a WIN!! This time I built my rig out of aluminum and built it to be much more stable. Check out the pictures here. They’re great! Try number three is coming up soon – I plan to take pictures outside Marianopolis (drop me a line if you want in.)
- The Gedanalyzer – For the Marianopolis Laptop Orchestra (MLOrK) this year, I tried to write a program called the Gedanalyzer. (I’ll get to the tried part in a minute.) Basically, it watches the network for data, and then plays a sound whenever it sees information from a certain computer. This is similar to what I did for MLOrK last year, except this time the sounds were going to play to a beat, and it would also display an image whenever it received data, creating a Gedan-like presentation. Why didn’t it work? Because the only Java PCap library (the part that listens to the data) I could find only works on Linux and Windows, and this was all before I installed Ubuntu 10.04. I tried installing Ubuntu 9.10 on Parallels and VirtualBox, but neither could play sound from Java well at all. I’m planning to finish this project soon.
- Medea – Yeah, that’s right, I do theatre too. I’ve been known to act on occasion, but my real passion is technical theatre. I like operating the light board. I really like operating the light board. It makes me happy. Right now my light board consists of a USB to DMX converter box and a program called Chameleon. Aside from the lighting for PreMed: The Musical, this was some of the most kick-ass lighting I’ve done at Marianopolis thus far.
- Contemplation – About what I want to do this summer! My plans include building a 4-bit computer from transistors (as much as possible; there might be a few TTL IC’s in there as well,) trying to hook a BeagleBoard up to a portable touch-screen and powering it with LiPoly batteries (can you say “LiPad?” Linux iPad? Hell yeah!), fixing my Makerbot (the plastruder plastruded itself apart,) building a futuristic looking Laptop podium specifically designed for Skyping, and a few other things I’ve been thinking about.
So that’s all I’ve been up to. Come to think of it, I did manage to do quite a few things when I wasn’t working on things for school and outside of school. At any rate, this summer will bring more projects, more fun things, and more sleep. I can’t wait.