Bird Nest Basket Gift of Laura Resen
Sunita Williams gave a video tour of the International Space Station a few hours before her return to earth on November 18, 2012. I found it fascinating because her tour gives a great sense of the layout of the interior of the ISS and what it actually looks like. Also, in a weightless environment, the meaning of up and down have different definitions.
There were a couple of things that were especially interesting to me. When the crew uses the exercise bike, they don’t need a seat because they don’t sit down. They use clip-on pedals to hold them to the “bike.” The pedals look very similar to the Shimano road pedals that I use on my De Rosa. The exercise machines need to be isolated from the walls of the space station so they don’t put any forces into the structure of spacecraft and solar arrays.
When Commander Williams entered the Russian segment where Service Module Central Post of the space station is located, there was a nice assortment of Nikon photography equipment on both walls.
The rain held off until the end of this year’s 13th Annual America’s Children’s Holiday Parade on December 1, 2012 in Oakland, California. Unfortunately, there was no helium for the balloons.
Commercial crab season opened yesterday in California. Live Dungeness crabs were $3.99/lb at Lucky Seafood Market #2 in Oakland, CA.
Price on December 11, 2012: $5.99/lb
Price on December 14, 2012: $4.99/lb
Price on December 16, 2012: $4.69/lb
Price on December 22, 2012: $8.69/lb
Price on January 6, 2013: $4.99/lb
Price on January 7, 2013: $3.99/lb
Price on January 18, 2013: $3.99/lb
Price on February 9, 2013: $4.69/lb
Price on February 23, 2013: $4.99/lb
Price on March 26, 2013: $4.99/lb
I’ve had a webcam serving live images using WebCam2000 running on my Macbook. I recently bought a new webcam, a Creative Live! Cam Chat HD (it was cheaper, $25, when I bought it August 2012). The previous webcam I was using, a Vivicam 3350B (I bought it on Woot! for $8.50 in 2005), didn’t have a Windows 7 driver and I was using Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC - it was a little cumbersome.
When the Raspberry Pi was released, I thought it would be a great webcam server. I ordered one from Allied Electronics last July, but they never had stock. When Adafruit started selling them, I bought one.
After I acquired a compatible USB keyboard and dug up an Intellimouse Explorer 3.0, I started out with the 2012-09-18-wheezy-raspbian image. Googling found a Romanian site, BobTech, with an excellent tutorial for setting up a Raspberry Pi streaming webcam (English Google translation). Basically, the instructions just worked.
Later, I bought an Edimax EW-7811Un USB Adapter and with the current 2012-10-28-wheezy-raspbian image, WiFi was even easier to setup. The only change I made in the network setup was to give the Raspberry Pi a static IP address so I could find it. I edited wlan0 section in /etc/network/interfaces:
iface wlan0 inet static
I made a change to have MJPG-streamer serve a single image instead of a stream. Instead of using http://raspberrypi:8080/?action=stream, I used http://raspberrypi:8080/?action=snapshot. I use a script to reload the page every 10 seconds. In mjpg-streamer.sh, I set FRAME_RATE=”15″ You really don’t see much action unless it’s windy.
Once the Raspberry Pi was setup, I used puTTY to connect to it, so I can start mjpg-streamer and do other things without having the Raspberry Pi connected to a monitor.
Today I purchased and downloaded Windows 8 Pro on my c. 2003 Shuttle SB51G computer. It has a Pentium 4 2.8 GHz CPU. At the end of February 2012, I was able to install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on it. Last June, I tried installing the Windows 8 Release Preview, which didn’t work.
I started the upgrade purchase through the Microsoft site and one of the upgrade adviser warnings said that the NX bit needed to be enabled in the BIOS. I knew that my CPU (Northwood) didn’t have this feature which was also the reason the Windows 8 Consumer Preview wouldn’t install. I still completed the purchase knowing that I would use the license on another computer. The Windows 8 installation procedure went through like everything it was fine. It was, until the reboot:
The message on the reboot said, “Your PC needs to restart. Please hold down the power button.” This same message was displayed after several cold boot attempts. The error code, 0x0000005D, with the parameters 0x030F0207, 0x756E6547, 0x49656E69, 0x6C65746E, as far as I can find, refer to an incompatible CPU.
I think it would have been nicer on Microsoft’s part to say, before I plopped down $39.95, that Windows 8 wouldn’t work with my CPU. I can imagine this happening to a customer reading the hype about Windows 8 and trying the upgrade, paying for it and then getting a cryptic message. It seems to be Microsoft’s way of saying, “Tough luck, bub.”
I restored XP from an image, and my ancient computer is back to being a file server.
This is a SpikenzieLabs Solder : Time™ watch. It uses a a 4-digit 7-segment red LED display that displays the time for about four seconds when the “stem” is pushed in.
There is a CR2032 lithium battery for power, though there is a connection on the circuit board for a power supply. The display could be kept on continuously with a AC/DC power adapter if you wanted to use it as a desk clock (or you could carry around a large battery wired to the watch on your wrist).
The component count is very low – you can see all of them in the photo. The two ICs and the LED module are soldered directly to the board to keep a low profile. The build time for someone familiar with soldering is probably less than an hour. It took me a little longer because I tried to use a yellow LED display module that I ordered from Digi-Key but the digits did not light evenly. The SpikenzieLabs forum suggests that a higher voltage (<5v) might work but I didn't try it. I unsoldered the yellow module and used the red one.
You should note that this is a big ass watch. A woman's watch case might be 23-29mm in diameter while a men's watch case is normally 37-42mm. The Solder : Time case measures ~ 60.8mm (2.4 in). People will notice the Solder : Time on your wrist unless you are the size of Andre the Giant.
The kit sells for $29.95 (USD) but you can also buy an assembled watch for $39.95.
The new, improved version, the Solder : Time II™ watch uses the ATmega328P microcontroller and four 5×7 LED matrix modules so you can do even more stuff with it.
I like Alfa Romeos, art, backpacking, barbecue, baseball, bicycling, cars, cigars, computers, cooking, eating, electronics, fly fishing, football, Formula 1, friends, golf, horology, jazz, movies, museums, photography, r/c cars, r/c helicopters, reading, restaurants, Scotch whiskey, softball, slot car racing, tennis, the internets and travel