Archive for month: August, 2011

Wireless Bluetooth RS232 TTL Transceiver Module – Free Shipping – DealExtreme

August 31, 2011 | electronics | By: Mark VandeWettering

No commentary, I just found a reference to this module in this cool article on making a VGA scoreboard. The author intends to send information to an AVR using this module, and the price and capability seems pretty good. Wireless Bluetooth RS232 TTL Transceiver Module – Free Shipping – DealExtreme.

Donald Michie, Alan Turing, Martin Gardner, and Tic Tac Toe

August 28, 2011 | Computer Science, Cryptography, Games and Diversions | By: Mark VandeWettering

As anyone who reads my blog with any regularity will tell you, I like to read and learn new things. The problem with being self taught and also easily distracted means that you often learn a great deal, but don’t always perceive the connections and scope of what you are learning. I found another example […]

Don Henley on the PROTECT IP Act

August 26, 2011 | Intellectual Property | By: Mark VandeWettering

Today I noticed an editorial by founding member of the Eagles, Don Henley asking for the passage of the PROTECT IP Act currently stalled in the U.S. Senate. The basic of idea of the PROTECT IP act is that the Attorney General or private intellectual property rights holders can ask the court to issue an […]

Mag 7 Star Atlas Project

August 25, 2011 | Astronomy | By: Mark VandeWettering

Tom mentioned that a new supernova had been found in M101, a spiral galaxy in Ursa Major. While I used to be a bit of a telescope maker, and could generally find my way around the sky, I wasn’t one hundred percent certain I knew where to find M101. So, I turned to my copy […]

Q: Should blogs make font choices for you, or not?

August 25, 2011 | Blogging, Web Development, Web Programming | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve been making some minor tweeks to the excellent 1024 px WordPress theme that I started using a few weeks ago. I found a small issue with the CSS for images that are supposed to be center (a priority mistake meant it didn’t work) and I’ve made a few other minor tweaks. I finally got […]

Some thoughts as Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple…

August 24, 2011 | Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

Breaking news: Silicon Valley pioneer Steve Jobs has stepped down as CEO of Apple, and Tim Cook will be stepping up from his previous role as chief operating officer to become CEO. This post talks a bit about my employer, Pixar Animation Studios, but in no way should be construed as anything but my own […]

How-To: Coffee Can Radar

August 23, 2011 | Amateur Science, electronics | By: Mark VandeWettering

This is awesome! MIT has created an interesting course as part of the their Open Course Ware project: it describes how radar can work, and as a final project, students were expected to build an test a simple radar system. Their description: Are you interested in building and testing your own imaging radar system? MIT […]

Real Sound Cookery – Make a contact mic with baking soda and cream of tartar. |

August 22, 2011 | Amateur Science, electronics, Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

A couple of months ago, Collin’s Lab featured a story about making your own piezoelectric crystals from Rochelle salt. Collin stopped short of making an actual microphone though: he just demonstrated that the salt crystal would generate a series of voltage spikes when whacked with the handle of a screwdriver. Leafcutter John followed pretty much […]

Yawcam – Yet Another Webcam Software

August 22, 2011 | Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

At various times, I’ve wanted to set up a little webcam server, but hadn’t really found a program which combines ease of use with versatility. But today, I found a mention for the program “Yawcam”, a Windows only webcam software written in Java, and decided to give it a try. Bingo! It works pretty well! […]

Another retro computer website…

August 17, 2011 | Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

While researching some information on the old CP/M operating system (don’t ask) I found Herb Johnson’s excellent retrotechnology.{com,net} website. It’s chock full of good information on old Apple Macintosh systems, S-100 systems, and cool virtual exhibit on the PDP-11. Bookmarked for later consumption: tons of good information., .net/. Addendum: It’s amazing how often I […]

Astronaut Photographs Perseid Meteor

August 15, 2011 | Space | By: Mark VandeWettering

NASA astronaut Ron Garan snapped this awesome picture of a Perseid meteor from his vantage point on the ISS: Astronaut Photographs Perseid Meteor… From Space : Discovery News No additional commentary: it speaks for itself.

ARISSAT-1’s battery appears to be failing quicker than expected…

August 14, 2011 | Amateur Radio, Amateur Satellite | By: Mark VandeWettering

I didn’t get a chance to record any more ARISSAT-1 data this weekend, but I did catch up on some reading. Apparently, it’s batteries are giving out quicker than expected: the voltage is dropping low enough to cause a reset when the satellite goes into eclipse each orbit. If you were thinking of grabbing some […]

Arduino PWM Laser Transmitter

August 14, 2011 | Amateur Radio, electronics, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

A couple of weeks ago, I programmed an Arduino to take digitized sound stored in its rom, and send it out via PWM of an LED. A couple days after that, I used the same code to send voice using a small 5mw laser module. Ever since then, I thought it would be good to […]

AMSAT SSTV gallery

August 10, 2011 | Amateur Radio, Amateur Satellite | By: Mark VandeWettering

I haven’t had the chance to do any ARISSAT-1 SSTV lately, but I thought I’d snoop over to their gallery to have a peek. Some good pictures are being received, but it appears that some earlier pictures are simply being removed: two pictures that I submitted to them earlier are no longer available. Their comment: […]

I before E except after Hellschreiber «

August 8, 2011 | Amateur Radio, electronics | By: Mark VandeWettering

Scott Harden had a very cool idea: sending Hellschreiber, an old fax-like teleprinter code invented by Rudolf Hell, using just an Atmel ATMega48 and a canned oscillator. The idea is pretty simple: the canned oscillator will produce a square wave with the same amplitude as the input voltage. So, you simply power the oscillator with […]