Archive for category: My Projects

Dorodango: Having (or rather making) a ball with just mud

August 9, 2016 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

On Sunday, I started a new project which on the face of it, seems like an enormous waste of time, but if you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time, you know that wasting time is pretty much the bread and butter of my online presence, so here we go. I’ve started work […]

Hooded Oriole at my hummingbird feeder…

June 26, 2016 | My Projects, Photography | By: Mark VandeWettering

Last year, I bodged together a motion detecting camera to photograph hummingbirds at my hummingbird feeder. But it was always a temporary hack. We had some difficulty with the ants that discovered the feeder, and we discontinued the experiment. I had a post that I could hang some feeders from, and decided to fill a […]

Shower (or should I say “cow-er”) Thought of the Day…

May 25, 2016 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

I just recently found out about the /r/showerthoughts subreddit, where people vote on pithy sayings. I thought this might be a fun thing to have to replace the aging and relatively static “fortune” file that I use. I used the Python “PRAW” library to fetch the top entry for the day, and then optionally pass […]

Some random pictures from the Maker Faire…

May 21, 2016 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Code for generating a random Latin square…

May 17, 2016 | Games and Diversions, My Projects, Puzzles | By: Mark VandeWettering

The other day I mentioned that generating random Latin squares was a bit more complicated than I thought, and that an algorithm by Jacobson and Matthews was the way that people typically did it. I worked up this implementation based on a couple of different descriptions of the algorithm (the original paper was behind a […]

KenKen puzzle solver…

May 12, 2016 | Computer Science, Games and Diversions, My Projects, Puzzles | By: Mark VandeWettering

Lately, my lunch hours have been spent working on the NYT Crossword with my lunch companion Tom. While I find that the Thursday crosswords are often beyond my ability to do in the allotted time, between the two of us, more often than not we manage to plow through them. Slowly over time, we’ve begun […]

Solving the N queens problem, again…

May 4, 2016 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Backtracking is a better technique, obviously. The version from earlier today was actually not very clever, and took half an hour to find the 73,712 solutions to the 13×13 checkerboard. This version is less code (just 91 lines, compared to 107 for yesterdays) and finds all the 13×13 solutions in just 2.5 seconds (a speed […]

Solving the N Queens Problem…

May 4, 2016 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

A question on Quora set me thinking about solving the N Queens problem, which is to list all ways that N queens can be positioned on an NxN checkerboard such that no queen can attack the other. I seemed to have misplaced my implementation of this that I did in Python, so I decided to […]

Streaming to twitch.tv with ffmpeg…

April 26, 2016 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was trying to figure out how to screencast to twitch.tv using ffmpeg. A couple of hours of tinkering resulted in the following command line which does a bunch of stuff. It captures the X desktop at 15 fps and 1920×1080 resolution. It grabs frames from my webcam (a Logitech Pro 9000) at 320×240 resolution. […]

Recommendations for tech to create a virtual hacker space?

April 14, 2016 | Hacking, Mad Science, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Most of my hacking occurs in a vacuum: where I sit in my living room or in my home office and toil away silently on projects which occasionally get documented here, but which all too often are just my way of passing the time. On the way to work, I was asking myself what I […]

More on Caxton Foster’s Blue Architecture…

March 26, 2016 | Computer Science, Emulation, Homebrew CPU, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Okay, it’s been a long time since I wrote anything here. Not really a lot dramatic going on in life, I just have been spending my free time writing for Quora rather than my own blog. But I still am nerding out from time to time. Last night I dusted off an old project of […]

Quadcopter Survey with my DJI Phantom 2/GoPro

January 25, 2016 | My Projects, Quadcopter | By: Mark VandeWettering

I hadn’t been flying my DJI Phantom 2 since last year (before I herniated two disks in my neck) but I’ve been meaning to take it out and get it in the the air. This week, two different things happened which provided some incentives to get it in the air, for reasons which weren’t entirely […]

On calculators, Space Invaders and Binary Coded Decimal Arithmetic…

September 21, 2015 | Computer Science, Development Boards, Emulation, Math, Microcontrollers, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

A couple days ago, one of my Twitter or Facebook friends (sadly, I forgot who, comment if it was you, and I’ll give you credit) pointed out this awesome page: Reversing Sinclair’s amazing 1974 calculator hack – half the ROM of the HP-35 It documented an interesting calculator made by Sinclair in the 1970s. It […]

The Kim-Uno — a Kim-1 simulator

July 4, 2015 | Arduino, Emulation, My Projects, Retrocomputing | By: Mark VandeWettering

Ken Boak had mentioned on twitter that someone was creating a blinken-lights front end for the simh simulator of the PDP-8, called the PiDP-8, since you can power the entire thing from a Raspberry Pi. Very cool, but not quite available yet. What was available from Oscar is the Kim-Uno, a simulator for the old […]

Driving an 8 digit, 7 segment display based upon the 74HC595…

June 1, 2015 | Arduino, My Projects, Teensy | By: Mark VandeWettering

A few weeks ago, I was scanning the Deal Extreme website, and ordered a few different LED displays, not because of any pressing need, but because I wanted to have some display options available if I needed some for a project. I was especially interested in cheap LED displays. One of the ones I ordered […]