Sunday, September 28, 2008


Your word of the day is Tetraphobia. I have no idea why cultures are so tied up in numerology. its the modern era, move on people!

At work, the main product has a developer logon PW with a lot of 8's. heres why

Saturday, September 27, 2008

T-Day Plans

Seeing as Sarah is planning on being about 37 weeks pregnant we are not planning on traveling (I'd rather not have to tell my kid they were delivered at mile post 382 on the interstate).

We are happy to host anyone who wants to visit though. Especially those who want to cook yummy things :) or go hiking.

electrocute your diesel

some 'snake-oil' plate differential has claims of 20% increase in mpg or power. i say snake oil because it may have some validitity to it. it made it to slashdot, and was scoffed, but its actually been published on and we know those guys are all snakeoilly. read the paper here

as a side note, now i don't feel so bad that i use paint for technical illustrations.

canada and back

A week ago I had a discussion with my manager about my work responsibilities. The discussion didn't go so well. We weren't seeing eye to eye on much of my responsibilities. The next day I was asked to fly to Canada for a spur of the moment FAT (factory acceptance test) to conclude a 4 month demo. A Canadian customer had a unit and wanted some modifications made, and I was the best qualified that was able to travel.

This last week, I flew up and spent almost the entire week up with the crazy Canadians. (yes, I did ride a horse, and yes, the saddle fell off, and yes I did end up on the ground). The trip was an awesome success (mostly luck). I spent a day and wrote a report on the new configuration and sent it back to the factory. When I got back, the plant gave me a raise and a new job (doing more of what I want to do).

not bad for missing 2 nights of school. well worth it I think.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

putty puzzle games

weird little puzzle games from the maker of putty, which now has serial support so i'll be giving that shot. you guys can enjoy the games.

all the games appear to run in a browser window in java, so no need to install anything. i tried the tangle game and 'beat it' in a few minutes. it made me very proud.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Unscrewed Leg

They took the screws out of my leg... Lots of fun, got to meet some nice people in the hospital. I really like the guy holding the mask right before the lights went out, it all seemed quite pleasant.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


check out the video on head tracking. pretty interesting and you even get the 3d effect from a 2d video. the brain is so cool.

Acoustic Trigger

I need to make an acoustic trigger for the cannon. (the big one). maybe one with a variable delay, you could go old school with a tunable RC network, or digital uP. I'd put a long cord on the pickup so I could put it near the impact point, and then adjust delay.

I wonder if you could use a piezzo electric? maybe just use a regular crystal, with no load, and then gain up the response with an op amp. drop the piezzo on the ground and out pops a trigger? tape it to a frozen jug, and use it for the trigger when the jug gets shot. so many possibilities....

found here


the folks over at have a nice little write up about using the atmega168 (thats the atmega8 with 16k of EEPROM) to drive a display and give you your speed and MPG. it specifically is targeted at older fuel injected cars where you just tap the injector signal, and the speed sensor, and your off and running.

It looks like a fun little project. i almost regret having a newer generation car where I fell pretty much obligated to reverse engineer OBD-II so I can read the fuel injector info directorly from the ECU. its so sad that is RIGHT THERE, but so hard to get to it!

ubuntu at wwu

unfortunately the mirror is super slow.  time for a new download site.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Have you guys seen they have a little compiler IDE thing that i think is a pretty front end to openGL and graphics processing, that turns into java. I was able to use to make a scope for a thing I was working on at work. it took me all of a few hours. its that simple, you guys already knew that because of how bad I am at coding. =)

I interfaced it with a 15 line program I loaded up on the arduino, which interestingly enough uses an IDE that looks identical. for a few hours of work, I have a fully functional tool that we've spent over $5,000 for at work to be built with off the shelf hardware. the kicker? Mine cost $35 for the hardware, and a few hours of code.

see the first screen shot, complete with 2 10-bit a/d inputs and one digital input (the blue sync line) running at 4 hertz. yeah, sounds slow, but try cramming 10-bit data over a 115,200 (crappy) serial rs-232 link. its possible, but it will take some work to do much better.

this was before i got my sync algorithm all figured out (which I implented on the computer side, not the hardware side). I would post the code, but unfortunatly i was at work when i wrote it, so technically that makes it theirs =(

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Another poor attempt to make money off of search engine vampire tactics, Groovle does have one good thing going for it. a few of the images are pretty good. browse to your selection of choice, right click and 'view background image' and then save for your use. i'm sure that violates some TOS somewhere, but hey, i'm sticking with my already uglified start page, and just using that thing for my desktop.

Monday, September 08, 2008


since kevs been posting nostalgic items, I was going to counter with the organ grinder, but it must have been called something else. i'm having a terrible time finding this old restraunt where a monkey ran across the room on a string. if memory serves, you walked down through the organ when you entered the place? man. I must be completely wrong, because i can't find it.

that brings me to awesome lakeside. that I could find. see above. there was the cyclone, but really, nothing tops the dragon

there was some whole book-it thing that if you read 20 picture books during the summer, you got half off a coupon for the place or something. later the book-it turned into a free personal pan from pizza hut, but it was still enuf for me to claim I read books I'd never opened.


If you haven't played a good tower defense game in a while (the gem game was cool) sit down and fire up the old mouse for onslaught. you can play it a number of places, including kongregate i think. on first pass analysis with little printers walking by it doesn't inspire much confidence, but don't despair, theres a huge list of combos of how you chain your towers together to napalm, poison gas, taser and laser rockets, nukes, blackholes. the list seams endless, and really adds for huge gameplay.

denver - casa bonita
has an interesting writeup and current pictures of what my mind says was an awesome restaurant 20 years ago. perhaps times have changed, or at least my standards.

Saturday, September 06, 2008



has a brief writeup on a mysqlgame.

think OLD warcraft1 with no gui, just a database.
pretty cool.

it's been 24 hours and 10 seconds just does not come fast enough! (every 10 seconds, your factories cycle and you get more fuel and money)

visit shard1 to get started.