Archive for the “Linux Development” Category

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I’ve become a fan of bitcoins.  They make sense to me.

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Here are some pics of a Zenith console TV converted to a home theatre (HTPC) machine.

I don’t watch much TV. As a computer developer, I watch plenty of video monitor without needing non-interactive push-feed broadcast television. I think that maybe some of us remember when TV was actually paid for by advertising and broadcast directly to you for FREE. Paying for cable or satellite, and then STILL having commercials is just a bit too much for me. It’s not that good, I can’t interact with it. The biggest problem I have with TV programming is the sheer amount of fabricated malarkey… politicians that spout baldfaced lies (“non-factual statements”), fantasy garbage under the premise of “science fiction”, and “News” programs on television about television characters on television programs. The half-life of my “Willing Suspension of Disbelief” is about 10 nanoseconds, which is slightly further than I can barf at the speed of light.  So most of my personal video to eyeball input is pre-selected recordings playback.  I get a couple hours of live “TEEVEE” a week in the pub, but that’s mostly it.

I’ve never paid for a “TV” with a tube. I did own a television receiver, I have a couple actually. One of them I won in a raffle when I was pretty young, it is not in use as it is a model well-known to spontaneously catch fire and burn down houses (however it does work very well and was used many years).  I’ve purchased plenty of computer monitors and a few tuner cards to watch TV on them.

The one in my living room was a Zenith console.

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I have acquired a 40 watt infrared CO2 laser engraver.  Here are some pictures and notes on how it works.

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The original Grow Light project is reportedly working very well.  It’s encouraging enough that I’ve gone ahead and designed and ordered the parts for another one.  This time, I’ll use a new driver chip that can handle the full amperage that the Led Engin LZ1 5-watt LEDs can use.

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Here is a design for an overhead light fixture (see the Creative Commons license notice below).

I’m not really sure I’m going to save any money with this.  I’m spending a lot for a very nice lamp, but economically, I’m not sure the energy and light bulb savings will be worth it.  But then again, that’s not the only reason to do anything.

This lamp will replace the aging standard fixture in the ceiling of my study in a house built in 1965.  This existing fixture is made for two Edison base light bulbs, and switched at the wall near the entry door.  Bo-rrring.

The idea is to stop the 120V wiring at the switch.  There I’ll put in a small DC power supply and a circuit inside the wall box with a special wall plate for the switches mounted on the PC board.  A three wire cable (ground, 24 volts DC, and a 0 – 5 volt square wave) will connect to the overhead fixture.  The lamp will be made of 6 pentagonal printed circuit boards connected together on the edges like the lower half of a dodecahedron (12 sided solid).  Each board will have 5 Cree XLamp MX-6 high-brightness LEDs, 6500 Kelvin (cool white color), for a total of 30 LEDs.

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Comments Comments Off on Virtual Chumby

ChumbySorry about the Eddie Murphy joke. I’m an embedded processor fan, and just saw this on the cover of the May 2008 issue of Linux Journal. It’s pretty darned cute. The processor isn’t too shabby, the memory is miniscule, and I must have one at least one. $179 buys a 350MHz ARM with 64MB RAM, 64MB NAND ROM, Wifi, USB 2.0, 3.5 inch touchscreen, speakers. It’s a programmable house radio. All the code is GPL or LGPL. This really makes the old Pimp-a-sketch project look pretty pwned. I’m pretty sure that’s not actually an image of an Elder in the logo, but it gets points from me.

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