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Upgrading Robie The Robot.

Part one, in a journey to upgrade an old robot. This classic 80’s robot This robot was also known as: Tandy Robie, Radio Shack Robie, Robie the Robot, Talking Robie, RS 4061, Robocom 1000, Robie Parlant, and Robocom Robot (Super).

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Parametric VESA Mount Fixer.

Recently I encountered a monitor that used a different mount despite being only a few digits of in model number. The monitor needed to live with the other, so I created an OpenSCAD mount to convert lower mount VESA, to central mount VESA.

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What is the difference between a laser that will cut metals and one that won’t?

A friend who recently acquired a CO2 laser cutter for his school recently sent me a message. “What is the difference between a laser that will cut metals and one that won’t?”. I thought this is a good question, as the answer will help with understanding how to work with many materials.

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SpeakingDuck (Maven plugin for java resource bundle transition.)

Developing multi-lingual applications in java seems a pain, to me anyway. There are resource bundles and a localisation API – which are well documented. I wanted to auto translate these bundles, and then have friends look over and refine the translations later. I did not want some heavy weight application to manage properties files etc. […]

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Making a Train Set: Part 1 – Design and Woodwork.

Recently I have been building a train set, I will blog the progress, in six parts, highlighting how I get certain things done.

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Random Thoughts

Here are some random ideas, like: “Could we get street lights to start flashing 30 seconds before an ambulance is due to come through?”

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Surface Preparation and Finger Prints. How bad are they?

In preparing a surface for paint / glue / thermal paste / soldering / whatever, there is one thing to remember. A normal finger print is of similar thickness to cling wrap (0.01mm). A thick (eg post pizza) print, where the ridges are no longer visible, is closer to the thickness of a sheet of paper (0.1mm).

Rule of thumb. If you would you would not be happy with this kind of material on the surface of whatever you are coating, remove your finger prints.

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Overview OpenXeen is a game engine rewrite I have been working on for Might and Magic III, IV and V . It’s opensource and still under development. Currently it brings up monsters, objects, and most of the outdoor environment. Resources: Git: here Wiki: here Development Blog: here State of openXeen features Interested in contributing Xeen […]

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[UPDATE] Comprehensive Arduino Flash Memory via PROGMEM

[Updated for arduino v1.6] This post is a huge set of PROGMEM examples (done as unit tests) which you can freely copy and paste into your work.

The readership level is set at those who are already familiar with the arduino PROGMEM documentation here and the use of the F() macro and __FlashStringHelper*

Its designed as a reference to save you the “lets see how to make this work” time and communicate common pitfalls. Search for the method you need to use, and see it running in working tested code

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Arduino Graphing Libraries

Here is a library to write GNUPlot output from the Arduino. Now the Arduino can produce a graph output that is directly renderable across multiple platforms and cloud services. Does not rely on some gone tomorrow software + lets you edit the plot afterward.

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35 Strange Alternatives for the Word “Return”.

“Return” (based in latin) [re =back, tornare = to turn]. ie to turn back.
Scopeturn [scope = examine] so: “on closer inspection, you can have it back”. Read on for more…

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ASCII-Art Arduino Pinouts

Managing arduino projects can be a nightmare because its hard to keep track of your hardware setup in your code comments. To enable easy documentation of pin assignments, I created a couple of ASCII art arduino pin-outs.

These come complete with ports, PWM and coms all marked. Simply paste as a comment into your code and marvel at your new found organisation.

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RGB Bias Lighting with Arduino (Part 1)

We are setting up an arduino with a WS2811 LED strip to do RGB based bias lighting effects.

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Elec-TRICK-s part 1 – “dual mono-speakers”

Today, after an errant purchase, I am a little peeved at how certain companies deceive consumers with electrical smoke and mirrors. So I am creating the tag “Elec-TRICK-s” and going through devices that are tricking you into making a purchase.

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When a picture is worth 1000 semilegible words.

(click for full size)     All these uni adverts with different reasons you should attend them. None say “Hey south paws, you can actually take notes if you enrol with us”.