Archive for January, 2007

Robofest

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

A local person, Diana H., is organizing a small robotic competition for 5-12th graders called RoboFest. I listened to her presentation this morning and volunteered to help in any way I could on March 24th from 1 to 5 PM at the competition. I even offered to assist a coach and team, but I don’t know how to make that connection.

Icy yet at work

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

The past few days have been icy here in Austin and throughout much of the country. As a result my work site has been closed. This rarely happens especially two days in a row. However I’ve been going in regardless. Driving has not been bad, and I’m a careful driver. IMHO having grown up in Buffalo NY this little bit of ice and sleet is nothing. At work it’s been quiet. I’ve gotten a few things done, which needed to get done. Some of my previous jobs and responsibilities have come back to haunt me. I’ve had a presentation to create along with a step-by-step lab on the SPU Overlay capability. Someone wanted to use the Terrain Rendering Engine program that I migrated to a new level of support software and it wasn’t working so I needed to debug it. Also there was a capability of the SPE management library that I personally wanted to investigate but was outside of my required work. Finally there is my primary work which needs me to write a design document. So I’m busy which is a good thing.

UPC Barcode scanning

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Recently on a Make posting titled “CueCatLibraryThing & CueCats – Catalog your books” I was surprised to hear about the old “:CueCat”. I remembered that I had gotten one years ago and never did anything with it. So digging deep within one of my old boxes of junk I found it.

It is a Digital Convergence 68-1965-A version with a Rev 2.1 board inside. I modified it using the How to Neuter a :Cat article and its Confuse-A-Cat sub-article along with the additional Geek posting using the “blue” connection as shown in the picture. [Most of this work was documented in 2000 and some of the links on the internet no longer worked.]
When it was done I plugged it into the keyboard port and the keyboard into it and then tried it. Scanning the UPC on a book it spit out just UPC nothing else – very nice and the mod worked. Using isbn.un I was able to scan a few books and find them on the internet. I thought maybe Kathy’s library of stitching books could be aided by something like this. So I showed her what I had done. Naturally she wants a complete library cataloging solution not just a simple scanner, but then it’s a start. So I need to look into LibraryThing.com

Very quiet house

Monday, January 1st, 2007

Justin and Stephanie have gone back to San Francisco. Katie has gone back to university. Matthew and Beth are gone until Tuesday. The house is very quiet. Just me and my sweetheart who is transfixed by the college bowl games on TV. Oh, one more thing, to all please have a happy new year!
Update: It’s now Tuesday and I’m all alone. Kathy is now back at work. Today is my last day of vacation, and tomorrow I too will be back at work. It was a nice vacation and holiday.