Kathy’s college roommate’s, Annelle’s, husband, Mike, has published a book: Amazing Rubber Band Cars.
Archive for September, 2007
Today finally I won the bid on a Lego Mindstorm NXT robotic system on eBay.
I week or so ago I bought a MiniPOV3 from Make magazine, Makezine. Yesterday I purchased a Weller WLC100 soldering iron, a Panavise Jr Model 201, a Z-TECH Helping Hands with Magnifier Model 53-003, some 60/40 rosin core solder and 5 ft. of .075 inch solder wick from Frys electronics.
MiniPOV3 circuit board in vise.
Well I’m trying to keep myself busier on weekends.
I did my 7 mile morning run with my running class. I ran with a good crowd including Chris, Jay, Robert, Celeste, and Glenn. We chatted all the way which was nice. This class and my running continues until next February’s Austin Marathon. Wish me luck. I need it.
After arriving home I cleaned-up and then I added 1GB of RDRAM to my son Matthew’s old Dell Dimension 8100. I had purchased this memory on e-Bay last week. The memory was not cheap, but the machine is a 1.3 GHz Pentium 4 which is better than my old 800 MHz AMD Athlon that I had disk nuked a week or so ago. Next I installed Linux Fedora 7 on it, and I installed some work things (Cell Broadband Engine Software Development Kit) on it too. Now it’s ready to go and with the additional memory the machine is quite snappy so it was a worthwhile purchase.
I again continued to reduce Lego entropy. Earlier this week I sorted, and inventoried the 8854 Power Crane.
Image courtesy of brickset.com
Then I sorted the hundreds of miscellaneous parts (non-blocks or plates) into groups and put them into baggies. I really need several containers with little divided sections.
This might look messy and totally disorganized, but actually it isnt’t. Each bunch is a group of the same type of piece regardless of their color
Update: My friend Larry P. told me that you can get Lego blocks from bricklink.com. The site says “BrickLink.com is a premium venue for individuals and businesses from all around the world to buy and sell new, used and vintage LEGO® through fixed price and auction services.”
I decided to sort three banker boxes of Lego blocks this weekend. These blocks were given to our children and had collected over the years. When they left home we bundled them up, and put them in the garage. Overall I consider this job a way to reduce the randomness of the “system”, that is, to reduce the entropy of the hundreds of mixed pieces into a more organized system. Based upon thermodynamics it always takes more energy to accomplish. Well it has been hours and I’m still doing it. So it sure has taken a lot of my energy and I’m still not done.
First I started on the miscellaneous bags of blocks. I sorted them into brick, plates, and special pieces. Then I sorted the bricks and plates into specific sizes, for example, 1×2, 1×3, 1×4, 1×6, 1×8, 1×10, 1×12, 2×2, 2×3, 2×4, and so on. I then packaged each group into their own ZipLoc bag ranging from massive gallon ones (for the 2×2, 2×3, and 2×4 bricks) to sandwich ones (for the 1×3, 1×4, and 1×6 bricks) to small snack ones (for the rest). I have yet to sort the special pieces further so they are just in five large ZipLoc bags for now.
Update: Train is 7720 Battery Train Set
Over the past few years I’ve been collecting old computers. Some have been mine and others have been my children’s. They have now gotten to a critical mass of four and I think it’s time to get rid of some of them.
Left to right: my cream-colored Gateway 300Mhz, Justin’s silver homebuilt from his college days, Matthew’s black Dell Dimension 8100 from his college days, my cream-colored homebuilt 800Mhz AMD Athlon
Now I have to get rid of the the other three junk machines. So today I’m also sitting here running Darik’s Boot and Nuke program from a CD on the Athlon machine. Running this program is not just a simple minute or two process. So far a 40GB drive took about 3 hours whereas two 20GB drives took about an hour each. Right now I have started a 20GB drive, and have a 30 GB and a 6GB still to do. You have got to have patience doing this.
We spent the last two days in Wimberley, Texas at the Creekhaven Bed and Breakfast. We ate, watched DVDs in bed, shopped, slept in, and ate some more. Breakfast was a buffet each morning, and Sunday’s french toast was especially great (done as a casserole). Also this was the first Saturday of the month, so that meant it was Market Days in Wimberley. We spent a few hours there touring the hundreds of booths, but we were good and didn’t buy much “stuff”. Kathy got some small stitched pieces, and I bought a DVD. It was so nice to just spend a few days together, just us.