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July 17, 2003 00:13
The RC car's transmitter is now powered with a 9V voltage regulator instead of a battery. This means that I won't have to purchase obscene numbers of 9V batteries in the future. I still have to get it soldered to the RC car relay board instead of the breadboard I have it on now, but that's a minor change that I can fuss with later. I still need to get the other parallel port interfaces soldered into a nice, neat enclosure instead of more breadboarding, and get the wires off the floor. Can't vacuum until the wires are mounted on the walls. I need to vacuum. No, really.
The audio amp that I'm using for the mic on the listen live for the office will also get a regulated 9V instead of the straight from wallwart that is feeding it now. That should get rid of the annoying 60hz hum you hear when listening. I'm planning to consolodate the power supplies to power all the relays, audio amp, and cam rotor from a single 12V power supply instead of the three wallwarts I have in use now. Wallwarts take up a lot of power strip space, meaning I need more power strips. Which means, I need more outlets, and we all know what they say about adding too many outlets to a single circuit..... yeah.
My phone interface will hopefully get some improvements. I scavenged a 1/8" phone plug (no pun intended.. yes, I know, that wasn't even funny) from a modem board. I'm talking about the audio plug, not the phone line plug. Yes, I know it's confusing if you don't know what I'm talking about. Just think of the thing you plug your headphones into. Yeah. That. Ok, I'll continue. Got one of those on the phone interface board now. The objective is to plug the mic input into that socket and have a switch on the board to swap between the mic input and the phone input. That would save me the trouble of swapping the cables at the soundcard plugs on the back of the computer when I'm in desparate need to get the phone conversation live on the air. These things are important.
If I get the new server in place, I might change the streaming source to use that computer instead of doing it through winamp. This way the sound card would always stream only the phone. I'll probably use the onboard sound for this as it won't be doing anything else and I have a secondary soundcard in there for the actual audio use of the server. I'll see what happens here.
July 15, 2003 18:48
A few minor updates:
I will be shortly replacing spaz (the primary server) with a new server. I had it going on sunday, but it was almost immediately rooted. My fault for trusting a distribution out of the box wouldn't include server programs with known vulnerabilities, even if they DID do it in the past. Anyway, reloaded and updated so it should be clean now. I'll attempt to replace it again as soon as I have a calm moment.
Found some nice temperature sensors and I'm currently working on a way to feed data from them to the computers so I can display temperature information throughout the house, and outside, so it will no longer be necessary to obtain the temperature information from NOAA, which seems more often than not to not be available, hence the constant (-1F) you see.
I've started using the barcode scanner again and tracking my groceries. It might amuse some of you.
TechTV called today, looking to do another feature on my site, so they'll likely be out here in the next week or so, although they've discussed the possibility before several times and nothing's happened. This seems more dedicated though, so we'll see. That gives me a week to get my house cleaned and throw up a few more gadgets.
June 23, 2003 17:47
It is officially a small world. Gertie, the wonderful woman that I'm currently dating, first saw me 10 years ago, although neither she nor I was aware of it at the time. Here is the story.
Way back when in the summer of 93, I was still living with my parents. This means, among other things, that despite having a day job, I still had an extraordinary amount of free time on my hands. So I, along with a friend of mine, decided that the best way to spend this time was at Six Flags. This is a large amusement park, for those who aren't aware. Anyway, we visited the park over 20 times that summer. Sometimes two or three times a week. Needless to say, things started getting a bit boring after a while. The rides lose their thrill and we sought out new and interesting ways to amuse ourselves. We would sneak through all the "off limits" areas of the park, smuggle camcorders onto the rides and videotape them, and other fun stuff. And to top off the end of a productive evening, we would don our other hats and become the Six Flags tram racing team.
Don't worry, I'll explain. The parking lot spanned about half a mile from the entrance to the park to the furthest spot. Needless to say, some people didn't want to walk that distance, depsite the fact they've already walked several miles while at the park, but I digress. They had several trams that would ferry people from the entrance to the edge of the lot, and back. Whatever compelled us to first race the trams, I will never know. But it became somewhat of an obsession. Of course, it really wasn't much of a race. They never moved that fast, and they constantly stopped to let off people, but that didn't matter. It was fun, and somewhat amusing to the people riding. We'd run all the way out to the end of the lot, then jump on the tram and take it back to the front and do it all over again. On rare occasions, someone would jump off and run with us.
And Gertie was one of those passengers once. Didn't recall much, only that there was a redheaded guy running. In fact, she didn't even recall it when I told her about my tramracing experiences one day. But mentioning she was going to Six Flags to her sister, she mentioned to say hi to the tramracers, at which point she instantly assumed that she and I were talking behind her back. Of course, after a brief explaination, it all came back to her.
So once, long long ago, for a few moments, she and I were practically within arms reach of each other. Of course, at the time, "they can't be serious!" was her predominant opinion of my activites, but hey, it's nice to think that our paths crossed once before, if even in such a bizzare way. :)
June 14, 2003 20:48
Good news and bad news. The good news is that the car is fully functional again. Bad news is that I don't know why it wasn't working before. I did absolutely nothing to fix it, other than give it a few hours of rest. I was getting ready to prep the spare car so it could work properly when on a lark I decided to test the original again, and it was working. Must have been a short or something. Who knows.
June 14, 2003 19:40
Bad news, the car is broken again. Should be a week before I get it fixed.
However, to tide you over, here are some googlesnacks.
My site is the most closely related site to fwfr.com
June 12, 2003 20:59
And Sixpack takes the lead with 3 minutes, 39 seconds. Who's next? :)
I'm currently prepping a scavenger hunt. I'll scatter various objects around the house and after a few days, I'll post a list of the first people to find each of them.
June 12, 2003 16:00
cmkrcs1 currently holds the record at 3 minutes 42 seconds for manuvering the RC Car from the O to the B. Are you going to beat that? Go to the RC Car page, read the race instructions, and try it out. :)
June 11, 2003 12:27
I've added a fan to the growing list of controllable appliances. It's currently not visible from any cam other than the RC Car. I have it located in the fron thallway, but I'm probably going to move it. It has to be in a position with good airflow and somewhere that the car can't knock it over. I'm thinking maybe in the den on the hearth. I'll also add ribbons or streamers or something so you can see when it's on. I also need a different icon, preferably one that represents both on and off, something in the 32x32 pixel range, although a few pixels in either direction is acceptable. So if anyone can find an appropriate icon or wants to create one, I'm interested.
I'm working on a method for people to submit their own entries for the visitors page, and I might redo those pages to separate the guys from the gals, and combine the manifest/visitors pages for that purpose. I'm also intending to list the pictures in order of the most recent site visitor first, so those that haven't been around for months get pushed further down the list.
And for those who have been around awhile, you might appreciate this fan art depicting some of the regulars. Thanks Modok. :)
June 09, 2003 21:23
How do you hook a keyboard up to a computer? Yes my friends, there IS a reason why AOL is still in business
June 08, 2003 22:25
Remember, in the name of goatse, if you're offended, then don't look at it.
My site is related to skeletonsport.com