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Critter is operational again!

July 23, 2011 16:07

I have restored the Critter to its original operational state. Mainly, I removed the two casters and reattached the second pair of motors/wheels so it's back to a 4 wheel monstrosity that can't spin very well. But at least it works. Now, I still have two issues to resolve. First off, it's still set up to use a non-encrypted wifi, and my access point has a passkey. This means that I'll need to figure out how to configure it to use an encrypted connection, and actually set it up to do so. Since getting it wrong would mean I would be unable to access the onboard computer, I'll need to partially break it down and hook it up via the serial port so I can mess with the wireless configuration without losing my access to it. The second issue is that the house is currently a mess and my wife doesn't want it driving around looking at the mess. The mess will also present unnecessary obstacles, so I fully agree with that assessment, even if it's for slightly different reasons.

As for the mess, it's the result of several unrelated projects. First off, Gertie's been on a coupon stockpile binge lately, so we have a LOT of excess grocery merchandise. That's great and all, but storage is an issue. I have built a 4 1/2 foot wide, 8 ft tall storage cabinet for that very purpose. We were originally going to set it up in the kitchen, but the second refridgerator is now stationed where the cabinet would have to go, and while we entertained the notion of setting the fridge in front of the back door, it would require building a semi-elaborate dolly to set the fridge on so we could actually move it in case we needed access to the back door. Eventually we decided to instead set it up in the dining room in the recessed part of the wall where I had originally planned to build some type of built in hutch. I'll need to make a couple of minor modifications to the cabinet before it will fit in there... it's like 3/4" too tall to fit under the header, so I need to saw off 3 1/2 inches of the top piece at the back. Not ENTIRELY sure how I'm going to handle that yet, but I'll manage. We have to drag it outside to stain it anyway, so that won't be a big deal. I also have to made the drawers for it. It'll be somewhat timeconsuming and tedious, but not a big deal. Once that is fully assumbled and in place, it will clear up a lot of room, since currently the two parts of it are taking up most of the dining room.

Secondly, I brought a lot of my dad's old stuff over recently, mainly to clear out his office at my Mom's. Lots of boxes of miscellanious things that need to be sorted through, some thrown out, some stored elsewhere, and some of it put into use. I've also got several tower computers still sitting around here that need to have something done with them. A couple of them can be put into service once I replace the motherboards. I've got CPUs, and ram for those boards, but the boards themselves were crappy ECS brands. If I can assemble a couple of them, I'll have two fairly nice linux boxes which I can then use to phase out some of the older ones.

Third, I have a large number of bookcases, many of them already in use, that are scattered around the living/dining rooms. I'm going to move the fireplace to the center of the room and set up bookcase/cabinets on either side of it. I've still got a couple bookcases that need to be set up and once they're against the wall instead of out in the middle of the room and/or the hallway, I'll have a lot more room available. Once all of that is done, I'll be able to get the critter roaming around again and also set up some of the other cams again too.