Another "issue" of Debunking Creation

Yep, bought Creation today in order to get over the EFTPOS limit. So another "issue" of Debunking Creation is out :-) I actually missed an issue, but didn't realise - ops

Only up to page 8, slowly working my way through it. Articles will be added as I go, but such a constant high blood pressure is bad for my health, so I will go slowly.




Log clock: technotrash version

While cleaning my room and throwing stuff out in general, I came across an old cdrom and laptop HDD. After taking them apart for salvage and throwing the rest away, it hit up on me to make a clock out of them!

Since I already had my log clock code written up, I just used that. The lens assembly moves up and down to tell the time, with intervals marked out by the bits and pieces I kept while taking these things apart. There is a little blinkenlight on the hdd portion to indicate activity (blinks every 2 seconds). The lens assembly "rewinds" itself back up to the top at the end of each 12hr cycle, during which the main rotor will spin.

Now for some pictures:

Building this taught me a few things, including the finer points of building a NPN only H-Bridge, the intricacies involved when dealing with mechanical systems and especially motors. Of note is the delicate movement of the lens assembly, which travels a different distance each interval depending on how long it has been since it was last moved. My initial method of determining where to stick the indicator involved holding down the increment button to step through all the intervals, which leads to long "travel". In practice, the minimum delay between movements is 60 minutes. I only realised this half way through, so now the first half of the interval markers are a bit off - but the whole thing wasn't entirely accurate anyway :P

Another "problem" with this design is that it requires a constant power source, which meant batteries can't be used. Batteries decrease in voltage/current considerably over the course of their life time, and with no voltage regulator, it means varied response from the motors, which further renders the clock even more inaccurate. I didn't take this into account when building it, so now I am short 1 plug pack :-)

Now to polish the front face to get rid of the residue of using too much super glue, and it will be finished :-)




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Introducing SETerm

To learn a bit about using XCode, program in Objective-C using Cocoa and play with bluetooth and my phone, I wrote a simple bluetooth serial terminal. It simply connects to my phone (or any bluetooth device), opens a communication channel, and lets you send characters through it as if it is a serial connection. With my phone, this allows me to do pretty much everything that - list, read, send SMSs, contacts, check battery status, signal strength, etc.

Nifty! Here is a picture:

Download it, give it a whirl. I will one day update it to use Core Data so it handles SMSs and contacts in a nicer way then dumping out as text.