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Articles in the Things I’ve Made Category

Cool & Future Tech, Featured, Headline, html5, Things I've Made »

[19 Sep 2011 | 20 Comments | ]
Stream a webcam using Javascript, NodeJS, Android, Opera Mobile, Web Sockets and HTML5

With all the recent Goruck-ness it’s time to throw out a tech post. I’ve been prepping for a NodeJS presentation recently and wanted a unique demo. I had also come across the experimental build of Opera which supports accessing the native webcam of a mobile device. So I threw these two technologies together and came up with a Javascript powered way to stream a video camera from a mobile device to a bunch of desktop (or mobile) clients.
HTML5 had originally laid out support for a new element (the “device” …

Cool & Future Tech, Featured, Headline, html5, Things I've Made, Web Development, Web Experiments »

[9 Oct 2010 | 3 Comments | ]
Solving the Traveling Salesman Problem with Genetic Algorithms and HTML5 Web Workers

Irreducible Complexity – the world is too complex to have evolved! Let’s see…
HTML5 introduces the ability to perform multi-threading in the browser using Javascript through the notion of “Web Workers”. So far I have only seen examples of using workers to calculate very high prime numbers. I took a fresh look at these from the standpoint of genetic algorithms and applied it to the Traveling Salesman Problem (a classic). The results are a multi-threaded implementation of the TSP in Javascript capable of converging on a solution for up to 200 cities, …

Featured, Headline, Life & Introspection, Things I've Made »

[7 Jun 2010 | No Comment | ]
Kirigami and Origami

File this under “do try this at home”. Since Christmas I have been occasionally practicing Origami which has been a lot of fun. Origami, particularly unit-origami as you might think has some fairly strong roots in geometry and some exquisite forms can be produced with some surprisingly complex folds. Probably the best example of this is the Bisected Cube folded from a single sheet, the bisection is covered exactly by a 2nd sheet of paper folded into a perfect hexagon.
This past weekend I tried my hand at Kirigami. Kirigami is …

Electronics, Featured, Headline, Things I've Made »

[14 May 2009 | 78 Comments | ]
How to Build a 8×8 RGB LED Matrix with PWM using an Arduino

A while ago I designed a circuit that would power an 8×8 RGB LED Matrix (192 LEDs in all) using only 3 pins from an Arduino Diecimila and supporting Pulse Width Modulation. I’ve uploaded some videos of this project on Youtube and folks have been emailing me with questions on how it works. In this post I’ll try to answer all those questions so you can build your own.
I started with the LED Matrix component itself. I used an RGB 8×8 common anode matrix from LedSee (only $10 on ebay). …

Cool & Future Tech, Featured, Headline, Things I've Made »

[19 Mar 2009 | 2 Comments | ]
Flickr + Composite Image Maker + Silverlight Deep Zoom

First install Silverlight v2.0 [HERE] then check this out: http://www.francisshanahan.com/zoom/ then come back and read the rest.
Silverlight 3.5 was announced recently so I finally took 5mins to look at their “Deep Zoom” technology. Deep Zoom provides a way to view a HUGE image by converting it into what they call an “image pyramid”. Similar to what Google Maps does. It just so happened that I have a thing that makes huge images. It’s a side project I’ve been working on for about 18 months now. Anyway, I fired it up …

Featured, General Computing, Headline, Things I've Made »

[17 Feb 2009 | 8 Comments | ]
How I Tweaked WordPress

WordPress is pretty nice out of the box but there’s a few things you’ll want to do on top of the base install. I’ve been tweaking WordPress 2.7 since the day I installed it. It’s humming just as I like now and I figured I’d share the few things I changed.

I started with wordpess 2.5 which was my host’s default installation. I immediately upgraded to 2.7. This was as simple as ftp’ing some files across and running a database script.
I migrated my old data, which was in SQL Server into …

Things I've Made »

[6 Feb 2009 | No Comment | ]
Time for a Change

A quick blog as I’m exhausted. Regulars will notice I’ve switched to WordPress. Content has been migrated from SQL Server to mySQL and I’ve done a fair bit of tweaking to the Arthemia Lite (free) theme to snazz it up. Looks almost like the pro version now.
This new blog will allow a lot more features than I could’ve kept up with writing myself. Ping backs, Trackbacks, Gravatar support, a snazzy admin console, widgets galore and a nice theme (much better than my CSS/artistic bent would ever come up with). …

Digital Identity, Featured, Things I've Made, Web Experiments »

[9 Jan 2009 | No Comment | ]
Foolstr.com Soft Launch

"The fool is proud of the one thing he knows…"

foolstr is a new website, located at www.foolstr.com. It’s all about the Wisdom of Crowds. foolstr lets you publish your ideas, lessons learned and get feedback from the community. It’s a simple social site, intended to gather up collective wisdom.

foolstr is innovative in that it relies on OpenID as its form of authentication. This …

Electronics, Featured, Science, Things I've Made »

[4 Jan 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
Science is Wonderful

Kids are like giant sponges. I finally got my Arduino powered RGB LED Matrix soldered together and firing on all cylinders last night. I wrote a simple interface in Processing and then showed the kids after lunch today. Within about 30seconds they were having fun turning on and off lights. Here’s the result:

They saw how things were linked together, how a click on the screen lit a dot on the matrix and it was simple enough but yet they could quickly make shapes and letters. They got a …

Things I've Made, Woodworking »

[10 Aug 2008 | 5 Comments | ]

This weekend I was in dire need of a mental escape. Woodworking in the basement is both a physical and mental endeavour which generally only succeeds when you give it adequate focus. I don’t recommend woodworking when you’re mind’s not on your work [LINK].
I came across IBM’s website on burr puzzles [LINK] and decided to make one.
"Burr puzzles are interlocking puzzles known in Europe and Asia since at least the 18th century. Traditionally they are made from wood….and require special wood so that the pieces do not change …