[Jamie Zawinski] controls his drapes from the command line

As one of the founders of Netscape and the Mozilla Project, [Jamie Zawinski] is no stranger to frustration elicited from syntax errors, terrible implementations, and things that don’t work even though they should. This familiarity of frustration is what makes [jwz]‘s command line controlled curtains so great; it’s rare to see someone so technically proficient freaking out over the lack of DHCP on an Arduino Ethernet.

[Jamie]‘s project begins as so many do – modifying an existing piece of hardware to connect to the Internet. This is easier said than done, as [Jamie] fried a USB hub, FTDI cable and an Arduino Ethernet all at the same time. Finally turned onto the seeed relay shield, [jwz] got busy writing scripts to power his curtain.

Of course, this level of automation is nothing without a good bit of integration. After [Jamie] realized his projector (a Panasonic PT-D5500U) and receiver (Denon AVR-2805) could talk to his computer, he got busy mashing them together with a Griffin PowerMate. Mashing the button on the PowerMate turns on the projector and closes the drapes. There’s also a cron job running so that [Jamie] is reminded of the glowing orange ball in the sky.

Weekly roundup 1/14/12

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention in class, here is the best of what has hit our blog this past week:

In the #1 spot is a post about a project where some pretty ambitious hackers found a way to run Linux on a digital picture frame. Bravo!

Next up is a post where [Chris] needs some help getting his 1/10th scale, cycle accurate Cray I ‘supercomputer’ to boot.

In third place is a post about a very elaborate 737 cockpit simulator that was built over the past couple of years. This is a pretty intense build with lots of details about how it was done.

Following that is a post about a 3D-printed device that is similar to a phenakistoscope but instead of using slits to allow you to see the models in succession, it blinks some LEDs at the appropriate times.

Finally rounding things out in fifth place is a post about Makerbot Industries’ most recent release, which will let you print out your own phenakistoscope. This 3D printer is bigger than their makerbot and optionally sports two extruders instead of one so that you can do dual colors or possibly dual materials.


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