Hackaday Links Third Shift

Yes, Weblogs, Inc. has been purchased by AOL. Should you be worried? Not really. Weblogs, Inc. is still an independent entity from AOL. AOL won’t be censoring us or directing us. [grayskies] hit the nail on the head “How much direction did Weblogs, Inc have on Hack-A-Day? They had the annoying “Best of weblogs inc” and the banner at the top.” This deal does mean a better contract and probably more money to throw at projects, contest prizes and schwag. My checks will have AOL on them so I guess I have to stop throwing out the mail from them now.

As a show of good faith, here’s a recent article from Linux.ars on monitoring network traffic with Ruby and pcap; the example script is an AIM sniffer.

RoboNexus 2005 started yesterday. [William Cox] from GoRobotics.net is covering the event on his site.

[Robogeek] has decided to tackle the adaptive LED color controller project. First task: modularize the LED units.

While you’re over at Blogcadre you could help former H-A-D editor Jason Striegel beta test his smartphone app.

We get quite a few emails from people telling us that their school’s firewall blocks access to our site. Duxbury High School is actually holding a hacking contest. I was contacted by Mr. Conners looking for judges. We’ll do a judging poll if you readers are interested.

[phatmonkey] is working on a high altitude slug project.

The Hack-A-Day folding team is moving as fast as ever. We’re now ranked in the top 350.

People have started unlocking their Linksys “Vonage” PAP2. [Ozmotear]

[Troy] is already getting into the holiday spirit.

The tip line

19 thoughts on “Hackaday Links Third Shift

  1. “[Robogeek] has decided to tackle the adaptive LED color controller project. First task: modularize the LED units.”

    LEDs are kewl! Big Clive [http://www.emanator.demon.co.uk/bigclive/rgb.htm] has nice fixture PCB art. It is round and blends the colors better than a strip. He really seems to know LEDS & color mixing. *BONUS* he updated his page from first time I saw it on hackaday, but the demo firmware seems to be gone.

    I like these ideas, but:
    1.TFA fixture is a strip – a cluster would mix better w/o a diffusion layer.
    2.Is the whole system running at 3.3v or what? LEDs are current driven devices and ALWAYS need a resistor (as I understand). Most serious projects seem to run at 12v, so 2 or 4 leds can be wired in series.
    3.They don’t have individual light control – I want my walls to look like the old acid warp eye candy programs.
    4. There is no need for a white led if the colors diffuse well, mix your own white! Save white LEDS for other architectural lighting goodness.

    This project is pretty cool (individual light control using a MAXIM chip), but I’m not even gonna attempt to solder such small chips: [http://www.dvarchive.org/RGBLED/]

    I made a motherboard with a TI TLC5940 and pic16f628a that gives 16 PWM channels per 5940 (*cascadable*) @ 120ma per channel (adjustable), 12 bit resolution (4096 steps per pulse). The 5940 comes in DIP (yes!) so I could make my own PCB with the typical toner transfer method.

    The PIC looks for packets (using the Berkeley MOTE/TINYOS network stack…) to its address and clocks values into the TLC5490 – I plan to have 5 units on a shared bus throughout my studio. To save bus traffic (and my sanity) I only use 8 bits of resolution on the PWM, rather than the available 12 bits (one byte per PWM).

    A little VB program sends commands to the units with some rudimentary color fading/mixing abilities. Each RGB cluster can be assigned a color using the standard color picker (which actually kinda sucks) or sliders.

    Here is a picture of my first RS232 base unit. I think it will have to be upgraded to USB (with FTD chip) or Ethernet (with XPORT?) because 19,200bps isn’t going to cut it with a lot of units on the bus. [http://www.flickr.com/photos/26283760@N00/50201517/]

    High power (stoplight!) LEDs are on the way from Hongkong so I don’t know what the final result will look like, but the LEDs I could buy locally look pretty good.

    I’m up to 3 URLs I think, so I will make a second comment with links to pictures of the board.

    My main concern is, living on the edge of Amsterdam’s red light district, that people might mistake my place for a brothel.

  2. To the students who can’t read hackaday at the hackaday website – There’s a syndication feed on LiveJournal, you can add Hackaday to your friends list and read it from there. But, hacking your way through is probably much more fun… :)

  3. I’m in fort bend isd, and I’m surprised HackADay isn’t blocked. Websense blocks a lot of stuff (I’ve seen some hardware-related sites blocked as “games” for example), and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until HackADay is blocked. I’ve been meaning to set up a proxy server on my linux box to get around the whole mess (only accepting IPs from the ISP the school uses, only on during school hours (I don’t want a ton of traffic)) but I’ve been lazy.

    And websense for our school disctict blocks google caching and altavista translations. Sucks.

    Until I get that proxy set up, I’ve just been SSH’ing into my box and reading the blocked sites with Lynx. Very lame, I know.

  4. I think my old high school just blocked everything that had the word “hack” in it… that and just about every online email and image search site known to them. I don’t think it’d be too hard for someone who knew what they were doing to circumvent it. (Obviously I don’t know what I’m doing or I would have already done it).

  5. my hs uses Bess, “the internet watchdog” to block site. Last year hackaday was blocked because it was classified as having “illegal activities”, gasp! This year it’s unblocked for unknown reasons, and i dont mind oe bit. You could always use proxies or the babel fish trick. Plus im down with tha network admin.


  6. My school, unfortunately, decides it likes to block access to hackaday and joystiq, both on weblogs inc. I found a simple way around short of using proxies. Method 1:By going to an unblocked sight on Weblogs like engadget I can just like to hackaday for some reason. Method 2:The only other way seems to be just typing in the url ipod.hackaday.com, it acts as a go around of the front page. Nice to know I can still get my hacking fix while i should be dutifully studying to become another souless corporate lackey.

  7. you could also try ping. if you can get a command promt type ping http://www.hackaday.com. If not, try sometihng like samspade.com. and if that doesn’t work, you’ll have to try a good old fashioned batchfile. Open notepad and type the following
    @echo off
    cd C:ping http://www.hackaday.com >> ping.txt
    then save it as ping.bat. double click it and then open the ping.txt file that is created. (mind, if you can remember all that, you may aswell do the ping at home and remember the IP). Then when you’ve got you IP, type that in as the address and see what happens (may not work)

  8. For those kids who can’t get to hackaday, most school proxies are blocked as well as live journal. However, 99% of filters dont filter out babelfish, which can be basically used as a proxy by translating a web page into youre desired language. Selecting a language other than english and translating it into english will get the best results, natch.

    Or, if youre like me, and want to practice your german/spanish, translate away suckas.


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