It's snowing here in Texas! I'm stuck here at work and I wish I could go outside and make a snow dalek!
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It's snowing here in Texas! I'm stuck here at work and I wish I could go outside and make a snow dalek!
I made some more rolling ball sculptures and things on shapeways. Click here to check them out.
I got an android mytouch phone. (Mine is black not white). Of course this is the first day I've had it, but so far I love it! This all started because I lost my other phone and so my employer told me to get another phone. Nice thing is they reimburse it so it's free to me. It came with a 4gb sd card too! It looks like Android phones are programmed with Java. I know java and I'm happy about that but of course they'll have their own weirdness so i'll have to figure that out. I really like the idea of being able to write apps for my phone! I'm not sure what I want to make but it just seems cool that I can. I've spent most of the day downloading free apps. Wow, I'm impressed what's free for this phone. So I guess for the next few days or weeks I have a big time waster figuring out the phone. Wee!
I've been playing even more with Shapeways.com. I made a Christmas Ornament Rolling Ball Sculpture. I want to 3D print so much more but I just don't have the money to do so. I found an open source 3D printer that looks a little promising and I want one of these: Maker Bot. Watch the video of it in action on their website. I can't really afford one but I think it would be cool if some robot groups like DPRG bought one for their group and then let me greedily use it now and then. :-)
I want to make some robot parts. I tried making part of a robot servo leg using a pixel method with a program I wrote.
However, because of the pixels (voxels?) there's too many polygons for shapeways to accept. There's only 4300 faces but I think they turn them into multiple triangles and then it gets nasty like a million of them. As you can see from the image, my program has some strange problem or Turbocad 14 has a weird problem where it removes a small face on the left hand side. I'm not sure if it's real or just a bug with Turbocad 14. I tried downloading MeshLab and Blender but they both have their troubles. MeshLab crashes all the time. When I could get it to work. I could get it to close holes and reduce or decimate the number of polygons but Shapeways would never accept MeshLab's output. Similarly, Blender could reduce polygons but there again I had trouble loading the file into Shapeways. I'm sure it's something I'm doing. Shapeways has to have a totally watertight model for it to be accepted and when I reduce polygons somewhere something gets messed up. I also made a few Christian rings and a few other RBSs but I haven't tried to print anything else except for the three RBSs shown so far.
(Testing putting a line on a curved faced ring)
(Testing putting text on a model & curved face)
(This rbs has a start bucket and an end bucket)
Kotulas has a $13 robot desk lamp that seems amusing!
I saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen this weekend. It was entertaining but too long and drawn out for its own good. They could have chopped out about half of the movie and no one would notice. It was a lot of robots hitting each other and blowing up stuff. I went to the restroom during the movie and when I came back they were still hitting each other and blowing up stuff. There was a lot of "corn" too that really put the movie down to elementary grade roll your eyes level. I wish they could have left that out too. I'd say it was entertaining if you could over look the 12 year old cheezy stuff like the robot humping Megan Fox's leg. The movie was really geared for 12 year old boys at best. I'd give it a 2-1/2 stars out of 5.
Our oldest daughter Bethany was in Children's Hospital for about two weeks. Her lung function had dropped to 50% because of her CF condition. It's up to about 70% now and they let her out. While she was in the hospital they isolated her from other patients because they thought she might have a resistant bacteria. So they let her have a laptop in her room. After they released the isolation, she still go to keep the laptop. That means she was on the internet and facebook every waking hour. She was a little rude about it too. People would come visit and she couldn't acknowledge them because she was too busy IMing some friends on facebook. She had so many people coming to visit she had to dole out time slots of when they could come and how long they could stay and such. My family had to work around her schedule. If I were in the hospital I figure I'd have like one or two visitors and that's all. I'm glad she was spoiled but that was a funny strange unexpected situtation that I didn't know she would have to deal with. One creepy boy that came to visit wouldn't leave. Bethany did about everything to get rid of him, even typing on her cellphone for the nurse to read to please get rid of him but even she couldn't get rid of him. Finally my wife took him out of the room and walked him all the way down to the train station to see him off! Anyway we had a lot of nice sweet friends that cared about Bethany. I'm afraid Bethany's lungs have deteriorated more than expected if all she can get to is around 70% lung function. That doesn't sound good to me but I don't want to let on to her.
This weekend I sold 4 rolling ball sculptures and a video! I haven’t gotten all the money yet but supposedly I will. I really won’t see any of the money anyway as my medical and credit card debt will eat it up but hopefully it’ll put a nice dent or at least a noticeable scratch into my debt. I sold a large sculpture ($800 but with free shipping), a medium sculpture ($156), a small sculpture ($48) and a video ($20) and then a lady wants me to commission a sculpture ($150) and I already have a bid on a small sculpture I have listed on ebay. Also, I’m half way through a 2’ wall hanging sculpture and half way through my volume 2 video. It has been a productive weekend. Anyway, this week I’ll be stressed trying to complete the commissioned sculpture by Friday because she wants it for her sons birthday in a couple of weeks. So I’m sort of stressed this week trying to get it all done.
I bought a 1TB hard drive this weekend. It was a Segate SATA 7200rpm with 32mb cache. I had $105 of birthday money and guess how much it cost? Yep, $105. I could have probably gotten a better deal on slickdeals.net but I got it Friday and was able to play with it all this weekend. The best thing was, I was able to install it, transfer everything from my old drive and boot up and go all without any grief. It’s really weird that any sort of computer maintenance heart surgery like that would go off without a hitch. I must have done something wrong! That easy going right there was worth the extra money I paid. I figured XP would complain that it was on a different drive but it didn’t and seems to be running happy on the new drive. I’m happy about that!
Anyway, I had a pleasant productive weekend.
Lately, I've been making rolling ball sculptures and selling them on ebay. It seems the small sculptures sell the best on ebay but they only go for about $30-$35 each. I'd rather make and sell larger sculptures but they just don't sell that often. I recently hooked up with a guy that sells metal sculptures at a local gallery. He said he'll introduce me to the owner and see if I can get some of my sculptures in there. I'm hoping it may work out.
Recently, I made a Video on How to make a Rolling Ball Sculpture. I really didn't think I'd sell many of them and neigther did my wife. Shockingly I've already sold 6 of them! woohoo! While making it, my wife sort of make it hard on me to make the video and hasn't really helped me much on it. However, now that it's been selling I guess she sees dollar signs! For me it was really the fun of the whole process, from the vision, to doing, to filming, to video editing, to creating a dvd, to listing on ebay, and eventually selling. For her, it's all about the money. women.
One of the electronics projects I was working on before my hard drive crashed a few months ago was a computer that controlled the elevator for a rolling ball scultpure. It was kind of cool because it had a clock in it where it could be set to automatically drop a ball every hour or so. I had built a pic scheduler rtos and it was working pretty well, and I had done some neato things for it. But, when the hard drive crashed of course I didn't have any backup. Well, my brain swirled one day and I thought, I still have that program in the chip that I burned. I could suck out the chip's brains and then disassemble my code and basically recreate the source. I could then finish the changes I wanted to make to the program and the build the computerized rolling ball sculpture. That would save me tons of work from building the program again from scratch (which I wasn't wanting to do). So, perhaps someday, I'll try to suck the code out. My only dread is that I hope I didn't put a code lock on the chip or I won't be able to suck out the code.
At my job they sort of have left me to my own devices. I'm working on a program that involves ai. It's sort of interesting. Unfortunately, I can't give any details but at least to me it's really cool so you'll just have to take my word for it. :-( Anyway, it's weird that the company hasn't really checked on my progress and sort of has forgotten about me. I'm sort of glad because hopefully when they do check on me again, I'll have something really cool to show. Like many programming jobs, it takes a while before some cool behavior emerges (emergent behavior!). Anyway, I like my employer and it seems like they like me and my work. So, especially with all of the people losing their jobs, I'm just hoping my job holds out too.
I'm really liking the new First Baptist Church in Garland we're going to. I really like our Sunday School Class also. We already have many good friends. Well, the teacher will be out this Sunday so he asked me to cover for him! So for this Easter Sunday I'll get to teach.
This Sunday is also my Birthday. We're sort of short on funds so I told my wife to cool it on spending for my birthday. We'll probably seem Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D at the IMAX for my Birthday going out film. The movies I'd like to see (but are not out yet) are: Terminator Salvation, Star Trek, Transformers, Xmen Origins and Asto Boy and I can't really think of much else. It's weird how the sci-fi and robot stuff has really bubbled up to the top this year.
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