Ønskeliste

This post is in danish, since nobody off shore is likely to bring me anything for my birthday :) But foreign viewers, feel free to skip ahead to movies I want to see in the near future :)

Nå, men det jeg ønsker mig i år er:

  • Musik
  • Til hjemmet+:
    • Vacuumkolbesæt til kaffebrygning – Ja, min lillebror har ét, men jeg synes det er fedt og jeg gider ikke ha’ en kaffemaskine stående.
    • Løbesko – der er sq slidt hul i de gamle :(
    • Pung – den gamle er slidt i smadder.
    • Cykeltrailer med løbebøjle og næsehjul.
  • Tech:
    • Hjælp til NAS og mediecenter.
    • Ekstern harddisk (2.5″ og min. 500GB)
    • SSD-disk (min. 64 Gb)
    • Sort og farve-patroner til printeren
    • Kindle 3G
  • Værktøj:
    • Slagboremaskine
    • Håndrundsav
    • Vinkelsliber

 

Categories: Personal | 132 Comments

Movies I want to see

Though this is kind of a personal agenda for me, I thought I’d share it with everybody in order to 1) inform the world about my intentions of watching these movies and to 2) get your approval / suggestions on what other movies might fall in my taste. I will try to review most of these as I work through the list, so you can see which ones are worth a look :)

So in no particular order; here’s the list:

Categories: Uncategorized | 151 Comments

Game Block: One step closer

…continued from Touch game for the offspring.

Game Block hardware rig

I had a naive thought that this would basically be the final rig, but then got to think  that I might want to add a power switch and a speaker / buzzer of sorts. But other than that I want everything to work by touch interaction. I’ve already got the gyros and accelerometers lined up for this project, but in the interest of keeping it somewhat practicable for the novice level of skills I posses in electronics, I think I’ll just go K.I.S.S. and get it all the way to the finish line :)

As I have now got the 9V battery hooked up to power the needy LCD, all that is left is to calibrate the touch panel to the display and start programming some games :)

More about this in my next entry which will be all about touch interaction and initial game code. Till then…

NOTE: You are more than welcome to suggest game ideas for this ridiculously small screen and touch area. We’re talking about an LCD resolution at 128×64  stretched over a physical area of 3×2″ and a touch area that is slightly larger (noIdidn’tbothertofindmatchingcomponents).

Categories: Code, Electronics | 153 Comments

Best pancakes EVER!

Yes, you heard me. BEST – PANCAKES – EVER!

I found a recipe that drastically differs from the ones I’d tried thus far, and decided to give it a chance. Since the original recipe was for a traditional main course pancake, I instantly spiced it up with a little spice and sweetener in order to fit the profile of my preferred desert pancake :)

As you will see, these pancakes are very thick (the traditional Danish pancake closely resembles the French crêpe) but do not fool yourself into thinking that they are in any way related to the fat, sloppy and largely anonymous American pancake. Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Batter

Ingredients for BPEIngredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 500g flour
  • 4½-5 dl milk
  • 50g yeast
  • 50-100g syrup / sugar by preference
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla powder / sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cardemom

The egg whites are whipped and kept separate from the rest of the ingredients. Thre rest of the ingredients are mixed with no particular respect for anything, just get it all together in a homogeneous batter. Again; unlike the traditional Danish pancake batter, this will be rather thick.

Batter with whipped egg whitesBarrer with the whipped egg whites mixed in

Once the batter is uniform, the whipped egg whites are gently stirred in to add some air and lightness to the otherwise very heavy batter. The result should look something like the rightmost picture in the series above.

Risen batter is not solid

When the batter is mixed, cover the bowl with a cloth and put it aside to rise for at least half an hour. You could stick it in the refrigerator to be ready for use in the morning. In this case the batter will rise a lot more, but this is no real problem as long as you allow it to fume off the yeast gas – in other words; do not seal it shot with plastic film or your pancakes will taste of yeast.

Baking

As pancakes by name are defined as a “cake” the terminology will have to comply even if the actual process is in fact frying the pancake. You will therefor need a frying pan or two – I personally like juggling a few pans at the same time in order to minimize waiting time.

The reason I include a section on baking the pancakes is that it does in fact differ somewhat from baking the traditional thin batter which can basically be distilled to buttering the pan, pouring on batter, flipping and waiting. This VTB (very thick batter) can not simply be poured on to the hot pan, but should rightly be “smeared” a little to get it down to a single centimeter in height. This will enable the bubbles to create holes which I should not have to emphasize the importance of, in relation to filling with honey, syrup, apple sauce or whatever tickles your fancy.

Baking pancakes with PalminPancake batter on the panPancake turned over.

In addition to this very important note, I might want to suggest frying these pancakes in Palmin, Raffinol or other non-oil fat to increase the crispiness of the pancake. Don’t worry; they are by far sufficiently thick to stay soft and delicious on the inside ;)

Any last words…?

I will not hesitate to lump these pancakes in with crumpets and other more actually baked pancakes and brunch pastry. Do not hesitate to cover them up in apple sauce, syrup or anything else that traditionally goes with pancakes and other sweetened breakfast / brunch bread. ALSO! The thick nature of this brilliant piece of pastry makes it very easily re-heated both in the oven, in the toaster or on a frying pan. So go ahead – whip up a huge portion and bake yourself a batch for the freezer now you’re at it…

Enjoy! ;)

A stack of the BPE - BEST PANCAKES EVER!

Categories: Food and recipes | 122 Comments

Local Stores VS. The World!

I am currently power shopping electronic components for various planned (and indeed unplanned) projects. And one of the things I quickly realized is that it does matter from where you buy your stuff. Like with everything else there is a price tag to consider, but the little things should not be ignored; such as expedition and delivery fees and VAT.

As much as I’d like to support my local pushers (shouts out to Let Elektronik and ElectroZone.dk who both feature Arduino and EB products), there are other dealers to consider, both nationally and internationally.

The few that I’d like to point out are:

  • Elektronik Lavpris:
    Danish, have a HUGE product range but also somewhat pricey. Not necessarily in regard to their products (which is about average with the chance of bounty discounts) but rather due to an expedition fee in addition to delivery fee. Beware of small orders!
  • RS:
    Another of the heavy hitters on the Danish electronic components scene. Mostly for companies, but anybody can place an order. I don’t really have a lot of experience with them.
  • Deal Extreme:
    Asian based but with free delivery all over the world. Not the wides range of electronic DIY components, but just about everything else :) Remember to check out the exchange rates, as there is a detail limit for VAT in DK (possibly EU) at about 80 DKK. If your order is below this value, the price you see on the site is valid. If it’s more, you risk getting an unpleasant addition to the price from the Danish taxation agencies. In any case; free delivery on all orders. And yes, even if you just want the mini iPhone charger at $2.13. Strange but true :)

Please let me know in the comments below if I should mention anyone else. I am always eager to learn :) Thanks.

Categories: Electronics | Tags: , , , , , | 116 Comments

HAL9K – HackerSpace in Aalborg

Just a quick heads up in case anyone are following my blog and are interested in a hacker-/maker-/creative-space in Aalborg, Denmark. (Yes, this is copypasta from Lars’ blog)

I have recently joined as a paying member in order to help finance a move to more permanent facilities. Currently the organization has been dealt a temporary space which we can use for free for a few months and it’s nearly set up to be a basic workspace for now. Would you like to know more? Visit HAL9K.

The plan is to have it open at least every Thursday evening to begin with. Initiatives are also taken along the way to spice it up with anything from Python nights to “learn how to use a band saw” nights. All events can be seen in the HAL9K Google calendar.

Categories: MetaBlog | Tags: , , , , , | 139 Comments

Touch game for the offspring

I thought about making a simple (bulky) touch game device for my daughter comprising an Arduino board, an LCD display and a replacement touch panel for a Nintendo DS. Sounds simple enough, but given that I am a complete electronics (and in any practical sense; a C++) novice, I believe it will be somewhat challenging in any case :)

I started getting the wiring of the touch panel set up and thanks to the easy to follow tutorial by Marco Nicolato. As the turorial is originally in Italian, I took the liberty to post a link to the translated tutorial. Same site, just looped through Google Translate ;)

The green wire going from the breadboard to GND on the Arduino board does nothing in this setup.

Anywho… So that took care of getting coordinates from the touch screen. Now I had to map these to actually be able to use it as an interface, but first I had to bring my display into the game, so to speak.

So far I have found this really useful guide to the actual Sparkfun GLCD that I bought (without knowing anything about it beforehand I might add). The code uses the NewSoftSerial library which apparently does wonders, but as of yet has not been validated as the code assumes a 9V external power supply to the Arduino board which I don’t have. I wonder if a 9V battery could be used? Apparently it can :)

EDIT: I have now made a 9V battery based power supply and actually soldered it onto an old Freeduino board – And it works :) The display was instantly kicked into life and the NewSoftSerial library did indeed work like advertised. But more about that in a later post… Till then :)

Continue to part 2

Categories: Code, Electronics | Tags: , , , | 148 Comments

Alternating directions

Just a quick thought :)
If you want to alternate between -1 and 1 in a for-loop, say for the purpose of changing direction or something similar, and you don’t want to add an extra variable to manually alternate in each run-through, this works just fine:

for (int i=0; i < something; i++){
   dir = ((i % 2) * 2) - 1;
   // dir is now good for multiplying onto vectors or whatever.
   ...
}
Categories: Code | Tags: | 103 Comments

Randomly generated wallpaper on login

I got the idea from my “new” s10 because I wanted to keep the desktop clean, simple but with a touch of personality. For this reason I thought it would be cool with a stylish wallpaper and a simple picture frame on it showing a new picture chosen at random from a defined photo folder. I first thought of making a widget (or downloading one) that could add this picture frame on top of the static wallpaper, but then I thought “Why not just generate the wallpaper on login?” So that’s the project now… I spent about 10 minutes at work searching the web and here’s what I found;

First i came across a 3 line script for selecting a random picture from a specified folder and inserting it as wallpaper on the Ubuntu desktop.

Secondly I needed something to generate the wallpaper. For this purpose ImageMagick seemed like a great tool given its obvious power and console nature.

So this is what I came up with. Simple, but does the trick :)

#!/bin/bash
# Script to select random image from a directory, polaroid style it and paste it on a full screen wallpaper image.
# Directory Containing Pictures
DIR="[your image dir]"
# Command to Select a random file from directory
PIC=$(ls $DIR/script_candidates/*.* | shuf -n1)
# Style the selected image as a polaroid picture
convert $PIC -bordercolor snow -background black +polaroid -thumbnail '300x300>' $DIR/overlay_temp.png
# Append on top of a full screen wallpaper image. (the 700x300 offset just fit my needs)
composite -geometry +700+200 $DIR/overlay_temp.png $DIR/wp_bg.jpg $DIR/wp_cmp.png
# Command to set Background Image
gconftool -t string -s /desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename $DIR/wp_cmp.png

I now have the script running upon login, and thereby have a newly generated, random wallpaper to look at every time I log in. One resulting wallpaper could (and indeed did) look like this:

Categories: Art, Graphics, Personal | Tags: , , , | 133 Comments

Ubuntu Desktop 10.10 s10

Yesterday I got my 2nd hand Lenovo s10 (1st gen) and immediately started downloading the Ubuntu Netbook Edition. I WAS going to say; “the only thing Internet Explorer is good for” but unfortunately the minor detail that IE is the current ass kicker numero uno in graphics intensive HTML5 execution pretty much puts a sock in that proclamation.

UNR - No thank youAnyway – once the image was down and installed on a USB pen I booted it up… The disappointment was severe. This customized, small screen tailored, let’s-decide-how-you-want-to-use-your-computer kinda app platform is REALLY not me. I can accept it in mobile phones and to some extend tablets, but beyond that – no way. I want my system open and accessible without having to hack my way there.

I guess it was really just a question of setting it up to hide the shortcut bar and enable more regular use, but quite frankly – I didn’t have the patience to figure out how. So I started a second download. This time; Ubuntu Desktop Edition. And it works perfectly. I have complete access to all parts of the computer; from the webcam and SD reader over VGA, internal and external sound and even the 3G modem. To put it short; Stuff works! And pretty fast too. I thought the netbook edition was necessary in order to fluently run Ubuntu on a netbook, but this is in NO way the case. Even got that fancy 3D cube desktop going :D (actually even tried the wobbly window thing and transparency – all works with no lag or tearing).

I love it. I will probably try the netbook edition again some day when I have more time, but for the time being, I am pretty content with the full netbook desktop I’ve got running here.

THANKS UBUNTU! :)

Categories: Personal | Tags: , | 2 Comments