Friday, 27 November 2009

Programming @ 1am

Programming at 1am with a tasty beverage.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Feedback from Facebook, SMS and Email

FEEDBACK: Jesper
Hi Sam
Extreme well utilization of space! Basing my feedback on the pictures, I have not seen the room :)
Now you just need more flexibility.

Fixed tables - Reserve fixed setup tables in one corner for stationary computers.

Flexible tables - Eliminate fixed long table plate - replace with movable tables.

Increased flexibility, - for presentations/meetings.

Tall table - Consider 1 x tall table, for working standing/speaking/new seating position, possibly w bar stoles.

Floor - agree w laminate, better for office chairs, light wood.

Wall-mounting - wall-mount as much as possible, gives more space.

Paint and wall paint - high-gloss white, reflects light, gives feeling of more space.

Paint stairs white.

Pipes etc - paint them colorfully to integrate them in the design of the room. (saw this done at a basment office).

Lighting - mix of fluorescent lights (artificial white) and desk lamps (pleasant light) at work stations.

Talk to you soon!
Cheers,Jesper

FEEDBACK: Jonathan
I havnt looked yet,
but we need maps, lots of maps! Cnt have an evil basement lair withovt maps!

FEEDBACK: Kaloyan.
Ok a few preliminary points.
Don't we want the largest table in the middle?
Like a kind of conference table? I like that better than it being a small table in the middle.
Secondly I think that 1meter is a bit deep for a pc work station desk. Though at least one wall with a desk could be good for bigger projects. Oh and you forgot the reprap in there :p otherwise I am amazed! You Rock.

FEEDBACK: Natasha
Hiya, I think you're gonna feel very crampt in there.
I would keep the table in the middle as looking at each other while gaming is more funny than sitting side by side and lose some desks on the wall. I don't think it's necessary to have all that along the walls.
I think shelving would be more beneficial to keep a group dvd/game collection in and hide away any spare btis and bobs. Storage is always useful.
I think you've got ample desk space with just 2 walls being deskededdeddd. Tx

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

20-very-low-powered-messaging-service

UPDATE: upon reflection, I could actually just hack an Classic 4 prototype from work to do all of the storage (it has some flash memory) and message writing (using keypads) and sending (would be done over serial link to the arduino / radio transceiver rig)! Note: there is also a wifi link for internal communications.
Another idea about shorter range personal messaging over the 805.14 link.

This is a slightly edited re-post of a comment I left on Kal's Blog: http://www.invaderzone.com/

What do we understand by the term: 'off grid'? I reckon it means:
-no power grid
-no mobile phone service/signal
-no telephone service
-no internet

I think we should have a backbone of communication that does not rely on Internet i.e. a radio based network so we could, say, send data over radio links. I suppose this would be very useful if the internet or mobile phone networks went down or just generally for fun!

#20-very-low-powered-messaging-service

It would send things like SMS messages over standard radio links using minimal power. So the first thing to say is that means we probably wont use a desktop/laptop because they are power guzzling beasts.

I reckon the minimum hardware needed to do the job is as follows.

Core Specification:
1 x arduino
1 x storage card e.g. SD
1 x radio transceiver
1 x hacked ps2 keyboard
1 x small LCD screen
1 x solar panel
1 x battery bank

this would give the basic hardware platform to send and receive and store messages completely 'off grid'.

optional specification:
1 x ethernet shield for arduino

this could allow a full webserver to be run on the system. Now that would be interesting!
e.g.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/boolean/3399075841/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/boolean/3399886646/in/photostream/

There are several conflicting goals when sending data over a radio link like this: reliability, processing, modulation techniques, security and efficiency etc.

The ideal outcome would be twofish / blowfish / some equally insane encryption on a 100% reliable link which consumes the least amount of power possible. Well this is just not going to happen- firstly, it is virtually impossible and would take an absolute genius if not a team of geniuses to pull off. So I think we should have a more modest initial goal:

Get the link working (unsecured, not optimised for low power)

Later development would consider the following issues:

Issue 1:
The system is powered on all the time?

Solution 1:
Scheduled communication.

Issue 2:
Time synchronisation between transceivers.

Solution 2:
Send SYNC packets between the transceivers.
Most watch crystals drift at 20us/second so we could use that as a starting point to work out the optimal sync period.