Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Blog has moved

I have moved all the content over to
The content is integrated over there but I would still like to move it around a little. I will leave this site up until I can find another use for it.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A little ME time

I have been so busy for just about every weekend since going to the Newcastle Maker Faire, that when this weekend came around I thought "Computer time!"

After seeing that there was a new PCLinuxOS available I started checking to see if there was an update for the EeePC version for my EeePC 701. Sadly it seems not yet.

I had used EeePCLinuxOS (running from a pen drive) and for a while it seemed to work, right out of the box. But I had some problems with a video podcast recently and thought I would see if there was a fix. I looked at the Ubuntu variant that is now called Easypeasy.

Now, I like the look of the menus on this distro, except for a few niggly things like the wifi light always being on. Another niggle is that it takes over 2 minutes to boot. One enhancement I would like is to be able to do a menu search by just typing the name into a dialog box on that main screen.

I will search for another distro and see if I can get that little blue light to go off.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Newcastle Makerfaire 2009

Well, we just got back from a quick trip to the UK to visit family. One of our little trips was to go to Newcastle for the weekend to visit the first UK Maker Faire. We saw the dates coincided with our trip and felt it would be fun to make the detour to Newcastle.

We knew it would be small as it was the first one in the UK, but boy was it fun to go and talk to like minded people who just make things for fun. There were a few robot exhibits and various other things that kept us busy. One of the best exhibits was a 'retro' lunar lander style game except it was not graphical, it actually had a bunch of stepper motors and servos and an arduino to control everything. You then controlled the thrust to land a model lunar module. Totally cool.

I had never been to Newcastle before and found it quite nice. We stayed at the Marriott hotel next to the Metrocenter in Gateshead and took the bus into Newcastle each day. The hotel and staff were well above expectations.
The Maker Faire was across several venues within Newcastle but all within easy walking distance.
The picture above is of one of the mechanical exhibits that someone had made complete with fire breathing nostrils.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wife gets her geek on installing fonts in Linux

So there are a number of posts about guys testing their partners to do typical functions in Linux that they would normally do in Windows.
A couple of days ago my wife announced that she wanted to have a particular fancy font for one of her craft projects.
When she used to boot to Windows, her computer would have a lot of fonts that she would download and install.
So I perched over her shoulder and kept an eye on what she was doing she went out there and found several instructions for a Redhat distro I explained that she needed instructions for Debian distro. Well, unperturbed, she typed something else into Google and found better instructions. I told her what a sudo is and how it works and she followed the instructions.
She manually copied the fonts to the location she wanted them to be.
Then at the command line she typed in the commands fc-cache -f -v etc.

She successfully installed the fonts with a little mumbling that it was easier to do in Windows.
This was all done with minimal prompting from me.

Today she installed a program from package manager and mentioned there is no way she is going to boot back into Windows anymore.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A head reshape for Gort

Over the Christmas break I took a long look at Gorts head and I felt that some parts of it needed to be reshaped. I was not happy with the visor, although I was happy with the movement of the visor.

I made a new visor with different curves.
I reshaped the ears and repositioned one ear. I marked some areas for further touching up, bumps and ruts.

This has taken me a lot of my time to carefully adjust and mark changes.

The pictures here are the newer visor and head the visor was a 'dry fit' and so looks a little wonky.

I ripped out all the electronics, with the intention of reusing the circuit once I have the head looking correct.

One of the issues with the old visor was that the angle it was at because of the dome. So I have cut away some area inside the dome to allow the area under the visor to be at less of an angle.