Sunday, March 28, 2010

EarthHour - working together and version control

Yesterday I had the pleasure of observing EarthHour at Adelaide HackerSpace. We managed to make a few volts from various magnet and coils of wire contraptions. We have indeed come a long way in understanding electromagnetic induction since Faraday threw the magnet out of his wire coil in frustration.

The first set up used a coil and few magnets along the spokes of a bike. That produced way too few volts and there was talk about the joule thief. I had brought along one of my brushless DC motors and with 6-diodes forming a 3-phase bridge you could run it as a generator.
Working together with other people is always fun and I strongly believe that the group is much more than the sum of the individuals forming it (in signal processing speak - there are cross-terms). The tools needed to work in different groups can be different. Hence I have ended up learning a fair few languages and currently a fair few version control systems.

Recently I set up Bazaar for the Lyx-Outline project on window. TortoiseBzr came to the party, but it did not solve the Launchpad authentication issue. I had to use Putty tools (PuttyGen and Pageant) to generate and lodge the ssh keys so that I could perform pushes to the repository. Hopefully this work will encourage me to write my thesis nicely formatted in Lyx.
Lastly the vision project I started in hackerspace with my cheap webcams to detect depth has progressed slightly and acquired some robot os camera calibration code and a checkerboard. May be my quadcopter will be able perceive depth and fly by vision and landmarks much like a pigeon.
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