March 22, 2016
Scattered Among The Stars
Hello again...one more time.
It's been two years since I wrote a entry on this website. And I'm sure there is some one who came here from my resume asking "This is the best he's ever done?"
I can do better. I just have been busy these past two years.
For starters, I have been collaborating with a Code for America Brigade called Open Data STL, where we've been working on some civic related projects.
I've been going to a lot more hackathons and coding events like GlobalHack and Code Until Dawn. I created the header used in the Code Until Dawn Meetup webiste from ASCII Art generated from a Bash script.
When a large corporation tried doing a coding event, they schedule it as if we were wizards. What we do isn't magic, but science and it is a lot of hard work. Which is why we try to make ever second count at these events.
One such event, the St. Louis Global Game Jam is held every January at the University of Missouri - St. Louis (UMSL). This year I helped design a game called Demon Torch written in HTML5 and some Game framework called Phaser.io.
Never the less, my baby for the past two years has been my Hacktop project and all the technical writing I've been doing for it that is stored on the Hacktop project wiki. For less than $200, you can build a laptop. That's how far we've come these days. I don't even use my desktop as much as I should anymore. If I had a graphics card and a copy of Windows 8.1, it would make one heck of a wicked gaming computer. Of course, I built that a few years ago on my 30th birthday. It was the second desktop I built. The first one was in 2008 after college.
I'd like to use my Hacktop to use Software Defined Radio to scan police radio or at very least pick up the local FM stations. Did I mention the hardware for that cost $25? You can pick up one of these gadget on Amazon and with the right amount of knowledge, listen to stuff like that.
In February 2016, I built a video game emulator with a Raspberry Pi 2, and a touch screen. I still need to work out some sound issues, but I've enjoyed spending time playing all those video games I never had time to play when I was a kid. It works better if I just plug it into an HDTV.
Sometimes, I do local house calls for simple computer work and make about $100 from it.
I've been doing a lot of Excel work, and probably would use more Excel stuff people weren't afraid of using Macro Enabled files over computer virus concerns. It is a lot easier to write functions in a multiline environment rather than in that one field.
I trying to get this software called Tabula set up so that I can extract the data from the St. Louis Metro system PDF schedules and import the data into Excel. This was easy to do on Windows. But on Linux, it takes a bit more work and software to install. Namely JRuby and Apache Ant and Maven. I hope it is just JRuby and Ant. Never the less, the transit system was shuffled around recently. I can get to work just fine, but I don't mind taking the bus.
I'd really like to convert a bicycle to a gas-powered motorized bike. I saw a couple of guys riding them in St. Louis last week, and it continues to be one of the goals I have for myself. I think they may have been 80cc motors.
So if it seems as if I have abandonded this place, I haven't. I've just been busy with other things.
My projects have been scattered through out the cosmos of cyberspace, but here is still home. I think I'll renovate it some time.