Posts by: ishotjr

Review: MintDuino: Building an Arduino-Compatible Breadboard Microcontroller

O’Reilly seems to be publishing a fair number of shorter publications recently, which I really like since it allows you to gain expertise in a specific topic in an evening or weekend vs. the broader-subject books which span many hundreds of pages. I’m pretty comfortable with a number of prototyping platforms, but was curious to learn a little bit more about the guts of Arduino’s hardware instead of it all being nicely abstracted for me. With this in mind, I purchased the Mintronics Bundle from Maker Shed, comprising a Mintronics: MintDuino and Mintronics: Survival Pack, plus picked up an FTDI Friend to handle USB to serial duties in a breadboard-friendly form factor. This blog post, however, Read More…

Review: Making Isometric Social Real-Time Games with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript

I own a lot of O’Reilly books.  It may not even be exaggerating to say that I own most recent O’Reilly releases – my eBook purchases from the past couple of years top three figures.  So, it’s honestly a bit shocking to find a book that was published in August of 2011, and of interest to me, which I’ve not already snapped up in the intervening period.  In this case, it took the attendance of the intriguingly-named webcast Applying Old Video Game Performance Techniques to Modern Web-based Games for me to discover Making Isometric Social Real-Time Games with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.  I was so enthralled by the concepts that presenter/author Mario Andres Pagella shared in his short lecture that I not only Read More…

O’Reilly Media Dropbox Sync! (Beta)

I am a massive O’Reilly fan, and a serious consumer of eBooks – but one of the greatest hassles with my ever-burgeoning collection is organizing my library and syncing it to my various devices.  O’Reilly is currently beta testing a feature that allows you to sync any or all of your eBooks with your Dropbox account, in whichever format(s) you prefer; I think they chose me since I own an absurd quantity of their publications (I basically have my own personally Safari!) – so having my purchases automatically downloaded onto my desktop machine, and one click away on my NOOK Color, iPad, or phone, is huge! (♥o♥)  The NOOK Simple Touch, since it lacks a Dropbox app (or any apps, without rooting) is now the only remaining device which will be seeing a USB cable any time soon!

Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix 2012 Free Prix Day

The first Formula 1 race I ever attended was the 1987 Detroit Grand Prix, held on the streets of Detroit around the Renaissance Center.  Twenty five years later, Detroit is once again host to open-wheel racing, though this time it’s the streets of Belle Isle, and the American IndyCar series rather than premier worldwide series, Formula 1.  Free Prix Day is a chance to see the cars and teams up close as well as watch practice for each series and GRAND-AM qualifying – all for free!

Quick $250 PC Build

Looking to replace an EeeBox PC with something a bit more capable, I recently pulled the trigger on Newegg Combo 864885 (and used ShopRunner to get it here in two days – free!).  For not much more than I paid for the diminutive supplanted machine a few years ago, this combo offers a Rosewill R363-M-BK MicroATX Case (with power supply), BIOSTAR A55MH MotherboardAMD A4-3400 Llano 2.7GHz APUG.SKILL 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, and Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive.  I added a second 4GB stick, technically pushing the total over the $250 goal, but well worth it IMO.  The build was absurdly fast – I stuck the kettle on, then unpacked everything and reviewed the instructions.  The entire thing was together in the time it took to brew a cup of tea and allow it to cool to a comfortable drinking temperature!  I was a little leery of the Rosewill case when making my original purchase, but it turned out to be a very attractive, high-gloss case with an amusingly large glowing power button.  The BIOSTAR mobo impressed as well, with an extensive feature set and clear documentation that quickly quashed any reservations I had about selecting it over the ASUS in the other bundle I’d been considering.  Very pleased with this combo so far, as well as the build experience! □_ヘ(^_^ヘ)

evitaN – Who Is This

Time to break curfew with the latest joint from @TheRealEvitan (@DresBlacksheep and @jarobione) – smooth beats for these balmy nights! #luvlee #realhiphop d^_^b

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(image courtesy of Brick of the Day)

Pebble Digital Watches are a Pretty Neat Idea

Perhaps I’m just amazingly primitive, but the Pebble E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android on Kickstarter may be compelling enough to rekindle my childhood obsession; this was a time when things like temperature and altitude were not so easily obtained as they are now via apps and widgets, and I couldn’t help but bore anyone who’d listen with continual updates of these exciting (to me) measurements (even when up to 50 meters underwater!)!  I can’t recall the last time I donned a timepiece on my arm, but the concept of a fourth screen to supplement my third – not to mention one with its own SDK – may prove irresistible!  ̄~ ̄

[Update 2012.05.09: It did – I’m now a backer!]

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