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Showing posts from November, 2009

Additions to key-mon

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I've been busy and did lots of updates to key-mon, my keyboard status monitor.

The big news is that it's now resizable!

Normal size:


Small size:


Larger size:


It can be scaled to any size not just three, here it is at 2x without the mouse and showing the meta (Windows) key:


Heathenx is helping me get nicer looking images, especially at smaller sizes. For the really small sizes I needed to change the look a bit,  so now I have two sets of SVG files, one for the normal size and another for the smaller size.

Creating the different sizes was a bit of a pain. GTK wants to read the svg from disk so any changes made to svg needs to be dumped to a temporary file.  Also GTK doesn't seem to have a parameter to load and resize, so I end up manipulating the svg so that it is scaled larger or smaller.

The extra work was worth it, I think.  Some screencasts today are high resolution, so the key status monitor will be tiny.  Other screen casts are very small, so the key status monitor take…

Created another open source utility key-mon

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This weekend I was watching screencasters.heathenx.org a video podcast about Inkscape with the Miro player. Heathenx had to apologize that his key status monitor wasn't displaying mouse activity.  This wasn't the first time I've seen problems with this utility, earlier in the year Meet the Gimp also had some problems getting it to work.

I downloaded the program and put in on my machine, and sure enough the mouse wasn't working for me either. Looking at the output, it complained that I have more than one mouse and it was going to pick the last one.  It lied, I looked at the code and it actually picked the the first one. I changed the code so that it did pick the last mouse and it worked.  I thought of submitting a patch, but I realized that arbitrarily picking the last one might break the program for others for which it was working.

To my delight the code was written in Python, using PyGTK. It wasn't even that much code, I could probably write a similar program to …

More Timelapse

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Here's the camera taking images of the evening sky.  I stopped it when it got so dark that it was taking nearly 4 seconds of exposure per shot.


Here's the movie made at 25 fps with 900 photos at 5 second intervals.

Canon EOS 450D triggered by an Arduino

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I was finally able to track down a 2mm stereo plug here in Belo Horizonte (Eletronica Guarani) so I can remotely control my Canon SLR from the Arduino.

It uses two SPDT relay switches, one for the shutter and one for focus.  The way it's setup, there's no way I can cross the wires and hurt my camera, even after a few beers.  In the photo the black wire is hooked to ground and the blue wire to pin 12 on the Arduino (or Seeeduino in my case).  So far I've only used the shutter and have left auto-focus off.
Here's my first attempt of a timelapse movie with this setup:



You'll find the code here. This page helped me figure out to hook-up the plug.

Making the movie is a little tricky on Linux.  First you'll need to installed GraphicsMagick (a faster version of ImageMagick):
sudo aptitude install graphicsmagick
Then you'll need to downloaded and compile from source mpeg2encode to that it can do the conversion to mpeg (this doesn't come included with GraphicsMag…

Halloween Fun with Arduino and LCD

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For Halloween this year I did two things. I redid my spinning POV hat. I basicallly, just made it stronger, and lighter since it fell apart last year.  To make it lighter I used the Arduino Pro (5V) and two coin style batteries (CF2032) instead of the normal Arduino and the heavier 9 volt battery.  I didn't have much time to perfect it so the effect wasn't perfect (code).  I really need to put a sensor on it that senses every time it spins around for it to work correctly, at the moment I just guess how fast it's spinning and put in a delay based on that guess.  What came out doesn't look that hot:


The second device I made was a little more successful. It was a 16x2 line LCD from sparkfun (GDM1602K rev 2.1) display connected to a button so that every time you pressed it one more friend would be added.  I would go up to people and say "Press the button to be my friend on orkut".

There's a colloquialism here in Brazil: "Me Add" which is both a short…