Arduino Motion Detector

As I have been traveling through Getting Started with Arduino I’ve been trying to take on the “tinkering” mentality described in chapter two titled, “The Arduino Way“. And as the text in the book states, “You should now experiment by looking at all the possible devices that have two contacts that close.” So I made a purposeful visit to Radio Shack to look for parts to hook up to it. What I came up with was a Parallax PIR Sensor.

The package didn’t include documentation for the sensor, but I was able to locate it on their website. This gave me enough confidence to try and hook it up… particularly after deciding to modify the “Using a Pushbutton to Control the LED” example and corresponding code from the Getting Started with Arduino book.

The result was a little motion detector, that turned the LED on while it detected motion, and then turned off shortly after the motion stopped. The sky is the limit I suppose (or time and money, right?). The next stop for me seems to be to hook up the Raspberry Pi to the Arduino in some manner.

Arrival of the Raspberry Pi

I got the Raspberry Pi in yesterday and wanted to show what came with it as well as my first steps. Pictured below is the packaging, top, and bottom view of the board:

Getting Started
Raspberry Pi - Top View
Raspberry Pi - Underside
I didn’t receive much in the way of what to do with it once I got it, so naturally I went to the website listed on the getting started guide:

Ubuntu 12.04 with Gimp 2.8

After upgrading to Ubuntu 12.04 from 10.04, I realized Gimp was at an older version (2.6) than 2.8.

Presently, here’s how 12.04 can run 2.8 without much hassle:

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install gimp gimp-plugin-registry

Gimp 2.8 in Single-Window Mode

Drupal Modules

I recently completed a project for a customer that afforded me the opportunity to dive into Drupal on better terms. On my first introduction to the software several years back (and Joomla for that matter) I determined I would be able to use my cross-browser theming skills more effectively if I chose WordPress as a base CMS.

This time around I was able to spend a considerable chunk of time reading the documentation (especially around the Theming Guide) and examples on other’s sites. Some topics online seemed incomplete so I did end up reviewing some chapters in a few books on Drupal 7 in particular. In my mind it seems like the developers of WordPress and Drupal are migrating toward each other in feature sets, but delivering solutions from different perspectives.

WordPress appears to be geared more toward out of the box social publishing, with an easy installer, and an easy updater. It can be pushed in almost any direction, but doesn’t seem to be the goal of the software creators. Drupal on the other hand feels more like a collection of building blocks for a web database. While Drupal has fields, blocks, regions, views, and fine grained permissions with roles… URL aliases require a module to automate their selection. There’s even a module to hook up Filemaker Pro and Drupal.

Back to the modules:

I utilized the following:

For spam free contact forms (almost):

For easy page editing:

For dynamic content:

For development and style:

Microsoft Visio in LibreOffice 3.5

I like that LibreOffice seems to be experiencing rapid innovation and bloat removal since The Document Foundation was formed, and the software was forked from OpenOffice.

While I won’t write at length about all the changes I’ve noticed, I did want to show one of the new features coming to a stable release due soon.

The ability to open and display Visio files… more reading about it:

Thunderbird Attachments Missing

I ran into an interesting issue today after a co-worker reported that he had been receiving emails from someone who claimed there were attachments, however they were not being displayed within the email.

After viewing the message source and seeing a base64 encoded block within the email, I wondered if it was Thunderbird doing something I didn’t expect. I checked it in Roundcube and other locations… worked fine elsewhere…

And then I downloaded: Show All Body Parts. Problem worked around for now. 🙂

Continue reading →

Android on VirtualBox

This was fun. A bit of a test drive of Android-x86 3.2 using VirtualBox. I had a hard time getting the internet to work on it, just like I would have if I was at the store playing with it. 🙂

There are how-tos at: