Kate's Comment

Thoughts on British ICT, energy & environment, cloud computing and security from Memset's MD

BOB 3.0 – construction

I have recently completed a major upgrade of BOB, mainly adding a plethora of new sensors. The picture below gives an overview: Head BOB’s head needs to be able to turn for “pet like” behaviour and to maximise the usefulness of the “ears” and ultrasonic sensor. Having added several sensors to BOB’s head meant that the cabling was going to…

Using HiTechnic sensor multiplexer in NXC

In order to give BOB all the capabilities I need more than the 4 standard sensor inputs. To that end I ordered two HiTechnic sensor multiplexers, one powered one (the one in front of him in the picture) which can do any sensor and one for just touch sensors (the one connected in the picture, distinguished by a lack of…

Giving BOB sensors to turn him into a robot pet

Some of BOB‘s new sensors have arrived (see right)! With them I hope to turn him into something resembling a robotic pet. 🙂 I am still awaiting the HiTechnic sensor multiplexer (I ordered the ones shown ones from Lego UK for simplicity) which will allow me to connect so many sensors to the NXT control brick. At present he just…

Programming B.O.B (Lego Mindstorms NXT) in not-exactly C on MacOS / OSX

My true first beginnings as a hacker were with Lego technics. I was very lucky that my Dad got me one of the very first systems for controlling Lego from a computer back in the late 80’s. At the time it was only officially available for schools, but he pulled some strings. Lego Mindstorms NXT My childhood love of Lego…

Using TV screens as monitors (how to fix overscan/zoom)

I have a fairly cheap and generic 32″ LG 1080p screen connected to my media computer (a Mac Mini) as a backup to the projector which doesn’t work well during the day time. We mainly use that machine for watching stuff from Netflix (astonishing quality by the way!). In my office I also have three 27″ Samsung SyncMaster TA550/T27A550 LED…

Personal Device Convergence – Rise of the Superphone

In stark contrast to my assertion that the Internet of Things revolution is about to ignite, driven by hackers, I have long contended that we don’t actually need more than one or two personal information devices in our lives (I still expect the Internet of Things to be made up mostly of autonomous devices). Thus far my personal experience is…

How to fix the HTC local storage/memory issue with Titanium Backup

So I have an HTC Desire. The reason I have this phone is that it was the only one in white and silver out at the time, and all my favourite things are white or silver (with occasional traces of blue)! For a more detailed description of my personal device path please see my personal device convergance (rise of the…

Getting root with Revolutionary & CyanogenMOD (HTC)

One of my personal rules of gadgets is, “If you don’t root it, you don’t own it!”. Rooting means having root control on the device, but also comes with risks of bricking your phone (ie. turning it into a useless brick!). Further, my HTC Desire kept running out of space and there were lots of apps that I just didn’t…

Hacking Britain’s Recovery

As we enter 2012, and the world economy continues to stutter, teetering on the brink of another global recession fuelled this time not by the banks defaulting, but the prospect of entire governments being declared bankrupt. In my last post I described how I believe that the time is nonetheless ripe for a technology revolution, and indeed one befitting times…

The Next Revolution: Internet of Things

Over Christmas I have been pondering on the question of what the next big thing in technology will be, specifically in 2012. That question is perhaps especially poignant since we recently we lost one of our generation’s great innovators, Steve Jobs. When I recently took delivery of my magic mouse I was struck by how aptly it was named. If…