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canon

Ooops! I've been organizing image files recently from my camera and realized that I was losing timestamps when moving them to a remote Samba share. Fortunately, image formats and cameras these days are smart enough to embed the original timestamp inside the image itself (assuming you have a moderately recent camera and assuming you've gone thru the process of configuring the date/time).

I hacked up the almost trivial perl script below to touch each file with the data from the exif data.


`#!/usr/bin/perl

Touch files with Exim timestamps

use strict;
foreach my $f (@ARGV){
my $d = jhead $f | grep 'Date/Time';
chomp $d;
$d =~ s/^Date/Time.*: (d+):(d+):(d+) (d+):(d+):(d+)/$1$2$3$4$5.$6/;
touch -t "$d" "$f";

}`

The script depends on the jhead tool to get the data from the image, but the rest is dead simple.

More cracklebox boards...

Sun Sep 28 2008 16:46:32 GMT-0700 (PDT)

tags: phone dorkbotpdx dorkbot cracklebox steim

phone_20080928164631.jpg I etched 3 more cracklebox boards at todays open dorkbot workshop. Didn't get them populated yet but will very soon...

Underwater skateboard is awesome!

Mon Sep 01 2008 23:05:06 GMT-0700 (PDT)

tags: phone

phone_20080901230505.jpg Where were these things when we were kids huh?? We had to use our old wooden decks, and they just were not designed for sweet underwater shredding action!!

In the last week or two I've been doing some of the smallest soldering I've ever attempted.

It all started with the KOLPXNTY board I've been designing and prototyping. I won't dive into detail here (maybe later!?), but the basic goal is to trigger a fairly large number of circuit bent devices from a networked computer.

kolpxnty

I'll put up a documentation page if/when it's more relevant.

Although this certainly not rocket science, it's certainly the most complex 2-sided surface mount board I've attempted to design. Briefly, there are a few buses, a lot of traces, and a shitton of vias (for my amateur hand anyway). I soldered down the teeny LEDs and 6 small SMT chips and the bypass caps and resistors and rested confident in knowing that even though the board was hand-ironed and soldered haphazardly, that it was good and efficient and tight.

Then I decided to finally build out the benito kits that I scored from Dorkbot Don a month or longer ago.

the little tuff one

Let's be clear -- this shit is pretty damn small. It's not exactly microscopic. It's still hand soldered, but wow, it's really tight. The TQFP part is really hard not to bridge, but the braid will save you. The LEDs are really light and challenging, but totally doable if careful. The remainder of the SMT parts (caps and resistors mostly) are surprisingly fun to mount and actually save you the trouble of cutting those long leads (like on thru-hole parts).

I built two of them and although I managed to ruin one of the LEDs on one of the boards, I have been able to confirm that they're both functional.

Don has really done some great and amazing work here!

Let's be absolutely clear: He's designed and built us a cheap and readily available platform that can act as a usb-to-and-from-serial bridge, an Atmel programmer, or even more generally, a really great cheap and open platform for USB+AVR hacking. Wanna control a servo? Sure, this can do it! Wanna read from an SPI sensor? Sure, this can do it too!

It's still probably in need of some general purpose cross-platform code and reusable modules, but what a great small, cheap, and efficient platform on which to build computer-enabled projects! It think it was nearly ten years ago that I read about the death of the serial port and the future of this newfangled USB thing.

It was a hobbyist nightmare. How were (are?) we going to deal with the insanity? Other than the overpriced FTDI chip (not to fully knock it -- that chip is great), the benito is the first real usb platform that does what we hobbyists kinda want. Granted the software has to be there to support it -- and it will follow soon. Pay attention. :)

KBOO dada surrealism radio festival is under way

Wed Aug 27 2008 22:33:29 GMT-0700 (PDT)

tags: kboo dada surreal surrealism radio fm

kboo.dada It's really hard for me to type "dada". After years of brainwashing and typing and whoknowswhat, it always comes out "data". These are actually different concepts.

So there's a local, independent, community sponsored radio station that is doing a wonderfully brilliant 101 hours of dada and surrealism

I'm biased -- I have performed live on this community platform and I have helped out with a festival in the past...but this is really a great thing and I need to get the word out. Portlanders can listen on 90.7 on the fm dial, out of towners can also listen by streaming magic via the internet.

Once time time in time, in the spirit of dada, we proclaimed "stud pony midgets in bondage gear. $5" available at the student health center. It is altogether true and yet not real but quite false in its actuality and refuted in its continued insistence of existence. It is a failure baby and a falsehood meme of blind eye turning of steering quality of knowing. You will deny.

I've been following the gross artwork of Larry Carlson for a while...and to my surprise and joylation, he's got a segment slotted in the fest (see Thursday 6am -- yes, like 7 hours from now).

There's tons of great performances slated, including Argumentix and Celestville (both of which I'm a sucker for). Check out the full schedule for great victory.

The unicorn is late.

Tue Aug 05 2008 00:22:31 GMT-0700 (PDT)

tags: phone

phone_20080805002230.jpgOk, fine, sure. It is a full month late and cheesy and now irrelevant...but the unicorn marks the first phone to blog photo post for noisybox! Yay!

Blink, wow, 6 months has passed.

Tue Jun 10 2008 23:11:03 GMT-0700 (PDT)

tags: misc

Wow. I look up and it's already June. Where the hell has all the time gone? The blog and website have been stagnating a bit...mostly because of time shortages. My lifestyle has changed in such a way that it's often quite difficult for me to get time to even write a quick blurb...and just frankly, I haven't been terribly motivated to share thoughts, rants, stuff, or to document my work or to, uh, whatever it is we do on these blogs. What have I been doing?

  1. Working. Working a lot. I started a new position back in November and it's just been crunch crunch crunch. The pace might be letting up a bit. I hope so, that previous mode just isn't sustainable.
  2. Playing an hour live show on KBOO FM community radio. Infiltration Lab did a noise set that filled an hour of Jennifer Robin's Night of the Living Tongue show.
  3. Creating short video works. I had my first dabble into making video/film (a submission to http://www.quadruplex.co.uk/) and created a two-piece DVD running about 13 minutes.
  4. Preparing to circuit bend up at the St. John's No.Fest

Now what should I be doing?

  1. Cleaning up the sound from the KBOO show and mixing down the live video that Jared was nice enough to film. It would be nice to release both the audio and video some time this year.
  2. Documenting my audiopint progress and releasing supporting software and/or disc images. I at least need to put up a documentation page -- it's well overdue. I'm pretty sure I owe David some pictures too.
  3. Preparing for the St. John's thing -- I need to inventory parts and toys and make sure I have what I need. It's going to be fun or silly or both.
  4. Improve my video toolchain. There is a lot of room for improvement, optimization, and flexibility there. I think there are some interesting ideas, but unfortunately it's far from releasable in its current state.
  5. Cleanup and personal organization. I've really let my workspaces and organization slip, and I think it's a real detriment to my project progress...time to give that some attention soon.

I'm a swarm of ideas, I'm a pit of passion, and I'm a slave to time.

On Sunday, I hosted a circuit bending workshop called "Haywire" with Dorkdbot Portland at PNCA.

haywire

There is some more detailed information over here and I have posted some pictures over here and added them to the DorkbotPDX flickr pool.

Overall, things went really well! There was a sizable turnout (35 or 40ish benders) and most seemed to really be enjoying the workshop. We encountered a hitch at the start involving lack of power and fire marshals, but things got rolling and people got into it. Although I forgot to start the recorder for my 30 minute introduction talk, I did record a couple hours of silly and chaotic ambient audio from the event. I hope to convert it to mp3 sometime soon and make it available online.

This was my first time putting on a workshop, and I certainly stood to learn a few things. Like:

  1. Arrive earlier than you want to. I showed up about 15 minutes early, which was right around the time everybody else showed up. It was nice to have the help carrying equipment, but I would have been less overwhelmed with more time.
  2. Check power before the workshop starts.
  3. Set clear ground rules about taking toys to hack. That is -- if you take it from the bin, you take it out of the building. I ended up hauling away a seizable tote full of half hacked or otherwise busted items. Ug!
  4. Have dedicated helpers on-hand to answer questions and run errands. If 40 or so people want to pick your brain, you're going to have a hard time...helpers can, uh, help!
  5. Try not to span a mealtime or schedule a break or provide food. If people leave, it can break up the momentum and worse, they might not come back.

I also probably should have prepared a few simple diagrams/tutorials that showed some basics, such as adding a line-out. Hopefully there will be a next time, and hopefully lessons learned will lead to a smoother workshop! Thanks again to everybody who signed!

Updated midi NRPN abstractions now support controllers > 127

Fri Dec 28 2007 00:22:58 GMT-0800 (PST)

tags: pd puredata nrpn midi

This is what the internet is really all about -- collaboration! A really generous German guy named Stefan fixed a deficiency (bug?!) in my NRPN abstractions. Thanks Stefan!

nrpn patches

Previous versions wouldn't allow for controller numbers greater than 127...which is like half the point of even having NRPN (the other half being data values > 127). In any case, his modifications were somewhat simple and necessary and I incorporated them into and updated my pd abstractions page.

In order for me to confirm that the abstractions do what they claim, I used my BCR2000 control surface. I stumbled for quite some time with the nrpn_out.pd code, because the BCR200 was just absolutely refusing to recognize NRPN for a controller above 127. I hooked up a software midi dump (amidi -p hw:2,0 -d) to confirm that the bytes coming out of pd were as expected, and they were.

I feared that my controller was maybe shot or in a funky mode (everything else was working fine tho), and I tracked down a firmware update on the Behringer website. As is usual with this kind of firmware upgrade, it is a miserable Windows-only application, and I ended up resorting to using my wife's laptop to run it. Just once I'd like a manufacturer to properly support Linux...and if that's asking too much, just release the source and let people know how they can write their own. Trust me, given the code or at least a description of how to get the bytes into the device (protocol anyone!), the community will friggin build it for you!

Once the firmware was upgraded, the BCR2000 instantly started recognizing its incoming NRPN messages for controllers above 127. Goodie!

Thanks again for Stefan for helping out and contributing back to a community. It's exactly that kind of thing that helps make things better for us all.

Missing alt-drag in Windows? AutoHotKey to the rescue.

Mon Dec 17 2007 22:56:33 GMT-0800 (PST)

tags: autohotkey windows gui

There are certain circumstances (like an office job) that might force you to wallow in the disgust of using Windows on a daily basis. If you're anything like me, you get quickly annoyed by the lack of certain usability features that exist in other superior environments.

At least for me, AutoHotKey to the rescue.

AutoHotKey

Apparently I wasn't the only one who missed the super important alt-drag move/resize features that exist in KDE and other windowing systems. This kind geek has hacked up a script for AutoHotKey that, when activated, allows alt-drag functionality to start working again.

And work it does! The install was simple, straightforward, and it worked on the first try. I was even able to drag the shortcut into my startup folder, and so I now have proper window functionality without even thinking about it. Major kudos to the author!

I haven't yet found the need/desire to monkey around much with any other scripts for or features of AutoHotKey, but it certainly seems like a powerful and free tool. Getting this hack going in Windows has been a real help at work, so I thought I'd share the success story.