Category Archives: Uncategorized

Science Olympiad – Div C – Maglev

By | March 5, 2013

The reason for the maglev track and the photo gates was actually to test vehicles for the Science Olympiad Division C – Maglev event. Unfortunately, in San Joaquin County, this was a closed event, so I don’t have a video of the actual run. But below is a video of the winning vehicle later in… Read More »

Gates and Maglev Track

By | November 2, 2012

Earlier I wrote about my DIY photogates. They work pretty well but there is always room for improvements. So I added a little 16×2 LCD display to the Arduino setup. That way, you can use the large computer-displayed stopwatch or you can rely on the little LCD.  Both work simultaneously and on the same Arduino… Read More »

Arduino-based Photogate Timer

By | October 19, 2012

Mostly for the Science Olympiad – Division C – Maglev event, but also just to learn more about Arduino in general, I tried to build a photogate setup on the cheap;-) I expect the Maglev event’s timed part to be somewhere in between two and three seconds. So even for test runs, a hand based… Read More »

Arduino and LEGO NXT is fun

By | October 15, 2012

OK, I knew about the Arduino platform for quite some time. But I was not sure what I would like to to do with it. But with the next Science Olympiad looming on the horizon and the need to find a cheap photo gate timing system, I had the idea of an Arduino-based system. The… Read More »

Solaris IPS Packages & Ruby Dependencies

By | February 2, 2012

I’m currently building Solaris IPS packages for Some Ruby gems. Yes, I know rubygems does a very good job of keeping everything together. But that does not work so well on backend systems where you don’t have a free internet access and where repeatability is important. So I decided to wrap the gems we need… Read More »

Puppet @ Solaris – Some Extensions to Facter

By | February 2, 2012

I’m using the OpenSource version of puppet, the system configuration engine to keep some Solaris systems in sync. For some modules, I wanted to know which zones are running on a given system. So I extended facter, puppet’s system fact collecting framework a bit. This little patch adds a list of zones and a mapping… Read More »

GNU Bash and Environment Variables in the PS1

By | January 27, 2012

Update – Sorry, while the patch below works, it’s NOT needed to get that functionality!! GNU bash can do that without modifications. I don’t know why I missed that before:-( Simply add a ${VAR} into the single quotes when you define the PS1! $ PS1=’\u@${FOO}\$ ‘ marcow@YY$ FOO=XX marcow@XX$ Sorry for the confusion — Marco… Read More »

Adventures in Audiobooks

By | February 22, 2011

Audio books are fun. Downloading them legally and using  them on your systems should be as fast and as painless as possible. But that’s not completely true when you buy  audio books from Borders and try to use/handle them on Linux:-( Once you decide and buy your audio books, Borders adds links into your account… Read More »

Random Hack of Kindness – Fun

By | December 5, 2010

OK, I spend most of most of Saturday and Sunday in San Francisco @ the local RHoK installation. I met some very interesting people, learned a lot of different thing about software projects and I hope my little changes will make a bit of a difference. I played with Ushahidi, an Open Source crowdsourcing platform… Read More »

Some Snowy Yosemite Impressions;-)

By | December 2, 2010

It’s already almost a week since we made it back from our first stay in a really snowy Yosemite Valley. We started spending our Thanksgiving week up there something like five years ago. So far, all years had pretty good weather. Or let’s say mostly sunny & dry;-) Because the snowy weather was a lot… Read More »