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My Blog

New Host

I haven't posted over here in a long time because all of my efforts have been going towards the ITP section of the website. School is demanding all of my time and attention. I love it, but now that the summer break is here I will put a few posts over here.

I'm happy to say that I finally changed the hosting of this website from GitHub pages to an AWS S3 bucket and AWS CloudFront. Also the domain registration is now through Route 53. The immediate problem I had to solve is that the size of this website and the git repository backing it started to exceed the maximum GitHub repo size (1 GB). Doing something was necessary. The new location will provide unlimited growth as well as solve some minor problems. In addition, by moving to AWS I will be able to easily utilize sub-domains for new projects that make use of various AWS services. I'm eager to try out AWS Lambda functions in particular. Stay tuned!

Winter Break

My first semester at ITP is complete, and I enjoyed it very much. The workload was intense but that never bothered me. Every day I got out of bed excited for the things I would do that day.

Currently I am making improvements to this website. I made many enhancements to the style sheets and added a logo to the side menu. I also wrote extra documentation that I didn't have time for during the semester.

Before the next semester starts I hope to move the hosting from github to S3. If I have time, I'll add a P5 animation to the homepage.

Nocturne #1

Here's a somewhat clumsy rendition of Erik Satie's Nocturne #1. I botched one measure towards the end but besides that I hit all the right notes.

I put together my own version of the sheet music in MuseScore because I couldn't find a version I liked without notation errors. Also, I wanted to learn MuseScore.

First Jupyter Notebook Post

This is a blog post created in Jupyter notebook.

The goal is to see how well this feature works. I'd like to be able to post Python code to my blog. Happily, Nikola supports that seamlessly.

Normally Nikola preserves the width of each notebook cell. It makes sense that it does this but that doesn't work so well with this template because of the navigation bar on the left side of the screen. That's OK, I can override it by changing the notebook styling with this if I need to:

#notebook-container {
  width: 800px;
}

And here is some Python code:

In [1]:
def square(x):
    return x**2

for i in range(10):
    print(square(i))
0
1
4
9
16
25
36
49
64
81

And a plot:

In [2]:
%matplotlib inline
import matplotlib

import pandas as pd
import pandas.util.testing as pd_testing
In [3]:
df = pd_testing.makeTimeDataFrame(20)
df.index = pd.date_range(start=pd.Timestamp.now().floor('D'), periods=df.shape[0])

df.plot(figsize=(10, 5))
Out[3]:
<matplotlib.axes._subplots.AxesSubplot at 0x7f57609a2fd0>

Magnificent!

Camera3D and 360 Video

A new version of Camera3D has been released!

Version 1.2 supports 360 videos. Here is an example:

In addition, I made some performance improvements using new tools found in Java 1.8. Processing 2.x is no longer supported.

More information available on the Camera-3D Camera-3D project page.

Lux Aeterna

I've spent the past few months learning Clint Mansell's Lux Aeterna, otherwise known as Requiem for a Dream. It's a piece I enjoy very much and have wanted to play since I found some videos of other people playing it on youtube.

I made a few small mistakes but they are hardly noticeable. It wasn't my best day for recording myself playing.

Read more…

Mostly complete keyboard (Part 4)

Now the keyboard is pretty much done. For real this time.

Refer to (part 1), (part 2), and (part 3) for the back-story.

I previously wrote that I was "almost done" but in reality I wasn't anywhere near complete. There were many bad solder joints, resulting in shorts and disconnections for many buttons and several shift registers. It was frustrating because I had no idea how to debug it.

Eventually I wrote some Arduino diagnostic code to help me identify the problems. I also read several books on Multimeters. And lots of time studying my soldering joints with a magnifying glass. It was tedious, but now the keyboard works pretty flawlessly. Although it is possible another problem will creep up later, I am confident I will be able to deal with it.

The circuitry is complete. A few minor tweaks to go: some buttons needed to be filed down to fit properly, and perhaps a few more need some work. The keyboard also doesn't have question mark or comma keys. I plan on using a laser cutter to make replacement buttons for the duplicate times and caret characters since they aren't as important. I will take care of it at ITP Camp this summer.

And this is me typing with it! It really works!!

Some photos:

I wrote my own Arduino code to run the Arduino board. My code properly handles multiple key presses and lets the operating system handle key repeats. There is also diagnostic code to blink the Arduino's built-in LED if there is a hardware problem with the shift registers.

I am very happy to have finished the circuitry for this custom keyboard. For a long time this project seemed hopeless. Nevertheless, I stuck with it and now it is clear I will actually finish it properly. The soldering iron that was setup on my kitchen table since August has finally been put away. I'll take it out again later, of course, but for a different project!

Next up, Raspberry Pi experiments.