12 Stunning Photos of Nature

I’m sorry I don’t know who own the rights to these excellent and amazing nature photos. If you do know please drop me a line. Thanks!

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There’s so much beauty in nature. I sure hope we preserve it well so our children won’t have to resort to looking at these pictures in the future when there’s nothing left. Continue reading

Wiimote Whiteboard Fun

I got a Wiimote a few days ago and I’ve been playing with it’s accelerometers and infrared camera. It’s such a versatile device and it connects flawlessly over Bluetooth. I’ve been flying planes with the device and using it as an air mouse and today I’ll show you how to make an interactive whiteboard. Johnny Lee came up with this so all credits go to him.

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Writing on my laptop’s screen using an infrared pen (see below for construction details).

Things you’ll need for this project:

  1. Wiimote
  2. Bluetooth adapter on your PC
  3. Infrared LED (generic)
  4. Switch
  5. 1.5v battery
  6. Some wires
  7. Bluesoleil 6 (download)
  8. Wiimote Whiteboard (download from Johnny Lee’s site)
  9. LCD screen or Projector or a surface that you can draw on.

First of all, you need to get your Wiimote talking with your PC. Download and install Bluesoleil. After putting your Wiimote into discovery mode (hold buttons “1″ and “2″ until the blue LEDs start blinking), use Bluesoleil to search for your Wiimote. Your Wiimote should appear as a game controller and now you can double click on the “mouse” (Human Interface Device) button and connect your Wiimote to your PC.

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Wiimote connected on Bluesoleil. Wiimote whiteboard running also.

Next we’ll need to build an infrared pen. The Wiimote contains an infrared camera (behind the black window) and this will detect the infrared light from our infrared pen and determine its position on the screen. There are many ways of making an infrared pen. I used an old pen case and just glued everything together. Very crude but works well:

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My very simple infrared pen.

The wiring is even simpler. Just connect a switch in between the infrared led and the battery. The circuit diagram is shown below:

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Once you’ve got the pen ready, you should now position your Wiimote. Your Wiimote needs to be able to see the whole screen or surface that you want to draw on. This is determined largely through trial and error using the infrared pen.

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Wiimote mounted on a tripod.

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I’m right handed so I position it to the left so my hand won’t block the infrared light from the infrared pen from reaching the Wiimote.

Now that you’ve got everything set up, fire up Wiimote Whiteboard and do a screen calibration first. If you can’t get all the crosses to disappear, try changing the position of your Wiimote. Once you get it calibrated, it’s time to have some fun! Here’s a short video demo of me using the Wiimote Whiteboard. Turn up the volume a bit, the audio is a bit soft:

The best thing about this system is that it cost very little to build. It’s practically free if you already have a Wii at home. Imagine the countless hours of fun your kids can have painting virtually on your PC instead of splashing paint all over the house ;) Continue reading

Will your Video be a Hit on YouTube?

My exams have been postponed till 31st December. So I now have plenty of time to really study and carry on with some of my projects. Although I would have loved to get everything over by next Thursday, there’s nothing much I can do about it so I’m just going to make the best out of it.

I’ve been watching youtube videos and I noticed a trend among the popular videos. That’s why I’ve made the following flow chart to help people make hit videos on youtube. Just follow the chart and you should be able to figure out how to make hit youtube videos!

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I’m also looking for sponsors for my “sending a camera to space” project and also a new mini-UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) project. Currently in need of specialized camera equipment, long range data links, GPS tracking and autoflight systems. Most will be probably developed in house to reduce cost. Interested parties can contact me at my email address listed on the right. Thanks! Continue reading

New Twitter Widget

I decided to take a short break from studying by coding a new Twitter widget. I used most of the old code but simply repackaged it into a small window on the top right corner of the page. If you haven’t noticed it for some reason (do drop me a message if you don’t see it), here’s how it looks like:

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This widget can be moved around, resized and closed. It remembers the last position and size so everytime you load the page it will be at where you left it (if you haven’t cleared your cookies). The Twitpic tab lets you see my recently uploaded images on Twitpic.

Source: dhtmlgoodies.com, Javascript Kit. Continue reading