Tim Hatch

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26 Hours With Leopard 27 Oct, 2007

New Leopard Dock, post-fix

I've been using Leopard for a little over a day now, and other than the two headaches it's caused (something about choppy motion, I get the same ones from Half Life 2), the only real annoyance is the new Dock.

If you want your Dock to look like the screencap, here's what to do:

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES
sudo cp indicator_new.png /System/Library/CoreServices/Dock.app/Contents/Resources/indicator_medium_simple.png
killall Dock

That's just a png image I came up with to emulate the old "has an arrow" style that's actually visible rather than the idiotic simulated LED.

Maker Faire 2007, Day 2 21 Oct, 2007

We walked in today saying "I want to solder something." First Cameron beat me at hammering in nails at the Stanley exhibit and we checked out the plug-in cars. There were lots of crafty areas today (I think more than yesterday) and neat things for cutting (lasers, portable bandsaws, shopbots).

We had a good chat with the MIT Fab Lab guys who wrote a good portion of their system for interfacing with (among other things) a laser cutter in Python. Very interesting setup they had, running Gutsy Gibbon already too.

Picking something inexpensive to build, Cameron, Mari and I all built Arduino clone boards from scratch, which are interfaces to the ATMega168 microcontroller. We haven't been able to do more than tweak the blink program yet, but all three boards work on the first try (and Mari's first time soldering) so we're feeling really productive for the day.

The tesla display was just as neat the second time around, sync'd to music. They used fiber optic cables to link the coils back with a microcontroller which we surmise is to prevent high-voltage feedback but might have also been for interference reasons.

I took a few video clips that I hope to turn into a best-of-the-faire segment in the next couple of days.

Photos are up on Flickr.

Update: Mari's photos are also up.

Maker Faire, Day 1 20 Oct, 2007

In a word, it's amazing.

They've managed to bring out all the good parts of the culture I saw around Berkeley and bring those attitudes to Texas, encouraging people from all around to take part. The faire seems to be just the right size for a two-day event, not too crowded (and surprisingly kid-friendly).

We went on a whirlwind tour of the tricked-out cars including the van-tiki and toyboata, the make store (so many tempting things!), the organic food booths, and the fire/tesla section of the barn out rear. In the true DIY nature of the event, snow cones were provided as just ice, you had to add the flavoring yourself (strawberry was more like bubblegum, but okay nonetheless).

We'll definitely be back tomorrow. Photos at Flickr.

Road Trip! 19 Oct, 2007

Palmer, Mari and I left tonight, bound for Austin to see Maker Faire. We have really no idea what to expect, but the previous Maker Faire got great reviews and everybody seemed to love it. We’re going to stay at the La Quinta somewhat near the fairgrounds because of its free decent internet, and I will be trying to make a news bite for the Daily.

The latest Ubuntu was released yesterday and the servers are still overloaded with people doing release upgrades (to the point where it takes three hours to grab the packages at 30KiB/s).

Somehow today has turned into the musical parody day (Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Train” being among them).