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Comment: Re:What is this project for? (Score 1) 214

Yes, that is part of the problem, in that techies could replicate at least parts of the product fairly cheaply (but building stuff in volume is a different issue than one off soldering). Note, at least one part of the original version of the TriggerTrap, would have been problematical on the Pi (easier on an Arduino), and that is getting the precise timing right for doing IR control to control cameras that use an IR sensor to trip their shutter. Depending on the camera, you would also need a camera specific cable and opto-couplers to protect the PI. At the time of the original release, it was hard to find 3rd party cables for the cameras. Shortly afterwards two brands of generic shutter release came out with cables you could buy for each camera (which I pointed out to them, and they changed their design for V2 to use these cables, and sell them in their store). Here is a list of the various pinouts for the various camera control cables to give you an idea of the variety: http://www.doc-diy.net/photo/r...

Comment: Re:Second bite at the kickstarter apple, second fa (Score 1) 214

In the original kickstarter, the founders had programmed their Arduino clone themselves, and had a working prototype. As they started moving to the mobile space on Apple/Android phones I have to imagine they needed to add talent, and may have used contract labor. I recall vaguely that the founder was not a professional programmer, and his day job during the first kickstarter would interfere from time to time.

Comment: Second bite at the kickstarter apple, second fail (Score 1) 214

What's sad, is this wasn't Triggertrap's first bite at the kickstarter apple, nor is it their first fail. They had an earlier campaign that asked for $25,000, and got $77,262 when it closed in July 2011. They had promised delivery "before Christmas" in 2011, and the delivery started in June 2012. I had thought they were almost a year behind schedule, but it was only 6 months. They were a textbook case of what not to do in a KS campaign, particularly trying to do manufacture a product when they never had experience in bringing a product to market, using foreign manufacturing and trying to manage it long distance, not realizing the holiday schedule for your foreign manufacturer, claim compatibility with X different cameras without delving down into exactly what each camera required, and letting engineers with no prior experience at bringing products to market set price points and shipping schedules. I didn't read the latest explanation in detail, but a lot of the problems that crept up in the original KS campaign resurfaced, particularly on the project management side. This time, they seemed to add legal issues to the mix of project mis-steps. I stayed away this time, because even at $99, it was more than I was willing to pay for what they were delivering. That being said, unlike some KS projects, they did actually produce a product that worked as they claimed. I used it a few times until I managed to fry it, but there were some design choices that made it less useful to me. And for me, the delay got me interested in programming Arduinos (and later Teensys, etc.) to do camera triggers, so it wasn't a complete loss.

Comment: Remember film cameras (Score 1) 478

by Michael Meissner (#46281361) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?
Not all cameras need electronics, so any device that tries to make current digital cameras not take a picture can be subverted. You can record images on silver nitrate (i.e. film) with a purely mechanical camera. If you take time to learn it, you can even learn appropriate settings to use without using a photo meter of any kind. When you are in the darkroom developing the images, you can shorten or lengthen the time if your exposure was a bit off. The execution of murderess Ruth Snyder was captured with the aid of a miniature plate camera custom-strapped to the ankle of Tom Howard, a Chicago Tribune photographer working in cooperation with the Tribune-owned New York Daily News. http://historywired.si.edu/obj...

Comment: Gnome3 is only part of my problem (Score 2) 181

by Michael Meissner (#44244043) Attached to: Giving GNOME 3 a GNOME 2 Look
Right now, I have 3 systems. An aging dual core Dell D620 laptop with Intel graphics, a new dual core Lenovo E430 laptop with i3 chip and Intel graphics meant to replace the Dell, and a HP Pavilion p7-1233w Fusion A8-5500 Quad-Core 3.2GHz with builtin Radeon graphics that replaced 2 other desktops that went belly up.

The Dell is stuck at Fedora 14. Anything newer brings in gnome3 and the system crashes when a 3D operation is done. I've tried Fedora 15 and 17, and could not get it configured to avoid the crashes in the Intel graphics system. I configured to use the fallback system, but something isn't right, and it still crashes. So I've kept it locked at Fedora 14.

I could run Gnome3 on the HP, and I hated it. I don't want windows bouncing around, I want to have 8 workspaces that I get to with keyboard shotcuts, I want focus to automatically turned on as I move the mouse over the window without clicking, I want to have static panels with drawers that I can specify where each thing goes. I eventually turned on the fallback gnome mode, and it allowed me to configure many of the things I use all of the time in Gnome2, but there are still lots of things I can't figure out how to do with the time I spent looking at the documentation. I played with Mate under Fedora 17, and I wasn't happy with it. While gnome fallback mode is a pale imatation of gnome2, eventually I will want the stuff I've been accustomed to having in my desktop for the past 10 years or so. I have the commands and shortcuts burned into my finger tips.

I've been trying off and on to get Fedora 18 installed on the Lenovo, and every so often the screen gets garbage on it, and the system hangs. Because of gnome3, this time I went with XFCE, and while it doesn't have everything I had in gnome2, it had enough that I could tolerate it for the time being. I have tried all of the BIOS configuration options, tried it with/without the Intel video driver, but I'm giving up on Fedora. Instead, I plan on installing Centos 6.4 (essentially RHEL 6) using the basic video driver. I had this working at one point, but decided to give Fedora one more try. Before buying the laptop, I did check around and did not find people with the kinds of problems I've been having with it. I really, really hope I don't have to load my Windows 7 OS that came with the laptop and run Linux as a virtual machine.

Comment: I just bought an E-430 (Score 1) 271

by Michael Meissner (#43219445) Attached to: Are Lenovo's ThinkPads Getting Worse?
FWIW, I've used a T61p and then a W510/W520 at work. Granted the dual graphics card on the recent W machines is a pain, but once I got past the installation phase, I don't have to worry about it, as I don't run eye-candy that needs all of the 3D stuff. I just pulled the trigger on an E430 for a personal laptop to replace an aging Dell D620. Note, in general, I don't use the system as a laptop but more of a desktop replacement with external monitor, keyboard, and mous, but there are times when I do travel with the system. For traveling, I found I prefer dealing with a 14" screen over a 15.4" screen, let alone a 17" screen. I also wanted the Windows that came pre-installed be Windows 7 instead of 8 for the few times I need to deal with Windows, but have the system with a new enough processor that KVM would work well in the system. I did avoid most of the consumer end of the line when looking at Lenovos and kept more to the business end of things. Hopefully the Edge part of thinkpads is a reasonable machine.

Comment: Re:IBM1130 FORTRAN, APL, Assembly (Score 1) 632

My high school got an IBM 1130 for the fall of 1971 and offered 2 courses: 1) Computer and 2) Advanced Computer. We had 3 card punch machines in the same room. In the first class we learned FORTRAN 4 and APL.

Was your high school Baltimore Polytechnic Institute? It sounds like the exact same setup and time-frame that I had. I went to BPI in 1971-1973 before moving to Alexandria Minnesota where I graduated in 1975. At this stage, I unfortunately don't remember much about it, nor anybody in the classes, but we may have been classmates.

Comment: Re:True (Score 1) 375

by Michael Meissner (#41539167) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Cell Phone Carrier In the US?

I would have to agree. It also doesn't hurt that you can tether on their network for free, and there's really not a whole hell of a lot they can do about it.

If you are talking about t-mobile, that used to be true with my LG Optimus T phone (and various Nokia non-smartphones before that), but I just upgraded to a Galaxy S II, and they now hit me with a $5/month tethering fee.

Comment: Re:Supporting older computers (Score 1) 202

by Michael Meissner (#40843879) Attached to: Fedora 18 To Feature the GNOME2 Fork MATE

If you're literally doing update/upgrade, you're taking the riskier approach. The way with the best chance of actually working is to do a complete new install, adjust settings to your liking (you kept records of what you did last time, right?), and then struggle with porting over stuff from F14 not available under F17. If you have the room, setting up for dual boot of F14/F17 gives the best chance of having everything work.

I never do an update as is. For the last 20-30 years, on most every UNIX and Linux system I've worked on, I have at least two root partitions, and a data partition. I always install a new version in a new partition, twiddle until I like it, and then change the default. At the moment, I did a minimal install, and it sort of worked, and then did yum install's for all of the various things I use, and switch over to using the home partition. For things like gnome, etc. I have an OS abstraction directory (/meissner) and my home files have symlinks to the abstraction directory. This means when I try out say Fedora 17, I clone the directory from the existing systeam, and any changes won't affect my settings for Fedora 14. The switch from grub to grub2 is an annoyance, just like when I switched from lilo to grub. But for me, the big thing is the Intel 945GM chip that my laptop uses is no longer supported for the default usage, and I have to figure out how to whack gnome3 not to use it.

Comment: Supporting older computers (Score 1) 202

by Michael Meissner (#40835857) Attached to: Fedora 18 To Feature the GNOME2 Fork MATE

Given how many decent, albeit old, chips covered by the Gnome 3 blacklist - this shouldn't be a surprise.

Yes, I'm in Fedora update hell right now. My Dell D620 laptop is running Fedora 14, and I was trying to update to Fedora 17, had it hang after downloading all of the stuff I used on F14. The reason I'm trying to upgrade now, is I want to switch to Arduino 1.0 instead of 0.22, and the newer avrdude will not work on the old system.

Comment: Re:The point? (Score 1) 142

Ok, not too hard to find touch LCD panels online, but I wonder just what is the point of this device you are attempting to make?

I would imagine the point is the OP wants to build something him/herself.

There are so many products in just about the size you are looking for I have to wonder why not either go with one of those products, either as the final device or a basis to create the device you want out of it?

Well for one thing, building things has its own rewards. But also, a lot of times commerical products don't necessarily have the bells and whistles you want. The way I read the OP's post, he was already at the hobbiest electronics stage, and presumably wanted to advance beyond the simple blinky light stage. He/she wanted to know what was available in terms of displays.

If at first you don't succeed, you must be a programmer.

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