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Comment: Re: Yeah.... (Score 1) 103

Forget the lot. Look at the cars. An empty lot at dinner time is a sign a table is waiting, but you don't want it. A full lot and a line at the door is a sign of a happening place, but expect a wait. Best to try a late afternoon brunch instead. Go where the locals go. Many bring their car. Judging the lot by the lot itself is like judging a book by it's cover. Content is more important.

Comment: Re:Media streamer? (Score 1) 60

Info can be found on Falcon Christmas regarding the Falcon Pi Player.

Workflow is not bad. Use Vixen to create a sequence in time to a song. Normally this is the end as you can play the sequence and music and output to the lights and FM transmitter. This has two issues. Nobody wants to leave the laptop outside to run the show, or run very long cables from the show computer to the display. Besides it ties up the laptop.

Once you have a sequence saved, it can be imported to Xlights/Nutcracker. You can add Nutcracker effects if desired. It has some neat effects for a mega tree pixel matrix. The sequence is then exported in a format compatible with Falcon Pi Player.

Falcon Pi Player has a web interface. Link with Ethernet using wire or wired. Who cares? Either works. Upload the music and sequences to the player. Set the clock or let it use NTP on the web. Either works. Raspberry Pi does not come with a real time clock, so clock setting is required to schedule shows. Schedule your shows (playlists) and the Falcon Pi Player will run the entire show on schedule. Output to control the lights can use any of several compatible interfaces including a DMX Dongle such as an Open DMX USB, or equivilant, or for larger shows spanning many universes of DMX and driving LED Pixels, one of the SansDevices E1.31 interfaces or the DIYLEDExpress E1.31 bridge work great. SanDevices are compatible with more varieties of LED pixes and DMX. Input is Artnet or E1.31. DIYLED Express outputs only two popular LED formats and DMX and only does E1.31 input. I use the DIYLEDExpress bridge to drive a mix of LED's using WS2811 chips (very popular) and DMX devices. Falcon Pi Player does not do Artnet, so Artnet on the SanDevices items are only useful if you want to use FreeStyler and output Artnet. Freestyler does not output E1.31 yet, so that software package is incompatible with the DMX Bridge from DIYLEDExpress.

Hope this helps.

Comment: Re:Yeah.... (Score 1) 103

I found the Google results often cherry pick. When looking for a Chinese restaurant for example, Google will show one, but on the way to it I pass 5 others. Correction, I passed 5 and took the sixth instead of making it to the one listed in Google. I sometimes do a search to find a cluster of restaurants and then do a sidewalk and parking lot search. Local knowledge is often better than placed ratings as they are often gamed. A good parking lot is a good indication. Good locations with a good local following are often not even interested in online reviews and map placement to prevent overcrowding. How many online reviews suffer from poor customer service, long lines, long wait times, etc. Find places not on Google maps.

Comment: Re:Media streamer? (Score 1) 60

by Technician (#49133245) Attached to: Intel Updates NUC Mini PC Line With Broadwell-U, Tested and Benchmarked

When you look at developers, the lower price points for the Pi has produced some excellent applications. After seeing the Pi put to use to run an entire animated Christmas Light Show, I bought a Pi B+.

Sometimes your purchase decisions are based on finding the application you want to run and then buying the hardware that will run it.

If you are into synchronized Christmas light displays on a budget, you can't beat a mix of Vixen, X Lights/Nutcracker for content creation and loaded on a Raspberry for scheduling and playback.

My setup is using addressable LED pixel strings, Falcon Pi Player on a Raspberry, connected to a DYILEDExpress DMX Bridge using e1.31 protocol. The entire control hardware is under $150 in hardware. Only major expense is buying LED lights which scales with your display size.

For more info view the link below for technical details on the show that has me planning next year's show.
View an excellent example of a Pi running a Christmas show.

Comment: Re:FFS (Score 1) 398

I wonder where other common items in the diet would fall.

How does table salt compare against booze ounce for ounce?

Big deal, you can eat an entire plant and live. This does not mean I'm going to not have any salt, as it is essential to life. Moderation is essential with most everything consumed. in large amounts, drinking water is deadly.

By no means am I suggesting you should not ever drink any water or anything containing water as ingredient. Same for alcohol. Limit intake to safe levels.

Comment: Re:what do they have to offer (Score 1) 166

by Technician (#49063741) Attached to: Cubans Allowed To Export Software and Software Services To the US

Do they have schools to train programmers?

Serious question, with severely limited internet, is there any good programmers in Cuba? Are they up on training in security, encryption, VPN's, large enterprise anything such as server clusters, managed switches, VOIP, etc.

With limited communication and access, I presume the opportunities are limited to hone skills.

Comment: Re:More proof (Score 1) 196

by Technician (#49041093) Attached to: Music Doesn't Feature In the Pirate Bay's Top 100 Biggest Torrents

Most sound systems sound like a speaker in a box. Most music is compressed for it.

Have you ever been to a convention and walked past a room with a Grand piano being played live?
Ever been fooled because it was a recording instead?

Most recordings played on consumer electronics are nowhere close to reproducing a close replica of the original sound.

I was at the CES show in Orlando quite a few years ago. I did go into a room because I heard a grand piano. There was a grand piano in the room, but it was not being played. One of the few times a reproduction of piano music has fooled me.

Comment: Re:I'll take the wine instead (Score 1) 480

by Technician (#49037845) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

If doubling your odds with a 2nd ticket is not wise, then the true value of having only one ticket is revealed to be truly insignificant.

Other than being in the game in a very insignificant way, your statement does not pencil out.

I play stocks instead. My non winning stocks remain in the game week to week until they are winners. Chances of non paying stock is very small and vastly offset by the ones that do pay 2:1 within 3 years.

Unlike a lottery ticket at a fixed price, I buy stocks when on sale in the down turns.

Buy low/Sell high.

Lottery is buy fixed and throw out.

Comment: Re:Odds are favorable in a way (Score 2) 480

by Technician (#49037739) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

The math so often quoted most often neglects to include taxes and often a shared jackpot. I always look at the ratio.

I've done much better in the stock market. Unlike a non winning Powerball ticket, stocks rarely pay zero. If you refuse to sell at a loss, when you don't sell this week, your non winning stock is still in the game.

I generally play the market for a 2:1 gain. Some stocks haven't doubled yet, but most have.

Unlike a lottery ticket, none has gone to zero that I have.

Comment: Re:Sad... (Score 1) 242

by Technician (#48968375) Attached to: RadioShack Near Deal To Sell Half of Its Stores, Close the Rest

To their credit, they did sell the lowest powered robotics chip at one time, the Parallax chip in a a $100 kit. Unfortunately they never upgraded to Arduino or Raspberry. Parallax was interesting but very limited for the price. For about twice the price, I bought a netbook instead. Much better bang for the buck as it included a keyboard, display, USB, network, battery and charger, etc. Made the Parallax offering way overpriced for the functionality.

The number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected. -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June 1972