Friday, December 30, 2011

Sputnik has Landed

привет товарищ!  This little moster is the Sputnik 3D camera, and it's quickly becoming one of my favorites.  It takes 120 film, which you load upside down and wind the "wrong" way.  The viewfinder is a top-down thing that unceremoniously pops up four separate spring-loaded metal pieces, which you fold back down one at a time.  There are no frilly American conveniences .. and yet everything is completely adjustable to your precise desire.

Click the portait over there, and revel in the detailed awesomeness.  Three gears around the eyes keep the focus in sync.  The bar under the lenses sets the aperture of both at once.  A manual lever cocks the shutter spring and another fires.  There's a delayed shutter feature, even.  A dial around the right eye sets shutter speed and displays the current f-stop.  Everything you need, with none of the corrupt western extras like batteries and cheery auto-everything modes.

.. first roll on Sputnik.
I've shot a roll of Ilford XP2 Super, to see how it functions.  I then used Anaglyph Workshop to combine the two eyes into red-blue composites, which works nicely.  My favorite shot is the kid by the fountain, but everyone else seems to like the hall of flowers interior.  You be the judge.

Agfa "Thing" Joins the Club

Time for another Five-Dollar Mystery!  This is an Agfa camera, and beyond that I've got no idea.  Yet.  On the outside, it's pretty simple.  There's a dial-up flash reflector dealie, you can switch between "outdoor" and "flash" modes, and that's pretty much it.

The insides are the interesting part.  It uses a "Rapid" film loading/winding system.  It seems like the thing requires you to have two canisters in there, and the camera has no rewind dial anywhere, which suggests the take-up is done into a second canister and that one is pulled out without rewinding.  That would explain the "Rapid" moniker.  On the back, they recommend Agfa AG-1B Blue or AG 1, when shooting with a flash.  And there's an empty battery compartment that I'll need to figure out.  This should be interesting!

Meet the Kodak Stereo Camera

Say hello to the Kodak Stereo Camera.  Handily, it takes 35 mm film.   Teh wikipedias say that these were manufactured between 1954 and 1959, and it's not the usual Kodak "just point and shoot." Mere mortals are allowed to adjust aperture, focus (close ups, groups, or scenes) and shutter speed.

Do not drop it!  You won't harm this hulk of a camera .. but you might fracture a toe. here for the first roll.
To see what it can do, I shot a roll of Fuji Provia 100 slide film.  The results suggest that full daylight is definitely the best.  Tho I can coax better low-light performance out of it, now that I've seen my first tries.  Oh, and it looks like this one exposes the left eye just a tad more than the right.  "We'll fix it in post."

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Couple Rolls on the Brownie Reflex

I finished shooting a couple of rolls of film on the Brownie Reflex Synchro Model camera.  I've uploaded the results of both a black & white roll and a color slide roll.  I'm really pleased with the character of this thing.  I can't wait to shoot another roll of slide film, but no one's got 127 format available, lately.

Hmm.  I could 3D print a 127 spool no problem .. so now I've just gotta invent something to make the small batches of film.  Kickstarter?

Fuzzy Logic

You know how your mobile carrier likes to accidentally "forget" that you don't want to receive marketing messages?  Gosh I wonder how that happens.

Anyways, the folks programming the automated texting system seem to understand your frustration.  You don't necessarily need to reply "stop" ... if you can find better words to express it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Arduino Ethernet is Alive

I've attached two LEDs, a dial, a light sensor, and a passive infrared motion detector to the Arduino Ethernet.  I've got it running a telnet server and a web server.  I can telnet to the little guy and instruct it to turn the LEDs on or off.  Or point a web browser at it, to see the current status of lights and sensors.  It tries to return JSON, but my structure might not be entirely clean.  Also, it's behind a few layers of NAT, so not yet publicly available.  (Soon!)

It's all stand-alone, which is pretty kewl.  Give it a connection and a few volts -- it'll happily start up and begin sensing things and controlling its lights.  You can imagine keeping these in a data center, with DHCP and a dynamic DNS client.  Plug it in, it reports its IP to you and awaits queries about the environment, or commands for the LEDs.  (Or reads sensors and sets LEDs by its own logic, while it waits for a human.)

The whole thing -- board, power adapter, cable, sensors, lights -- is well under a hundred bucks!

Download my kludgey arduino code and my chaotic fritzing layout, if you like. (Remember, it's a weekend project -- it doesn't have to be pretty.)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Arduino Ethernet is Running

Look carefully, you can see the link light on the ethernet connection there.  It's an Arduino Ethernet board.  In the picture, I'm running it on a 9v adapter, but it'll draw power off a USB-to-FTDI connection as well.

I ran through the Client DHCP example on the site, and that worked great.  I ran through the Server example as well, but that needed a couple modifications to work for me.  (Add `#include <SPI.h>` at the top, change the Server and Client classes to EthernetServer and EthernetClient.  I'm not a programmer, so don't quote me on that.)

Up next: muck about with Pachube, try some Wikiduino, see what I can do about tunneling to its web server (behind a cable modumb) ...  And after that?  Same thing we do every night, Pinky.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Smallest Federated Wiki is Runnning

The Smallest Federated Wiki project came up in conversation the other day .. so I had to see how it works.  Not much to report yet on the app, but I'm pleased to say the base install is running ... even if I'm running it in a `screen` instead of really daemonizing.

I followed the super-simple instructions (same page as above) with a couple modifications:
  • I did the RVM install in user space.
  • So, in "Install and Launch" I needed to remove the `sudo` from commands.
Seems to be running!  Now, to mess with it..

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pathway Genomics Kit

So the question is, do you want to know if you've got some wacky genetic disease?  I've got a Pathway Genomics kit, right here, courtesy of a member of the Quantified Self group.  For a few minutes, I thought it would be a really big deal to take a close look at my own genome.  But now I've decided I'll send the thing in for processing, and see how I feel once my data come back.

Will it feel like that moment when you open the college admissions response?  Will it feel like getting the results of an HIV test?  Of course, it's all just probabilities and map units, so maybe it can't be compared to a boolean.  Do you resize your bucket list, based on your results?

Brownie Reflex Synchro

I picked up a Brownie Reflex Synchro at the swap meet, the other day.  It takes 127 film .. though swap meet dealers will happily tell you, "yes, it takes 120."  Luckily, B&H had both a color and a black & white choice for 127 film.  (Since then, the color has mysteriously disappeared from the site.)  I've finished a roll of each, to see what the camera works best with.  Who knows, it might not even work at all.  This stuff is not exactly while-u-wait film processing .. but then again, while-u-wait probably won't return your empty 127 spool to you, either.  This should be interesting!