I will try to Work primarily on making everything work first before I try new stuff. At least my content is finaly back! It's about time.
I will always keep my TI stuff avaliable, and I someday plan to rewrite to make all of it much clearer, but it may be quite a while before new content appears. Most of my new content will likely be in the robotics section, however, since Spyder, I've been more concerned about working on fixing up my house. Eventualy, I'll start back up. I finaly got the accelerometers for one project, but I need to set up a router to cut aluminum sheet before that project even begins.
Look forward to the site actualy not going down every week, and staying down for 6 months at a time anymore!
Sunday. 10/14/2001: Updates
I'll actualy start updating more often this winter. I'll have most of my repairs and improvements done. All the good stuff for GameCube will come out shortly after launch, so there is a window of oppurtunity and lack of anything to do. This may be the time to do some updates. I'll also have recieved my TI-Graph Link USB by then!
Among the updates, there should be some cleaned up sections, possibly rewritten. Some sections will see some disclaimers. A lot of the upgrades I used to do have resonable alternatives, or are impossible on some newer models of calculator. TI has been catching on... Look at the TI-83+ SE for example. It's already turboed, it's in a clear case, it's got it's own massive internal memory archive. It even comes preloaded with all sorts of software. and now, the calcs are getting ASM support built in. TI even has developer kits now! These are things that we have been hacking and tweaking on our calcs for half a decade! Now they are giving us some of the things we want, out of the box, but at the same time, making some things harder to change. New model LCDs don't take backlights very well, and the 92 and 89 WON'T. You'll damage the LCD trying to install one. If it has the rounded case instead of the rectangular case, a backlight will not work well, or possibly even at all. I'm sure it's possible, but not easy. The work and risk to the calculator that would be required is insane. Memory expansion is still my ideal upgrade. What good is all these features, if you don't have room to carry them all in memory! That's why I want to see the memory expanders make a good comeback. I say TI needs to make their own commercial memory expander that uses something like SanDisk Secure Digital (SD), Compact Flash, or SmartMedia cards (avaliable at nearly any electronics department or store) and has a calc compatible interface. I'd love such a device. I'm sure a cheap LCD and some buttons wouldn't be too bad. They could do an amazing job at such a device. I really look forward to the day that happens, if ever.
Friday. 10/12/2001: Silver!!?!??!!? Indigo!?!!?!?!
I saw it... I saw the TI-83+ Silver Edition (a.k.a. the calculator with the really long name) at my local Target. When I saw the package... Over 1.5 MB of memory, 2.5x faster than TI-83+... AND IT'S SEE THROUGH WITH SILVER GLITTERS!!! : )
This is one amazing calculator. I persoanly would prefer a TI-89 Silver edition, but hey, nothing's perfect. This calc comes preloaded with lots of cool stuff, even the periodic table of elements, a spreadsheet, and some other programs including a few games! It's true self is shown with it's storage. It had 1.3 MB of archive space, despite having preloaded software. This is truly the new calc to have. I would say the TI-83+ SE, 86, and 89 are by far the best calc's to own right now. If nothing, else, pick one of these. The 89 is best for those who want power. It has a very powerful processor (for a calculator) and it does have a decent amount of RAM. It's screen is an absolute pixel packer with it's high resolution. This is the calc to own for advanced software. The TI-83+ SE is the best of the low end calcs in memory and processor speed. TI has designed this calc to act like our hacked turbo calcs! It's fast! With that added memory, it'll be an excelent calc for storing masses of games and applications. The TI-86 is up there only cause it's the modern version of the TI-85. It always was the king. I's where it all started. ASM and hardware hacks. THe TI-86 is so similar, but just a slightly updated version. It's still my favorite calc interface. Simple, little screen clutter. Not to mention that the screen is at a better resolution than the 83+ SE. It's limitation of course is it's RAM. If it had the large memory like the 83+ SE, it'd be king. It all comes down to that memory.
I can't wait to see what 3 years has done to my beloved TI-86, and where TI-83 and 89 progress has led... You see, for the past 3 years, I've been unable to graphlink. I had the old Grey link. It worked on my Mac... Till it died! I got a new Mac in 1999, a Power Macintosh G3 B&W 400. It's an awesome machine, but It has no serial ports. I now finaly am worknig and am getting some extra cash in. I will be able to buy the USB graphlink. I also picked up translucent grey and green slide covers for my calcs. Translucent grey will go with either my 86 or 89 effortlesly, and my favorite color is green, so I had to have one of those. I will soon be checking out all those things that have appeared in the last 3 years.
One more thing about the lack of a graphlink, was I couldn't risk opening my calcs, or COMPLETELY loose what software I did have installed! I can now finaly back up my 86, fix the backlight, and then restore the memory.
I'm also interested in expanders. I recal the E2 project a while back. I was going to build one, but never got to it. I would also love to know if the TI-89 drivers were ever completed. I want TI-83+ SE drivers, but due to it's memory, they are a lower priority. Also, anyone know if they support sending of backups? Well... For that mater, if the people involved, are even still involved.
On another, non TI, note, I'm going to be getting a Nintendo Gamecube this November. Updates will be scarce, cause right now I am working on home improvements, and then, when I get time freed up from that (cause it's getting colder), I'll be devoting my free hours to gawking at the graphics of my new game console and enjoying the excelent gameplay. I'm especialy looking forward to a handfull of real gems I know are comming it's way: Mario, Zelda, Pokémon, Resident Evil, Eternal Darkness, Star Wars Rogue Leader, and Pikmin to name just a few. I have some friends who will be very greatful when I pick up Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. I'm also very thrilled to hear that some of the greatest SEGA titles will be headed to Gamecube as well. Phantasy Star Online and Skies of Arcadia to name a few! I'll tell you one thing... I own Skies of Arcadia on Dreamcast, and I'm buying it again when it comes out on Gamecube. This game is a stunning, beautiful game, and it is one of my favorite games of all time. It ranks right up with the Zelda games and Chrono Trigger. This game makes me feel like I'm playing a "Zelda RPG", if such a thing were to ever exist, but in a different game world. The game focuses so much on exploration and discovery of the world. Rather than give you 40 characters to swap out all the time, it focuses on three main characters (and three more, of whom you can choose one at a time) and builds their character to points that I havn't seen since SNES Square titles. This game is a true gem, and it was never properly advertised or promoted by SEGA or Overworks. It fell through the cracks on the back of a wonderful machine that was killed while still trying to reach it's prime! The Dreamcast version is a truely wonderful spectacle, and even if the Gamecube verion becomes nothing more than a straight port, it will still be worth it. I own a Dreamcast and a copy of the original DC Skies of Arcadia. I will still buy the Gamecube version, even if only a direct port. I hope for improvements. I at least imagine some loading should be reduced. One thing I will miss however... That loud Dreamcast drive mechanism ALWAYS giving away when a battle is about to start, reminding me to quick hit the menu and heal up... Whrrrrr-Whrr : )
What's got me disapointed though, is what Nintendo has done to Zelda (hey look it's Power Puff Link! ) : Yeah, yeah... I know the game will still have that Miyamoto touch to it's gameplay. Whether I tolerate it in spite of the graphic style will have to be seen. I know people who are devout Zelda fans and are all out boycotting Zelda, and even Nintendo as a whole over this issue. For those who don't know, Nintendo has been dooing two things over the years... They have progressively made Link, the main character in Zelda, younger and younger. They have also been giving the game a darker feel to it. Last year, at Spaceworld 2000, they demoed a video of a new Zelda featuring very realisticly rendered graphics of an adult or older teenage link dueling with a viscuios looking Gannondorf Dragmire, his arch enemy. The sequence was breathtaking and videos of the event depicted people screaming and cheering out loud, even over the show floor noises over how amazed and excited they were over this upcomming title... Well, Nintendo dropped a bomb on those people this year at Spaceworld 2001: and H-Bomb!!! They revealed what looked like a5-8 year old link that looked too scarrily like a girl and animated on the screen to look like a cross between Loony Tunes and Power Puff Girls. The graphics are stunning cel-shading based animation. It does not look computerish, but like it were hand drawn to match your moves on the controller. Even the gameplay looked amazing! It's a spectacular sight, and games like Jet Grind Radio have NOTHING on the animation in this new Zelda game, but technical prowess aside, that has NOTHING to do with why people hate this game. We, the fans, were promised a dark, realistic Zelda adventure, and we are given a stunning, but unwanted Power Puff/Looney Tunes Link. I don't even mind the Cel-Shading render engine. I just down't understand what caused them to change the style. They could have modeled the characters off the character artwork in the manuals of the previous games, and then given the whole Zelda world a sort of dark anime style... But NOOOOOOO!!! If you are a Zelda fan, you need to let Nintendo know that we would rather prefer dark anime style than Chibi Power Puff Looney Tunes Link style. It's the same engine! They still get their performance boots with the anime style, but they APEASE the angry fans who stuck with them for so long and now are runing into Nintendo's tuned backs. They have done something terrible to one of the only "dark" games they have.
Sunday. 8/26/2001: My Robots Results in the Fair
My robots did quite well at the county fair. I pulled straight blue ribbons for all four. Spyder also got a Grand Champion ribbon! Very nice.
Tuesday. 8/14/2001: Of Robots and Ribbons
Well, I entered my robot's into the county fair. I had to make Walkman and Bronco compete against the same first place ribbon unfortunately, cause I was limited to wierd entry types such as "Working Model", "Metalcraft", and "Not Otherwise Specified"... Well, in a small rural county fair, you ain't gonna get "Robotics", "Electromechanical", Or "Technological Creation!"
Point is, I got them entered. I sure hope they win some ribbons. Heck, I think Spyder alone impressed my interviewers enough to get the job I have now! Surely that beast has got to pull some form of ribbon! Well, That's it for today. I'm going to try to get pics of my house and car over the weekend. I could do it today or tommorow, but I won't. I'll procrastinate as usual, so I'll skip a few days in planning! : )
Sunday. 8/5/2001: Uhh... Woah! That was a long time.
Things have definitely changed over this time. Last update was October of 2000. It's now August of 2001. It's been too long! A combo considting of work, spectacular video games, and loosing my password to my account, having a lot of stuff to do around MY house, and being lazy all led to almost a year of nothing... No updates, no anything.
Hmm... "MY house"... Yep, I bought my own home! I'm out of college, working, and own a home and a nice car. I work at a small motor manufacturer, Tachtronic Instruments, as a technitian. I build and repair Amplifiers (a type of brushless DC motor driver). I also occasinaly do motor assembly and testing. It's a great job. I get to do something I like, and it pays me well enough! To think, I took Electric Motor Theory as a "filler" course! :)
As for my house... It's a single story place. Basement in very excelent condition. It has 3 small bedrooms and one large basement room in the back the size of all three bedrooms. There is a large open area in the basement, living room, kitchen, and two bathrooms. My bedroom is the largest of the three. The middle one is now a store room, but I used to rent it I rent the basement bedroom to family. The smallest bedroom is my workshop. The previous owner had it converted to a laundry room. That means hot and cold running water, and a drain. It has a lot of windows, so great illumination. Also has the exhaust vent for the dryer. This is important. I bought a sandblasting booth from my employer for $10. I modified it to take 120 volt house power instead of 3 phase industrial. I'm currently running a small fan that vent solder fumes through the dryer vent. It's not too powerful, but I intend to buy a bigger fan later and permanerntly mount it. I'm borrowing a Hakko soldering iron to assemble driver boards for the amplifiers I build... I intend to buy my own Hakko as soon as the cash from my first work comes in. I will never use another soldering iron again, not even Weller!!! I love this thing!
I also got a new car. I started off with that little red 1984 Pontiac Sunbird Turbo. Loved that thing but the cold killed it. I then got my mom's '87 Chevrolet Celebrity. It ran wonderfuly, although it looked terrible. It hit a deer and the passenger side headlight mounts were completely smashed up. I ended up fixing it with a pair of tractor work lights bolted to the body of the car! I once opened the sunroof and it flew off, nearly taking my hand off with it. Did you know the curvature of the glass makes it pick up height like an airplane's wing? well, now you know that! I drove with garbage bags for a while and eventualy made a plexiglass replacement. I even had a bird make a nest in the rust hole of the driver's side door once! : ) I never once recalled that car having a major engine or transmission problem... ever! It finaly got an EST (Electronic Spark Timing) error. EST error will take out most cars in a mere 50 miles I hear, but this thing ran for about a year after! Seeing "EST Error: Do Not Drive!" on an LCD readout ain't the most reassuruing thing, but it kept going. It's Tech 4 engine was a real work of reliability! My next car was my mom's Corsica. it's a good car, but it always bugged me for some reason. I started to grow to like it, so when I finaly got rid of it, it kinda sucked. It was one of these "ghost problem" cars. It'd do something and then never do it again, so a mechanic could never fix it. That or it just wouldn't do anything for the mechanic.
My current car is really nice! It's a light blue 1989 Pontiac Firebird Formula. This car is absolutely amazing! You typicaly don't think of a V8, power, AND fuel economy as something that can all coexist, but they do in this car! I drove from my home in southern Minnesota all the way to Sommerset Wisconsin and back to pick up some people from the 2001 Ozzfest concert there. The entire distance from Sommerset to the Minnesota/Wisconsin border was stop and go. I aslo had to drop them off on the way back, which added an hour to the trip. All this while going a nice 70 and plus on the interstates and I only used 3/4 tank! Nice!
When I'm not doing additional work building driver boards at home or trying to keep up my house, I like to sit back an relax with a good vido game. I got The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask mere weeks after my last update. That game was very good. I loved it. It was a much darker game than Ocarina of Time was. It had much more character development for non player characters. This alone was a major improvement over the previous Zeldas. I moved on to Conker's Bad Fur Day and Paper Mario, which while both are good I've yet to finish. I then got Aidyn Chronicles. It's a very AD&D type game. You HAVE to be into that kind of stuff or this game will be simply tedious. It plays rather slowly, and battles drag out. The graphics and sound look first generation, but where it shines is the environments! Imagine walking from one city, through a vast forest and into a mountain range without ever seeing a gate or load screen! You can literaly walk for around half an hour if you visit all the locations avaliable. I mapped out a portion of the area. It took a total of 8 sheets of printer paper an array of 4 wide by 2 tall to map out only the northern east west expanse of the forest. This does not include the mountain range or the southern forest area. 2 villages, a set of ruins, and a gate to a city reside in this area! The game is huge! Most recently I've been playing the re-release of Chrono Trigger on the Final Fantasy Chronicles set for Playstation. Chrono Trigger is a true classic in and of itself, and is my number one ranked console RPG of all time!
Chrono Trigger has one close contender though. I beat this game last June, and the time I spent playing it was some of the most fun I've had in a video game since Zelda first graced the N64... Skies of Arcadia for the Sega Dreamcast. If you love RPGs and Zelda, then this is your game. It's an RPG that emphasizes on exploration an discovery. It FEELs so much like a "Zelda RPG" it's scary. Sure, different world and all, but the style is there. This game is digital addiction, and it absolutely sucked me in. This game is beautiful, and it features a very simple RPG story line that focuses, rather on building a dozzen different characters, builds on just 3 primary characters and lets you have a 4th. This really gave the producers of this game the ability to let you get to know the characters you play. The emotion and story in this game is just so wonderful. It's a simplistic game. Just a basic good guys beat the bad guys and have some fun on the way. It's a definite change from the style that Final Fantasy has taken. The battle system is a little different, but I realy liked it. It stresses special abilities over staight out magic. Battles are very frequent, sometimes excruciatingly frequent, but it's managable. The voice acting is pretty lousy, but I didn't care. it added humor! Hehe : ) I actualy ended up putting over 80 hours into this game.
This is going to be a quick update... nothing but a nes update, just to let people know I'm alive. I'll add some pictures of my house and my new car to the web page shortly. Updates won't come often, but they will come. A lot has changed since beginning to work! I still have all the TI related stuff in the previous update laying around, but I still need to compile it into web page format. I havn't had much time. I have NOT had the time to learn programming on the Mac. I want to, but again, no time. Work is the highest priority. I know this page has made a difference though. Many peple contact me all the time for questions. I have been trying to keep up with those at least. I'll see how the page goes in time. The models section has not seen work since it's inception and has no content. I'll probably end up becoming a gallery for my models and not the once proposed model building center it was intended to be. That almost would make it Misc section material, but then my menu would have a gap! : )
Oh yeah, and I'm going o slowly phase out the small bit of advertizing on my page. It's worthless, and a waste of bandwidth. All Advantage used to be awesome, but now they aren't worth anything hardly. There is no more point. I'm wiping all of it from my page. I think it'll be appreciated. Less clutter. I like it that way.
Well, It's time for me to call it a night. Any longer and I'll have to change the date of this update to Monday! : )
Tuesday. 10/3/2000: New features to be added to TI section!
This is a very early Tuesday update (technicly, it's still Monday, but God forbid I update three times in one day! :) I have aquired some new information that covers many TI related hardware projects. These include a RAM expansion for the TI-92, added information on the Electroluminescent Backlight, a possible RF link for Various TI calculators (unfortunately, I think it still requires specialized software, and is not compatible with TI's transfer format, though I have theories about making it compatible), and finaly the homemade paralel and serial link cables! I am also learning Macintosh software development, and would like to either create a link program myself, or try to get someone else to start this project. I also am interested in USB technology. If I can gain enough knowledge, I would like to initiate a USB link project. This is a long term plan however. Don't expect the Mac/USB link very soon. I should be starting a job very soon, so that is my highest priority right now.
Monday. 10/2/2000: TI Acceleration pages RESTORED!!!
This is an addendum to the earlier Monday update. After figuring out a mistake in my login information, and fixing it, I was able to get back into my FTP account. Well, today I spent the time to scan and touch up the images and do the HTML required for all my TI acceleration ages to be restored! They are better than they were before the crash that lost them, and I also have more than I used to. I have all new sections for each calculator! No more TI-81, 85, and 86 on the same page. There are now sections for the TI-81, 82, 83, 85, 86, 89, and a section that has info on both the TI-92 and the TI-92 II on the same page.
Please feel free to look at the new sections. They are under "Acceleration" on the TI Calculators section.
Monday. 10/2/2000: Oops!
Hehe! I forgot the proper method of logging into my ftp account for this page. Also lost 1000 stored e-mails. Bad thing. Anyway, i just now figured out what I was doing wrong, and fixed it. I should be able to add the updates to the sections. mentioned in the last news item.
Tuesday. 9/19/2000: I have FOUND the TI acceleration info, plus more!!!
Over a year ago, problems with my site online, and a hard drive crash simultaneously knocked out a portion of my website. I've spent some time researching over the internet and have finaly gathered up the information that I lost so long ago. I believe I actualy have the information now to rebuild those lost portions. I also found some new stuff!
Tuesday. 9/19/2000: Spyder Lives!
Yes, you heard it right! The long delay since the last update was spent doing several things, including work on Spyder! Spyder now walks, and quite nicely! I plan to rubberize the legs for added traction, and I will be doing additions to Spyder, but for now, it does work. Go to the robotics section to view the new information on Spyder. There are also 2 new movies. You can access them from the Spyder page in the robotics section.
In other news, There appears to be a sudden interest in TI-Hardware. I've been getting mails from people with all sorts of questions about turbo upgrades. I'll mention a few frequently asked questions here:
The TI-81, 85, and 86 turbo upgrades are very similar, and are on the same page. Some people have seen conflicting instructions. Here's the real deal. Put a switch in series with the original capacitor for a fast/normal turbo switch for these three calculators. You do not even need to add the 1 pf capacitor unless you experience graphics coruption (usualy garbage on the screen, or lines appearing that don't belong. If these problems appear, solder a 1 pf Capcacitor (easily avaliable from a package from Radio shack with numerous values of pf valued capacitors) accross the terminals of the switch. This is the most ideal turbo method for the three calculators mentioned above.
The 82 and 83 are similar to each other, but they are very "finicky" about those values. I lost a large portion of my old website, as well as backup files some time ago. I have not been able to find this information and when I do, it will be imediately posted. Try Dimention-TI or ticalc.org to search their databases for other people's websites (I imagine they likely have links).
I do not consider the SPinTerface to be nearly as useful as it once was. Back when the Expander SF was around, it was the ideal upgrade. Now that most current devices of it's type (such as the Extender II) are 2 chips at least, and draw more power when active. The ideal arrangement is a Module port on the actual device for memory expansion. There are only a few SPinTerface applications. If you CAN do it with the link port, I recomend it. If you realy want one but do not wish to modify the calculator to such an extensive degree (and not drain the calculator batteries so quickly, it may be more reasonable to build the SPinTerface in a small project box with a self contained battery and a link cable (or socket to plug your link cable into it).
I have been unable to contact the person who designed the EII. His page has either moved or disapeared. I do not have the ability to recreate the EII microcontroler. I do not have the hardware or the source code to do so. If anyone knows where either the EII page or Bryan Rittmeyer (sp?) is, let me know. This is the person to contact. I will continue searching for information. I do have a source that made PCBs for it at one time. I do not know if the project was transfered to him or not. As with all new info, it'll be posted here when I learn of it.
Well, finaly, I have been slowly adding images and soon plan to rebuild much of the website. Stay tuned!
Sunday. 7/23/2000: No update since WHEN!!! We're back!
How do I put this... OUCH!!! The Richfiles was down for a VERY long time. I can't even recall how long. It's been even longer since an update! The problem is that I had new content but had not done the HTML, so now I have a whole LOAD of images and files that have no pages using them. It's been so long since I could even acess the server that I've simply forgotten what's what.
This has led me to one solution... Go through the whole site. Rebuild, restructure, recycle, and even replace. I have already moved all video off server. They are now hosted at Apple's iTool iMovie theatre. I have direct links to them, as well as iMovie theatre pages, and a semi opperational mirror of the Richfiles at the Apple iTools homepage. Hopefuly, with sme more work, I can create a fully functional mirror there. I love iTools from Apple! Free 20 MB of homepage space/internet hard drive. The hard drive mounts on your desktop and and you drag files to and from it like you would any local hard drive. Beautiful integration! Anyway, We're back, and I will be looking to work on my web page very soon.
What are the plans...
First, restructure the templates (the parts that apply accross the web page). They need dire updating and work. I'm also going to try to work out the zero border problem, if I can figure out WHY it happens. Suggestions are welcome.
Second, I think I'll restructure the TI section. The TI section is the oldest section, and it's the section that holds the most importance here. It's the very reason I'm on this server. I need to go through and cut out the out of date material, the sections I can't complete, as well as dead devices (the EII exists, but nor the Expander II... if you remember it). The TI-BASIC programming section prooved to have coding dificultys from the beginning, and I've seen an abundance of coding sites out there, so I am passing the task to them. RIP programming section. I'll keep my archive, but it will be small, and named that... The TI program archive. Maybe I can update it too. I'm also dumping all .SIT format files. it'll all be .ZIP, since now, even the trusty Macintosh comes standard with Stuffit Expander and the ability to decompress .ZIP files.
Third, the Models section will have something done with it. Currently, it is a mere shell of the page I was once gonig to do, but it had no content. I intended to make the Richfiles into a sort of hobby central. Unfortunately, it has not happened, and until I upgrade to my next Macintosh and get my own high speed line and convert this one to a dedicated server, or another option opens up, that won't happen. Therefore, the Models section will be pulled out and put into my local archive. In it's place will be a short Models page that shows images of my most prized hand made models. It will not be the proposed buildings, trains, cars, layouts, tips, ideas, and techniques site that I wanted in the far past. Whether I completely kill the models section and place the scaled back "photo album" of my models into the Misc section, or whether I leave the models section, but only include the photo page, has yet to be decided.
Finaly, my favorite of my current hobbys, the robots. New images sit in the server, and I am not sure they have connections to any pages. I don't even know. I am havily considering, not only the total rewrite of theTI section, but also the rewrite of some portions of the robotics section.
Well... With luck, I'll be working soon. That means income, and income means more raw materials for projects. I am desparately wanting to get a TI-89. I want to do a few minor mods and post the results here. I think that might spark an interest in my TI work again. My 82 was broken, my 85's batteries have died and my graphlink is gone. My 86 is my only calc that is still in real use, and yet I fear to upgrade it since my graphlink is gone and my favorite ASM programs are installed. My 92 got sold to a frien who needed a calc badly. The deal was, when I had cash, and if he didn't want it anymore, I could get it back... some idiot stole it from him though. That has hampered the production of STICK Fighters 92 by... uhh... a lot! My 83 was rarely used, so I sold it. My 86 and 85 are keepers. Although I have been through several 85s and many refits, it contains some of the original parts that were included with my very first decent TI calculator. It has always been there, and as soon as I get batterys and my graphlink, and a computer that can run it, Daedalus is going right back from whence it disapeared! :)
As for the robots... Quadrapod is actualy making some progress. I may be saving my home made controller for a custom built Lexan or PVC Quadrapod using mini servos or even gear motors. It'll be around 2/3 the size of the Lynxmotion kit, and if it's made of Lexan, or Plexiglass, should be 100% transparent. It will either use the custom controller I designed, or a whole new one. I may ditch the 6 Nv loop and replace it with a branched bicore or a master/slave bicore. It would result in a faster and more stable walking gait. It would also incorporate sensors to detect objects and edges. I do NOT want this thing walking off tables like a certain Walkman did at the TV studio. This will be an autonomous machine, though I'll have override switches. It will not be likely to carry a camera. I want it to incorporate a fairly large network of neurons that I can just play with to expiriment with various behaviors. I want the robot to of course avoid obstacles and edges, but I also what it to do something other than walk till it encounters such a thing. I want it to interact. I want a mass of optical sensors. maybe with the sensors and a network arranged just right, it could possibly show some signs of interesting emergent behavior. Also, if colored Lexan is avaliable, I may try to make it green. Imagine a clear green robot walking accross your lawn, trying to chase your pet! :)
Expect some form of update soon, if nothing prevents it... (Oh! Who am I kidding! It'll probably be another month at this rate! Maybe I'll get lucky and build up some time... or that all important ambition thing! :)
Sunday. 3/12/2000: Oh my GOSH!!! The Richfiles is BACK!!! Now with an autonomous Powerbook & two new videos!
Well, after the server came up, shortly after March began, I decided to update... Well, there wasn't yet any way for me to do that till a few more things got reconfigured. I finaly got the info to connect to update, and it looks like I'm set!
There are two new videos avaliable of Bronco and Walkman (the big one, my first bot). They are larger than some of my others. They show better details of the gaits and their speed. Each tile on the floor is exactly 12 inches (one foot) long. That's about 30 CM in metric. Video is real time speed
I've begun planning for BEAMac, an Apple Powerbook 1400 gone mobile. No, the thing ain't a CPU based bot. It's a BEAM based robot that will seek light and travel around avoiding obstacles. I'm still trying to determine what I want it to do, and how, but for starters, it'll be a basic photovore with a light tracking head (one axis, vertical movement). I want to make it capable of major autonomy. Because of the large size of the space I plan to use for the solar panels (the screen area), I can afford to throw in a lot of circuitry. There is enough space for it! 9 volts @ 60 mA for the cheap $6.00 solar panels and if I can find a 9x7 inch solar panel, I want to get it instead, since I could then fill the whole screen space. I want to get a pair of VERY high quality gear motors to drive the bot, and a caster wheel to trail the back end. I'm thinking of using an inverted trackball for that task. I want it to have a high capacity battery that would run it at night. Unlike most of my bots that are luminously challenged, I want this thing to flaunt all that battery power when it get's dark by the use of multicolored LEDs. If I mount them on the back panel, I can slide the transparent or the opaque panel over it if I decide I don't want the light (like if i'm sleeping and it's bugging me). A LOT is still just theory and ideas, but I'll add to the bot as I do more. For starters,it'll be a combo photovore & light tracking head. I'll add new things as time passes. It'll basicly be a fancy version of Megavore, but using a different Nv/Nu configuration. It backs up and then spins in place when it encounters an object, instead of doing the traditional instant spin. I also intend to have it set up to close the solar panel if it contacts anything. or lean it back if it contacts anything while moving forward, so it can clear it. If it get's dark during such a maneuver, I want it to reverse it's course and turn around. There are several behaviors I want to implement. I think I have a way to do it as well. I just need to do it correctly, and I need to be able to tie output into single inputs. I believe this can be done with diodes.
BEAMac should be one of my finest wheeled robots ever. It'll look great, have a rich set of behaviors, and of course, be the reincarnation of my trusty old Macintosh! :)
R. I. P. "Reincarnated In Pieces"!
Today. 3/12/2000: New Bot on the way, and man is it a baby!
Hehe! Walkman, don't step on your little brother! Walkman Jr. is on it't way! It's a small 1.5 inch long (that could increase or decrease by a fraction either way). It's driven using a dual coil electromagnetic "solenoid" drive. It will likely utilize solar power, and DOES include a reverser!!! Even gramps can't back up! I'll have to give Walkman Jr. the round diffusion panel head like the original has (or rather had, since it's pieced together from the remanents left after it's accident at the studio and doesn't look as nice). I'm adding a page describing it. It will include documentation, schematics, and especialy picture and video! : )
Oh, and what happened with the names??? My first robot was called Walkman Jr. All of a sudden, I'm calling it Walkman and the new little one, Walkman Jr. Well, I never saw it as a Jr. I always forgot to write or say the Jr. part, and it's not realy a Jr. to any of my own bots. It was inspired by Mark Tilden's Walkman, but I think it's grown out of being Jr. Now he has a little bro, and I've decided to call the little guy Walkman Jr. I hope this goes well with the masses. If I'd have known I could even have created something so small, I probably would have reserved the name! Hehe!
Watch for more info on Walkman Jr. Soon!
Today. 3/12/2000: Server Problems... And Solutions, ixMicro, and NEW Videos!
Well, as many of you have noticed, my page, as well as the host and every other page they hosted, has been down for nearly a month! I was unable to contact the server administrator. The only address I knew was his address through the server. Of course, since it was down, I couldn't contact him. Well, after digging around some other sites (they had a similar TI calculator theme), I was able to get his ICQ number. I downloaded the ICQ program onto my Mac and searched for his number. Gave me another e-mail address, and sure enough, I was able to contact him. He said they were getting a new server, and if luck held out, that it'd be up by the beginning of next month! That made me happy! Of course, it'd have been nicer if he'd have announced it! Either way, I'm happy to hear he didn't die or anything! :)
Oh, and there are two dates above... When I wrote this, and when it actualy went up. Hopefuly, the difference won't be excessive.
Well, What's this ixMicro thing in the headline??? Well, My new video card is an ixTV TV Tuner/Capture card from a company called ixMicro. Well... ixMicro just announced that they are closing doors! AHHHHHHH!!! Well, I've modified the $34 (with S&H) card to now provide video outputs (it's supposed to be solely for input). It only outputs the Tuner video, but it's enough for what I wanted. I'll also be getting a grade for the project in my Enrichment Lab II class, which is all about doing your own projects. Well, I doubted anyone was even there to listen, much less would actualy consider it, but I sent an e-mail requesting technical info on the card... Well read!
I don't even know if anyone is checking these addresses anymore, but news states that ixMicro is closing doors. I've had a couple problems with some capture, but in general, I've been pleased with my ixTV card. Anyway, I go to college for electronics technology, and one class is basicly doing our own projects and goals and then documenting them for grading. One project was adding video and audio outputs that pull straight off the tuner so I can attach my Commodore Computer monitor to it and use it to watch TV through the computer. I want to do much more expirimentation with the card. I'm disapointed that you guys are shutting down. You have the very convenient Dual monitor card that was a great solution to the multi monitor users who hate wasting Apples pathetic 3 PCI slots. It's unfortunate, but thing happen. My question is, if you guys are shutting down, where does the technical information documenting your video cards go? If you aren't going to be in the buisness anymore, someone else will have to provide updated drivers for hardware for future OS and machine models, otherwise, a massive number of people will have a major investment turned to garbage. As for myself, I'm interested in working with the ixTV & ixTV/FM hardware, for school. I wouldn't ask were you still in the buisness, but since you're shutting down, I'd like to know if there is any technical information, data sheets, papers, diagrams, documentation, maybe even schematics or block diagrams for any of your former products (the Turbo TV, ixTV, and ixTV/FM in particular)? I don't know how many people make such requests of you, but... well, it ain't the Apple II days anymore. You don't get the schematic for your computer off the back page of your manual. It's harder to be a hobbyist these days, and it's ahellofalot harder to be a student, when you have to have your work graded! Again, I wouldn't even ask if you were still going strong. The only reason I ask, is I don't want the info to go down the drain, and become completely inaccessible. I'm HOPING someone is on the other end to recieve this e-mail. If anyone recieves it, and is not qualified to answer it, please, I beg you forward it to someone who can. Thank you!
Well, my reply was even more interesting!
Hi: Thanks for your e-mail and I empathize 100% with you and the dozens of other customers that are e-mailing me. I have asked if there is a way to release the code on the internet and am awaiting a response from the former IXMICRO President. Give me a reminder again at the end of the week.
Well, that's got to be the first time I've actualy got a positive reply on that kind of topic! The only reason this could be possible is because they are closing doors. With any luck, I can get technical documentation for other cards too. It'd be fun to experiment with these things! If I can get the information, and I am allowed to, I will post it here, or if it's to large, offer it at request. I will likely remove this address within a month or two (when ixMicro is completely disbanded), as to prevent this guy from getting excessive requests for stuff he can't do.
Lastly, I'll mention the videos. First, you can catch 4 clips from the Algo's FACTory TV show that featured 3 of my robots. Included is the Intro Theme, a video showing Walkman Jr. and a Solarbotics photopopper, a video of BORIS, and the closing credits (no music, it got corupted during capture, plus it's annoying! You can see a shot of the original Walkman Jr. (witht he home made gear box driven by a walkman motor, and the motor that's now Bronco's waist motor). In addition to the videos I put up a day or two before the server went down, there are now 2 new videos. One is of Bronco, and the other is of Walkman Jr. Both show obvious improvement over the Algo's FACTory videos. First off, I'm using Strata VideoShop for editing video instead of Quicktime. More options, including titleing and effects. I have the robot's name on black and fade into the video, and then fade out at the end of the video. I built a simple "Cambot" out of a Robotix set. It includes a color micro camera on an extending arm and a motorized drive that allows it to follow along side of a robot. Works great! You'll see how the robots are followed in the video. Check them out! You can find them under the Robotics section in the Navigation bar (or at the bottom of this page for frameless viewers).
Wednesday. 2/09/2000: Short video clips from Algo's FACTory!
I've uploaded short video clips for you to download. I had some trouble encoding audio, so some files have no audio or have static in spots. I figured I might as well put them up for your viewing pleasure. These videos show the intro (with audio), closing credist (no audio), and video of Walkman Jr. and Photopopper on display, as well as a 4th video of BORIS walking (slowly, cause the kids drained the batterys!!!). The BORIS video includes a CG animation describing the motion of muscle wire.
It ain't much, but it's something. I'd also like to post higher quality video of Walkman Jr, Bronco, and Megavore. Other bots will get video as it's added. I have a remote online hard drive. If the bandwisdth is too much for the server, I'll move the files there and link to it. It's supposed to hold 25 MB and support a web page. I'll most likely move all video there anyway, if I get time to figure out how to use it.
I'm also going to start some of my robotics work again, and this time, it's for school!!! I decided to take a break to save my work for school, and to catch up both mentaly and financialy... Well, at least I caught up mentaly! :)
Click to reach the Algos FACTory Page directly. It also can be found under the "Misc" section in the navigation bar.
Monday. 1/28/2000: Oh my gosh it's been a while!!! Updates, All Advantage, A video card, TI Upgrades, School, projects, events, and stuff in general that has waited since last Millenium!
I'll start by saying what I did to the site... Well, it's not much. I updated the copyright info (and added it for that matter to some of the older pages) so that it now reads Copyright © 1996-2000. I also added some additional text under the All Advantage banners. I'll be blunt here... I have been signed up with All Advantage since I got my G3. Being the moron that I am, I was not using it, waiting for the Macintosh version to be released. Well, it completely passed over my mind that my Soft Windows 98 PC emulator can do internet access and even do it at a very acceptable speed. I logged onto All Advantage at the VERY end of November and it worked, but only made a couple bucks, cause I didn't have time to build up my hours. The next month, things changed drasticly!!! I had my hours maxed out, and not only that, but DOUBLED in a mere 10 days. I had built up $22.20 with the couple bucks from the end of November and the month of December. That paid my internet access for a month, but All Advantage sends out checks after thaey pass $20, to save the cost of sending $5 checks. Reasonable. Unfortunately, I wasn't making $20 a month, only about $18. Well, I got lucky. I signed up a few referals (actualy, they signed themselves. I don't even know who they are, I just have the link on my web page and my e-mail signature). Point is, I now get over $20 a month, with NO carry over from the previous month. I have FREE internet access. The more referals I build, the more I make, and the more referals thet my referals make, the more I make and it goes on for a few levels. The way it works, is you download a view bar. It has a few simple buttons and a banner ad, like the ones that are on the top or bottoms of various web pages. It sits at the top or bottom of the window and takes little space. It runs on 800x600 screens or larger. It loads banner adds every so often, and very un noticably too. There are 2 PC versions. One is a simple version and one has lots of features like a search and menus and favorite sites stuff. Kinda cool. The Mac version is in beta test. Unfortunately, that means it's not a standard downloadable item. I do however feel the program is well on it's way to completion. I only have an occasional glitch here or there. Functionaly, it works perfectly. Were it not for occasional freezes, I'd say release it. I hope to see it relesed very shortly.
I also thought I'd mention the referal kings! Basicly, the more referals you and your referals and so on have, the more you make. I'm sure you have friends and family and maybe well trafficed web sites to spread the word! Anyway, there are some people out there that have over 1000 referals. some have over 10000 referals. I got a good laugh when I saw it, but 2 of them had their vehicles profesionaly decaled with the All Advantage web address, slogan, and their referal ID number so drivers that saw it could sign as referals to them! HAHAHA!!! I wish I was making enough to get profesional decal jobs for my car! Hail to the referal kings baby! : )
If you want more info on All Advantage, then click here. I'll explain a few things. If you want to sign up, go ahead. I'm including the link below to go directly to All Advantage's web site and sign up. I HIGHLY recomend it. I realize the cash flow may be small at first, but it will grow, and the more effort you place into making it grow, the more cash you get in return. Paying for internet access itself is a breeze, and I think It's well worth the effort.
Join All Advantage with the reference ATL 147 and start making cash! The more referals you get, the more cash you'll get! Starts at $12.50 a month! You only need to surf 25 hours a month, that's less than an hour a day to make this work! I do that in 10 days, easy!!!
Well, the continuing video card drama... I seem to have found a deal I can't pass up. It turns out that a company is selling surplus ixMicro ixTV cards for $30!!! They even include a 3 month warantee, so it's not an as is deal! In less than a week, for a total of $34 even, I'll have a TV/Capture card in my Macintosh!!! Whoo Hoo!!! I still need a Video card to drive my second monitor. I'm seeing some interesating under $100 3Dfx cards. I even saw an Ix Micro card for a measly $149. I want one with video out however. The reason I want a 3Dfx card instead of the ATI card, is that I want to be able to use graphics acceleration on the OTHER programs I have that require 3Dfx and won't do RAVE or OpenGL. If I can't find a 3Dfx card with video out (or better,a dn all in one with a tuner), then I'll get the ATI. If there are conflicts with the ATI and the ixTV, then I can ditch the ixTV with mimnimal loss. $34 compared to $204??? Either way, I get what I've wanted for some time and without any real expenses! I bought a load of tools, some parts, and a cooling fan for my computer for over twice that amout! (I'm going to over clock the computer after warantee runs out). Witht he cooling fan, my processor heatsink is now cool to the touch, even under extended running periods! That's a G3 for you! The thing is a low power chip, and therefor generates VERY LITTLE heat. I still like to be safe. Next project will have to be a failure alarm to alert me if any fans ever fail. I shouldn't need to worry. Most over clocked G3s don't even need a fan as long as the case is closed (air has a circulation path that cools the entire thing. part of the design. That's why the new iMacs don't even need fans!).
You may be interested in knowing what robotics projects are in mind... Well, I havn't done much of anything. I'm trying to save my work for CLASS!!! I am taking Enrichment Lab II, which is a 2 credit tech course that allows the student to create his or her own custom course to teach any thing they want, in order to gain "official" recognition of their skill and earn credits. I can say I build robots as a hobby, but it may impress people more when they hear I aced a class on the topic. Projects under way are the completion of Megavore, Hexapod, a light tracking head, some neural expiriments, and if time and cash allows, I'll work on MECI IV M, Spyder, and Quadrapod. Ironicly, Quadrapod is the highest on the list of possible candidates for the class project because of it's more traditional mechanical style. Unfortunately, The cost of servos and the kit is STILL my drawback. We'll have to see. I'll also include work with the schools robotic limb and I'll attempt to get in some Microcontroler work as well. I'll definitely be doing logic, as it's a specialty of mine.
There has been talk on the BEAM Robotics mailing list o possibly creating a tiny 1 neuron expirimenter's device. It could be used like a DIP or liek hextiles that attach from end to end to form networks. The subject has recently died down, but I'm hoping that the person who brought it up carries through with the project!
I've been recieving more and more TI hardware requests. Will you build this. Can you fix that. I've decided I'll post a list of things I do:
Turbo: $10 alone, or Free with 20+ order.
Speakers: $10 alone, $5 with $20+ purchase, or Free with $30+ purchase.
AC power Supply: $20
Compact AA Battery Expander: $20
AA Battery Expander w/case: $30 (case can store small items and has a door on it).
EL Backlight: $40 (Works for all TI-8x except 89 and 80).
Overhead LED Illuminator: $30 (lights LCD from above. Useful on 89)
Shipping is $5 on average.
Labor varies depending on ease of upgrade.
Miscelaneous accessories or parts:
Link port to earphone adaptor: $5
Temperature sensor chips: $5
I no longer do the SPinTerface, as it is obsolete. It's useful for people how have small devices that need small amounts of power, but it's primary purpose was to build a cartridge based ESF system, built into the calc. Unless you are a hardware expirimenter, or own some of the original ESF chips, it's not very useful any more. The Temperature sensor is a pain, and I also no longer build it, but I do have many chips left and will sell them for $5 each.
Also notice that I don't have EL panels or inverters in stock. I must order them. This can take some time, and I want people to realize that. I can build the Overhead LED illuminators more quickly, but again, I must order parts. I can do Turbo and Speaker upgrades usualy in an hour or two. Also, I don't do orders before money arrives. I have made and exception and it is a pain, but I am managing. Also, time is a major thing. I have college. College requires work. I don't have much time, therefore, I have increased the prices on a couple items, as they have NOT been worth the effort in the past. I often broke even, or got pair for one or two lunches. I am not doing this any more. If people want the complex upgrades, they must pay for the work involved,a dn not just the parts. I can't be doing this any more, and infact, I won't be. I know some people will complain, but that's the way it is. Often I recieve requests, and they never pan out to anything. I will honor existing orders (as in, the one I'm working on now) witht he original costs, but new orders (any I havn't started), will follow the above costs. I remember when I was back on the TI-Hardware mailing list. I did a turbo with a micro switch to select speed for $20 total. That's Like $15 and shipping. Peopel began complaining "hey, that switch cost's $1.20, and you only need wire and maybe a $.59 cent capacitor or two! Stop over charging us and ripping us off!". I explained that I wasn't going to do the turbo for free. I eventualy lowered to cost to $10, and it'll stay there, but I let myself be influenced. I've lost orders this way, but it also assures that I filter out the people who don't have the cash to pay (which is why I now REQUIRE cash to begin the order). The prices are non negotiable. I have let people negotiate me down to a $5 profit. That's complete garbage!!! From now on, it's take it or leave it. I am TOO BUSY in college to do an order for everything and only make $10. It's absurd. I hope I don't sound to rough, but it's either increade prices and make them non negotiable, or stop doing orders. It's your choice to do the upgrade or not. For the most part, turbo and speakers are so cheap, they can remain free for most orders. I also can drop them a price if an order is close to where it would normaly. There, I'll probably still be a nice guy! : )
I've also been going to craft shows. My mother creates fabroshe eggs (I have no CLUE how to spell that word! :) and I've been driving and helping in setup. I have also got plans to incorporate neural technology into one for the mere beauty of the "flashy" LEDs. We have one enormous composite egg (made of many smaller shell pieces) that has a "Crystal City" in it. It's beautiful, but static. the extent of it's interactivity is that the central dome changes color as you look at it from diferent angles. A more open one, with flashing and alternating LEDs would be very great, and as a result of a topic I read on the BEAM robotics list, I'd like to make it interactive! touch points to bias timing and maybe even buttons surounding it could effect the way it looks! It'd be interesting to see what is possible.
I am curently trying to create the HTML and images for my Mother's web site, which will feature thumbnail galleries of all her carved, painted, and decorated eggs. Whn it is completed, I will post a link in the links section, and also have a link to it from the Index page as well as the navigation bars if room permits.
Monday. 8/30/99: Floor Monkey working and new Solar robots. MANY projects. Back in school!
Well, this is interesting. The last three updates have been to the day, exactly 1 or 2 months apart. I need to update more. of course, I could be using update time for building! :)
Anyway, Floormonkey works, and it works great. I only have to throw in a biasing trim pot to center it's light sensitivity. I LOVE this robot. It hums, buzzes and then squeals when placed in light, it turns itself away from light sources, and in certain light levels (dark, but not too dark), it's 11 pairs of (asthetic) thoracipods will begin to chatter against each other as the motor begins to oscilate at a frequency close to the metal's resonant frequency! I'm very glad to see this very unexpected effect!
Also, I got a free Solarbotics Photopopper. Excelent kit! My second decent solar robot, and the only one that still works. I have a picture of it and my old Solarbotics photopopper. Notice the different motors and PCBs. the PCB on the old one is darker and an older model I believe. the new one is red. The new one also uses the Namiki motors Solarbotics provides. it "pops" at least once every couple seconds in sunlight. It's nice!
The next solar project to finish is Megavore, and restoring my other photopopper, the OLD photovore (still, a photopopper though), and my SEII Solar roller that expirienced sudden vertical deceleration syndrome (In other words, it hit the floor!). I also intend to do some work with reversers and finish Hexapod. I'm trying to decide if visual sensors are at all feasible for it. I want it to see objects before it hits them, even if it is with feelers. I also want edge detectors on it. I was going to update with the new images earlier, but my password had been changed. Things are back to normal now though.
Sunday. 7/30/99: New Images! New Robots! Models coming soon! TI-Turbo soon!!!
Well, This must be a record! exactly 2 months!!! I havn't delayed any updates that long for quite a while! Well. Good news! I have a digital camera! It's an Afga CL30. It's very nice. There are new images of MANY of the robots. I also have two new robots; Sunbird and Hexapod. Sunbird is a 2 degree of freedom light seeking head. Hexapod is a tiny 6 legged walker, It also has a very "box" like shape. I havn't bought parts for the longest time. I need to get more electronics.
I will also be finishing up the TI-Turbo sections, and also start the Models section by adding images of several buildings and other models that I have built.
Sunday. 5/30/99: Images have shrunken!!! Faster loading! PCB layout correction.
I've gone through many of the images on my page and disovered some of them were inadvertently saved at 100% quality. Although they might look nice, the high image quality is excessive and memory consuming. Often 50% is sufficient, and some images were able to go to as low as 20% (if you don't mind some artifacts in the image). Thumbnails and "non-essential" images (mainly stuff from the misc section) have REALY been reduced. Robot and TI (and when I get around to it, model) images all will remain fairly higher quality. They are the primary focus of this page, and will remain clear and defined, however, I AM still reducing the quality enough to TRY too keep images below 10-20K. Some were 40-50K or even MORE! Yikes!
In addition to the image size reductions, I also corrected an error on the PCB for the 6 Transistor H-Bridge. The transistors were ALL drawn backwards (cause by drawing the top of the board instead of the bottom. The wiring was right, just the orientation of the parts was wrong. If you made PCBs of the 6 Transistor H-Bridge, and have trouble, you must turn the transistors around. The PCB image is now correct.
Tuesday. 5/24/99: Bronco COMPLETELY finished! Walking BEAUTIFLY!!!
Click, click, Click, click, Click, click, Click, click!
Such a beautiful sound!!! I finaly finished it. It took me from Superbowl Sunday to about a month ago to actualy buy the LM7805 voltage regulator, and took till today for me to get off my butt and install it (shows how busy (and lazy) I am)! Anyway, I only had an LM340 on it, which could only handle 100 mA, and would not run the bot for more than about 5 seconds before overheating. I installed it temporarily, just to test it. The sequence was right, but it never had the power to walk efficiently with that LM340.
I finaly got off my butt and installed it (as well as a centering spring between Bronco's legs and oiling all the joints in my robots). It works soooooooo nice! It even appears to walk straight (it'll walk straight, and suddenly change angle slightly. Maybe cause of the floor surface???). For those who have never seen it, it's a 3 motor walker with a 6 Nv branched Bicore on a homemade PCB and 3 freeformed six transitor H-Bridges.
There are older pics of Bronco in the robotics section. I want to update them, but ATI keeps delaying the XCLAIM VR 128 Tuner/Capture/Video card I ordered to use with my video camera. MacMall has the card on backorder from them! March 15, April 1, May 1, May 7, May 10, May 14, May 24, and now June 1st!!! What's up with that!!! Those dates are the dates they told me they would HAVE the card!!! I'm REALY getting annoyed. Of course, that ain't as bad as the delay on the JoyPort USB. SEPTEMBER!!! I guess I can wait to use my N64 joystick on my Mac... LITERALY!!! Yikes!
Tuesday. 4/20/99: Turbot, Megavore, and TI Custom Cases!
I have added the TI Custom Case section, with pictures, the Turbot and Megavore section to the robots pages, though there is mainly just pictures (More info will come someday). I also created faster loading, smaller thumbnails for the robots, all at a uniform 1.2 inches wide (not sure why I picked that, other than it's the first value that turned up on the width by the auto proportion! Hehe! : )
Monday. 4/19/99: Misc section up!
The Misc section is pretty much complete. I'll add new topics and information when they occur in the future. There will even be more detailed info on projects (measurements for Sunbird chair, schematics for projects). Those have to wait for now though.
Sunday. 4/18/99: Misc section up!
Well, there is plenty of stuff in the new Misc section. Check it out. I'll work on more later tonight.
Saturday. 4/17/99: Spyder Pictures up!!! Mechanics complete!
The title explains it all! Hit the robotics section from the Navi bar (or the links table at the end of this page if you are using the no frames version). You'll see spyder, and drool!!! I'll soon have a new picture of Floor monkey, the new Megavore (9 volt 60 mA solar panel!), a whole LOAD of pics for the new Miscelaneous section, including my personal info (it's moving), info on my poor, poor Sunbird, my computers, and my other projects, and there will be images of the TI-85 custom case! I'm going to need to download the entire Model page off of geocities, and that is not a priority.
I look forward to not being tired, so I can keep my eyes open long enough to do more than one page. Again, the new templates help. this update took less than an hour, and that being tired, unresponsive, and eating. Hehe! ( :
Why the Spyder section first? Because I have had several requests for the pictures, and it was a simple update. I'll do more Sunday, when I'm rested.
Thursday. 4/15/99: Welcome to The Richfiles: Version 5.0!!!
Hehe! I feel like I'm anouncing that new Sci Fi channel thing! ( :
Initializing Upgrade... Welcome to The Richfiles: 5.0! New sections, New Topics, New Looks! For the FIRST time since the page first split into a multi page version (2.0), the links at the bottoms of the pages have been forgoten and neglected. The no frames version of the site relies on those, and I've never even had a chance to test it. The No Frames link would seem to disapear every other version. NO MORE! If links are the heart of the web, then this page just got a triple bypass and a full coronary restructuring! Hehe! ( : For the first time ever, the links at the bottom are uniform, and the documents actualy follow a name format! I can update easily! Add one link to a Topics page, and then create a new page from the universal template reserved for each section. That, and the fact that by early May I'll have a complete video capture system, in addition to my scanner, ought to result in more frequent updates, new sections that can be up literaly within hours, rather than days or months as was previously!
For the time being, I've placed old text with updated links into the body of all the pages, however, That is to get the update underway. This summer, I want to spend time rewriting all the pages. Why? Easier to read and follow, more profesional sounding, and to cut the useless rambling. I want the pages to get to the point when appropriate, or give out endless detail after detail when that's appropriate. You may also notice the news section may load faster. I cut out some older headlines and put them in the old news section (accessible after the last headline in this section). The About me page will be trimmed back, and some of those things placed in a new Miscelaneous section. This section will boast school and personal side projects, such as the ULTRA comfy Pontiac Sunbird rolling car seat chair, Pictures of some of my various computers, my AM/FM radio project for RF class, and my voltage monitor for Soldering class. There will be much more. That section has great potential to spawn other new sections in time. There is also a new section being added to the modern Richfiles web page. The Model Building section may sound new, but it has always had a Geocities page. It's been around for over 2 years, but never got updated, mainly cause i was so busy, AND it was not readily accessible when i updated my other, MAIN Richfiles page. No more! The page is finaly being integrated and will be marked as another section. Updates there will be far and few at first, but I would like to add things later on. At least it's finaly OFFICIALY a part of THE Richfiles web page.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the fact that some recent images were corupted, there are a few images that will not show. Rather than retype the HTML, I'm simply doing it now and uploading th eimages later, probably Saturday or Sunday. It should be noted, that EVERY SINGLE PAGE has had modifications done, and in only 2 days! Thank God for templates!!! Two new sections are up, but have no content. Images are loaded, but I've yet to do the HTML. I'll probably add quite a few updates on Sunday, and, I'll be downloading the Model Building page off of Geocities and incorporating it into the new Model Building section here! I'll update the old pages to simply link here. I have a lot of work to do, and this is turning out to be a great start!!!
Tuesday. 4/13/99: Spyder twitched!!! It's alive... Well... One leg anyway!
My latest project, Spyder, which is modeled after Mark W. Tilden's own Spyder robot, made it's first twitches last night!!! It was a beautiful sight! The legs move so smothly!!! It's COOL! Unfortunatly, I have no pics. I'll try to make new pics Friday night. I'm headed back to my friend's place and I'll be snapping shots of new pictures of the robots that were lost last week due to corupted disks. Almost half way through the month. I think I can hold out till May, but I don't like the video card being delayed so many times! Oh well. I'll live. Hopefuly there will be some new pics this weekend. That and I might try to clean up my place (that'll be the day! Hehe! :)
Monday. 4/12/99: New plans to make updates easier! New pics coming soon!
WOW has it been a while. I've been very busy in school, and I've been trying to do plenty with my new G3. The Video/TV Tuner/Capture board I was going to get has been delayed 3 times. March 15th, April 2nd. and now May 1st!!! Ahhhh! Anyway, I was able to fisit my friend with the PowerMac 5400 with the TV Tuner card. Unfortunately, i got home, and the new pictures of Floor Monkey and of the new Spyder and Turbot are all Corrupted!!! Several of the close ups of my computer were lost. The corruption was bad enough to crash my viewer. Anyway, I'm going to try again soon. Not sure when I can get back to my friend's place though. He has my Duke Nukem CD though, so I have an added incentive! Hehe! ( :
Now what was that fuss I made about making updates easier??? Well, I have no real template for my web pages! I usualy just grab an existing page, duplicate it and cut out the text. Unfortunately, my links end up getting neglected (at the bottom of the page). I'll be making a general page template, and a file containing the page ends (link list and closing HTML). All the pages will share the same page headings. THe reason for the seprate end template is I can edit it, and then copy the text and just paste it to the end of each page. If things go well, I should greatly simplify updates. I may just simplify the endings even further by only refering to the source page, in a heirarchial format. That would be even simpler, and fully integrate the frames and the no frames versions.
I'll also be pulling any unnecessary banners that may be on the page. I'll keep the link exchange banners up, and I'll be adding a link to Amazon for books, and maybe some other things. I'll have a few advertizing banners on the front page, and maybe one or so at the bottom of the main news pages. I'm considering having them in the section pages, but no banners will be on any content page whatsoever.
There will also be rewrites of many pages, and new content, but that will take a while. I will probably wait till school's out till I do any major work.
Saturday. 2/20/99: I GOT MY G3!!! Reason for long delays.
Some Time ago, I mentioned my old computer was on it's last legs so to speak, and i was right. The built in trackpad went dead as well as the modem, on the same day. I should have had my new G3 already, but they made a mistake on the taxes, and my computer just sat there. Anyway, I got it a week after my old computer messed up. I finaly got it set up. IT IS SO NICE! I downloaded the Star Wars trailer at 480x218 pixels, 22 KHz Stereo, and played it full screen without skips!!! WOW!!! I'm waiting for some more stuff for it, but when I get everything installed, I'll be able to take pictures with my video camera and post them in the "About Me" section. I should get the TV/Tuner/Video/3D/2D accelerator card on April 2 (Yes, it is a video card and a TV tuner card in one)! After that, I'll be adding new pictures, hopefuly accross the page. I may also be getting a BUSY summer job (last year I worked a 15 hour shift once, but they sure PAY!!! :) and that may hamper the summer updates. I'll figure something out. Hehe! (:
Saturday. 2/20/99: New page at http://www.calc.org/richfiles/, G3, Planned updates, & New robots!
I have a new page at http://www.calc.org/richfiles/! In about a week, the address http://richfiles.calc.org/ will be activated and can be used. I'll include both for a little while, just to be sure, but this is now the primary page. I'll continue to update the http://members.xoom.com/richfiles/ page, but the geocities page will just sit there for now. I'll update the geocities page every once in a while, with all the existing data, but that won't be often. The xoom page is more of a mirror, and the geocities page will get a transfer link page at the top of the news page that'll allow the viewer to select whether to visit the richfiles.calc.org page or the xoom page.
I also have to wait another week for my Mac. Stupid weekends! Oh wait, that's when i get to take a break! Nevermind! I love weekends, except that part about waiting for otehr stuff! Hehe! I'm also going to be planning a rewrite of all the pages sometime this summer! Just read the old SPinTerface page in the TI section and compare it to a more recent document fromt he robotics section. A little diference in writing style, huh! I wanted to do the updates earlier, and I will if I get around to it, but summer is my current projection (with college and all). The updates will include the addition of a TI schematics page, much like the general robotics schematics pages. I'll also update all sections for new technology, check into the EII and if possible, include instructions for it here, finish the turbo pages, and add more content to the backlight page, which get's the most questions (considering it's the hardest upgrade and is given one of the shortest pages! OUCH!
Finaly, I've made frames for a Turbot and a Spyder. The spyder is already looking freaky! (Freakily life like appearances are common with the spyder style robot! Hehe! :)
Saturday. 2/20/99: LOTS of updates! Schematics, PCBs! I'm also getting a new Power Macintosh G3!!!
Well, It looks like there has been no updates for a month, but I just forgot to update the news page. There are about 25 new schematics and PCB layout images added to the page. All are linked to through the brand new "circuits" section on the main robotics page. I have 2 variations of the 4 Nv Microcore, a 6 Nv microcore, the bicore, the branched bicore used on Bronco (now the official name for Walker 3M), as well as several variations of both 4 and 6 transistor H-Bridges! There is also several solar engines and phototropic circuits under the solar robots page.
Also, GREAT news! It looks like I'm getting a BRAND NEW Power Macintosh G3!!! It has a 400 MHz G3 microprocessor, 1 MB Backside Cache, 128 MB RAM, 12 GB HDD, DVD-ROM, ZIP drive, 56K modem, Ultra SCSI II controler, Imation 120 MB Superdisk drive, 128 bit ATI Rage Pro 16 MB graphics card, and a 17" monitor. All with the cool blue and white case! I'm also adding a TV Tuner card and possibly dual monitors. I'll be able to watch TV on it while I work, or use my video camera to take pictures of my robots! from now on, I can easily have images of new bots up within hours or at least a day or two rather than the previous months! It'll also be nice when I play Duke Nukem! Hey, I can watch TV, and a DVD movie at the same time COOL!!! I love Macs! Hehe! ( :
History of my original web page and information about me!
View the new news page
The old news page (page #1)
View the old, old news page (Page #2)
|E-Mail me at: email@example.com||The Richfiles News Page|
|The Richfiles Links Page||The "About Me" Page|
|The Richfiles Robotics Page||The Richfiles TI Graphing Calculator Page|
|The Richfiles Model Building Page||The Richfiles "Misc" Page|
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