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My experiments with RaspberryPi 3

August 25, 2016 Leave a comment

The Raspberry Pi is a tiny and affordable computer that you can use to learn programming through fun, practical projects. These single-board computers were developed in the United Kingdom by the RaspberryPi Foundation®  to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries.

All models feature a Broadcom®  system on a chip (SoC), which includes an an ARM compatible central processing unit (CPU) and an on chip graphics processing unit (GPU, a  VideoCore IV). CPU speed ranges from 700 MHz to 1.2 GHz for the Pi 3 and on board memory range from 256 MB to 1 GB RAM.

The little computer has controlled robots, reached the upper atmosphere in a weather balloon and become the building block for almost any gadget the mind could dream up.

The Foundation provides Raspbian, a Debian based linux distribution for download, as well as third party Ubuntu, Windows 10 IOT Core, RISC OS, and specialised media center distributions. It promotes Python and  Scratch as the main programming language, with support for many other  languages

The 3rd generation Raspberry Pi® comes with:

  • A 1.2GHZ 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU
  • 11n Wireless LAN
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4 USB ports
  • 40 GPIO pins
  • Full HDMI port
  • Ethernet port
  • Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
  • Camera interface (CSI)
  • Display interface (DSI)
  • Micro SD card slot
  • VideoCore IV 3D graphics core

This is an  ideal computer for use in schools to teach students the basics of coding in a fun way.

raspberrypi3 RaspberryPi3 with casing

I have played around with the Sonic Pi® which can be used to create music using simple commands.

Here is a screenshot of Frere Jacques played on the SonicPi®.  Students can play around with the settings and tinker with the code until they are familiar enough to create the music for their own songs.

SonicPiB

Scratch is also a very interesting program to understand coding.  Students can use the drag and drop interface to perform various actions using Scratch or create their own games, demos, stories or music. Here are some examples of programs created by Scratch users.

ScratchB

Besides these, students can learn Python programming, and also use coding to learn about science and mathematics in a fun way by creating their own demos, games and stories.

The 40-pin GPIO interface is a great learning platform for  IoT .   From turning an LED on and off to controlling temperature, humidity sensors, RF modules, GPS, and other sensors students can experiment and learn a great deal.

Here is a simple example of a LED circuit and the Scratch program to configure the GPIO pins (courtesy: RaspberryPi.org)

finished-circuitpin17-on-off

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Amazing Customer Service!

September 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Every time I call Linksys I am impressed by their customer service.  I have never
experienced such service from any company be it a bank, technology company,
service etc.

The following are some of their outstanding service:
1. The phone is picked up without delay.  So far I have never had to wait
2. The support staff is so gracious – they always make my day
3. The support staff have full knowledge of the product and go all out to solve the problem
4. They are ready to listen to you to thoroughly understand the problem
5. They are willing to solve an issue even if the product has passed its warranty
6. They are willing to solve an issue even if it is not a problem with their equipment
If only every company would be atleast half as responsive as the customer support
staff from Linksys!

12 websites that I like

June 15, 2012 1 comment

Some of the websites that I like to access frequently are Google as a search engine , mail, maps , Youtube and numerous other products and services.  I access twitter almost daily as a micro-blogging platform to post 140 character tweets.  For blogging, I prefer to use WordPress which I find very user –friendly.

For technology related news and content I prefer mashable and also access pcworld and cnet.  I love to access Dictionary.com for their ‘word of the day’, thesaurus etc.  For my everyday supply of office humour I go to Dilbert.

National Geographic is a great site for information on animals and the environment.  Boston Globe – The Big Picture has a collection of great photographs from around  the world published weekly.

For great talks on Technology and Design , the TED site is a useful resource.  For a professional social networking tool, I access Linkedin.

Quora is an interesting question and answer platform  and Pinterest is also a social media site where you can repin theme-based image collections on hobbies, interests etc

Twitter is an online social networking service and microblogging  service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets”. It was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with over 140 million active users as of 2012, generating over 340 million tweets daily and handling over 1.6 billion search queries per day
http://www.twitter.com

Mashable (Mashable Inc.) is a Scottish-American news website and Internet news blog founded by Pete Cashmore. The website’s primary focus is social media news, but also covers news and developments in mobile, entertainment, online video, business, web development, technology, memes and gadgets. Mashable was launched by Pete Cashmore from his home in Aberdeen, Scotland in July 2005.
With a reported 50+ million monthly pageviewsand an Alexa ranking under 250, Mashable ranks as one of the world’s largest websites.
http://www.mashable.com

Google Inc. is an American multinational corporation which provides Internet-related products and services, including Internet search, cloud computing, software and advertising technologies. The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while both attended Stanford University. The company offers online productivity software including email, an office suite, Youtube videos and social networking.. Google leads the development of the Android mobile OS, as well as the Google Chrome OS browser-only operating system.
http://www.google.com

WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a dynamic content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL and . It has many features including a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is currently the most popular CMS in use on the Internet.It was first released on May 27, 2003, by Matt Mullenweg.
http://www.wordpress.com

Dilbert  is an American comic strip written and drawn by Scott Adams. First published on April 16, 1989; 23 years ago Dilbert is known for its satirical office humour about a white-collar, micromanaged office featuring the engineer Dilbert as the title character. The strip has spawned several books, an animated television series, a video game, and hundreds of Dilbert-themed merchandise items.. Dilbert appears in 2000 newspapers worldwide in 65 countries and 25 languages
http://www.dilbert.com/

Boston Globe – The Big picture:  Some of the best news photographs from around the world
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/

Dictionary Reference.com is an  encyclopedia, thesaurus and dictionary online.  The site also provides machine translation and web search. Reference.com was launched by InReference, Inc in February, 1997. Lexico announced that Reference.com would begin offering searches of Wikipedia content. In mid-2007, the site typically ranked in the mid-200s among the most popular websites on the Internet
http://dictionary.reference.com/

Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing  website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections and/or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing.
http://www.pinterest.com

Quora was co-founded by two former Facebook employees, Adam D’Angelo  and Charlie Cheever  is a question and answer platform created, edited and organized by its community of users.
http://www.quora.com

National Geographic provides free maps, photos, videos and daily news stories, as well as articles and features about animals, the environment, cultures, history etc
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/

TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate “ideas worth spreading.” TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event and the conference was held annually from 1990 in Monterey, California.  The speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can.
http://www.ted.com/

LinkedIn is a professional social networking website founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. It was founded by Reid Hoffman.
http://www.linkedin.com/

What are some of your favourite websites?

Categories: Technology Tags: ,

Inventions that can transform our lives!

February 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Our modern world of science and technology is coming up with some mind boggling work that can transform our lives in the next 10-20 years.  Here are some of the technology that are either already in use or may become a reality in the future.

1) The invisible cloak: The invisible cloak is getting closer to reality.  Scientists at the University of Texas in Austin have demonstrated making a 3D object in free space invisible by using the plasmonic technique.  To read more about this research click on the following link – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16726609

2) Driverless car: Google, GM, BMW and Toyota are already testing out their versions of autonomous vehicles and Nevada in the US became the first state to authorize driverless vehicles. Click on the following link to read more – http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/21/10460103-nevada-first-state-to-authorize-driverless-cars

3) Stem cells to grow organs like heart, lungs & liver:  A lot of work is being done to grow organs using stem cells.  Read about some of this work by clicking on the following link – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120213185441.htm

4) Waterproof clothing: Imagine wearing clothes that do not get wet in the rain. Ross Nanotechnology Corp.  has demonstrated their product ‘NeverWet’ .  Read more about it here – http://z6mag.com/science/waterproof-iphone-waterproof-clothing-neverwet-makes-it-real-163096.html

5) Robotics:  Great progress has been achieved in the field of robotics.  The latest robots can mimic human behaviour.  To find out more click on this link – http://physicsinventions.com/index.php/human-like-robots-to-mimic-human-facial-expressions/

6) Dynamic Architecture:  Have you seen buildings in motion that can change their shape.  The rotating tower – a  revolutionary architecture by Dr. David Fischer allows the building to adjust to the sun, wind, weather and views by rotating each floor separately. Click on the following link to read more – http://unusual-architecture.com/rotating-tower-dubai-uae/

7) Bionic Hand: A bionic hand  has motors on each finger and can mimic to a great extent our actual movement and grip.  Read more about this technology by clicking the following link – http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/01/12/minn-man-1st-u-s-civilian-to-get-new-bionic-hand/

RIP – Steve Jobs

October 6, 2011 2 comments

 

 

 

 

A visionary thinker has just made a dent in the universe. And in the early days of Apple he dreamt of doing just that.

Steve Jobs ideas have transformed technology in computing, mobile-computing, music players and animation that he will no doubt be remembered as the man who shaped the decade in technology. Steve Jobs co-founder of Apple  died of cancer on Wednesday 5th October, 2011. He was 56.

The hard-driving executive pioneered the concept of the personal computer and of navigating them by clicking onscreen images with a mouse. In more recent years, he introduced the iPod portable music player, the iPhone and the iPad tablet — all of which changed how we consume content in the digital age.

Social media site twitter broke the  record of 10000 tweets per second on news of Steve Jobs death and world leaders and tech-titans paid tribute to one of Americas greatest innovators.

“Steve was among the greatest of American innovators—brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it,” – President Obama

“Tonight, America lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein, and whose ideas will shape the world for generations to come,” – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“Steve Jobs defined a generation of style and technology that’s unlikely to be matched again.” –Eric
Schmidt

“Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.  The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.” – Bill Gates 

“Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.” – Mark Zuckerberg

“Once in a rare while, somebody comes along who doesn’t just raise the bar, they create an entirely new standard of measurement.” – Twitter CEO Dick Costolo

“Today the world lost a visionary leader, the technology industry lost an iconic legend and I lost a friend and fellow founder. The legacy of Steve Jobs will be remembered for generations to come.” – Michael Dell

“Steve was such an ‘original,’ with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started,” – Walt Disney President Robert Iger

“I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance,” said Google co-founder Larry Page.

Steve Jobs left us with so many wonderful thoughts and quotes.  I leave you with a few of his quotes:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future,” he told Stanford University graduates during a commencement speech in 2005. “You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

“‘No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.””

Categories: Technology Tags: , , ,

Going.. going..gone……10 technologies that are almost obsolete

May 27, 2011 4 comments

1.Typewriter.. I always have a soft corner for the typewriter because we had 3 at home – 2 Facit typewriters and  a Godrej one.  I learned to type on a typewriter. After the simple typewriter came an electric one, an electronic typewriter and then the computer has now made the typewriter a thing of the past.

2.Pager.. When I came to Singapore in 1994, the pager was everywhere and you could hear beeps and nice tones.  But today you hardly see a pager in use.

3.Cassette tape recorder:  Today we hardly use the cassette tape.   In the early 1990s there was a steep decline in cassette tape use.

4.Walkman: The Sony walkman was introduced in 1979 and was very popular in those times.  1986 marked the farewell of the walkman and Sony introduced the discman

5.Floppy disc/floppy drive: Today most computers come only with dvd players and recorders and the familiar  3.5” floppy drive is hardly in use

6.Video cassette player/video cassette: The VHS format has lost use with the advent of DVD/VCD players

7.Film camera: Today it is difficult to find film cameras and photo studios that clear pictures taken using film.  Cameras have all gone digital.

8.Laser disc player: The laser disc which was popular in the 1990s became officialy obsolete in 2009 with Pioneer announcing the cessation of production.

9.CRT monitor: Flat screen monitors have replaced the CRTs and almost everywhere you see only LCD/LED/Plasma monitors.

10. Zip drive: This drive had a very short life cycle and with the advent of compact discs the usage significantly dropped.

Evolution of the blog

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I think I have begun to love infographics.  Here is one that traces the evolution of the blogger (source: NYmag.com)

What to Do When You Find Something Cool on the Internet: A Flowchart

January 14, 2011 1 comment

Interesting flowchart from the Gizmodo folks:

Categories: Technology Tags: , , ,
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