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Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

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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Going, going, gone …10 technologies that are obsolete

May 4, 2014 3 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.

Other interesting posts in this category:

1) http://knowledgeaddiction.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/going-obsolete/
2) http://pippakinclawz.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/going-obsolete/
3) http://tnkerr.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/daily-prompt-going-obsolete/
4) http://risingrave28.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/ludic-memories-the-casette-player/
5) http://whoison1st.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/going-obsolete/
6) http://easterellen.com/2014/05/03/obsolete/
7) http://agent909.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/going-obsolete-technology-for-kids/
8) http://kansamuse.me/2014/05/03/going-obsolete-yes-it-happens/
9) http://beingchelle.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/going-going-obsolete/
10) http://learningneverstops.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/going-obsolete-life-before-social-media-daily-post/
11) http://angloswiss-chronicles.com/2014/05/03/daily-prompt-going-obsolete-why-not/
12) http://jaynesdailypost.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/going-obsolete/
13) http://onepinkrose.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/going-obsolete-kismet-connection/
14)http://myrandomthoughts365.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/going-obsolete/
15) http://jophnist.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/going-obsolete/

Categories: General Tags: , ,

My smart wife: Unplugged

October 9, 2013 4 comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

samsung s4

Sometimes, we all need a break from these little glowing boxes. How do you know when it’s time to unplug? What do you do to make it happen?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us UNPLUGGED.

 

I have a smart wife now
And so do millions of others
She is decked in her best outfit
And she has a feather touch

Everyone ogles
Cuddles and fondles her
They run their fingers over her
And toy with her

If I am lost she has a GPS
If I am playful she has temple run
When I am bored she plays music
She has an answer to all my queries

She never every complains
Unless she is hungry
Then I feed her power
And she starts to play again

But one day I realised
She had taken control over my life
I had stopped jogging and cycling
And was addicted to her

Then one day she started acting dumb
And simply would not work
I took her to a nubox clinic
They said she had a viral infection

So now I know when to unplug
And leave my smart wife alone
Cause she can make you really dumb
If you spend the whole day with her

(Picture courtesy: http://telegraph.co.uk)

 

© copyright, skm, 9th Oct, 2011

 

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/daily-prompt-bloggers-unplugged/
2) http://adityaviyer.com/2013/10/08/unplugged/
3) http://gabisstuff.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/unplugged/
4) http://didntjustwakeup.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/unplugged/
5) http://indexyourlife.me/2013/10/08/the-unplugged-voice/
6) http://processingthelife.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/to-be-or-not-to-be-wired/
7) http://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/daily-prompt-bloggers-unplugged/
8) http://terry1954.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/daily-prompt-unplugged/
9) http://familyphotosfoodcraft.com/2013/10/09/daily-prompt-bloggers-unplugged-9-10/
10)http://underthemonkeytree.com/2013/10/08/daily-prompt-bloggers-unplugged/

 

New age SMS lingo

May 29, 2013 2 comments

2 b or nt 2 b” This was how a student pulverized Shakespeare in an examination answer sheet.

SMS lingo has now begun creeping into the answer sheets, assignments and even record books! So much so that school teachers are compelled to tell kids that the usage of such language in their exams means lower marks and could even result in flunking

When young we learnt to appreciate poetry and literature in school.  It was  a delight to read poems by Wordsworth, Shelley and Keats. There have been huge strides in technology ,because of which our children are today exposed to the latest gadgets.  They have the virtual world at their fingertips.  They are adept at searching for information, messaging, video chats and social media.  Inspite of all this , I think that the modern day child is more  at  a disadvantage than an advantage.

The biggest disadvantage is the use of new age lingo or sms texting.  This became a fashion because of the ability to be connected with your network on the go. Children today use language like: Yolo, lol, rofl, brb, wtf, wanna, lv, ppl, btw to convey their message and if you are not familiar with these words you are not cool.

In my opinion, this is murder/butchering of the English language.  How can you stand ‘thought’ being spelt as ‘thot’ or ‘between’ being spelt as ‘btwn’.

With the advent of twitter and facebook, this lingo is finding extensive use and slowly it has begun to find its place in school examination papers.

Children today are so distracted with the numerous gadgetry around them that they have no time.. no patience to appreciate the beauty of the language, diction, articulation and phonetics.  They just want to use brief sms lingo.  Very soon this will turn into a whole new language and our Oxford dictionaries have to keep pace or come up with an SMS dictionary.

Other related articles:

http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ijel/article/download/10050/8541

Categories: General Tags: , , , ,

Are we communicating enough?

January 27, 2013 6 comments

We have come a long way since that first call by Alexander Graham Bell that revolutionized communication.  Today the mobile phone has become a ubiquitous medium of communication so much so that the vegetable seller, the milkman, the cleaner and everyone else are dependent on it for their daily livelihood.

Starting with the newspapers, television, mobile phone, smart phone, personal computer, laptops and tablets – today instead of people looking out for information we have an information overload.  Today, we have a plethora of choices and our time is spent in discerning as to what we need to do.

But this gadget-craze has had an impact on our face-to-face communication.  Today, we find very little time to share thoughts over a cup of coffee or to spend time having a conversation with our family.  This is the form of communication that is of vital importance.  Speaking is important as it helps us to bridge barriers and understand each other better.  It helps to connect, resolve conflicts and strengthen bonds.

What are some of the ways that we can keep our face-to-face communication alive?

1)      Join a Toastmasters Club – A toastmasters club is a wonderful avenue to meet after work and improve on speaking, listening and leadership traits.  It is a great place to network with people of diverse backgrounds and get diverse perspectives on current events, topics of interest and have fun.    It also helps to develop our leadership abilities by way of taking up roles at meetings within the club and networking with other clubs.

2)      Join a Special Interest Group – We all have interests – related to our work or outside be it. IEEE, Project Management, Quality, DIY, singing, guitar, cycling etc.  Joining these groups is a great way to network with like-minded people and learn a lot more.  This is also a great way to find a job in your area of interest.

3)      Meetups – Social media enthusiasts on twitter organise twestivals or meetups where people get to know each other and also gather to discuss about causes that concern the world.  It is also a great way  for entrepreneurs to network for youngsters to find their partners in life or just have fun.

4)      Volunteering – Many volunteer groups spend time training kids or engaging with old folks or the disabled.  Doing such work gives one an opportunity to network with  a lot of volunteers and make friends.

Communication is slowly proving to be a lost art.  People hardly find time to exchange pleasantries or chat over a cup of coffee.  Written communication like letter writing is already obsolete and is today replaced by email.  Technology has simplified our lives but it has also made us a lazy lot switching from one gadget to another in a different virtual world.

Do you feel that you are spending too much time online or with gadgets?  Are you missing out on networking with friends and face-to-face communication?

iPhone mania

August 26, 2011 18 comments

(This is the text of the speech I delivered at the Humorous Speech & evaluation contest of Bishan Toastmasters Club)

Can I have a show of hands – How many of you are married?
Well, the rest of you – what about you? – don’t worry – i wont tell anyone else.
Alright, alright… I will tell you  — ALL OF YOU ARE MARRIED – married to technology

Contest Chair, Judges, Fellow Toastmasters and friends –

Our generation is a wired generation exposed to so many gadgets like laptops, netbooks, ipads, smartphones and social media that we are all wedded to technology.

This morning as I was coming by the train .. I saw everyone was looking at their gadgets, toying with them, fondling them and staring at them with such fascination that it would put your friend to shame.

Then I went into a dream world.  I imagined that in a few years from now – Steve Jobs, Marc Zuckerberg and Larry Page would have an additional responsibility – as marriage counsellors.
And I imagined how my marriage would be solemnised by Steve Jobs.

Do you take this iPhone to be your wedded wife?
Yes I do

Will you feed her with juice everyday?
Juice
Yes – 230V of power supply
Yes I will

Will you take care of her today, tomorrow and forever?
Yes, I always take good care of her

Will you keep her close to your heart?
Yes, I always keep her in my shirt pocket.

What if some  sweet, sexy and charming model calling herself iPhone5   were to cross your path one day?  Do you promise that you will not ogle at her, not even touch her
Yes, I promise(wink)

Ok. Now I pronounce you man and wife.  

After the wedding, it was our first night.  I was head over heels in love with her – all excited.  She was decked in the most beautiful outfit and she had a feather touch.  At first, I was shy.  But then, I relaxed, touched her, caressed her.  I don’t want to get into the details….  and then we went to sleep.

Early morning I was awakened by her sweet ring – Tring   Tring…

And then the days of our honeymoon began.

You have heard of men who pamper their women with handbags, shoes, nailpolish, mascara, perfumes etc etc.  Well I started pampering my partner with accessories too – An armband, a different case for each day of the week, spare batteries, screen protectors, a stereo Bluetooth adapter, wireless speakerphone, and even a dock powered by tube amps

She introduced me to all her relatives  right from the smallest ipod nano, ipod shuffle, ipod classic, ipod touch, Macbooks and the iPad.  They were all so charming that I considered myself lucky to be a proud member of the Apple family.

Every day she would wear new apps  – one day facebook on her menu would beckon me to dare to caress its button ,  the next day  twitter winks at me and entices me with her latest tweets, the next day foursquare .   When I was hungry – she would show me the nearest restaurants

When I was lost .. her GPS would show me the shortest route.  And when I was in a playful mood she would present  fruit ninja, cut the rope.angry birds.  If I was bored she had music, she could take pictures on her camera…. When it was dark and scary, she would light up my path.  When I was  at a loss for words, her dictionary would help me out.  She had an answer to all my questions.  What more can you ask from your wife?

Then one fine day, I realised, I was being overwhelmed by her.   – she was a wolf in sheeps clothing.  She had taken control over my life.  She had made me a vegetable.  I remember – that I would occasionally go for a jog, skating or cycling.  But now I could not leave her for even a second.

I had forgotten the real world outside – things that I loved – nature, the sea, sun , the stars and my family.  I said…. enough is enough.   Please do not cling to me anymore.  I cant be with you 24 hours of the day.

My dear friends if you do not want this  marriage to technology to ruin your life then you have to learn to balance your virtual life and your real life.

By the way the iphone5 is really nice – you know?

Thank you!

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.

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