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Monday, March 26, 2007

Bot-Page : Quest for the Rest

This is another one of those websites set up by a band to encourage you to experience their music, this time by The Polyphonic Spree.

I will not go into too much detail as it will spoil the fun for you, but know that the object is to click on clickable things, your aim being to help the three little people find a way home.

It is not particularly challenging, but the graphics are cute and the music very atmospheric. Enjoy.

Quest for the Rest [via BBC online]

Die Dulci Fruere

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Download-Of-The-Day 3 : RP1 Sim

I have made or atleast tried making many robots. And everytime it had been frustrating to troubleshoot them. Sometimes it was the circuit, sometime it was the gear arrangement, sometimes the wires and sometimes the logic. The gear and wire arrangements are easily troubleshooted, but when it comes to algorithm/logic it is troublesome. It is very fustrating.

Wouldnt it be nice if you could test your control and navigation algorithm for the robot without reprogramming the robot after you made a minor change. Rossum's Playhouse (RP1) an open-source robot simulator simulator allows you to do just that. So next time you prepare for a competition try to use this to simulate and optimimize your robot.

"From the original website "Rossum's Playhouse is a modest, two-dimensional robot simulation intended to aid developers implementing control and navigation logic. It allows applications to build a data-configurable robot which can interact with a simulated landscape or solve a virtual maze". Its written in JAva so its platform independent and has a client server model so the clients ( the robots ) can be written in language of choice.

The simulated robot can have a wide variety of sensors at its disposal like contact , range , paint ( LFR's ) etc . Also lots of other factors can taken into account while simulating your robot. The simulator consists of mainly three parts

  • Server - This is the main environment in which the robots run.
  • Clients - This is the code for the robots which can be written in java or c/c++ .
  • Floor plans - This specifies the environment ( walls , paint etc ) in which the robot runs . There is also a CAD tool which can be used to develop the maps ."

This was just a small introduction to the RP1 sim for more you can visit there site at which has all the downloads and documentation which you need to get up and running.

RP1 Sim
[via Robotics India]

Die Dulci Fruere

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Download-of-The-Day 2 : Default Folder X

Default Folder X is a great utility for Mac OSX that adds all sorts of functionality to your default open and save dialogues.
"For years, Default Folder has helped speed Macintosh users through the process of opening, saving, and managing files. Even in Mac OS X, the familiar Open and Save dialogs are missing some very necessary features, and have some decidedly inconvenient quirks. Default Folder X fixes a number of problems in OS X’s file dialogs and adds convenient features to quickly get you where you want to go"

Default Folder X is free to try for Mac OS X 10+.

Die Dulci Fruere

Saturday, March 03, 2007

My interview with Amazon- a geek’s account of his experiences being interviewed by Amazon

Justin Rudd has a funny account of his experiences attending Amazon’s interview.

A snippet

The next day, I get a call from a senior developer. He explains what the process will be and how long it will take. The very first question - why do you want to work at Amazon? Now I knew this was coming. Every interview I’ve ever had I get asked this. But I ignored my cardinal rule and wasn’t prepared with a good answer. I had general ideas about why I wanted to work there -

Humorous - “I’ve spent enough money there over the years. I’d like Amazon to give some of it back.”
Greedy - “I want to move to WA”
Technical - “I want to work on truly large systems”
In the end, those are all reasons why I wanted to work there. But the last one - work on truly large systems - is the one I told him. There are very few truly large systems in the world. Everybody says they want a developer that can build a scalable system, but Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, and a few others are the only ones that truly do need those types of people. To work with datasets that encompass millions of orders a day is a humbling experience.

Read the post here.

Die Dulci Fruere


Friday, March 02, 2007

Daily News Roundup

Die Dulci Fruere