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i have been a busy boy

in the last 2 years i bought/remodeled a house and met my soon to be wife. i hope to update this more often with house and robot projects.

here are some pictures to say what my words can not.

bathroom before

bathroom after

kitchen before

kitchen after

new computer ubuntu 11.10 (oneiric ocelot) install

i finally purchased a new computer. my how how things change. last time around an atx power supply was an atx power supply. this time i researched enough to know i needed a 20+4 main supply plug. i failed to research the 4+4 cpu power supply plug and as a result i had to purchase a new power supply and wait for it to arrive.

openrave install on ubuntu 9.04

first go

earlier this week i unsuccessfully tried to install it. there were
no directions for 9.04 on the wiki. using the directions for 8.10 the
build failed:

[ 96%] Building CXX object plugins/qtcoinrave/CMakeFiles/qtcoinrave.dir/aviUtil.o
openrave/plugins/qtcoinrave/aviUtil.cpp:456:29: error: ffmpeg/avformat.h: No such file or directory
openrave/plugins/qtcoinrave/aviUtil.cpp:457:28: error: ffmpeg/avcodec.h: No such file or directory

second go

The wiki was updated to include directions for 9.04. that is really
reassuring to me, updated documentation is awesome. tried checking out
the latest from svn. same errors. with a little more time today i
decided to hunt down the errors.

the required missing headers were in /usr/include/libavcodec/,
/usr/include/libavformat/, and /usr/include/libavutil/. I created the
ffmpeg directory and symbolic links.

sudo mkdir /usr/include/ffmpeg
sudo ln -s /usr/include/libavutil/* /usr/include/ffmpeg/
sudo ln -s /usr/include/libavcodec/* /usr/include/ffmpeg/
sudo ln -s /usr/include/libavformat/* /usr/include/ffmpeg/

i still get the error

[ 96%] Building CXX object plugins/qtcoinrave/CMakeFiles/qtcoinrave.dir/aviUtil.o
openrave/plugins/qtcoinrave/aviUtil.cpp: In function ‘bool ADD_FRAME_FROM_DIB_TO_AVI(void*)’:

openrave/plugins/qtcoinrave/aviUtil.cpp:633: error: ‘img_convert’ was not declared in this scope

i tried removing coin3d from my system so that this hopefully
unnecessary part of the build would be skipped. no go, coin3d is


there are some further instructions for ubuntu involving video
recording. there are some difficulties in using the libav* libraries.
the same libraries that my compilation were failing at. did some more
research on how to disable video recording.

ended up editing CMakeLists.txt line 90 to set video recording to off.

option(ENABLE_VIDEORECORDING "Enable video recording" OFF)

you could also do this by editing the makefile which would pass
parameters to the CMake file. I am unfamiliar with the CMake syntax in
the makefile so editing the CMake file was more straight forward.

compile and install success.

banana bread

i found this recipe from bostons flour bakery in a runners world article. i dont like using refined sugar so i replaced 1 cup sugar with 3/4 cup of fruit concentrate along with the low fat modification listed below. it lost a bit, too light. i should have isolated the changes.

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed
2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together first four ingredients. Beat
sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy. Drizzle in oil. Add
bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Fold in flour mixture and nuts. Pour
batter into a buttered 9″ x 4″ loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes, or
until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 12
servings. Lower-fat version: Reduce oil to 1/4 cup, add 1/4 cup
unsweetened applesauce (260 calories, 9 grams of fat).

Calories: 310
Fat: 15 g
Carbs: 41 g
Protein: 4 g

ghetto reflow banana bread

solder reflowing is the method used to attach tiny surface mount chips to circuit boards. when this method is done properly it is very technical. i guess and do it while making banana bread.

my little sister’s Compaq Presario V3000 exhibited a common problem. if moved while operating it would crash, freeze or reset. eventually it would not power on. i found the service guide and disassembled the laptop unsuccessfully looking for loose connectors. next guess was broken connections between the surface mount components and the circuit board. not easy to fix. instead of throwing it away i decided to try ghetto reflowing the board while making banana bread. because i can.

1. strip down the motherboard. including cpu, ram, and fans
2. preheat oven to 350
3. make banana bread
4. place motherboard on a pan in the oven
5. turn the oven to 400 for a few minutes
6. shut off the oven and open the door to let it cool
7. do NOT move the motherboard until it is completely cooled
8. reassemble and enjoy banana bread

banana bread on top shelf motherboard on bottom shelf

booted and stable

banana bread dominated