Sep 25 2008  -   Fall 2008

So I haven’t actually posted something new here in a while, if you discount updating the previous entry umpteen times with new pictures. That got a bit unwieldy so I moved it up to it’s own page above (look up there at the top) and hide the entry that was here. Speaking of which this site was overhauled too. It was past time for a new look. I was never 100% sold on the previous theme I downloaded so this time I just made one of my own. I’m happy with it again. It’s not complete yet. I need to put the dynamic stuff back in, the background color changing with the time of day and the top image. Currently both are fixed to what you see. This weekend I hope to have the time to do it right. There will be fewer colors and the top image at the top will match the color of the page instead of being random. And I’m going to get rid of a bunch of the less then stellar images. The stellar ones are mostly from the Astronomy Picture of the Day, linked above. I’ve massively abbreviated everything up there, but it’s all still there plus lots of new stuff.

One of the big reasons I haven’t had time for this much neglected site is school. I’m into my final year of Mechanical Engineering. I only have my senior design class this semester. Or rather I did until I thought “hey I’ve got LOTS of free time, I should learn Mandarin!” so now I’m taking Mandarin too. Additionally I’m also relearning/refreshing Spanish and French and maybe, sort of considering Tagalog too. Tagalog likely won’t happen for me this year though. The senior project is great though. We’re designing a replacement for the MIT Handiboard. That may have been a good system at one point but it’s certainly seen better days: it’s too slow, big, heavy, error prone, and expensive. Our system will be small, lightweight, under $50 (preferably about $30), modular, and completely open. You can buy one or roll your own. We should have the beginings of a prototype here in the next week or so. Controlling a robot will come a few days/weeks after that. World domination commences with the new year. As it stands we have more demo ideas then time, effort or money will allow and we’re still coming up with more ideas. Come Design Day in mid-April we’ll hopefully steal the show!

Posted by mandos, filed under electronics, fun, school, website. Date: September 25, 2008, 10:13 pm | Comments Off on Fall 2008

  Dec 13 2007  -   Fall Semester is Over!

Finally! Finals are over and surprisingly I think I did well! I was dreading the robotics final, given how the class went, but as it turned out he wrote an easy test. The first two problems were simple and nearly identical, the third wasn’t bad, and the last one was easy. Fluids could have been hell but turned out to be more like West Valley. Mechatronics I didn’t have a chance to study for at all, but still managed to do half decent. It was easy compared to the midterm, but not an easy test. Regardless, it’s all over now! I don’t have to Think about our robot for a few weeks at least! And for anyone who might be reading and forgotten, dinner Saturday night, 7:30 or so, Ethiopian place.

Posted by mandos, filed under school. Date: December 13, 2007, 2:33 pm | Comments Off on Fall Semester is Over!

  Dec 02 2007  -   Our Robot Walks
robot1 (109k image)

On the left a picture of the robot, on the right a quicktime video of the legs moving. By the end of today we should have the whole thing assembled and walking.

Posted by mandos, filed under school. Date: December 2, 2007, 1:45 pm | Comments Off on Our Robot Walks

  Sep 20 2007  -   Midterms Suck

So the title really says it all. This week is the first round of midterms, not fun for anyone. Fluids doesn’t look like it’ll be that bad tomorrow though. Despite this I’m feeling relaxed, a first for school. lol

Posted by mandos, filed under school. Date: September 20, 2007, 6:24 pm | Comments Off on Midterms Suck

  May 17 2007  -   Crazy Semester is Over

I can’t believe I actually got a B average on all 6 classes, including one A-! It’s all over now and I never have to take that many classes at once again. 20 credits of real engineering classes blows! I just have one class this summer and three in the fall. And two of those are robotics. Speaking of which I ordered an Arduino board the other day (from Sparkfun) and should be able to test out some ideas this summer and get good at microcontroller programming and bot building! I plan on having my team in the fall and spring get the highest grade in the class, by far! I have several tutorials to get through that will show me sensor basics, motor basics, running an LCD, etc. Should be fun!

Posted by mandos, filed under school. Date: May 17, 2007, 2:00 pm | Comments Off on Crazy Semester is Over

  Apr 29 2007  -   Fall Schedule
Spring is finally just about over. Four more finals and then a break. But more importantly, I’ll never have to take more then 3 classes at once again! This is my fall schedule:

Posted by mandos, filed under school. Date: April 29, 2007, 11:33 am | Comments Off on Fall Schedule

  Jan 07 2007  -   Spring Semester

Break went by way too fast! And the semester will go by way too slow I bet. I wish it was quarters instead. Oh well, this coming summer I won’t have class and that will be a bit longer then a 3 week break! It’s just the getting up at 7:30am everyday from now til then that’s going to kill me.

Posted by mandos, filed under school. Date: January 7, 2007, 1:26 pm | Comments Off on Spring Semester

  Dec 31 2006  -   More School

I made it through finals and I think I’m doing ok. I’m just about ready to go back to school and have a week more off which is nice. I also think that I can get between a 3.5 and 4.0 this coming semester. I’ll have two hard classes, two medium (both of which I’m retaking), and one easy class for a total of 17 credits. I’m also, for the first time in a long time, actually excited to go back to school. I used to be very competitive and lost that somewhere along the way (just before my freshman year I think) at which point my academic career tanked. I suspect that I’ll do better this coming semester because of this. I really don’t know a good way of putting it into words; basically as long as I don’t lose momentum along the way I’m assured of doing well for the first time in a long time. I guess the other clue I have is that I’m interested in reading again. I’ve noticed that seems to be a big thing. For a long while now I’ve just had no interest in reading much of anything, whereas now I’m interested in reading everything. I’ve even putting together a list of books I need to acquire to read! I haven’t done that in years.

Posted by mandos, filed under school. Date: December 31, 2006, 2:40 pm | Comments Off on More School

  Dec 17 2006  -   Winter Break! Wahoo!

Yay! It’s finally break winter break! The solstice is a week away. Shannon will be here in a few days! I’ll get home made carmels and fudge in a week! I have a few dozen new ideas and projects to tackle! I might be doing research at the U! I’m stress free and happy for the first time in a long time. 4 months to be precise! My (geeky) goal is to build at least 4 robots this break! And to eat WAY too much fudge.

(I actually went through the papers on my desk last night and found that most of them were notes on various ideas and inventions. After catorgizing them I found that I had 19 since January and most of them months later still seem like good ideas. After reading half of Make 08 today I have atleast 5 more to work on, plus a number of projects I didn’t come up with but want to try anyways. Not enough time….)

Posted by mandos, filed under home, school. Date: December 17, 2006, 12:51 am | Comments Off on Winter Break! Wahoo!

  Dec 10 2006  -   Current Conditions

Outside: raining, 200 yards visibility, low 40s, almost night time
Inside: all lights on, Jimi Hendrix/Tom Petty/Bob Dylan playing, plants need watering
Me: studying for thermodynamics, hoping friends aren’t caught in the snow, smells like oranges

Posted by mandos, filed under bored, home, school, travel. Date: December 10, 2006, 4:36 pm | Comments Off on Current Conditions

  Dec 08 2006  -   Finals

Yay! School is almost over and I think I’m going to do ok! I have to do very well on my finals, but I think I’ll get a B average. Not too bad. Two more lab writeups, a final Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and then I’m free! Like anyone else cares, but hey, this is my site. If you didn’t care you wouldn’t be reading this. :-p

Posted by mandos, filed under school. Date: December 8, 2006, 3:55 pm | Comments Off on Finals

  Nov 06 2006  -   Schedule
Spring is finally just about over. Four more finals and then a break. But more importantly, I’ll never have to take more then 3 classes at once again! This is my fall schedule:

Posted by mandos, filed under school. Date: November 6, 2006, 10:08 pm | Comments Off on Schedule

  Nov 05 2006  -   Week 12

I can’t beleieve that the semester is nearly over! It’s cliche to say life goes faster every year but it really does. This semester has been the hardest and fastest one I’ve ever been in. So much so I feel that I’m barely keeping my head above water (except in fluids, where I don’t even know what direction up is). I’m doing better overall then I have before but the stress isn’t good I’m certain. And to think that tommorow at 1pm I get to register for classes for Next semester and do it all over again! At least come May my GPA will be repaired, mostly. It’ll be better though: I’ll have two hard classes and two easy, and only one lab. Instead of four hard classes with four labs. And that lab will be a lot easier as it won’t have any writeups with it. Just machining metal. Oh well, my biggest concern is what will I do once the semester is over? It’s kept me so busy I won’t know what to do. Sadly this isn’t a joke.

Posted by mandos, filed under school. Date: November 5, 2006, 1:59 pm | Comments Off on Week 12