In-phone video production on a Nokia 5800

A couple of months ago now, I finally ditched prepaid phones again, and got myself a plan, and along with the plan came a new phone.

The phone is Nokia 5800 XpressMusic.

I discovered that with the phone, it is possible to film, perform basic editing, add titles, and background music, and then upload it to YouTube, all from the phone itself

The above video, staring my lovely fiancée Diana, was created from start to finish in camera

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Camcorder Microphone Adapter

This is my latest project. It is a converter box that converts the 3.5mm stereo microphone input on my camcorder, into some common interfaces, Such as XLR, RCA, and dual 3.5 mono plugs.

Specifically, the driving idea was driven by the XLR inputs, and I was contemplating making a simple cable with 2 XLRs, but I decided to go with the jiffy box and extra inputs for flexiblilty

 drawing of the converter

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Blog back on topic!!

OK, so for the best part of this year, my blog has been completely off topic. Hijacked for my Network Media Production course at university, I’ve chosen to keep the posts uni related for the period. I have since worked out how to make other blogs under the same account, which i contemplated switching my NMP stuff to, but due to a couple of reasons, mostly due to me being lazy, I never did the swap

but now the course is over, I can get back onto what I created the blog for, and that’s for posting vaguely interesting things I make and do at home.

You should see a few other blog posts appear that I’ve slowly been working on for the last little while. I probably could have come up with more, but what i’ve got will have to keep you entertained.

Windows Live Writer

I’ve also discovered a cool tool from Microsoft – Windows Live Writer. Its a blogging application, basically a wordprocessor, with blog intergration. It allows for me to write blogs in a desktop application, and post straight to the blog. Its a shame I didn’t come across this before, while Networked Media Production was still going. Nevermind though, one class finishs, but the world keeps on going.

What does that mean for the blog? not a lot really I guess. It makes posting blogs easier, integrating image uploading too, as well as even youtube integration. I’m hoping the easier it is to blog, the more motivated I will be to blog things, and hopefully, more updates for you, the readers



Assignment Two Rationale

In the beginning, I had to decide which part of the assignment to do. Initially, it was between the data visualization, and the video critique. After a short amount of time, I had pretty much decided to do the data visualisation. The only thing left to do was decide on the data set, and get to work.

I threw around a few ideas for the data, including my bank transaction history, as well as sourcing data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Eventually, I decided to go with the ABS statistics from the last census. Specifically dealing with Canberra and the population of each suburb.

The next step is HOW do I do this visualization? There are endless ways to deal with it, ranging from a really basic MSPaint effort, Photoshop, or using something like Excel or Google Charts. Then I remembered hearing about Processing in class. I had heard of it before as a matter of fact, but had never done anything with it, so I thought it would be interesting to give it a try.

After a while of playing around, I managed to come up with this. You will need Java enabled to view it. If you click on the screen, it will draw a red dot. It was a quick mock up of what I was thinking of doing for the assignment, but in the end, the assignment took a slightly different route.

A screen shot of my initial mockup of my idea

A screen shot of my initial mockup of my idea

In order to put the assignment online, I was going to have to host it somewhere, so off to Google to find free web server to host it.After a bit of comparing, I came across host-ed. There are so many different ones out there, but host-ed looked ok, so I signed up.

I found it a rather interesting process working out the free hosting site I used to host the files. I’m sure there are easier ones out there, but after a few minutes, I had it worked out, and had the mock-up online to test if it was going to work online. It worked fine, so it was pretty much decided, Processing was going to be my Visualization engine.

Fairly quickly, the project evolved from the map based visualization in the mock-up above, to a layout similar to the New York Times Olympic Medals Count.

New York Times visualisation of the Olympic medals count

New York Times visualization of the Olympic medals count

The Ranking view is most similar to my project really. I was going to implement something similar to the year slider, but I could not find the information for other years on the Australian Bureau of Statistics site.

I have already mentioned the Australian Bureau of Statistics in this blog. The ABS was my source of data for the assignment. I chose the ABS due to the open nature of the data, requiring citing the ABS as the source, as laid out by this page.

Programming in Processing was fairly straight forward. Having some experience with java made things a easier, as Processing is really an extension of java, which takes care of a lot of things for you.

This doesn’t mean the programming was easy however. There were a few sticky moments for me, one being sorting the list of suburbs. I managed to get the sort by population to work first, using a Bubble Sort algorithm. I understand a Bubble Sort is not very efficient, but when dealing with a small number items, as I was, it was more then sufficient.

When it came to sorting by Alphabet, I ran into the issue of not being able to use less then (<) to do the comparison on a string. Instead I had to do a little more research, and came across a handy way java has of sorting objects, by creating a class that tells Java’s Array.sort() how to deal with your own objects. This made sorting the array of objects even easier. I contemplated changing my sort by population to use Java’s Array.sort(), but chose to leave it, as I could use the time to work on other areas of the project.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the experience of using Processing in making visualizations, and look forward investigating more of its possibilities. The art of data visualization is a large one, and while this assignment has taught me a lot, there is still much to learn out there, and I look forward to learning it.

You can find the link to my assignment HERE

a screenshot of my assignment

a screenshot of my assignment

Simple Meccano Robot Arm: redone

The arm in its current state.

The arm in its current state.

My original Meccano type arm has been one of the more popular posts on my blog, view wise, However, it was never really a finished project. It being christmas and everything, i’ve got  some spare time due to holidays, so i’ve re-visited the robot arm.

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DIY PCB Plotter – Part One

For a very long time, i have always wanted to create an XY plotter / engraver for engraving flat sheet, and engraving my own custom PCBs. Sometimes i get all motivated, and do a lot of reading, and try and work out how i want to do it

for a while, i’ve had sitting in my shed, a box of parts that once was an old XY graph, that looked very similar to this photo:

which i borrowed from THIS PAGE Continue reading