What’s New?

So, what’s new?

Well, the Orb is temporarily on hold while I wait to be able to find, or afford parts. I need a certain type of LED, which is generally called a SuperFlux LED and they are proving hard to find. The reason I want these LEDs specifically is because unlike normal LEDs they are square, so they fit together in arrays very nicely. Additionally you can get huge viewing angles and they will sink a lot more current (and therefore be more bright) than normal LEDs. So far I have only been able to find a supplier that will sell me tubes of 60 each. So, with three colors and at just over a dollar per part… well, I don’t really have the money to spend $400 on LEDs right now.

If you know of a place to buy SuperFlux LEDs in quantities less than 20, let me know!

In that same vein, I’m finally looking to buy an oscilloscope. I’ve been working on electronics most of my life and I’ve always wanted one, but they were always so damn expensive. Well, they are still damn expensive but I think it’s probably time to get one. I’m looking at a Tektronix Digital Storage Oscilloscope. Either a TDS 220 or TDS 210. Both are ultra cool, and can be had for around $800 on eBay. The only problem is I keep getting outbid 🙂 Soon, soon.

I almost had a TDS 210 yesterday, but at the last minute I discovered that the description of the item was false and the scope was kinda broken. I let that one go.

In the software realm, I’m currently writing what will be a free, open source network/remote backup suite. It will let you have a central (or distributed) backup storage area and will be able to back up from most platforms out there. Initial targets include Windows, Linux, Solaris, BSD and OS X. It supports the idea of community backups, so if you want to make a deal with a friend to back each other’s stuff up you can do that very easily. It has incremental, full and differential backups and all the communications and storage is encrypted. That way you can have your friend back up your sensitive or private files and he can’t read them.

I’m looking at probably a month or so before I do an initial realease for it. So check back here now and then for news. I’d also love to know if something like this already exists so I can stop wasting my time if so 🙂

In personal news, I started to study Japanese (nihongo) a few days ago, which has been really interesting. I’ve always wanted to learn another language, and the romance languages always seemed so boring, and similar. Japanese is a pretty strong departure from what I am used to, so it’s going to be a pretty tough experience, but I think it will be fun. I picked up “Pimsluer’s Japanese for English Speakers” on Audible, the Random House Japanese-English Dictionary and Living Language’s “Japanese Course Book” which I’ve been studying like crazy. So, if you’d like me to tell you that I understand Japanese a little (Nihongo ga sukoshi wakarimas) or tell you that the weather is nice (Ii otenki desu ne) I’m your man. For anything else, better give me a few years 🙂

And that’s it for now.

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