RTCW and ET master server offline February 26th, 2013
To my great disappointment i had to note today that ID Software has turned off all the master server for “Return To Castle Wolfenstein” and “Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory”.
I have to say that i am really disenchanted of ID Software, given the cult status of those games and the fact that there are still many servers online for the games i cannot understand this decision.
Anyhow, there is hope, some hardcore fans have built their own master server for the games, so you can still play if you add the following lines to your “hosts” file:
Here is how to edit your hosts file:
- Click Start -> All Programs -> Accessories
- Right click Notepad and select “Run as administrator”
- Click Continue on the “Windows needs your permission” UAC window.
- When Notepad opens Click File -> Open
- In the filename field type C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts
- Click Open
- Add the lines to the end of the file
After that you should be able to play both games like nothing ever happened. Have fun!
Your (Cutting) Plotter and Inkscape February 17th, 2013
I own a Cutting Plotter from Helo, which is bundled with HeloCut, a proprietary software which connects to CorelDraw or Inkscape.
This software has many disadvantages:
- It is expensive
- It can only drive a Helo Plotter
- On install it is bundled with your Computer hardware and cannot be installed on 2 Computers or a fresh install of the same Computer!!!
- It is buggy as hell
- The only thing it does (as i found out) is converting the SVG data to HPGL which is an open data format for Plotters (Dating back to the 90′s)
To summarize it: Every time you re-install windows you have to spend 70 Euros (or 50 Euros for an update) for the same software again.
All this points made me search for alternatives. There are a few ones, but none of them are really “good software”. Most are very expensive, and then there is InkCut.
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If you are interested in beautifying your computer and always wanted to know how a cut decal or a lettering is done watch this short how to:
All this was done in my own home, with my own plotter. A cutting plotter is more cheaply than you think.
With a cutting plotter you can do: Paint Stencils, T-Shirts (with a hot press), Decals, drawings, contour cut printed stuff and more.
Arduino: String and Float January 23rd, 2012
Arduino has a nice convenience Class: String.
Although it wraps nicely Chars in Arduino, it misses one really important aspect, it can’t handle Float. I really don’t get it why they didn’t add this, it is so essential in handling strings and it is really a pain in the ass to cover it for yourself since the AVR methods for converting Floats need buffer variables.
So i patched the class for myself, which was much more easy than I thought. Without any deep knowledge in C or C++ I added float and double functionality to the class and I do not understand why it wasn’t done until now. I can now do String to Float and Float to String conversions without any hassle.
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TimeWasters LCD Framework for HD44780 and Arduino January 8th, 2012
At the moment i am working on my Geiger-counter which is based on this hardware, but has many more features added to it (GPS, SD-Card and Buttons). I will post more information as soon as i managed to fixate the last piece of hardware in the case.
While working on it i wanted to have a luminous LCD display and stumbled over a very nice piece of hardware: OLED displays from Electronic Assembly.
OLED displays have many advantages over classical LCD displays:
- Low power consumption
- Perfect contrast
- No viewing angle
- Background is really Black
But after ordering a 2×16 OLED display for round about 30 euros from Reichelt i was not able to correctly use it with the Arduino LiquidCrystal library, it showed most the time pixel garbage.
At first i thought the display was broken, but as i was digging deeper into the matter i found that this display is only HD44780 controller “compatible”. What that means depends on the manufacturer.
How to tame Google November 21st, 2011
There are 3 issues i REALLY hate about the new Google search page:
- The search is way too fuzzy, often i get results for an keyword only related to the keyword i entered
- While i am typing the results page is refreshing, which results in an “optical flickering” of the whole page
- After reloading (and other events i didn’t identify till now) the script sets the cursor on a more or less random point of the search string (or even rearranges the keywords), which results in me typing on places in the search string i didn’t want to
All those points combined compelled me to eliminate those issues with the tools i had at hand: The Opera browser.
TimeWaster’s Geiger Counter v1.1
This software is designed to work with the Arduino Uno and the Radiation Sensor Board for Arduino from Cooking Hacks, but should also work with your own hardware design if you adapt either your hardware or the software.
I suggest to take a look at the documentation of the Radiation Sensor Board, it gives a good summary on radiation detection and the hardware used (Especially the geiger-mueller-tube).