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Rainbow Cube - here it is!

March 08, 2010

Yay, I finally got my Rainbow Cube from Seeedstudio. It came in various parts which required happy soldering. Now, I can start experimenting and porting mtXcontrol to support Rainbow Cube as well - stay tuned!

My Rails Patch: reload on default scope - committed!

March 03, 2010

uiuiui, long time no read, as I’m quite busy lately. Just a quick update, my rails patch - fixing ‘reload’ on a AR with default scope - got finally committed - nice:

mtXcontrol meets Launchpad meets Rainbowduino

December 30, 2009

That’s it! I just released mtXcontrol version 1.1 with lot of updates and improvements. One major improvement is full support for Novation Launchpad: just draw your sequences and display them on your Launchpad! Even better, push the buttons to change the color, add, remove, copy & paste frames. For that mtXcontrol makes usage of the Launchpad Processing library which I released some days ago.

But Rainbowduino support improved as well. I fixed lots of bugs and implemented requested features. Now you can control the display brightness, save up to 10 frames onto the device and serial port is auto detected. In general, I defined an basic API to communicate with the devices, which allows you to add more devices easily (e.g. monome!). With that, all Rainbowduino stuff is moved in a separate Rainbowduino Processing library.

See official mtXcontrol project page for more.

Here it is: Launchpad Processing lib!

December 20, 2009

Yay, I finally released my Launchpad Processing Library. Please see it’s project page and source at github.

Videos & more are coming soon. (Yes, this includes an updated mtXcontrol Version with Launchpad support!!)

Hacking the Nabaztag

December 02, 2009

Alright, I spend some time with my new toy Nabaztag ‘Nabaccia

What confused me most: there have been two Firmware version out there. Some project depend on the old one, some other on the, new Jabber based, version.

Here are some interesting projects I’ve found: (outdated, MAC OS X) (PHP) (python) (windows only)

A working Proxyserver: jNabServer

A good summery how to start ‘nabazhacking’ is here:

A very detailed look into the electronics of the rabbit:

Forums: (french) (german) (english)

Blogs: (german)

Quite complete list of other sources:

GPG - up and running with Snow Leopard and

November 30, 2009

Ok, I finally managed to set up my GPG Mail System. Thanks to the latest version of GPGMail and gpg (1.4.10) (via macports sudo port install gnupg) it’s running fine and smooth again with Snow Leopard and Perfect!

See MacGPG and GPGMail for more…

Find my GPG-Key here

UPDATE: btw. to get GPGP work with gmail, check out FireGPG, a nice plugin for Firefox, which works perfect for me on Mac OS X. Unfortunately I haven’t found any Safari solution yet…

If your ruby serial port doesn't read what' you're sending...

November 27, 2009

Some days ago I got my Novation launchpad an immediately started hacking with some Ruby and Arduino flavor. I wanted to port ccb23 Raindrops Project to launchpad.

For that, I needed Serial communication within ruby. Thanks to ruby-serialport first steps went quite well. I could write OR read from and to Arduino easily. But for some reasons, writing AND reading using the same instance didn’t work out.

I used a simple ‘send-input-back’ sketch on the Arduino side. So every byte I’m sending is returned back. I checked with the Arduino IDE Serialmonitor and a simple Processing script - everything worked alright. But using ruby it was different. Writing to serial port worked okay, but reading from it was just random. Sometimes I read the response, sometime I didn’t - really, really weird. Some headaches and a lot of time testing I finally found the solution: just open two instances of the serial port. One for sending, one for reading - and, surprise, surprise - it works perfect! Who would have guessed that!? Strange..

// To be completed
require ‘serialport’
port_write =
port_read =

Ok, continuing hacking, more soon…

How to sync my mp3 Songs rating in iTunes across multiple Libraries

November 24, 2009

By now, I havn’t find any good solution to share my mp3 across multiple systems and disks. I’ve some on my local machine, some at work and some on my external harddisk to archive. Luckily, when copying my tracks to another library duplicates are ignored. But what annoys me most is that my ratings don’t get copied, as iTunes doesn’t store it within the file. Some while ago I found a solution by storing the number of stars into the ‘Grouping’ Field, so I can recover the rating afterwards. Now, I came up with this little applescript do automate the write and recover process. Just run this script, copy you mp3 to the other library, run the script again, and voilá, you ratings are back - nice!

(* small apple script to save rating into grouping field and
vice versa. Perfect to persitent store your rating witin the file

tell application “iTunes”
repeat with stars from 1 to 5
set rating_value to stars * 20
set group_name to “” & stars & “ Stars”

set sel to (every track whose rating is rating_value and grouping is “”)
repeat with aTrack in sel
tell aTrack
set grouping to group_name
end tell
end repeat

set sel to (every track whose rating is 0 and grouping is group_name)
repeat with aTrack in sel
tell aTrack
set rating to rating_value
end tell
end repeat
end repeat
end tell

Btw. for each Star rating I do have a smart playlist which allows me to find those quickly.

Ruby: a nice way to get name of current method you're in:

November 16, 2009

This is a nice extension to get the name of the method you’re currently in (Ruby < 1.9)

module Kernel
def this_method
caller[0] =~ /`([^’]*)’/ and $1

for Ruby >= 1.9 you can uses this:

module Kernel
def this_method

[see Stack Over Flow as well]

Lot's of Ruby and Rails Tricks

November 12, 2009

Quick, short post I always had in the queue:

Check this out, here some lists of good techniques to get started and to impove your Ruby and Rails code:

[Awsm picture taken from DesignShark]

Orangutan Robot Controller

October 29, 2009

Ui, I just stumbled over the Orangutan Robot Controller. Funny, as it’s name is similar to this blogs name ;-) - to bad is has discontinued

Programming Interactivity: A Designer's Guide to Processing, Arduino, and openFrameworks

October 23, 2009

I just stumbled upon this interesting sounding book by Joshua Noble:

Programming Interactivity: A Designer’s Guide to Processing, Arduino, and openFrameworks.

A few of the topics covered: Basic C, Processing, openFrameworks, Gesture and touch recognition, Motors and Servos, LEDs and LCDs, LilyPad and many more! - Wow, that’s sounds promising - wanna have!

mtXcontrol wins the Seeedstudio Rainbowduino Carnival

October 22, 2009

Yay - the voting for the Seeedstudio Rainbowduino Carnival Competition is over. And, guess what, my project mtXcontrol made the run - I won the first price! Yipheee.. that’s 12x Rainbowduinos + 100$ Shopping voucher which I’ll invest in buying Xbee Stuff.. Can’t wait to get my hands on! Stay tuned…

Thanks to everybody voting for my project!

Btw. I just released the latest version 1.02 with some bugfixes and new features in the API…

Rainbowduino Carnival Competition Voting has started

October 07, 2009

As mentioned in earlier post, I submitted the first public version of mtXcontrol to the Rainbowduino Carnival Competition by Seeedstudio. Now it’s time to vote for the best projects:

Express your opinion!

I know, the decision will be quite hard, as a lot of other cool projects were submitted as well. Like this cool Daft Punk Helmet or this nice lipsync speaking Robot

Please check out the Raindrop Rainbowduino Game by my friend ccb23 as well. It’s a Rainbowduino connected via I2C to an Arduino with an Accelerometer. With that you can move the red dot on the Matrix and avoid hitting the falling blue raindrops. nice!

Make your vote!

mtXcontrol 1.0 released - as contribution to Seeedstudio Carnival Competition

October 06, 2009

As contribution for Seeedstudio Carnival I’m proud to release the version  1.0 of mtXcontrol today. It’s feature list extended quite a lot, beside new frame editing features like Frame moving and Copy & Paste, it now comes with Letter / Number placer to easily draw characters. Additional the frame preview bar makes it easily to navigate between the frames. As of this, it was time to get an proper UI with lot’s of buttons for those who couldn’t remember all those keyboard shortcuts (like me ;-))

So check out this Demo:

Check out it’s new project page with details, video and sources to download: