A Do-It-Yourself Book Scanner

I found an instructable for a DIY book scanner. There seems to be a thriving online community based around building DIY book scanners as well. I have a lot of books I’d like to scan into electronic format. There’s a startup called One Dollar Scan that will scan your books for a dollar. Unfortunately it’s based in the US. It would cost me a fortune to send my books over there to be scanned. A DIY book scanner sounds like the ideal solution for me.

My Evolving Media Setup

My media centre for the past 7 years has been a Mac Mini with an external hard disk. I’ve been playing music through iTunes and either watching movies from DVDs I’ve ripped to the hard-drive, or renting movies from iTunes. I’ve decided that this setup is antediluvian.

I am slowly moving to a media setup for the 21st century. I’ve decided that everything needs to be stored on the cloud. No local storage. This means I use Spotify for music and Netflix for movies/tv. I also don’t want to have to go over to a computer in order to search for movies or music. I want to be able to search for media on my iPad and stream it to the TV/stereo.

In order to accomplish this, I’ve bought an Apple TV. This is connected to my TV via HDMI, and will shortly be connected to my stereo (once the Optical Digital to Stereo converter arrives). I set it up last night, and everything seems to be working well.

Working on the iPad

For the last month I’ve been doing a contract at Canary Wharf for HSBC. In an effort to minimise the amount of stuff I carry, I’ve just been taking my iPad into work with me. I’ve really missed having my home emacs environment available.

Last night I was thinking about this and I decided to get a bluetooth keyboard I could leave at the office. I can ssh from my iPad to one of my Amazon cloud instances, and have an emacs / development environment set up there. Consequently I bought a Cerulian Technology Mini Wireless Keyboard. It was really easy to connect to my iPad, but the keyboard is quite cramped to type on. The tab key especially is miniscule, so not great for Python coding. It’s still the first few hours of use, but I’ll keep using this and see how well it works over the long term.

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Hacking the EZ430 Chronos Watch on the Mac

Today my TI EZ430 Chronos Watch arrived, and I spent a little bit of time hacking it on my MacBook Air. It turns out that even though the documentation seems to require either a Windows machine or a Linux box, you can communicate with the watch from the Mac by modifying the serial port information in the TCL source. I learnt this from a Google Groups post, and I’ve copied the modified TCL source onto my Github account.

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Top TV Series on IMDB as of 2011

Here is a list of the top 100 TV series on IMDB as of today. I have ordered them based on year produced, and then sorted them within each year based on 60% IMDB score and 40% the number of people who voted for each title. I am personally more interested in the newer stuff that is being produced that people are liking, so this was my query to data-mine the results.

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Developers as Capital

I’ve just been reading this Forbes article called “The Rise of Developeronomics”. The author argues that because increasingly software is the core value proposition that differentiates companies from each other, that software developers are more and more becoming the wealth creators in society. The author recommends investing in software developers as a way of leveraging your own capital. This article builds on an earlier article by David Kirpatick called “Now Every Company is a Software Company”.

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