Friday, April 22, 2016

Enrique's Calculator

Python 2.7.11 (v2.7.11:6d1b6a68f775, Dec  5 2015, 20:32:19) [MSC v.1500 32 bit (Intel)] on win32 
Type "copyright", "credits" or "license()" for more information.
>>> raspberryPiCalculator()
This is a Calculator made with Raspberry Pi
This is a Calculator made with Raspberry Pi
This is a Calculator made with Raspberry Pi
This is a Calculator made with Raspberry Pi
This is a Calculator made with Raspberry Pi
This is a Calculator made with Raspberry Pi

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#1>", line 1, in <module>
CalculatorError: We get it...

Recently I made a calculator with a raspberry pi. I was inspired by a calculator that someone had made with a raspberry pi:

>>> backwardsReflection(what, how)

My goal was to make a functioning calculator that could perform basic arithmetic. I was confident that I could do this, because I had experience with breadboards from my work with Arduino (My reflection on that...). There were many small projects within this project, for example, it required knowledge of programming, bread-boarding, basic knowledge of Linux based OSs, and the proper use of Raspberry Pi GPIO Pins.

>>> for i in Steps:

Step 1: Set up Raspberry Pi (Raspbian Jessie)
Step 2: Set up Rpi.GPIO Python Module
Step 3: Code Calculator (Python)
Step 4: Set up buttons (code and hardware)
Step 5: Set up display (code and hardware)
Step 6: combine everything
Step 7: Run program on boot
Step 8: Make frame

My strategy for this was to make as many prototypes as possible. I made 3 prototypes for the basic calculator code, 1 prototype for the buttons, 1 prototype for buttuns plus the calculator code, tried 2 different modules to handle the display, and a final prototype which incorporated everything. My materials were 1 Raspberry Pi, 5 breadboard buttons, 3 breadboards, 1 LCD display, many jumper cables, and whatever I could find to make the frame.

>>> selfReflection(theWork, Me)

The assignment turned out to be different from what I imagined. It took me longer than expected. My original goal was to replicate the disco calculator, but I ended up loosing motivation for the sound part, and decided that the calculator itself is an achievement itself. I judged the final product by the calculator on the video, and when I finished, I decided that this was probably the closest I would get with the materials available.

I think this work shows how I like programming and how I am able to research and solve issues. My biggest Issue was the fact I did not have a proper breadboard number pad, so I ended up using a keyboard number pad instead. In contrast, my former partner wanted to use a transistor ("Knob as he calls it) to set the numbers. I decided not to do that because it had all the bad aspects of a keyboard (CLI and not real-time, which means that you have to press enter before pressing an operation, unlike normal calculators) without the benefit of a familiar interface.

>>> forwardsReflection(change)

If I was to change something from my project it would be to optimize my code. I now realize how many common immature programmer mistakes I made, suck as complete misuse for functions (global variables EVERYWHERE) and making the code very confusing. I would approach this project differently by coding it differently. I would improve the interface by adding a real breadboard-number pad, to make it easier to use (also it is really heavy, but i think that gives it some aesthetic).

Web server reflection

 Backwards Reflection

The web server began as an alternative for Makerspace's use of Google's Blogger blogging platform. We had a Raspberry Pi that could function as the web server.  Martin and I followed the instructions at Gregg Housh's website. Although the author says they are outdated, the instructions are clear and mostly work. My secondary project was teaching Martin, so I guided Martin through the instructions.


The web server is currently in its third resurrection. Our goal was to have a functional web site to replace the Makerspace blog hosted on Google's Blogger platform. I had to write this blog post on Blogger, so the project has not been successful, and Martin quit. Maybe I wasn't inspiring enough for him to want to learn. Enrique is now my partner and we work more as a team rather than teacher and student, so this time should be quicker to get a functioning web site.

Forward reflection

This time around, we are going to work on the web design and server at the same time so that by the time the server is up, it has a theme to use. Enrique wants to work on the server, so I am going to be doing the web design. Before we start up Ghost, our blogging platform, we need to make sure our theme is installed first, because that is what caused the problem last time.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Reflection Blog Daniel

Backwards Reflection:

I was watching an interesting video on YouTube a month ago, it was titled "Hydrophobic Materials". The video inspired me to try to make a hydrophobic spray, and try to imitate the video´s results. The first thing I did was look on Amazon products I could use for this experiment, but the products available were very expensive, the cheapest on put there was 65.99 dollars. We then decided to look up formulas online to create hydrophobic sprays. One we found used lacquer spray, and multi-surface polish. The polish works as a "glue" for the lacquer spray. The polish makes sure the spray attaches to the surface of material being treated. From the materials that we needed we could not get the lacquer spray so we had to settle for lacquer cream.

Our project was successful. The first board was the widest one, or the image to the left. The other board was not as wide, that one we used to try a different technique to spread out the lacquer creme. both bards worked very well, but after 5-10 experiments the hydrophobic components of it disappeared making it less and less hydrophobic after every try. So compared to the professional spray, we still have a lot to improve. Here is a video of the boards in action.

The project shows how I get my inspiration, from simple yet interesting things. 
Forward Reflection:
There is a lot of space for improvement in this project. First of all the materials. The materials we used were the ones we needed, but not the type. The lacquer was a creme not a spray which affected the way we spread the lacquer around, some areas had more and some areas had less. I would also have created a way for the lacquer to dry uniformly. All this would be things I would take into consideration next time.

Hyowon's Reflection

Backwards Reflection
Since last quarter, most of my assignments were to make floor plans and work them on SketchUp. I made my first floor plan on November 3, and until now, I made five floor plans. I started doing these floor plans because when I become a grown-up, I want to be an architecture. My goal is to make ten floor plans for the end of the quarter.
I gave a lot of effort on my floor plans  because I had a lot of fun while working on it. Most of the time, it turned out the way I wanted, but when it didn’t I started all over again until it was the way I wanted.
Forward Reflection

For this quarter, I will try to achieve my goal which is to make ten floor plans. I will be more diligent and try to be a hard worker.

The Furniture Project

Reflection of Ho

Reflection Martin 21/4/2016

    The assignment that I was supposed to make was to create a blog with Matthew utilizing the Raspberry Pi. The server would run on a program called Nginx (pronounced "Engine X"), Ghost, a blogging platform, and many other smaller programs. For the most part, we utilized a guide that was provided by Gregg Housh. Afterwards, we'd use a guide provided by Ghost about customizing the server's aesthetic whilst testing it for security using Kali Linux on a separate computer. 
    Unfortunately, several complications arose due to the guide we used possibly being dated as well as Nginx not being as popular as its alternative, Apache. This led to several errors that came up, one that I'll be specifically going over later, had little information online, including a security error related to information of the server leaking. The other, and even more fatal, error was related with an issue where in Nginx would not restart; this made it so that the everything would have to be restarted completely. Not only did this error happen once, but it happened twice 💀😱. The first time, it happened because someone accidentally unplugged the Raspberry Pi. We tried to solve this by using a different operating system, but that failed too. The second time it happened because we attempted to restart the server so the blog would update, but Nginx wouldn't restart. This is what ultimately made me leave the project, because this whole process took about a semester and a half.
    If I were to do this project again, I would look for other alternatives as to how to set up ghost, or at least utilize a GUI. This would make the process easier and faster, since using a command line is slower and occasionally confusing.

Reflection Blog Post - Julie

Reflection on Project

This quarter I jumped into a new project that Daniel started that mainly focused on trying to make a hydrophobic coating.  The goal of the project was to try to repel almost any liquid on the piece of wood that we were using.  This  is how it is supposed to work. 

We looked up many ways in trying to find alternative materials that we could use to make this. I had bought 2 materials that was said to work. These two materials were clear lacquer spray and multi surface polish. We began by applying the first coat of the clear lacquer spray and then applying the multi surface polish cream that I had bought. After letting it dry a whole day, we checked to see if it worked. The results were not very clear but it did work. We were for sure, therefore we decided to do another trial with a different piece of wood. We did the same steps and waited another day. I checked to see if it worked and it did. But, it was not the results that I was looking for. Here are pictures of the process and the final look of it. 

I feel like this project is not yet completed and there is many room for improvement. I think that using a multi surface polish spray instead of cream, hopefully, would make it work better. But overall, I believe that I did a good job in trying to get this project to work by buying the materials and trying to get it to work. Although, there were days where I could have did more trials with different ways in trying to improve my project. As a learner, I can improve in trying to find different materials and liquids to make this work better and more efficient. As for the project, I think that it can be improved a lot, judging it by the video that is above. Our goal was to make it work like how it worked in the video that I added but we still haven't gotten there. In conclusion, I think that our work shows how much we tried to make it work even though the outcome wasn't the best. 

Below are some videos of how it turned out:

video video

Calculator Reflection:

Backwards Reflection:
The goal was to make a calculator that plays music when buttons are pressed using a Raspberry Pi. We had to set up the Raspberry Pi, programme the calculator, and then put it all together physically. The setup was the longest part, we had to get a display, and setup all the software needed to properly use a Raspberry Pi. Before setting up the computer, we already had an early version of the coded but we had to discard it, and use it as a pseudocode since it wasn't compatible with a physical version. We used a keypad, a LED display, and buttons on a GPIO breadboard to make the physical version of the calculator.

I quit the project after we got the LED to work, since I wasn't interested as much anymore, and we had a couple of disagreements with Enrique. He finished it by himself really well. He finished the programming, and put it all together in a physical hull so it does not look like a raspberry pi with a bunch of wires anymore. Midway through the project we decided that doing a music playing calculator was too complicated, so we decided on a normal calculator. I lose interest in things really quick.

Forward Reflection:
If I had my way, I would have used a knob to select a number instead of a keypad. But Enrique said that it is very unreasonable, so we ended up doing it his way. One of the reasons I quit.