Other Coding Projects
Here are some of the minor projects being worked on at Free Geek.
This shell script uses CVS to update the contents of our websites.
The code is done, but it should be more automatic in its setup and upgrade -- more standardized place where theings go.
This PHP script lives on our public web site and is used to email the contents of web forms to the appropriate staff member or mailing list.
The software works but needs a few enhancements so that the From and the Subject fields in the email can contain data relevant to what is in the form rather than something generic. This will help the hardware grants group work more efficiently.
Reader board display behind the front desk
There might be a reader board somewhere that has a serial interface. The idea would be something like a display of the cumulative volunteer hours logged, or total dollars donated, or something other interesting info. So when someone comes to the front desk to log their hours, within a few seconds of the keystroke that logs their hours, the big, bright red number shown on the wall increments by that much. As a first step, you can just get the board working and be able to control it from your code. Then I'm sure you'll manage to get Martin to set you up with an account and APIs to query the info you need to make the display come to life.
Jenn's gear ratio puzzle
She wants to build a gear puzzle for kids to play with at the Geek Fair in July. A central gear turns continuously by a motor at slow speed, and the kids add gears of various sizes to pegs with the goal of making a final gear turn at a certain speed. (Jenn could probably describe the game better... ask her) She's planning to make the gears from soft material, so fingers can't get hurt! I offered to help set up the motor and install optical sensors on the final gears and interface them to a PC. Code would monitor the pulses from the sensor and compute the speed. I'm not planning to do much more than get the basic electronics working and write just enough code to print the 2 speeds. She could probably use help with more code to make the game more fun and interactive... high scores for best times, pretty display, other features? Talk to Jenn if you want to get involved in this. It's her vision.
Macquarium web interface
I designed the electronics that controls the macquarium to interface to a server. Much code has already been written, but it still needs more work, and the web interface part pretty much doesn't exist at all yet. The goal is to allow the colors of the lights to be controlled (including fading effects between different intensities and colors) and also show a graph of the temperature and heater power over the last several days. Some people have envisioned installing a webcam to show a real time view of the fish... which is a wonderful idea, if only someone wanted to take on the project.