OpenSCAD Thumbnailer for Gnome

OpenSCAD thumbnailer example

If you're a heavy user of OpenSCAD then you'll eventually get to the point where you have folders full of .scad files, with no idea what they are. Here's how to make a thumbnailer that will automatically generate a preview image that will display .scad files in Nautilus.

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Introducing Pilothouse - A Robotic Sailboat

Over the past 6 months I've been working on developing an open source robotic sailboat called Pilothouse.

The goal of Pilothouse is to make an open source robotic sailboat that can autonomously navigate and sail itself long distances, and to prove that this can be done using the latest web technology: Node.js.

Pilothouse has a number of awesome features, including:

  1. Robotic sailing, with 100% all natural renewable energy.
  2. WiFi based monitoring with remote GUI.
  3. Full Ubuntu Linux environment onboard.
  4. Advanced sensors, including the latest GPS and MEMS.
  5. Potential for expansion into a fully autonomous ocean going science vessel.
  6. Javascript Node.js based control system.
  7. Open source software (GitHub).

At this time, this project is just starting to get into autonomous control. Here's the first sail, with autonomous sail control and manual RC rudder.

As part of the Pilothouse project the base station displays all relevant boat state information, sent over WiFi.

The boat transmits the current state over WiFi, which is received by a long range USB WiFi antenna on the laptop. No software besides a web browser is needed.

This project was inspired by my volunteer work with Diane at RoboSail, an awesome project to teach kids programming through robotic sailboats.

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Intel Edison Benchmarks

I've selected the Intel Edison as the embedded Linux processor of choice for this project. But how does it perform? Let's find out.

Intel Edison on a Sparkfun Blocks stack. Credit Sparkfun.

The nearest competitor to the Edison is the RasberryPi2, which was released on February 2, 2015 at $35. The Intel Edison was released in September 2014, and costs about $85 depending on configuration.

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Sequelize Association Subquery Examples

Sequelieze is a great tool for database ORM mapping in Node.js, but it can have a pretty steep learning curve. In this post we go over some useful patterns related to subqueries in SQL, and their Sequelize equivelents.

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