An Update (Christmas 2009)

27th December, 2009

Here is an update on some bits and pieces I have been doing since starting my new job way back in October now.

Descending Fog (Steps to Work)

Misty winter morning steps to work.


Arrival of the massive box for my new PC.


Because there was a video on YouTube of the PC game Witcher’s strange monkey creature, or Mamune which has subsequently been removed I decided to record my own and upload it.



Posted in General Stuff by Simon

New Site, Old Browser

30th September, 2009

Even though I started this new design with the feeling that I should just ignore Internet Explorer 6, I did realise that there were still visitors doomed to using this browser, either because of their hardware/operating system limitation, familiarity or their company’s refusal to update. I also had all the bits and pieces for adapting a site for 5 and 6 compatibility already in place, and had been adding them as and when I recognised old scenarios that needed them.

So I took this opportunity to start up my old computer, which is running a pretty much clean install of Windows 98 updated as far as it was supported, all on a Pentium 4 with 512mb of RAM and the high-end Geforce 2 GPU: astronomical power compared to what 95 and 98 were intended to work with normally. And then there is Internet Explorer 6!

I was a little bit astonished to discover that despite my fears that the new CSS would collapse in a heap, everything was generally rendering exactly where it was meant to be. The only issues were superficial ones, such as transparent PNGs rendering as grey which were easily fixed. In the end I did make an effort to ensure that users browsing with IE6 do have a reasonable experience.

Posted in Web Design by Simon

Finished Final Year Project

30th May, 2009

Presented in the last half hour of the first day… Here are a couple of photos I took while waiting after setting up in the middle room of Babbage floor 2.

Projected Desktop {Project Presentation} (Babbage Building)

Wires and Bits {Project Presentation} (Babbage Building)

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Project Update

20th May, 2009

A typical picture update of the project from both aspects, the 3D and the physical interface.

Digital Atmosphere

Atmosphere 3 (3D)

Terrain Spikes

Testing the spike generator for visual feedback on the terrain:

Terrain Spikes (3D)

Pulse Rate Sensor


Sensor in the Handle



12th May, 2009

Although I’m still waiting to find out if the PCB I requested a week ago is ready I have been able to get on with trying to produce the remaining electronics.

I’ve found out that the Analogue-to-Digital-Converter of my USB board is pretty sensitive and simply connecting my circuits resulted in extreme noise rather than a smooth stable reading. So in order to solve this I’ve placed some beefier 1uF (rather than the 0.1uF on my GSR circuit) capacitors between the output and the ground which seems to stabilise it perfectly.

Powerful LEDs

Blue and Red Ultra Bright LEDs

Hopefully they will illuminate the centre of my handle, which now has acrylic beads glued into the holes in order to catch the light. I took this photo with my light on, not in the dark…

Thermistor Circuit

Testing My Temperature Circuit

Note the purple capacitor across the thermistor. Without it the circuit gives out a perfectly stable current, but the ADC doesn’t seem to think so.

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A Few More Production Shots

6th May, 2009

Just a couple more photos I’ve taken along the path of producing my biofeedback interface handle.

Simple biofeedback measurement and amplification:

Circuit Board


After I had started making finger grooves:


Turned Wood

4th May, 2009

I decided to take a quick shot as a preview of the turned banksia nut wood before further processing. The material of the first one (bottom) was too soft to produce my modified bullet shape design, so I reverted to the simpler shape for the second nut.


The two banksia nuts turned into the handle shape.

The next stage will be to hollow out the centre of the handle to allow light and wires through.

Adding a Joystick to DirectX

29th April, 2009

Having acquired a joystick I was eager to try it out in my DirectX project. This is theoretically a very easy thing to do, but of course, it isn’t turning out that way. While the sample project and tutorial instructions are incredibly easy to follow, and the sample project compiles and runs perfectly well, starting to apply this code my own project is not straightforward.

Something which I am now starting to accept is pretty typical of Microsoft’s code is that they do something totally differently to the way that they themselves have said it should be done, and don’t bother explaining WHY.

Nevertheless I shall persevere with adding this to my project with the intention of linking camera control to the joystick, but the responsiveness of the motion will be dependant on the strength of biofeedback signal.

Update: I discovered I was trying to fix an issue that didn’t exist when all that was required was including the dinput8.lib file to the project…

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