The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Hacknight – 08/30/05

Posted by Deliverator on August 30th, 2005

I have been in pain all day due to some oral surgery performed yesterday. I have been clenching virtually every part of my body that can be clenched, punching walls and swearing (not so much) under my breath. I have found it difficult to concentrate on anything and articulate myself in meaningful way, in part due to the pain and near constant taste of blood in my mouth, but also because I didn’t sleep much last night – due to the pain and blood in my mouth. After a few handfuls of over-the-counter pain killers, I shuffled off to hacknight. I arrived almost an hour and a half after hacknight’s usual start time, and half expected the meeting to be over. Casey and Matt were both there with new projects brewing in their evil minds. The evening’s conversation was brief but productive.

  • Matt and I discussed cobling together some recent freecycling finds into a web controlled wireless camera sniffer. The basic idea is to use some stepper motors to precisely (and reproduceably) point a high gain parabolic dish that overlooks a good deal of Seattle. This antenna will feed the video receiver unit of a 2.4 GHZ video sender/receiver device that Matt has had sitting in his closet for quite some time. This unit has a bad reputation for causing interference with nearby unlicensed 2.4 GHZ gear, so has sat unused for quite some time. The video receiver will be wired to one of the spare analog LCDs that are in my closet for local viewing, and a video capture card that will stream any video this contraption picks up to a web page. The idea is to have the whole thing controllabe from a web page and allow web users to create a database of found cameras (i.e. baby monitor at x=134.2 degrees y=-25.82 degrees). In some strange way, this reminds me a bit of google maps sightseeing and some of the internet “hunting” sites. It should be a fun project and will let us do something constructive (in the artistic sense) with all the weird gadgets we have filling our respective closets.
  • Casey is researching WiFi VOIP phones for possible use in an entrepreneurial venture to bring cheaper phone service into remote, small communities in Alaska. I am going to loan him some older PC boxen to set up a prototyping environment. Broadcom seems to have a wifi phone reference platform that may be just the ticket. Matt had a Zyxel WiFi phone that I got to play around with.
  • Some random pedestrian’s came up to our table towards the end of the evening and asked us if we knew how they could get online through nocharge. Nocharge is a free (as in beer) dial-up isp that has come in handy in a pinch in the past. They have an interesting business model, whereby they give away free dial-up access and offer pay as you go phone support for $10/call. They get their revenue in a few other ways as well, but for the most part, it is free to the user.
  • I have resolved to byte the bullet and sign up for cellular internet access from either Sprint or Verizon within a couple weeks. I am still mulling over some of my options for what to use for an access card, but will order something off eBay shortly.