Monday, March 07, 2005

Bits and bytes

So it appears that I am pretty crap at this whole blogging thing... I just can't seem to get into the routine of writing about the stuff I'm doing. It seems that I'd rather be doing, than writing ;-)

Last Friday I got a couple of new toys from Amazon and over the weekend I had some time to have a bit of a play. I got a Nokia HDW-3 bluetooth headset which I intended to use with my computer to do some VoIP (voice over ip) stuff. I managed to get the bluetooth headset recognised and connected by Linux, however try as I might I couldn't get the audio to work with the alsa bluetooth drivers. I will look into this when I get some more time... In the mean time however I tried downloading Skype for Windoze and managed to have a very nice conversation with my parents (in New Zealand) from here in London for the bargin price of only 1.1p a minute. Skype it seems, is a great thing.

Also in my box of Amazon goodies was a new web cam. I got a Logitech Quickcam Pro 4000 for my computer vision project. I managed to get it working under linux in no time at all using the PWC drivers, and had it displaying images using camstream and xawtv. I also managed to get it working with Opencv very quickly. Opencv has just started supporting cameras that use the Phillips chipsets recently as they produce images in the YUV color range. You will need to use the CVS version of opencv for it to work. Unfortunately I didn't get working perfectly. It seems be only capturing the top left hand corner of the image for some reason. I have yet to debug the prolem though.

The other cool thing I did over the weekend was to write a bash script for a friend of mine that will automatically mount a drive for backup. It checks to see if the desired mount point exists eg /mnt/usb and if not attempts to mount it. If it fails it sends an email requesting that the external device be plugged in and switched on. It then retries once every 10mins for an hour and emails success or failure at each stage of the process. When if finally succeeds it runs the command passed as the only argument to the script. It probably doesn't sound very difficult, but I hadn't done any bash scripting for a while and it was a good challenge!

Well, hopefully you hear from me on a slightly more regular basis. I'll try and put up another update on my vision project soon.


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