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My Sabbatical so far

Released on: 2023-08-22

I took some time to extend myself with some intellectual challenges. This is no holiday, but has been a lot of fun so far. Here are some highlights:

Table of contents

handWavey

If you look at nothing else; this is the one to look at.

TL;DR: A more intuitive/usable way to control your computer using a leapmotion/ultraleap controller.

There have been several implementations of this idea over the years. But I have yet to see one that I’d be happy to use on a daily basis. That’s what this project was for. I actually got it running so well that by the end of the project, I was actually faster with handWavey than I was with a mouse. To hit that home a little further, that’s comparing 4 months of usage to >30 years of usage.

I later did some informal ergonomics testing compared to a mouse, which involved not using it for a while. When I came back to it; I was a little out of practice, which really highlighted some things that needed improving. I’ve got most of the way through those, and the thing is an utter pleasure to use now.

This is my flagship project for my sabbatical, and there’s still much more to come…

A shot from the video where I'm demoing handWavey, with some graphics to give it a certain movie feel.
Above: A shot from the video where I’m demoing handWavey, with some graphics to give it a certain movie feel.

Machine Learning Stream Cleaner

TL;DR: I developed two machine learning models. 1 to identify bad GPS/location data points. And 1 to predict what they should have been.

mlsc predicting the correct value.
Above: mlsc predicting the correct value.

When I worked on my Auto Pilot project, I wrote a cool algorithm to detect bad data points. I wanted to replicate this with Machine Learning because I understood the data well. This exercise was purely academic, and for the purposes of getting a grasp of the current concepts. But it was quick to get the results that I was after, so I moved on.

The prediction was much more interesting. And there’s a lot more that I want to do with it. Especially in the the preparation of the training data set.

Auto-pilot

TL;DR: An auto-pilot for flying a plane, written in my own Language for robotics, Achel.

Written in my language, achel, this auto-pilot has been a long term project. Initially to show off the capabilities of achel, but has brought many interesting challenges along the way.

The auto pilot in action.
Above: The auto pilot in action.

Resolution deep dive

TL;DR: A series of deep dives into how much resolution on your phone’s display you can actually make use of.

This was way more satisfying than I expected. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to get anything conclusive out of it, but the project just kept on giving. I hope to release more of what I found when time allows.

To help quantify various observations, I wrote an Android app.

An animated series of macro photos of my test patterns on a Pentile display.
Above: An animated series of macro photos of my test patterns on a Pentile display.

Storage deep dive

TL;DR: An old scam has just gone mainstream, and people are going to lose their data.

I’ve always considered Amazon to be one of the reasonably safer online markets, and reasonably on-top of the scams. After seeing way too many of those too-good-to-be-true listings for USB storage on Amazon, I wanted to do some of my own testing to see if the market really had advanced that quickly, or if the scammers were getting through more easily now.

This was a win-win for me:

  • If the product was legitimate; I had some use-cases that would greatly benefit from cheap storage.
  • If not; I’d have some interesting content to post.

A listing that has been removed, and since replaced many times over.
Above: A listing that has been removed, and since replaced many times over.

Handheld 3D photography with a single camera

TL;DR: Long distance hand-held 3D photography with a single camera.

In the beginning, I was happy to get 1 usable tripod shot in 3 hours. By the end I was taking doing it hand-held, and nailing almost every shot within seconds.

The gist of it is to take two shots from two different horizontal positions. The trick was to focus on the right things to get a usable shot. - There are some inaccuracies that you can get away with, while there are others that you definitely can’t.

A 3D photo of a landscape.
Above: A 3D photo of a landscape.

Home office

TL;DR Setting up my office to work for me.

One of the first things I did was re-do my office. It won’t be for everyone, but I love it.

I use a couple of 4k projectors mounted to an overhead bar as my main display and have everything I need close to hand, but out of the way.

There have been a lot of changes since this post because I’ve continued to evolve the design. One of the most important changes is some strategically placed shielding so that I have have the window open during the day time without getting glare on the display. I’ve also added a whole heap of sound dampening.

The result is a home office where I can attain levels of productivity that I have never gotten close to in any form of shared office space.

A photo stitch of my office.
Above: A photo stitch of my office.

Much more

There’s were just some highlights. I’ve done a lot more than this.

Have a look at some of the related posts below to see more.

This post references

2022-03-07
The RandomKSandom series is the spiritual successor to FunnyHacks. Here, you can find all of the posts about it.

This post is referenced by

My CV had gained so much weight that it was hard to do anything with it any more, and it was hard to read. So I did something about it...
Control your computer using a Leap Motion controller, but with an every-day-quality implementation.
If you want to share stable diffusion on your network without exposing any information to the outside world. This is one way to do it.
There's a trick for getting a big speed boost on old hardware that's so easy that I'm surprised I haven't heard people talking about it.
What began as 3 tripods on a hill, and hours per photo, ended with way better results in seconds, hand held.
I accidentally automated Javelining a plane into the ground. And I learnt a huge amount along the way.
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about whether you can make use of the full resolution on a phone with a 4K display. Let's dig in and actually understand this.
2022-11-17
Group of posts about the Astro Slide 5G.
4 easy phone hacks to make your phone more useful and fun
My dream office.
DoneIt is a time tracker for working out where your time is going. For me there were a few things I wanted to achieve with it - Be able to say what I've been doing all day. - See how much time is lost to time ...
Well over a year ago I introduced mass which is a tool for managing large numbers of servers. It's come along way in that time, and it's well and truly time for another look. From the users' point of view, the most interesting things are probably that you can now ...
Achel is a programming language that I have been working on for the past 13 years (I said 12 in the video, it has been a long time!) There has been growing interest in the programs I have been writing using it, so I have now released it open source. ...

Posts using the same tags

My CV had gained so much weight that it was hard to do anything with it any more, and it was hard to read. So I did something about it...
Control your computer using a Leap Motion controller, but with an every-day-quality implementation.
If you want to share stable diffusion on your network without exposing any information to the outside world. This is one way to do it.
There's a trick for getting a big speed boost on old hardware that's so easy that I'm surprised I haven't heard people talking about it.
What began as 3 tripods on a hill, and hours per photo, ended with way better results in seconds, hand held.
2023-08-22
I took some time to extend myself with some intellectual challenges. Here's what I've done so far.
I accidentally automated Javelining a plane into the ground. And I learnt a huge amount along the way.
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about whether you can make use of the full resolution on a phone with a 4K display. Let's dig in and actually understand this.
2022-11-17
Group of posts about the Astro Slide 5G.
I'm stopping my Patreon activity for now. Let's dive a little deeper into why.
4 easy phone hacks to make your phone more useful and fun
2022-03-07
The RandomKSandom series is the spiritual successor to FunnyHacks. Here, you can find all of the posts about it.
My dream office.
DoneIt is a time tracker for working out where your time is going. For me there were a few things I wanted to achieve with it - Be able to say what I've been doing all day. - See how much time is lost to time ...
Well over a year ago I introduced mass which is a tool for managing large numbers of servers. It's come along way in that time, and it's well and truly time for another look. From the users' point of view, the most interesting things are probably that you can now ...
Achel is a programming language that I have been working on for the past 13 years (I said 12 in the video, it has been a long time!) There has been growing interest in the programs I have been writing using it, so I have now released it open source. ...
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