I’ve been so busy helping to get a Dallas hackerspace started that I’ve neglected my blog again. But I haven’t been too busy to continue my photography experiments. On the vintage camera front, I’ve acquired a few new items including an Ansco 1065 fixed focus 35mm and a nice postwar Argus C3. I’m hoping to get the Argus C3 cleaned up and functional in time for Argus Camera next week. So far it’s looking to be in much better shape than the prewar Argus C3 I found last year.
I’ve also made some progress on my goal of doing more photography of actual humans instead of just still life and landscapes. In June I got to do a photo shoot in Deep Ellum with Ofa Santos, a beautiful Filipino-Chinese model. In July I did a very colorful shoot with Lolly Five, a model from Alabama who was in town for the ScrewAttack Gaming Convention (SGC).
Finally, I got several paying photography gigs during June and July. Looking forward to more of those in the coming months. It would be nice to do enough paid photography work to start paying for new camera gear!
2010 got off to a good start, then I was hit by some unexpected family losses followed by some annoying family weirdness. Between that and a larger than usual assortment of extra-curricular activities, my blog got derailed. It’s time to fix that.
For those who haven’t kept up with my twitter feed or photo stream, here’s the short version of what you missed the last few months: 1) The DPRG is working on starting a Dallas Hackerspace. We’ve decided to call it a Makerspace because Dallas people seem to be easily spooked by the word “hacker”. 2) I’m still playing with vintage cameras and have more in the queue to try out. 3) Still playing with my DSLR too. Got some recent photos into an exhibit Germany. My photos of the Traveling Man Sculpture made into the May/June issue of Robot magazine 4) Still working on the Noise Boundary robotic music project. We did a demo for a class at UNT and I got the opportunity to chat with Pat Metheny about the topic while he was in Dallas 5) DPRG did some major stuff at All-Con this year and also at Tech-Fest and the FIRST LEGO League regional championship. 6) Lots of other fun stuff, events, people, and places. More to come.
Yes, June is over already and it feels like I haven’t gotten anything done. Work has been taking up most of my time. Since I last posted I’ve been to A-Kon 2009. I shot few A-Kon cosplay photos plus a few time exposures of the A-Kon Friday night rave. I also shot a few photos at Jerry Chevalier’s 2009 Texas Build Off, a cool event where movie robot replica builders from all over the world gather to show off their robots and, more importantly, share building techniques and help each work on robots.
I’ve never managed to blog much more than a couple of times a month, so if anyone reading this actually cares what I’m up to, you might want to follow me on twitter or check my canonical home page where you can see the relatively frequent photo stream updates from my crappy mobile phone camera. By the way, if you’re looking for other robot builders to follow on twitter, check out Wired’s list of 52 Robot Geeks on Twitter.
Speaking of twitter, I really need to find a good way to get that integrated into mod_virgule. And speaking of mod_virgule, I once again completely failed to find time to work on it. But I’ve exchanged some email with another programmer who might be brave enough to start doing some hacking on the code, so maybe that will get me motivated in July!
Time for a quick update. May started off with the VEX Robotics World Championship here in Dallas. I was one of the judges evaluating the 270 teams and their robots. I’ll probably write a little more about it in an upcoming issue of Robot Magazine for those who are interested.
I created a robots.net twitter feed and robots.net facebook page for robots.net this month. So far the facebook page is ahead with over 160 fans while the twitter feed only has about 38 followers so far. To be fair the facebook page went online a couple of weeks earlier so we’ll see if it hangs on to the lead over time.
I’m still struggling to find time to devote to mod_virgule but squeezed in a few more hours of C coding on the new HTML parser. It’s now running on a test server with a subset of Advogato’s database. So far, so good. Blog aggregation and parsing seems to be working, as do local blog posting, article posting, and article comments. The magnitude of the changes makes this update a bit of scarier than usual for robots.net and Advogato. If nothing breaks in the next week or so of testing, though, I’ll cross my fingers and make it live.
I got to spend some time at Hanson Robotics a while back, talking to David Hanson and his staff and shooting photos for Robot Magazine (see the Jul/Aug issue for more). My hope is that the photos will give you an idea what a typical day working at Hanson Robotics is like. The day I was there, everyone was preparing androids and other robots for an upcoming TED conference. In the photo above Bill Hicks is integrating an eye assembly into the head of Hanson’s newest android, known as Bina. Several other projects were underway at the same time, including preparation of a Zeno prototype and fabrication of a new mini Einstein toy robot.
To see the full set of photos visit my Hanson Robotics Gallery on flickr. Also, don’t forget to pick up the Jul/Aug issue of Robot Magazine at your local newstand if you haven’t already got it!
These are just a few of the photos so be sure to check out the full Hanson Robotics gallery over on Flickr for wider shots of the lab, more photos of Zino, Einstein, and Bina androids, and lots of other cool stuff from my day at Hanson Robotics!