Robots parts,, and Movie Reviews

I received my laser cut acrylic parts back from Pololu the other day. They came out perfectly. The hardest part of the whole thing was creating the CAD file. There are simply no remotely usable Free (as in speech) CAD programs out there. I finally picked up a copy of Design Cad 14 for Windows on eBay for $10. I tried to run it under Wine but Wine’s OpenGL support doesn’t play nice with Mesa OpenGL emulation. You have to have actual hardware OpenGL support to have any hope of running an OpenGL program under Wine. So I ended up using Susan’s XP box. Anyway, the parts came out great. I highly recommend Pololu if anyone needs inexpensive laser cut parts.

As a side effect of the OpenGL hardware support vs. emulation problem. I got involved in a couple of usenet discussions about the poor state of OpenGL and general 3D acceleration support in the Free Software world. There are a few cards with rudimentary 3D acceleration support but getting information on what’s supported and how fast it is can be a pain. So I threw together a little website with some links to info and some crude (very crude) glxgears benchmarks on existing hardware. The site is

Susan and I saw Superman Returns. It was okay but nothing special. Just another comic book movie with the same characters and plot you’ve seen a million times before. We also saw A Scanner Darkly – very good, definitely a thumbs up from me. It was nice to see a Philip K. Dick story make it to the screen in a form that at least resembles the original instead of being turned into an action movie.

I also picked up the Time Tunnel DVDs. I don’t know when I’ll ever possibly have time to watch them all. We looked at the first couple. I remember loving the show when I was a kid. They’re still fun to watch but they seem pretty silly compared to modern science fiction.