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Supreme Court Rules Against FCC, Net Neutrality Not a good day for net neutrality... A federal court threw the future of Internet regulations into doubt Tuesday with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal...

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The Fog Machine has Arrived My Chauvet Hurricane 1300 arrived today. First thing's first--immediately unpack it, add some fog juice, and play! [caption id="attachment_81" align="aligncenter" width="225"...

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Realestate Manager 2.0 Picture Preview Since Real Estate Manager 2.0 is now almost ready for release, I figured I would share the differences between the current version (1.1) and 2.0. To start things off, the...

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Automotive Manager Photo Update It's been less than 2 months since I started on Automotive Manager. In that time, I've taken the thing from next to nothing to an almost complete product. I'm not sure how...

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The New GreeneCountyIndiana.com Since about March I have been working (rather slowly) on a new content management system for GreeneCountyIndiana.com. Along with it comes a new layout and many new features. The...

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LaptopKiosk Progress

Posted on : 31-05-2008 | By : Chuck | In : C#, Programming


Work has been progressing rather smoothly on the LaptopKiosk project mentioned in the previous post.

The state system is now functional with two states, Main and Weather.

The Main state has a functioning clock and rotating background images. This all works fine on my development machine, but the changing background images seem to freeze the program for about 5 seconds on the laptops. I know why it does this, and i know what needs to be done to fix it, but i’m still working on getting that fix translated into code.

The Weather state currently grabs weather information every minute from a local weather station using the WeatherBug API. Its GUI is certainly far from complete, but I plan to do more work on it after I get the problems fixed with the rotating background images.

Overall, for being the first program I have ever written using WPF, and only the second program I have done using C, progress has been going extremely well. I plan to write up more code-based posts in the future.

Old Laptop Project

Posted on : 19-05-2008 | By : Chuck | In : C#, Programming


I recently acquired 6 old laptops from my old highschool. Old Acer TravelMates. 500MHz processor, 160MB RAM (according to windows), and a fabulous 800×600 max resolution screen. Each of them have broken screen hinges, so basically the only thing holding the screen on is the ribbon cable.

So what do you do with 6 old laptops that can’t be used for any real “work”? Turn them into a digital picture frame (and more) of course!

Thus the project, currently named LaptopKiosk, was born. Yes, it does need a better name. If you have any idea, feel free to tell me.

LaptopKiosk is basically a digital picture frame, clock, calendar, weather machine, and news machine, all in one. Each laptop will be modded to look like a slightly fat picture frame. After modding, they will be placed in various locations throughout my house.

Unlike previous software projects (like ConceptTower which I haven’t touched in ages), I decided to do some mockups of it in Photoshop.

LaptopKiosk Main ScreenThe Main Screen has a filmstrip of pictures at the top. The system will slowly scroll through these and set each one as the background. There is also a large-font clock in the center of the screen. The bottom of the screen contains the power button, options button, and the current state (screen) button. In the main screen weather information and a random news article are also included.

LaptopKiosk Weathe AlertsFrom this system you will be able to view any weather alerts for the area (and configure certain alerts to play sounds!)  It will also include current weather conditions, temperature, and hopefully a dopplar radar.

There is more to it, but this post is getting too long, and I haven’t worked out all the details on the other features yet.

Expect a few more posts on this, until I either finish it or forget about it like I did with ConceptTower.