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Resume and bio of the author Couple of articles related to my hobby - robotics
My impressions about immigration to Australia. In Russian only. Recipes for everyday problems solving
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Andrey Mikhalchuk’s Blog

Technoblog about life

Oct 23, 2008 How to add serial interface to WRT54GL router

If you decided to mod your wrt54gl router and turn it into one of the most capable routers for soho network, probably the first mod you should start with is adding serial interface to it. Why? Because when you do the other mods (like adding SD reader, turning into robot, adding leds etc) you definitely send the router into the brick state. And the best way to unbrick it is to look at the router’s console output. The entire operation is very easy and should not take longer then 1 hour. Here is how to do this:

Oct 14, 2008 Moving site …

I’m currently moving the site, so the content (images, in particular) might not be available for for another 24 hours. Sorry about inconvenience.

Oct 9, 2008 How to control Pleo wirelessly via bluetooth

Bluetooth Pleo HeadPleo is a wonderful dinosaur, way more charming then roboraptor and other sapiences. It is the most advanced toy robot currently available on the market in the < $700 price range (Pleo price is around $330 shipped). It has a huge potential which is limited by the fact it is completely standalone. I tried to fix this by adding bluetooth interface to it. This mod allows issuing commands to Pleo from virtually any bluetooth-enabled device, including many cell phones, communicators and generic computers. It also allows retrieving information from Pleo on-the-fly, like sounds it hears, pictures it sees etc.

Before you continue reading this post please acknowledge that this mod is not approved by Ugobe and most probably will void the warranty. Also there is always a chance that something will go wrong and you might damage your robopet. If you're going to implement this mod you are the only one responsible for damaging this very expensive toy. I'm providing the information below only as a personal experience for educational purposes.

And here is how to make it:

Oct 7, 2008 Web server overload

wwwI experience serious problems with the webserver load. After a few posts about the routerbot (which is 7+months old!) on a few popular websites the server start suffering from low RAM/CPU power. Last time I remember something like this only during pizza.com times.

I beg my apology for this situation. The server will get upgraded later this week.

Oct 6, 2008 New video: wireless Pleo (this time via bluetooth)

I’ve uploaded the new video about getting your very own wireless dinosaur. It shows how you can control Pleo from almost any bluetooth-enabled device, including cellphones, smartphones, communicators, PCs etc. All you need is bluetooth and a terminal program.
I’m going to publish more details about how to make Pleo wireless later next week. Nothing complicated :)

Oct 4, 2008 How to import video from Canon Vixia HF100 to your PC without PixelaMixer

At the moment Canon Vixia HF100 is the best consumer HD flash camera. It’s not perfect, I found plenty of glitches and inconveniences like

  1. Sometimes it takes up to 15 seconds to switch the mode (Play/Record)
  2. The navigation is not very intuitive
  3. The official video backup process via Pixela Mixer (i.e. you need to install a piece of commercial software before you will be able to get your video from camera to computer)

Despite all those and many other issues it is still the best. The video quality is just outstanding, it’s like having whole Hollywood in your pocket. While I can do nothing (so far) with #1 and #2 annoyances #3 is easily solvable. You don’t need to install this special piece of software called PixelaMixer. In fact I didn’t even try it after reading couple reviews saying it’s no good at all. You can just connect the camera to the PC or insert the SD card into the card reader and copy .mts files from <drive>\private\avchd\bdmv\stream to your backup device. Then you can process the files with whatever software you prefer.
If you also want to backup the images then get them at <drive>\DCIM, as usually.

Oct 4, 2008 How to make Delphi TFrame background transparent

I actually think this method will work for Visual Basic and other similar languages too. Here is the code for a sample frame called TfrKnob:

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