Sunday, August 10, 2014

Arduino vs Raspberry Pi as first programming platforms.

Why not start with a Raspberry Pi as your first programming experience?

As a hardware controller, the Pi has 17 i/o pins which is less than the small Arduino, however the Pi costs more.

The Pi does not come ready to control it's general purpose i/o pins. You have to load Python or another program to do that.

RPi.GPIO Python package is suggested. You have to select your program and start it. If power is lost, an operator is required to do this in most cases. Arduino boards can power up and run by themselves.

Python on the Pi is not compiled, but all Arduino boards use compiled code. Compiled code is smaller and runs faster than code which is not compiled. The Pi has a faster chip than most Arduino products, but its programs have a slight added overhead due to the fact that an operating system is running in the background. Faster Arduino systems based on 80 MH chips are available.

The Pi is a good system for a small project that must have a graphic interface or deal with media (audio or video).

For any project which will tolerate a larger computer, an old desktop or laptop running robot basic will have a lot more power and be able to interface with any known hardware.

The big advantage to using an Arduino family board is that a great number of program examples are available for free on the web. Many special libraries have also been written to drive specific hardware.

The Arduino family is very extensive and includes systems that range from bare chips to systems with many extra i/o buses and up to 500Kb of program memory and 32 Kb of RAM.

The information about the Pi used in this article came from:

Raspberry Pi Handbook 2nd edition by Linux Pro Magazine.

Monday, May 26, 2014

3D World june 2014

3 D World June 2014

Comments on this issue:

Inside cover ad for

A good education at a community college including art history and art appreciation would be a good idea before spending money on a specialized school. Some work in the Theater arts would be helpful for developing a sense of timing and character building.

My 2 cents:

Ads and public service announcements could be a way to get noticed and to make some money for new equipment. CG characters could be added into live action or added over a live background to save time and money.


The rebus farm ad says they will do final rendering for four cents per gigahertz or in other words you can have 100 computers doing your rendering for $16 per hour. That does not sound like a bad price. 10 hours = $160 for an ad or other project. That could work.

Tutorials on creating dinosaur model skin textures and muscle details.

Also "Maya 2015: Hands on", and "Mudbox workflow".

Some mention of 3D printing brings up the idea that files used for 3D CG video could be transferred to a format that could be 3D printed and used for promotion purposes or sold as toys.






Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mental Health First Aid USA

     I just finished taking a full day course at the Ottawa County mental building which prepares a person to understand the different kinds of mental health problems that people can have and what kinds of interventions are usually required.
    Some of the topics covered are depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis, substance abuse, and eating disorders. The course helps you to understand these people better and trains you to encourage them to use both self help and professional help. It also points out when public safety officers need to be called. A test is given at the end of the day to be sure that you have picked up all the basic ideas.
      You also get a good 125 page textbook to take home that has even more information in it, including web sites and a list of references for further reading.
      This is a good investment if you have to deal with the public often.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Considerations When Starting a Blog

Website Hosts:
The host determines the blogs format to some degree. Paid hosts give you give you more features and control for the money spent. Free host are OK for a blog that will only be used for a short time but they may have limits on how much content you can put on them or how many visitors you can have.

Blogger     ex. blog     ex.

Sites built with Wordpress Templates     ex.

Youtube blogs     ex.

                entry entitled: Captain's Blog - Keag's Fails Again

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Consider Including Others

     Some time ago I sent this letter to Pastor Scott of  TV fame. I just found it again so I am sharing it because I think the Idea is important.

Pastor Scott

I watched your message about the "Christ-Centered Life" several days ago. I got a lot out of it. At the end of the message you talked about the gifts God gives us to carry on His work. You imply that some are ready to serve and some are not. Some people come to church asking to serve out of less than pure motives. I agree with the basic facts, but I disagree with the way God wants us to handle these people. I believe he wants us to give them a chance to help in a way that does not endanger the church or its followers, but puts some responsibility on them. Many people will rise to the occasion if we expect something of them. I belong to a worship group that allows and welcomes all. We learn to work with the retarded, ex-addicts, the poor and anybody who wishes to attend.

Stating the battle between good and evil in the way you did just troubles people for no reason. By God's grace, we have already won the battle because we have no need to be sinless and 100% perfect. We can and should always work toward perfecting ourselves. However, worrying about the topic and endlessly struggling with it in our minds wastes time and energy that could be used to help other people on their terms.

So many people are homeless and need feeding and trips to the doctor or other basic services, that we could all spend our whole lives in service to others in Christ's name. Just short trips to shut-ins could fill a person's life. Let us enjoy being saved and enjoy serving others.

                                                                                             Just Me
PS I have included an article by Rev. Henry Idema supporting my ideas.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sara Bareilles

I discovered Sara because I was researching the acts coming to Meijer Gardens for the summer season. When I went to her website I watched "The Making of Kaleidoscope Heart" webisode parts 1, 2, 3, etc. Her playing was good and her voice was clear. I bought the tickets thinking that the show would sound pretty much like the video.
When we saw the show she did sing some softer songs much like video but most of her work had a strong rock and roll drum behind a Jerry Lee Louis piano which she played while belting out the strong vocals. Everyone got in a party mood and sang along when asked.
The point I want to make is that this is only her 2nd CD, she is young,she looks and acts like a normal person not a big star when she is off stage but when she puts her hair up (see the "Let the Rain .." webisode) and gets on stage she is a powerfull and impressive performer.
I think Sara Bareilles could be a good role model for anyone interested in the entertainment bussiness.
Her website is

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Boaters unhappy in Grand Haven

This is what someone wrote on the internet recently. I found it about a week ago. It is not that one person felt this way but a dozen other people had the same experiance and said so in their comments. Others may not have wanted to enter a comment or may have thought they did not need to repeat the ideas already expressed by others. Make of it what you will.

Grand Haven, MI-Boaters not welcome!
While staying at the City Marina this weekend we have been able to watch Grand haven's finest. No less then 2 Sheriff boats and one Coast Guard boat with 5 Coastie's on board doing patrol! They have been pulling boats over for "safety checks" and writing tickets for what ever they can.

They pull a boat over and then immediately pull the next one over at a rate of at least 6-7 boats an hour! These boaters are doing no wrong when being pulled over either.

This is the same thing the city did years ago with cars on the strip. People from all over came to GH to cruise in their car for a huge rolling car show on Friday and Saturday night. There was no drug trouble, no drunk drivers, no fights, and no burnouts. It was good clean fun but the GH officers had run them right out writing tickets for anything they could. I watched a person get 5 tickets when he appeared to be doing nothing wrong. Loose license plate being one of them.

Is it just me that thinks this revenue collection getting out of control?