One Customer's System

One of Nitrogen Logic's customers sent in this video of what he's doing with his Nitrogen Logic system.  It's a work in progress, but he's already using his Nitrogen Logic controller and the Palace Designer software to control his lights with the Kinect.  The lights are connected to "Klik aan klik uit" switches, controlled using an Arduino Nodo connected to the Nitrogen Logic controller.

On SOPA, PIPA, and Internet Censorship

You might not think that a hardware/software company like Nitrogen Logic would care about a web-focused set of laws like the Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act in the US House of Representatives and Senate.  However, we all depend on a thriving and free Internet for commerce and learning.  Laws like SOPA and PIPA would have a chilling effect on user participation on the Internet as well as new startups.  They would also send a message from the USA to the rest of the world that it's OK to censor the web.  As such, Nitrogen Logic will be joining the Jan. 18th blackout in protest of SOPA, PIPA, and similar laws.  If you visit the Nitrogen Logic site on or around Jan. 18th, 2012 you will see a message about the proposed laws with links to more information.

What would make your automation system rock?

Since I have far more ideas than time to implement them, I'm asking you to help prioritize them.  You can help shape Nitrogen Logic's products into the system of your dreams by answering the questions below.  Any feedback provided will be greatly appreciated.

The survey is now closed. Thanks to those who participated.

New video coming soon -- Controller unboxing, Kinect+WebGL demo

Greetings, Internet, and happy holidays!

For the past month or more I've been working on a new video to demonstrate the latest features added to the Nitrogen Logic Depth Controller and Automation Controller, as well as step-by-step tutorials for setting them up.  After dozens of hours of coding, screen recording, voice overs, and editing, the video is finally edited and ready to upload.

How much power does a burned out CFL use?

If you've seen my previous videos or my company website, you know I'm always looking for creative ways to measure and reduce electricity use.  A couple of months ago one of the 100W-equivalent compact fluorescent light bulbs in my kitchen burned out (right after I threw away the warranty info).  Not wanting to waste the opportunity, I decided to find out how much electricity the dead bulb was using relative to a working bulb.

Halloween PIC

With halloween here it seemed like an ideal time to post code and pics from a simple PIC project I did last year for a costume (intended to be worn under clothing).  It's very loosely based on Tony Stark's reactor in the Iron Man movies, and uses PWM to dim and flash some LEDs.  I've been too busy with Nitrogen Logic to do a full writeup, so here are the pics, and you can find the code on Github.  I'll note that, due to a lack of proper fabrication tools, the housing is rather ugly.

Contact form

I regret to announce that my web contact form was malfunctioning for an extended period of time. If you used the web form to try to contact me and didn't get a response, please try again. For the curious, some details follow.

Programmatic process control in C: popen3()

There are times when it's useful or necessary to use an external command as part of a program, and full control of the command's stdin, stdout, and stderr are required, rendering popen() insufficient.  This level of control is useful for, among other things, writing a GUI frontend for a console application.