Stuff I’ve been dorking around with — Halloween, SBCs, IPFire, Cliplet, TFA

* Halloween is soon, and “MonsterGuts”:http://monsterguts.com/index.php always has great props and prop controllers if you just want to buy something and get it working right away. Their thunder and lighting controllers are great, I’ve used for years. I don’t know if I am doing any Halloween display this year but I do love all the stuff up here. But sometimes you just want to build your own effects from the ground up, so…
* “Raspberry Pi”:http://www.raspberrypi.org/. A $25 linx SBC, very cool. But you can’t get one of the damn things, they are as rare as hen’s teeth. So I’ve been reading, but not actually playing with one. So in the meantime
* “Arduino”:http://www.arduino.cc/. You can get these by the bushel, and there are a ton of accessories — sensors, actuators, add on boards, you name it. “Adafruit”:http://adafruit.com/ and “Sparkfun”:http://www.sparkfun.com/ both have all kinds of addons and kits. I could spend thousands here. The LED and EL lighting products are kind of amazing.
* Atom motherboards. You can’t find a Raspberry Pi and the Arduino is too underpowered? Well there are a ton of Atom motherboards with great prices, case or caseless, etc. I’m building a couple different appliances.
* Starting to play with “KVM”:http://www.linux-kvm.org/page/Main_Page a little too, some of the Atom motherboards support. No strong reason, just to learn.
* “IPFire”:http://www.ipfire.org/. One of my boxes is running IPFire so I can monitor and control net traffic at a finegrained level. “pfsense”:http://www.pfsense.org/ is another way to go but I found it be much more finicky to install (probably due to BSD roots).
* “Cinemagraphs using the MSFT Cliplet tool”:http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/cliplets/. These are kind of fun. Opens your eyes to the future of photo taking and photo postprocessing. Increasingly I think our cameras will just capture a continuous high res data stream and then smart software will extract the interesting views.
* I’ve gone 2 factor authentication nuts, turning it on everywhere I can. It does make stuff a little more painful to use but probably worth it. Facebook does seem a little confused, I can’t get it to remember machines I’ve used, and so it keeps asking me to name new machines so it can remember them. I have 37 login machines on facebook now, šŸ™