Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Robotics ho!

To the land of robotics!

I am going to build my first Arduino line-following robot. It is decided.

I have a shopping list, I have the tools, I may be moving house within 2 weeks so I can't have anything delivered yet, but I will start the planning process and decide where I can get a cheap chassis and some cheap wheels from... it may be time to get back to the boot sale! I can't wait to stop being ill so I can chase these things.

If you're following along at home I will need:

* LEDs
* A battery
* A chassis
* 2 hobby servo motors (which I will adapt to run continuously. I have to learn sometime.)
* Nuts/bolts
* Resistors
* Matrix board
* IR Emitter/detectors
* A motor shield
* A caster wheel for the front

I'll try to update with photos when I actually build this thing.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Organising My Life 2

Well I've tried Astrid and Toodledo and Lifetick and a host of other motivational goal-based GTD to-do list widgets and I've come to no satisfactory conclusion on them. I have found out as much what I want as what I didn't want, and I've decided what I want is three things:

1. A to-do list that is simple, has multiple lists, and contains actionable short-term things that need doing.

2. A system for maintaining personal and work projects

3. Something to hold user stories

Number one is still under consideration but at the moment I am using Wunderlist. It is simple and it works.

Number two I stumbled upon via Wunderlist, their new Wunderkit which (even without the social aspect) is a great way of braindumping my larger-scale personal projects. It holds a few points over the dishevelled notes I was holding in OneNote and Google Docs, and has a much more personable layout than both, as well as Evernote which I can't really abide.

Number three, without a doubt, is PivotalTracker which is nothing short of an amazing piece of programming, but I'm always up for suggestions!

My trouble will now be checking all these things each day! When I get home in the evening I will often not remember to check to-do lists. Wunderkit has tasks, but they don't interrupt me enough to ensure they'll get done.


If I have something that needs doing I will put it on Wunderlist. The downsides are no alarms and a slightly fiddly Android app.

If I have a long-term goal or project with subtasks or recurring tasks I will use Wunderkit. The downsides are no alarms, and no visible progress towards the goal, but I like the idea and if I had other people working on a project it does make for a good project collaboration space (although I haven't needed to try others).

And I will continue to use PivotalTracker :).