This is the power of 3D printing. If you can dream about it, you can print it. It can be something new or an existing product. You just need your imagination and some time for it to print. Check out this very cool video from Christopher Hawkins showing his work. Please remember to dream big because you just might create something that solves real problems.
When I first received the Raspberry Pi my mind raced with different possibilities. I saw people creating media centers and connecting sensors to the GPIO port. Those are very cool projects but I came up with one of my own. My idea was to create a surveillance center. I don’t think this is a unique idea, but it was my idea. I was passionate about it and made it happen. Below is a list of components and software I used for this project.
Here’s a picture of all of the components before I connected everything.
Raspberry PI Model B
I picked this up from Amazon for $40. There are places like AdaFruit that you can get it for $35, but I think the was a delay at the time so I didn’t go for the cheaper price point. I have Amazon prime and used the free two day shipping option.
Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000
I had this lying around. Most laptop have built in cameras. I normally use it to capture movies for YouTube. I think its available on Amazon for $70. The quality for the price point isn’t bad.
Motorola USB Power Supply
I have a few Motorola phones, and I just used one of the supplies I had from an old phone.
Wifi USB Dongle
I ordered this from Amazon for $12. It was worth it. The dongle is pretty powerful. My WiFi router is downstairs two floors down, and this little device has no problems sending and receiving data to it.
The Assembled Unit
Yes, I’m using Legos as a case. I have a Lego wizard for a son. He set me up with this slick enclosure in 10 minutes.
This is an open source package for capturing video. I saw this tutorial. It was exactly what I wanted to do. There are many options for video capture. You may get better mileage with a different package.
Bash is a linux shell that is my default shell on my Pi. I have a bash script that runs every minute. The script uses uvccapture to take a snap shot.
UVCCapture doesn’t always work. There are times that UVCCapture runs and an empty image is saved. I wrote a small python script to clean up empty images. This isn’t a huge problem, but I use it to remove blank images before I create time lapse footage. You can see some of the footage I captured in this post.
Source code of cleanup-cap.py:
importosfor root, dirs, files inos.walk('/var/www/', topdown=False):
for name in files:
f =os.path.join(root, name)ifos.path.getsize(f)==628:
I’m running my bash script under root’s crontab. I did this out of convenience. There is a better way of doing this. However, since this is a personal pet project I kept things fast and fun.
At the price point (and they were released this morning in the UK), I can afford one per room, in a five bed house, for less than the price of a Mac Mini.
Couple with a USB temperature sensor, and a USB relay, (and a bit of software that I will release under GPL) it’ll control my zone heating, with a web interface that provides not only an HTML gateway but an XML gateway to plug into whole-house stuff.
Very cool indeed. The Pi is definitely up to that task. Now for my project.
My Raspberry Spy
Its a very simple home surveillance project with a snazzy name. I connected my Pi to a USB camera, pointed it at a window in my house, and took a picture every minute. This is a few days of screenshots assembled as a time lapse movie.
Please forgive my early release. I promise to publish the write up soon. I will link it from this page.
SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Marketing.’ The idea is to gain traffic for your site by obtaining high rankings in search engines like Google or Bing. Here are a few resources that will you help understand SEO better.
Let’s Talk About Link Building
There are many aspects to SEO. Many argue link building is key to SEO. I agree with them. Link building helps you gain authority by getting sites to link to you. We will focus on link building a lot in this post.
Whitehat Linkbuilding Strategies: Beginner to Advanced
Wil Reynolds really knows his stuff when it comes to SEO. This is a great place to start. I learned much from this video; more so than any other video I have seen on the topic of SEO.
Rapid Fire Link Building Strategies
Its Wil Reynolds again. He rifles off a few ideas for link building. There is profanity in this video, but the message is great.
A different perspective of SEO is always good. Check this one out. You also get a great overview of the SEOmoz application and how it can help your SEO activities.
What is the most important thing you learned from SEO?
I think you’ve been in the situation before. Most sites have a forgot my password option. This process works reasonably well, but its still painful. Another alternative is to create a new account. I think this is the most painful option of the two.
Until we fix the password problem, you may want to think about a password journal. This is a low tech solution, but can ease the pain with losing a password.
I saw this article on TechnologyReview. A consortium including PayPal and Lenovo are looking to reduce the importance of passwords but still use them with two factor authentication. This is a step in the right direction security wise, but it only masks the problems with passwords.
Google has an idea that makes sense to fix this problem. Its involves using a USB key. Check out the video below for a full explanation.
I really like how companies recognize the problems with passwords. Two factor authentication is more secure, but more burdensome on the user. Eliminating passwords all together is the real solution to this problem. Have you been burned recently by losing your password? If so, I would love to hear about it.