Nolan Haynes' Musings

My mind never sleeps

Motorola Moto 360: Story and Design

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On March 18, 2014, Google debuted Android Wear as a software platform for wearable technology. Alongside Google’s announcement, Motorola and LG announced their own smartwatches based on Android Wear: the moto 360 and the G Watch. The G Watch follows current smartwatch design with a rectangular display while the moto 360 sports a circular display that reflects watch design. It wasn’t hard to tell which one many people who saw the two would be interested in.

A day later, Jim Wicks answered questions (fielded by Barbara Lis) about the moto 360 during a hangout. While watching the video, I found the story behind the smartwatch very intriguing. Learning about what the team used during the design and prototyping phase of the project and the materials used in the moto 360’s makeup made me a very happy person. The story behind the moto 360 is what enlightened me the most.

The inspiration behind the moto 360’s design is that time itself, whether it be the sundial, clock, pocket watch, or wristwatch, was almost always represented by a circle. That said, the first thing I thought about when I saw the watch was Motorola’s high-end cellphone: the AURA. The AURA had stainless steel construction and a twist open design that centered around a beautiful circular LCD display that resided below sapphire glass. Power-management is something that I had known Motorola would be able to pull off, given their work on the RAZR, RAZR HD, and RAZR MAXX smartphones. I had not expected where the knowledge for the power-management work done on the moto 360 would actually come from. It all came from the MOTOACTV smartwatch. With the MOTOACTV, Motorola learned how to tune Android for maximum efficiency. This continued into the MOTO X (especially with respect to sensors) and now the moto 360. With respect to the size of the watch, while the case is around 48 mm in circumference, the attachment points for the band is about 7 mm to 10 mm in from the edge of the case and thus allow the smartwatch to be comfortably worn even on wrists that wouldn’t normally accept such large watches. This from a smartwatch that can be worn on either wrist unlike a normal wristwatch. Certain features of the moto 360 have also yet to be divulged however.

The global availability of the moto 360 is one of the biggest questions that haven’t yet to answered. I hope that unlike Motorola’s mid-range to high-end smartphones, that the moto 360 will hit many markets around the world. Another big question is how the watch will be recharged when the need arises. I believe the moto 360 will be compatible with the Qi inductive charging standard.

I can’t wait for the moto 360 to become available.

Building FreeCAD for Arch

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I wished to get into to 3D printing as a way of furthering my knowledge on industrial design and manufacturing. After looking at Shapeways, I knew that I could use Blender for modeling the parts that I needed to print. Blender wasn’t originally made for that purpose which could slow me down in the long run. FreeCAD was the only alternative that I know of it required installation via the AUR. In doing so, I’d need to build six more packages from the AUR as dependencies for this one piece of software. Since I had used cower to pull in the PKGBUILDs for all of the packages that I needed to build, all I had to do was build and installation everything. I used that set of code to do so:

for i in eigen3 opencascade libspnav coin soqt pivy-hg freecad-git
cd ~/AUR/$i
makepkg -ics --noconfirm

This code when run, goes into the directory for each of the packages, creates and installs that package, and goes back to my home directory at the end. I could go further with this but I like to keep my computer science skills at the forefront of my mind.

How Photography Affects Me

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As I listen to Lindsey Stirling’s Elements and reading the darktable 1.4 manual, I started thinking about why I want to do photography as a hobby and possibly a profession on the side of my main profession (whatever that may be). Over the past several months, I’ve had things go really well for me for a short time only to crash and burn in the end. I always wanted to go a shoot photographs and had intended to acquire a Ricoh GR just for that purpose. I had then borrowed my father’s old film camera.

I went out one day and shot whatever caught my eye with that camera.

My perception changed.

The Keys to the X200(s)

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After installing Arch Linux, I immediately ran into a common problem: several of the extra keys and key combinations on the keyboard weren’t assigned to any function in either the console, ACPI, X11, or all three.

Fn + Home225button/brightnessup233 XF86MonBrightnessUp
Fn + End224232 XF86MonBrightnessDown
Fn + F2152button/screenlock160 XF86ScreenSaver
Fn + F3236button/battery244 XF86Battery
Fn + F4142button/sleep150 XF86Sleep
Fn + F5238button/wlan246 XF86WLAN
Fn + F6212——–220 XF86WebCam
Fn + F7227button/switchmode235 XF86Display
Fn + F8191——–199 XF86TouchpadToggle
Fn + F12205button/suspend213 XF86Suspend
Mute113button/mute121 XF86AudioMute
VolumeDown114button/volumedown122 XF86VolumeDown
VolumeUp115button/volumeup123 XF86VolumeUp
Stop166cd/stop174 XF86AudioStop
Play164cd/play172 XF86AudioPlay
Prev165cd/prev173 XF86AudioPrev
Next163cd/next172 XF86AudioNext
ThinkVantage148button/prog1156 Launch1
Fn + F1466button/fnf1————
Fn + F9194button/f24202 ——–
Fn + F11476button/fnf11————
Fn + 1240——–240 ——–
Fn + 2240——–————
Fn + Space372button/zoom————
Menu127——–135 Menu
Win125——–133 Super_L
Fn + F10——–——–

This the complete list that I have as a result of using showkey (console), acpid -f and acpi_listen (ACPI), and xev (X11). This only applies to the 7-row keyboards that ThinkPads of that vintage.

Inspiration vs. Motivation

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According to the Oxford Dictionary, inspiration is “The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative” while motivation is “a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way” or “a desire or willingness to do something; enthusiasm”. The two are needed for anything to get started or completed. One can be inspired to start something, but without motivation, they will most likely quit. One can have all the motivation needed to do something, but without the inspiration to start, they will most quit before they start. It’s something that people will face many times over the course of their lives. Even I’m facing such issues myself in a few areas of my life. Overcoming such dilemmas is not an easy task and requires more work on top of whatever work you are currently cannot finish.

Copy Select Files With Rsync

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A few months ago, the BTRFS filesystem that I using on my external hard drive became corrupted. I put in much work trying to recover the filesystem using the tools made for it, but to no avail. I finally opted to recover what files I could using PhotoRec. It was a bittersweet moment as I knew that my work was only half done.

Honing My Arch-ery Skills

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Over the previous weekend, I started working on a couple packages for the Arch User Repository (AUR for short). The first one is for QtSixA which I adopted from maandree and then updated. The updates included adding udev rules for automatically pairing SixAxis controllers with sixpair as well as fixing a couple errors that namcap had pointed out to me (wrong version of python being called).

Chugging Along Using Steam

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While Steam is meant to be installed on Debian based operating systems (Ubuntu especially), I prefer Arch. With that in mind, I set out to install and properly set up Steam on my Arch powered workstation. First off, I read the Steam in the ArchWiki. Secondly, I installed the necessary packages:

sudo pacman -S infinality-bundle-multilib/infinality-bundle steam ttf-liberation \
libtxc_dxtn lib32-libtxc_dxtn lib32-nvidia-utils lib32-nvidia-libgl lib32-flashplugin