Archive for February, 2012

Jeopardy Project

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve decided to start working on the Jeopardy project that I mentioned in my previous post. It is the easiest for me to get started because it the only one that does not require me spending some money to get the necessary materials.

First step in the project is to get questions and answers (or answers and questions) from the J-Archive website. I’ve already began work on a few perl scripts that will comb through the site. Just a few minor adjustments are needed and I might be able to get all the data in the next few days. My biggest challenge for this was learning perl, as I have never used it before. I used a lot of internet resources like these:

Introduction to Perl for Mac
Simple Perl String and Numeric Manipulation Handling
Parsing Text Files
Parsing HTML with HTML:Parser
Perl – StringsPerl – If Statement Syntax
Perl – For Loop Syntax 

So far I have gotten my scripts to parse through the HTML to correctly retrieve 99% of the correct answers. Tomorrow I will begin work on the other 1% of those answers and matching them up by dollar value and category. After I do that and I have all the data it’s time to learn how to program games in C++ with graphics.

Categories: Jeopardy! Project

New Ideas Round 1

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Here are some ideas that I have for new projects and the motivation behind them.

Launching a weather balloon into space to take pictures and possibly gather data. 
I recently applied to an astronautics company for an internship, and while I didn’t get the job it still re-sparked my interest in space. I remember reading about Project Icarus awhile ago and thought it might be something cool to replicate.

Jeopardy style computer game. 
I got a Wii for Christmas, and being the nerd that I am I fell in love with the Jeopardy! game that was made for it. Because me and my roommate play it so much we started running into repeat categories and the game starts to get pointless when we’ve had 50% of the questions already. My idea is to data mine on the J! Archive website  and use that data to make a computer game, possibly using the Wii-motes.

Tactile programming for the iPad.
My idea for this is to make an interactive tool to easily teach the basics of a programming language using a touchscreen interface that would make it easy for beginners to understand the concepts.

Categories: New Ideas

First Project: Wireless N64 Controller

February 28, 2012 2 comments

Motivation behind this project: Two underclassmen that are in the Michigan Marching Band (which I am a part of) came up to me and asked for help with implementing a wireless N64 controller.

I’ve worked with the N64 controller in a class project before (Video here) so I thought I was a good fit to help these guys out.

Research:  In the past couple of days I have been doing some reading brushing up on my serial interface knowledge and researching the best way to implement this interface wirelessly. So far I have found a few links that might help me along the way, and here they are listed:

Bluetooth to UART for robots
Microcontroller UART tutorial
Another UART tutorial
Possible Bluetooth Module we could use and it’s Datasheet
Another Possible Module

N64 Controller Lab
Lab write up
N64 Controller:  How it Works [PPT]

That’s all I’ve got for now, more updates soon!

Categories: N64 Project