I learned Python a few years back, and just took a course in Java last year. I've also monkeyed around with Processing some. I enjoy programming, both as a useful tool and as a great way to screw around.
Front of the frame
Fundamentally, I enjoy making things. I'm learning how to make things out of wood.
I'm majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I prefer to call it SparkE, but people look at me funny when I do. At any rate, the projects below relate to electronics.

Odds and ends that won't be written about often, but merit mention. 

Hammer and Anvil
Fire trucks behind us

Over summer 2015, I volunteered with Bike & Build, an organization that arranges cross-country cycling trips that aim to involve young adults in affordable housing. Over the course of the summer, we bike cross-country, averaging 70 miles a day (the longest day is 116 miles.)

Some days instead of cycling, we volunteer with local affordable housing organizations (usually Habitat for Humanity). On build days, we work on the build site from 8-4 or so. 

You can track my progress with Bike & Build's route tracker. Bike & Build also has a page describing my route. 

The articles below chronicle my journey in photographs. Hover over any photo for a caption or click to enlarge. I know that some images are sideways; I can't change that with the tools I have. You can click on the enlarged image to view the raw picture, and your browser should autorotate the picture.

Reading Secrets

See that picture? Good. The college uses readers just like those all across campus for access control. They're on the front of all of the academic buildings, all the dorms - just about everywhere uses these phobs.

A few days ago, I bought one of them. (It's wild what you can buy on EBay. Really wild.) The reader arrived on Monday, and sat around for a while. Midway through the week, I decided to have at it.


Serenity. Recognize it? Good.
I sketched this in the week I had off from school. Looks pretty cool. It's going on my door.


I'm living in an LLC. It's a new program that offers Lafayette students a chance to learn about a topic in themed housing. My house, Monroe@, is technology themed, which means I can do all sorts of fun things in the name of learning!

One of our projects for the year will be automating the house's door. We all carry HID RFID fobs for access to campus buildings, and want to enable the door to respond to those phobs. All we need is a reader to read our cards, a servo to turn the deadbolt back for a second, and some brains. I have servos already, so I went to the internet and bought an Arduino Leonardo for brains, and a HID brand reader for reading.

Guess what came yesturday? The arduino! I know that the things are bashed for being overused by hobbists, but they're so much easier to use than microcontrollers in C.

I wanted to play with it, but didn't have any parts. There are a pile of leftover LED's at the house, but nothing else. No buttons, no fancy inputs, no resistors.


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What would you do if you saw this message in your inbox?

Space Shuttle Liftoff

The Space Shuttle Atlantis, as it lifts off from Cape Canaveral. (Still a work in progress. I like how the gantry loses detail near the shuttle's base, but want to add some smoke and fire.)

I had to crop the png image, cause the site doesn't have enough RAM to generate thumbnails of the original sketch. No detail was lost in the process. Awesome alignment suffered, though.

Hubble Space Telescope

This is the Hubble Space telescope, captured as the third shuttle mission to repair the telescope departed.

The sketch is hanging out on my door, the first of many.

The site can't make thumbnails of large images. Evidently scaling a 12MP image takes about 30Mb of RAM, and the site only has 64Mb total. Alas. (The full size pictures are cooler, but take what you can get.)


I'm still looking for a decent logo. Eventually, I hope to use a stylized blue brick. That name has a story behind it, and it evokes tinkering, so I'm keeping it. (This site was Rock Lizard for a spell, cause that's what Evan and I wrote.) One idea I had before invoking the new name way a yin-yang type thing. (As the favicon illustrates, I like little mathematical graphics.)

Alpha Logic Gate Simulation

In ECE211 (that's Digital Circuits I, for those of you who don't go to Lafayette), we've been working with digital circuits. Surprising, right?

I was frustrated that I needed to draw out these complicated circuits by hand, and that the paper never gave me any helpful feedback. So I decided to write a logic gate simulator, using my favorite language for graphics, Processing.

Critical Repairs

A while ago, I found some electrical solder. I was excited. So much so that I had to hammer out something random, using parts I had on hand. The result was an adaptor that would connect my computer's 3.5mm sound output to a stereo's twin RCA inputs.

As I've said before, it worked perfectly. With one qualifier. It just broke. The 3.5mm jack I used had fairly flimsy legs, and they gave up after a few weeks of being bent back and forth.

Radar Display

XFCE (the desktop environment I use) has many neat plugins. Among them, I use a mail plugin that checks all my accounts, a mixer, and a weather plugin to grab a forecast. I'm fond of having a radar display to see what's coming my way, but XFCE doesn't have a radar gadget. So I made one.