Robot Fight Night

Kalino’s DuctTape bot just won against Dark Pounder at yesterday’s Robot Fight Night.   He lost against Dark Pounder at Seattle Bot Bash in June.



Halloween Contests

Voting ends today so please vote for your favorites.  My son’s costume is the Lego Ninjago Lloyd Garmadon by user Moya.Edge but there’s so many more entries to choose from!  Instructables Contests

My very first scan of an action figure using the MakerBot 3D Scanner.   I need to retake the scans:

  1. By using a lower resolution to see if I can zoom
  2. Eliminate most of the noisy background by scanning in a deeper room
  3. Focus on the action figure this time. My focus was way off. 🙂

Maybe someone can guess which action figure?

It took me a while to build the Lego iPad stand that could support the Apple sync cable and at the same time, not fall apart with the weight of the iPad.   I’m also very impressed with Air Display app running as a 2nd monitor.

What better way to spend a Memorial Day weekend?  Making, of course!

For about 2 months, off and on, my Mac Pro goes crazy reading or writing to the hard drive.   This makes my Mac Pro feel like an old computer, even with 4 cores under the hood!

Most of my Googling, referred to a spinning wheel related to Safari.  No solution until now!

1. Open Applications\Utilities\Terminal to type some commands.

2. To find out which applications are taking up your CPU time, type:

top -o cpu

3. At the top of the list, should be the application taking your CPU time.  In my case it was mds.

4. To kill the process, type:

sudo killall mds

<type your password>

After that, my disk drive stop making all that noise!  What a relief!

While you’re at it, you might consider disabling Spotlight.  I don’t understand why it make my hard drive go crazy if it has had so much time to create an index for each hard drive.

To disable Spotlight, type:

sudo mdutil -a -i off

What Failed, sometimes Me

Wrong Top Sort

Along the way I tried finding the process that used the CPU the most.  I had accidentally set top to sort by process id (pid) so it never gave me the correct answer.  Looking at the man page, the above top command with -o cpu always sorts by CPU usage.

Iotop Error

After searching online, I found out that Linux uses iotop to find the process using the hard drive most of the time.  Fortunately, under the Mac OS X, it also exists.   But when I ran

sudo iotop

for a while, it would insert an error and prevent the proper culprit to show up in the list.

dtrace: error on enabled probe ID 5 (ID 19321: io:mach_kernel:buf_strategy:start): illegal operation in action #3 at DIF offset 0

William Kamkwamba

William KamkwambaWilliam brings back memories of being in the Del Mar Library in Los Angeles.  But William goes beyond just looking at physics books. William Kamkwamba recounts his mission to overcome famine and poverty by building a windmill from a picture in a library book.

William Kamkwamba on Jon Stewart