November 01, 2004


Comment Spam

Sorry, but due to loads of comment-spam, I had to disable comments until I figure out a way to filter them. I spent a lot of time cleaning them out, and I probably deleted some real comments.

Posted by randy at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2004


Music Revolution

OK, I'm a little late to join this revolution, but lately I've been diving into the world of MP3 players and rippers, and I'm in the process of ripping all of our CDs and storing them all on our hard drive. There's a lot to learn about all this, but there's an incredible volume of information on the web to get you started. I also have a book on the subject that has been very helpful (thanks Gary!) I've found so far that CDex is great for ripping, and MP3tag is very handy for tagging your collection. MP3gain levels out all your volume levels, which is also nice. I found MusicMatch to be a nice, full-featured program, but it costs money, and you pay to get each new version. They're at version 9 now, and I doubt if it's been more than 3 or four years, so I can guess I'd be paying fairly frequently to keep it up to date. I think the above tools I mentioned can do almost everything that MusicMatch can, and I plan to use WinAmp to play them, since I can control it remotely with an IR remote or other custom interface.

The reason I've been so slow on this is that we don't listen to music while we're on the computer, we listen when we're in the kitchen, or cleaning the house, etc. so I need a remote control method, and a way of getting the sound to our living room speakers. I'm working on all that finally, so who knows, in a year or so we might actually be able to push a button in the kitchen and have the stereo start playing our MP3 collection from the office computer. It's such a simple need, but turns out very complicated (or expensive) to implement, even with all of the technology available today.

I would guess that the trend will be toward central media servers in every household, to act as a Tivo-like device to record shows, store all your video and audio and pictures, and probably handle other server tasks like e-mail and contact information that would be accesible to you even when you're away from home. And normal TVs and stereos need to start integrating the ability to deal with these servers, because they'll become commonplace.

Well, that's all my crystal ball tells me today. Meanwhile, let's start rippin'!

Posted by randy at 05:19 PM

July 15, 2004


Website facelift

Well, I'm finally basically done giving my robotics site a major facelift (actually a complete re-write). I tried to keep it very simple and clean, using style sheets and minimal graphics. I posted all my robot pics and some new ones, and lots of new pieces of code in the code library section. I also added a section on consulting. Let me know what you think! It's here, at

Posted by randy at 05:57 PM

December 19, 2003


Green Light

I want to remember this day. Today I gave the manufacturer the Green Light to go ahead and start cranking out Gamoto motor controllers! I can't describe what a great feeling that is, after pouring two years of my spare time into this thing. I had no idea how much work it would be, and I'm very proud of the result.

Now comes the fun part: spreading the word. I no longer have to tell people that it's "getting close" or that I'm "making progress." It's done. O frabjous day! Calloo! Callay! He chortled in his joy.

Posted by randy at 11:26 AM

October 08, 2003


Quote of the day

Found this quote today:

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

- Robert A. Heinlein -

Posted by randy at 11:40 AM

September 29, 2003


This Is Broken

I found a great website today called It points out all kinds of things like signs, maps, directions, software interfaces, etc. that are just plain broken. For example, when you can't install your network card, and the troubleshooting guide tells you to download a new driver from the internet. If I could do that.... arrrggghh!!!

Posted by randy at 06:01 PM

March 27, 2003


First things First

Well hello, this is my first blog entry. I've decided to join the masses and start my own blog. My wife and I made a web log while we were living in Italy for a year, but it was not called blogging. Back then it was called "editing our website every day," with new entries on the "What's New" page. We tried to write regularly, at least a couple times a week, to keep our friends and family up to date. That was in August 2000 to August 2001. Now we're living near Boston, and my wife is working on writing a book based on our year in Sicily.

Posted by rgamage at 08:13 AM