category archives: computers & technology

CR1 script to log balance measurements with a campbell scientific data logger

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here’s a script to record time-series of balance measurements (weight data) using a Campbell Scientific CR1000 datalogger and a balance with an RS232 serial interface.
we have been using two dedicated scripts which vary slightly to work with two different balance models, the Mettler-Toledo MS8001TS (polled mode; should work with all current Mettler-Toledo balances based on MT-SICS) and the Kern DE35K0.5D1 (set to continuous output).

download: (.cr1 files, saved as .txt)
CR1000 script to log output from a Mettler-Toledo MS8001TS balance
CR1000 script to log output from a Kern DE35K0.5D balance1
CR1000 script to log output from four Kern DE35K0.5D balance1

if you just want to have a look at the code, the CR1 scripts are included in text form at the end of this post.

1note that, as it turns out, the strain gauge loadcell measuring system of the Kern DE35K0.5D balance makes it unsuitable for longer term measurements. to get an idea of the drift effect resulting from a continuous load on these balances, here’s a figure from a test run with constant weights: [more...]

[categories: computers & technology, science] [tags: , , ]

raspberry pi: raspbian jessie start menu screenshots

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when you’re booting up a raspberry pi and have no display/cable/adapter at hand, it can be useful to navigate the start menu blindly using only the keyboard, e.g. to open a terminal and run a short command.

raspberry pi: raspbian jessie start menu screenshots

here are screenshots of the raspberry pi’s operating system and start menu, raspbian jessie (v. 16.02.2017, kernel 4.9) that you can use as a guide: [more...]

[category: computers & technology] [tags: ]

Archon D32VR: an inexpensive dive light for underwater photo and video

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Archon D32VR photo/video light (a.k.a. Archon W38VR) underwater photography is expensive! underwater housings for digital cameras – point and shoot as well as SLR or mirrorless cameras – often cost much more than the actual cameras, and other components such as underwater strobes or video lights are similarly expensive (starting at 500 USD for the cheapest brand name lights, and >1000 USD for the ones other divers recommend). however, artificial light makes all the difference under water, where light is increasingly limited the deeper you dive.

i’ve been taking pictures with a Sony RX100 and Meikon RX100 housing, and have also shot some underwater video using GoPro cameras (Hero 3 Black and Hero 5 Black), but until now this was mostly with available light rather than an external light source. because i can’t really justify buying these expensive parts with my relatively infrequent diving trips, i’ve been looking for a relatively inexpensive way to get lights that can be used both for video and still photography.

after several nights of online research, i have decided on an Archon dive light which is both very affordable and popular in online forums (and therefore tested by the masses).
here’s my new setup:

[more...]

how to recover songs from a corrupted shazam library in android

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how to recover songs from a corrupted shazam library in android when upgrading my phone recently and trying not to lose anything, my shazam library got corrupted. interestingly, i could still tag just fine, but then noticed later that i couldn’t actually look up my previous tags — any time i tried to open the list, the app crashed a second later.
if you’re in the same situation, here’s a step-by-step tutorial to recover shazamed songs from a corrupted library:

open Root Explorer (or a similar root-enabled app) and navigate to /data/data/com.shazam.encore.android (or any directory starting with the name “com.shazam”, depending on your version).
open the /databases subdirectory and copy library.db to your computer (either by copying it to your “normal” internal storage and transferring, or by sharing directly from the app). [more...]

picasa buttons: automatically sort video and raw files into subdirectories, delete orphaned raw files

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here are two customized picasa buttons to automate things that i’ve done manually for far too long. i’m publishing these mostly so i’ll find them in the future myself, but they may also help others looking for a way to do something similar.

after: three new subdirectories are created and filled according to the criteria mentioned above. (picasa buttons: automatically sort video and raw files into subdirectories, delete orphaned raw files) after: three new subdirectories are created and filled according to the criteria mentioned above. (picasa buttons: automatically sort video and raw files into subdirectories, delete orphaned raw files)

sortfiletypes moves all raw files (.arw) and video files (.avi, .mp4, .thm) of the current directory into their own subdirectories, respectively, and deletes .lrv low-res video preview files.

syncraw compares the .jpg and .arw files in the current directory and moves raw files where the corresponding jpg file has been removed to a new subdirectory “deleteraw”, so you can easily delete or move them. [more...]

[category: computers & technology] [tags: , ]

[updated & simplified] how to convert an .avi file for use in gopro studio, using only freeware

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[updated & simplified] how to convert an .avi file for use in gopro studio, using only freeware more than a year ago, i published the article how to convert an .avi file for use in gopro studio, using only freeware, which has apparently seen quite some interest. recently, the article has accumulated more and more comments about problems following the tutorial. after a fresh install of Windows and GoPro Studio, the Cineform HD codec is indeed no longer available in MPEG Streamclip.

here’s an easier method of converting non-GoPro videos for compatibility with GoPro Studio, which has worked for me. [more...]

how to build a digital photo frame with wifi and dropbox using an android tablet for 40 dollars

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how to build a digital photo frame with wifi and dropbox using an android tablet for 40 dollars before leaving the country for an extended period of time, i was looking for a way to stay in touch with my parents that would be uncomplicated and effortless for them: they shouldn’t have to start their laptops/phones, open an app and write to see what’s been going on in my life lately. i would rather just “be around”, the way you can passively stay in touch with some friends on facebook without losing actual contact, but my parents aren’t on facebook.
the best way i could think of to achieve this sense of “being around” would be a digital photo frame that can be updated wirelessly. however, it turns out that wifi-enabed digital photo frames are quite expensive (for what they do), rather hard to get (in europe), and usually subscription-based. they also don’t work very well according to customer reviews, or their online service ends up being discontinued not long after product launch, or both.

thanks to the popularity and ubiquity of tablets, though, there is an easy way to create your own digital photo frame that can be updated wirelessly by simply copying images to a dropbox folder, and it can cost you as little as 50 dollars – or even less if you have an old android phone or tablet lying around! [more...]