Fast Robot Prototyping

IBM has an cool article detailing some techniques you can use to quickly build robots with common materials. Wireless robotics: Fast robot prototyping shows you how to use foam core, plexiglass, Erector set parts, and cardboard to put together a robot platform to build upon without breaking the bank on a design that’s likely to change. Neat stuff — I wasn’t even aware IBM published articles like this.

Fast Robot Prototyping

Hi-Res iTunes Artwork

Tristan Pemble has posted some cool iTunes Music Store hacks, which include one tool that can grab the full size album artwork from any given album. All you have to do is find the album on iTMS, right click the title, choose Copy iTunes Music Store URL, and paste it into the field. It’s great for filling in missing artwork on ripped/downloaded music. Other cool hacks include a music video and movie trailer tool, and also one to view the raw XML response from iTunes’ servers (for debugging or general poking around).

Update: This method no longer works, but try my new PHP script here.

Hi-Res iTunes Artwork

iPod Hacks

I’ve got a few more iPod hacks planned if I can come up with the hardware. So, I’m on the hunt for more dead or “injured” iPods, preferably 3rd or 4th Gen…although 2nd might do. If anyone has an iPod with a dead hard drive they’re willing to part with, send me an email using the link on the right :-) I’ll also happily do iPod battery installations, if anyone’s in need of a quick repair.

iPod Hacks

Backup 3 QuickPicks

Recently I discovered the blog at Wishingline Design Studios, and they got me started messing with the new QuickPicks options for Backup 3, which are pre-built lists of files and folders to backup. They allow you to quickly choose a set of items for backup without having to navigate to the folder on disk, much less know where it exists.

QuickPicks are surprisingly easy to create. If you’re interested in making your own, you can browse through the contents of any QuickPick bundle and edit a copy to make your own. I’ve created sets for two of my favorite bits of software, NetNewsWire and Little Snitch, and decided to share them here. You can download these two QuickPicks and install them by unzipping the archive and placing the two in the /Library/Application Support/Backup/QuickPicks/ folder (along with all the other QuickPicks). Enjoy!

Update: Added several more QuickPicks to the pack, bringing the full list to:

  • Little Snitch
    Backs up your Little Snitch firewall settings
  • Apache
    Backs up Apache webserver settings at /etc/apache2/
  • .bash_login
    Backs up your ~/.bash_login file (Terminal users rejoice!)
  • SSH Keys
    Backs up your SSH keys from ~/.ssh
  • Xcode
    Backs up your Xcode preferences, key bindings, and color settings
  • NetNewsWire
    Backs up your NetNewsWire subscriptions and settings
Backup 3 QuickPicks