There are lots of good reasons to live in Hull. The Freedom Festival is one of them. There were lots, and lots, and lots, of things going on around the town today. And we had great weather, which made things even better.
Begin to Code with Python is coming along. I've been playing with pygame for chapter 13. Looks quite good. And of course there is a game involving cheese.
You're probably not supposed to take battery packs to pieces. But This one was broken anyway. It's for Digby. We've done some searching and it turns out that we can still get the batteries. I've ordered four from China. With a bit of luck we should be back at full power soon.
We've been trying to wake up Digby my Aibo from ages back. The Sony Aibo was a very ambitious project by Sony to make a robotic pet. I got one a while back just as the product was winding down. I've not played with Digby (as we call him) for a while, but once we'd given them a good charge, one of the Lithium Ion batteries got him going.
Unfortunately there's something amiss with his head. When he moves to certain positions it seems to think that the joint is stuck and he falls down. Next step is a bit of micro surgery looking for noisy potentiometers and broken flexible circuit boards.
But we'll get him sorted.
I took this picture from the stairwell at the top of the Humber Street Gallery. I love the way that the Deep looks like it's sailing along the horizon behind the other buildings.
Thanks to number one son who did a sterling job of masking out the lights so that I didn't get any reflections in the window.
One of the other neat things they have at States of Play is a bunch of balancing chairs. When I first saw them I had thoughts of steel pegs in the floor, or strings from the roof.
Not so. The chairs really do balance like this. They have weights and a flat part to balance on. I had a go at balancing and it really is quite tricky. Which is code for "No, I couldn't do it..."
We went t see the 'States of Play' today. Some really nice things to see, including interactive exhibits, a light-powered knitting machine and a robot with a combover.
This is the cleverest knitting machine I've ever seen. It's on until the 27th of September.
Logan Lucky is a nice little film. Think Oceans Eleven crossed with Dukes of Hazzard and you're about there. The marketing said things like "Starting Daniel Craig as you've never seen him before" (i.e. not James Bond) but he does a good job of his part and the whole thing spins along to a very satisfactory conclusion.
Worth the trip.
Hmm. After a couple of moany posts, I'm feeling a bit better today. Here's a nice picture of some flowers.
I tried something a while back and it worked when I didn't expect it to. Always a bad sign. Of course, today I wanted to do it again and it failed. Nothing much has changed in my system. Except, oh yes, Windows 10 Creators Update. Not much use if what you want to create is printed pictures from your Polaroid Pogo printer. Used to work fine over Bluetooth. Now I get this masterpiece of an error message. Useless at pretty much every level. I've done some searching, but nothing so far has worked. It looks like my little printer and me might have reached the end of the line.
Oh well, such is progress.
A while back I bought a LensBaby lens. It's great fun. To adjust the aperture you fit little metal disks with different sized holes in them. And you can move the entire lens about on the front of the camera to get strange focusing effects.
We went to Castle Howard today. Lovely place. I decided to leave the LensBaby on the camera to see what kind of results I got. Quite fun.
Did quite a lot of gardening today. At some point I was wondering whether I was removing or harvesting the weeds. And no, above is not the result.
They're installing a new piece of artwork in Queen's Gardens. It's an intriguing structure of laser-cut steel, welded together and painted white. It looks really good and it casts really nice shadows. I'm not sure of the proper name for it, but us locals have started calling it the "Cheese Grater". I took some pictures of it today, Rather nice.
I just hope they can stop birds from building nests in it. Then again, that might be part of the art.
A while back I ordered a Mood Light kit from Pimoroni. It never came (sad face). I told them about this and they dispatched a replacement. The same day. With no quibble or question (happy face). It arrived a couple of days ago and today I found enough time to assemble it.
With it being based on the Raspberry Pi I had to find a video display and a keyboard for it to get things going. I ended up using my video projector of Logo Blaster fame and a little remote keyboard that didn't work until I connected it via a usb hub.
The good news is that the Raspberry Pi experience has come on a lot since my early days with my Pi B. The great news is that the kit itself is awesome. Lovely attention to detail, even down to little rubber feet for the stand. It all fits together in a very impressive way and worked first time. If you're thinking of building one, you'll need to solder the connectors onto the Pi and the display device. If you've not soldered before it might not be the best thing to learn on, but if you've soldered a bit you'll have no problems. You'll need a power supply and a micro-SD card but nothing else, the kit has everything and comes beautifully packed in a nice plastic box.
Once I'd got the Pi going and set up remote access I was able to do everything via my PC, so I could put my keyboard and monitor away. You control the lights (there are 32 neopixel leds on the lamp) from Python, so there is no limit to what you can make the light do.
I'm very impressed with the kit and the Raspberry Pi Zero that it is based on. The fact that you can get the thing for thirty quid (or even less if they are having a discount offer running) makes this thing astonishing value. You should get one. So much power and potential for less than a full price video game. I'm going to get the Scroll Bot next.
Some time ago number one wife bought me some socks. Very nice. With days of the week on. Arrgh. I've had them a while, and always had a problem wearing them. If there's one thing a chap with a mildly obsessive nature really gets problems with, it's things like these. And never take them on holiday. Especially if you're flying over time zones.
To make matters even worse, number one son got a set as well. And he came to see us. And the socks got mixed up, so that I have two left hand Tuesday socks. Which I'm wearing today. If you're going to be wrong, do it properly I reckon.
Today is a big day. We've had a water meter fitted. Took ten minutes. Apparently they read them by remote control. With a bit of luck it will save us a some money. Number one wife suggested it and I said "Water good idea".
Well, it made me laugh.
Back writing today. Chapter 11. Really starting to like Python now, which is a bit scary.
The Isle of Man is lovely. It's as if they've taken lots of the best places in England and folded them in on themselves to make a place where there's something really nice round each corner.
And you get to drive on a race track.
We're heading home today. But we'll be back.