The very first funny Cat Video? (Video)

Just watched yet another funny cat video on Internet. I wonder when our fascination with funny cat videos began. It turns out that the earliest cat video dates back to the birth of motion pictures. Thomas Edison the consummate commercializer of his innovations made earliest movies to promote the motion picture camera "Kinetograph. After the initial popularity of these penny movies (penny was the cost of ticket) of humans moving, dancing and sneezing waned. He moved on to man's furry friends. In 1894 the boxing cats motion picture was hit among the audiences at the penny arcades.

Getting started with Arduino Starter Kit

I have always been fascinated by electronics. Growing up I tried to learn electronics by reading radio repair guides and engineering textbooks in vain. Always got stumped by mathematics and dry tone of the books. The advent of Arduino changed all that. Now it is easier to learn electronics without getting bogged down by technicalities and focus on making something fun!.

The 'Arduino Starter Kit' is suitable for self-learning Arduino with simple fun projects. Lot of attention has given to developing course material and overall ascetic design of this kit. The Starter kit comes full set of high quality electronic components and a 170 page project guide book. The ready to use cardboard cutouts makes it great activity kit that could used by parent and the child.

Arduino Starter Kit components

The project guide book explains all the basic electronic components, their function and use in a simple lucid manager. The quality
of the book and its design is very tasteful. The programming code is explained in full detail. Further online resources are also
provided to aid learning.

Here is complete list of the components that are bundled in the kit.

  • 1 Projects Book
  • 1 Arduino / Genuino Uno
  • 1 USB cable
  • 1 Breadboard 400 points
  • 70 Solid core jumper wires
  • 1 Easy-to-assemble wooden base
  • 1 9v battery snap
  • 1 Stranded jumper wires (black)
  • 1 Stranded jumper wires (red)
  • 6 Phototransistor
  • 3 Potentiometer 10kOhms
  • 10 Pushbuttons
  • 1 Temperature sensor [TMP36]
  • 1 Tilt sensor
  • 1 alphanumeric LCD (16x2 characters)
  • 1 LED (bright white)
  • 1 LED (RGB)
  • 8 LEDs (red)
  • 8 LEDs (green)
  • 8 LEDs (yellow)
  • 3 LEDs (blue)
  • 1 Small DC motor 6/9V
  • 1 Small servo motor
  • 1 Piezo capsule [PKM17EPP-4001-B0]
  • 1 H-bridge motor driver [L293D]
  • 1 Optocouplers [4N35]
  • 2 Mosfet transistors [IRF520]
  • 5 Capacitors 100uF
  • 5 Diodes [1N4007]
  • 3 Transparent gels (red, green, blue)
  • 1 Male pins strip (40x1)
  • 20 Resistors 220 Ohms
  • 5 Resistors 560 Ohms
  • 5 Resistors 1 kOhms
  • 5 Resistors 4.7 kOhms
  • 20 Resistors 10 kOhms
  • 5 Resistors 1 MOhms
  • 5 Resistors 10 MOhms

You will also learn how to program Arduino using Processing programming language. The fun projects: Love-O-meter, Zoetrope, motorized pinwheel helps you build skills gradually. The first simple projects could form the basic model for your more complex electronic projects in the future.

I highly recommend buying the Arduino Starter kit. It is not cheap at USD $99.90.

Keep watching this space for more reviews of Arduino kits and books.


Animata Open Source Real-time Animation

In my efforts to explore the use of technology in art and social change. Looking at few ideas in creating new media installation art. Following my friend Prayas's advice I first looked at Animata developed by Budapest Kitchen.

The software is not currently in active development. Though I was able to compile it on Ubuntu gnu/Linux machine using the latest code. They were some stability issues.

Animata open source real-time animation software on linux

Here are the instructions to compile and run Animata on Ubuntu LTS.

# Download Animata from

 $ wget

# Uncompress the archive

 $ unzip

# Change direction into animata source directory

 $ cd animata/trunk

# Install the dependencies

 $ sudo apt-get install scons
 $ sudo apt-get install libfltk1.1*

# Build

 $ scons

# Run the build

 $ ./build/animata

That's all folks. Please let me know your experiences with Animata.

Testing Unity3D editor on gnu/Linux

Few days ago Unity3D editor support on gnu/Linux reached an important milestone. Thanks to efforts of Na'Tosha Bard and her team, we now have mainline beta builds of Unity3D editor for gnu/Linux operating systems. This has been my long time feature request (Kudos Na'Tosha!).

Now gnu/Linux could become a platform of choice for Indie game developers. Along with Blender for 3D characters design and game environment asset development and Audacity for game audio.

You can download the Unity3D gnu/Linux beta builds in this thread. The latest builds would be in the latest post of this thread, so don't forget to scroll down until you find that last post.

# Download the Unity3D editor .deb package using wget or torrent. 

$ wget -c
--2016-09-01 19:07:08--
Resolving (,
Connecting to (||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 206 Partial Content
Length: 2680067522 (2.5G), 718427586 (685M) remaining [application/x-debian-package]
Saving to: ‘unity-editor-5.5.0b1+20160830_amd64.deb’

unity-editor-5.5.0b1+20160830_amd64.d 100%[+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++===================>]   2.50G   446KB/s    in 22m 36s 

2016-09-01 19:29:44 (517 KB/s) - ‘unity-editor-5.5.0b1+20160830_amd64.deb’ saved [2680067522/2680067522]

# Install the downloaded package using dpkg program 

$ sudo dpkg -i unity-editor-5.5.0b1+20160830_amd64.deb 
Selecting previously unselected package unity-editor.
(Reading database ... 697456 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack unity-editor-5.5.0b1+20160830_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking unity-editor (5.5.0xb1Linux) ...
Setting up unity-editor (5.5.0xb1Linux) ...
Setting permissions on chrome-sandbox...
Processing triggers for bamfdaemon (0.5.3~bzr0+16.04.20160701-0ubuntu1) ...
Rebuilding /usr/share/applications/bamf-2.index...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.13.3-6ubuntu3.1) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.22-1ubuntu5) ...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.59ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for hicolor-icon-theme (0.15-0ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.23-0ubuntu3) ...

# Start Unity3D editor on command line by typing  
$ /opt/Unity/Editor/Unity

You can track various bugs in this Unity3D Linux Editor forum. There are few of well known issues, such the excessive CPU usage bug (lovely nick-named 'Spock') and here.

Please don't forget to share your experiences with testing Unity3D editor on gnu/Linux.

Noisebridge Hacker Trip to China #6

If you are excited by my previous post about Shenzhen the silicon valley of hardware, then here an exciting opportunity to visit China with fellow hackers and makers.

Every year San Francisco based Noise bridge hackerspace organizes a trip to China. This trip gives makers and hackers an chance to learn what's happening in China.

This year the trips covers vast tracks of China from Beijing to Hong Kong. You'll have an opportunity to attend various events such Shanghai Maker Carnival and Maker Faire Shenzhen along with a visit to local maker spaces and hackerspaces.

Here is tentative schedule.

  • 10-October-2016 -- Leave home for Shanghai (arrive in Shanghai on 11-October)
  • 11-October-2016 -- Meet in Shanghai (hotel TBD)
  • 11-October to 17-October -- Shanghai
  • 15-16-Oct: Shanghai Maker Carnival
  • 17-October to 19-October -- Hong Kong
  • 19-October to 24-October -- Shenzhen
  • 21-23-Oct: Maker Faire Shenzhen
  • 24-October to 1-November -- Beijing
  • 1-November-2016 -- fly home (arrive NA or EU on same day)

Send an email to the organizer and put your name up on the Noisebridge hacker trip to china #6 wiki page . Too bad I couldn't join the China trip this year but I'll try to join the next trip.