Upgrading Treat Dispenser

During Christmas break I I found a replacement AC adapter for Roman's treat dispenser. The treat dispenser is an Esquilo project. Esquilo is WiFi enabled physical programmable circuit board.

The treat dispenser is a repurposing of Patrick Jackson's Internet-enabled Candy Dispenser. The only change I did was hot gluing the auger to the servo rather than screwing them together. The idea being the hot glue functions like a sheer pin. If the auger jams the hot glue will break rather than burning out the servo.

The library has a 3-d printer which was great way to get the mounts and auger made.

The project is an easy beginner project in terms of both programming and hardware assembly. So give it a try today.

Upgrading Ubuntu 12.04 to 16.04

For sometime now I have been wanting to update my desktop computer from Ubuntu 12.04 to 16.04. Knowing that sometimes an upgrade can go sideways. I waited till fall semester was over. Yesterday, being the first Monday after semester over, I decided to tackle the upgrade.

I downloaded the iso image and installed it onto a usb drive. The first glitch I came accross was a small one. When the machine booted from the usb drive rather than going to Ubuntu live I received an error.

Missing parameter in configuration file. Keyword: path
gfxboot.c32: not a COM32R image
boot :

The error is not a big problem all I had to do was type live and Ubuntu finished booting. The error is caused by a different versions of the fie syslinux in the iso compared to the machine creating the bootable usb drive.

I selected the install icon and the install was off and running. The install procedure I thought went off without a hitch. But to my suprise when I rebooted, I was taken to the grub rescue prompt. Something…

Sometimes you just need a brownie

Sometimes when you are working at home you just need a brownie. I came across this brownie recipe and it came out pretty good.

I did not use the original recipe but the modified recipe in the comments. Here is a list of the changes I used from the comments.

  1. Decrease the cocoa powder to 3/4 cup.
  2. Decrease the sugar to 1 1/2 cup.
  3. Increase the butter to 3/4 cup.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients together.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  6. Combine wet and dry ingredients.

I would also suggest two other modifications.

  1. Use a smaller pan than a 9 x 13. I would use a 9 x 9.
  2. Watch your time. Your brownies my not take the full 30 minutes. Mine were done in about 20 minutes.

I liked this recipe for several reasons. First, it makes a chewy brownie which I like better. Also, the recipe is quick, easy, and uses standard pantry ingredients. Another plus is it just uses cocoa powder so no need to melt chocolate chips.

Matrices: including Gauss-Jordan and the Simplex Method

While I normally just teach math, this summer I am also tutoring. I am enjoying the tutoring because it allows me to assist students with different mathematical topics than I normally do not get to teach. One of the popular subjects in the tutoring center this summer in finite math. Finite math is not a particular topic in math but rather a broad category that covers a variety of topics.

The topic of Matrices seems to generate a lot of questions. I found several helps this summer dealing with matrices and in particular the Simplex Method.

The first site I found was How to Compute Determinants at Dartmouth College.

The second site I found was Finite Mathematics & Applied Calculus Resource Page. It has two very good lessons on the Simplex Method.

The first is The Simplex Method: Solving Standard Maximization Problems

The second is The Simplex Method: Solving general linear programming problems

The last site I found is not really a site but rather a YouTube channel by patrickJMT.

Here is a list of so…

BBG Videos

I have stumbled across a series of video lectures using Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek. The lectures are by Dr. Mark Schuler from Concordia Saint Paul. Once I have gone through the series of lectures I will post a review.

The play list can be found on YouTube.