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Member Since 27 Aug 2003
Online Last Active Today, 07:49 AM

Topics I've Started

Looking for reliable positional data acquisition methods for sports training.

23 May 2014 - 08:21 PM

I am trying to help some friends build a system for sports training data acquisition, and at minimum we need a method to accurately read when a player crosses the start line, and automatically tell different players from each other. (And also can't rely on anything much thicker than duct tape laid on the track, which is about 10 feet wide. So receivers placed either to the side or suspended above the track.


I have been playing with some video based systems, but I'm running into reliability issues (Training is frequently in poorly lit arenas.) and I've started looking at RFID solutions. I'm assuming a high frequency active RFID tag system can give me the data resolutions that I need, but the market appears rather flooded with products and lean on actual details. I'm finding lots of info on shorter ranged devices, ones that can bulk read tags from a few inches away are easy to find and price, but I'm having trouble finding much info or prices on devices that could read from a few feet away.


Anyone have any leads or suggestions?


Project is focused on roller derby, specifically timed lap trials. Our goal is to be able to collect at least one data point per lap, ideally being able to track their position through the entire lap, and then generate live reports for each skater. (History, distance from idea/minimum, personal bests, etc.) However I would prefer if I could build the software system backing it to be flexible enough and easily applied to other sports and on various track sizes/layouts.

This is the future of video games? No wonder I've been buying so many board games l...

06 March 2013 - 05:43 PM

I will admit that I'm very disappointed in myself. I wasn't going to do it, but then I saw a few guys in my office doing it, so I decided I would join them.


I purchased the new SimCity game.


Things were a tad slow in the office today, so I managed to take off early to get a few things done, and this left me with free time. In theory this also meant that I would have a chance to explore the gameplay and design aspects of the latest SimCity. Bought it, got it installed in the afternoon, and sat down to play a bit. Co-workers warned me to set up on European servers as the US ones were hammered, followed their advice, and then half an hour later I was getting errors about having lost contact with the servers.


No big deal right? This is still technically a single player game, I'm not interacting with any other players, so clearly not having contact with the server isn't a huge deal. I'll miss out on a few easy achievements maybe? It isn't kicking me off and has been flashing that message for awhile, so obviously everything is fine... Wait, I was eventually kicked off.


So I take a break for supper, come back, and now I can't log in because the servers are down for maintenance, and their ETA on coming back up is <parameter string>. Great, so not only can the servers go down for an unknown length of time, but the people behind them are sloppy enough that I can see internal strings that I'm not suppose to.



And this is the trend developers are pushing for? To piss me off enough that I declare to hell with their product, and have called up a friend to see if she and her roommate wants to play Carcassonne The City with me?

Anyone else seeing the forum logged out while viewing topics in Chrome-Android?

12 February 2013 - 09:25 PM

Noticed this starting up a few days ago and hasn't fixed itself yet. Clearing data for the browser didn't seem to help, and no other website is acting up in such a manner, so I'm kind of lost as to what the cause might be.

It will show me as logged in while viewing a forum section, but entering any topic page acts as if I've been logged out. Return to the forum section by Back or link and I'm logged back in again. Trying to log in again sometimes 'works' but any user related options like posting or voting gave me permission errors and pretended I was never logged in. Other times logging in again just fails to change anything and I'm back viewing as if I were an unregistered guest.

Haven't seen any issues connecting off different PCs with this account.

Isn't a huge deal for me, as I don't visit on my tablet often and won't cry if I never find a solution, but I figured I would post this up for general interest.

Rocket Design/Launch Game for Android Phones

03 February 2012 - 10:04 PM

Doing a Copy Paste from the Kerbal Space Program forums. This is in the early brainstorming stage, and I have no idea if things will take off, but I thought I would copy it over here to get additional feedback. If some wording sounds like this thread belongs to another forum entirely, that's because it does.

For anyone who doesn't know of the game: Kerbal Space Program is all about building rockets, and sending your three "Kerbal" Volunteers (aka, unwilling/unknowing test subjects) into space/giant fireball of death. Great fun, and you should check it out.

KSP is great and all, but lets face it: Carting your large desktop gaming rig around so you can launch rockets while on your way to work just gets you weird stares. Especially when you ask the bus driver if he has an outlet you can borrow for a few blocks.

So, this minor problem, coupled with me finally getting something that can be called a smart phone, has lead me to a project idea. I want to try my hand at a mobile development project, and I figured why not something that is like KSP in spirit, but simple enough to run on a cheap, bare bones phone.

My current idea is something that has more design and theory testing stages, coupled with an object based CAD system with kind of a late 80s style interface. (Anyone remember CADs that ran on DOS? I swear I'm not actually that old, I was just a geeky child.)

"Game" flow would be:
1. Component Design - A few basic 'object' types with rather primitive geometry options, which have different functions. Tanks, valves, pumps, (controls/computers?) etc. You then set up parameters, lengths, heights, widths, diameters, wall thicknesses, initial contents and initial states: Oxygen, Gas vs Liquid, etc.

2. Component Testing - Taking your custom pieces, and putting them in the wind tunnel! Run them through their paces, and see what happens. (Would also double as an advanced object properties calculation step, which would simplify runtime calculations during launch stage.)

3. Vehicle Assembly - Taking all your pretty little components, and slapping them together. (Similar to how KSP does it, but most likely simpler wireframe/2D CAD view)

4. Programming/Flight Plan - Setting up your burn stages etc ahead of time. How things are 'suppose' to go.

5. Launch/"practical Testing" - Fuel things up, and let it fly. Minimal "Data Only" style display, possibly basic simplified graphics, small labelled dots on lines. No detailed rendering of what is going on.

(Basically the whole project has to run nicely on my HTC Status/Chacha, with its pathetic little 480x320 landscape display. Because, as much as I like the community, I'll be programming for my device first and foremost.)

May also include designs for building up your facilities. Designing your launch systems, etc, and not killing off your work force. Not yet sure on what to do for a 'campaign' style game play. Possibly scenario based: X amount of money to do Y mission in Z time. Such as getting to the moon on a shoe string budget. May also include a missile game as well, and roll in a DEFCON style option. "In the Race for Space, Thermonuclear war can be 'Plan B'".

No idea about any kind of direct multiplayer option currently.

I'm kind of thinking that it would be interesting to be able to design the engines and combustion chambers themselves. Most likely I will just make up a simplified chemistry to go with it, just because having a totally accurate sim for it sounds a whole lot less fun to program.

Currently only possible tie in with the game that inspired it is being able to export your rocket/component blueprints. This feature would be used primarily for exchanging/storing designs within the app, but I would provide the specs for the format so someone else could write a converter program.

I'm playing a fun balancing act with this design between detail of the physics simulation (In atmosphere being the hardest part of it) and system resources. I really want to keep the processing being done to a minimum, even if the device has horsepower to spare. After all, more processing means less battery.

I'll work on some User Experience Docs and GUI Layouts at some point. Programming for something like a phone is going to be a really new experience for me. Most of my stuff is bound for cluster processing, so it should be interesting to go back to something as light as an 800mhz processor and less than 512MB memory.

Programing ON an Android Tablet like Eee Pad Transformer?

04 September 2011 - 11:24 AM

So I've been thinking of replacing my old Eee PC netbook, because I'm tried of always having to take it back from a family member. I kind of like the idea of a tablet for some things, and but also want to be able to write and do light programming on it, so currently the only one that really appeals to me has been the Eee Pad Transformer with Keyboard/battery Dock.

However, the one thing I haven't been able to find much of any details on is things like being able to install tools, use a command line terminal, and in general have access to syntax highlighting and compilers?

So far, most of my searching has turned up people asking questions like this, but without answers, so hopefully this shot in the dark will come up with some answers to help me decide if I ditch the idea and go with a traditional laptop/netbook instead. (But I would really like to have an 'alternative' system platform to play with and learn something besides PC/Linux dev work.)

I do most of my work in Python, C, and Java, in that order.

Thanks for any help.