# Friday, 25 June 2010

Google has a great barcode reading program/library in the form of ZXing. They had a CSharp branch already but not a Silverlight one. So I looked through the code a little and ported the QRCode portion of the library for Silverlight use by doing the following

  • Replaced System.Collections.Arraylist with System.Collections.Generic.List <Object>
  • Replaced System.Collections.HashTable with System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary <Object,Object>
  • Removed all Serializable attribute markings
  • Forced all calls to System.Text.Encoding to use UTF-8 as the encoding type.

While the first two changes might have a performance impact to the code, it's the LAST change that worries me since it deals with encoding, specifically I worry about exactly how well can the code deal with NON English content... oh well, that's a challenge for another day I guess.

What is that you say? Talk is cheap.. then GIVE IT A TRY!! How does it work? Create some tags.. save the tags as PNGs, then Read some tags by loading images which contains tags. Or.... Take a PICTURE of a tag using your webcam! Oh.. if your webcam can't take nice sharp images, you might want to invest in an autofocusing camera like the Microsoft LifeCam HD-5000.


What's that you say? It's an Open Source project therefore I need to contribute my code back into the trunk? Well.. sure... the source for the sample along with the lib is here.

The code was compiled for Silverlight 4, technically I don't *think* I used anything that won't allow it to work with Silverlight 3 though.

As to how to actually contribute it back in the trunk errr.. I guess I'll have to get in touch with the guys that's handling the project.

So.. 2 things that need to be done now.

  • See how to integrate with RawVideoStream and read tags off a LIVE video stream
  • See if the library works with Windows Phone 7

The 2nd would be a bit more difficult since I DON'T HAVE A WINDOWS PHONE 7 device! :P

Friday, 25 June 2010 00:03:57 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 21 June 2010

As I mentioned before, writing experiences on a capacitive screen still has a long ways to go, no thanks to the fact that you can't have a fine pointed stylus to write with.

Anyway as I was browsing the Gadget Crack Dealer DealExtreme, I stumbled on this little stylus.


Basically it's a 2 in 1 Capacitive + Resistive Stylus. The sharp pointy part is for resistive screens, and the stubby slanted rubber part on the other end is for capacitive screens.

The resistive end works as expected, though I'm always a bit wary of carrying styluses with exposed nibs since they might get damaged during transportation and scratch up the screen.

The capacitive stylus on this one.. SUCKS ASS. It's feels like rubber instead of the foam like material for the last capacitive stylus I used in the video above. Therefore it doesn't want to glide on the screen. Not good at all.

The search continues for a usable capacitive stylus. Hmmm... I need to try out that steel wool thing my friend suggested.

Monday, 21 June 2010 20:19:11 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [2]  | 


Sometimes WZ just stares into the open, like he's lost in thought about something. I'd just like to say that a 3 year old is not supposed to have that kind of look.

Monday, 21 June 2010 02:15:37 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

I basically found what you might essentially call a Made In China shop, where you find cheap Made In China items of varying levels of quality. The shop name is called "Fun & Cheer" and you can find it here.

View Larger Map

It's on that road, big red signboard, consists of multiple shops. I was able to pick up some interesting items for a low price. First off is this jumbo disposable lighter.


I got this for RM3.90 which is cheaper than the RM9 I usually see these going for. And also, it has some extra features, flip it to the bottom and...


Not only is there a WHITE LED flash light for finding candles in the dark (which you can light with the lighter after you found them.) There's a cheap UV light as well for revealing hidden marks on bank notes, and I guess... errrr.. authenticity labels on wine bottles?

I also acquired a confetti shooter.


It's not a one shot barrel type like the rest of the stuff I've seen people used in weddings. This thing takes ammo cartridges.


The design of the thing seems to be similar to the old six shooter cap guns I used to play with when I was young, there's a simple mechanism that rotates and sets off a hammer that strikes an ignition source which theoretically will propel the confetti out. What ignition source you say?


Those small little dots are just small quantities of errr.. for lack of a better term. Gun powder, which can be set off on impact.

And also I said that it should theoretically work since I haven't actually shot off a round yet, cause I want to capture the thing firing in slow mo with my video cam. And if I spray confetti inside the house I think my wife would kill me.

I also seem to remember the ammo compartment of my toy guns exploding after too much use. I guess since you can't refill these things it should be fine.

Monday, 21 June 2010 01:57:23 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 20 June 2010

This little USB OTG Cable came with my Ainol V9000HDA that I got recently.


It allows a very interesting feature on the Ainol which is to allow the use of a thumbdrive as a file source.


Interesting when you have some media on a USB stick and you can't copy it to the Micro SD card. On battery power you can only use low power consumption things like a thumbdrive, if you wanted to use a something like a hard disk the Ainol needs to be plugged in first.

Here's where this gets interesting. What you see below is my Sony CX-150 camera.


When I bought the camera and realized from the manual that it supported USB OTG which will allow the camera to offload files into an external USB source without the need of a computer. Useful during travels. But the USB OTG cable wasn't included in the box, and buying one from Sony was listed as... RM85... NO FARKING WAY I told myself.

So I went to All IT and bought something that looked like an OTG cable for RM15.


So I brought it back and plugged it into the camera expecting to say a great big FARK YOU to Sony and their over priced cable, but...


Nothing happened when I plugged it in. So thinking that it's because Sony put in some form of proprietary USB OTG controller that looks for some special cable I cursed Sony and forgotten about it.

Now that I've gotten another USB OTG cable I thought what the heck, let me give this another try. So I plugged the cable end and...


EVEN BEFORE I plugged in a device to the other end of the cable. Then after plugging in a thumbdrive and the power (cause the CX-150 will only connect devices when on AC power) I was greeted with this screen.


Well.. my thumbdrive was definitely formatted (and the CX-150 doesn't recognize any NTFS partitions) so I'm gonna guess it wants to create the AVCHD file structure on the thing.

Even though I wasn't actually able to use a USB drive properly but I did prove that the cable works properly, which lead me to another realization.

The fact that I could buy a cable that was marked as an OTG cable yet it didn't work on OTG devices properly would mean that there somewhere down the line there someone must have decided to create a proper standardized cable, and then well someone decide to sell all the non standard surplus.. for RM15.

Sunday, 20 June 2010 17:03:13 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |