My head is spinning!
Well I guess I over did it! During December I put in a marathon effort to catch up with my studies (I'm working on a BS degree). Then I proceeded to take on some MIT EE online courses. Meanwhile at work I was working on 120 hours of course material also. Well it's finally catching up with me. I'm feeling a little burned out. The good news is that I can slow down, take it easy and I'll recover. Also I need glasses! I can no longer read normal size print and I can no longer see fine detail work. So it's time to go to the doctor and get proper glasses (not the kind you pick up at the local drug store). This is probably hindering and frustrating me more than anything.
So lets see what computer projects I'm working on at the moment. I've ordered a BOL-BOT (Full Kit) from A-WIT (a local NJ company, cool!). I hope to learn various things about robotics and AI/Machine Learning. I feel that robots and smart home technology (aka home automation) are close cousins and that by learning one I'm also learning the other. I may eventually try to use the robot in the TCF 2009 Robotics competition. I'm looking forward to seeing what various people are doing (and how they're doing it too). A-WIT also has a PCB Ordering Facility. This is very cool and I can take advantage of local resources (yes!).
Last year I presented at TCF and I would love to present this year but with the turmoil of strike contingency plans for work I can't take the chance. Next year I hope I can present again and I hope to have lots of new and interesting technology and software to talk about. For this year I'm now just hoping to attend the outdoor flea market, the Robotics competition, the Micromouse Contest and the Circuit bending workshop. Such cools things to learn!
I'm still reading the book on Groovy, it is suggesting that it will be able to add the ability to debug running code and allow advanced user code while running your home. This is an important feature that really is needed in centralized smart home services (at least in my opinion). I'll also need to work out some simple multi-threaded objects (concurrency) so the users don't get into trouble with Starving Philosophers. And, of course, I'm still reading the book: Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. So far I must say that I have enjoyed reading it (weird). It has no hard code in it but the ideas and concepts have been very useful and it's giving me new ideas and avenues of study to pursue.