Origamic pop-up greeting cards

Spent the Sunday evening walking through the night market in Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. Among the mire of people, stalls, street vendors I saw something truly extra ordinary. The origami pop-up greeting cards made by Anh's and her family. The craftsmanship and detail of these cards are amazing. It is not very easy to find this stall at the night market, you can visit the ORIGAMIC shop at 85 Hang Gai Str, Hoan Kiem Dist. Hanoi( vn.origamicATyahoo.com.vn #084-4-39386787).

Origami pop-up greeting card of norte dame

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Ralink Wireless support in Puppy Linux

Gecko Edubook
My Gecko Edubook has a Ralink wireless USB adapter. Later models of this ultra-cheap netbook shipped with more ubiquitous wireless cards from Realtech. You have to get the download the firmware and blacklist few modules to be able to use Ralinux wifi wireless card in puppy linux 5.1.

Download the firmware for RT28XX/RT30XX USB series (RT2870/RT2770/RT3572/RT3070) zip file and extract the rt2870.bin file to /lib/firmware.

Next use the BootManager configure bootup program to blacklist rt2800usb kernel module and enable rt2800sta module instead. These steps should enable Ralink usb wireless card support in puppylinux.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) UI on Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid LTS

Transformed my standard Ubuntu Lucid Desktop into Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) this morning. This interface allows netbook users to make better use of screen space and few great interface enhancements.

Desktop running Ubuntu UNR UI

The Ubuntu UNR wiki page gives all the information about the packages and the required steps to convert your standard ubuntu desktop to UNR interface. Don't forget to report bugs to Canonical Desktop Experience Team.

Universal Braille Kit (UBK)

The Universal Braille kit (UBK) is brainchild of octogenarian N.Krishnaswamy. It is designed to teach braille to blind children at home in developing countries with no access to special education. The Universal Braille Kit has a braille cube, an alphabet plate, a braille slate and stylus, a standard abacus and instruction manuals. This kit is produced by Workshop For Rehabilitation and Training of the Handicapped (Worth Trust) in India.

Universal Braille Kit(UBK) Photograph

Last year I traveled to Chennai to meet N.Krishnaswamy (NK) at Vidya Vrikshah. We remained in close contact sharing ideas on various braille projects. Last week few accessibility designers met at Worth Trust factory in Katpadi, Tamil Nadu. NK was there, full of energy and ideas. NK never fails to surprise me. " Arky, At my age I am in a terrible hurry" he says with a chuckle. Just as he was leaving I managed to corner him and shot this video.

In this video N.Krishnaswamy explains the story behind the design of the Universal Braille Kit (UBK) and explains the concepts by demonstrating various devices of the kit.

The Universal Braille kit (UBK) from arky on Vimeo.

If you are interested to procure the Universal Braille Kit, please do get in touch with Worth Trust.

  • Worth Trust
  • 48, New Tiruvalam Road
  • Katpadi, Tamil Nadu (India)
  • Phone: 0416-2242739 0416-2243464
  • Email: worth@md3.vsnl.net.in
  • Website: http://www.worthtrust.org.in

Nortec SurfBoard Running Ubuntu 10.04

Just heard that Lekan got the SurfBoard running ubuntu 10.4. The video shows Google Chrome running Youtube videos. The video perform flawlessly in fullscreen mode.

The SurfBoard is an ultra low-cost, energy efficient computer keyboard selling for only $119.95. Ideal for classrooms, thin clients, hotels, banks and anywhere else where an energy efficient, silent, low cost computer can be used.

How to resize photos with Bash shell script

Ivo Kaspar wrote this guide to resize multiple images using simple Bash shell script. It uses the convert program from ImageMagick, the swiss-army knife of command line image processing software. The original guide is edited and rewritten in some places.

You'll find this guide interesting if you want to resize a lot of pictures to upload to your website or email them. First you need to install the 'imagemagick' package if it is not installed on your computer. To install imagemagick, copy this line into your terminal application and confirm with your password. Close the terminal after it finished the installation. sudo apt-get install imagemagick

Open the text editor and paste these lines into it:

for i in *.JPG; do convert $i -resize 10% $(basename $i .JPG).jpg; done

Save the document and give it a sensible name to recognize it later on.

Note that this script will work only with files that has uppercase '.JPG' extension and renames them to lower case '.jpg'. Some digital cameras follow this kind of file naming schema. You may like to change this to suit your needs.According to its manual page ImageMagick can read, convert and write images in a variety of formats (about 100) including GIF, JPEG, JPEG-2000, PNG, PDF, PhotoCD, TIFF and DPX.

If you want to define the size of the picture replace the "10%" with the amount of pixels you want it to have, 400x600 is a usable resolution. Of course it is also possible to keep the relative scale with any value instead of the “10” followed by "%" postfix. To change the file format to something other than “.JPG” you have to change the last “.JPG” into the format of your choice.

If you want to rename the pictures, you have to add something behind the "(basename $i .JPG)" and the ".JPG". I usually add an "­-s" (for small) to indicate the reduced size of the pictures.

When you run the script it will proceed to resize all the pictures in the current folder, but not in any sub folders. Keep in mind that:

  • Small pictures are small forever, you can't revert them.
  • The filenames must not contain any space
  • The filename must match to the first two “.JPG” or “.jpg”

Examples Scripts:

# capital .JPG files, 10% size, no rename, it will overwrite the old
for i in *.JPG; do convert $i -resize 10% $(basename $i .JPG).JPG; done
# lower case .jpg files, 10% size, renamed to capital .JPG (with ubuntu it's
a different file, not with windows!)
for i in *.jpg; do convert $i -resize 10% $(basename $i .jpg ).JPG; done
# capital .JPG files, 10% size, adds an -s in the name of the new ones,
keeps the old ones
for i in *.JPG; do convert $i -resize 10% $(basename $i .JPG)-s.JPG; done
# capital .JPG files, 600x400 size, no rename, it will overwrite the old
for i in *.JPG; do convert $i -resize 600x400 $(basename $i .JPG).JPG; done

THE THIRD WAVE A Volunteer Story

Returned to my hotel room exhausted. The noise and heat in the braille labeler workshop drains me at the end of the day. Its my second week in Vellore (Tamil Nadu), I'm here to help Ted Moallem build braille labelers with a team of blind workers. There isn't much to do in this town, expect watch television until I can't keep my eyes open. While channel surfing I found The Third Wave playing on Sony Pix. Its a movie you shouldn't miss, it will move you to tears.

The Third Wave Movie Poster

The documentary tells the story after the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka. A group of four volunteers come together to rebuild the village of Peraliya. They are not part of any non-profit organization, they are people who just want to help and meet each other by chance. Some had sort help of friends to buy tickets to Sri Lanka. They arrive with few hundred dollars in their pockets. The story follows Alison, Oscar, Bruce, Donny and countless volunteers who fight against odds to bring medical care, relief and supplies. They start a medical aid station in the village school and take care of a relief camp.

Children are the most affected by the Tsunami, many lost their family right before eyes. The volunteers work with children and take them to beach. The children are nervous, its their first time in the sea after the 40 foot wave wiped out their village. Soon the children overcome their fears and have a gala time until they stumble upon a dead body half buried in sand. The reality of life aftermath the tsunami is capture vivid in this movie. The volunteers fight exhaustion, frustration to regain the piece of paradise lost.

Bait Seaside Restaurant, Kovalam beach

Taj Green Cove in Kovalam, Trivandrum opened a new seaside restaurant Bait. If you are craving for a good thin crust pizza then you should try Bait's wood chip oven baked pizza the best in town.

The restaurant is designed by local architect Vinod Mathew, he showed me around this amazing place. The restaurant is constructed on raised platform of solid timber away from reach of high tide. It has some of best view of the beach, the lake on the other side and Taj Bali village style cottages further inland.

Old wooden railway sleepers are layed all around the building adding texture with their weathered look, they are used because of their amazing resistant to sea water. The restaurant flooring is created with concrete mixed with gel and coloring agents, the bathrooms are great example of how you can use concrete to create great surfaces. The bar stools are created from single block of wood, the chairs are custom designed with bamboo string backs. The deck chairs are custom designed and built in Vinod's workshop. I won't blame you if you doze right away in these comfortable chairs. The ceiling is covered with elephant grass and grass hand woven mats covering inner roof.

Bait Seaside Restaurant
Wooden Railway Sleepers

Bait Seaside Restaurant
Custom Designed Furniture

Bait Seaside Restaurant
Watch the fisherman bring in the catch
Bait Seaside Restaurant

Bait Seaside Restaurant
Meera enjoying in the children play area

Bean bags for adding comfort

Bar with wooden block chairs