Sunday, September 24, 2006

Start of School

School has started. It feels different this year since I was already here a few week and there were no hurried last minute preparations right before school started with last minute decisions. L. and I went to the school welcome party. I could not convince L. of the joy of throwing themselves against a Velcro wall but I was able to get myself stuck upside down a couple of times. She did agree to dress up in giant padded suits for sumo wrestling. We also went to her opening picnic and it was weird that all it took was a year to be the respected upper-classmen. L. finished a month long “September experience” were she helped out a speech therapist at schools. She only has one more term of school and she will be done with classes in December. Then she has a school internship for one term and hospital internship for the other term. She is also studying for her test that will test everything that she has learned in the last 4 years that she has to pass for her license.
I am taking it relatively easy this term to allow me time to try to build the device for my thesis. I have been scrounging up broken LCD screen from the campus and recycling centers to try to get the parts I need.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Computer Trouble

Every computer we have decided to fail since I got back. L. got a new laptop when the motherboard failed on her old laptop. The early warning light came on for the hard drives for our computer we use for storage. Then to top it off my laptop decided it wanted to give up the ghost by burning out the LCD screen. The print head then decided to bend off on our printer, and L's iPod does is to old to record her sessions so we had to buy a new one. Replacing everything took a large chunk of the money from my internship. So no matter how much someone learns about technology it should give you heart that computers will still give them trouble."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Speak Like a Pirate Day

So, this seems like a silly reason to celebrate so why not. For some reason a lot of people like the day on the technical websites I read so I read about it there. I was home for the day doing homework and needed to blow off some steam so I looked up on the internet some recipes to make of what a pirate would eat. I ended up making mango bread, some fish, and a cake for desert that did not come out well at all. I went to the video store and rented cutthroat island and I got a couple of eye patches from the toy section at the grocery store. We just bought a new color printer so to top it off I printed out a sign to test the new printer and taped it to the front door for when L. got home. When she got home she was surprised that I had heard of the day since she thought that it was only at the school she was working at. It made for a nice change of pace that did not cost that much even if we never did use the eye patches.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Area of Research

To get a Masters degree here there are three choices, thesis, project, or just extra classes. I was going in the direction of extra classes so that I could take the psychology classes but I may change my mind.
In two of my classes Spring term I had to write a final paper. To kill two birds with one stone I decided to write one paper for both classes. So as to not feel guilty I did put a lot more research and work into it then I would for writing a paper.
I just happened to read an article on the Slashdot website that peaked my interest. The basic idea is the ability to see using touch(haptics). The highest concentration of touch sensor nerves a person has is on their tongue. So a small grid is placed on the tongue with the other side hooked up to a camera. After a few minutes of training the brain starts translating the information using the visual cortex and is able to translate the spatial information as if it was a third eye.
So that is the current technology, the down side is that it is equivalent to 20-860 vision (legally blind is 20-400, normal vision is 20-20). I realized a lot of improvements I could make while I was writing the paper. I talked to one of my professors and they agreed to be my advisor for the project I wanted to do it. During the summer everyone I talked with, the topic kept coming up, and I got more ideas.
So I have decided to seriously look into it so now I have to build this device. The problem being I don't have any real electronics experience. So I have been desperately trying to learn quickly in this lull before school starts.