I’m posting a few notes of projects that I’m working on, and design decisions that have come to mind in the past couple weeks. First off, exam season is finally over, meaning I’m back open to free thought! Well, I was before, but assignments and studying tend to encourage a one-track mind. Anyways, I have started developping a couple neat applications, both of them mostly for personal use but who knows. The source will come up this week, though not in its completed iteration.

Project One: The RegEx String Generator

I’ve been toying with this for a while, mostly for content organization, testing and such. As a result I’ve started to develop a DLL that allows its users to give a regex string as an input and either ask for iterated values (such as iterating through all possible strings) or to generate random values. I think that something like this would allow for much easier application testing as you would only need to include the library in your project and run test patterns on it. So far it has literals support, integer (both range and digit iteratation), and soon will support character ranges (and traditional arguments such as ‘w’ in regex). Overall this is still a young project, but with promising results.

Project Two: Surface PC

Now that it’s summer and I will start earning some money again I can start to develop my surface pc. I have sourced some suppliers for the components, and aside from working out the projection setup (have to amplify the projection distance somehow) I have figured out most details. I’ve decided to forgo FTIR for my first table iteration, and will try using corner mounted linearly planed lasers. This apparently has a much brighter result for the camera and will also allow a narrow band filter to be applied to the lens, allowing for daytime operation (a limitation of most general design FTIR tables). Also, I will start to write some multi-touch applications in the near future, though the issue remains that I will not be able to test them until I am sure that the table is fully functional. The project budget is looking near $850, which isn’t too bad, considering that includes a projector and basically every component (aside from the PC itself, though I am looking at a high def silent PC with a budget of around $300, so this might be a silent, nearly instant-on touch PC when I’m done with it). More posts and details and a detailed walkthrough to come as I design and build the table!

All in all, this summer looks promising for side projects, and given that I have my weekends free this year (unlike previous years) I will finally be able to once again make some progress on development. Look back here mid June time for the start of the Surface PC saga.