Feels right

There were a lot of complicated reasons that I became a technical writer, although the vast majority of them I probably would not stand behind today. One of the reasons was I saw it as a way to get close to technology without feeling the pressures of having to produce it at the pace that seemed excessive to me at the time. I thought that maybe, like Einstein reading patents, my producing documentation would teach me many things that would keep me engaged with technology, so that I could pursue learning it at my own pace and for my own purposes. It was an attempt to take path of least resistance and avoid competition or having to stay up all night for a boss man. It seemed that other technologists were giving up their health and I just didn’t want that to be my life.

So far, my plan has not panned out. Not only did I vastly underestimate the demands of a 9-5 on time, I didn’t end up working for a software, engineering, or hardware company, but a manufacturer, of toilets no less. Of diversions, it wasn’t the worst, and it did comfort me after the death of my father, who was a plumber (I got the job a month after my dad passed away; it seemed almost a fate type thing). It was also a position that rescued me from having nothing, and for the years I worked there, I was able to experience middle class life for the first time.

Anyways, as I am on the job search, I’m starting to feel again that it is possible for me to achieve my original vision. I had taken a few of the API classes on codeacademy a few years ago with no result (still haven’t written any apps), but now, as I consider API writing jobs a potential option, I started taking classes on documenting APIs. So here I am refreshing my knowledge of APIs, what do ya know. It’s awesome, and it is making me feel good about being a technical writer. I think regardless of whatever type of job I end up getting hired to do, that I should still try to contribute API documentation to an open source project in my spare time. Then, who knows, maybe just as I planned, I’ll get comfortable enough to end up contributing to the apps themselves.

I didn’t do too much coding on it, but I did find out why my music box three js demo wasn’t showing up on my portfolio. So I have it showing up again (https://melanieallen.nfshost.com/demoscene/music_box.html), but I have a few problems, some new and some old 1) the ballerina doesn’t just turn on the z axis, but flips upside down every other turn 2) the scene takes too long to load 3) the box is not in the center of the screen 4) tapping the turnkey on phone doesn’t work as well as clicking for some reason 5) I want the box to be inside another scene, on a table in a girl’s room 6) I need to add instructions so that people know what to do 8) I eventually want a mirror behind the ballerina, jewelry in the box, other small details 9) I want the music that plays to be more like an actual music box’s.


Two strands functional


I have successfully created two sections of LED strip out of the total nine sections of strip required. So as to not get overwhelmed my plan is one strand soldered daily. I hooked up the mic and tried to get some “sound-reactive” code to work, but it did not. I may have to end up doing way more work than I expected to get the level of sound reaction I desire. Oh well, if by the beach trip I just have funky lights thats OK.

Prototyped it

This weekend, I did not accomplish too much. I had a bit of an emotional Saturday. Um, a private matter from which I recovered by Sunday. On Sunday, I successfully prototyped the circuit to power and control ~ 1m of Neopixel Strip using the Gemma microcontroller and printed an enclosure to protect the Gemma.

I did this the usual way of uploading via putting test code in a new sketch with the arduino app and uploading it from the computer that way. Later I messed around a little with my Flora microcontroller, though I didn’t get too far, I found out there is a neat service called Codebender. This seems promising when it comes to sharing my project with the world.

I’m a little short on time, so as there doesn’t seem to be a smooth integration between my Instagram content and wordpress, I’m going to have to refer your video needs to said platform, just click the image below.  You can hear the Replicator 2 printing away in the background. :3


So, I’m a little conflicted on this part because, Ben seems to think breaking the neopixel into 1 m sections is probably not necessary. Which would mean, maybe I should only cut 2 m sections?  Yet, the documentation says there will be discoloration and I would like to minimize it, and the recommendation is to power it in branches? But that’s the next step I guess, is to get two LED strips powered in parallel. I might just do 2m first to see how it looks. If it looks good, I’ll just make something else light up with the 1m strip I cut to test.

EDIT (3/31): I totally know how I’m going to do this now. I am going to break it into the 1 m sections, and I was completely overthinking how to get it to happen.

I also did do a squat workout test of Athos, but I’m trying to figure out the best way to provide that information here. You can “Share” your workout using the Athos app, but thus far I am not terribly impressed with the information detail that provides. I probably will need to get some sort of screen capture tool on the Ipod and maybe it has the wordpress app.

Tea Leaf Reader

I am developing a tea leaf reader app.

Here are some notes about Tea Leaf Reader:

  • Uses Supervised Learning
  • Uses Classification
  • Follows principles of http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18241/18241-0.txt (NOTE: “This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.”)
    • Instructions to user from Ch 1
    • User uses instructions to take a picture of their teacup. A boundary circle overlaying the camera view lets them know where to position teacup.
  •  App must:
    • “find some fairly close resemblance between the groups formed by the leaves and various natural or artificial objects”
    • “relative importance must be judged according to their size”
    • “isolated leaves or groups of a few leaves or stems frequently form letters of the alphabet or numbers. These letters and numbers possess meanings which must be sought in conjunction with other signs.”
    • “If the combined symbol appears near the handle and near the rim of the cup, the letter is close at hand; if in the bottom there will be delay in its receipt.”
    •  “Birds flying always indicate news of some sort.” if toward “house”, news from you, if away, news to you.
    • “the dust in the tea and the smaller leaves and stems frequently form lines of dots. These are significant of a journey, and their extent and direction shows its length and the point of the compass towards which it will extend: the handle for this purpose being considered as due south.”
    • “some cups when examined will present no features of interest, or will be so clouded and muddled that no clear
      meaning is to be read in them. In such a case the seer should waste no time over them.”
    • must be able to accept “horary questions”.
  • App images for training set are:
    • ABBEY, future ease and freedom from worry.ACORN, improvement in health, continued health, strength, and good
      fortune.AIRCRAFT, unsuccessful projects.

      ANCHOR, a lucky sign; success in business and constancy in love; if
      cloudy, the reverse must be read.

      ANGEL, good news, especially good fortune in love.

      APES, secret enemies.

      APPLES, long life; gain by commerce.

      APPLE-TREE, change for the better.

      ARCH, a journey abroad.

      ARROW, a disagreeable letter from the direction in which it comes.

      ASS, misfortune overcome by patience; or a legacy.

      AXE, difficulties overcome.

      BADGER, long life and prosperity as a bachelor.

      BASKET, an addition to the family.

      BAT, fruitless journeys or tasks.

      BEAR, a long period of travel.

      BEASTS, other than those mentioned, foretell misfortune.

      BIRDS, a lucky sign; good news if flying, if at rest a fortunate

      BOAT, a friend will visit the consultant.

      BOUQUET, one of the luckiest of symbols; staunch friends, success, a
      happy marriage.

      BRIDGE, a favourable journey.

      BUILDING, a removal.

      BULL, slander by some enemy.

      BUSH, an invitation into society.

      BUTTERFLY, success and pleasure.

      CAMEL, a burden to be patiently borne.

      CANNON, good fortune.

      CAR (MOTOR), and CARRIAGE, approaching wealth, visits from friends.

      CART, fluctuations of fortune.

      CASTLE, unexpected fortune or a legacy.

      CAT, difficulties caused by treachery.

      CATHEDRAL, great prosperity.

      CATTLE, prosperity.

      CHAIN, an early marriage; if broken, trouble in store.

      CHAIR, an addition to the family.

      CHURCH, a legacy.

      CIRCLES, money or presents. They mean that the person whose fortune is
      read may expect money or presents.

      CLOUDS, serious trouble; if surrounded by dots, financial success.

      CLOVER, a very lucky sign; happiness and prosperity. At the top of the
      cup, it will come quickly. As it nears the bottom, it will mean more or
      less distant.

      COCK, much prosperity.

      COFFIN, long sickness or sign of death of a near relation or great

      COMET, misfortune and trouble.

      COMPASSES, a sign of travelling as a profession.

      COW, a prosperous sign.

      CROSS, a sign of trouble and delay or even death.

      CROWN, success and honour.

      CROWN AND CROSS, signifies good fortune resulting from death.

      DAGGER, favours from friends.

      DEER, quarrels, disputes; failure in trade.

      DOG, a favourable sign; faithful friends, if at top of cup; in middle of
      cup, they are untrustworthy; at the bottom means secret enemies.

      DONKEY, a legacy long awaited.

      DOVE, a lucky symbol; progress in prosperity and affection.

      DRAGON, great and sudden changes.

      DUCK, increase of wealth by trade.

      EAGLE, honour and riches through change of residence.

      ELEPHANT, a lucky sign; good health.

      FALCON, a persistent enemy.

      FERRET, active enemies.

      FISH, good news from abroad; if surrounded by dots, emigration.

      FLAG, danger from wounds inflicted by an enemy.

      FLEUR-DE-LYS, same as LILY (q.v.).

      FLOWERS, good fortune, success; a happy marriage.

      FOX, treachery by a trusted friend.

      FROG, success in love and commerce.

      GALLOWS, a sign of good luck.

      GOAT, a sign of enemies, and of misfortune to a sailor.

      GOOSE, happiness; a successful venture.

      GRASSHOPPER, a great friend will become a soldier.

      GREYHOUND, a good fortune by strenuous exertion.

      GUN, a sign of discord and slander.

      HAMMER, triumph over adversity.

      HAND, to be read in conjunction with neighbouring symbols and according
      to what it points.

      HARE, a sign of a long journey, or the return of an absent friend. Also
      of a speedy and fortunate marriage to those who are single.

      HARP, marriage, success in love.

      HAT, success in life.

      HAWK, an enemy.

      HEART, pleasures to come; if surrounded by dots, through money; if
      accompanied by a ring, through marriage.

      HEAVENLY BODIES, SUN, MOON AND STARS, signifies happiness and success.

      HEN, increase of riches or an addition to the family.

      HORSE, desires fulfilled through a prosperous journey.

      HORSE-SHOE, a lucky journey or success in marriage and choosing a

      HOUR-GLASS, imminent peril.

      HOUSE, success in business.

      HUMAN FIGURES must be judged according to what they appear to be doing.
      They are generally good and denote love and marriage.

      INTERROGATION (mark of), doubt or disappointment.

      IVY, honour and happiness through faithful friends.

      JACKAL, a sly animal who need not be feared. A mischief maker of no

      JOCKEY, successful speculation.

      JUG, good health.

      KANGAROO, a rival in business or love.

      KETTLE, death.

      KEY, money, increasing trade, and a good husband or wife.

      KITE, a sign of lengthy voyaging and travel leading to honour and

      KNIFE, a warning of disaster through quarrels and enmity.

      LADDER, a sign of travel.

      LEOPARD, a sign of emigration with subsequent success.

      LETTERS, shown by square or oblong tea-leaves, signifies news. Initials
      near will show surnames of writers; if accompanied by dots they will
      contain money; if unclouded, good; but if fixed about by clouds, bad
      news or loss of money.

      LILY, at top of cup, health and happiness; a virtuous wife; at bottom,
      anger and strife.

      LINES indicate journeys and their direction, read in conjunction with
      other signs of travel; wavy lines denote troublesome journeys or losses

      LION, greatness through powerful friends.

      LYNX, danger of divorce or break off of an engagement.

      MAN, a visitor arriving. If the arm is held out, he brings a present.
      If figure is very clear, he is dark; if indistinct, he is of light

      MERMAID, misfortune, especially to seafaring persons.

      MITRE, a sign of honour to a clergyman or through religious agency.

      MONKEY, the consultant will be deceived in love.

      MOON (as a crescent), prosperity and fortune.

      MOUNTAIN, powerful friends; many mountains, equally powerful enemies.

      MOUSE, danger of poverty through theft or swindling.

      MUSHROOM, sudden separation of lovers after a quarrel.

      NOSEGAY, the same as BOUQUET (q.v.).

      NUMBERS depends on symbols in conjunction with them.

      OAK, very lucky; long life, good health, profitable business, and a
      happy marriage.

      OBLONG FIGURES, family or business squabbles.

      OWL, an evil omen, indicative of sickness, poverty, disgrace, a warning
      against commencing any new enterprise. If the consultant be in love he
      or she will be deceived.

      PALM-TREE, good luck; success in any undertaking. A sign of children to
      a wife and of a speedy marriage to a maid.

      PARROT, a sign of emigration for a lengthy period.

      PEACOCK, denotes success and the acquisition of property; also a happy

      PEAR, great wealth and improved social position; success in business,
      and to a woman a wealthy husband.

      PEDESTRIAN, good news; an important appointment.

      PHEASANT, a legacy.

      PIG, good and bad luck mixed: a faithful lover but envious friends.

      PIGEONS, important news if flying; if at rest, domestic bliss and wealth
      acquired in trade.

      PINE-TREE, continuous happiness.

      PISTOL, disaster.

      RABBIT, fair success in a city or large town.

      RAT, treacherous servants; losses through enemies.

      RAVEN, death for the aged; disappointment in love, divorce, failure in
      business, and trouble generally.

      RAZOR, lovers’ quarrels and separation.

      REPTILE, quarrels.

      RIDER, good news from overseas regarding financial prospects.

      RIFLE, a sign of discord and strife.

      RING, a ring means marriage; and if a letter can be found near it, this
      is the initial of the future spouse. If clouds are near the ring, an
      unhappy marriage; if all is clear about it, the contrary. A ring right
      at the bottom means the wedding will not take place.

      ROSE, a lucky sign betokening good fortune and happiness.

      SAW, trouble brought about by strangers.

      SCALES, a lawsuit.

      SCEPTRE, a sign of honour from royalty.

      SCISSORS, quarrels; illness; separation of lovers.

      SERPENT, spiteful enemies; bad luck; illness.

      SHARK, danger of death.

      SHEEP, success, prosperity.

      SHIP, a successful journey.

      SNAKES are a sign of bad omen. Great caution is needed to ward off

      SPIDER, a sign of money coming to the consultant.

      SQUARES, comfort and peace.

      STAR, a lucky sign; if surrounded by dots foretells great wealth and

      STEEPLE, bad luck.

      STRAIGHT LINE, a journey, very pleasant.

      STRAIGHT LINES are an indication of peace, happiness, and long life.

      SWALLOW, a journey with a pleasant ending.

      SWAN, good luck and a happy marriage.

      SWORD, dispute, quarrels between lovers; a broken sword, victory of an

      TIMBER, logs of timber indicate business success.

      TOAD, deceit and unexpected enemies.

      TREES, a lucky sign; a sure indication of prosperity and happiness;
      surrounded by dots, a fortune in the country.

      TRIANGLES, always a sign of good luck and unexpected legacies.

      TRIDENT, success and honours in the Navy.

      TWISTED FIGURES, disturbances and vexation; grievances if there are many
      such figures.

      UMBRELLA, annoyance and trouble.

      UNICORN, scandal.

      VULTURE, bitter foes.

      WAGON, a sign of approaching poverty.

      WAVY LINES, if long and waved, denote losses and vexations. The
      importance of the lines depends upon the number of them and if heavy or

      WHEEL, an inheritance about to fall in.

      WINDMILL, success in a venturous enterprise.

      WOLF, beware of jealous intrigues.

      WOMAN, pleasure and happiness; if accompanied by dots, wealth or
      children. Several women indicate scandal.

      WOOD, a speedy marriage.

      WORMS indicate secret foes.

      YACHT, pleasure and happiness.

      YEW-TREE indicates the death of an aged person who will leave his
      possessions to the consultant.

      ZEBRA, travel and adventure in foreign lands.

  • Interpretations take the form of a couple paragraphs and a listing of the symbols:
    • This is a fortunate horoscope. If cup has been turned by a man it showsthat he will gain success, honour, and wealth in the profession of a
      naval officer. If by a woman then her luck is bound up with that of a
      sailor or marine.The pistols on the sides show the profession of arms, and the naval gun
      in the bottom of the cup accompanied by a trident the branch to which he
      belongs. The on one side and the tree on the other are two of the best
      signs of promotion, rewards, and prosperity. The house near the pistol
      pointing towards the handle of the cup indicates the acquisition of
      property, but as neither tree nor house are surrounded by dots this will
      be a town, not a country, residence. The repetition of the initial ‘L’
      may show the name of the admiral, ship, or battle in which the officer
      will win renown. The triangles confirm the other signs of good fortune.



      _Principal Symbols_:–

      Two pistols on sides.
      A cannon in conjunction with a trident in centre.
      A pear.
      A tree.

      on sides.
      A house.
      A pair of compasses near the rim.
      Several small triangles scattered about. Initial letters ‘L’
      (twice), ‘N,’ and ‘V’ (twice).