Egg-sausting Problems

There is a saying that goes something like, “hidden in a solution, is another problem” (or I just made that up). Today was a day filled with sneaky problems, including egg shaped spheres.

To kick off the morning, we ran into issues involving the Wiimote and the Smoothboard software. Before I go any further, it should be explained that we have a laptop dedicated to each project. For example there is one laptop for the DSE, another for the Planeterranium, and another for the SuN. However, for some reason the SuN laptop doesn’t have a registered version of Smoothboard, while the Planeterranium laptop does. Secondly for some reason, the aspect ratio and resolution of the Planeterranium laptop creates a much better fitting projection onto the sphere than the SuN laptop does. We tried every combination of projector resolution settings and SuN laptop resolution settings, but the projected image always seemed look like an egg. The Planeterranium laptop on the other hand, has resolution settings that make the images fit perfectly onto the sphere. Unfortunately, the Planeterranium laptop has a mysterious problem with retrieving and loading some images from the DSO libraries. Some images, when loaded, become warped. However, this doesn’t happen with the SuN laptop. In short, where one laptop fails, the other succeeds.

Next, we have run into some problems with the inflatable sphere itself. Overtime, it does seem to “sag” a bit, resulting in an egg shape. This contributes to the above issue where the aspect ratio and resolution settings of the laptop and projector do not really work together. This isn’t  a very large problem, but constant re-pumping of the sphere might not only be annoying, but it may also affect the structural integrity of the sphere.

Next, we must address an issue about the source code. Currently, the code operates by skipping over images that aren’t found. This translates to skipping a day in the timelapse. While skipping one day is not a big deal. skipping too many may be a little too obtrusive to the user’s experience. Additionally, by skipping over a day, we are decreasing the total number of images in a wavelength set. We must amend this by adding a function that adds additional days to the end of the arrayList when days are skipped.

Lastly, we have a small issue with some Wiimotes. Smoothboard allows us to easily configure a Wiimote with a computer. However, we have been unsuccessful in making Smoothboard detect all Wiimotes, except for one. This issue hasn’t been of great concern, so we have not extensively tested it. After we wrestle with the above issues, we will pay more attention to this one.

Today we have discovered a plethora of problems, and it has been egg-sausting. But honestly, I would be more concerned if we ran into very few issues.

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