Cool Projects

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It Actually Is Rocket Science

I've never once made a model rocket. I've always wanted to, but apart from "tube with explodey rocket part", I really didn't know where to start with designing. I recently found an open-source application that should help me with my lack of rocket science know-how: OpenRocket.
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BirdCam, Round Two

In the October 2013 issue, I described the hardware and software I used to create my "BirdTopia Monitoring Station", more commonly called BirdCam. If you've been visiting BirdCam recently, which a surprising number of folks have been doing, you'll notice quite a few changes (Figure 1). In this article, I describe the upgrades, the changes and some of the challenges along the way.
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Cribbage: Sorting Your Hand

We've been working on writing code for the game Cribbage, and last time, I created the code needed to pick a random subset of six cards out of a "deck" and display them in an attractive format—like this: $ sh cribbage.sh Card 0: 7C Card 1: 5H Card 2: 9H Card 3: 10S Card 4: 5D Car
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Counting Cards: Cribbage

I've spent the past few months reviewing shell scripting basics, so I think it's time to get back into an interesting project.
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Design Your Own Rocket

A lot of the software packages I've covered in recent articles have been focused strictly on doing computations on your machine, separate from the real world. So in this article, I explore how to use your computer to design something you can build and use in the real world: your own model rocket.
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June 2012 Issue of Linux Journal: Cool Projects

Keeping It Cool... Three days ago here in northern Michigan, we had a heavy frost overnight. Those gardeners who ambitiously planted their plants early had to cover them with tarps or tents to make sure they didn't die in the frigid night. Yesterday, the temperature was 96°F. Michigan weather is weird.
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The Linux powered LAN Gaming House

LAN parties offer the enjoyment of head to head gaming in a real-life social environment. In general, they are experiencing decline thanks to the convenience of Internet gaming, but Kenton Varda is a man who takes his LAN gaming very seriously. His LAN gaming house is a fascinating project, and best of all, Linux plays a part in making it all work.
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Tor Browser Bundle-Tor Goes Portable

I've never covered a subproject of something I've reviewed before, but I noticed this a few weeks ago when trawling the Tor site (I've no idea how I missed it until now). It seemed so important that I instantly gave it top billing for this month's column.
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Project - Brain Workshop

If you're looking to improve your mental faculties, especially in the area of memory, check out this project. According to the Web site: Brain Workshop is a free open-source version of the dual n-back brain training exercise.
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Kinect with Linux

The Minority Report has been in rotation on cable lately, and you've probably seen the futuristic vision of Tom Cruise standing in front of a large screen, manipulating information with waves of his hands. That vision is a bit closer to reality, thanks in part to the economies of scale of the game industry.