Google Authenticator and a finished robot

Last Tuesday, we got our robot shipped, or rather, put in a big clear plastic bag with big red zip tie on it. Although we shipped overweight, and missing a few components, this is better than last year on completeness at ship. I have a few pictures in my “Robots” Facebook album, showing off Ursa Major (our robot).

Last night, I upgraded my Debian VM to Squeeze, and set up Google Authenticator on it. The Makefile is kinda terrible, but it works as of now. I just scanned the barcode that loaded the secret key into the authenticator app on my phone, and now I can authenticate with time-based one-time passwords. I got it to compile on Mac OS X (some things are hacked up), but I don’t think it exactly works. I’ll have to dig in further to figure it out though.

Google Authenticator works rather well, although one thing I want is a timeout indicator so I know when my password is going to expire, so I don’t get half-way through typing it and it times out.

That is all.

Half-Life 2 for days…

So, my gamerscore on Xbox LIVE got reset, as it was indeed modded. So, I started to collect my achievements again. I started off by playing Half-Life 2 over again. It was fun. I paused in the middle to play Portal, which took 70 minutes, including me pausing to talk to some friends. That was especially fun, especially when pulling the cameras off.

So, when I turned off my Xbox 360, then turned it back off, it said that I had none of the Orange Box achievements I had collected. Such BS.

However, I had fun playing Half-Life 2 again, as well as Portal. I started Half-Life 2: Episode One, and got out of the Citadel, but stopped to play some Halo: Reach with my friend Brant, and later, Lane joined us, while we were attempting to complete a weekly challenge.

So this weekend was turbo fun, and now people can be less mad about me not writing a blog post. Great job.

So have fun, and stay alive until Mid-Winter Break.. 😉

Robots and their construction

As you probably know, I’m in my high school’s robotics club. We participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), a competition sponsored by FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, which also holds lower level competitions.

The “Build Season,” when we construct the actual robot, has started. Four teams have been assigned components to complete, with one team integrating the components together, as well as building the basic chassis. Many teams are already jumping onto completing their tasks, and are making good progress to completing our robot.

Something this will accomplish that is very critical is being able to build two robots, and have LOTS of driver practice. Driver practice is critical for success, and the last year, we got next to ZERO driver practice in.

Of course, I can’t reveal details, as it’s top secret, and if other teams were to get in on it, I’d be in real bad trouble, but I can tell you that this reorganization of the club will certainly make our robot a serious contender in the competition.

This isn’t going to be the last time I post about our club, but it’s the first this year.

Snow Fun Time!!

Here in the Puget Sound, we’re having a stormy winter. We’ve gotten about 6 inches of snow, and we’re remaining below freezing all day.

My school district has cancelled school for today, and many students believe that we will not have school tomorrow either, as many of the roads are covered in thick ice, and since the temperatures are remaining low, standing water from melted ice is just gonna freeze back up.

On a slightly related note, I have finished watching all of Stargate SG-1. This puts me at having watched over 81% of all Stargate (if movies are counted as two episodes)

I will be completely caught up by the time Stargate Universe Season 2.5 comes around, so then I will just wait like everyone else for new episodes.

Maple Valley Days 2010

Today, Maple Valley Days in 2010 wrapped up. Bear Metal, also known as The Tahoma Robotics Club, had the opportunity to participate in the parade for another year, as well as have a booth again.

This year, we brought all three of our remaining robots, Catalyst, Bearenstein, and Odyssey.

Continue reading “Maple Valley Days 2010”

National Day of Silence speaks out in the wrong way, ineffective

Today, at my school, and thousands of other schools around the nation, students participated in a Day of Silence. It is a silent protest to bring to light “anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools.”However, silence is an ineffective tool against discrimination. Continue reading “National Day of Silence speaks out in the wrong way, ineffective”


Altana, a misspelling of the city Atlanta, where the FIRST world championship is held, is a running gag in our club. Originally, Fred, our current Vice President wrote on our website in 2008 “Were going to Altana!”

This year, at the Seattle Regional, we were the 2nd seeded team. Yes, 2nd out of 64 teams. We also had the most Coopertition ™ Points, and therefore got the Coopertition ™ Award. We also won the Industrial Design Award, sponsored by General Motors.

Unfortunately, we were knocked out in the semi-finals again by the eventual winners of the event, Team XBOT, Hotwire, and SOTA Bots, so congratulations! We also did not win the Chairman’s Award, however Skunkworks did, so congratulations to them. So we again don’t get to go to “Altana.”

In related news, Kevin Ross and Deb Mumm-Hill announced that the state government DOUBLED the FRC grant money, so that more FRC teams can be started. This lead to the announcement of a possible second regional in the Seattle area, which we hope will be timed so that our team can attend it as well as the current Seattle regional and the Portland regional.

Again with the mill type thing

Yesterday, Sunday, I got the opportunity to cut out some parts on our nice new mill we got last week. It’s fast.

So far, we’ve been running the mill with just spraying with WD-40 as a coolant, but once we get actual coolant running across the tool, we can cut even faster than with just WD-40.

The hard part of making a drain to recycle the coolant is mostly complete, Mr. Prelesnik, a fabrication mentor put in a drain hole, through the shower vinyl that covers the table the mill rests on.