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(Yahoo)   'Adults' are giddy about Lego's new Mindstorms sets rolling out next month. Hackers are also excited as the open source software uses Linux for the first time, and controller apps are integrated for tablets and mobile phones   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 64
    More: Interesting, Lego, robot kit, Mindstorms, Silicon Valley, surgical robot, Dean Kamen, laser cutter, mockup  
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4024 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Aug 2013 at 5:54 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-18 06:00:07 PM
Maunder it's time I start studying that Linus thingy... He's the one with the piano, right?
 
2013-08-18 06:01:46 PM
FTA: Many of them were drawn to the tech sector by the flagship kits that came on the market in 1998, introducing computerized movement to the traditional snap-together toy blocks and allowing the young innovators to build their first robots.

It would seem the interns writing Yahoo News are too young to remember Lego Logo on the Apple II.
 
2013-08-18 06:07:11 PM
Hacking Open Source software.....

Hacking Open Source

Hacking Open

Hacking
 
2013-08-18 06:14:40 PM

styckx: Hacking Open Source software.....

Hacking Open Source

Hacking Open

Hacking


Harumph!  The last time I hacked something open, people with long titles started throwing around that 'manslaughter' word in a serious kinda way.
 
2013-08-18 06:30:57 PM
It's pretty great. I recently wrapped up a big review and feature about Mindstorms at work, and the new brick is awesome. It's my first time with Mindstorms, but from what I can tell the massively higher amount of RAM (just 64 MB, but it's a thousand times as much as NXT 2.0, which had just 64 KB, and has a microSD card slot) makes it much more flexible. The Bluetooth control means you can make custom control panels for your robots on your iPad (and eventually Android), so you can live-test your robot's motorized functions without needing to program new protocols each time you chance something. And the brick's backwards-compatible with NXT servos and sensors, and you can hack Power Function motors to work with it too.
 
2013-08-18 06:32:38 PM

styckx: Hacking Open Source software.....

Hacking Open Source

Hacking Open

Hacking


Hacking Open Source software

Open Source software

Source software

Source

Half-Life 3 is in development.
 
2013-08-18 06:38:29 PM
How big is this kit? I actually have money, but if I have to spend another $500 to get enough sensors an actuators to do anything I might as well start hunting down old process control hardware.
 
2013-08-18 06:42:23 PM
Ooh... I'm going to build the S*** out of that thing!

i651.photobucket.com

// Best part about getting old:
// Mo' Money for toyz
 
2013-08-18 06:44:43 PM
I remember way, way back in the day where one of my classrooms - fourth grade, maybe? - had a very primitive version of this where you plugged Lego Technic models into a breakout box ribbon-cabled to an Apple IIe and programmed them with basic.  Good times were had by all.
 
2013-08-18 06:47:05 PM

wildcardjack: How big is this kit? I actually have money, but if I have to spend another $500 to get enough sensors an actuators to do anything I might as well start hunting down old process control hardware.


$350. Comes with three servos (two large motors and one medium motor) and three sensors (IR, color, and touch). Additional sensors will be $30-50 a pop from LEGO.
 
2013-08-18 07:14:59 PM
As long as it's easy to set the Kill Limit, I will probably buy a set.
 
2013-08-18 07:25:01 PM
I wonder how hard it would be to make a gun sentry and fit it with a real handgun
 
2013-08-18 07:31:17 PM

Bloody William: wildcardjack: How big is this kit? I actually have money, but if I have to spend another $500 to get enough sensors an actuators to do anything I might as well start hunting down old process control hardware.

$350. Comes with three servos (two large motors and one medium motor) and three sensors (IR, color, and touch). Additional sensors will be $30-50 a pop from LEGO.


Not too bad... I've had $10k bills from Omega. At least in a past life.
 
2013-08-18 07:48:04 PM
Bloody William - how many I/0 ports does the brick have?
 
2013-08-18 08:15:37 PM
from Afrel

Comparison LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Intelligent Brick and NXT Intelligent Brick
Processor   ARM9 300MHz          ARM7 48MHz
memory      16MB Flash           256kB (0.256MB) Flash
            64MB RAM             64kB (0.064MB) RAM
operating system
            Linux Base           exclusive OS
Display     178 x 128 pixels     100 x 64 pixels
Output port 4 output ports       3 output
Input port  4 input ports        4 input ports
            analog               analog
            Digital 460.8Kbit/s  digital 9.6Kbit/s (IIC)
Speed of the USB communication
    Hight Speed(480Mbit/s)     Full Speed (12Mbit/s)
USB Interface
    connectable more than EV3s ( up to four)
    Wi-Fi communication Dongle is available
SD card slot
    up to 32GB micro SC card is supported
connection to smart devises
    iOS                         Android
    Android
    Windows
User Interface
    6 buttons                  4 buttons
    illumination function
program size ( in case of line tracing)
    0.950KB                    2.4KB
sensor communication capacity
    1,000 times / second       330 times / second
    1ms                        3ms
Datalogging
    up to 1,000 samplings / second     up to 25 samplings / second
Bluetooth communication
    connectable up to 7 slaves         connectable up to 3 slaves
the size of the test program and operating speed
    2KB                               10KB
    10,000 loops / 60 seconds        760 loops / 60 seconds
   (about 10 times faster)
Motive power
    rechargeable battery Or 6 size AA batteries
 
2013-08-18 08:18:34 PM

acronym: Bloody William - how many I/0 ports does the brick have?


4 sensor, 4 motor. Up to four bricks can be daisy-chained together for 16/16 total.
 
2013-08-18 08:24:18 PM
How ... how can anyone get excited over something trivially 3D printed at home?
 
2013-08-18 08:26:02 PM
wow - 3/3 in 1998, 4/4 in 2013.  progress!
 
2013-08-18 08:36:24 PM
Okay. We get it. And this is one more thing that Linux zealots can point to and say that Linux can do. So what? Beyond running servers and providing endless ways in which you can tweak software, what else is linux good for?

Does it run standard business software? No.
Does it run and play well with any kind of management environment? No.
Does it run the most common graphic design apps? No.
Does it run games? No.

Gimp and Open Office don't completely replace MS Office and Photoshop/Illustrator/etc.
None of the CAD apps I've tested have been able to hold a candle to AutoCAD, SolidWorks, or Unigraphix.
Open directory doesn't feature the same level of integration as AD in corporate space, and AD is, in my experience, more robust.
Enforcing global policies and doing mass software deployments to linux is not nearly as simple as it is on Windows or Mac.
Common web conferencing software like Webex is barely functional on Linux.

So, remind me again why Linux is relevant?
 
2013-08-18 08:46:39 PM

Bravo Two: So, remind me again why Linux is relevant?


I'm guessing you don't own a router?
 
2013-08-18 08:47:34 PM
Damn, I am so conflicted. I want this, but I also want the new Architecture Studio. I wonder if my wife would agree to having more kids?
 
2013-08-18 08:54:50 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: How ... how can anyone get excited over something trivially 3D printed at home?


I know you're doing your usual trolling schtick, but last I checked you still can't 3D print IC's, motors, servos, radio controllers, usb ports, etc. Go crawl back under your bridge numbnuts.
 
2013-08-18 08:58:50 PM

Bravo Two: And this is one more thing that Linux zealots can point to and say that Linux can do. So what?


Welcome to ignore for posting a Linux hate screed on hearing that EV3 runs Linux instead of an ad-hoc OS. Boo hoo hoo that this robotic controller can't run business software, MS-office or Adobe Photoshop. Your network router very may run Linux and it may be contaminating you with out you realizing it.
 
2013-08-18 09:15:17 PM

Dingleberry Dickwad: Quantum Apostrophe: How ... how can anyone get excited over something trivially 3D printed at home?

I know you're doing your usual trolling schtick, but last I checked you still can't 3D print IC's, motors, servos, radio controllers, usb ports, etc. Go crawl back under your bridge numbnuts.


But a scientist was wrong once so anything is possible, how can you not see and truly believe this you Luddite?

(So in other words you can't 3D print much except a shell. Hm. I wonder who's been saying this all the time? Nah, can't be.)
 
2013-08-18 09:20:33 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: Dingleberry Dickwad: Quantum Apostrophe: How ... how can anyone get excited over something trivially 3D printed at home?

I know you're doing your usual trolling schtick, but last I checked you still can't 3D print IC's, motors, servos, radio controllers, usb ports, etc. Go crawl back under your bridge numbnuts.

But a scientist was wrong once so anything is possible, how can you not see and truly believe this you Luddite?

(So in other words you can't 3D print much except a shell. Hm. I wonder who's been saying this all the time? Nah, can't be.)


I never said it was never going to be possible though, just not currently. I'll leave that for hypocrites following the cult of eternal life.
 
2013-08-18 09:27:54 PM
This is not the first time Linux has been on the MIndstorm.  It's the first time it's been on it officially.  I was on the open source project that put Linux on the Mindstorm.

My contribution wasn't that exciting.  I implemented the sleep function because I kept forgetting to turn it off and would kill the batteries.  10 minutes of zero activity and it shut itself off.  Yeah, big deal.
 
2013-08-18 09:29:54 PM

Bravo Two: Okay. We get it. And this is one more thing that Linux zealots can point to and say that Linux can do. So what? Beyond running servers and providing endless ways in which you can tweak software, what else is linux good for?

Does it run standard business software? No.
Does it run and play well with any kind of management environment? No.
Does it run the most common graphic design apps? No.
Does it run games? No.

Gimp and Open Office don't completely replace MS Office and Photoshop/Illustrator/etc.
None of the CAD apps I've tested have been able to hold a candle to AutoCAD, SolidWorks, or Unigraphix.
Open directory doesn't feature the same level of integration as AD in corporate space, and AD is, in my experience, more robust.
Enforcing global policies and doing mass software deployments to linux is not nearly as simple as it is on Windows or Mac.
Common web conferencing software like Webex is barely functional on Linux.

So, remind me again why Linux is relevant?


Unless you're an Apple Fanboi, you phone is probably running Linux.  That internet you like to go on to announce your ignorance?  Yeah, that runs mostly on Linux.  Your router?  Probably running Linux.  Though I expect you're the type to connect directly to the internet, without a router or a firewall.
 
2013-08-18 10:14:34 PM

OgreMagi: Bravo Two: Okay. We get it. And this is one more thing that Linux zealots can point to and say that Linux can do. So what? Beyond running servers and providing endless ways in which you can tweak software, what else is linux good for?

Does it run standard business software? No.
Does it run and play well with any kind of management environment? No.
Does it run the most common graphic design apps? No.
Does it run games? No.

Gimp and Open Office don't completely replace MS Office and Photoshop/Illustrator/etc.
None of the CAD apps I've tested have been able to hold a candle to AutoCAD, SolidWorks, or Unigraphix.
Open directory doesn't feature the same level of integration as AD in corporate space, and AD is, in my experience, more robust.
Enforcing global policies and doing mass software deployments to linux is not nearly as simple as it is on Windows or Mac.
Common web conferencing software like Webex is barely functional on Linux.

So, remind me again why Linux is relevant?

Unless you're an Apple Fanboi, you phone is probably running Linux.  That internet you like to go on to announce your ignorance?  Yeah, that runs mostly on Linux.  Your router?  Probably running Linux.  Though I expect you're the type to connect directly to the internet, without a router or a firewall.


blah, if you read what I said, without much finesse, granted, I acknowledged that linux does well for servers. in cases where a gui is unnecessary and only core functions provided by a streamlined, minimal back end, linux is the bees knees. I get that and I strongly support the use of linux and its ancillery server features to do that. in fact, as an extensible OS, it even makes sense from an embedded and core control standpoint.

however, the concept of getting excited by its using linux is tempered by the fact that that alone does not really proffer much in the way of functionality.

I will concede trollishness, but the whole "squee linux" thing is about as tiresome as the "squee apple" thing.

wake me when the use of a particular foundation provides more than simply the ability for thr endlessly geeky to add more features to what their new legos can do.

just because you have an os which is hackable to provide more ability to tweak and mod, doesn't necessarily result in a system that's better.
 
2013-08-18 10:20:18 PM

Bravo Two: OgreMagi: Bravo Two: Okay. We get it. And this is one more thing that Linux zealots can point to and say that Linux can do. So what? Beyond running servers and providing endless ways in which you can tweak software, what else is linux good for?

Does it run standard business software? No.
Does it run and play well with any kind of management environment? No.
Does it run the most common graphic design apps? No.
Does it run games? No.

Gimp and Open Office don't completely replace MS Office and Photoshop/Illustrator/etc.
None of the CAD apps I've tested have been able to hold a candle to AutoCAD, SolidWorks, or Unigraphix.
Open directory doesn't feature the same level of integration as AD in corporate space, and AD is, in my experience, more robust.
Enforcing global policies and doing mass software deployments to linux is not nearly as simple as it is on Windows or Mac.
Common web conferencing software like Webex is barely functional on Linux.

So, remind me again why Linux is relevant?

Unless you're an Apple Fanboi, you phone is probably running Linux.  That internet you like to go on to announce your ignorance?  Yeah, that runs mostly on Linux.  Your router?  Probably running Linux.  Though I expect you're the type to connect directly to the internet, without a router or a firewall.

blah, if you read what I said, without much finesse, granted, I acknowledged that linux does well for servers. in cases where a gui is unnecessary and only core functions provided by a streamlined, minimal back end, linux is the bees knees. I get that and I strongly support the use of linux and its ancillery server features to do that. in fact, as an extensible OS, it even makes sense from an embedded and core control standpoint.

however, the concept of getting excited by its using linux is tempered by the fact that that alone does not really proffer much in the way of functionality.

I will concede trollishness, but the whole "squee linux" thing is about as tiresome as the "squee apple" thing.

wake me when the use of a particular foundation provides more than simply the ability for thr endlessly geeky to add more features to what their new legos can do.

just because you have an os which is hackable to provide more ability to tweak and mod, doesn't necessarily result in a system that's better.


tl;dr: I would love to make linux my main OS and get rid of windows OR mac. the lack of support for even accessing exchange mail/calenders without having to get my server guys to turn on IMAP functionality is a huge pain in the ass and makes linux a no go. as for Mac OS, unix backend is nice, but the front end repeatedly gets in the way.

so for now I shall troll and secretly lament the lack of support for common stuff, or even a reasonable way around it. (oh and the generally fragmented way the GUI is put together due to lack of standardization)
 
2013-08-18 10:26:01 PM
Sweet.  Now they just need to integrate it with My Little Pony and Spongebob.
 
2013-08-19 12:03:40 AM
Intresting...aside from the normal gears and blocks.

I wonder how much is compatible with the original Mindstorms.


Why? We gave our nephews a ancient Mindstorm V.1.0 with the yellow brick...last year. Just for the blocks and and didn't know if their computer would do DL to the Yellow Brick controler...as the CD was lost and we DLed the NXT software.

It did have sensors and the yellow block---which I don't think would be in the picture now for anything.

But it would be nice of the sensors and motors would work with the latest version. They have a box of about 3 to 400 parts..for the V 1.0 mindstorm. No software but have the yellow block and cable.
 
2013-08-19 12:09:06 AM

Bravo Two: OgreMagi: Bravo Two: Okay. We get it. And this is one more thing that Linux zealots can point to and say that Linux can do. So what? Beyond running servers and providing endless ways in which you can tweak software, what else is linux good for?

Does it run standard business software? No.
Does it run and play well with any kind of management environment? No.
Does it run the most common graphic design apps? No.
Does it run games? No.

Gimp and Open Office don't completely replace MS Office and Photoshop/Illustrator/etc.
None of the CAD apps I've tested have been able to hold a candle to AutoCAD, SolidWorks, or Unigraphix.
Open directory doesn't feature the same level of integration as AD in corporate space, and AD is, in my experience, more robust.
Enforcing global policies and doing mass software deployments to linux is not nearly as simple as it is on Windows or Mac.
Common web conferencing software like Webex is barely functional on Linux.

So, remind me again why Linux is relevant?

Unless you're an Apple Fanboi, you phone is probably running Linux.  That internet you like to go on to announce your ignorance?  Yeah, that runs mostly on Linux.  Your router?  Probably running Linux.  Though I expect you're the type to connect directly to the internet, without a router or a firewall.

blah, if you read what I said, without much finesse, granted, I acknowledged that linux does well for servers. in cases where a gui is unnecessary and only core functions provided by a streamlined, minimal back end, linux is the bees knees. I get that and I strongly support the use of linux and its ancillery server features to do that. in fact, as an extensible OS, it even makes sense from an embedded and core control standpoint.

however, the concept of getting excited by its using linux is tempered by the fact that that alone does not really proffer much in the way of functionality.

I will concede trollishness, but the whole "squee linux" thing is about as tiresome as the "squee app ...


Alright.  I'll give you a good reason why Linux on the Mindstorms is awesome.  This is based upon my experience with the open source project, which the Lego company was quite happy with (once the name was changed from LegOS to BrickOS due to trademark concerns).  The software that came with the Mindstorms was plug and play gui.  It was great for teaching children the most basic concepts of programming a robot.  But its ease of use was also it's limitation.  You could only do so much with the supplied software.  There were things the Mindstorms was capable of doing, but could not be done with their supplied language.  Enter BrickOS (the Linux ported to the Mindstorms).  You programmed the Brick (that's the processor of the Mindstorms) with the C language.  You have full access to all ports, all sensors, all motors.  No artificial barrier from a much too simple GUI.  Of course, that gives you the power to crash it so badly you have to do a hard reset to recover, but with great power comes great responsibility.

Now if the Lego company were smart, and they've been pretty damn smart with the Mindstorm, so I don't see them changing, you'll have both the GUI language to get started.  Later you can get under the hood and program like the big boys after you've outgrown the GUI.  That makes the Mindstorms a toy that a seven year old can have fun with, and is still awesome when you are an adult (I'm skipping teens because nothing is awesome to those emo little bastards).

Now let's get back to why Linux is so great on this.  What other operating system would give you all this power and fit into the extremely limited footprint of the unit?  Certainly not Windows.  And Windows CE, while smaller, would suck the life out of the toy and ruin it.  There are some commercial OSes available that would do it.  But they are extremely expensive and are not open.  Really, only Linux (and BSD) fits the bill.
 
2013-08-19 12:56:17 AM

HairBolus: Bravo Two: And this is one more thing that Linux zealots can point to and say that Linux can do. So what?

Welcome to ignore for posting a Linux hate screed on hearing that EV3 runs Linux instead of an ad-hoc OS. Boo hoo hoo that this robotic controller can't run business software, MS-office or Adobe Photoshop. Your network router very may run Linux and it may be contaminating you with out you realizing it.


That is quite possibly the least mature thing I've read on fark... and I spend most of my time trolling the politics tab.
 
2013-08-19 12:57:34 AM

HairBolus: 256kB (0.256MB) Flash


256KB is exactly 0.25MB.

/assuming these are base-2 units, as nothing else makes logical sense for solid state storage.
 
2013-08-19 12:59:04 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: But a scientist was wrong once so anything is possible, how can you not see and truly believe this you Luddite?

(So in other words you can't 3D print much except a shell. Hm. I wonder who's been saying this all the time? Nah, can't be.)


Quantum Threadshiatter
 
2013-08-19 01:08:49 AM

OgreMagi: What other operating system would give you all this power and fit into the extremely limited footprint of the unit?


Why does a robotic controller need a full-fledged computer operating system?  I mean, there's lots of industrial robots that don't have anything more advanced than PLC ladder logic controlling them.

(Of course, one of the advantages of Linux's open source distribution model and (mostly) modular design philosophy is that one can make a flavor of the OS that's as small or as large as it needs to be, for running anything from a $30 embedded system to a $300K mainframe.)
 
2013-08-19 01:38:16 AM

poot_rootbeer: OgreMagi: What other operating system would give you all this power and fit into the extremely limited footprint of the unit?

Why does a robotic controller need a full-fledged computer operating system?  I mean, there's lots of industrial robots that don't have anything more advanced than PLC ladder logic controlling them.

(Of course, one of the advantages of Linux's open source distribution model and (mostly) modular design philosophy is that one can make a flavor of the OS that's as small or as large as it needs to be, for running anything from a $30 embedded system to a $300K mainframe.)


Consider the cost of the development tools.  PLC Controllers are typically proprietary and the tools to program them are expensive.  With Linux, you have hundreds of free tools at your disposal.

Also, with industrial robots, they only need to perform a very limited set of instructions, e.g. lift, cut, turn, cut.  The whole idea of the Lego Mindstorms is you are only limited by your imagination.

Yes, I'm a huge fan of Mindstorms.  I may buy the new release, if I can fit it into my budget.  Sadly, while it is the coolest "toy" out there, it is also damn expensive.
 
2013-08-19 02:06:03 AM

poot_rootbeer: OgreMagi: What other operating system would give you all this power and fit into the extremely limited footprint of the unit?

Why does a robotic controller need a full-fledged computer operating system?  I mean, there's lots of industrial robots that don't have anything more advanced than PLC ladder logic controlling them.

(Of course, one of the advantages of Linux's open source distribution model and (mostly) modular design philosophy is that one can make a flavor of the OS that's as small or as large as it needs to be, for running anything from a $30 embedded system to a $300K mainframe.)


I understand that one of the features of EV3 is that you can program it directly on the brick. It can also do data logging on the brick and more sophisticated graphical displays. Sure, you could do many of these things with less of an OS (or even on a PLC) but I suspect it's a lot easier on top of a real OS. (For the same reason, there are some projects I do on a Pi and some I do on an Arduino.)

It's also possible that they intentionally chose Linux to attract the hacker/maker community on the basis that more people will participate if they can do so by writing in user space on a familiar OS.

The bottom line, though, is that it's helpful to them to have some kind of OS, so why invent and maintain a unique one if there's one that's freely available and adequate to the task? Given the specs of the EV3 brick, they would really have to ask why not Linux.
 
2013-08-19 02:14:01 AM
Well since this seems like the thread to ask in... I'm looking at getting my 10 year old something like this for Christmas this year. He already does loads of lego building, often making his own creations out of the kits and even doing moving parts with various joint pieces. Should I be looking at something like this, or something similar but less complex like the Lego Technics kits to start him out with?
 
2013-08-19 03:08:27 AM

OgreMagi: Enter BrickOS (the Linux ported to the Mindstorms).  You programmed the Brick (that's the processor of the Mindstorms) with the C language.  You have full access to all ports, all sensors, all motors.  No artificial barrier from a much too simple GUI.


NXC (not-exactly-c) gets you about 99% of the way there without having to replace the OS on your Mindstorm.
 
2013-08-19 03:27:52 AM

ausfahrk: OgreMagi: Enter BrickOS (the Linux ported to the Mindstorms).  You programmed the Brick (that's the processor of the Mindstorms) with the C language.  You have full access to all ports, all sensors, all motors.  No artificial barrier from a much too simple GUI.

NXC (not-exactly-c) gets you about 99% of the way there without having to replace the OS on your Mindstorm.


I've used NXC.  It don't think it gets you 99% of the way there. 90% at best.  It's a good tool, though.  And I would recommend it as the interim step between the Lego GUI programming kit and going full C.
 
2013-08-19 04:22:15 AM

OgreMagi: ausfahrk: OgreMagi: Enter BrickOS (the Linux ported to the Mindstorms).  You programmed the Brick (that's the processor of the Mindstorms) with the C language.  You have full access to all ports, all sensors, all motors.  No artificial barrier from a much too simple GUI.

NXC (not-exactly-c) gets you about 99% of the way there without having to replace the OS on your Mindstorm.

I've used NXC.  It don't think it gets you 99% of the way there. 90% at best.  It's a good tool, though.  And I would recommend it as the interim step between the Lego GUI programming kit and going full C.


...which in turn is an interim step between using the NXT and getting a RoBoard or Raspberry Pi.  I've got a 2-ounce RoBoard with a credit-card-sized profile that cost about the same as the NXT, boots Windows from a MicroSD chip, and has on-board I/O for RC servos and analog sensors, as well as being infinitely extensible via USB.  They have native and .Net API layers for the hardware, so you can program it in C++ or C# in Visual Studio.  If you're banging your head against the limitations of the Mindstorm, that's because it's a kid's toy from the mall.
 
2013-08-19 07:16:54 AM
Mindstorms are responsible for my kid becoming an engineer so...yeah. Good stuff. Glad to see it's expanding its reach.

/she still won't learn Linux
//Or Java or C++
///stubborn like her mother
 
rpm
2013-08-19 08:19:44 AM

Bravo Two: the lack of support for even accessing exchange mail/calenders without having to get my server guys to turn on IMAP functionality is a huge pain in the ass


Have you tried Evolution?
 
2013-08-19 08:38:09 AM
My EV3 shows up this morning.  I bought the education version which doesn't have all of the "kids" parts (fangs, weapons, etc) but does have a rechargeable battery pack, the ultrasonic sensor, the gyro, and 2 touch sensors (instead of 1).  It was $340 from LEGO Education, but you do have to buy a software license ($100) or buy the combo pack ($435).  I'm using the licenses that we purchased with the FLL Kit since I'm the coach, so I get by a little cheaper :)

If you buy the retail kit, it's definitely worth it to buy the rechargeable battery pack, although it will set you back $85.

There do seem to be some bugs with the software, but they're minor from what I've been able to determine.
 
2013-08-19 08:54:34 AM

Bravo Two: So, remind me again why Linux is relevant?


My XP installs will stop getting updates in 2014.

This will happen to my Win7 installs too eventually.

My Linux installs will be OK
 
2013-08-19 08:56:36 AM

Bloody William: It's pretty great. I recently wrapped up a big review and feature about Mindstorms at work, and the new brick is awesome. It's my first time with Mindstorms, but from what I can tell the massively higher amount of RAM (just 64 MB, but it's a thousand times as much as NXT 2.0, which had just 64 KB, and has a microSD card slot) makes it much more flexible. The Bluetooth control means you can make custom control panels for your robots on your iPad (and eventually Android), so you can live-test your robot's motorized functions without needing to program new protocols each time you chance something. And the brick's backwards-compatible with NXT servos and sensors, and you can hack Power Function motors to work with it too.


What kind of job lets you play with Mindstorms?  I'm jealous!

From what I've read the NXT Light sensor isn't compatible with the EV3, but the color sensor does the same function.
 
2013-08-19 09:08:12 AM

rpm: Bravo Two: the lack of support for even accessing exchange mail/calenders without having to get my server guys to turn on IMAP functionality is a huge pain in the ass

Have you tried Evolution?


Yes, and while it's capable, it doesn't handle all the features very well, and lacks a lot of the plugins I need for work. :/
 
2013-08-19 09:24:38 AM

sprag: Bloody William: It's pretty great. I recently wrapped up a big review and feature about Mindstorms at work, and the new brick is awesome. It's my first time with Mindstorms, but from what I can tell the massively higher amount of RAM (just 64 MB, but it's a thousand times as much as NXT 2.0, which had just 64 KB, and has a microSD card slot) makes it much more flexible. The Bluetooth control means you can make custom control panels for your robots on your iPad (and eventually Android), so you can live-test your robot's motorized functions without needing to program new protocols each time you chance something. And the brick's backwards-compatible with NXT servos and sensors, and you can hack Power Function motors to work with it too.

What kind of job lets you play with Mindstorms?  I'm jealous!

From what I've read the NXT Light sensor isn't compatible with the EV3, but the color sensor does the same function.


I'm a tech journalist type guy. Review electronics and things like that.
 
2013-08-19 09:33:05 AM
 

Bloody William: I'm a tech journalist type guy. Review electronics and things like that.


Neat!  Will the review be available publicly at some point?  Of course, if this blows your anonymity, ignore it :)
 
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