these are the posts tagged ‘tech’:


regexcrosswords


so here’s something we stumbled some months ago which made us happy: regexcrossword.com is a geeky crossword puzzle made of regular expressions.

the idea is cleverly simple: find the character that fits both the patterns on the vertical and horizontal clues. they start with super easy crosswords on a tutorial of sorts, and then advance to more complicated concepts and grid-shapes which are trickier but just as much fun to figure out.

we’ve done all of them now, but if you’re up to a challenge or a way to brush up on those skills, give it a go! :)

the arduino counter

this past christmas, i gave the boy an arduino microcontroller and an lcd keypad shield, which he has been programming into a postcard counter for postcrossing.


i love the simplicity behind the arduino concept, and its flexibility… there are so many things you can do with it – it’s like lego for grown-ups!

an italian friend showed us the beautiful documentary about arduino below, which shows not only arduino’s roots and inspiration, but also the little details – like how it took them one year to make the perfect blue for the board. it only made me like it more! :)

paternoster

yesterday, we had a quintessential german experience and rode a paternoster elevator. well, paulo rode it, because i was too chicken to give it a try… just looking at it go was making me all sweaty and anxious. if you don’t know what it is, watch the whole video below and behold the magic! :)

isn’t it awesome?! :D it was really exciting to finally see one actually working!

the paternoster is basically a cyclic elevator, consisting of a chain of compartments that move slowly in a loop without stopping.

they used to be somewhat common in europe, but have slowly been retired for security concerns. some people even say the elevator’s name, paternoster, comes from people praying for a safe ride :)

this one is located at the rathaus schöneberg (on the steps of which JFK proclaimed he was a berliner). the lady at the entrance was very helpful, and took my eager german attempts as an invitation to talk at length about the proper way to ride the elevator… i didn’t get most of it, but it was something like: go when it’s level. don’t hesitate. stand back. got it! in reality though, a never-stopping elevator is a bit more daunting than i had thought. granted, it’s slow, but still… while we were there, several people working at the town hall hopped in and out of it easily and smiled at our hesitation. i think i’ll go back someday and do it, but meanwhile, i’m happy to have seen it in person. who knows for how long they’ll still be around?

if you’re brave and in berlin, i’d highly recommend it! :)