November 7th, 2007

animated me tinkering with leds

BlinkenLEDs -- the final frontier

This evening, I produced the final version of the firmware for the single-matrix BlinkenLEDs circuit. This one has it all.

If you recall, I have two sets of pins for buttons. I changed the firmware so that a push on button A will toggle between frame-mode and waterfall-mode.
Button B will change the speed. It starts off with a change every half second (which is recommended for frame mode). A push on button B will change it to a quarter of a second (recommended for waterfall mode). Another push on button B will change it to a full second (if you're the patient type). Another push will roll back to half a second.

Obviously, this post would be worthless without a link to a video. So... check it out. You can't see me pushing the buttons, but you'll notice the changes.

Also, if anyone has recommendations on which lighting conditions will capture both the shiny LED light and produce a relatively crisp picture, please enlighten me!

New anime

Some new anime we've checked out:

Giant Gorg: Plucky young boy goes to the US because his father died under suspicious circumstances. Something to do with a mysterious island that supposedly was buried under the sea -- but dad and the American researcher our hero visit know better! But then a shady corporation tries to kill the researcher... something is amiss!
Retro-sub, with lots of shouting and a badly drawn chase scene through a Halloween parade. The intro promises a mecha series, but there is nothing of the sort to be seen in the first episode.

Prism Ark: Fantasy series, with a princess setting out to defeat the Forces of Darkness! And then we get a flashback, to see how she met the young hero when they still were kids. And then we jump forward in time to see the gang of heroes being attacked by an angel! And then we get another flashback, etcetera. Apparently the writers had too much to tell us in the first episode, so they chose to make it a jumble of flashbacks and -forwards.
I don't know if it is based on a computer RPG, but it could easily be. The visual effects are quite dazzling, and the animation is quite smooth -- almost OVA quality. And it doesn't skimp on the pantyshots either. But after the first episode I still don't know what the Big Bad is all about.

MapleStory: Probably based on some computer RPG. The Forces of Darkness attacked the Tree of Life, and the humans scattered the seeds of the tree around the various 'islands' (which are basically floating pieces of rock with grass and trees on top). The rest of the creatures, Warriors, Archers etc. think the humans destroyed the Tree, and so the humans have to hide themselves. Al, a young boy, disguises himself as a monster and roams the island, trying to grow strong. He even gets caught up in a struggle between Warriors (creatures with a brick wall for a face) and Archers (fluffy bunnies who are commanded by a fairy) for the shiny rocks some toadstool has collected...
Nicely animated, but way too childish. Still, if you're in the market for an uncomplicated adventure story, this may be right the thing for you.

Moyashimon: Sawaki enters a university in Tokyo! However, it is an agricultural university, so it's not as exciting as he had wished. His grandfather contacted one of the professors, who is very interested in Sawaki's special ability: he can see (and communicate) with micro-organisms like yeast cells and fungi! The microbes are very cute and friendly -- when Sawaki is presented with some miso that his parents' shop makes, the yeast cells recognise him and greet him cheerfully...
Pretty cool stuff, well drawn, cute. And even though the subject matter can hardly be described as 'action-packed', it is very interesting.

Shugo Chara!: Amu is the coolest kid in town -- or so everyone thinks. But beneath that hard outer shell, there is a shy and sensitive girl! One morning, she finds three eggs in her bed. Each one holds a 'guardian character' that brings out a particular aspect of Amu's character that she has kept hidden all along -- complete with magical girl-like transformation sequences. But apparently this power attracts unwanted attention from some cat-guy who wants a particular item that Amu now has access to (or something).
Quite a confused jumble, but if you're into cute magical girl-stuff, this is it. The fight scenes feel like they're tacked on as an afterthought. We weren't that interested.

Hero Tales: Some mystical sword, that is said to grant the wielder the power to conquer the world, is hidden away in a temple. Some bad-ass guy comes along and beats up everyone and takes the sword. But our young hero tries to stop him -- and gets beaten to a pulp. Still, it is revealed that he is the incarnation of some sort of star, which means he has some sort of Destiny. Boy recovers, and decides to stop the Bad Guy from conquering the world and get the sword back!
Somehow, stories about Determined Young Boys who set out to Stop Evil always follow the same structure. This one is no exception.