Anki Cozmo

The company Anki, known for the Anki Overdrive series, brings something new to the market in October 2016. Namely Cozmo, a small moving robot. What it will be capable of is yet unknown. Currently there only exist some promotional videos and texts which are not very meaningful. But the little bot looks funny and can be controlled using an Android or iOS app. It has an integrated camera which can be used to recognize faces. Its own "face" consists of a display which shows various emotions. Instead of arms and hands the robot features some sort of gripper, with which it can knock over or lift stuff.

Preorders are already possible on, unfortunately only for US residents. When Cozmo will be available in Germany is yet unclear.

However, the order form can be easily adjusted using Firebug to also accept addresses in Germany, and it is even possible to finish the checkout. So, yesterday I received my order confirmation with a valid German address. Now I am curious what will happen when shipment begins in October...

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CoConnect 1.0

CoConnect is an application which makes it possible to send requests to Cobas Integra 400, 700 and 800 devices. The responses of the devices will be logged and can be exported as textfiles. These textfiles can also be used to import requests and / or responses again into the application. Additionaly, there exists a rudimentary import functionality for Megalab hardcopies.

The connection to the device is handled using serial communication (RS232) using COM-ports. There exists a free tool named hub4com which allows the usage of COM-ports over a network, which might be handy if you want to connect to a device on a remote computer.

CoConnect is freeware and provided under the GPL. The latest binary version for Windows can be downloaded in the downloads-section. The application is multilingual (English and German).


My favorite VR games

After some initial problems with the order processing my HTC Vive luckily got delivered about two months ago. It is more than a fashion accessory to help you look good. There already exists a quite wide range of VR-enabled games and various demos on Steam, and the list is growing larger every day. I did not buy the Vive because of its room scale tracking. Rather, it was the acquisition of Oculus through Facebook which rendered the Rift uninteresting for me. However, it turned out that the room scale tracking of the Vive is absolutely awesome and works really well. I can no longer imagine playing a game sitting on a chair with a controller in my hand, or by using the mouse and keyboard. With the Vive one can use natural movements and get fully immersed in the particular game. So far, nothing got destroyed in our apartment yet. But I already bumped the controllers into the ceiling and the floor a few times by accident. Although the so-called chaperone system shows the boundaries of the playing field in VR, it does not check the ceiling height of the room one's playing in.

I won't write anything about the setup and the hardware because that has already been covered by a lot of other sites. So if you're interested you can quickly find anything about it on Google. Instead I'll just continue with the current list of my favorite VR games.

Space Pirate Trainer
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Task Till Dawn 1.91

This small bugfix release fixes an issue on OS X where the filechooser did not allow the selection of bundles (applications, for example). On Windows I added an option which makes it possible to run tasks in the background (minimized). This is not supported by all applications, but you can just give it a try to see if it works.

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Task Till Dawn 1.9

Task Till Dawn 1.9 brings full retina support to the Mac. I replaced all icons with high-resolution images and removed MacWidgets and QuAqua. Unfortunately this also means that dialogs within the application are no longer displayed as sheets. But I think this is no major loss. HiDPI display modes on Windows are now also supported, with better readable texts and icons with higher resolution.

Additionally there are a lot of small improvements to the user interface, which simplify the task administration. Tasks can be duplicated and enabled or disabled using the contextual menu.

It is also possible to pause the task manager, in case the execution of tasks should be suspended for a certain time.

Task Till Dawn 1.9
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PADEdit 1.61 with Linux support

Another update to PADEdit! This time with no new functionality but some slight improvements and some bug fixes. The option to search case insensitive now also applies when replacing text. Additionally, if a cell contains multiple matches for a search-and-replace operation, all matches will be replaced. If a search term cannot be found anywhere, an information message will be shown.


PADEdit 1.6

The most recent version of PADEdit makes it possible to search and replace text within datasets. Also – when opening, saving or exporting data – the file encoding which should be used can now be specified.

Search and replace
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The ozobots are here

ozobots are small battery-powered robots that can drive around. They are about 3cm tall with a diameter of also 3cm. The housing is transparent, so one can see the logic board and wheels. In the middle of the board there are two small LEDs used for status displaying. Furthermore, each bot has an USB port which, however, can not transport data - it only serves to recharge the built-in battery.

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