# Maker Faire Hannover 2013

Heute hat die erste Maker Faire Hannover statt gefunden. Dieses Event konnte ich mir natürlich nicht entgehen lassen! Ich hatte sogar etwas Glück und habe bei @reichelt_el Eintrittskarten gewonnen. Pünktlich um kurz nach 10 Uhr war ich am Hannover Congress Centrum und der Andrang war (für mich) überraschender Weise schon sehr groß. Die Maker Faire bestand aus einer Halle mit zahlreichen Makern die ihre Projekte vorstellen, vielen Hackerspaces aus ganz Deutschland und ein paar Sponsoren. In zwei Veranstaltungsräumen gab es Vorträge. Im Außenbereich gab es außer Workshops und weiteren Ständen von Makern auch etwas zu Essen und zu Trinken. Continue reading

# My first iOS app – hue⁺

When I first heard of Philips hue I really liked the idea of controllable LED bulbs. I googled a little bit to understand how it works and finally found out the it is based on ZigBee Light Link. So I had the idea to buy one of these starter kits and build some AVR based controller for them on which I wanted to implement the protocol myself. On the embedded world 2013 in Nürnberg I even found some non-Philips stuff from Dresden Elektronik that was compatible to ZigBee Light Link. So I bought a ZigBee Sniffer from Dresden Elektronik and some XBee ZB modules and was ready to start. Continue reading

# Non-uniform distributed random numbers

Creating non-uniform distrubed random numbers is not straightforward. Usally programming languages like C provide functions like rand() which returns an integer random number between 0 and RAND_MAX or drand48() with returns a double random number between 0 and 1. The numbers returned by these functions are uniform distributed meaning that if you run them very often you get each number by the same amount.
If you want random numbers in other ranges, these can be rescaled easily. For example, if you need integer random numbers between 1 and 10 you simply could get a random number x from rand() and apply the function $$f(x) = 1 + 9 \cdot x$$ to it.

But what if you want to distribute them in a non-uniform way? Continue reading

# Webfont rendering on different browsers/platforms

Yesterday, I updated my blog to use webfonts. As I was curious how they look on different platforms in different browsers I made some comparisons. I tried to cover all major browsers on various operation systems. As a rendering example I took my blog post about AirPlay Simultaneity as it uses three different fonts within the first paragraph.

For each browser/platform combination I made an image consisting of an overview of the rendering and a detail view. On the left side of each picture you can see a simple screenshot which is displayed in such way that it is scaled by one over device-pixel-ratio. That means, that all PC screenshots are displayed 1:1, where as the iPad 3 screenshot is display at 50 % and the Nexus 7 at 75 %. On the right side is a zoomed view of a few characters of each font used. It is displayed with a magnification factor of 4 for the mobile devices and 5 for the PC devices. Continue reading

# Finally: Webfonts and new layout

It has been a long time since the last layout update of this site. Originally I planned updating the layout around July last year when I was experimenting with web typography for the first time. I tried several different themes with custom fonts and even almost finished a own layout based on bootstrap and some free fonts from the Google web fonts. I wasn’t totally convinced of my new layout so I decided it to postpone after my trip to Costa Rica, but as usual I never reactivated the project again.

A few weeks ago, I read the #webtypobuch by Gerrit van Aaken which reignited my flame for typography and again I started to try different web fonts and changes to my layout. Yesterday I read an article about web typography from hukl which finally convinced my to get it done.

So here it is! I adapted the Twenty Eleven theme from WordPress which I like for its simplicity and did several tweaks to adapt it to my needs. I removed several of my self-written plugins for recent comments, recent posts and similiar posts to keep it clean. Although it requires a monthly fee I decided to give fonts.com a try for the webfonts. Right now, I’m using Neue Helvetica for the plain text in a 45 Light version and 65 Medium/46 Light Italic for bold/italic text. The headings are written in Avenir in 65 Heavy and 85 Heavy for bold. For quotes I use PMN Caecilia as an serif font in the 45 Light/46 Light Italic version. For monospaced text I use the Helvetica Monospaced Roman.

I tested the layout on OS X and Windows running the major browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer) and all seem to work quite well. As the layout is responsive it also looks great on iPhone or iPad.

Edit: I disabled the webfonts in mid of June 2013, as I think that the monthly fees are still too high.