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Thread: All Things LaserBoy

  1. #1
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    Default All Things LaserBoy

    Take a little ego trip with me now and let's see what you all think.....

    For several years, my LaserBoy website has enticed people to believe that there is another way. The hardware specification is clearly presented right there for anyone who knows anything about electronics to reproduce, for free, without restrictions.

    Yes, the LaserBoy application was a total mystery shrouded in the darkness of Linux for a while, but at least there was good evidence that it was possible and it could be done.

    Now, and for some time, LaserBoy has been freely available, runs in Windows and even comes with open source code to be compiled on many other operating systems. It is written in Generic C++. That might not mean a lot to non mathematicians, but it really means there is a standard way, according to the best of human knowledge, to express computer programming structure. It's "Generic C++". Look it up. It's a lot like Algebra. There is A_WAY to do it. It works forwards and backwards. It holds up to real analytical scrutiny. THAT is what open source is really all about! I would not have exposed my brain to the world if it wasn't for the fact that I WANT it to be examined!!! Let LaserBoy become A_WAY to do laser art on a computer.

    Study it. Ask questions. But above all.... communicate openly, in public, with me.

    I want to share my understanding of LaserBoy with anyone who is willing to learn it and perpetuate it.

    This is where I need to give a HUGE THANKS to The PhotonLexicon !!!

    We all know how it works! We have public threads and we have PMs and phone calls. We all know how it all works....

    Public opinion is very important. So is name recognition and status. There is enough to go around for those of us who really deserve it. If we positively combine our efforts, through open communications, we can catapult the standards and achievements of the art of laser display to far beyond our current imaginations. If not, we can spend thousands of hours working on redundant meaningless nothings. The PL is a blog! It IS RECORDED EARTH HISTORY NOW !!!

    There has been a rustling in the bushes about making a printed circuit board kit of the correction amp design that appears on the original LaserBoy website. My questions to you all are these:

    1. Do you think it is unreasonable to expect fellow laserists to buy the kit or the finished piece from the source only (me) for a reasonable price?

    2. Even though it is an open spec modification to a generic sound card, do you think it is reasonable to call it a "LaserBoy DAC"?

    3. Is it reasonable to assume that I should maintain control of the source code that is LaserBoy?

    4. Would it be too much to ask to have a different PL member remind me how smart I am every day?

    5. Do you think it is reasonable to allow me to be The Supreme Ruler of The Universe?

    Remember, if you answer correctly, you might get to meet The Supreme Ruler of The Universe at SELEM! How cool is that?

    James.
    Last edited by James Lehman; 07-25-2008 at 21:53.

  2. #2
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    One of these days I think I might port it to C# and put a GUI on it.

  3. #3
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by James Lehman View Post
    1. Do you think it is unreasonable to expect fellow laserists to buy the kit or the finished piece from the source only (me) for a reasonable price?
    I think if you've already published the schematic, then it's open source. If you want to have the boards printed (or even printed, populated and soldered) so that you can sell them yourself for a profit, then by all means go for it. I think a lot of people would prefer to go that route so long as the price was reasonable.

    However, since the circuit is already out there, if people want to build their own they can still do that. It's unlikely that you'll have lots of people wanting to undercut you by getting their own run of boards printed in a vain effort to compete with you. (After all, there's not going to be a lot of profit in them anyway.) But if they want to try that, there's no way you can stop them.
    2. Even though it is an open spec modification to a generic sound card, do you think it is reasonable to call it a "LaserBoy DAC"?
    I think you could use the term "LaserBoy DAC" to describe the modified sound card, yes. However, you should always be clear to point out that it's a modified sound card, and not a custom piece of hardware. Likewise, you really can't trademark the name. But if you want to call it that, I don't see any problem. It's catchy, and it's a hell of a lot less cumbersome than calling it "a 6 channel sound card with the DC filtering caps removed"...
    3. Is it reasonable to assume that I should maintain control of the source code that is LaserBoy?
    Depends on what you mean by "control"... It's an open-source project, so there really is no "control", at least not in the sense of preventing people from copying, modifying, or re-using portions of your code.

    However, it is reasonable for you to maintain an official website with the latest official release of the software. You can control the version numbers, etc. But if someone comes along and decides to add a feature to your software on his own, you really can't stop him from releasing his updated version as "LaserBoy V 2.0 - New And Improved!", or whatever.

    I think this is an unlikely scenario, since most of the programmers here are already involved in their own projects, but if you do get some assistance (solicited or not) from other programmers, I think you could probably work out an arrangement with the other coder so that some order could be maintained.
    4. Would it be too much to ask to have a different PL member remind me how smart I am every day?
    Erm, yeah it would be asking too much. We're here to share knowledge, not stroke egos!
    (Sorry, that sounded kind of mean-spirited, and it was meant more as a joke...)

    There are *lots* of smart people here, and most of them are willing to share their knowledge without any accolades or thanks. Personally, I kind of like it that way.
    5. Do you think it is reasonable to allow me to be The Supreme Ruler of The Universe?
    There is only 1 supreme ruler of the universe, and his name is GRAVITY. Until you can demonstrate your ability to defeat gravity, I'm afraid you're just not qualified for the job.
    You might get to meet The Supreme Ruler of The Universe at SELEM!
    Hell, I meet him every day. Here, I'll give you a demonstration... (Climbs up on table and jumps...) *THUD* CRASH! ouchie...

    OK, now that I've got a sore knee and a scrape on my chin, you can see that GRAVITY is still my master. (Damnit, where's the Tylenol?)

    Adam

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    James to a certain extent I'm talking blindly here because I haven't taken a look at your program but I think personally if you can aim to emulate the features and ease of use of Pangolin at a reasonable enthusiasts / amateurs price then there's a huge market for it. As Pangolin is unmatched for features but way beyond the price of most amateurs - maybe some enthusiasts can afford it but I know my family would kill me if I spent more than around 100 on a laser programme!!!

    From the programs I have tried ie. Mamba and Spagetti, one thing stands out and that is how incredibly complex they are to use. Whilst I've never owned a copy of Pangolin, having watched an instructional video on Youtube, its seems quite logical and simple to create a laser show using pre-set patterns or custom adaptions of these. The huge database of inbuilt patterns / effects is also a big bonus. For me the free programs are lacking these databases and also the logical interface / ease of use.

  5. #5
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    james, usb dongles are 12$ Quanity one. makes it nice, and like pango, resellable. when you get scripting, timeline or hotkeys, or any combination of the above, your ready to go. if you can assign animations to f1-f12 plus have cntl , shift and alt to give you 36 images or animations for real time control your ready to go. The chinese will undercut you, thats why I left the led flashlight business, which I had a share in before working at UA. we licensed the patent to dorcy and that had it cloned 6 months down the road and sold it overseas. oh and dont the cm501 chips have a internal flash eeprom for serial numbers or something like that?

    Steve

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    That is phenominal work! In my mind you are the grand geek king of the land of laser light shows!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alsone View Post
    From the programs I have tried ie. Mamba and Spagetti, one thing stands out and that is how incredibly complex they are to use.
    What is complex about dragging an ILDA file onto a time line?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankenPC View Post
    That is phenominal work! In my mind you are the grand geek king of the land of laser light shows!
    Now, that's more like it!

    You made my day!

    In case you hadn't figured it out yet, I'm not in this for the money.

    An am an artist.

    What I expect in return for my efforts will cost you just as much as you paid for LaserBoy.

    James.

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    I know I come off a little weird every now and then. It's all part of my evil plan to rule The Universe.

    Just because LaserBoy and its associated IP is fully open to the public does not mean that I no longer own it!

    All it means is that I have chosen to let everyone else in the world use it. I know I can't stop anyone from doing anything. But consider what benefit might come out of a good, open, cooperative understanding of what it is and where it might go. If you wanted to do something with the whole idea, wouldn't you want me to be aware of it and in favor of the idea, ready to share my understanding and help you make it better? If LaserBoy is ever going to be considered a way to go, doesn't it make sense that it comes from one source with no variations?

    Although it is on a much grander scale, take a look at the Linux kernel! Look at the value it has in the world today. It's free. It's still owned by Linus Torvalds.

    If you are not familiar with GNU, open source, Linux, The Free Software Foundation, etc... THAT should tell you something right there! It all seems to be based on a very counterintuitive notion. But it works very well and brings ALL of the best thinking and creativity to computer science. We all enjoy the benefits.

    Think about the technology that exists between me and YOU right now! How many great inventions (that are free) are between us now?

    LOTS.

    The reason I'm kind-of a stickler about the name "LaserBoy" is because it gives the whole concept a simple name. The more that name gets used in connection with the project and its derivatives, the more glue there is in the Ether that globs ethereal factoids together to form really big, solid objects that live on the Internet and are made of nothing but human thought and effort.

    James.

    PS Gravity isn't any more important than the other three fundamental fields. What's important is that there is one substance that makes all reality; God. You and I are both made of IT and we make IT human. Be good to yourself and everyone else. We are One.
    Last edited by James Lehman; 07-27-2008 at 12:31.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carmangary View Post
    One of these days I think I might port it to C# and put a GUI on it.
    GUI good.

    C# bad. It's currently really portable; I'd cry if I couldn't run it on my Mac.

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