Projects that I've worked on, often with others :-)

Bhajans - September 2013

  • Needed a way to collect Bhajans and annotate their meter.
  • Skills learned: song meter

Share Picasa - March 2013

  • Rather than passing a phone around, you can walk your friends through the photos on a public Picasa album.
  • Skills learned: Websockets

Home Theatre PC - February 2013

  • XBMC is totally worth it
  • Skills learned: XBMC

Chestnut Brown Ale - January 2013

  • Beer should be appreciated
  • Skills learned: Brewing, though I'm not sure if I actually learned it

Glide Cam - December 2012

  • So much cheaper than the $500 alternative
  • Skills learned: working with Instamorph!

Nirmita and Devang Android App - September 2012

  • Writing apps makes me feel like a kid again. Weird.
  • Skills learned: Android Development

Passive Mixer - August 2012

  • Part of my office setup required me to merge two 3.5mm lines of audio.
  • Skills learned: Reversing a splitter won't work. The signal from each line goes back against each other and you get a weird buzz.

Standing Desk - July 2012

  • I started standing at work a while back. The above Ikea-based setup is pretty slick.
  • Skills learned: Ikea furniture can be tricky. The legs of the table are mostly hollow and I had to use toggle bolts to attach the brackets. Oh, how I love toggle bolts.

Noise Blocking Headphones - July 2012

  • I had some travel coming up and thought it would be a good time to tackle one of my main travel pains: noise.
  • Skills learned: Just because a tutorial says to solder, doesn't mean you have to solder.

Photo on Wood - June 2012

  • Saw this inspiring tutorial and tried it out.
  • Skills learned: transferring photos to wood. Also, "Wood Finish" is not a stain.

Practice! - December 2011

  • When practicing a dance, you often want to start from a particular position. This tool let's your mark a position and quickly return to it with just a button. Pretty sure it only works with Google Chrome. Here are more details.
  • Skills learned: HTML5 Audio tag.

Government Supports - November 2011

  • Entered into a contest sponsered by the federal gov't. The goal was to make an app or website that makes use of government data. This site shows examples of how the government is conducting business with local, small businesses everyday. There's even a twitter account! Alas, it did not win.
  • Skills learned: Google AppEngine, OAuth, Twitter,, Federal Gov't data

Photobooth - October 2011

  • You'd think a 3-syllable word would imply the project was straight-forward. wrong.
  • Skills learned: Arduino, soldering

Green Screen - October 2011

  • The stars aligned and I agreed to do a green screen gig. I bought my setup, luck was on my side, and everything went well.
  • Skills learned: Performing live for pay is immensely stressful.

Digital Drawing - September 2011

  • As part of a birthday present for Sarjita's Grandfather, I drew. The style was inspired by Sanjay Patel's Ramayana (fyi, his day job is Pixar artist). I drew the line art with good old fashion mechanical pencil and then colored and shaded using GIMP.
  • Skills learned: Digital drawing. How much I miss mechanical pencils (yes, that's a skill)

Algorithm Scene - August 2011

  • Vinesh was getting married, so there was only one thing to do: make a funny video. With the A-Team spread out, a distributed effort was required. The result is still being processed, but here's my contribution. The biggest suprise was that directing is really hard. It took me 3 minutes to do what the pros did in one minute. The scene was a small part of A-Team III.
  • Skills learned: Directing, Double-role

Weight Loss - April 2011

  • Losing weight can be fun!
  • Skills learned: Satiety and how physiology is impacted by the foods we eat.

Suspension Trainer - November 2010

  • Suspension training looks fun, but the equipment looks overpriced. Home Depot proves the equipment is overpriced. As for the fun, I guess I'll have to find out the hard way. Edit: This failed. I don't think I did a single proper workout and now the trainer lives in the garage. One hurdle was no easy way of consistenly getting the same angles, thus impossible to measure progress.
  • Skills learned: How to tie a Bowline knot.

TV Antenna - April 2010, October 2010

  • In an effort to get rid of cable, I followed instructions. So far, so good.
  • After six months of 99% coverage I decided to build a better one. The new design with better materials was better, however, once I put it in the attic, the performance has been flawless. Here's more info.
  • Skills learned: They key to clear reception is to make sure nothing (transformer, cable, etc) touches the antenna.

Spring Olympics - March 2010

  • The first ever Spring Olympics were, AWESOME!
  • Skills learned: OpenShot is a competent video editor!

Time Waster Block - January 2010

  • Since I started using Chrome on Linux, I lost the extension that blocks my favorite time-wasting sites. Unable to find one, I wrote my own rudimentary blocker.
  • Skills learned: Procrastination in the name of productivity is sweet, sweet irony. Also, Chrome makes some parts of extension development easy (Framework, API), but debugging tools are nonexistent.

CD Calendar - December 2009

  • We're in the habit of making monthly calendars that fit in CD jewel cases.
  • Skills learned: There's more than one way to make these things.

Time Tracking - October 2009

  • A couple of tools to log computer activity.
  • Skills learned: Even simple cross-platform desktop tools are still a pain to write.

Guest Bathroom - September 2009

  • We updated our guest bathroom, hope you enjoy!
  • Skills learned: Breaking mirrors, time-lapse video

Email Loveliness - August 2009

  • I heavily customized my GMail to make it my favorite ToDo list.
  • Skills learned: Combining GMail extensions can open up new ways of processing email.

American Photographic Gladiators - June 2009

  • Everybody brought their cameras over and we shared some pointers on how to use a camera.
  • Skills learned: Focussing on the key material

Anniversary Photomosaic - May 2009

  • 1341 pictures can't be wrong. I updated my notes on making mosaics.
  • Skills learned: Mosaic's with faces are much harder to make!

Stock Analysis Using Google Spreadsheets - March 2009

  • Data on the web is waiting for you.
  • Skills learned: Google Spreadsheet's importHtml function is awesome.

IM Manager - February 2009

  • Manage your IM presence using a robot.
  • Skills learned: XMPP is neat

Visiting Argentina - December 2008

  • An amazing place to visit, here's one way to do it!
  • Skills learned: All rules can be broken.

Family Tree - November 2008

  • Used Google Spreadsheet's 'Org Chart Gadget' to build a basic family tree.
  • Skills learned: Google Spreadsheets can be co-opted to do anything.

Expense Tracking - August 2008

  • Built a expense-tracking spreadsheet that reports by categories and by month.
  • Skills learned: Google Spreadsheet's filter function is awesome.

House - June 2008

  • One's home is always full of projects!
  • Skills learned: too many to list.

Wedding - May 2008

  • If you don't think a wedding is a project, you're not doing it right!
  • Skills learned: Vendors make the difference.

Meed - November 2007

  • I replaced the site with its third generation of software!
  • Skills learned: an hour a week can actually get you somewhere.

Engagement Playing Cards - September 2007

  • Custom playing cards made for our engagement party.
  • Skills learned: Custom production isn't all that hard.

Video Slideshows - September 2007

  • Slamming together pictures into something between a slideshow and a video.
  • Skills learned: camera's continuous mode, mencoder.

Hike the Inca Trail - July 2007

  • I couldn't find much information about the trail before actually going on the hike. Now this valuable information is now easily accessible!
  • Skills learned: Becoming an all-Google webmaster (Google Page Creator, Google Analytics, Adsense, GMail, etc.)

Wallet - May 2007

  • Got tired of my thick wallet, so I built my own.
  • Skills learned: wallets are thick because of their material.

Teletran3 - a new computer - April 2007

  • Rather than buying from Dell, I put together my own system.
  • Skills learned: building a computer is still a pain.

Bookcase of the Future - December 2006

  • Rather than using shelves to store my books, I used anti-gravity
  • Skills learned: leveraging anti-gravity for presentation points

Display Frame - December 2005

  • Rather than building my own frame or settling for the 6-foot-maximum-dimension and high cost of a asking a custom framer to do it, I bought a wardrobe door and hung it up like a picture frame.
  • Skills learned: nada

Driving Cage - October 2005

  • Rather than spending $1May sessions at the local golf range, I decided that I should build one myself for less than $20
  • Skills learned: Working with PVC

Picture Map - August 2005

  • Having seen it done around the internets, I figured I might as well get on the band wagon. Here are some more details ... this really was more of a mini-project.
  • Skills learned: Google Maps API (well not really, I just used GPlotter and some XML)

DBall - August 2005

  • After playing basketball all summer without any reliable method of contacting all of the guys, I whipped up a little python/cgi/smtp script to act as an scheduler, announcer and attendence sheet. We are, after all, a bunch of nerds playing basketball; was there any other way to proceed?
  • Skills learned: Python libs are fun and exciting, SMTP

Reading Log - May 2005

  • I finally decided to make a bit of Javascript keep track of what and how much I've been reading
  • Skills learned: more Javascript and that fun(Javascript) == fun(BarrelOfMonkeys)

MAlbumScript - March 2005

  • I think it's a clever use of javascript to extend Picasa's web album generation capabilities. For me, it will probably replace MAlbum ... although I enjoyed writing MAlbum, I wish I had known that javascript could read xml. At least now I can use Picasa to maintain my ever growing picture collection.
  • Skills learned: JavaScript, DHTML, XMLHttpRequest, AJAX

Auto organizer for Rio Cali/Chiba - ??

  • My Rio has respectfully been mothballed as the Treo now performs its duties. Rest in peace my friend.
  • Will automatically make playlists based on albums and genres that are loaded on the player.
  • RioUtil would make this a relatively easy job to do on Linux, but it looks like it's impossible to compile it for windows (Cygwin doesn't emulate USB). All of a sudden, it looks like way too much effort :-)
  • Skills I want to learn from it: USB protocol reverse engineering

MO-Mosaic Maker - Maulik's Own Mosaic Maker - ??

  • Although there are some free photomosaic makers out there, they all have their drawbacks. I would like to write my own that addresses the following issues:

    • Vertical pictures
    • Yeah, that's pretty much it. Current mosaic makers end up rotating vertical pictures to stay consistent with the horizontal pictures.
  • I think it would be a fun project to do mainly because the algorithm for choosing pictures should present a little bit of a challenge. We'll see when I actually get it started, right now it's slotted for next semester.
  • Yes, the name will probably be changed :-P

MExpensive - January 2005

  • I have always wanted to monitor my spending habits but have never been able to find an interface that makes it easy to input expenses.
  • Hopefully this will work better than my previous solution.
  • Skills learned: You can always ask a GUI widget to do more

MeFi Posting Habits - December 2004

  • I used to read MetaFilter. Towards the end of 2004, I thought I'd add some data to a debate regarding posts made by new members. It was not well-received.
  • Skills learned: Screen-scraping, the masses do not always appreciate data.

Pano-head - October 2004

  • With an accomplished Italian woodworker, Steve Mastrian, as my ally, we hewed a special head for a tripod from the living timber of Holy Dark Forest. This cheaply constructed pano-head endows the user with the power to take perfect panoramic pictures, even in small spaces. The true magic of this panoramic head, is that cost less than $10!! So look no further for the howto for making a cheap, homemade panohead.
  • Skills learned: Nodal points of camera lenses, compensating for parallax effects

Mookmark - September 2004

  • For now, seems to work really well.
  • This is my way of combining the services of Furl and TinyURL. In other words is stores links online and gives you a shortened link that redirects you to the right page (which is esp great for mapquest links)
  • Skills learned: Python lists/tuples/dictionaries are good for me, and they are good for you!

MAlbum - September 2004

  • Java file IO was too slow and with Picasa's ability to generate custom albums, this software was definitely antiquated.
  • This is my very own web album generator. Sure, there are tons of them, but none of them does exactly what I want it to do :-)
  • Skills learned:

    • if you're going to make something that you think might be useful for other people, spend atleast a little time on design :-P
    • Writing little tools to make your life easier is totally worth it.
    • Zero-install jar files rock the party
    • Tasty-looking java interfaces are only a couple of lines and a few hunded Kb away.

Miki - August 2004

  • So this could considered a 'sub-project' of the overall 'website' project, but I'm not going to consider it as such :-P I moved from SnipSnap to my very own 'content-mangement-system' (+2 buzzword). Basically this is a little perl script that helps me manage the things that I want to share with the world. Since it's my own script, it does exactly how much I want it to do, not more, not less.
  • Skills learned: umm...not any that were's easy to release a project on Freshmeat

Car-puter - ?

  • It's been almost two years with no popular commercial solution. However my Treo650 seems to do what I need it to do.
  • This is an unstarted project, and it may never start actually. The goal is to merge a highend PDA with a high capacity data source and have it interface with my car. I have a feeling building my own would be foolhardy as a commercial quality product is right around the corner.

Mosaic - November 2003

  • I put my digital photo collection into a little program and out came a mosiac! I got it printed at ASU and it now hangs proudly on my wall. Some more information here and here.
  • Skils learned: Large Printing

JPiano - November 2003

  • A little program that is supposed to help learn to play music by ear. most of it was written in Hong Kong, I added the 'game' functionality to it. so here's to hoping!
  • Skills learned: AWT

Infinity Mirror - 2002

  • This project got started in India when my uncle helped me get certain key pieces that were a lot cheaper in the motherland. It took me over a year to complete, but now it's quite the conversation starter.
  • Skills learned: Window tinting, plexiglass cutting, frame-building

Sofa - 2003-?

  • Ended up getting something from Ikea ... at some point I would like to stain the wood and dye the cushion covers ... but I'm pretty much closing this project.
  • I need a place to sit in my room so after searching around for a small couch, I decided it would be more fun to build one. My dad and I started this project, hopefully I can finish it soon!
  • Skills learned: Jigsaw

Website - June 2003-?

  • The guts of this website were written for me, but I've enjoyed desiging its stunning good looks as well supplying its content.
  • Please note that this website is now run by Miki
  • Make album - One feature I required of my website is a way to share my digital pictures. Ryan and I wrote this little extension of SnipSnap and it serves us well.
  • Skills Learned: CMS, CSS

Senior Project - P4 - May 2002

  • Nathan, Ken, Ryan and I chose to build a Peer-To-Peer-Programming-Platform as our Senior Project for the Computer Science department in our last quarter at Stanford. Built up on this platform were a few applications including one that would synchronize mp3 playback across a bunch of computers. In other words, the same song being played at the same time, in each room of a dorm.
  • Skills learned: Visual Studio .NET, MFC, Winamp2 API, NTP, Technical Writing, P2P Protocols

Blind Marriage - May 2002

  • To continue the ancient Stanford tradition of mela videos, I tried my hand at the art. It taught me a ton about producing videos and I would love to make more. So please help me!!!
  • Skills learned: Adobe Premiere, Ulead Media Studio Pro, Videography, Directing, Puppeteering, Blue-screening.

Draam-Raas - May 2002

  • In an effort to replicate the audience response to Sidd's Ramayana, I tried my hand at combining pre-recorded dialog into my final raas choreography.
  • Skills learned: Sound Recording, Sonic Foundry's Acid Pro

Jacket - April 1999

  • I found a really cheap jacket at Banana Republic but I didn't like the color. So I dyed it! The transformation was awesome. The jacket took the dye in a "vintage" fashion and the stitching didn't take any of it. Fourteen years in, it still gets noticed. I should note I carried out the process in my dorm. I lined a laundry basket with a trash bag and let the jacket sit in there with the dye, that I had ordered from the "Internet", for a week.
  • Skills learned: Dyeing

Scratchy, our Cat - April 1997

  • As part of my high school's Anatomy and Physiology class, Paras and I dissected a cat over the course of the year. The final project was to reassemble the bones. From it, we learned that effort is inversely proportional to success. Why? Because we put the least amount of effort into the project and came away with the highest grade :-P
  • Skills learned: Glue gunning, Wiring

Basketball card collection - 1990-1994

  • Started in 1990, I focussed on the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan. Is the collection worth anything? Beats me, but it was sure fun collecting and trading.
  • Skills learned: everybody gets something different from the same activity
Posted: October 02, 2013 | | comments