Friday, November 23, 2007

Games Programming Cluster at VITTA

The Games Programming Cluster at the VITTA (Victorian IT Teachers Association) Conference 2007. Roland presented on Python, Joel on the OLPC, Bill on Etoys and myself on Game Maker.

L-R Roland Gesthuizen, James Powell (on the OLPC), Joel Stanley, Bill Kerr

I video'ed Joel's presentation with my mobile phone, the poor video was to be expected but the audio was a disappointment, sorry.

The video's in sequence are:

Congratulations to Roland for being VITTA secondary teacher of the year

Adrian Janson presents award to Roland.

Joel presents an OLPC to Bill

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Berwick steam clock

I found this masterpiece, a steam driven clock, at my local shops in Berwick, Victoria, Australia. (Melways map 111 D7) (Google Earth 38° 1'43.74"S 145°20'53.12"E)

Apparently one of three in the world, its a beautiful piece in glass and brass. Click on the photo below to zoom in and read the text.

The photo below shows the pistons and valve gear which drive the pendulum. The valves appear to be electrically driven so its not quite all steam. It is apparently a half size prototype for a clock to be built in Melbourne, Australia.

The designer and builder, Peter Weare, is shown beside the clock, below. Peter has built this clock entirely at his own expense. Peter describes himself as semi-retired and has worked previously as an engineer on hyperbaric chambers.

The pendulum has a magnet at the bottom and the steam valves are driven by microswitches at the base of the unit. Though Peter has funded this 1/2 size prototype himself, he hopes to get funding for the full size clock proposed for Melbourne. This is the world's only direct steam drive clock to his knowledge, the other two steam clocks are conventional weight driven grandfather style clocks with a steam engine used to wind up the weights.

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