Tessellationgaba

Very intense 2 months coding marathon to bring into the world the new version of Mandalagaba.

I completely rewrote the symmetry engine to be universal. When I coded the first version, I only wanted to scratch a specific radial symmetry itch and had to expand on narrowly conceived code to accommodate for features that came up from the tool’s success. With this new version, I instead gave myself a broad framework built for expansion, I can translate any penstroke at any angle in any location. Beyond mandalas, it makes possible tessellations and even the 2 combined.

I used the opportunity to add many features which were lacking: zooming, forking, lines, color picker, et cetera. With many more to come. The interface was rethought to be more accessible. Doing so took much more time than building the core engine.

There is an obscene amount of math that goes behind every pen stroke you draw in the tool. It was kind of fun to go through it again in my life, 20 years later. Even though I had forgotten about it all, it came back nicely. It’s amazing to have the internet as a tool to look up methods, to be able to describe the problem in plain English and have potential solutions thrown at you. It used to be that you needed to know what you needed precisely to find it in a book.

 

I love that Robin copies what I do no matter the understanding level, we’ve had lots of talks about what is going on.

It’s not just the math but also algorithms, languages & infrastructure. Not to toot my own horn but in my 30s, I’ve never felt so intimate with every aspect of an idea’s implementation. It’s extremely enabling to know exactly where to go to achieve X. Honestly though I’m a little burnt out at the moment, something that was supposed to take 10 days took more than 2 months of coding every single night.

My hope is that the new tool becomes a reference online for this type of work. And it’s all 100% free; well… we’ll talk about that in the next post.

Lower tech fun found in a thrift shop

More solar lessons

I always wondered why the solar array never produced more than 30A, especially after I added 3 more panels to it. Well, I got my answer yesterday when the array took an unexpected dive.

 

I had forgotten that the amperage sensors I got back in 2015 are only rated for 30 Amps, way overkill at the time :). So it’s entirely possible the array was producing more and I simply wasn’t able to “see” it. Also, the extra panels pushed the sensor over the edge and fried it.

I put in the order for new sensors rated for 100A, it will be interesting to see what the graphs look like. Their design also makes it so if they fail, the production won’t be impacted because they aren’t part of the circuit.

It’s surprisingly difficult to find such sensors rated for high amperage. Phidgets are expensive but they pretty much have the only industrial IOT sensors. In my experience they are robust and easy to deploy thanks to great documentation & code samples.