External Car Airbag (mostly for the pedestrians)

This is about active safety for robotic cars, mostly for pedestrians.
As we already have all the sensors for the robotic cars to recognize the obstacles on the road, and computer to create a model of road environment, we can add several features to this.
Let’s say, we have the sensors to monitor on front of the car continuously.


Then, if the sensors signal about something or somebody in front of the car, we can check, if car can stop before to hit the obstacle or a pedestrian.


If not, then navigation system activates an External Airbag.

Of course, we’re talking about inevitable clash. Navigation computer calculates the movement of the obstacle, car speed, road condition etc. to determine, if car can stop before clash or speed down to let a pedestrian to pass the car and to avoid an accident, because we don’t want to hit somebody by the Airbag with no reason.

But, if navigation computer calculates, that we will have an inevitable clash, then this External Airbag activates.


Of course, current cars’ airbags may be not useful for this situation hitting too heavy. But they may be modified to multilayer and multisectional /multicellular. Each section from the beginning has lower pressure in it to have the very low on the outer section. This Airbag have to gently encircle the pedestrian without causing damage and knocking it to the side.


Rebuilt everything.

sync_sqContinuing to play with Magic Mirror.

Rebuilt everything on VB.NET.

Main idea – to make normal Desktop application to synchronize the data.

Should work now. At least, in Local Network. Actually, should work in the Internet also. The question  is safe way to open the files for download. Probably, I need to think about something like server side for the Internet usage.

Download here >>

Making the program to synchronize folders/files in the Local Network

I opened a dedicated website for this project - http://sobsoft.com/. All downloads will be found there.

Making the program to synchronize folders/files in the Local Network (works for HDD as well). Something like Dropboks for LAN .
Made a first version, which makes a mirror of folders that you selected and where you selected.


  • For each directory (with its sub directories) runs a separate process.
  • Each process copies in 8 threads.
  • At the start the program polls the mirror for changes and copies now/changed files to the computer, unless nothing have changed. Then starts the reverse process (from computer to the mirror), and monitors the specified folders until you turn off the computer.

In general, the “mirror”:

  • If the file appears on the computer -> it appears on the mirror
  • If the file was updated (like document was edited) on the computer – > it updates on the mirror
  • If the file was deleted from your computer -> withdrew from the Mirror
  • If you connect to the mirror from another computer -> get a copy of your folders/files.


Every time you turn to the primary synchronization if there are new folders/files, the program first creates a copy of their empty, then it copies. Do not worry, if that. Size zero is changing rapidly to normal.

Configuration Window

Configuration Window

Add folders you want to sync.

Add folders you want to sync.

Choose your Mirror location.

Choose your Mirror location.

If you have any ideas of features you want to see included, please, leave a comment here.

Script to change OEM info and backgrounds.

oemlogoLast week I built some (a lot of) computers from garbage for good guy Nick Macdowell. He runs a Computer shop and actually provides pretty good service.

Then we had an idea to customize the OEM info and Desktop Wallpapers to advertise the shop.

OK, I know, normal people do it BEFORE the system installation. There’s the $OEM$ folder for this. But, we’re not talking about normal people here. I do it hard way.

So, I created a script to make the process a little easier, than making changes by my hands.

What it does:

  • adds OEM info (manufacturer, computer model, website, phone, logo) to Windows Control Panel / System tab
  • changes logon background
  • changes desktop background

How to use:

  • copy script folder to the computer, open it, and run “RUNME.bat” (don’t run from Network location, because of missing images copying)
  • you will need to restart computer to apply settings

How to change info and images to yours:

  • open “reg_vista_Win7.reg” and “oeminfo.ini” in Notepad and type your OEM information
  • replace “oemlogo.bmp”, “Background.bmp”, “backgroundDefault.jpg” with your files (make sure “backgroundDefault.jpg” is not larger than 256KB)

OS version supported:

  • Windows 2000
  • Windows XP
  • Windows 2003
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7



Another way of e-mail (GMail) SMS notifications.

A long time ago Google had an option to keep you in touch with your important e-mails using SMS notifications.

Yesterday, I had to drive to the wild area, where I wasn’t sure about 3G coverage, and tried to setup this SMS notification, but “Now, this feature has been retired“.

Fortunately, there is another option to make it. And, BTW, it will work for any e-mail provider, who gives you an option to forward incoming e-mails automatically to another address.

We’re going to use SMS Gateway feature.

SMS Gateway is a telecommunications network facility for sending or receiving Short Message Service (SMS) transmissions to or from a telecommunications network that supports SMS. Most messages are eventually routed into the mobile phone networks. Many SMS gateways support media conversion from email and other formats.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It gives us the basis of the e-mail -> sms notification. And we need to create a filter to notify us about certain e-mails only.

1. Go to the Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP

Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP

Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP

2. We can start both ways: to add your SMS Gateway e-mail or to create a filter.

Create filter with your criteria.

Create filter with your criteria.

In this example I create a filter to send me SMS about any e-mail with “Test SMS Gateway E-mail” in Subject line.

3. When filter is created, we need to add the forwarding address, which is your_phone_number@your_cellular_provider_sms_gateway

You can check, if your cellular provider has an SMS Gateway here >>

For example, I use US Cellular, and their Gateway for SMS is “phone_number@email.uscc.net”, and for MMS is “phone_number@mms.uscc.net”.

Add your SMS-gateway to send notifications.

Add your SMS-gateway to send notifications.

4. As I said, your forwarding e-mail address has to be like your_phone@your_SMS_Gateway.

Add your phone_number@SMS_Gateway_e-mail

Add your phone_number@SMS_Gateway_e-mail

5. Google wants to verify the new e-mail, you added to the account.

They need verification.

They need verification.

Good point. And you also check, if you typed your SMS gateway correctly.

6. After you receive the SMS from your_gmail@gmail.com, type the verification code here.

Type verification code.

Type verification code.

7. Finally, you’ll have the e-mail filter with the SMS gateway as forwarding address, which sends the notifications SMS to your phone.

All done

All done

Smart TV from old monitor.

One day I’ve got an old broken monitor – Samsung SyncMaster 320′ mx. The problem – doesn’t work at all.

1. SyncMaster

Another brick in the wall

What is interesting about it? It has 3 USB, Network and VGA output.

It might be something interesting inside.

It might be something interesting inside.

Reading Samsung website, I found that this monitor has Windows XP Embedded inside with “Magic Info” app on it.

OK. Taking back cover off.

Looks, it has a computer inside!

Looks, it has a computer inside!

The capacitor on the Power Supply was bubbled. Yes, it would be much better to replace entire board, but it just too expensive for now. So, this time I just ordered new one capacitor from Amazon for $5.

4. SyncMaster_PS

I had to replace this bad guy. Electrolytic capacitors are so electrolytic…

OK. Then some more steps:

  1. Plug 4GB USB stick for the swap file, because internal SSD is just the same 4GB.
  2. Plug the keyboard and wireless mouse (the keyboard is actually not necessary).
  3. Add some RAM (2 GB against 512Mb it had before) and assign some of it to Video card.
  4. Install a new version of Windows XP using entire disk space (it was divided to 2 partitions, one for the system and one for the recovery).
Not bad computer, huh?

Not bad computer, huh?


  1. Install XBMC with XBMC Hub
  2. Add media directories from home NAS.
  3. Post the post to this blog.

6. SyncMaster_XBMC

So. Now I have a not bad 32′ HD Smart-TV.