MacroCASE- A DIY phone case to see, up close !

A detailed build procedure of this is already posted on Instructables

Last night while I was soldering a TSSOP Package on a home-etched board, i found it really difficult to see the joints whether they had soldered fine or whether i had a healthy track? I used my eye-loupe to see up close.The idea of using eye-loupe was initially introduced to my while my time at CEPD,NSIT .Ah! That was a beautiful solder joint. Something worth saving and sharing. So, I just held the loupe in front of the phone to click a picture and save it. I figured this could be useful in taking macroshots too.
umm.. Like this bajra seed

Bajra Grain under my #MacroCase ! #Macro #Photography #Lumia #Nokia #DIY

A photo posted by Rohit Gupta (@rohit7gupta) on Feb 2, 2015 at 5:28am PST

or this brush

Results of my #own #Macro #Lens #Setup for #Phones ! These are bristles of a Brush ! #DIY #Optics #PhoneMods #Lumia

A photo posted by Rohit Gupta (@rohit7gupta) on Jan 26, 2015 at 1:02am PST

These instances started to occour more frequently. You know the feeling when you figure out that one Juggad has solved a problem and you keep on using it again and again. Sometimes, even when not quite necessary (But for fun!)

So, why not combine the phone and this eye-loupe (sadly but aptly broken due to its relocation from Delhi) and make something permanent and then the MACROCase was made and it gave purpose to that ready to throw back cover that i just made useful.

You wont need much stuff to make it, just almost everything in the picture below is enough.

Building is not very difficult (See this Instructable). I also added a LED to precisely illuminate the scene just in case we went up too close. An assorted SMD switch was added near the camera button (Yes some Lumias have it :P). The whole wiring was done using copper tape. One can also use the wires. I preffered them as they are just stick.

And there I have my own modded phone case that helps me take nice pictures of the smaller things in life and help me pick numbers of those small components like resistors and chips.

This is how a SOIC looks like:

Stay tuned for an upcoming tutorial series on umm.. Lets keep it a secret till then. ! Until next time, (as John Green says) , Dont Forget to be awesome!

Cheers,

Rohit

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Kindify: Making PDFs readable on the @Amazon Kindle

Probably YOU too bought the kindle to read those pdfs that you having been stashing in your hard drive and wondering when you will get to read them. YOU too considered it would be fantastic to read them, a single device for only books. Consider this no calumny to the device. But PDFs are seriously not its cup of tea. Mercurial, YOU might be seeing the way the PDF is rendered on the crisp screen. All those toggling and finger gymnastics to get to the line. Dah! I too didn’t seem comfortable.

Next came the fever of converting them to funny formats like .mobi etc that made a nicely indented book look like a unorganised vomit of words.

I tried assiduously to somehow read and lost interest until I stumbled upon a slick python library pyPDF while solving a problem with printing PDFs.

Clip the borders and Light you shall see !

Kindle does automatically clip borders but it retains the primordial page number which limits the usability and since, it also indexes the page number anyway, even if I remove it using some python script it wont hurt.

So, This is what kindify does. Its a command line python utility that simply takes the pdf you intent to read and returns a PDF with the same name but -kindified appended to its file name to be read on the Kindle.

The only dependency is pyPDF .

Install PyPDF using pip :
pip install pypdf

Now clone the github repository:

git clone https://github.com/IndianTinker/kindify.git

Now, paste the PDF in the kindify directory and run the command:

python kindify.py yourPdfName.pdf

An interactive menu will pop up with list of some famous book houses that have predefined cropping parameters. You can always choose the custom one to suit your needs or edit the predefined ones to suit your needs.

Lets see the magic in this sample from Orielly.
Before the script the PDF renders as follows:

Pre Script

And after the script

Post Script

There is a difference between the two images. Clearly the second one is a bit more clear.
So, yet again Python saves the day!

Cheers!

Rohit

Noobs Guide to Pune Relocation !

It has almost been 8 months since i moved to Pune for Work from my hometown Delhi . Pune has a comparably benevolent weather as compared to Delhi. Summers are sweeter and so are winters. People of the city are great. They are quite helpful and humble. The city’s older areas have stark resemblance to Old Delhi and has lots of nice Forts, Temples, Museums and best of all eateries. Language is not a major issue as Marathi is somewhat similar to Hindi and most people understand Hindi but prefer to talk in Marathi. Changla !

I am writing is post mostly in a log format and will keep adding information as an when I get more.

If google sent you here, then probably you too are interested/moving to Pune soon.I hope you find the information useful. The post is divided into several important sections that will be updated from time to time. Lots of unorganized info to follow so lets get started:

Shelter

This section deals with housing related things

  • If you are coming here for an IT company, most of them are concentrated in Hinjewadi and Wakad side of Pune, which geographically comes under Pimpri Chinchwad city of Pune Metropolitan Region. Then most popular housing locations will be Wakad, Hinjewadi, Vishal Nagar(Jagtap Dairy), Pimple Saudagar and Pimple Gurav.
  • Before you hit the land, searching for houses/flats , take note of the relocation policy of your company and make sure brokerage is covered.
  • Choose room-mates wisely. Initial judgements can be pretentious. You would certainly like to live with people on the same frequency as your’ s else, things could go wary.
  • Prefer searching online on sites like Housing.com, MagicBricks etc first and prefer ones that are listed by Owners themselves to avoid steep brokerage , which is usually 1 month rent for 11 months agreement and 2 months rent for more than 11 months.
  • Most societies have a board Beware of Dogs right below a board that says Bachelors Not Allowed that pretty much sets their priorities straight. Dont go looking for flats in them.
  • Prefer on pakka agreement which requires you to go to the municipality office against a Notary Agreement. This depends on the landlord entirely. A pakka agreement is useful when you wish to own a vehicle in Pune where a notorized one bites the dust.
  • In case you need furniture, the market has a rental based system. You can buy cheap and flimsy furniture and once you leave you can return it for 50-60% its value. Mattresses are also available for cheap.
  • Some flats come with a furnished status but are usually 10k more than normal. If you plan to stay about 11 months then evaluate the economics. 10k* 11 = 1,11,000 INR. So, if the facilities are worth that even after depreciation. Go for it! else negotiate.
  • Chalk out a Room Mate Agreement like Sheldon ! It helps in long run.
  • D Mart is the best place to shop here.

Transportation

This section deals with Transportation related things

Expect Nothing

  • The city’s transport is abysmal and has been so since ages. The Pune City is a bit better but PCMC is worse. Its like Noida of Pune. Auto walla’s make money on your sufferings.Prefer Ola Cabs !
  • You wont get a direct bus quite often. That was pretty irritating initially until i met Mr. Chaturvedi on the Rakshak Chowk Bus Stop one day. He his golden words were: “Only a few buses go to your destination directly, but many go that way !” Saying so he boarded his bus to Vishrantwadi leaving me with ideas ! So, the trick is use Here Transit to find buses that go in the direction you want and board them and deboard at the point they divert from your path and then reboard. So, if you want to go to FC Road. Take a bus for PMC/Station and use the above algo.
  • Get a 2 wheeler (I don’t have one though) ! OLX is great place to find or go to Rasta Peth for second hand stuff. Again you have to pay more to the brokers here, and a notorized agreement wont work !
  • There is also a local train service in Pune but is not preferred unless you wish to travel out of the city like going to Lonavala or Malavali etc.
  • If you wish to go to Mumbai ! Trust only Shivneri , Neeta has a terrible service everywhere and even to Ahemadabad (Been there Done that). You can also take shared cabs from Chinchwad Station. They charge about 200 – 250 bucks based on demand.

Food

This section deals with Food related things

  • Everything is awesome! There are lot of options here. Dosa’s and Vada Pao’s are like staple street foods. The Standard Price for Vada Pao is 10 bucks and Dosa is 20- 30 bucks .
  • There are lot of good places in the city. Try GoodLuck Cafe’s Fruit Fanny,La Plaisir Patisserie & Bistro’s Chesse Cake, Garden Vada Pao , Marz-o-rin’s Sandwiches, Durvankur’s Thali or Sabutdana Wadi at Shaniwar Wada. Check Zomato for more listings. There is a Burger King as well in Koregaon Park where you get gross burgers and the infamous German Bakery is there too, near Osho Ashram
  • You can’t get on eating from these restaurants on daily basis so, for usual days you can either hire a cook. There is no dearth of them and they charge around 600-700 per head.
  • If cook is too much of a pain, go get a dabbawalla . He serves hot food in a tiffin at a reasonable price. Do ping me in the comments if you need any contacts. I have tried about 4 of them 😛

Internet

This section deals with Connectivity related things

  • Internet Broadband service is a booming business here and there are tons and tons of them. To name a few Spectranet, iConnect, Reliance, Tikona, Tata Docomo, Airtel etc.
  • Tikona is Ok and there are several breakdowns, but customer service is good.
  • Docomo is great but limited to certain societies only.
  • Reliance s*#ks as usual ! No support and useless Helplines, but its the cheapest.
  • iConnect and Sprectranet are good too but again limited to some societies.
  • As far as cellular connectivity is concerned. Voda>Idea>Airtel>Docomo

POIs

This section deals with Places to roam around

  • Shaniwar Wada
  • Dagdu Shet Ganpati Temple
  • Raja Dinakar Museum
  • Lonavala
  • Karla Caves , Malavali
  • Sinhagad Fort
  • Bike ride through Pashan Area
  • will add more as i visit

Hope people find this useful!

Cheers !!

Rohit