My name is Ray McNamara, my nicknames is Sparra and my Internet call sign is ‘sparramc‘. In my family the eldest son is has been called sparra for many generations!
I live in Launceston, Tasmania, which is Australia´s Island State, situated at a latitude of approximately 40° South with my partner Yvonne, daughter Samantha and son Anthony. Our house is on a large town block, which backs onto farn land and public forest (scrub) reserve. We have a menagerie of animals which include Indian Runner Ducks, Cockatoo, Parrots, Chickens, Rabbits, a Guniea pig, a Cat and a Fox terrier, bitch “Jilly Dog“.
To relax at evenings and at times when the weather is inclement, I enjoy building LEGO ®Technics and LEGO® Mindstorms Robotic Models. The Lego Mindstorms NXT is a programmable robotics kit originally released by LEGO® in late July 2006. It replaces the first-generation Lego Mindstorms kit, which was called the Robotics Invention System. The base kit ships in two versions: the Retail Version (set #8527) and the Education Base Set (set #9797). These sets comes with the NXT-G programming software, but a variety of unofficial languages exist, such as NXC, NBC, leJOS NXJ, and RobotC. A new version of the set, the new Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0, was announced in January 2009, featuring a colour sensor and other upgraded capabilities. The NXT 2.0 set was officially released on August 1, 2009 (set # 8547).
I have a complete LEGO NXT #8527, plus 3x extra NXT programmable bricks, and a large collection of both LEGO and after market Sensors. I have over 50KG of LEGO Technics Parts to complement the NXTs. I also have 2x LEGO Mindstorms RCX Sets, along with expansion kits to match, which were the predecessor of the NXT.
Videos of my Lego Mindstorms Contraptions!
I regularly post videos to YouTube and Blog Articles about my Mindstorms Robots. I also contribute to several LEGO Mindstorms Forum and Websites. I was also the instigator in having Rotacaster Australia produce a line of LEGO Technic and Mindstorms compatible Omni-directional wheels developed from their Rotacaster Rollers and casters.
I spend a good part of my time working with the Genus Lilium, the true Lilies. I breed Lilies especially for your garden which are easy to grow and care for ,as well as living for many, many years. You can view my Lilies, and purchase Lilium Seed from my dedicated Lilium website, ´Sparra´s Nest´. There is also a large resource of Lilium related information, including on their culture available on the website as well.
My other interested are Natural History, Botany, Evolution, Cosmology, Physics, Electronics & Photography too name just a few.
I am also a user and lover of the Linux Operating System. I prefer to use the Linux Mint distribution which is a free operating system (OS) for your computer. It replaces Microsoft’s Windows OS with an extremely secure and reliable Platform for any user who’s fed up with viruses and other security issues inherent with MS Windows. An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your computer run. Linux Mint uses the Linux kernel (the core of an operating system), but most of the basic OS tools come from the GNU project; hence the name GNU/Linux.
The purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use.
Started in 2006, Linux Mint is now the 4th most widely used operating system among households around the globe, behind Microsoft Windows, Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux and Apple Mac OS, which is Unix; the virtual parent of Linux. Linux will run on your Apple Mac as well!
Some of the reasons for the success of Linux Mint are:
- It works out of the box, with full multimedia support and is extremely easy to use.
- It’s both free of cost and open source.
- It’s community-driven. Users are encouraged to send feedback to the project so that their ideas can be used to improve Linux Mint.
- Based on Debian and Ubuntu, it provides about 30,000 packages and one of the best software managers around.
- It’s very safe and extremely reliable. Thanks to a conservative approach to software updates, a unique Update Manager and the robustness of its Linux architecture, Linux Mint requires very little maintenance (no regressions, no antivirus, no anti-spyware, .etc).
So What Is Stopping You Switching?
I run MS Windows XP as a Virtual Machine inside Linux to give me access to Adobes Photoshop and Lightroom. All the other programs I use, are the Linux equivalent of windows based programs for recording and editing Video & Audio, as well as a comprehensive Office Suite along with many, many others. The best of all they are all Free Open Source programs which work as well, and in many cases better than the MS Windows based machines.
95% of the computers that make-up the Internet are Linux Machines. No Linux! No Internet! And No Smart Phones and many, many other devices as well. There’s a very good chance that Linux is at the heart of your car’s computer system as well! Many of the Governments of the European Union Countries are now mandating that the computers used in all tears of Government, including Education must be Linux based. The Universities of the world would collapse with out Linux.
Programming the EV3 with C++ using BricxCC & G++: Overview Bricx Command Center (BricxCC) is a Win... http://t.co/IXVanR6K45— Mindstorms NXT Robot (@LEGO_NXT_Robot) December 3, 2013
New dedicated LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Website launched. Centralised repository of EV3 information: http://t.co/Lpa25mGoFu http://t.co/OIfixbBeWi— Mindstorms NXT Robot (@LEGO_NXT_Robot) November 29, 2013
Wow! My Blog http://t.co/HLPeIcLSn2 , has had 12652 Visitors in the last 30 Days... http://t.co/Vn3bYEmzKl— Mindstorms NXT Robot (@LEGO_NXT_Robot) November 22, 2013
The "TINY" Edimax EW-7811UN Wireless N, 150Mbps USB Nano Adapter Wi-Fi Dongle will work with the LEGO Mindstorms EV3. http://t.co/h3G7FB7p0k— Mindstorms NXT Robot (@LEGO_NXT_Robot) November 22, 2013
LEGO Compatible Raspberry Pi Base: Ever wished/wanted to use a Raspberry Pi as part of a LEGO Robotic... http://t.co/ieN3iFPll3— Mindstorms NXT Robot (@LEGO_NXT_Robot) November 20, 2013
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