Rahul Ravikumar

Software Engineer, Google

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Adventures with an Onion Omega2Pro

 Introduction

I love development boards and single board computers for how versatile they are. Among development boards I have a few favorite ones; one of which is a Tessel 2, and the other being an Onion Omega 2. Both of these boards run a distribution of Linux based on the OpenWRT project. The Onion Omega 2 is newer than the Tessel 2 and has more RAM, but it’s surprising how similar these boards are.

I like the mission of both boards. They strive to make building products easy, by greatly lowering the barrier to entry to build stuff because you can bring your own runtime. Don’t like writing C / C++ ? use Python, Rust, JavaScript (on Node) with full access to GPIO, I2C and SPI peripherals. This is what makes the IoT ecosystem far more approachable.

 The Omega2 Pro

Recently Onion announced a new development board called the Omega2Pro. The reason why this board intrigued me was that...

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Empower

 Elevator Pitch

We want to empower citizens by giving them the ability to provide constructive feedback when they interact with Government officials or officials representing a public-serving organization.

 The How?

We use the information (profile and organizational information) provided by the Govt. of India, or the organization (from their respective websites) to construct public profiles of officials that citizens can provide feedback to. This has the potential to amplify good actors; as well as provide the ability for citizens to discover who an official’s superior is and provide constructive feedback and a means to escalate. At the same time, it gives Govt. organizations power to collect detailed analytics on how effective they are.

 Show me

Here is some context on the idea. This is the slide deck that we presented.
Here is a demo video of the Android application we built.

...

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Collaborative Editing & Monaco

 Introduction

I love Visual Studio Code and I use it everyday. Visual Studio Code uses Monaco as it’s code editor.

Monaco is a really impressive code editor with some amazing features. One of the best features is really how fast it feels. Here is a HN discussion about why Monaco is really really fast. As i started to experiment with the editor more, I realized how amazing it would be if someone used Monaco as the base of a new collaborative editor. Maybe, I should do it.

Thinking about this problem a bit more, if I was going to build a collaborative editor it would need to have the following featureset:

  • Reliable editing.
  • No centralized datastore for the documents created. The documents should belong to the user who created them.
  • Easy access controls. (I don’t want to share my document with the whole world, but only a few users).
  • Presence support (Knowing who else is looking at...

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Diwali in Kolkata, India

It’s nice to be back home at Diwali after several years. The amount of noise that we manage to generate thanks to the music and the fireworks is quite impressive.

Living on the 26th floor has its advantages, and I managed to take some beautiful pictures of the night, midst all the celebrations and fireworks.

 Pictures

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Sony A7R Camera
Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm prime
MeFoto 1350 Carbon Fiber
Adobe Lightroom

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Stargazing at Lick Observatory

A friend and I decided to go stargazing to Lick Observatory with his amazing new telescope.

I took my camera along as well and took some pictures of the observatory and San Jose city by night (as seen from the top of Mt. Hamilton). It was a beautiful night.

 Pictures

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Sony A7R Camera
Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm prime
MeFoto 1350 Carbon Fiber
Adobe Lightroom

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API Summer Camp #2

Part 2 in the series of photos that I took at the API summer camp in Tahoe. This series of photographs, was part of a Nature Photography workshop.

 Pictures

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Sony A7R Camera
Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm prime
Adobe Lightroom
Vivitar 49mm ND2-1000 Neutral Density Filter

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API Summer Camp

We went to Tahoe as part of a Google organized trip for 2 days. It was a lot* of fun. One of the activities was an Astrophotography workshop. Here are my pictures.

The Milky way is gorgeous, especially given the minimal light pollution at Tahoe. It was cold, but a lot of fun.

 Pictures

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Sony A7R Camera
Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm prime
Adobe Lightroom
MeFoto 1350 Carbon Fiber

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More Sunsets at Shoreline Lakehouse

Some more pictures of a beautiful sunset at Shoreline Lake Boathouse. My Lightroom skills are getting better. :)

 Pictures

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Sony A7R Camera
Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm prime
Adobe Lightroom
MeFoto 1350 Carbon Fiber
Vivitar 49mm ND2-1000 Neutral Density Filter

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Perseid Meteor Showers

 Post processing

Yesterday, I uploaded essentially the raw capture from the A7R.
Today, I read this and repeated the steps described here. The meteor in picture #4 is more noticeable. I wish the photos were less blurry, but given this is a first attempt at Astrophotography - I am happy that I tried.

 Result

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Perseid Meteor Showers

We went to Montebello preserve to get a glimpse of the meteor showers.
It was amazing, and the night ended with one of the largest meteor’s I have ever seen. It was so bright, that it left a streak which lasted a few seconds.

Some attempts at photographing the night sky are below.

 Pictures

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