[Coladam] for those who attended ADAMcon XIII...

Ron Mitchell mitch99 at telus.net
Mon Oct 1 00:54:17 CEST 2012

Thanks for sharing that Dr. D.  Brings back some fond memories of Adamcon XIII..

It's a shame that the kit and equipment didn't survive. It also seems regrettable that the current administration doesn't see the value of such a course. Strikes me that the stated course objectives would still be valid now, would they not?

I guess we've moved to a point now where programming is done either in Redmond or Cupertino, or somewhere in Asia, and there isn't the same need as there once was to learn about software development.

I find that sad. 

Ron Mitchell

On 2012-09-30, at 8:22 AM, Rich Drushel wrote:

>     Remember the away mission to CWRU, where you got to build LEGO robots
> in the robot lab?  Yesterday I recreated a similar event for a reunion of
> my LEGO lab alumni (and other interested CWRU alumni and their families) at
> Homecoming.  They started with the same kits, built the same _Johnny Cab_
> robot from the same printed plans, ran the same johnnycab.c software on the
> same Handy Boards, and in 3 hours, had an obstacle-avoidance contest.
>     Six of my course alumni (spanning 1996-2003) returned and built 3 of
> the 6 robots.  The other 3 robots were built by kids, grandkids, grandparents,
> and a few current CWRU students.
>     I had only a month to pull everything together, and sadly almost all
> of the materials from the undergraduate course (including 10 kits' worth of
> LEGOs, all the spares, most of the robot boards, and all the arena walls)
> were discarded without my knowledge by the Electrical Engineering and Computer
> Science Department, sometime around 2008.  We used the 6 LEGO kits from my
> summer robot course for high school teachers/students, which never left my
> possession.  Two of the three MacOS 9 computers were actually used in the
> robot lab (including the only surviving one of four original "pizzabox"
> Powermac 6100s from the 1st semester of the course, Spring 1995), and I had
> one of the Powerbook 5300s available as an emergency backup (fortunately not
> needed). I also added a few artifacts from my files, and had a big TV playing
> some of the Egg Hunt contest videos (I have all the tapes).
>     Needless to say, everyone had a great time, and (from an attendee
> perspective) almost everything worked, and I was able to fix quickly the
> few things that didn't.  Behind the scenes, and in the week leading up
> to the event, however, a much different story  :-S
>     One of the LEGO lab alumni is a professional photographer, so he took
> some nice pictures in between working on his robot.  He sent me a link to
> a Flikr album:
>     http://www.flickr.com/photos/gypsymags/sets/72157631653766830/
> Lots of the stuff should look familiar to those of you who were at ADAMcon
> XIII.  There are even some pix of me, and my daughter Elanor.  Ms. Rin was
> there too, taking video of the contest, but doesn't seem to be in any of
> these photos.  She also was taking photos throughout the morning; I haven't
> had a chance to look at these.
>     More info about the LEGO robot course is available at the archival
> website:
>     http://drushel.cwru.edu/375/
> None of the video links work (the server runs WinNT 4.0, which is no longer
> safe to put on the network).  BTW, you can see the Sun monitor for the
> video server (named "coleco") in one of the above photos.
>     *Dr. D.*
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