Happy Birthday Mr Keiser! Love from ETOY


Beagleboard UART recovery

In case of erased or corrupted NAND, the only output from Beagleboard you will see in your Terminal is some garbage. The bootrom does not reach the MMC bootstage anymore, or is not even able to bootload into the first or second stage (x-loader, u-boot). Pushing the User button to change the boot order to USB -> UART -> MMC -> NAND won't help either in this case. 

The Beagleboard recovery wikipage suggests three methods of which UART recovery proved to be successful.

Tools required


1) Preparing the boot tools and SD card

Unpacking boot_omap3_serial.tar.bz2. The package contains an x-loader and u-boot binary that will be uploaded to the beagleboard for the rescue. Both will be replaced later by the versions from the SD card and permanently written to NAND.

tar -xjvf boot_omap3_serial.tar.bz2
cd boot_omap3_serial

Copy x-loader and u-boot to the FAT partition of the SD card

cp x-load_revc_v3.bin.ift /media/boot/x-load.bin.ift
cp u-boot-revc4.bin /media/boot/u-boot.bin

2) Upload x-loader and u-boot

First power off the beagleboard and connect the serial cable. Enter the following command to upload the temporary x-loader:

./pserial -p /dev/ttyUSB0 -f x-load.bin

Power-on the beagleboard. If there is already an x-loader in NAND push the user button so that NAND boot is tried after the UART boot.

Terminal output:

Waiting For Device ASIC ID: Press Ctrl+C to stop
ASIC ID Detected.
Sending 2ndFile:
Downloading file: 100.000% completed(12700/12700 bytes)

Upload the temporary u-boot.bin

./ukermit -p /dev/ttyUSB0 -f u-boot.bin

Terminal output:

Downloading file: 100.000% completed(162656/162656 bytes)
File Download completed

3) Connect to the temporary u-boot console

Don't reset the beagleboard, x-loader and u-boot are only in memory. Connect with the Terminal program to the beagleboard. It should display the following:

OMAP3 # AT S7=45 S0=0 L1 V1 X4  E1 Q0
syntax error                                          

4) Writing x-loader and u-boot to NAND

The x-loader and u-boot from the SD card need to be flashed to NAND.

Flashing the x-loader:

fatload mmc 0:1 80000000 x-load.bin.ift
nand unlock
nandecc hw
nand erase 0 80000
nand write 80000000 0 80000

Flashing u-boot:

fatload mmc 0:1 80000000 u-boot.bin
nand unlock
nandecc sw
nand erase 80000 160000
nand write 80000000 80000 160000

5) Restart

After restart, the Beagleboard is supposed to be revitalized!

References and Links

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M∞ TAMATAR at Silicondreams roundup


first MISSIONS ETERNITY TAMATAR show just closed


Printing Body Parts

Feb 18th 2010, The Economist

A machine that prints organs is coming to market

THE great hope of transplant surgeons is that they will, one day, be
able to order replacement body parts on demand. At the moment, a
patient may wait months, sometimes years, for an organ from a suitable
donor. During that time his condition may worsen. He may even die. The
ability to make organs as they are needed would not only relieve
suffering but also save lives. And that possibility may be closer with
the arrival of the first commercial 3D bio-printer for manufacturing
human tissue and organs.

The new machine, which costs around $200,000, has been developed by
Organovo, a company in San Diego that specialises in regenerative
medicine, and Invetech, an engineering and automation firm in
Melbourne, Australia. One of Organovo's founders, Gabor Forgacs of the
University of Missouri, developed the prototype on which the new 3D
bio-printer is based. The first production models will soon be
delivered to research groups which, like Dr Forgacs's, are studying
ways to produce tissue and organs for repair and replacement. At
present much of this work is done by hand or by adapting existing
instruments and devices.

To start with, only simple tissues, such as skin, muscle and short
stretches of blood vessels, will be made, says Keith Murphy, Organovo's
chief executive, and these will be for research purposes. Mr Murphy
says, however, that the company expects that within five years, once
clinical trials are complete, the printers will produce blood vessels
for use as grafts in bypass surgery. With more research it should be
possible to produce bigger, more complex body parts. Because the
machines have the ability to make branched tubes, the technology could,
for example, be used to create the networks of blood vessels needed to
sustain larger printed organs, like kidneys, livers and hearts.

Organovo's 3D bio-printer works in a similar way to some
rapid-prototyping machines used in industry to make parts and
mechanically functioning models. These work like inkjet printers, but
with a third dimension. Such printers deposit droplets of polymer which
fuse together to form a structure. With each pass of the printing
heads, the base on which the object is being made moves down a notch.
In this way, little by little, the object takes shape. Voids in the
structure and complex shapes are supported by printing a "scaffold" of
water-soluble material. Once the object is complete, the scaffold is
washed away.

Researchers have found that something similar can be done with
biological materials. When small clusters of cells are placed next to
each other they flow together, fuse and organise themselves. Various
techniques are being explored to condition the cells to mature into
functioning body parts--for example, "exercising" incipient muscles
using small machines.

Though printing organs is new, growing them from scratch on scaffolds
has already been done successfully. In 2006 Anthony Atala and his
colleagues at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in
North Carolina made new bladders for seven patients. These are still

Dr Atala's process starts by taking a tiny sample of tissue from the
patient's own bladder (so that the organ that is grown from it will not
be rejected by his immune system). From this he extracts precursor
cells that can go on to form the muscle on the outside of the bladder
and the specialised cells within it. When more of these cells have been
cultured in the laboratory, they are painted onto a biodegradable
bladder-shaped scaffold which is warmed to body temperature. The cells
then mature and multiply. Six to eight weeks later, the bladder is
ready to be put into the patient.

The advantage of using a bioprinter is that it eliminates the need for
a scaffold, so Dr Atala, too, is experimenting with inkjet technology.
The Organovo machine uses stem cells extracted from adult bone marrow
and fat as the precursors. These cells can be coaxed into
differentiating into many other types of cells by the application of
appropriate growth factors. The cells are formed into droplets 100-500
microns in diameter and containing 10,000-30,000 cells each. The
droplets retain their shape well and pass easily through the inkjet
printing process.

A second printing head is used to deposit scaffolding--a sugar-based
hydrogel. This does not interfere with the cells or stick to them. Once
the printing is complete, the structure is left for a day or two, to
allow the droplets to fuse together. For tubular structures, such as
blood vessels, the hydrogel is printed in the centre and around the
outside of the ring of each cross-section before the cells are added.
When the part has matured, the hydrogel is peeled away from the outside
and pulled from the centre like a piece of string.

The bio-printers are also capable of using other types of cells and
support materials. They could be employed, Mr Murphy suggests, to place
liver cells on a pre-built, liver-shaped scaffold or to form layers of
lining and connective tissue that would grow into a tooth. The printer
fits inside a standard laboratory biosafety cabinet, for sterile
operation. Invetech has developed a laser-based calibration system to
ensure that both print heads deposit their materials accurately, and a
computer-graphics system allows cross-sections of body parts to be

Some researchers think machines like this may one day be capable of
printing tissues and organs directly into the body. Indeed, Dr Atala is
working on one that would scan the contours of the part of a body where
a skin graft was needed and then print skin onto it. As for bigger body
parts, Dr Forgacs thinks they may take many different forms, at least
initially. A man-made biological substitute for a kidney, for instance,
need not look like a real one or contain all its features in order to
clean waste products from the bloodstream. Those waiting for
transplants are unlikely to worry too much about what replacement body
parts look like, so long as they work and make them better.

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health monitoring sleeptracker for mission eternity pilots

probably a very interesting approach to track and collect fundamental body data of our pilots:

---health monitoring tools get popular (and cheap)--- article mentioning products (listed at the end of this post)

another another wired article about the topic:
"...Self-trackers seem eager to contribute to our knowledge about human life. The world is full of potential experiments: people experiencing some change in their lives, going on or off a diet, kicking an old habit, making a vow or a promise, going on vacation, switching from incandescent to fluorescent lighting, getting into a fight. These are potential experiments, not real experiments, because typically no data is collected and no hypotheses are formed. But with the abundance of self-tracking tools now on offer, everyday changes can become the material of careful study.

When magnifying lenses were invented, they were aimed at the cosmos. But almost immediately we turned them around and aimed them at ourselves. The telescope became a microscope. We discovered blood cells. We discovered spermatozoa. We discovered the universe of microorganisms inside ourselves. The accessible tools of self-tracking and numerical analysis offer a new kind of microscope with which to find patterns in the smallest unit of sociological analysis, the individual human. But the notion of a personal microscope isn't quite right, because insight will come not just from our own numbers but from combining them with the findings of others. Really, what we're building is what climate scientist Jesse Ausubel calls a macroscope.

The basic idea of a macroscope is to link myriad bits of natural data into a larger, readable pattern. This means computers on one side and distributed data-gathering on the other. If you want to see the climate, you gather your data with hyperlocal weather stations maintained by amateurs. If you want to see traffic, you collect info from automatic sensors placed on roadways and cars. If you want new insights into yourself, you harness the power of countless observations of small incidents of change—incidents that used to vanish without a trace. And if you want to test an idea about human nature in general, you aggregate those sets of individual observations into a population study.

The macroscope will be to our era of science what the telescope and the microscope were to earlier ones. Its power will be felt even more from the new questions it provokes than from the answers it delivers. The excitement in the self-tracking movement right now comes not just from the lure of learning things from one's own numbers but also from the promise of contributing to a new type of knowledge, using this tool we all build..."

(self)tracking products:

sleeptracker: $179

fitbit / a clip that transfers activity data to computer
"Did I get enough exercise today? How many calories did I burn? Am I getting good rest?"
    for $99

zeo sleep phase tracker: for $350 (including sleep phase alarm clock system!?)

tracking your babies data: Rich, informative charts and striking visualizations provide insight to your amazing baby's needs and daily rhythms. Share your site online so that parents, family, nannies and caregivers can stay connected with each other. 

AXBO - SLEEP PHASE ALARM CLOCK (schlafphasenwecker) costs 179euro

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Nothingness - 無

When first exposed to the MISSION ETERNITY logo people frequently pronounce it as: "Moo". Today I learned that the Kanji 無 (Mu/"Moo") means Nothingness!

The only other significant meaning of this pronunciation refers to the sound of cows, Swiss cows!

Further reading:

The Logic of Nothingness: A Study of Nishida Kitaro. By R.J.J. Wargo

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avoiding a Digital Dark Age

link to an article from Kurt D. Bollacker
thanks jwildeboer for twittering

"Data longevity depends on both the storage medium and the ability to decipher the information

...When I was a boy, I discovered a magnetic reel-to-reel audio tape recorder that my father had used to create “audio letters” to my mother while he was serving in the Vietnam War. To my delight (and his horror), I could listen to many of the old tapes he had made a decade before. Even better, I could make recordings myself and listen to them. However, all of my father’s tapes were decaying to some degree—flaking, stretching and breaking when played. It was clear that these tapes would not last forever, so I copied a few of them to new cassette tapes. While playing back the cassettes, I noticed that some of the sound quality was lost in the copying process. I wondered how many times I could make a copy before there was nothing left but a murky hiss..." read the article


Realität und Ewigkeit

Gesehen bei der Gallerie Poesie und Kunst, wo Ales Steger gelesen hatte.


Medicine and Art

your correspondent AGENT in Tokyo visited the much discussed Medicine and Art exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills today. The museum is located on the 52 floor of the Mori building with a breathtaking view over Tokyo. The exhibition contained old and new artistic representations of the human body, for medical purposes such as anatomic studies as well as for the age-old artistic reminder of the brevity and fragility of our human life: memento mori.

However, reminders are only a start. Much representation of the nude and of death goes far beyond a gruesome reminder of our mortality to fascination with what we can't see: our inside. To fascination with difference between the sexes, between the living face and the mask of the dead. The most touching exhibit, to me, was the photograph series of individuals just before and shortly after death by Walter Schels. Notoriously, Stelarc reappeared with his third ear, and Eduardo Kac with the glowing bunny: etoy AGENTS remember the heated discussions at ARS last year about Kac's work with the flower and the replicability of artistic work that draws on undisclosed scientific methods: we disapproved.

Working with mortal remains, Alvin Zafra grated an entire human skull onto sand paper resulting in what looked like an abstract gray painting. Unfortunately, the process documentation on video demystified the grating procedure into a trivial mechanics that seemed pointless and inadequate to the quite intriguing end result.

A parallel exhibit featured the Complaints Choirs by Kalleinen&Kalleinen, a beautifully poetic work that reminds us of the apparent impossibility of happiness and our constant bias towards not living the moment but focusing on problems, obstacles, worries, and all the griefs that turn us into mumbling, bitchy, grumpy old folks.

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Prev Next11-20/156 twisting values since 1994