Posts Tagged ‘goal’

Goal — Lighting for a quadraplegic man

My next project is a rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple light­ing instal­la­tion for a dis­abled man.

For a while now I have been involved with TADACT (Tech­ni­cal Aid for Dis­abled, Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­to­ry). Dis­abled peo­ple don’t come off assem­bly lines and have unique vari­ances with­in their broad dis­abil­i­ty cat­e­go­ry. The stan­dard equip­ment is tar­get­ed at the most com­mon issues but this often isn’t quite what they need. TADACT is a group of vol­un­teers that mod­i­fy or man­u­fac­ture spe­cial­ty equip­ment for dis­abled peo­ple where there isn’t an ade­quate com­mer­cial solu­tion.

Late last year I vis­it­ed a quad­ri­pleg­ic man and talked about installing a cus­tom light for him. Due to a vehi­cle acci­dent he has no con­trol below his chest and only crude move­ment of his arms and one thumb. He is also unable to exert any force with his arms.

He want­ed a light he could con­trol from his bed. The bed­side lamps he was using were dif­fi­cult for him to con­trol due to the small switch­es. He didn’t like sleep­ing in the dark at night so it had dim while he slept but be bright enough to read by. He also moves his arms around at night and there’s a risk he could seri­ous­ly burn him­self with the bed­side lamps, he had actu­al­ly burnt him­self just before I met him and received third degree burns again last week.

Tak­ing those require­ments (and a few more) I came up with a pro­pos­al. I would mount three halo­gen bulbs on the wall, one point­ed at the bed and two at the roof with each set inde­pen­dent­ly con­trol­lable. The wiring will be secured to the wall. There were two options pro­posed for the switch­ing, using two slid­ing foot dim­mers or jelly­bean switch­es and cus­tom con­trol cir­cuit­ry. The sec­ond option was con­sid­er­ably more expen­sive, the jelly­bean switch­es are spe­cial­ly designed for dis­abled pur­pos­es and cost over $100 for a switch with almost the same func­tion­al­i­ty as a $2 switch at Jay­car. The almost is of course the slight mod­i­fi­ca­tions that make them bet­ter for dis­abled peo­ple.

Ini­tial­ly they decid­ed that even the cheap option was too expen­sive. Yes­ter­day TADACT con­tact­ed me and said a local char­i­ty had pro­vid­ed fund­ing for the foot switch option. So this month’s project is to com­plete this for TADACT. The aim is to install it by the week­end of the first or sec­ond of May, prefer­ably the week­end before.

This prob­a­bly won’t take all of my time so I’ll use the rest to clean up some oth­er stuff I should have done a while ago, might even do last year’s tax return…

Goal — Online tax returns

For my first project I am going to make a web based tax return cre­ator for Aus­tralian tax returns.

The Aus­tralian Tax Office (ATO) pro­duces E-Tax, a pro­gram for Win­dows com­put­ers that allows you to pro­duce a tax return and sub­mit it online. Sad­ly it’s very much Win­dows only though they sug­gest explor­ing run­ning Win­dows in a vir­tu­al machine. They are cur­rent­ly “inves­ti­gat­ing” sup­port­ing oth­er plat­forms, but they have been doing this for years now and I’ve seen third hand cor­re­spon­dence that sug­gests the inves­ti­ga­tion isn’t pro­gress­ing par­tic­u­lar­ly quick­ly.

You can also fill in the return by hand on paper, com­plete with explana­to­ry book­lets. In prac­tice the pro­ce­dure for both is basi­cal­ly the same, the advan­tage of doing it dig­i­tal­ly is that it’s eas­i­er to see the cal­cu­la­tions and make cor­rec­tions.

So the goal is to pro­duce a web­site to help enter tax returns. I’ll base it off the paper tax return and as out­put pro­duce a PDF that can be print­ed and post­ed in direct­ly. The ATO actu­al­ly accepts print­outs from E-Tax so I’m fair­ly con­fi­dent that they will accept these.

The sec­ondary goal is to improve my abil­i­ties with Javascript. I have toyed around with Javascript a lit­tle bit, enough to do small tasks for web­pages. In doing this I saw enough to know that Javascript had some fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ences but not enough to real­ly under­stand or work with them. By doing a sub­stan­tial Javascript project I hope to get over that hur­dle and start to see how to prop­er­ly design with the lan­guage.

By April 4th I’ll have a pro­to­type site com­plete. Not a usable solu­tion, that will prob­a­bly hap­pen some­time after the new tax returns come out in July. The devel­op­ment site can be seen at

April 4th fea­tures

  • Tem­plat­ing sys­tem
  • Basic lay­out
  • Func­tion­al data entry
  • Javascript data check­ing
  • Server­side stor­age
  • Basic cal­cu­la­tions
  • Inde­pen­dent domain name
  • Pub­lic source repos­i­to­ry

Maybe fea­tures

  • Client side encryp­tion
  • User login sys­tem
  • Basic per­son­al tax pack cov­ered
  • Client side PDF gen­er­a­tion

Lat­er fea­tures

  • Gen­er­al pack­age refac­tor
  • Com­plete core tax pack cov­ered
  • Com­plete sup­ple­men­tary tax pack cov­ered
  • Retrieve pre­fill infor­ma­tion from ATO
  • Elec­tron­ic sub­mis­sion to ATO
  • Inte­grate with account­ing soft­ware
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