Brick quickly

When playing with software, unless you're kernel hacking, if you make a mistake, there's only so much that can go wrong. Generally you might cause a crash of some kind- an unhandled exception in Java, or a segfault in C. When you get into hardware, writing code for microcontrollers, you can properly break things.
Today, I broke a clock.
JY-MCU 3208 32*8 Programmable Lattice Clock Continue reading

Is your Nexus 7 no longer in charge of its battery?

Betteridge's Law might not apply here. It didn't to me.

I was the owner of a new Google (slash-Asus) Nexus 7. And I rather liked it. I liked it a lot more once I found out the previously suggested lack of USB OTG capability turned out not to be true- a review later on.

I liked it right up until the point that my N7 stopped charging. Or did it? The battery meter was suggesting that I could not get off the 77% mark, despite also showing I was on AC power. But then it also didn't drop below 77%. Continue reading


I have too many little dev boards and breakout boards and other components laying around here, picked up from cheap Hong Kong-based suppliers. I buy them thinking "oh yes, that would be handy" and then never do anything with them.

Today I have used two in one go. Blam! I made this, the Beverage-o-Meter:


One Arduino, called the server (although the wireless boards are just peers with respect to each other), sends changes in the potentiometer's position to the client (shown above), which rotates a stepper motor in sympathy, as it were, pointing at the beverage
desired. It is probably not that diplomatic a thing to plonk down in front of someone, so before deploying, work out a rota of who gets to hold the control.
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Wheezier, squeezier.

I've put Raspbian Wheezy onto a separate SD card, having been running Squeeze since I received my Raspberry Pi several months ago. Once I'd dd'd the filesystem onto it from the downloaded image, I mounted it on my main Linux desktop, and edited /etc/rc.local to start lcdinfo, which I copied across as a binary, and lo and behold, after unmounting, putting the card in the RPi, and giving it power, it booted and the LCD worked. Excellent.

Now for some testing...
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