Some machines I like because of their sleek, minimalist exteriors, modernist or even brutalist megaliths of silicon, or brass.
But I love me some blinkenlights. If it's got switches galore, laden with quadrant faders and vernier dials, festooned with vu meters, pulsing with neon lamps or LEDs, I'm going to pay that some serious attention. Throw in some industrial interconnects, be they ubiquitous BNCs, or some exotic mixed signal sockets, anything heavy duty, very very high frequency, lots of pins or fibre optic, fastened with clips, twist-locks, clamps or thumb screws....ahem. Continue reading "Boring Deadly Urgent Machine (Game) :: Part 1 :: The Spec"→
I was first introduced to Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) through Inkscape, the excellent free vector graphics drawing application. It's available for Windows, Linux and OS X, so please give it a try. You can get it as a portable app, runnable on a Windows machine from a USB memory stick, incredibly handy to have when working on other people's machines (so if you've never visited PortableApps.com, maybe now's the time!).
I have an ST Nucleo-F411RE development board that I'd like to use for a project. It's using a microcontroller from the same STM32 family as I've tried out before, but packaged onto a board with Arduino (Uno)-pattern headers, as well as the full pin breakout. I'm not sure how useful that is for my project yet, but I wanted to give it a test drive.
Most platforms have multiple development options.
The Arduino biosphere has various hardware targets, but with a common IDE. But the Arduino boards are all based on microcontrollers from Atmel (now part of Microchip, the company that also makes PIC microcontrollers). So you aren't limited to the Arduino IDE, and if you'd like to, you can use all sorts of development toolchains and IDEs.
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. Continue reading "Brick quickly"→
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%.