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

Beverage-o-Meter

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:

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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