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Posted 2010.12.23 9.43 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

Last night I got the bluetooth wireless module hooked up and tested it out. It works! My prototype thermostat can be wirelessly queried and controlled!

The bluetooth module is the little red thing at the left edge of the breadboard. It talks serial to the microcontroller and talks wireless to the computer. As far as the computer is concerned, it’s just a standard tty serial port. It’s fairly seamless!

In the above screenshot you can see some debugging info that comes over every 15 seconds, plus I sent the ‘run program’ command (rp) and the DIY Thermostat responded accordingly!

Geeky techy stuff below the fold.

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Linux Kernel for Eeepc 1008HA

Posted 2009.08.07 7.33 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

I had a request this morning for my linux kernel that I’m using on my Eeepc 1008HA. This is a sub-notebook (aka “netbook”) computer by Asus, it’s very thin and light, though it sports a 10″ screen and a good-sized keyboard.

So on with the kernel info. I’ve been running a custom-built kernel since before I got the 1008; I have been rolling my own eeepc-specific kernel for over a year now, first for my 8G then the 1000, and now the 1008. As of this writing, the kernel version is Essentially I’m downloading the generic “vanilla” kernel from and then applying my own config to it. The config is tweaked to include specifically what I personally want / need, and omits everything else. So fair warning: If you need a kernel that knows about nfs or ntfs or fatfs etc, this kernel won’t work ‘out of the box’ for you. Mucking around with the kernel is not something for total noobs to do, because it’s very easy to end up with a computer that doesn’t boot any more.

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EeeTop – Part C

Posted 2009.05.28 16.03 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

So, I got the graphics working right by using Ubuntu 9.04. I had increased the RAM and hard drive, and was looking to install Bluetooth.┬áBy now I’m getting bored of this story, so I’ll try and make this short.

I was thinking about tapping into one of the two unused ports on the GL850 USB hub chip. This is a 48-pin LQFP package, with 12 pins per side, and a pin-spacing of 1/2mm from pin to pin, with a gap of 1/5mm between pins. I have soldered directly to chips with pin-spacing this tight before, but it’s very, very difficult. And in this case, the risk of failure is losing the webcam, the SD card reader, and possibly wrecking the whole motherboard.

So I mulled it over for 2 days before it hit me – instead of tapping one of the unused ports on the GL850, just grab one of the existing USB ports. With 6 ports, there’s no way I’d use them all, or even half of them. I could just tap one and wire it internally rather than externally!

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