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Got Some Soldering To Do

Posted 2012.08.10 8.48 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Yesterday I received more purple PCB goodness from OSHPark / Laen. The ISEB6 Mark IIa circuit boards came in!

I must say, I am really looking forward to moving from the current “prototype” version (which yes I am wearing every single day) and the Mark II.

Partially I am eager to be able to take advantage of the new software — I’ve been working on the software upgrades for weeks, taking advantage of the 128kB flash and 16kB sram — but I’m also really looking forward to not having any more ongoing problems…

Yes problems. The current version is a ratsnest of hookup wire. Between two layers of leather. That flexes on my wrist.

Seems like every week one of them breaks. (Grumble grumble.)

Mostly it’s been the battery sensor wire – that one is vulnerable because it does wrap partway around my wrist, and is subject to flexing more than the others. Suddenly I’ll get battery alarms that VBat is at some crazy level like 1.27 volts or 5.82 or whatever. Impossible levels. (Grumble grumble.) Annoying but not fatal.

Sometimes though it’s another wire. This morning the D/C line to the OLED broke. When that happens the display goes crazy, then goes dark. (Grumble grumble.)

With the Mark II, these problems won’t occur any more. Ok there might be other, different problems, but broken wires won’t happen any more. No more %*)(^%& hookup wire!

Except…. quandry.

I designed the board around Adafruit’s original 128 x 64 OLED display. While waiting for the boards to be fabricated, Adafruit came out with an upgraded, larger 128 x 64 OLED display.

It’s a ‘drop in’ replacement in the sense that the driver chip is the same, everything is identical, no software changes are required, and you can use the same exact set of connection to make it go.

It’s not a ‘drop in’ replacement in the sense that a) it’s a different size, and b) the pins are totally completely utterly different.

And I really like it. It’s a perfect size.

So if I go with the display I now want, I’ll have to use hookup wire. If I go with the display I designed for, I’ll be sad because it’s ‘too small’.

Ok the third option is redesign my board but dangit! I don’t want to wait another month, I want to build now!

WordPress Woes

Posted 2009.11.20 13.13 in Computers/Internet/Technology

All in all, wordpress seems to be a very fine blogging and CMS platform. I’m generally pleased with it. There are just a few things which drive me up the wall.

Today there are two things which have been bothering me for a while. First is emails – I’m supposed to get an email when there is a new comment, or a comment awaiting moderation. That worked at first, some long while ago, but then it just stopped working one day. I also have this ‘subscribe to comments’ thing which is supposed to let commenters get an email when there’s a follow-up comment, but I figure that stopped working too – if it can’t email me, it probably couldn’t email anyone else either.

So today I finally got frustrated enough to do some digging and debugging. First thing I found was the PHP mail() function. Appearantly this was the culprit and needed to be tested. I tested it, and it worked like a charm. No problem. Hmm. More digging, more debugging.

It seems that perhaps with WordPress 2.8, someone decided that the mail() function was a wheel that needed re-inventing. So some low level behind-the-scenes thing that was hardly worth mentioning got tweaked, and mail stopped going out. I know this didn’t just affect my blog or my server, since there are dozens and dozens of threads, support queries,and me-too comments about other peoples’ blogs no longer sending mail.

Anyhow, I got a bigger stick, poked at it some more, and now finally it seems to be emailing again. Halleluya.

The other thing that is still bugging me, is a bug in the sidebar calendar.

From what I can tell, it only manifests when looking at a single-post page or an archives. Not a static page, not the home page. I just noticed it this month, where the first of the month is the first day of the week. For some reason, the padding is out of whack and buggers up the first line of the calander. It seems to affect other months at random though, with wierd results:

09-June 09-November

I can’t figure it out. I’ve checked and double-checked my theme files, I can’t see anything in there that could possibly be messing with the calendar. Yet everything else works. I’ve found that other people have reported the same problem, but without resolution.

I think there’s something buggered in the core WP files, but I can’t figure out what, or why it doesn’t affect other people. This one still has me stumped, and is going to be bugging me all the rest of November.