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Moment of Weakness

Posted 2012.10.03 14.38 in Computers/Internet/Technology

My handy little 4GB SD card that I use for occasional backups and to ferry files here and there accidentally let its guard down. But just for a moment!

In that brief moment I saw its weakness, and instinct took over. I pounced, and just like that, the SD card had been skinned, its inside-y bits laid out for all to see.

Interesting stuff. I assumed there’d be just a single chip in there, or more likely, one of those blobs-on-a-board. Except – damn it, now I need to get a new SD card.

Actually a few weeks ago I had dropped the card in my office then run it over with my chair – quite by accident – and was surprised to find it still functional. The chair had cracked the outer shell though, and I’ve been trying to pretend not to notice ever since… today I couldn’t resist any longer. Had to see what was inside.

Chronodot Library Update

Posted 2011.12.01 17.40 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Arduino has just released their 1.0 software update. This is a Big Deal, but it does break some prior content. Changes to the basic libraries and the Wire library have resulted in my simple Chronodot library no longer functioning.

Fortunately it was a quick and simple fix which I’ve attached below.

One of these days I’ll learn how to use Git and do a real repository thing…

Cheers!

Chronodot Library Update

Note – this library is backwards compatible to older Arduino IDEs as well.

64 Pixels of RGB Fun!

Posted 2011.06.03 8.40 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Taking some time off from my MCP project while waiting for some more components to arrive, last night I put together a Meggy Jr. from Evil Mad Scientist Labs.

The Meggy Jr. is an open-source handheld video game platform. The ‘screen’ is an 8×8 matrix of RGB LEDs. Despite such a ‘low-rez screen’ there’s actually quite a few games out there that are very playable.

It comes with “Attack of the Cherry Tomatoes” pre-programmed on the uC and over a dozen more examples are included in the free development libraries, which work with the Arduino IDE.

 

Tinkerers’ Rules

Posted 2011.05.15 10.34 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Brought to us by Wondermark.com

Quoth the Maker: If you can’t open it, you don’t own it.

Chronodot Library for Arduino

Posted 2011.04.09 22.44 in Computers/Internet/Technology

When I was working on my Thermostat project, I came across the Chronodot RTC (real time clock) and decided it would be the perfect choice. Not just because it’s incredibly accurate, but because it provided both time and temperature readings in a single package. I could have used another RTC such as the DS1307 which is less expensive, but then I would have had to use something else for reading the temperature.

The only thing about using the Chronodot to get temperature readings was that there wasn’t an Arduino library that could get me that information. The Chronodot communicates using the i2c protocol, and as I hadn’t used it before I was hoping to find some examples and a usable library. Fortunately it’s compatible with the DS1307, but of course that library has no reference to temperature as the ‘1307 doesn’t read the temp.

So using the ‘1307 library as a starting point, I expanded it by adding two new readings to it: temperature, in both farenheit and celcius.

The library includes an example sketch. If you’re familiar with using the DS1307 with an Arduino then the Chronodot library will be an easy drop-in replacement. The time features are unchanged, I’ve just added the two temperature readings so they’re available within your sketch.

Click here to download the library: Chronodot_Library.zip

Nintendo DSi

Posted 2009.12.31 20.50 in Computers/Internet/Technology

As I usually spend New Years alone, it has become a bit of a tradition for me to buy myself a new toy that I can disassemble on the 31st of December. In the past, it has frequently been something in the Amateur Radio genre, but this year I opted to do a Nintendo DSi.

I’m not much of a gamer, and I pretty much suck at almost all video games. I’ve had a DS for a while but the only game I was really happy with was the crossword game. Then I gave my DS to my mum so she could play that brain age thing. Anyhow, so I decided to get the DSi so I could take it apart. I like electronic gizmos. I like taking them apart. I like hacking them or breaking them or just finding out how they work.

The DSi has been around for a while now – feels like a year or so. But there’s very, very little info out there about hacking it. Really there’s just one site that has no news, just aggregates info from gaming sites. I don’t want cheat codes or that sort of thing, I want to mess with the hardware. It’s got 256MB of Flash storage, 16MB of RAM, and a 32-bit ARM processor at 133MHz. With the built-in WiFi and dual screens and SDHC expansionality, there’s more than enough oomph in there to run Linux, among other things… (Remember the Zipit?)

There’s no info that I could find about the software – is the DSi operating system a complete customized Nintendo thing? Or maybe the GUI is Nintendo but there’s something else under the hood? The CPU is supposedly custom made for Nintendo so that might preclude it doing other things…

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