Archive Page 3

Dropbox Drops the Ball

I like use a secure file sharing service to move things around between myself, publishers, co-workers, and so¬† on. For years I’ve been using Dropbox and its directory syncing feature under Linux without any major hassles. I finally decided to pay them some money and get more storage space, and it was fine at first. But lately that all changed. Continue reading ‘Dropbox Drops the Ball’

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C.H.I.P: The VGA test setup

Here are some images of the CHIP test setup I cobbled together. It’s not pretty, but that’s not important for right now. It works, and it demonstrates one way to assemble things and get a working single-board Linux system up and running. Continue reading ‘C.H.I.P: The VGA test setup’

Chinese CNC Tools

Maybe I’m spoiled, or just out of sync with things, but when I worked with professional CNC equipment (I worked on the control systems and servo amplifiers for big things like vertical mills, jig bores and huge lathes) the software was usually custom made for a particular machine type. If not, then it was some type of high-reliability real-time operating system or maybe a real-time OS for a minicomputer, like a PDP-11 or the IBM Series I machines.

But at the price some of the Chinese CNC tools are going for these days it would be nuts to expect them to come with custom control software. Instead, a lot of them come with Windows-based software, and some of that is of dubious heritage. As someone who likes to open the hood on things the poke around inside, Windows is a problem for me. I prefer to use Linux instead, but when the shiny new CNC tool that just arrived only comes with Windows software, then it’s time to start looking for alternative software. Continue reading ‘Chinese CNC Tools’

More CHIP computer notes

After getting the VGA “DIP” add-on PCB installed and running I’ve been playing around with the CHIP a bit more. Between the day job and a couple of books in progress I don’t have a whole lot of spare time, but I did find out a few interesting things. Continue reading ‘More CHIP computer notes’

Fun with Bluetooth and Android

About a month ago I went on vacation with my family, part of which involved a large cruise ship. I also had a new Samsung Galaxy phone, and I was curious to see what it could do. I had been avoiding getting a “smart phone” for a long time, but lack of 4G and generally crappy reception almost everywhere finally pushed me into it. Now I have something that has both WiFi and Bluetooth, in addition to being a phone. Lots of possibilities there. Continue reading ‘Fun with Bluetooth and Android’

The C.H.I.P. has arrived

A while back I discovered the C.H.I.P. single-board computer from the Next Thing, Co.. After checking out their web site and doing a bit of research I pre-ordered four of the $9 units. When they arrived about 2 months ago I eagerly picked a box at random and pulled out the small PCB inside. Continue reading ‘The C.H.I.P. has arrived’

Maps and Plans

Every journey goes more smoothly with a map of some sort. Whether it’s a trip to Antarctica or developing firmware for a new microcontroller-based device, it helps to know where you’re going. Without a clear definition of the destination it’s tough to know when you’ve actually arrived. It is also helpful to know what it is, exactly, you expect to find when you do finally arrive. Continue reading ‘Maps and Plans’


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Little Buddy

An awesome little friend

Jordi the Sheltie passed away in 2008 at the ripe old age of 14. He was the most awesome dog I've ever known.