Sunday, August 26, 2012

Renesas Future Electronics Daughterboard

After ordering the Renesas RX62N promotional development board I came across this daughterboard in the comments on Dangerous Prototypes. It can be found here, Future Electronics, for just a penny! The limit is four so I bought two. This way I can have two projects and easily swap them out. What those projects will be? I have no idea. I am hoping some of the IC's I need to test will have a matching footprint on this board. I could also jumper it to an Arduino and use this board as a breakout.

Future Electronics RX62N Daughterboard

DIY: Fume Extractor

Inspired by this post I decided to build a fume extractor. I hadn't even thought about it until I saw this on Hack a Day. I have wanted to do this for a while. I had some points to use, which I redeemed on a Samsung 830 SSD, so in the same order I threw in the carbon filters which was the only thing I needed to buy to build it.

Order: Amazon Goodies

I recently redeemed my points from various programs for Amazon gift cards so I could buy a Samsung 830 SSD. Since I was ordering from Amazon, there is a variety to choose from. I decided to pick up a few things I needed for my workbench.

Raspberr Pi: htop

In my other posts, I forgot to mention that I use htop instead of top for viewing processes.

If you want to install run:

$ sudo apt-get install htop

and to run:

$ htop

It works nicely, it's colored, and it's easy to use with the arrow keys.

IIS Logs Cleanup in Powershell

Back in June I was working on cleaning up the IIS log files at work but I wanted to archive them instead of deleting them, just in case. I came across this script in Powershell.

It works well but it needed the ability to archive a folder of folders instead of having to list each folder and the ability to backup previous months. So I updated it and I decided I would post it here in case it can help someone else.

Raspberry Pi SD Card Backup

Just wanted to post a quick note about backing up the Raspberry Pi. After your hard work of configuring it the way you want it, don't forget to back it up! It's also a good idea before making any big changes. I know it's a pain, but worth it in the end. I didn't do it for awhile just because I was too lazy to shutdown the Pi and remove the SD card. Since my workstation is Windows 7 Ultimate x64bit, I use win32diskimager, which works really well.

On a side note, I should see if there is a way to do an online backup. Then I can continue to be lazy ;).

My backup before switching to Debian Wheezy

Quicknote: Raspberry Pi > Python > Serial (Updated)

Here is a quick note on using USB serial with Python. I hooked up a Sparkfun explorer board with a Xbee series 1.
Sparkfun Xbee Explorer

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong dies at 82

"It's a story that we hoped we'd never have to report. Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on Earth's Moon, has died at the age of 82 after complications from heart surgery three weeks earlier. His greatest accomplishment very nearly speaks for itself -- along with help from fellow NASA astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, he changed the landscape of space exploration through a set of footprints. It's still important to stress his accomplishments both before and after the historic Apollo 11 flight, though. He was instrumental to the Gemini and X-series test programs in the years before Apollo, and followed his moonshot with roles in teaching aerospace engineering as well as investigating the Apollo 13 and Space Shuttle Challenger incidents. What more can we say? Although he only spent a very small portion of his life beyond Earth's atmosphere, he's still widely considered the greatest space hero in the US, if not the world, and inspired a whole generation of astronauts. We'll miss him."

Source: NBC
VIA: Engadget

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mobilewill on Adafruit Show and Tell

Adafruit's Show and Tell is a must if you're looking to get ideas on various projects. Ladyada hosts a Google+ Hangout each Saturday evening in which she invites makers to share their latest projects.

This last week, I was able to get on and join in. Check it out below! 

I showcased my Raspberry Pi Motion Logger which you can read about here

Have you watched any or shared projects of your own? I'd be interested to hear about it!

Raspberry Pi and Motion Graphing

This week was the week of Raspberry Pi goodness and lots of coding. Now that I had the PIR sensor working, I wanted to do something with that data over time. I decided to log the data to MySQL running on my web server instead of the Pi. The Pi is awesome but I didn't want the overhead of running MySQL  on it along with writing constantly to the SD Card. Here is how I did it, after the break.

Raspberry Pi and Wheezy

I finally decided to take the plunge and upgrade to Debian Wheezy. I have been putting it off because Squeeze works and it would involve re-configuring everything I have setup so far. At the same time, the longer I wait the more stuff there will be to setup. The great thing about re-installing: I get to do a clean install without the mistakes of figuring things out. It is also a refresher of how I got where I am now. Jump below for notes about the upgrade process.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Curiosity Rover has landed!

It once was one small step... now it's six big wheels. Here's a look at one of them on the soil of Mars #MSL -- Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity)

Raspberry and a PIR Sensor

Last month I bought a PIR as part of my Adafruit order for Raspberry Pi stuff. This weekend I decided to try and use it with the RPi. 
PIR Sensor (image from Adafruit)

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I was reading about the release of Chromium for the Raspberry Pi and read a comment about changing the memory split using rpi-update. I decided to see what it was all about.

Free courses at Coursera

I came across this the other day and thought this is a great opportunity for us hobbyist who didn't go to school for this stuff. My degree is in IT/IS so this would be great way to start studying other fields that I would like to switch too.

Here is some of their AI and robot courses:

Even Better Renesas Promotion Board: RX62N

My friend sent this to me yesterday.

If you watch the two videos you can see it is an awesome board. I can't wait to get mine tomorrow. Shipping is super fast with Renesas. I hope to do some cool things with it.