Friday, February 26, 2010

Got it today

The Arduino came in today. Nice little thing, I set up a braedboard and some sticky stuff to hold it while I experiment. I got a few LED blinks, then it crapped out and it can't find COM3 anymore. Anyway, picture time.

The tabs on the side are those post-it adhesive strips. They have a velcro like stuff on them, so I can attach here, or attach elsewhere. Not sure if I'll keep it exactly like this, but it's a start.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gooood Morning Internet!

First post on my new blog. I'll save linking to my personal one, I'd like to keep it disconnected.

Anyway, I'm a "sophomore" at the University of Wyoming, working towards a B.S. in computer engineering. I have three main goals:
Power armor.

Instinctive, highly integrated control systems, from Wii remotes to neural interfaces.


This blog will mostly be focusing on the third, since it's the one that will be easiest to start and work on. I use the term "Bolo" in honor of Keith Laumer's sentient creations. It'll be a while before they get that big, but the idea is the same.

First is learning to do more sophisticated programs with the Arduino Mega as a basic platform--"hello world" and blinking a few LEDs is lame when you already have programming experience. The Arduino Mega will eventually talk to my Aspire One via Zigbee wireless protocols for access to more processing power and operator input. Eventually a single board computer of far greater power will be referring to an Ipod Touch or some such for ever more limited input.

The first vehicle will be a Heng Long M41 Bulldog that will be set up to run from the netbook via zigbee. Later, either something like a Chunwai model or more likely(much cheaper) a custom built chassis will be used with an internal computer.

I'll be linking to resources for learning how to work these, or posting my own articles so that the information is available in an easily readable format--half the time, the information is so convoluted that someone who barely has any technical knowledge(let alone planning on learning more jargon than "do-hicky") can't tell what's being said. Code will also be included, and also provides an example of how crazy it can get. Looking up a function, it can be hard to figure out just what you use it for. Take ToString in C++ for instance. While some resources showed that it could be used to case an int as a string, I encountered severe fail in doing it. Every other primitive can be recased as a string with this function, but not integers, apparently. sprintf is one function that can do it, but I shouldn't have to do #include extra stuff outside of string, right? I suppose later in comp sci I'll learn why there isn't such a simple way to do that particular conversion, but right now, logic still operates.

Anyway, since components aren't here yet, this post is done.