Name: Morgan, aka "Indrora"
Bio: Morgan is a developer, insane person and general lackey of the internet.
Quick quiz: Which is more important, health or fun? (hint: I chose the latter this time around… And you’ll see why!)
We at the Lab had a Segate DockStar kicking around, taking up space. I had been looking for a tiny NAS to run some home storage things, so a donation to the kitty later and away I go. However, I couldn’t put my 2.5″ PATA adapter onto it stock, so it needed a new home. That home happens to be sandwiched between some slabs of Inventables plexiglass. I’m kicking myself for not taking more pictures, but the overall design is pretty simple: Two sheets of plexiglass.
First, a short primer on Poly(methyl methacrylate), AKA “Plexiglas”. Technically, there are many names for the (usually) transparent, shatter-proof material, including lexan, perspex, lucite, and oroglas. the material itself is a lightweight, usually thin layer of a synthetic polymer intended to be both heat resistant and shock resistant. One of its first uses was in World War II, on the front of bombers which needed to have impact-resistant noses (so you could see out of them. More useful if you’re the guy in the bubble below the plane.)
Anyway, my design process essentially boiled down to:
The last part is the hard part.
On the slightly different side, I have ArchLinux ARM running on it. The device itself is supported quite well and has most, if not all, the Arch base packages available to it. Cool stuff. Installation wise, its a matter of following the instructions. I’ll summarize:
Nothing can beat the official documentation on the ArchLinux ARM website.
One of the things I have is a real biggie for statistics. I like statistics. I happen to also like pretty graphs. Combine them and you get the results of tinkering around with the kernel diskstats file:
I put the script on Gist. Go hack on it.
A while back, We got a ChipKIT box in the mail. Hmm, I thought: What could I do with such an interesting little device? I was mentally gone the entire month of november, due to working a major local event. So, after coming back to my senses I asked “What’s the catch?”
The catch was “Do something awesome.” I was always fascinated by the old Amgia/C64 Demoscene and have always wanted to nudge something cool out of myself. Well, I did, and its kinda cool; I just finished it to a nice, polished place this morning and got a video up on youtube this morning. There’s some neat things in here: the “starfield” is really a moving graph that uses some fancy trigonometry to make pretty pictures.
A touch of afterthought: The audio was overlayed by myself. I currently have some small plans to play audio on the board though.
Do you have prints that don’t print?A pronterface that looks wrongterface? Well, you might have a bad mesh.
I ran into this when attempting to slice a whistle from Thingiverse: Slic3r would give me the ominous “Non-Manifold mesh” message and the printer would spaz out.
In order to undertand what’s going on, there should be a little information on how tools like slic3r work. Slic3r and other G-code generators tend to work on the values of face “normals” — the direction the face, well, “faces.” Let’s take our whistle for example: As downloaded from Thingiverse, it looks like this:
The tool I use is ModuleWorks STLView (also for android!) which allows us to show the face normals (green lines) and faces which face the wrong way (gold surfaces). Slic3r will produce some very, very strange GCode for this model:
The tool here is the RepRap GCode Simlulator from opencode.eu.The source is included, and depends on openGL. This lets us see what the actual path for each layer of the model looks like.
So what do we do? First: don’t panic. Most of the horrible problems with ugly looking meshes can be fixed — all it takes is some time with the NetFabb cloud service. NetFabb produces a commercial 3D printer, but also runs a cloud service at http://cloud.netfabb.com/ which allows you to upload STL meshes and download the fixed version.
Here’s what the model and resulting GCode look like afterwards:
If you follow the Hack-A-Day stream, you’ve probably seen the STM32F0Discovery board come up on occasion. I have two of these boards and I like them — they have what I need for basic stuff, but I wanted some more horse-power (and USB Host.) Quickly, to the STM32F4Discovery!
The target here is people who’ve outgrown the world of AVR and need something running faster; you should be capable and comfortable with diving into your PATH, mucking with environment variables and reading some pretty deep C.
I was given one of these for xmas a little while back (read: 8 months ago) and played with it, getting demo code to run on it. ST did something very painful and/or clever in that they produced this board, for hobbyists, but conveniently forgot to point to a clean, unadulterated compiler.
We know the story. The Nook Color from B&N is pretty fun and awesome. But its not a real Android device ’till you have the full Android experience.
I know how that feels. I got a Nook to replace a tablet that died. so far, the Nook has proven to be one of my favorite tablets yet. But following the CyanogenMod instructions left me wondering what I was doing wrong — Why wasn’t I getting a nice little “thank you!” message? Well because B&N changed some things. Here’s what I had to do to get a real version of Android running on my device:
Standard Disclaimer Applies: I am not responsible for you bricking your device, the device blowing up in your face or the entire planet deciding you don’t deserve to breathe. The following is presented as-is. Neener^3.
What you will need
dd if=(image name) of=(sd card device, e.g. /dev/sdb, /dev/sdq, etc.) bs=1M( keep in mind here that the device may have been mounted before. If you get an I Can’t Let You Do That moment, find what is mounted on the SD card and unmount.
If you experience problems with the interface (it happens sometimes) try clearing the data off the device. There are some cases where there is lingering content from B&N that causes it to freak out.
Now you’ve broke it!
If you want to return to the original, stock Nook image, you can go back to 1.2 thanks to our good friends at XDA-Developers. The two versions there will either flatten over CWM or leave it alone.
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