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Random bits of technology

My phone has a crappy radio

My fundamental test of a cellphone is "how does it work as a phone?" For my HTC One Dev Edition, the answer is "not very well". The radio reception is kind of terrible. Worse yet, it doesn't seem to roam properly: I find myself rebooting it so that it will connect to a local network.


Broke it again

Well, I broke the USB connector off Summer Hardware Project tonight. Just forgot to be sufficiently delicate, and off it popped. This time I wrecked it beyond repair. Guess I get to order new boards and build SHP a third time. Yeesh. Fob


Connector / dirt fail

Understand, connector designers: dirt and junk will get into fielded connectors. It's a thing; it's not avoidable. It's worse for consumer electronics, which get all kinds of abuse.


HOWTO: List the installed files on your Debian system

I am trying to clean up a laptop to give back to Keith Packard, who graciously loaned it to me years ago. I'd like to remove most of the files that weren't part of the Debian installation on the laptop. The first step in this process is figuring out what files are owned by a Debian package. This script seems to do the trick… [Because of a Drupal bug I have to put some text here if I want the first line of the script to come out right, since I'm trying to split the post here and the whitespace gets eaten. Sorry.]


Summer Hardware Project

About 2.5 years ago, during the Open Source Bridge Conference, I was telling some friends about a new plan I had. I wanted to build a little standalone audio processor board around an ARM processor, probably the STM32F4, and then put a LADSPA container on it for effects processing. Fun project…


HOWTO: Installing NuttX on the STM32F4 Discovery board (using Debian Linux)

Last night I installed the NuttX RTOS on a new STM32F4 Discovery board I bought at Mauser a couple of days ago for $15. Of course, I was working from Debian Linux. This would not have been possible without extensive help from the Interwebs. I used too many different references to list most of them here. Instead, I'm just going to tell you how I would do it if I had it to do over. Got to give something back, y'know. Here goes…


The borken side of Linux

Network Manager. PulseAudio. 802.11 PCI cards.

All three of these are Linux things that many people tell me work fine, even great, for them. All three are things where I have had much grief over the last few years… Network Manager works fine, as long as I'm willing to occasionally restart the service, occasionally delete and recreate AP table entries, and generally fiddle with it every time I try to do anything.


Busy day at the lab tomorrow

Tomorrow morning is my lab hours at the PSU EPL. I should be ready to start cutting Glass Plate Game tokens in quantity if all goes well, and also to finally be done with the USB connector on Summer Hardware Project. Today I epoxied the little metal feet of the connector down real hard, hopefully without getting any epoxy inside the connector this time. I also did more work with the SVG for Glass Plate Game tokens; I'm close to being able to cut a sheet or so of them at once. Projects march on.


SVG text vertical alignment

In a previous post I talked about my project with Dunbar Aitkens to create Glass Plate Game markers. I am using Python to directly generate SVG for this project. Mostly, this has worked exceptionally well. There is one place, however, where SVG has caused me grief…


My Inform 7 Projects

It's no secret that I'm heavy into Inform 7. I think it's a work of genius, albeit with all the quirks therein implied. I have a bunch of Inform 7 projects right now. If somebody wanted to pick up and help with one or more of them, that would be pretty cool. Otherwise, I'll knock them all off before I am called home—Lord willing. Here's the projects I can think of offhand, and their status… There are two basic kinds of Inform 7 that I write: infrastructure including libraries and the like, and outright games.



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