Showing posts from January, 2014

SuSE... Might as well be called SuCKE

Or ShiTTE... >-D Last month, I was looking to install an operating system besides Windows that would be compatible with my wonderful nVidia 650-something-or-other graphics card and 4K display.  (4K = 4 times the resolution of 1080p HD.  Booyah!)  Windows 8 is nice, and handles this display wonderfully, but for optimal enjoyment of Android Studio, you should really run Linux (or possibly Mac OS too).  Plus, having Linux around on a dedicated disk is never a bad idea.  Having heard from some of my friends about how they think everything Canonical (makers of the very popular Ubuntu Linux) touches is evil, I figured I'd try a different distribution.  Stacy loves Linux Mint, but I can't wrap my head around some of its strange idiosyncrasies.  Maybe it doesn't help that she gave me an old version on a thumbdrive, but it was slow, would freeze up when I wanted to get serious with it, and there are icons that look like folder icons that you can't click on to explore its co

Mixing Logic With ISP Circuitry For Programming Firmware

For the LEDgoes manufacturing & assembly stage, it would be desirable to simply secure each board to a programming jig, and the jig would be able to program both chips without hassle or confusion.  This means that we will need to insert a switching mechanism somewhere in between the ISP (in-system programmer) headers and the actual programming pins on the board so only one board at a time gets programmed.  I am quite familiar with digital logic, but don't have a knack for understanding other types of circuitry, so it struck me as a possibility to use some 74-logic to route the signals sent from the ISP to one chip at a time. The 7400 series of transistor-transistor logic (TTL) gates date back to the mid-1960s, shortly after the invention of the transistor itself.  Some chips in this series provide basic Boolean operations, others are counters or shift registers, and still others are flip-flops and latches (memory).  Over the last 50 years, this series has been tweaked to poss

Unboxing the Quo Computer

As fate would have it, I'm back to a nice pace of posts on the blog, especially since I've had a logjam of topics -- a bunch of ideas all came in at once.  This also means I get to usher my blog into 2014 on the very first Thursday of the new year, just in time for all the robots & spiders to come looking for new posts. ;) Shortly before Christmas, I finally (and unexpectedly) received a  Quo computer  in the mail shortly before Christmas, just in time to install an ESX server right before the whole family came so they could have their own VMs on our server.  (They ended up bringing all their computers anyway, and used more electricity in 6 days than Stacy & I use by ourselves in a month. :-P)  Stacy pledged for this Kickstarter project back in March 2013, and for our particular system, the delivery date was expected to be June.  It still seems like we were one of the lucky ones to have received it by now.  The "unexpectedly" part comes in when, in early No