Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Back into the Groove...

I think I might finally be recovering from last week.  Last week was a long, hard week, and it rolled over all the way onto this week.

Tomorrow is Steve's Shackled City game, and I'm looking forward to it.  More on that in a later post.

I'm restarting a paused project at work.  It has the potential to be "really neat".  I get to do work with microcontrollers, and I haven't really had a chance to dig into those yet.  I'm trying to work out a time line, but I have to include self-education into the timeline.  I have to teach myself how to design circuits for, and then to program these things.  And I'm not an electrical engineer.

I do a lot of things that I'm not exactly qualified for.  My job involves computer programming, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, food science, manufacturing design, and just about any other quasi technical job you might think of.  There are times that I really wish that I had gotten a degree.

So anyway.  I'm allocating myself about three weeks to learn how to wire and program these microcontrollers.  I have the "education" manual that Parallax puts out. 

This is a parallax propeller demo board.  The microcontroller has 8 cogs (or cores), that run in parallel.  This board includes the microcontroller (the little black square on the middle-right of the board), but it also includes keyboard and mouse input, vga and composite video output, usb cable interface and a nifty little breadboard on the left hand side to add whatever circuts, gizmos or other doodads (real-life technical term.  Would I lie?) you want.

Right now, I've got no clue how to program it.  And I'm giving myself three weeks to learn.  This should be fun!


I almost forgot.  I ordered a Motorola Xoom today.  I finally decided that I really want to try it out, and Amazon looks like the best deal.  It was $589 (a whole $10 less than MSRP!!!) and comes with free shipping, and no tax!  And it has a 30 day return policy.  I'm really hoping I like it. 

Oh yeah.  I upgraded the free shiping to 2-day so that I'll have it by Friday.

Which means that I've got to try to get all my pdf's someplace other than my iPad, so that I can download them to the new device.  I've had Goodreader on my iPad uploading them to my ftp server for the last 2 hours.  I've uploaded 9GB so far, and I'm pretty sure my old wireless router isn't too happy with the load.  

I probably won't do the whole unboxing thing that everyone does to try to make themselves feel cool.  Nothing I do would ever make me cool, so there's no use fooling myself on that front. 

I'm sure I'll write a whole post on it, once I get it up and running.

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