Archive for January, 2012

Tabbed shells for Cygwin

Monday, January 30th, 2012


Friday, January 27th, 2012

This is something I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while and finally got around to designing a schematic and board layout. It is a 128 button USB HID joystick. Why would you want one of those? To use as inputs for your flight simulator of course. 🙂

The firmware is still alpha and untested but should be pretty straightforward. Once I get some boards made and the firmware finished I will provide some updates, as well as share the source code and schematic.

Update: The boards are on order have shipped

The board was created using the free version of EAGLE and exported to POV-Ray using Eagle3D. Using POVRay a sequence of 720 images were rendered and then turned into the video below using ffmpeg.



Friday, January 6th, 2012

My cousin works for a school and spotted something on its way to the dumpster that he thought I might like.


He was right. (Thanks cuz!)

That is a SCORBOT-ER 4PC teaching robot, complete with controller and a PC with SCORBOT software. It’s amazing what some people will throw away. After getting this home, cleaned up, and up on the workbench for a look I discovered there was no cable to connect the PC to the control box.

Off to the webs I go and after waiting a few weeks for back order (nobody carries weird DB cables in stock these days) I had me a cable. Oops, it doesn’t fit. What at first glance I thought was a DD-50 connector was actually an HD-62. The cable from the control box to the robot is a DD-50 and I assumed the other was the same. Lesson learned, I should have counted the pins instead of assuming.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and a shiny new HD-62 cable arrives. Plug it in, boot up the ailing old Windows 98 PC (I really need to backup that HDD…) and I have a working robot. Wow. I’m in geek heaven. Now to bolt this thing to the workbench and teach it to solder…


My first SCORBOT program. Pick up a block and move it.


A closeup of the gripper.


Stacking some blocks.

Smokeping on Scientific Linux 6

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Some notes for future self.

The page here helped me get smokeping properly configured on SL6.

I created this init script based on the script for cupsd – /etc/init.d/smokeping (update: added configtest option)