Note: this was going to be one post but it’s ballooned into a huge thing so this is one of several which will be posted over the next few days. Stay tuned!
So you’ve got a nice Arduino board for experimentation and you’ve built a circuit on a breadboard which you’d like to make permanent.
It’s expensive (and overkill) to use a new arduino each time you build a new circuit you want to keep. Here’s how you can easily build an arduino-compatible board, from complete scratch, for a few pounds/dollars/euros so you can keep your real arduino for experimenting with…
Continue reading “VeroBoardUino – How to Build an Arduino-Compatible Board for Very Little Money”
The whole point about Linux, surely, is that it gives freedom back to the user.
So what’s with Ubuntu? I got used to the buttons suddenly going on the other side of the window bar in 10.04, but this whole Unity thing now has just pushed me a bit too far.
Continue reading “Ubuntu Unity – The Last Straw!”
If you’ve got a Garmin Edge 605 or 705 and you’ve just gone for a ride, if you remembered to press “start” on your GPS at the beginning, your Edge will have recorded your route. You can find the files in the Garmin/History folder on your device when you connect it to your computer. Annoyingly, though, they’re saved in TCX format, which is a Garmin specific format. These files were difficult to import into the route planner: you needed to go through all kinds of hoops to convert it to a GPX of the right type so you could import it and see your ride on your computer. Now, however, with the latest release of the Route Planner, you can import TCX files natively. Just select File / Import from the menu!
My Epson Perfection 1640SU scanner recently started behaving slightly less than perfectly… I had a pronounced light vertical line appearing down the length of each scanned image.
Here’s how I diagnosed and fixed it…
Continue reading “Fixing Vertical Lines on a Scanner”
After too long a gestation period, the new version of the Marengo GPS Route Planner is out. This web-based application allows cyclists (amongst other outdoors types) to plot a route on a map and then upload it to their GPS unit to enable it to guide them.
New features include direct upload from the application to a Garmin device (Windows / Mac only I’m afraid, owing to Garmin’s requirements), a full “undo” system, auto-routing between points, elevation details and charting and more.
The new version is right where the old one used to be: www.marengo-ltd.com/map2/
I upgraded my laptop to Ubuntu Jaunty the other day. A relatively smooth upgrade, but one thing was really annoying me.
The open source drivers for the machine don’t support compiz effects, which I’ve come to rely on for genuinely useful task switching, inverting the colours of windows, and magnifying. So I used the proprietary ATI fglrx drivers. All worked well apart from a really annoying several-second delay each time a window was maximized or resized.
I couldn’t find anything relevant on the interwebs until today. Apparently this issue is widespread, and is the result of the xserver “back filling” any maximized or resized windows to prevent momentary display corruption within that window. This goes really slowly!
There is now a patch – basically just an xserver which abandons the back filling. The appropriate repositories can be found here:
I’m running ubuntu-eee on my new Asus Eee 901. And Firefox 3.0 was horrible on it. You’d load a page, and scrolling up and down would pause frequently with a jittery, jerky motion. It was so annoying that I experimented with Opera and Epiphany as replacements. Both fine browsers, but I hated being without add-ins like Adblock Plus and Foxmarks. Read on to find out how to fix it…
Continue reading “Speeding up Firefox 3 on the Eee”
Why is it so hard to legally obtain DRM-free music in the UK? Amazon, in the US, has offered DRM-free music downloads for a long time now. However their UK site doesn’t (and they don’t let you order music from the US-based site unless you are a US citizen). Tesco (www.tescodigital.com) offers some DRM-free stuff, but the site requires Windows clients and is slow and poorly designed. iTunes did start to offer some DRM-free stuff, but (a) it was more expensive and (b) the selection, when I last looked, was pitifully small.
It took me a while to figure out how to get a dial-out connection using a Huawei E220 USB mobile broadband dongle. Mine was supplied by Three in the UK so this is specific to them, but if you’re not on three this should give you a starting point…
Edit or create the file /etc/wvdial.conf with the following content:
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB1
Init2 = ATZ
Init3 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
Stupid Mode = 1
Modem Type = Analog Modem
ISDN = 0
Phone = *99\#
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
username = username
Password = password
Dial Command = ATDT
Init4 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","three.co.uk"
You can then dial out by issuing the command “sudo wvdial three”
Note that Firefox assumes that if you aren’t connected via Network Manager, then you’re not online and starts up in offline mode. Uncheck the option on the file menu and you should be OK.
Note also there seems to be some bug in Three’s DHCP stuff… if you see that on connection you are set up with a DNS server of 10.11.12.13 then it’s wrong… drop the connection and reconnect (or edit your /etc/resolv.conf file manually)
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