Just starting


Hi everyone!

This is my first attempt at blogging, as you can probably sense. It is quite a mess in my head what to write about, so here I go with some wishful thinking for the near future of the pond:

  • At least a post per day – what better way to get better at something than doing it every day?
  • Post something meaningful from time to time – I wish it is going to be all the time, but let’s keep things realistic
  • Make your mind up on the main topics of the blog – one topic is probably going to be my passion – computers and programming, but I have the feeling I can also write about other things… we will see how it goes
  • Work on the design – I was unpleasantly surprised by how restricted I am here… thinking of migrating to open space if this blog gets going
  • Get people to follow and interact – ultimately desirable. If I fail here I might as well write my posts on paper on my desk. Actually I wouldn’t do it at all, as handwriting is hard and ugly.

These are enough wishes for now.

If someone by any chance reads me, can you please say hi in the comments below?


7 responses to “Just starting

  1. Hi! I’ve just started my first blog too! its mainly an outlet for my rants and a way of forcing me to crack on with projects, I’m too good at the old procrastination too…
    Really nice Android by the way, what made you go for the AVR part? Is that what you’re used to? I’m a PIc man myself..

    • Hi there! Rants, fighting procrastination… I see we have very similar goals then 🙂

      You made me do a quick check on what PIC actually is. See, I have only taken one EE course in Uni and we did analog circuits only. To be honest though I feel confident with chips, maybe because I just need code to do the magic, and not many fancy hardware parts and soldering. Back to the point, I chose AVR because the Instructable I followed used AVR, it was not an educated choice 🙂 As far as I understand, AVR and PIC are the main types of hobbyist chips, right? What made you choose PIC?

      BTW, congrats on being the first living man to post a reply on my blog! 🙂

  2. Thanks you, thank you.. maybe I should have added a ‘First!!’ though.. 🙂

    I’m more into digital as well, I’ve done some analogue, but it still seems a dark art.
    Q factors? Urgh..
    Maybe my beard isnt long or grey enough…

    So what did you do at Uni then?

    Yup, they are the main hobby chips, cheap and fairly simple to use. Trying to remember why I chose PICs, I think a lecturer mentioned them back in the mists of time, and it just stuck since then.
    When I started designing our first toy at work, I started with just pure logic and 555 timers, then quickly realised this was madness, not Sparta. Bought a nice little Dev kit for the PIC and never looked back..

    Recently been thinking about moving to ARM chips as thats what all the cool kids seem to use, but it seems pricey to properly move into them, all the decent software is somewhere between £1700 and £9500……… Bit steep I think you’ll agree….

    I’ve also pretty much just finished my first FPGA project (woo scary..) They’re tricksy beasts at the best of times..

    What other projects have you done? I’ve a list as long as my ARM (pun intended) of things I want to do, but trying to rein it back a bit and get my clock finished..

    • I am kinda still at Uni actually, where I’m doing Computer Science. I could have went for a joint EE with Computer Science but decided to leave electronics for hobby only and concentrate on playing god instead (god of many, many 0s and 1s, to be exact).

      That’s a reasonable price indeed! What do you mean by decent software? I have only used the free IDE for my project…

      I’ve only heard of FPGA, and what I’ve heard fits what you say 😉 What was the project about?

      The mechanized android is my first electronics project 🙂 I had much fun though, so I will definitely try something else soon… Thinking of something flying…

  3. Ah right, hows it going so far? What year are you in?
    Learning electronics can’t hurt anyway, its a handy skill to have, even just to repair broken stuff.. (But stay away from ipod touches, unless you have hands like a Japanese schoolgirl and the patience of a rock…)

    Well, AVR and PIC IDEs are great, but it seems a bit more tricky hunting down a ARM one, theres a lot of choice and most are silly prices, I think there may be a free one based on GNU and Eclipse, but I haven’t got that far..

    Yup, FPGAs involve a completely different way of thinking, its more like designing a logic circuit than programming, very useful though. My project was a rackmount box with 12 cards and a backplane in it, each card has an FPGA to generate uncompressed HD test patterns with onscreen text overlay and a Knightrider-esq moving block… Bit more complex than I thought initially (well a lot more!),and involved a lot of sleepless nights..

    Thats very nifty for a first project! Be interested to see what u come up with next, build a quadcopter!!

  4. I’m finishing second year now, just need to pass my exams. Enjoying the degree a lot, done a few interesting projects this year – a sudoku solver, a language parser/compiler, an AI planning thing. Looking forward to all the awesomeness that lies ahead 🙂

    Haha I am not a fan of iProducts anyway, but thanks for the advice 🙂

    Sorry I misread ARM for AVR… ARMs is more capable than AVRs and PICs in general, right? In the sense that you can use them for more demanding tasks?

    Wow your FPGA project sounds way cool (I can’t really picture it in my head, but still sounds cool).

    A quadcopter is under consideration, actually 😉

  5. That sounds cool, what languages do you use? Its good you’re doing some projects with it, best way to learn is to try and build something…
    Its also nice to see people doing ‘proper’ degrees, I meet too many people doing Media Studies….. One of my friends did a degree in ‘Sports in the Media’ WTF?

    Don’t like Apple myself, i prefer tech that you’re allowed to play with..

    ARM are based here in the UK( Huzzah..) and design chips, then license the designs to folks like Texas Instruments, AVR, NXP etc etc, so in theory you only need to learn one type of architecture and you can use anyones chips.. They range from little 8bit jobbies like AVR or PIC and go up to huge beasts that can run netbooks/ipads etc..

    I’ll stick of photo of my FPGA doodad on my page about the workshop, I’m quite pleased with it, but its aged me by a few years..

    Quadcopters are ace, have you seen the videos of the swarms of them? Scarily awesome.. A good place to start if you want to build one is http://www.diydrones.com


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