Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Copyright Update!

Well after some thought, and a few cease-and-desist letters, I had decided to formally submit an application for a copyright registration of my thesis paper. This was back in March - its now September, and my registration has been approved! So now, only I am allowed to say if and when people can use from my thesis document any material posted in it, that includes drawings and schematics. All of it is copyrighted. :)

OK, now that I got that off my chest, onwards to the Smart Home project...

Alas, I havent made much progress with this since I started my new job. Work projects take priority after all, and I just dont seem to have it in me to work on this when I get back home on the weekdays. I dont even have my lab bench setup at my place, so I cant really begin to think about smd soldering or what not. However, Im still open to suggestions and input for ways to improve the project.

Thanks for reading. Peace!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Regular Fixes to Linux

If you're like me, and you rarely use Linux, you tend to forget your password as well as other little windows interface fixes that are required quite often.

I hope this blog post is as useful to others as it has been to me. The following instructions are a combination of Linux Tips and Tricks and Brandon's Solution:

Linux Passwords

Lost Password? Dont Fret! Check This Out:

Switch on your computer, and as soon as you can, strike the Esc key on your keyboard to display GRUB menu (assuming it doesnt already take you to this menu on boot-up);

Highlight and select the recovery mode;

Your distro will boot into a recovery shell; 

Select the command prompt as root, then type:

user@pc:~$ passwd user

Where the user is your username; Choose, enter and confirm a new password when prompted.

If this doesnt work, I have a solution. Its not because you typed it in wrong. Its because the File System is mounted in Read Only mode which prevents resetting the password.

You'll have to change it over to be Read/Write Mode. Heres how to do that:

Choosing the option to remount / as read/write and going back into the root shell prompt enables the password change.
The command to run prior to changing the password is:
user@pc:~$ mount -rw -o remount /

Try again with the password change:

user@pc:~$ passwd user

Where the user is your username; Choose, enter and confirm a new password when prompted.

Restart your machine:

user@pc:~$ reboot

and take a deep breath.

XFace GUI

Next I have an issue with my XFace GUI where my Maximize, Minimize and Close buttons all disappear and the window title bar is missing. Its very annoying, since you cant close any of your windows, and you can end up punching your screen in frustration. Here is a temporary solution for that [credit to The Ubunt2 Forums]:

Click on the Application Menu to Execute a Program.

Type in 
xfwm4 &
and hit [Execute]. This should resolve your problems. 


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Work Desk Galore

Hello again. 

Lately Ive been overwhelmed by projects and tasks at my new job, so I havent had the opportunity to make much progress on my own Smart Home project. On the brighter side, Ive got a pretty good idea of the work desk I want to order so that I can setup a work station at my new apartment.

Ive narrowed down the choices to two workbenches from Global Industries, both with Maple-wood tops. I didnt want an ESD-safe top, because those are plastic surfaces which arent very friendly to Soldering Irons. Traditional compressed-wood work tops arent very knife-friendly either. So the best of both worlds, a cutting board-styled top. Im not sure if I will add accessories to the work bench or not; first thing is first, Ive got to order the bench and assemble it at my apartment, before I can proceed.

Until next time. Peace Out.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Unauthorized Sales of My Thesis

Lately I have noticed a few stores selling my published thesis, Tesla Turbine Torque Modeling for Construction of a Dynamometer and Turbine, without A) asking permission from me, the copyright holder, through oral or written means, or B) giving me royalties for the sales. 

As this is a document provided free to download on the UNT Digital Library website, I expect it to be shared to the global community free of charge. BUT should it be sold, I expect to gain royalties as a result of these sales (though I still dont want to sell it).

I have seriously considered sending a Cease-and-Desist Letter to all of the stores attempting to sell a copy of my copyrighted material, and have already begun with a few of them. I have filed a copyright application to get the ball rolling legally in case I have to take this to court (hopefully I wont have to).

The following websites have already received emails about this, and should be taking action shortly to take them down:

Amazon.com

Barnesandnoble.com

As it stands, if you see this document, Tesla Turbine Torque Modeling for Construction of a Dynamometer and Turbineplease PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE IT. I am not getting any Royalties, and these sales do NOT benefit me. 

You can download it for FREE from the original publishing location, the UNT Digital Library.

If you have any advice for me, please post away. I can use any advice on this topic.

Thanks for your understanding.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Slowed Pace, Little Progress

Well, the pace of the project has slowed down considerably since I settled down at my new job. As you can imagine, after a long day at work, one tends to just relax when one goes home, and side projects are the last thing on your mind. So this has become a weekend project pretty much. 

The boards returned from the Fab shop a few days after the New Year, but Ive yet to order the parts (or solder paste) because my work desk/soldering station isnt setup. Ive moved to a new place and I will have to acquire a proper work desk so to proceed with soldering in a safe manner. So pretty much the project is still on a hold until I can setup my work station.

Whenever I get a chance I may post some technical news posts, but until I get the work station, there wont be any updates for this project. Makes me a little sad, but my new job takes priority. 

Peace Out.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Google Code Page Online

Just wanted to update the latest and greatest on the project. For the moment, the entire project is on a temporary hold while I move to my new place and get situated at my new job. In the meantime, the boards have been at the Fab shop for over a week, so I should be getting them soon. My parts list is completed, so I'll go ahead and put that in my order queue.

For the moment at least, Ive got my Google Code page setup, so any code, updates, open source what not will all go there. If you have any input for this project, feel free to post in comments on this blog. I will investigate the need for a Google Group in the future, but as I see it, there is not quite enough of a following to justify that for now.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dragonboard Update!

Dragonboard V1.0.5 is 99% ready to be sent off to the Fab shop. I just have to resolve an issue with OSH Park, and I'll get it ordered. I have selected and compiled a parts list and am ready to make the big order from Mouser and Digikey. I checked and verified a few things with viewing Gerbers to see that the board looks good, and I learned a few things worth mentioning here.

For those who use GerbV, listen up. Dont panic if you open GerbV and dont see your imported bitmaps. GerbV has a bug which doesn't allow it to show features imported with Eagle2BMP.exe, since the default DPI is 10k, and the viewer can only handle about 300DPI. The way to get around this is to use import-bmp.ulp, and manually enter in a DPI value. Its a bit time consuming, but it works. 

And FYI, if you have your Eagle library in the Eagle lbr folder (which is where Eagle is installed or me), you wont be able to generate the bmp.scr for your imported image. So be sure to import your images into a library that isnt in your Program Files, and then import the individual parts across from that library to the library you use regularly. Problem solved. 

However, I found a great work around to even needing a Gerber viewer. I can render 3D CAD files directly from my Eagle Board Layout, and save whatever view I want into PNG format. This is how it works: A clever combination of Google Sketchup, ImageMagick and EagleUp. Follow the tutorial at the link, and you'll be up and running viewing your 3D Boards in no time. This way you can view your Board Layout, and not only verify the parts layouts, but also the board view in 3D space. How exciting! If you're planning to use OSH Park to Fab your boards, I went with these two colors for the EagleUp.ulp script: Board color is 0x462f5b and Trace color is 0x663a93. Thats it! 

If you want a quick way to view your Gerbers, you can always use the online viewer at Circuitpeople.com.

For those interested in exporting a Bill of Materials List, without the hassle of doing it manually, theres an easy way through a script in Eagle, called BOM.ulp. This script gives you the option to group by name or by value. I usually group by value to make the BOM easier to read.
 
Heres a teaser of the Dragonboard:




I hope everyone has a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!