Hardware Mode: Raspberry Pi Case & Solder Spool Stand.

In a previous post, I said that I got a Raspberry Pi – a very very impressive $25 (mine is the $35 version) single board computer. I’ve been spending the last few days just using it to get familiar with the OS. I use Debian on the Raspberry Pi which has differences when compared with Fedora (which I use on my desktop). One problem is that when you connect a few cables to the board, they start pulling it. This makes it hard to keep it  in one place and so a case is very necessary. After checking out a few ideas online, I made one myself.

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Setup Xilinx ISE 14.1 (Free Version) and Digilent’s Adept Utilities in Fedora 17 64-bit

Hello everybody! As promised in the previous post, I’m going to show you how to setup the tools you’ll need to work with Digilent’s FPGA boards. This tutorial is also helpful if you want to use Xilinx ISE in Fedora. It is possible to program a number of boards (including the Nexys3 which I have) directly from Xilinx.

There was no real problem for me for most of the installation phase. Things worked great till the cable drivers installation. No matter what I tried, it wouldn’t work. After searching a lot online, I saw that this is a problem on RedHat and Centos as well (please correct me if I am wrong). After more searching, I found out how I can get things to work. I’m actually redoing the entire installation so that I don’t miss any step. So lets get started! :-) Read more of this post

New Equipment! An FPGA Board And Some Delicious Pi :-)

So I’ve finally got myself something I’ve been wanting for a long time – an FPGA board. FPGAs are extremely useful for building large digital systems. All you need to do is write code in either VHDL or Verilog and you’re done (well not quite. There are a few more steps but we’ll look at that later). Originally, I was planning to buy a DSP board from Texas Instruments. However, a friend at MITx (More on that in another blog post) told me about the boards made by Digilent (Thanks Hobie!). Till now, the boards I found were too costly for me. There were a few with Digilent that were perfect! I decided to go with the Nexys3. Read more of this post

Table Follower Upgrade

Welcome back everyone! As promised, I’ve upgraded my table following robot. It took a little longer than I expected but it’s finally done.

The upgrades are mainly custom PCBs and a mechano chassis. A third unexpected upgrade is that I’ve used an Arduino board.

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Bannerghatta National Park Outing

Hello again everyone! :)

So as I said last time, back in January, my friends and I went to Bannerghatta National Park in Bangalore and spent the entire day there. The place is really cool. There is a nice zoo to check out as well as a Safari. If you’re interested, here is the map:

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Trip to Ooty

We went for a family trip to Ooty, Tamil Nadu last October. Ooty is a very very beautiful place and I took many photos on my dad’s Nikon D5000. We also made a trip to the Bandipur Sanctuary. Lots of awesome wildlife to see plus tigers if you’re lucky. Unfortunately we weren’t so lucky. I captured many photos here too. Here are some of my best ones. Please do let me know what you think in the comments below. Hope you like em. :) Read more of this post

The Simplest Line Follower – Upgraded! [Updated]

Hello everybody!

Apologies for not writing for so long! Work has kept me really busy so I wasn’t able to do much till now.

Last week I finally got time to do a bit of work. I made my own PCB :). I wish I had learned this back in college. It have would saved me so much time.  What PCBs did I make? The line follower circuit (Click me to open tutorial) I explained before. That design had two very irritating problems. Firstly the wires would keep breaking off and I would have to re-solder many times. Secondly, the cardboard mounts would keep bending.

The new robot uses very little wiring. None of the wires have been soldered. I have also replaced the mounts for the sensors. I will describe everything in today’s post. Read more of this post

Android Apps Reviewed – What I currently use.

Hello again! Today I thought I should review a few of the apps I use on my HTC Wildfire. I recently rooted my device and installed Cyanogenmod 7. I did this primarily because I wanted Android 2.3 Gingerbread. After flashing the ROM I realised that I also have a lot more free space on my internal memory and I can move any app to the SD card! :). So I’ve been installing a couple of apps. Plus there have been some things I liked about HTC Sense and in trying to find apps to fill in the features that were missing I bumped into some interesting ones. Some of these apps listed have been there even before the switch to Cyanogenmod. The apps listed here are the ones I use very often and does not cover all the apps I use. Also, the videos are not mine but the ones posted on the apps’ Android market pages. So here goes. Read more of this post

Long Time No Post! Google+, Computer Upgrade, Fedora 15 and whats been keeping me busy (in reverse)!

I can’t believe its been four months since my last post! This is not a tutorial since I didn’t have time to learn something to pen down as a tutorial after my previous post. I’ve been kinda tied up with work, something I mentioned in my previous post, and had to give it a lot of attention. Things have been moving pretty fast but I’ve learned a lot in the process. I also had my appraisal today and at first I was a bit nervous since I didn’t think I’ve done all that well. But things went well and I’m lucky to be in a place where the managers look at you more closely, are more open and help you out a lot better. I’m not saying this because they read my blog too ;). I’m sure my friends working with me will agree. Anyways I’ve been busy because of a pretty tightly scheduled project. Thanks to that, I’ve learned to work much better under pressure not crumble under it. I’ve also made new friends who’ve helped me get through it smoothly and I got my first hike! :) Read more of this post

Online classes, fenders, updates

Thought I’d post a few finds of mine. Most of you might be way more Internet savvy so forgive me if this old news for you :).

Those of you who follow TED would have come across the  following video today – Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education. I came across Khan Academy only a month back and for those of you who do not know, this is one awesome site. What first caught my eye were the videos it has for the IIT-JEE. There are resources for any topic I can think of in Math, Physics and Chemistry and a lot more. There are tons of videos on other subjects as well. Do check it out.

Here are three other excellent resources that many of you will be aware of but are worth mentioning anyways.

  1. NPTEL: Videos by professors from IISc and the IITs.
  2. MIT OpenCourseWare: Needs no introduction – a set of excellent material by MIT ranging from lecture notes to videos.
  3. Connexions: We cannot forget connexions’ vast collection of modules.

I’m sure there are tons of places like these. (Like this list). But these are ones I have used myself and benefited a lot!

What online resources do you find useful? Let me know in a comment.

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