Cute colourful heart rings!

Heart Rings painted by Peter Paul (Shapeways)
Heart Rings painted by Peter Paul (Shapeways)

I just ran into this Shapeways Blog Post and couldn’t resist reposting this photo of those colourful ring fest.  If you’ve read earlier in my mechanical iris diaphragm post I was just playing around with Alibre Xpress and see if I could design a ring using that, guess someone at Shapeways thought they were cute and printed them out!  The rings are painted using a water based paint, I just wonder how it’ll look with an acrylic paint to smoothen out the surface somewhat.

Compiling a toolchain for ARM7 under Ubuntu

Well this chronicles my first attempt at compiling a toolchain for programming ARM’s in ELF code.

Why do I need a toolchain for programming ARMs?

  1. I found a LPC2378-STK development board in my room
  2. I want to give ARM programming a try (PS WinAVR is great for programming AVRs)
  3. I found I have some spare ARM7 LPC2378’s lying around (WTF?) and thought I’ll actually complete my Chumby Speedometer on my car project!

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Cowsay? Madoxsay! Fun (or oh so wrong) things in Ubuntu…

It started with a colleague walking by my desk today and asking me if I had ‘cowsays’ installed on my machine, never having heard of it before he dared me to just try run it.  A short command not found and a subsequent apt-get install later… I didn’t know whether to burst out laughing or slap my forehead.

 ________________________________________
/ This is a very very useful and         \
| productive program available in Ubuntu |
\ and other Debian distributions...      /
 ----------------------------------------
        \   ^__^
         \  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

Continue reading “Cowsay? Madoxsay! Fun (or oh so wrong) things in Ubuntu…”

Java not working on Firefox 3.0.4 in Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex?

Well it was just nagging me, and for anyone who runs into this problem here’s the solution (to the ever moving Firefox path problem)

cd /usr/lib/firefox-3.0.4/plugins

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun/jre/plugin/i386/ns7/libjavaplugin_oji.so

Assuming you already had the sun-java packages (anyway if not just get it).

Reverse Engineering the Mazda CAN Bus – Part 1

Controller-Area Network or CAN Bus is one of many automotive communication buses for communications between various ‘car computers’.  Information such as speed, fuel consumption, accelerator pedal position is all transmitted between the various controllers of a car akin to ‘fly-by-wire’ control systems of aircraft but I guess ‘drive-by-wire’ is more appropriate in this case.

There are other rival bus technologies include LIN (Local Interconnect Network) which is supposed to be a lower cost alternative to CAN, but I’m not interested in that.  Why?  My car uses the CAN bus, not LIN, not Ethernet.  So lets go about figuring what can be gleened from the communications whizzing around my car!

Aside from CAN bus, my car has a pig too.  This photo is from 2 years ago and the pig no longer has the tail or the tag on its ass...
Aside from CAN bus, my car has a pig too (Long story). This photo is from 2 years ago and the pig no longer has the weird thing hanging from its belly or the tag on its ass...

Continue reading “Reverse Engineering the Mazda CAN Bus – Part 1”

Rapid Prototyping – Mechanical Iris Diaphragm

Shapeways had a little Halloween special last month where they offered 66% off on their new black detail material. Always wanting to try out some 3D printing for myself, this offer reeled me in!
So I set out to design something in the shortest amount of time and yet would still give me a good ‘feel’ of what 3D printing is capable of today. The time constraint was probably also due to the fact I read about the offer at midnight and wanted to send it to print before I sleep 🙂 Result? Concept, Design, Upload, Ordered all within 2 hours!

Shapeways had a little Halloween special last month where they offered 66% off on their new black detail material.  Always wanting to try out some 3D printing for myself, this offer reeled me in!
So I set out to design something in the shortest amount of time and yet would still give me a good ‘feel’ of what 3D printing is capable of today.  The time constraint was probably also due to the fact I read about the offer at midnight and wanted to send it to print before I sleep 🙂  Result? Concept, Design, Upload, Ordered all within 2 hours!

Concept

The concept is a mechanical iris diaphragm, similar to those in cameras but on a much larger scale.  If you’re a Stargate fan, you would have think this is a much SMALLER scale version of the Stargate iris, then I would say that only has 20 blades…mine has 24!

There’s not much design detail out on the web, or at least no design drawings to plagiarise but I’ve seen enough stargate to try design something up myself…

Continue reading “Rapid Prototyping – Mechanical Iris Diaphragm”