Aug 26 2014

Manage 3 buttons with just 2 pins

I was standing at my computer, this morning, and had nothing to do, and I was thinking about a new project. I was making the count of how many pins I needed, looking for a way to optimize their usage, just because I had to dealt with some buttons to be pressed by the user, and so a question materialized in my mind: is there a simple way to save pins when we deal with buttons? Usually externa chips are used, such as port expanders or PISO (Parallel In – Serial Out) shift registers, to manage a lot of I/O lines with few pins. But, what about if I would do the same thing without buying such devices, just with the components that usually are in the drawer? The solution that I suggest is as simple as ordinary: with just 2 pins I will able to read 3 buttons. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 11 2014

Arduino: operations with timeouts

timeoutWhen we’re setting up a program that will interact with the user, we should consider the case that the user could “distract himself” and didn’t terminate the required operation within a certain time. This can happen, i.e., when our project uses a serial communication or an I/O interface with a keyboard and an LCD display between the user and the Arduino. Let’s do an example: at a certain moment, the user is required to insert a number/text or to make a choice in the UI (user interface). But, what does it happen if the user leaves the device and doen’t terminate the operation? The request will remain unfinished, pending, waiting for an input. And what can happen if our device is accessible by anyone? Let’s think about a circuit with an LCD display and a keyboard that has the control of something we’ve built. Generally, this kind of project has a menu with which the admin can configure the circuit itself without the need to program the microcontroller everytime a variation of the parameters is required. Usually the access at the admin menu is protected by a password to avoid that normal users can alter the behaviour of the device. Now, let’s imagine that the admin leaves the device without closing the admin menu? The first person that access the device can alter the whole device! So, it’s a good idea to provide a system based on a timeout so that after a certain time without an input of the user the program will automatically close the admin menu and go back to the user interface.

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Aug 05 2014

LibreOffice 4.3, new GUI with OSX-style

LibreOffice 4.3 has been released recently. Finally, it offers a more integration of its GUI with the style of OSX.

Below a couple of screenshots showing the differences of the rendering between the 4.2.x and the 4.3.x:

LibreOffice 4.2 (OSX)

LibreOffice 4.2 (OSX)

LibreOffice 4.3 (OSX)

LibreOffice 4.3 (OSX)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The app can be downloaded by this page.

Jul 14 2014

Atmega644P/1284P: new core for the Arduino IDE 1.5.7

New core for the Arduino IDE 1.5.7 that add support for the Atmega644P/1284P MCUs. As usual, instructions on how to install it are in the attached README.

Core Atmega644P/1284P for Arduino IDE 1.5.7

Jul 13 2014

(Italiano) Nuova guida per programmare gli ATtiny con l’IDE 1.5.7

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italiano.

Jul 04 2014

Cash Split

iphone3p5_4I’m glad to introduce the new iOS app that we’ve delevoped here at Phoenix SEACash Split. Cash Split is an iPhone and iPad app that can keep track of all the expenses you do when you’re doing a trip with your friends and make the final balance to know who has to refund who. Finally, you will be able to forget the headaches that you had when trying to do the sums to know each of you had spent during the journey, who has to be refunded and so on: Cash Split will do all of this for you. So, at the end of your trip. Cash Split will generate a graceful balance where you’ll find the average expense, the amount of money spent by each participant and who will have to refund who. More info and the link to the App Store at this page.

Jun 22 2014

How to update the Atmel toolchain on Mac OS X

In this article I’ll show you how to update the Atmel toolchain on OS X systems to be able to use the newest compiling tools available. First, I have to say that the compilation of the toolchain on OS X is painful! Thanksfully, we can solve this problem using CrossPack! CrossPack contains the toolchain compiled and ready to use on our system that we can download and install in a couple of minutes. Be careful: CrossPack only runs on OS X 10.6 or newer, this guide has been tested on Mavericks: I think that everything can work on older versions of the system with few (or, maybe, no) changes.

Read the rest of this entry »

May 22 2014

On 22, may, 1980, Pac-Man was released

On may 22, 1980, exactly 34 years ago, Namco published one of the best selling games of the videogames’ history, Pac-Man. First released as an arcade machine, during the years it was converted to almost all the home video game platforms and ported to all the 8-bits computers of that time. During the years to follow it was also ported to any game system that was released into the market and today it is still possible to buy it in every major mobile app store.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 28 2014

Atmega644P/1284P core updated for IDE 1.5.6-R2

I’ve updated the core for the Arduino IDE to support the Atmega644P/1284P. Compared to the previous release of the package, I’ve fixed some bugs that blocked the correct upload of a sketch using the bootloader.

Mar 12 2014

Ardu Companion

Ardu Companion 3In the last couple of month I’ve been involved in the development of an iPhone app, Ardu Companion, that finally it has been released on App Store.

Ardu Companion is an extremely, powerful and complete companion tu use in your daily projects and experiments with electronics prototyping. In fact, Ardu Compaion provides a complete set of tools to help you in developing with 8 bits Atmel micro-controllers and developing platforms, like the Arduino boards.

These tools include: calculators for Timers, PWMs, ADCs (these three tools are for free and 100% functioning), other tools include: sample codes for timers, PWMs, ADCs, watchdog, debouncing and serial-data management, tools to obtain the values of resistors and inductors from the color codes on the components, the Ohm’s law, calculators for RC/RL/LC/RLC filters, voltage dividers, the series/parallel resistor circuits, the time for charging capacitors, the usage of op-amps, how to calculate the resistor for LEDs, how to configure an LM317 voltage regulator, how to use an NE555, and how to calculate the heat of a silicon junction (these tools are offered with in-app purchase).

When using the calculators for timers, PWM, and ADC, if you tap on the “?” button you’ll get a brief explanation on how that peripheral works and what are the registers to configure it (tap on the floating info window to close it). Fill the required fields and tap on the Compute button to calculate the values you need. Tap on Clear all to clear all the fields.

App_Store_EN

Ardu Companion 1 Ardu Companion 2 Ardu Companion 4

UPDATE:

Ardu Companion is available for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux platforms too.

Download_OSX Download_Win Download_Linux

For the desktop version only, you can purchase the additional functionalities from here:
btn_buynowCC_LG

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