Dec 12 2014

How to solve the upgrading problems of Flash Player on OSX

Today Macromedia has released Flash Player If you had visited a page containing a Flash application maybe you’d received a message that suggested you to update the player. And, inevitably, you won’t be able to do it! This did occur because the Flash Player installer is buggy and the installation process will halt with an error…

After half an hour surfing the web for a solution, I “put together” some steps that helped me to finally update the player. First, you have to remove the current version. To do this, download the proper uninstaller:

Uninstaller for Mac OS X 10.1/10.2/10.3

Uninstaller for Mac OS X 10.4/10.5

Uninstaller for Mac OS X 10.6 and newer 

After this, close the browser and open the .dmg file that you downloaded, the click on the icon of the uninstallation program and finally confirm to open it (this is an app downloaded from internet, so by default the system refuses to open it). After Flash Player has been removed, open the Finder and check that in “Macintosh HD/Library/Internet Plugins” the Flash plugin isn’t present. If yes, remove it. Then, check that in “Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Flash Player” you don’t have a folder named “Flash Plugin Installer“. If yes, remove it. Now, empty the trash then reboot the system. Now download the Flash Player offline installer:

Close your browser, click on the .dmg file you downloaded then click on the installation program and confirm to open it (like before, this app has been downloaded from internet, so by default the system refuses to open it). If you’re asked to choose for a version, make the proper choice: NPAPI for Safari/Firefox, and PPAPI for Opera/Chrome. After the installation, restart the browser and check at this page if the Flash Player plugin is working correctly: if you see an animation inside the window at the middle of the page, everything is OK.

Nov 29 2014

New Attiny core for the Arduino IDE v.1.5.8

I’ve updated the Attiny core for the Arduino IDE v.1.5.8 by adding the library tinyISP (originally written by Jack Christensen and modified by me with the adding of the support for the Attiny2313 & 4313 MCUs) that can be used to manage the SPI communications with the microcontrollers of the Attiny family, that they don’t have a specific SPI peripheral but offer a way to set the USI peripheral (the same used to manage the I2C communication) to be able to dialog with the Three-Wire interface (compatible with the SPI).

(to see the download link, expand the article)

Nov 28 2014

Updated Atmega644P/1284P core for Arduino IDE 1.5.8

I’ve updated the Atmega644P/1284P core for the Arduino IDE 1.5.8: if you’re using this version, you have to update the core because the previous one, for the Arduino IDE 1.5.7, isn’t compatible anymore due to the rewriting of the SPI library (expand the article for the link).

Nov 18 2014

New look for the Arduino boards

Few days ago, the new look that will be adopted for the Arduino boards has been presented on the official blog. A new shade, teal instead of the old blue, and new graphics, slimmer than in the past, and characters font, have been adopted. These solutions have been adopted to fight the growing market of the counterfeit Arduino boards and to help customers to recognize fake boards with just a quick look.


The boards with the new graphics & look will arrive on the shelves in the next months: the first one will, of course, be the best seller Arduino Uno, with the other ones to follow.

Oct 02 2014

Which compression method do we have to choose for our archives?

We usually have to move at a glance a lot of files, and some of them can be very big, from a device to another one. For praticity and to save space we use the so-called compressed archives. A compressed archive is just a unique, big file, that incudes one or several files in a format that allows us to use an amount of bytes that is lower then the sum of the sizes of the single original files. A lot of user don’t stop to think about which format to use because the most widely used is the ZIP format. But this is not the only one nor the most efficient one. Let’s see to do some tests and look around to find other formats that could be better.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 13 2014

AVRFuses, a GUI tool to modify the fuses of the Atmel MCUs (OS X)



Many users want a tool to manipulate the Atmel MCUs easily avoiding avrdude and the terminal. There are several options for the most commonly systems, some of them are also multi-platform. One of these is Avrfusess, that is widely used. Personally, I dislike it because it’s born under Windows and it’s written in C# and uses the .NET framework, forcing to install and .exe file and the Mono framework on non-Windows systems (for those who don’t know Mono, it’s an open source reimplementation of the .NET framework written from scratch that let you execute .NET apps under Windows/Linux/OSX). The tool that I’m introducing today is different: it’s a native Cocoa app written explicitly for Mac OS X. Its name is AVRFuses.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

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