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s1axter AAA battery fluorescent light driver S1axter's Tech Log of Crazy Stuff

Found this little project on Make today about powering a small fluorescent light from a 1.5 volt AAA battery using a disposable camera. Cool stuff to know if you are ever in a crazy MacGyver situation.

http://www.josepino.com/circuits/index.php?fluorescent_light.jpc
http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/03/diy_4watt_fluorescent_lig.html

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s1axter Arduino Etch-a-sketch clock S1axter's Tech Log of Crazy Stuff

Sorry for the delay in posting for a while, my server burned down, there was a traffic jam, I had to save a school bus full of kids, my dog died, my dead dog ate my posts....pick an excuse, :-).

There are a bunch of computer controlled Etch-a-sketch projects out there such as these:

Nice laptop
Atmel Etch-a-sketch mouse interface
Etch CNC
General Etch controller

However none of these projects is a clock! Saw this on Makezine today and thought it was post worthy. Check out this project which turns an Etch-a-sketch into a working clock using an Arduino:

http://angelayuan.com/build.htm

Not a whole lot of details but some cool links

via: http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/03/arduino_etchasketch_clock.html

doomerz Programming your own microcontroller Doomerz Tech Log

Embedded.com has posted a 20 year old article on Programmable Logic Device (PDL) design that has stands the test of time. This article was released in 1989 when FPGAs were only 5 years old and continues to still be a great read for anyone who is considering PLD design and learning a Hardware Description Language (HDL).

From the article: "Rather than using a general-purpose language to program an embedded processor, you can use an HDL to configure a programmable logic device (PLD). A number of special sets of HDLs are specifically designed to configure PLDs."

http://www.embedded.com/design/206901033

s1axter Trossen Robotics and Johnny-5! S1axter's Tech Log of Crazy Stuff

Yesterday the the Trossen Robotics Team dropped us a tip letting us know their fourth project contest came to a conclusion on February 29th. Trossen Robotics contest is a general technology project contest showcasing cool projects dealing with "robotics, automation, art, RFID, DIY, mods, inventions, and anything else demonstrating some form of technological creativity". In the submitted tip they say "We run this contest to help promote and encourage innovation and ingenuity.", (sounds just like what we here at GI strive for!)

Projects are scored on "Wow" factor, Ingenuity, Creativity, and Presentation (graphics, videos, documentation, explanation, etc.) and submissions are open to anyone who has something to enter. While the fourth contest ended last month, you are in luck, they are running another one right now that ends in May 2008. Over $800 in prizes were given out last contest, and there will probably more for this one, so make something cool and submit!

I took a look at some of the projects entered in the fourth contest and I really liked the servo based Johnny-5. Reading the specs the thing runs Windows XP on a Pico-ITX board @ 1GHZ! Not exactly what I whould have done but it is still cool. Check it out

Contest page: http://www.trossenrobotics.com/contest.aspx
Showcase: http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/forumdisplay.php?f=101

chip Comment Contest Geeksinside Site News

Congratulations to Max, the winner of our February Comment contest! The winning comment is his response to Doomerz's Google Summer of Code '08 post. Max won a $25 gift certificate to SparkFun Electronics.

It's been a busy few days so until a real post, enjoy the geek humor: http://blogs.sun.com/arungupta/resource/images/dilbert2007090116399.jpg

chip Last day for contest Geeksinside Site News

Well today is the last day for the comment contest. Keep those comments coming, remember you can enter more than once.

Original post
Contest Rules

Comment counts: http://geeksinside.com/comments.php

And for your viewing pleasure, your geek humor for the day: http://www.mnispi.org/cartoon/2002/pages/Computer%20Engineer_gif.htm

s1axter Build a CPLD dev board S1axter's Tech Log of Crazy Stuff

Check out these two tutorials on how to build a simple CPLD dev board and an introduction to Verilog found on pyroelectro.com.

The dev board is quite sparse, but could be a really good base for a series of tutorials on how to work with programmable logic.

http://www.pyroelectro.com/tutorials/cpld_board/
http://www.pyroelectro.com/tutorials/verilog_intro/

About programmable logic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programmable_logic_device

doomerz Google Summer of Code '08 Doomerz Tech Log

Google has announced its summer of code '08 event.
From the FAQ:
The Google Summer of Code is a program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source projects.

...

In order to participate in the program, you must be a student. Google defines a student as an individual enrolled in or accepted into an accredited institution including (but not necessarily limited to) colleges, universities, masters programs, PhD programs and undergraduate programs. You should be prepared, upon request, to provide Google with transcripts or other documentation from your accredited institution as proof of enrollment or admission status. Computer Science does not need to be your field of study in order to participate in the program.


Link to the FAQ: http://code.google.com/soc/2008/faqs.html

And the link to the announcement: http://code.google.com/soc/2008

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