Monday, 2 March 2015

USB 3.0 Storage Project

This weekend has seen the final parts of the server infrastructure I had powered down, and this leaves me with a gap in my storage needs.

I carry two mechanical harddrives, old laptop 2.5" drives, power by 5v with me most of the time, but these are getting old (and they were already old before I pulled them out of the retiring laptops they served) they're also quite slow and I have no back-up for them.

This is a situation which can not continue on my conscience.  Therefore, I've just bought a pair of 32GB USB 3.0 flashdrives, a cheap USB 3.0 hub and a hot glue gun.

The project is going to be to strip an old 3.5" hard drive, even dremel the middle out of it iff needs be, and after stripping the hub and sticks of their plastic shells, mounting them inside the old hard drive shell.  Screw the shell back up and hopefully I have a 64GB storage space, which is none-mechanical, and which I can just plug-in and go.

Initially this is going to be for moving some recorded files around and perhaps holding a git repository, or even my old SVN respoitories for checking or supporting projects.

If it's a successhowever, I maybe looking at a nicer strip USB hub, and slowly building 64GB sticks at a time (£10 a pop) to build up a big drive, with a full back up script etc.

I may also be getting together a USB 2.0 hub and a couple of 8GB flash drives to act as a storage backup on the web-server, this will be for the Elite Trade data to be dropped off on.


Or this lad has the idea...

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Gaming & Films - Blade Runner 2 - Robin Hood X

What has been going down in groove town?... Well, I have to say, Elite wise, not a lot... I've been very busy with the office job, doing 12+ hour days all week.

I've finished the project I was on however, and am happy to sit now puzzled that everything was such a rush, because unlike some other developers around here, when I say something will get done... I do it.


Immediately, I just think.... "NOOOOOOOOO"..... A long strong voice, showing my lineage as a chronic moaner and critic... Just... "Nooooo"....

This then came to my searches and it sums things up....


Or perhaps this.... 


But, I dunno, we're yet to see Ford in the new Star Wars, maybe he can still act and this isn't just like letting Paul McCartney still sing (he can't sing anymore, if you didn't realise and his nurse hasn't told him).

More closer to home, I also spotted this film ditty...


Yes, a "Pirate's of the Caribean" style hood romp... Hmm... I wonder if like "Into the Woods", it'll be a fucking musical?!?!?


So, if I'm not up to Elite Trade Data code, what am I up to?... Well, the office is nearly all sorted, I'm also signed up to Twitch now, OpenBroadcaster and some other options are being tweaked about with, so expect some live streams of gameplay, of development and perhaps even a special once a week segment of the wife hassling me whilst I play (this is particularly funny, as she doesn't know anything, but insists on playing Zombie games, then complains how gorey they are!).

Expect to see more gaming content over the weekend!

Friday, 27 February 2015

The World Reacts to the Mighty Jingles - #10 Germany

We've all wondered, haven't we, what happens when Jingles releases a new Video?... In this new series I aim to help solve that mystery.... This week, we catch the German Chancellor receiving her fix via Mobile


Check back each Friday at 18:30 UK time for the next thrilling instalment, where might we find Jingles being Enjoyed?

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Working with Taiwan Twinglish Embedded Development Kits

You know sometimes, I wish people would just write a manual.  I've just come across a chap who wants to sell a development kit to the company I work for, he's in Taiwan and very excited, he knows all about his kit, and he's been on the phone bulling it up for the boss.

He has ticked all the boxes with the boss, and they've gone a head and ordered the extortionately priced item, and it's arrived on my desk.

I took one look, and asked "Where's the manual", there isn't one.  Because this is a development kit... Right, what power does it take.. No-one knows, the only way to tell has been to look at the chips and see what the lowest possible power feed should be to the lowest value chip.

Which prong was the negative?... Only could tell that by tracing - by eye - back from an obvious earth plane and a couple of large caps and checking that the line was the negative rail.

This level of just basic documentation, being lacking, immediately makes me worry about the whole bundle.

They're trying to sell this, but I think they're actually trying to get a native English speaker - i.e. me - to write their manual for them.

Next thing, how do I build software to run on this kit?... They don't know... Seriously, this is what the chap has said to me, "It in C, write in C"... okay, what compiler you got?... "We no got compiler"...

So I have to go to the chip vendor and ask for their compiler?... These people throwing this kit together don't have a compiler?  And don't have any recommendation of which compiler to use?....

Luckily I can look at the board and see the processor, so I know what architecture I'm going to target, but I was about to ask "What's the architecture", and I'm pretty sure he'd not know.

How to get the software as built onto the kit, also seems a mystery, there's no obvious portable slot, no ethernet, no USB, no serial... I can't believe I have to burn EEPROM's and plug them in... In this day and age, I've been told "Firmware take your software in, firmware do it"... but not been told how.

I swear, I could pull the last shreds of my hair out with this, not least because I have to appraise this for use by our whole UK arm before this guy jumps on a pre-booked plane ticket from Taiwan over to here.... Gah

Friday, 20 February 2015

The World Reacts to the Mighty Jingles - #9 India

We've all wondered, haven't we, what happens when Jingles releases a new Video?... In this new series I aim to help solve that mystery.... This week, India and this one cool dude is Swapnil Desai.  Some say he's developed a voice command recognition system; I however say he's ready to get his Jingles Fix!


Check back each Friday at 18:30 UK time for the next thrilling instalment, where might we find Jingles being Enjoyed?

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Elite Dangerous - Trading Tools - Office & Server Update - Progress Pt11

Update: You can now support this project at Patreon!

Where have I been?  And what have I been doing?

Well, I've not been coding, not one line of new code has passed my finger tips.

What has been happening though is a complete remodelling of my office and work area, I've been to ikea and on my zero dollar budget (yes, no-one has yet dipped into their pocket to sponsor this project) I got a very cheap new table, a monitor rising shelf and made my power arrangements safe.

This new work area has then seen over 18 hours of solid testing, from system to system, station to station, collecting data.  As well as using the analysis tool to make advantage of it.

My next quest/test will be to allow manual editing, or at least suggested editing, of the database to remove, or correct those sometimes mis-detected names of commodities.

The test after that will be to go and find some rares, see how they process out, and begin a list of them spotted, so as they can be highlighted in the analysis tool.

The data collection server is also a priority now, the old Power Edge 2650 machines have been decommissioned, and I've actually donated them to a charity so they can perhaps sell them and make some money.  The new server is a Pentium 4 based box, which will be running Ubuntu Server, or maybe Arch... Though in the long run a Raspberry PI 2 running Arch may take over, if suitable network storage can be arranged, or if I can power a 2.5" 5V HDD from the Pi itself via USB for storage.

Cheap cheap, this is the way.

I've had more correspondance from potential users and people just asking for the program, it's not ready folks, help me to help you by supporting the project with a donation, or through patreon.

As for those still asking "why", simply because I don't want to run on my computer things others have written, I find some tools collecting market data must be simply opening the Elite Dangerous process, getting the tokens set to read the memory and slurping out all the data they want.  Frontier asked other projects to stop doing that, so we won't even state.

And then why am I doing this alone?  Because I like to code, it's my profession, not just a hobby, this isn't just a script thrown together in Python, or a slap dapse executable thrown out there with who only knows what malware attached, no this is a formal project, with revisions, a coding standard and it's letting me get to grips with OCR, something I've always thought about needing, but never got to use.

More updates at the weekend folks.


Update: You can now support this project at Patreon!

Friday, 13 February 2015

The World Reacts to the Mightly Jingles - #8 France

We've all wondered, haven't we, what happens when Jingles releases a new Video?... In this new series I aim to help solve that mystery.... This week, France, and it seems Mr Sarkozy is not that interested, like most French Tank drivers.


Check back each Friday at 18:30 UK time for the next thrilling instalment, where might we find Jingles being Enjoyed?