Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Archive for October 2008

Garage LED

In Uncategorized on Oct 31, 2008 at 00:37

Solder fumes, ahhh that brings back memories…

Today, I built a little ultrasonic sensor to help me park the car. Took the easy way out and just purchased a simple kit from Conrad:


Now, instead of driving the car up to the point where some cardboard boxes leaning against the wall move, and then backing up, I can drive until a red LED comes on, and then, ehm… back up ever so slightly until the LED goes off. Progress!

Well, at least it gets rid of the old cardboard junk I was using as “bumper”.


In AVR on Oct 25, 2008 at 00:32

Fascinating: the AVR “ATtiny” and “ATmega” chips from Atmel can be programmed in standard C and C++. The chips cost a few Euro each, the compiler is gcc, and there’s a ready-to-run package for Mac, Linux, and Windows. There’s even a low-cost standardized hardware platform, called Arduino. It’s all open source, software as well as hardware designs.

Here’s the Nano version (specs), with on-board USB, ready to be plugged into a breadboard:


Wow. Low-end computing sure has come a long way.