Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   hard to go back to a crappy keyboard
Tuesday, April 28 2015
I finally figured out what the problem was with my ATTiny85-based AmbientWeather probe receiver. Evidently it behaves unreliably when the Arduino IDE is left open while it is attached (via a USB cable a USBTiny ISP programmer) to the computer. Once the IDE was shut down, the receiver worked without problems (or even random restarts) for hours.
While I was dealing with that issue, another spontaneously presented itself. The E-key of my keyboard (a super-low-profile Logitech illuminated model) suddenly became stuck, suggesting some object had fallen into the gaps between the keys. I pried the keycap off to fix the problem, but then I was faced with the problem of how to get the keycap back on. There are fussy little plastic bits (called "clips") that have to be put in just so. I've done it before, though with each generation of keyboard it becomes harder and harder as the plastic clips seem to shrink in parallel with the transistors inside the processors. Today as I struggled with my E key, I managed to break one of the two components of the clip, something that always seems like is going to happen but which has never actually happened before. So that sent me to eBay in hopes of finding a replacement key. There's a seller on eBay who specializes in Logitech illuminated keyboards, but the keys he was parting out looked like they might be subtly wrong for my particular model. So, following that seller's very helpful videos, I tried to replace the clip for my E key with one from the * button on the numeric keypad, a button I may have never touched before. But then I broke a little nubbin on the E-key itself. This was when I had to abandon that keyboard and go back to using an old Dell keyboard that had been gathering dust for years. Having become accustomed to the low-profile Logitech, the Dell felt like it towered above the desk, forcing my hands to rear back like pissed-off thoroughbreds (in truth, though, it was only about 3/4 of an inch taller). The Dell's keys also looked and felt dirty in their movement, and using it was such an unpleasant experience that I ended up ordering a replacement used Logitech illuminated keyboard on eBay. Maybe I can use keys from the old one to fix this new one should bad things happen to it (if, that is, I ever figure out how to manipulate those tiny clips without breaking them).

This evening I explored something called Codebender, which allows people to maintain their Arduino code "on the cloud" (and benefit from other people maintaining libraries and microcontroller core descriptions). After installing drivers on your computer, Codebender can actually compile your Arduino code and upload it to your microcontroller. So far, it's all about collaboration and sharing of code, but what would also be fun is if somehow it permitted the microcontrollers to interact directly somehow. (I know, that would have all sorts of security implications, and might well result in an Arnold-Schwarzeneggeriform machine traveling back in time.) The most useful thing about Codebender for me is that it allows me to develop and upload Arduino code to microcontroller using my ChromeBook.

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