Sunday, May 13, 2007


Because I can't reply to people's comments in Blogger like I can in LiveJournal, I'll be using my LJ:



Saturday, May 12, 2007

My First Linux

Ubuntu Desktop Screenshot

I just got a computer from a nice friend. Kirby gave me a 3GHz Pentium 4 with 1GB RAM and a 40GB hard drive that they were getting rid of at her work.

I've wanted a Linux box for a few years now, and since I'm finally done with my undergraduate degree, I figured I should get some Linux experience. Ubuntu 6.10 Desktop edition. The orange theme is really ugly and so is the text. I'll be sure to quickly change that once I figure out how everything is organized. I played with it running from the CD-ROM for a few minutes, and it seemed like a pretty decent OS. Hopefully it'll round out my other computers, a Gateway PC running XP Pro, and a new Fujitsu laptop running Vista.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Cypress PSoC Eval Kit

I've been playing with the PSoC (programmable system on chip) evaluation kit from Cypress. They have a graphical layout program called PSoC Express. It's simple to drag and drop inputs, outputs, and "valuators" (LUTs, if-else-then structures, etc). They have some excellent interface options, and so far I'm really impressed. The time it takes to create a simple little application is just a few minutes - it would take hours on a PIC. Here's a slide I pulled from one of their presentations:

The PSoC chips have a M8C CISC microcontroller at the core, and analog and digital blocks surrounding it. Reading their literature, these PSoCs can reduce part counts by 50%. To me, they feel like a PIC with a CISC instruction set and a nice set of analog features.
I'll be entering a design into the Cypress Innovator Design Challenge for college students.