January 3, 2011
News - Phonetic Search
about 4 years ago
Actually, Google does sometimes change what you searched for to what it thinks you wanted, and then has a link to search for the thing you originally searched for (which in my case is usually what I really did want to search for in the first place). I hate it. Just give me what I searched for, and make a suggestion for something else, don’t automatically assume I wanted something else.
News - Happy Free Day
about 4 years ago
There is no need for the DNS record to be unknown. Security by obscurity is never a good idea.
A simple cookie which applies to the chosen sub-domain would be sufficient.
Not that I had much luck, but I tried…
- Direct connection from a New Zealand IP.
- SOCKS proxy via a US host.
- VPN via a US Internet connection.
For all those complaining about people in the US having an advantage… I have no idea what they are talking about. Locality had nothing to do with it. The servers were not accepting sockets, an additional 200ms round-trip to the other side of the world wasn’t going to make any real difference compared to the browser timeout.
I managed to get $10, when the servers mysteriously became responsive, literally moments before the end of the quiz.
Guys, it was a bit of harmless fun. Yes, the servers were taking a hammering. No, it wasn’t really ‘fair’.
I got up at 4:40am for this, and only managed to get $10 credit, literally moments before funds ran out. I got something out of it, others got more, some ended up with nothing. It was nice of Sparkfun to even do this… slightly deluded of them to think their servers could cope perhaps, but still a nice gesture.
News - Arduino: The Documentary
about 4 years ago
I am such a newbie. I know little about electronics, but a lot about software development.
I actually own a FPGA development board, and am the first to admit I am quite lost when it comes to using it. FPGA development is not yet friendly enough for the beginner. Just getting the software installed and running is a challenge in itself. Xilinx has only recently started supporting 64 bit Windows platforms, and the software package to download is more than a gigabyte.
Verilog and VHDL are not ‘user friendly’. The FpgaC project, which brought the hope of a free C to FPGA development, appears to be dead. I have been looking at ROCCC as an alternative, but documentation is lacking, and again the tool set is limited to specific platforms. We need C development to open up FPGA development to the masses, VHDL and Verilog are never going to be ‘easy’ enough for people who just want to tinker.
After all my investigation, I am back to microcontrollers. I am a believer in using the right tool for the job, and while the pin count on a microcontroller may be low, it doesn’t mean they aren’t up to the task. The microcontroller is the right choice, because it is capable, and provides a practical route to implemention.
Realistically, when does the hobbyist need a 50MHz FPGA? Even my most complicated project I am interested in compelting right now, should be fast enough on a 1MHz microcontroller.
I am not saying the Arduino should be looked upon as the solution. I don’t intend to use the Arduino in any of my finished projects, I don’t intend to buy the over-priced shields, it’s just a development platform, and a good place for a newbie to start.
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