Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Top 5 New Features in Ruby 1.9

An article about the top 5 new features in Ruby 1.9. There's some really exciting stuff in there!

Read it here.

Flex on Rails: Building Rich Internet Applications with Adobe Flex 3 and Rails 2

Here is my review of the book Flex on Rails: Building Rich Internet Applications with Adobe Flex 3 and Rails 2. In short, it's a good book for any Rails programmer wanting to look at Flex clients. It'll get you on your feet and oriented in the Flex world.

Be sure to read the full review.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Arduino Flash Reader and Programmer is Working

Below are pictures of the Arduino flash chip programmer and reader. I'd built this last week, but was plagued by a nagging problem. It would only work on some chips, and wouldn't work on one chip I knew was good. Oh well, I thought, that chip must be broken. Well, today I set out disassembling the thing to solder together a shield, and I discovered the problem.

When looking down at the ZIF socket with a flash chip in it, it's difficult to tell which pins go to which hole in the breadboard. There's kind of an optical illusion, and I'd gotten it wrong. The chip didn't even have a ground, I'm not quite sure how it was functioning. It was also missing data pin 0, the fact it worked at all was amazing. Well, that's fixed, and now it works perfectly.

You can see in this picture that the short yellow jumper on the right of the ZIF socket is supposed to go to ground, however it doesn't connect with any pins on the chip. That's also the chip I thought was broken.

From Arduino Flash Reader

When looking straight down, it difficult to tell what goes where.

From Arduino Flash Reader

Anyway, this works now! It's time to start making the shield. I think I'm going to use this method for making the shield from proto board. The unusual spacing on the Arduino is really annoying! Now to disassemble this thing and start making the shield. I just have to remember to double-check my connections before soldering. Fixing this problem was easy on the breadboard, but will be difficult on the shield.

The code is really primitive right now. I have a really badly hacked up Ruby frontend to read and write files to the chip that I don't even want to share. Once more work is done on that, I'll post the code.