Arduino as ISP

Not really much to say, but after an unfortunate accident which involved a stray USB cable, some exposed AC terminals, and a large spark which fried my AVR Dragon (among other important things), I’m glad that I was able to get back up an running in a matter of hours. Happened to have a Nano328 in the parts bin and one thing led to another…



Given that this is significantly less sophisticated than my Dragon, I decided to make powering the target configurable with a jumper and status LED.

DIY Fume Sucker

I don’t usually publish the stupid things I hack together (code or otherwise), but I’m especially proud of this one, mostly because it’s my first really useful one.

I sometimes work for an engineering company designing electronics, firmware, and user interfaces for medical device prototypes. When I’m prototyping, I do a good amount of soldering. I was sick of having a small box fan in my work area to suck the solder fumes away, so I decided to try making my own that worked better with my workflow.

Yeah, pretty budget.

Parts list:

Drilled a hole in the center of the mending plate for the gooseneck thread to pass through, then secured with a nut and lock washer. Same for the base plate. The desk clamp kind of sucks. I’d much prefer a heavy base plate so it could be used on any surface, not just the edge. Works pretty well, though I could have definitely gone with a smaller gooseneck and fan. No, it doesn’t scrub the fumes. Yes, I’m an asshole to my coworkers.

I’m pretty bad at writing build steps, so I’ll just let the pictures explain.


this is a joke, right?

that i have to create a nokia developer account to download the qt sdk? i can’t help but think this is going in the wrong direction.

the best part is that even after i registered using 10minutemail, the download link was broken. solid gold.

gnome 3 rant expansion

just set up my netbook (acer aspire one) with arch + xmonad + gnome-session. tell me if this sounds as ridiculous to you as it does to me: i tried to disable the gnome panels, but there doesn’t seem to be a user-facing configuration option to do this. i’ll accept that, because your average gnome user isn’t going to want to and probably shouldn’t disable all the panels anyway as that’s the primary navigation method. i found the dconf entry for the panels and turned them both off by setting the value to an empty array. neat, it works! kinda. i restarted gnome and it had re-enabled both panels i’d explicitly disabled, PLUS added a new top panel which was overlaid on the existing top panel. look, if someone’s messing with dconf and disables the panels, they probably know what they’re doing. leave it alone.

and the solution?

chmod -x /usr/bin/gnome-panel

i wish i was joking.