So it’s been coming up recently that our church media department has been buying “OpenDMX USB Dongles” for upwards of $80. I was mortified, especially after seeing this USB device, opening up the sheet metal project box and finding it to be a simple 2-stage USB to RS-485 protocol bridge with no programmable intelligence whatsoever.
I’ve been annoyed for a large amount of time (years in fact) over some of our software we use and sell. In essence, what we have is a TCP GUI that communicates on a 250ms timer with a microcontroller that’s serving up a two-way communications protocol over ModBus FC23 – we send commands either to write data to or read data from the unit.
Awesome news! I’ve been asked at work to start doing a bit of GUI development for our NASA projects. They’ve said that all of their stuff is developed using Borland C++. Now with my PennMUSH development experience, I’ve taught myself a bit of C++ (though my PennMUSH development experience has been mostly debugging and making sure it compiles under Windows, so it isn’t too in depth).
It was only recently that I FINALLY figured out just what Ruby on Rails is. From most of the posts I saw all I could make of it was “it’s the thing that runs Twitter.” Okay..so what’s it DO?
Well as it turns out, from what I can make of it, Rails is a new web framework designed to streamline web design…BETTER than PHP/ASP/Javscript. So basically it’s a new kind of webserver.
Recently I drug out my old Dell dinosaur (Dimension) from the closet and decided to try installing Ubuntu server onto it.
Well, all went well until I also attempted to add the Xubuntu-Desktop package, so I could better run around and do things in there. A quick update for an nVidia graphics driver froze the computer directly after login, and all the stuff I found in the forums didn’t really help that much, except for possibly uninstalling all the packages that xubuntu-desktop stuck in there. Since there wasn’t a lot on there (except for maybe the neat desktop backgrounds that seem to change with every version of any Ubuntu release), I figured a fresh install would be best.
A long time ago, I discovered that Jim Davis, the author of Garfield comics, syndicates his stuff with uComics. An interesting, and probably well-known, fact is that uComics actually stores the images from a particular cartoon in a fairly friendly directory structure! At least, they do with Garfield comics. So I was able to do some back-door hacks and write a simple little script that would in essence harvest Garfield comics directly from uComics.
For some weird reason, I found that my router (Netgear WNR3500L) (or my connection) was giving me problems…every so often it my LAN connection would completely reset and require me to reboot the computer, just to get the webserver back online (it would become completely unreachable via No-IP DNS -and- the external IP address..some 5xx connection reset error or something).
We’ve just gone live with our newly activated ADSL connection. As of 5:00 this evening, I was able to plug in the aforementioned modem that we bought on Friday and successfully connect to first Qwest’s initial login page, then, well, everywhere else! Of course, everybody’s test to see if they’re connected is Google. Well, not everybody. The modem and the Qwest disc would rather you connect to their homepage, but it’s still essentially the same thing.
I had to spend a little time figuring out the best configuration, and I decided to go with the transparent bridge setup, where the modem simply acts as DSL-to-Ethernet translator and all other router functions are disabled. In the same manner, I am able to put in all of the primary internet login information directly into the Wi-Fi router and everything works like a charm.
I’ve always hated self-help books you find at B&N or the library on how to set up your own home network. In short, they always would assume that you had high-speed internet coming into your house and that you could create a standard configuration. However, up until about 30 minutes ago, we were using dialup for our main internet connection.