Archive for November, 2010

US government retardedness

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

I was about to post a large rant about the US government and how they’re handling the Wikileaks thing. Nothing new has been published yet and they’re already squealing like little piggies resulting in reading their excuses in newspapers in my country on the other side of the world. So instead of writing a big rant I’ll just keep it short and give you a link to a video on the EEVblog. Makes me feel less like a single person shouting in the desert ;)

Dear US government, if you want Wikileaks to stop publishing your dirty little secrets here’s what you do; Stop manipulating the rest of the world, stop lying, stop murdering, stop violating basic human rights, stop intimidating, stop blocking international treaties that benefit us all. Basically stop raping the shit out of the rest of the world!

As for the 2nd part, hop over to the EEVblog and watch Dave voice his opinion on airport security.

High speed USB protocol analyser

Friday, November 26th, 2010

For those interested in reverse engineering and/or developing USB devices, check out this project: “OpenVizsla” Open Source USB Protocol Analyzer. It’s under development, but looks promising and offers high speed at an affordable price.

Wake up Keil

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

“Security is a concern of all on-line consumers”… apparently not for Keil… Not exactly something you’d want to see from a company who’s ARM development suite costs over €4000.

STM32 design contest

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

STMicroelectroics distributor EBV Elektronic is hosting a STM32 design contest and sends you a STM32 Discovery Kit for free if you register to participate. Mine arrived yesterday and is a welcome dev board for testing purposes :)

Offcourse I entered the contest as well. The project is called FLACie and I intend to get the official FLAC decoder running on the Cortex-M3 core. There is a port done for the Rockbox project of the FFmpeg decoder, but it’s old (5+ years and from before the reference decoder was optimised) and only works on ARM7TDMI controllers. I’m talking about a port based on the reference decoder and optimised to run on Cortex-M3 controllers. General idea is that if it runs on ARM7TDMI cores it must definitely be possible on Cortex-M3 cores.

If this succeeds the VS1053B decoder can be taken out of the musicplayer design. And since that component is the most expensive one it should have a nice impact on the total component cost. Besides it would be a kicker if this actually works!

To be continued…

On a sidenote; remember my rant about shipping costs? The dev board was send through Deutsche Post from Germany using a normal postage stamp. Thankfully no UPS, DHL or any other expensive customer unfriendly courier. Props to EBV for using the postal system as it’s supposed to be used!

Why…

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

… do governments of rich countries and the financial markets get away with all the evil they’re doing? Is it that we have too much luxury that keeps us occupied every second of the day and thus stops us from standing still every now and then to ask ourselves if we’re creating a world we would want to live in, or if we’re creating a world where fear and greed are considered normal and a part of everyday life?

Just one wish…

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Given one wish, what would you do?

No words…. (and no I don’t mean the girl ;))

Full size here (->APOD)

Gyros and accelerometer in Wii controller knockoffs

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Here’s another post in the spirit of cracking things open. This time it’s a Wii Nunchuk and the Motion Plus. Well not the Nintendo ones, but cheap Chinese knockoffs.

First up is the Nunchuk which has an Analog Devices ADXL335 (and a 2K 2-wire EEPROM), mounted on a low quality PCB:

The Motion Plus has the relatively well known InvenSense IDG-650 and ISZ-650 dual-axis gyros. The build quality is also much better compared to the Nunchuk:

A quick peak at the WiiBrew wiki learns that they are not the same components Nintendo uses in official accessories, but who cares. It’s just fun to play with sensors that don’t cost an arm and a leg ;) And they all come with datasheets (and appnotes) which can be found at the manufacturer’s website. Only downside are those pesky leadless packages.

USB SATA bridge

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

A while ago I thought about using a SSD instead of a SD card to the musicplayer. Since SATA IC’s aren’t exactly easy to obtain, I headed over to DealExtreme for a Mini USB 2.0 to SATA Dongle with the intention to rip it apart. Took a month to arrive (if you’re expecting stuff from China be prepared for a long wait… packages seem to take ages to arrive these days…) but today the day has come to go berserk (well actually the casing came apart pretty easily).

I was kind of expecting some kind of  JMicron chip, but was surprised to find a Moai MA6116 chip (and an unmarked crystal). Unfortunately no datasheet, but who knows what this thing can be used for. The manufacturers website only mentions this (for the A revision):

MOAI MA6116A is a bridge chip for USB to SATA interface, translating the host SCSI command to ATA/ATAPI command of SATA device, targeting the external HDD application. MA6116A complies with the USB Storage Class specifications ver.1.0 Bulk mode protocol and compatible with Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista/Win7, Mac OS 9, Linux Redhat. With the in-house DMA and Transceiver capability, MA6116A provides the market most outstanding read/write performance and BOM cost.

Gold plated TOSLINK

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Wait… what?

ST, what the hell!?

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

So STMicroelectronics has revamped their website. This could have been a welcome change, but instead they stuffed it with flash. And I’m sorry to say it sucks even harder than before…. How hard can it be to get a decent website running? How on earth is anyone supposed to select a product if it’s impossible to find? And who’s idea was it to put fancy animations in a product catalog? And each time you select something a new page is opened…. omg….

ST, what the hell… are you deliberately trying scare people away?