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Tonight, tiny project. The aim is to create a software that establishes a link between put.io and thepiratebay. No real challenge in terms of programming, but  a few interesting notions to approach:

  • requests sending
  • results gathering
  • use of put.io
  • use of Delegates to customize a Qt widget.

Here’s the results:

This project uses Qt4 and no other lib. It can therefore be directly compiled almost everywhere.

It ain’t finished yes, but it is already functionnal.

To download the sources, check: http://code.google.com/p/pirateiobay/

Today we will focus on a small electronic gizmo that just begs to be opened in half to reveal its insides. Here is the clientIt is a “pricer”, an electronic tag as it is everywhere now. To get one: sort this out yourselves, I’m not going to spell it our for you! Do not pinch one in a store either, but if you think about it, it’s pretty easy …

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Tonight I’ll show you how to add a touch screen for less than 50 € to your precious. This may be an EeePC or another laptop or even an LCD screen, the possibilities are endless. The only challenge is:
– the ability to disassemble the entire case out of the computer. And when I say completely, you’ll see that I’m serious here soon!
– To have enough room in the case to house the controller. It is a small 52 * 23mm electronic card, a little less than 5mm thick. In an EeePC 1000H, it goes very well, as you’ll see.

Basically, if you are able to disassemble your machine without breaking anything, well let’s go!

The kit:
I bought mine on eBay, here: Visual Touch World. For Europe, allow between two to four weeks to receive your precious. They have many different models, regardless of your screen you should find what you need.

Once ordered, you should receive a nice black box with this in it:

On the left: the controller. It is no more than a small USB hub, slightly improved. It comes with a piece of copper tape, which I did not used. In the center the touch panel still covered and above, a small plastic tool that you will need to access the LCD panel.

Above all, I recommend you not to lose/mix the screws you remove from the case. There ales loads of them, so be methodical. My method:

Now we’re going to begin the disassembly. Once you’ve removed the battery and the power cord, we will have to open access door to the hard drive/RAM/WiFi card:

Beware not to lose the small plastic washer on each screw from the trap:

Once the trap removed, you will find the hard drive, wireless card and its two antennas and the RAM module. Remove the screws on both and gently pull out the RAM module. The antennas should pop out without forcing.

Once everything is removed, we will start to open the casing. Remove the following screws:

Now we will remove the keyboard. Be gentle to avoid damaging anything. Use a flat and thin plastic tool if possible. There are four tenons:

Gently lift the keyboard, you should find the connector. To disconnect it, push each side of the black part gently. Beware not to scratch the motherboard if you use a tool, this might make your computer completely unusable!

Remove these screws:

Remove the second connector (touchpad):

Then the fan and shortcut keys connectors:

You can now open the case by removing the upper side (the one that receives the keyboard). Take it easy, use the blue plastic tool if necessary. You should get this:

Some other connectors to remove (camera and its ground, microphones, speakers and fan, if you have not already done it):

Then the LCD connector and its ground

So we have left: two screws for the left hinge, 2+1 for the right one and two screws on the motherboard. Once removed you can remove the motherboard (mind the speakers connector). You should get this:

In red on the last image, the place where we will fit the controller.

Now, the screen. Remove the small rubber pads with a small screwdriver, remove screws:

Now we will go to the really tricky part, the opening of the casing of the screen. Here more than elsewhere GO GENTLY to avoid breaking everything!You should obtain this:

Now remove the screws that hold the screen, on the left:

Same on the right, you can now remove the LCD. You can also remove the two metallic rods on the screen’s sides. That is not compulsory thought.

At this point, clean the screen THOROUGHLY. Remember it is the last time that you have access to it! Once the touch screen is attached, it is very difficult to go back! Also, pay attention to not let dust, hair or anything, the screen should be absolutely perfect! If in doubt, here is a trick to get a clean room. Go into your bathroom, turn on the shower (cold water) and flush a few minutes. The water will absorb the dust in the air and, by convection, the air will be somewhat cleaner. Well, I did not need that, but when in doubt …

Now, get ready to place the touch screen, with its connector ON THE RIGHT. Peel off the protective film, the adhesive tapes protections and go, put it in place. Be careful!

Once properly positioned, rub the adhesive tape a bit with a piece of clothe. Reassemble the screen.

Still a delicate step, close the screen housing. Touch panel connector is very long, but the operation requires some adjustment.

Now, the controller board. It will fit here:

To stick it, I used double-sided tape, the one commonly used to stick mirrors. This type of double-face fits perfectly in shape and is very strong, which guarantees that the card does not wander into the PC (which might be annoying: D).

Cover it with a simple piece of tape to insulate it from the motherboard, we never know …

Now, replace the motherboard by passing wires through the hole nearby. For touch panel wire, I chose to pass from the top. See by yourself, the goal is that the assembly does not create extra thickness, annoyong when closing the case. Connect it all, tape it, make sure the screw holes are free:

Note for the touch panel connector: no matter which direction you insert it, the controller will handle it correctly after calibration.

Now reassemble everything carefuly! Follow this tutorial in the opposite direction, you will find everything you need.

Once everything is reassembled, turn on your computer. If it starts, good for you! Now install the driver that you will find here. Reboot, the utility is located in the taskbar near the clock. You will find everything you need to calibrate your screen. 4 points are are, but 9 points is good too;). For those like me that use, the driver under Ubuntu 10.04 + is not necessary. Perform the calibration on windows, it will be stored in the controller. So no need to calibrate Ubuntu.

Voila! A short video:

Tonight we’ll learn how to use a joystick with an arduino. This is the kind of device that’s extremely simple to use and can be of great service. With such equipment, you can control a robot, a car, an airplane or even your recently robotized grandmother…

The material:
– a joystick. I got one from home Adafruit for $5. Afterwards, if you get a Playstation joystick, you will find two almost identical inside.
– an arduino, regardless of which
– Done!

A little theory:
What is a joystick? Nothing more than two potentiometers: one for the front/rear axis, one for the left/right axis.

The schematic:
On the joystick you will see several indications:
– GND: to the ground
– L/R+: +5V (or other, see the datasheet with your joystick). This is feeding left/right pot
– L/R: will go on an analog input on the arduino
Repeat the last two steps for the U/D+ and U/D pins.

Once everything is wired properly, you should get something like this:

Now the source code. Here again simple, but it’s only a base:

A short capture of the serial monitor

capture

Another simple project, tonight we will see how to create an audio connector for iDevice. After testing, it works on a 5.5G iPod, an iPhone 4 and iPad. The purpose of it is to play the sound via the dock connector rather than by the jack. At the other end of the cable I have two RCA, but you might as well put a 3.5′ jack or a 6.25′, do as you wish.

Materials needed:
– an iDevice connector. I found mine here: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/633. Again you are free to choose another. I chose it because there is room in it if lots of cables are needed.
– RCA audio cable (or other, it depends)
– heat shrink tubing, available in all good dairies
– A little bit of wire
– obviously a soldering iron, tin wire, and a third hand if possible.

Theory: after some research on pinouts.ru, here’s how to wire the connector. First, we must recognize the direction of numbering. By convention, if the port is inserted into the iDevice, screen facing the sky and connector pins facing you, then pin 1 is on the left. Now, here’s what pin you need:
– Connect pin 11 with pin 1 (GND). This allows you to send audio to the dock connector rather than the internal HP.
– Connect pin 2 to ground on the audio cable
– connect the audio cable’s right to pin 3
– connect the audio cable’s left to pin 4.
To prevent the pins from touching each other, I suggest you either cut those that do not serve or use shrink tubing to insulate them one by one:

I also added the braided sheath recovered from an old PSU, just to protect the cables:

To prevent solders from moving too much inside the connector, I have filled it with glue. It is dirty, but it serves the purpose! Please do not abuse with glue gun, if you can not manipulate the metal fasteners once the glue has cooled, your plug may get stuck in your iDevice!

The result:

Tonight micro-project. It’s a tiny achievement but one that can quickly become indispensable for the hobbyist that I am. Have you ever been desperate about finding the good resistance for your circuit? I did. Need a .1 ohm to 5Mohm resistor? It can happen!

Theory.

What I am proposing you tonight is to build a variable resistance box. Let me explain: the principle is to set the variable resistors in order to generate any value. In my case, I took linear knobs (do not take the log ones, it’ll get complicated!), with the following value: 0.1K, 1k, 10k, 100k, 1M and 4.7M. So you just have to chain them! But beware, if you test your chain knobs all at their lowest value, you will find that you do not obtain 0 ohms, more probably something like 150 ohms. The biggest ones (1M and 4.7M in particular) have a “residual” resistance. In my case the lowest value was 168ohms. To overcome this problem, I used a 3 position switch (ON-OFF-ON): on one side of the channel you have the complete knobs chaine, on the other a 0.1k+1k (because 168ohms < 0.1kohm). With this trick I get 0.5ohm to 6Mohms!

Building it

Here’s the schematic, very simple:

Now to the practice. Here are the knobs:

To host the assembly, I used an iPod Shuffle casing. Here’s the knobs layout:

Now the drilling. Please don’t do it my way and wear safety goggles! Yes, I’m kinda stupid sometimes!

Once drilled, we add knobs and switch:

And connect them:

Here it is!

Test:


Je n’ai pas été voir le film au ciné (et je pense que c’est trop tard) tout simplement parce que j’étais sceptique. Après, on m’en a dit beaucoup de bien, mais je ne suis pas pressé pour autant.

Ce qui est sûr, c’est que je me suis procuré la BO, composée par sieur Trent Reznor et son acolyte de toujours, Atticus Ross. Pas de surprise, c’est bien du Nine Inch Nails qu’on entend, certains morceaux ont même un air de déjà vu. Un peu comme une suite de Ghosts.

Toujours est-il, si vous aimez NiN, n’hésitez pas!

The Social Network sur iTunes

Nine Inch Nails sur last.fm