Archive for April, 2014

Cyclone II-Exp.11

Posted in Cyclone II Experiments, NIOS II Experiments on April 30, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

Dust clear out the dust of the LAST EXAM EVER!

I thought I would play a little with the NIOS II example code BUT it soon became apparent that it was beyond poking about to work it out.

However, it you go to the Altera site their is a SOPC tutorial that takes you top to bottom to build what turns out to be one of the example projects that comes with our board.  Don’t forget to get a hold of the companion SOPC User Guide.  Oh, and the Altera Monitor Program.

So, I will plod through it and do a write up on any differences of note between what they are doing on the Altera boards and ours.

Stay tuned.

Fingers Crossed

Posted in General niff naff and trivia on April 30, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

Just taking a lunch break, then one last pass over study notes before heading off for LAST EXAM EVER for my Masters course in Engineering.

Arduino on Steroids!

Posted in Arduino, FORTH is it dead or isn't it?, FPGA on April 29, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

What can I say?

I put my name down for funding it at INDIEGOGO.

The project brilliant.  Done to an Arduino IDE mod to do multi-threaded work.

It is up there with XMOS and Parallax Propeller.

Now, I wonder … you could probably use this technique to have a multi-threaded FORTH engine.  Not as many “cores” as Chuck Moore’s G144A12 Chip but likely more practicable given not every one will need 144 cores for practical projects.

I guess optional cores are:

  • J1 and as implemented on the gameduino (XILINX).
  • myforthprocessor at OpenCores – really BIG and comes with compiler.  Core includes floating point and it appears already has multi-core option (Xilinx).
  • HIVE at OpenCores – already has 8 threads (Altera but needs a bigger chip than on our experimenters board).

Certainly, as far as the cloudx project is concerned, there may be impetus for a cut down version that could be used (4 AVR MCU/threads say) without as much companion real estate as a APM-Multithread.  Just saying.


Dead project.  Chap couldn’t get the backing.  Oh well.

Occum-pi for Arduino??

Posted in Arduino on April 27, 2014 by asteriondaedalus


I am in heaven.

Remember I talked about coding for transputers in another life.

Well, there are a team that have developed occum-π for the Arduino – Transterpreter.

Expect, it burns about 20k for the occam interpreter when running the LED blink example.

That’s up there with Windows needing 250K (at least) to display hello world (in contrast its about 30 bytes in assembly).

Oh well. Interesting toy – and still 100k of “room” on my Arduino Mega board.

M M M M Mega!

M M M M Mega!


And go figure, some wild people have written a uav system in occam-π for Arduino.  Read about it here.

Is Memcached for me?

Posted in Android, Python RULES! on April 26, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

I found a windows version of memcached and also a python library that talks to memcached.

So, I suspect I can get memcached going on the beagle[board|bone], and of course the other two linux boxes on the network.

But I might need to see how to get it going on my Android devices as a daemon so that I can use it with S4A python.

This will need some thinking as daemons are not really something easily built to run on Android (apparently) so likely needs an Android service (which no one seems to have written yet).  Most likely too much of a problem as a web search has found naught, not a sausage, no even close.  There are Java clients that might port but still need daemon/service running.

Likely needs some other system to span everything.   Might get away with an RPC call from the S4A devices to a server but that defeats the purpose of a decentralized cache.


Posted in Cyclone II Experiments on April 24, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

Actually, turns out it is easy to drive a VGA output with an FPGA.

Rather than fiddling with soldering, or buying a bigger board if you don’t want to, you can still probably do simple VGA work with a VGA breakout and your CPLD/FPGA.

A couple of dollars saves hours of fiddling.

A couple of dollars saves hours of fiddling.

You can also do HDMI, but that might be a little more fiddly.

So, we can do some VGA work with either the CPLD or smaller FPGA boards so stay tuned.  This VGA breakout is for another series of boards but we can use wirewrapper or other trick to sort that out.

Now, the Pong Game example requires a PS/2 mouse as input – who has one of those anymore??

If you can’t get hold of a PS/2 mouse there are USB to PS/2 adapters you can get.  Of course, who has a USB mouse anymore these days lol

Still, the adapter should help if using the code verbatim.  Otherwise, the code might change a little if we need to use two buttons to move paddle left and right.  We’ll see.

I’ll sort this out on our FPGA board and pump the code into github once it’s done – along with a PDF write up of the experiment – just let me get through this last Masters exam this coming Wednesday.

Pretty Simple Hardware Description Language

Posted in Hardware, Software on April 24, 2014 by asteriondaedalus


Worth a look!