Archive for May, 2014


Posted in Design rather than hacking, Development, Open Source can be professional, Software Framework on May 30, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

Elektor do for $150 what Quantum Leaps gives away!

Although it might be closer to ArduBlock? Although ArduBlock doesn’t cover ARM etc.

DSP and all that jazz

Posted in Nostalgia on May 18, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

Further to …

It turns out Analog Devices buried their 21xx DSP mcu into motor controller version in a SOIC-28 package.

I trawled the internet and found an archive of the software tools to program and load  software onto these toys.

The chip (admc32x and admcf32x) are still available for a couple of dollars a pop, though they are no longer produced.

Moreover, there are more modern turnkey chips out there (see Allegro Microsystems A4960 itself obsolete 😉 so why bother.

Pure arse sentimental value.

I coded on these 21xx and 21xxx chips yonks ago.

Fairchild has a motor control chip that can drive the Isense line.  Just needs work on algorithms 😉

Turns out there are about 20 application notes you can grab off the web for these chips that talks about the nuances of motor control.


State Machine Modeller for Verilog/VHDL

Posted in FPGA, Software on May 15, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

Very goooood!

The anti-pattern becomes the new anti-anti-pattern

Posted in Everything old is new again, Software on May 15, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

Functional thinking.

So, I played with lisp years ago, and other functional languages.

Somewhere along the line the notion of thinking functionally became an anti-pattern – at least from the OO camp.

So, functional thinking has returned!  Apparently.

I have been watching in the background, it would always have come back IMHO.

OO tried to be the Panacea.  But the biggest problem, I felt, it obfuscated the functional model for the application.

We still end up with a functional model, even if its a tacit one.

In fact, sequence diagrams, activity diagrams and even robustness diagrams of UML – not to mention BPMN, all are functional modelling approaches.

The problem is you need the right orientedness for the problem expression.

It harks back to my chattering on Jason vs Jack in the Agent Oriented world.  Jack obfuscates the Agent Orientedness of the problem, making you develop with Java OO libraries.

DSL are in vogue, even if its just @nnotations in Java or Python – allowing you to create you’re own “orientedness”.

Now, don’t get me started on parallel computing – recall I used to code in OCCAM and Transputers decades ago.  It is been driven by multi-core world somewhat but, of course, they haven’t architected for parallelism.  Just stuck lots of cores on a substrate hoping someone would sort out the coding problem.

So, how do we do it?  We don’t use OCCAM!?  Although Go! is a great alternative I am thinking.   Still no one gets behind mature ideas like Plan 9?!  We just start afresh with same stale old ideas.



Cyclone II-Exp.11- Revisited

Posted in Cyclone II Experiments, NIOS II Experiments on May 15, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

As mentioned, having uninstalled Quartus ® II 10.1 and installed 11.1, I thought we’d revisit the initial Nios II experiment.

So, you will need (at least):

  1. Introduction to the Altera Qsys System Integration Tool
  2. Qsys Training

Note Qsys was introduced in version 11.x to replace SOPC by version 12.x.  The trick was the Qsys tutorial is not available in the 11.1 coffers (the one above is the 12.1 tutorial).

SOPC is still available in 11.1 so any SOPC based designs you have, or are presented in the wealth of [cheap, free] books around, can still be used.

So Quartus ® II 11.1 and ModelSim 11.1 are actually a good trade off between working on older chips and also being able to work from older internet resources that go with those chips.

A report  – Cylone II-EXP11-Qsys – will follow once I have buzzed out the tutorial.

Helpful also will be:

  1. Nios II Hardware Development Tutorial
  2. Altera® Monitor Program manual
  3. Nios Software Build Tools

SssssssssssssssssssssssLAM with Python

Posted in Python RULES! on May 11, 2014 by asteriondaedalus


I say again Wow!

FREE lectures on SLAM.

Using Python!

And me fresh from a Master’s course requiring me to do derivatives and integrals once more.

Fill your boots!

Likely a good idea to buy the companion book.

Although a useful free book is here.

OR fill your boots at

Call me sentimental

Posted in Nostalgia on May 10, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

Up late, sick all week with flu so, since at home and not studying, well … you know.

So I have bought a 3 1/2 inch floppy drive – usb of course – and I am trying to sneak my software for my Analog Devices DSP boards onto a drive for prosperity.

I had only found them in a box a couple of weeks ago and could not bring myself to throwing them out.

I have an EZKIT-LITE 2181 and  also a 2111 board.

Thank God for DOSBOX … or at least the developers of DOSBOX.






These were the little cousins to the SHARC.

Now DISC 2 of 3 of the C-TOOLS is flaky so I am here with RUM nursing it.

Actually, while the disc failed it appeared to fail after expanding all but one file (the simulator exe for the ADSP2111).

This is a pain but I can go without the simulator if I have the compiler, assembler, PROMSplitter etc.

In fact, I poked around and the extraction is script driven.  On first inspection I thought I might not be able to get to files on the 3rd disc but, in fact, I just copied the installer exe onto that disc, edited the script file to only look for the third disc, and pulled off the disc the rest of the software, including the ADPS2181 simulator.

It all runs under DOSBOX so, worst case, I write a simulator in F83 lol.

Been there, done that!


I found one(1) other person on the planet who has the ADPS 2111 EZ LAB board.  He was trying to sell it on EBAY (US) and no one wanted it – go figure.  So I have organised to get the missing software off him.