Archive for the Rant Category

LBE=2, DFR=-1

Posted in Rant on December 12, 2016 by asteriondaedalus

I just got notification from LBE that they have refunded the money for the Genuino 101 that neither of my computers can see it on any of their USB ports.

DFR are still insisting I delete IDE, re-install drivers, all the things I have already done ad nauseum.

Not to mention I had the FAIL with the Intel Curie Arduino 101 factory recovery flash kit which will not upload via USB on the DFR Curie Nano on either of my computers or on any of their USB ports.

No JTAG around so all too hard (not going to invest $80 on a JTAG gadget just to fix the problem with the Curie).

So watch yourselves with DFR as they are not really interested in returning things that should work but don’t.  Go figure I did not have the experience described on the Getting Started page, and no-one at Arduino or Intel can help.  So, given the hours put in and the systemic problem encountered I am now officially bored with Intel and their maker adventure.

I note also that DFR have pulled their CurieNano (so-called not in stock).  Coincidence?



Posted in Rant on December 9, 2016 by asteriondaedalus

Wife out at yet another xmas do.

I got the Mother In Law to be the taxi tonight as I am wanting to build my node-red setup on my ODROID-C1 for the OpenSprinklette development.

Go figure, the nice chap at Intel sent me a link to the factory flash recovery for the Arduino 101 along with a README on how to reflash with the factory firmware.

My heart dropped for the moment, I had already sent the Genuino 101 back to LBE and the first half of the README.pdf was how to attach a Flyswatter to the JTAG pins exposed on the Arduino 101.

Haven’t got a Flyswatter2.

However, reading on and there is a USB upload … DOH!  The dreaded USB upload.

Now I didn’t think it would work but I have a vodka and am waiting for my home delivery from the Indian restaurant around the corner – so convenient – so I thought since the Intel chap went to the trouble …

… out of the rubbish bin comes the DFRobot CurieNano …

… alas, the Intel factory reflash kit could not find the board, on the USB port the ODROID-C1 was just talking to my Telnet terminal on, and on the same cable.

If it didn’t work, the Intel chap suggested I speak to the Arduino people.  Who will recommend I speak to Intel.  Who will recommend …

My head is dizzy.

There are some JTAG pads on bottom of CurieNano board, but do I have a JTAG programmer amongst all my gadgets?   I quite honestly don’t remember ROLFMAO.

I will have to put the CurieNano back into a drawer until I go through my drawers … hey wait, I have my Altera FPGA “Blaster”.

I wonder?!?!!?!?

Probably not as the Flyswatter2 brags ARM support.  Luckily LBE have Dangerous Prototype’s BusBlaster-V4!  That would go so nicely with my LogicSniffer that I bought from them soooo long ago.

Still do I bother with the CurieNano?

Depending upon the problem, the JTAG route may not be any use either.

And it is another $80, but potentially well spent – if only to get a JTAG gadget.  Haven’t really had the call to have one.   I have used them at work and they were getting better and better even then.  Not to mention now open source software like openocd.

Maybe after Christmas.  Money even tighter now after I had to rush the BoxerXStaffy to the emergency vet last night.  Whimpering sod, it turned out his “botty” glands were swollen.  Who knew he would be so receptive to a stranger with latex gloves …

Talk about Serendipity

Posted in Python RULES!, Rant on December 8, 2016 by asteriondaedalus

So, I am writing another paper to see if I can get to a conference, next year, in Italy.

I was chasing a comment made by Jeff Southerland around software quality stats kept at Palm Inc that (apparently) showed how if you fixed a bug in your code 3 weeks are you found it, instead of the first hour after you found it, you were more or less guaranteed of taking 24 times longer to fix it.

Now, I was interested in tracking down any likely papers from Palm Inc on the subject.

Go figure the guy you invented the Palm Pilot (I had one, I saw their potential … at the time at least) has gone into AI with a python brain thingy.

So there is some solace now with the Curie “defunctionality” – note I claim authorship of this word!

It can mean delivery of dead functionality.

We can muse over whether that is deliberate or unintentional.

But I digress.

I wonder how NuPIC compares with TensorFlow?

NuPIC is interesting because of the claim it is embeddable.



Lies, more lies and statistics

Posted in Rant, Sucky service Providers, The downside of Opensource on December 7, 2016 by asteriondaedalus

So, Intel “confirm” it cannot possibly be the Curie that is causing the problem I am having as they tested their Curie on their computer and it worked.

The problem, either they don’t understand quality control and process statistics or are hoping I don’t.

Indeed, it is the same fallacious, that is flawed, argument you get on user groups where someone’s “help” is the statement “it works for me”.

Can people really be that vague?  I suppose so.

Using that logic, for example, the wheel bearings on my 01 01 Subaru WRX do not need replacing.  Granted the front right bearing is squeaking badly.  There is a suspicion about one of the rear ones.  After all, the car was built in 2001 and has many  many kilometers on the clock.  Still, if there is one other 01 01 Subaru WRX that doesn’t have squeaking bearings, needing replacing, then mine does not either … despite the annoying squeaking.

That in a nutshell is the class of “help” you get on user groups and also what passes for “help” of vendors.

However, Curie vendor no help.  Curie device suppliers no help.  Curie community no help.  Arduino community help in as much as it helped me work out that many people are having the problem and there is no clear cut solution.

So, on balance:

  • Two different computers saw the same problem.
  • Two different Curie devices saw same problem on both computers.
  • Different versions of the Arduino IDE saw the same problem.
  • Failed on all USB 2 ports on both computers.
  • Failed on cables that, using the same cable, on the same USB port, programmed an AVR or other board (verifying cable and USB ports work)
  • Failed on all versions of dfu-util that were downloaded from dfu-util site.
  • Failed on all versions of Curie core tried.
  • Failed on various programmer options in IDE.
  • I had a secret bet with myself it would not allow upload of new firmware, it couldn’t because it wouldn’t upload *ino.bin files.
    • It failed to upload firmware.
    • I won that bet with myself so now I have a crisp new $5 note in my left hand, paid by my right hand.
  • Recompiled the uploader with extra error messages.
  • Oh, and re-installed, disabled, re-enabled drivers as nauseum such that I imagine I etched their random patterns of dribbling useless bits into the substrate of my hard drive.

Bored now, SF Genuino returned to LBE. (thankyou LBE).

DFR CurieNano in bin.  Too hard to negotiate because with all I have had to do that wasn’t enough.


Posted in Rant, RaspingBreathburryDOodlePi on December 2, 2016 by asteriondaedalus

Rest in Pieces you Fracking RaspingBreathBurryDOodlePi (RIPuFRBDPi).

Rest in Pieces.

So, wife’s off at Work Christmas do.

Dogs are walked, fed and washed.

I dragged out a USB keyboard and USB mouse to connect to the RBDPi to at least get Erlang onto it and to install either of RabbitMQ or emqttd – so it could maintain some semblance of dignity by acting as a messaging host.

Go figure.

I had the start-up sequencing streaming over HDMI to my monitor, got to login prompt, no response to keyboard.

So I fired up my Atom box, running 32bit Debian, and sure enough, keyboard was fine.

So, the USB ports on the RBDPi my friend gave me appear to be kaput.

Neither worked.

So, it goes to the awaiting garbage bin along with the CurieNano DFRobot wouldn’t take back on warranty.

What is a real smack in the face, the ODROID C1 I inherited on the same buddy was sitting their taunting me.  I looked, for a fleeting moment, for the micro HDMI cable I have but it’s in here somewhere …


Have you ever seen a mating ball of grass snake?!


… give me a freaking break!

It’s Friday.

Guess I’ll wash the dishes.


Saturday was blown going to a most-of-all-day pub crawl bucks for  a friend.

So Sunday …

Here it is Monday and I finally found that micro-HDMI cable … in a second mating ball of cables in yet another box.

Smacked Down by TTB!

Posted in Rant, RaspingBreathburryDOodlePi, The downside of Opensource on December 1, 2016 by asteriondaedalus

So, no way no how can I get the ttb version of the google calendar going on node-red.

Certainly I cannot get it to connect to my calendar, it just pings me with api errors of type 433.

The success with the PC version of node-red encouraged me to remove the ttb version of google calendar, off the ttb, to add the node-red version to the palette.

The problem that arose is that since the RaspingBreathBurryDOodlePi is “named” the local host callback on the google api account does not work.  Snipping in “thebox:xxxx” story does work either as the hmi widget prompts with an error that the url needs to be .com or .org before it is acceptable.

I am still vague as why the local:xxx callback does not work for the RaspingBreathBurryDOodlePi setup as local:xxxx should mean univer-silly  the *cough* machine the call was made from?  So, something about the named machine perhaps is blocking use of the callback.   Some other url trick is required but that is out of my scope of expertise at the mo.  Might have to do with the DHCP service running on the Pi?

That last story is likely why there is a ttb version of the google calendar ttb, but as usual they just assume it works for everyone and how no problem solving tips for what looks like is common problem.

Certainly I have google api setup properly as the PC gets the calendar events, and as the api is agnostic as to whether it is my PC or my inherited RBDPi.  There is no other guidance from ttb on common problems, especially where setting up the RBDPi running ttb and ttb google calendar.

I did rather find a job for my RBDPi that it should be able to cope with.  I have my 5 ODROID C1 cluster.  I am thinking the the RBDPi should serve the cluster as the DHCP/DNS server.  That is about all I think it can cope with as it is only an earlier version.

LBE 1 – DFR 0

Posted in Rant, The downside of Opensource on November 29, 2016 by asteriondaedalus

Go figure, I grabbed a SF-Genuino 101 to find the same problem with it as the DF-CurieNano.

Research suggests there is no fix for the problem.  It has been fixed for some by swapping from Windows 10 to Windose 7.   Or vice versa for some.  For some that doesn’t fix it.

It has turned up on Linux boxes.

So, it doesn’t appear to relate to the box you’re running it on.

Now interestingly a couple of people, at least, found (where they had two Genuino 101 on hand) one would work and one would not.

S0 that in itself suggests a bad batch of boards or chips.

There was a muttering about bad batches of boards going out July-Aug on some forums but no confirmation from Intel or Arduino.

Oddly though, the Arduino forums have been reporting the same problem.

Now LBE is happily taking my Genuino back.  One private email with a precis of the problem and I am good to return it.  Even if it is, coincidently, my PC and my laptop as the “problem” I can’t use the device.

DF, not so much, stuck me on a public forum and then offered to replace the CurieNano if-and-only-if it displayed errors that it wasn’t, in my case, displaying.  In other words, no return.

Now, what I am banking on is if/when a firmware update comes through.  Assuming it is a firmware problem then the CurieNano should come good right?  That is as long as it doesn’t rely too much on the firmware on it for uploading new firmware … you see the point.

We’ll see I suppose.

Still, quite a tardy story coming from, primarily, Intel.  Despite, that is, all the money they spent on their website to make it pretty.  Still, if no one looks too hard, and nothing is admitted to, it just goes away.  A bit like those episodes with McAfee … what you don’t know?!  You see what I mean.