It Worked!


I’m amazed. I got home today from our short break in The Smoke and plugged my PICAXE-133Y OLED display into the Arduino Uno, knocked up a bit-basher to send single-wire serial data idling on low and … SHAZAM! It works.

Currently it is running a clock timer next to my PC. I intend now to write a similar bit-basher for the Raspberry-Pi and get it outputting a twitter ticker-tape feed. I should be able to get it working from the UART too. I’m still not sure what went wrong there. But now I’ve at least demonstrated it works.


Santa Brought …

… Me an Arduino Uno. Lovely Santa, thank you!

I’m away from home at present though so no opportunity to plug it in and play. This will marry well with the Raspberry Pi. Perhaps I will get my OLED display running after all with some hard bit bashing.

I invested recently in a PIC programmer but still don’t have a PIC. However the trend is clearly a new venture into the world of micro controllers. Quite exciting in a geeky way.

Shopping in the Real World

Completed my real world Christmas shopping yesterday. I don’t get into town on my own very often so it was quite a treat, further enhanced by the fact that I was just buying stocking fillers rather than gloomily hunting for the gift. A more relaxing ride by far.
Christmas shopping to me always about being jostled and appalled by the consumerism. But town was not that busy and the goods on view are simpler than in previous years. I think people have really given up on real world shopping and do 99% of it online now. I know I do. No wonder people are so pissed with Amazon.
It’s not just the prices. Ordering online or by phone saves heaving the damn stuff back to the cave. Then there is the difficulty in parking – including the endless nickel-and-dimming before you’ve even got to the shops. Public transport is no better. Town is hassle.
I bumped into a mandolinist friend and , to drop you in half way, we ended up in a pop-up cigar shop. Neither of us smokers,me were curious if it had always been there. The decor said yes, the assistant said no. The shelved were crammed with boxes of cheroots and single malt whiskies.

“Do you have any empty cigar boxes?” I enquired.
“Not at the moment, but come back. Making a cigar box guitar?” He probed knowingly. I took is number.

A the bus-stop the rain belted off the shiny new LED marquee that flashed up “20 mins”. Changing my length of focus I spotted the Italian cafe across the road.
Inside it was clean and dry. My nostrils filled with the snug aroma of freshly ground and almond croissant. Half way through I remembered I was not driving. It was also Christmas and I’d been fed up all week. The house was empty at home. So a glass of wine arrived [to hell with my medication] chased by a further coffee (not espresso), perhaps subconsciously to mask it’s predecessor. By the end I was more relaxed.
Little in this world can improve upon the simple pleasure of an Italian cafe. In the UK at least.
Soon the bus rolled in and I paid up, pushing my way out to The Fens. I’d get a couple of remaining important things online. Not quite the same experience.

Mark II

My Mark II Raspberry Pi has shipped, though no sign of it here yet. I’ve decided to dedicate one to the telly and Internet things and use the other for hacking. Not sure which one to use. What would I do with all hat extra memory?

I’m going to try bit flipping on he UART this weekend to see if I can get he OLED display running finally. It will be a treat if I do manage it.


I went to visit an old colleague last night, taking my Raspberry Pi and OLED display. He has a lot of groovy kit in his house such as an oscilloscope and lab power sources. After a couple of hours of debugging we concluded that … I was right! The idle-high RPi UART appears not to dovetail too well with the Picaxe’s idle-low UART. Furthermore my inverting and converting from 3.3v to 5v seemed to be correct.

So I’m going to either get hold of a Picaxe cable or get a new display. Here is where said friend kindly gave me a Nokia 5110 LCD display. “Bought 10 of these for ¬£10 on eBay.”

He gave me a nice demo of his solution with text flashing up on it pretty quickly. Oh yes, that will be a fun toy at Christmas time.

In the meantime he showed me his Pic programmer. I quite like the idea of being able to programme a tiny cheap micro controllers to do what I want – maybe even convert a RPi’s UART to an idle low one. So on eBay tonight I’ve bought the programmer. Should be here by Christmas.

A Day In Hand

I don’t think we have anything planned today, but that doesn’t make it a quiet day (despite me writing this on an iPad from my bed at 8:30). We have to clean the house, write Christmas cards, do Christmas shopping (probably online), make important phone calls, pay bills, FINALLY fix the bathroom cabinet to the wall, buy wood paint, paint the woodwork, de-clutter for Christmas AND, if there is time and he is willing, meet up with an old college for some LCD hacking time.

Where do I begin?

New Hope

Got home this evening after taking the nipper to football, then swimming then a birthday party. After all that he was still bouncing off the walls, full of energy.

So I decided this would be the evening. This would be when I would expose him to it. I put the DVD in, turned the 5.1 surround sound up and settled down I the glow with him.

“This, my boy is … STAR WARS.”

He was … amazed.