on hold... + weird-reminder of "WHY"

A project log for sdramThing4.5 "Logic Analyzer"

An AVR, 128MB SDRAM DIMM, old laptop LCD, and a handful of TTL chips -- 30+MS/s 32-channel logic-analyzer interface for an analog 'scope

esot.ericesot.eric 07/03/2015 at 08:360 Comments

On-Hold... It happens... but if it weren't for the thing sitting on my workbench inches from my computer, the precariously-hand-wired PCB the cat keeps walking on, and a couple mentions/reminders from a couple people here (@frankstripod and @PointyOintment I'm looking at you!), I'd probably have forgotten about it completely.

But, I *did* completely forget *why* I revisited this project in the first place... it was sitting at v3.0 for over a year, I think... untouched... before I had a reason to use it (before posting about it here and working my way up to v4.5)... And the weird part... the "why" is sitting on the workbench right next to it. The cat walks around it on a regular basis. I have to keep reminding her not to rub her face against it, lest she get ink on her chin.

So, now I'm working on #operation: Learn The MIPS (PIC32), trying to port #commonCode (not exclusively for AVRs) to the PIC32 series (and having quite a bit of difficulty, xc32-gcc doesn't like _commonCode at all, even though _commonCode has worked *perfectly* with Numerous gcc ports for several years, including Apple's hacked version(s) in 10.5.8!)... anyways...

As usually happens (and why I never mark a project "complete"), working on a *completely unrelated project* (porting _commonCode to PIC32), I was led to search-for (and revisit) all the projects which *use* the newest version of _commonCode. Low-and-behold: "oneAxisHolder" makes use of the newest version of _commonCode... "WTF? I haven't worked on that *for years*?!" (look in my "old projects" on my profile, and you'll see "motion-control and legos" which was the original test-bed for my oneAxisHolder... 3-4ish YEARS ago).

Wait... why the heck is oneAxisHolder using the latest version of _commonCode?! That was only developed a few months ago... Oh yeah! sdramThing was being revisited because I was trying to set-up a 2-axis motion-control system with an old inkjet-printer... I used oneAxisHolder (and added RS-232 support to move its 'hold'-position via bash-script)... to test the DC-motor/strip-encoder system for the ink carriage... (and was pleasantly surprised by how precise it seems to be!). But the paper-feed axis is controlled by a stepper, and (at the time) I didn't have any stepper-drivers except the one on the printer's PCB... which isn't (publicly) documented. So... I planned to use sdramThing as a logic-analyzer to monitor the SPI data sent to the stepper-motor-controller...


And I was reminded of this months later not by the torn-apart printer sitting on my workbench (less than two feet from my mouse) that my cat keeps rubbing her face on... but by a completely unrelated project.

Well, that's on-hold... sdramThing's on-hold... and I completely forgot that *before* sdramThing's revisit, I revisted (and updated) "oneAxisHolder" and now it happens to be one of the most-current projects in my collection... (nice surprise)... and quite-likely one of the best examples for how to *implement* the newest version of _commonCode.

This brain...

Didn't Einstein say something like "If a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind, then what does an empty desk mean?"

Of course, that genius also said something about: "insanity is defined by doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results" wherein, I give *the absolute simplest* example of a contradictory-cliché: "practice makes perfect."

BTW: nearly every cliché has a completely contradictory one... isn't that Newton's Third Law?

Also, Einstein's Biography (which I couldn't get through, because frankly he's a dick) basically stated that he was a horrendous family-man, completely disregarding one(?) of his own children... yet he also has been quoted (and repeatedly-so) as saying something along the lines of basically the most important thing in life is family... (wonder how his "illegitimatized" child felt about that? Maybe there's hope in the later pages of the biography?)

But, back on topic... cluttered-desks are definitely in my existence... cluttered everything, really. Cluttered-mind, ABSOLUTELY. Seriously, it was only a few months ago I was totally ecstatic someone suggested that a linear-encoder-strip could be used for somewhat-precise motor-positioning, even with a pretty-simple P[I]D-algorithm, and found it to be precise-enough for many purposes. #PCB mill for under $10 was the initial-inspiration... and soon-thereafter there were some posts and comments on the 'blog regarding such things... and I'd every-intention of getting that blasted-printer-carcass running as an X-Y plotter to test the precision.

Lest I feel like a complete idiot, and probably along the lines of Einstein's dickishness... I dare point-out that I'm subscribed to the comment-sections on all those blog-entries, and they reached nada almost immediately, and nothing come through after the first week or two... There was some heated (and intelligent) debate in there, some of which, I admit, I was involved-in, and some in fact found myself to be *wrong* about... (what? I'm Human?!) But, maybe it doesn't really matter, because it seems the vast-majority never think about a blog-post or even a project (certainly not the comments) more than a few days after coming across it... (thoughts on being able to group project-follows in different ways...?). And most apparently don't even bother to look at the comments they're subscribed to when a new message comes through regarding something they were *heated* about just a few months ago... some, even, so-much-so that they even went out of their way to test such things and base new projects on them... like... myself. Or, maybe, like myself, they're just losing-track-of blog-entries-subscribed-to, unable to remember where to comment with updates, and busy/distracted working on whatever (project?) most-recently caught their attention...

On the plus-side, most of my projects, as seen here, feed into each other... updating _commonCode is a *tiny* example... maybe the zoomed-out view of the fractal... yet, each piece is a fractal-branch, and often they're revisited and improved months/years later. It's nice when zooming-in and zooming-out both end-up benefitting both perspectives (and those inbetween).

I feel like there's some "meta-perspective" that would suggest some connection with things *beyond* projects, but I can't quite wrap my head around it.