Category: Technical Articles

July 19, 2009 / / Electronics
Yay bench power!
Yay bench power!

WARNING WARNING WARNING! Switching power supplies have many BACs (beefy-ass capacitors) that can hold lots of juice long after you’ve unplugged the unit. Do not crack one open like I did without knowing what you’re doing, it could seriously injure you or at least be really uncomfortable when you shock the crud out of yourself. I’m not responsible if you do just that, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I have a cable I made with a brush at the end that grounds everything it touches, I use it to brush the back of all power electronics before I work on them. You should too.

This is a pretty common one, but I like to add flair. I needed a bench power supply. Sadly, bench power supplies are very expensive, and I’m a poor college student. What I do have are computers. Lots of computers. In fact, I just brought to the recyclers about 100lbs of computer waste from machines that are too slow for even my standards. Luckily, one thing computers have going for them is very refined, VERY powerful power supplies.

July 19, 2009 / / Electronics
USB metering goodness.
USB metering goodness.

A while back I wanted to monitor how much current my iPhone could draw under different conditions. I had seen a cable before where somebody brought it into a project box with a couple of screws on top exposing the two unshorted positive leads and the straight-through ground (such that you could measure both current through the cable or voltage across it), but I felt I could make things both smaller and more fully-featured.

July 18, 2009 / / Electronics
May 24, 2009 / / Electronics
Acrylic insulated wires stink, for sure, but when they're stranded and micro-fine, they stink WAY more.
Acrylic insulated wires stink, for sure, but when they’re stranded and micro-fine, they stink WAY more.

I may use this blog to post mainly iPhone or software related articles, but I am an electrical engineering student, and as an EE, I love me some good, clean hardware. Therefore, when my favorite pair of earbuds kicked the bucket the other day, my first thought went to the in-box iPhone headset and, more importantly, how much those earbuds suck. My favorite bang-for-the-buck earbuds EVER are Skullcandy Full Metal Jackets, primarily because I got them at TJ Maxx for $25. In general though, they have silicone pads that seal out sound, instead of the hyper uncomfortable iPod earbuds that fall out and sound like crap. I was super bummed when my FMJs broke, but luckily, the part that broke was on the plug end of the earphones. That is, both earbuds themselves still work fine, only the plug is dead. My thought was to cut the crappy iPhone buds off their cable (which includes a microphone and remote button) and graft on my beloved FMJs.

February 24, 2009 / / Coding
Error Starting Executable: No provisioned iPhone OS device is connected.
Error Starting Executable: No provisioned iPhone OS device is connected.

Ok, lame title, I admit it. That doesn’t change the annoyingness of the error though. Here’s the story: I sit down last night to watch the Oscars and get my feet wet developing for the first time in maybe a month or two. I go to debug an app on the device, you know, to see if I’ve still got it, and lo and behold a big hairy error pops up:

Success!
Success!

6 days ago: “So Ustream just released their viewer application in time to live stream the innauguration tomorrow at 10AM. The problem is that it only works on a WIFI connection, I’ll assume for now because of ATT no-streaming-video-over-3g restrictions. If that’s possible, never fear, VoIPover3G to the rescue! The only hurdle is figuring out Ustream Player’s bundle identifier to feed to the hack. The whole process, including the less-than-trivial bundle identifier location, is detailed here.”