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Hardware development begins here

5 March, 2014 by Sunit Nandi

The first mid-semester exams are over. Things seemed to have settled down. At college, everything is just as any other day, with boring lectures and uneventful moments.

What really kept me motivated was constant experiments and new ideas. That’s pretty much what keeps me active even at the worst times.

I learnt a little bit of the Cisco router’s command line and am manage the network interfaces with it, by just random fiddling around when I got bored.

Then Manjaro Linux 0.8.9 was released with a huge number of bug-fixes and improved hardware support. To add to the great news was that Manjaro now officially supports KDE and 0.8.9 release has an official KDE variant. So, just because I was bored, I installed KDE desktop and the K Display Manager and got rid of XFCE, LXDM and the optional GNOME components. And guess what? KDE actually runs better than what I had expected. The system-wide proxy settings are automatically pulled from the environment variables (set with /etc/profile.d/proxy.sh script). Also, it would be worth mentioning that the BlueZ 5 bluetooth stack works flawlessly with BlueDevil in KDE. Back then, in XFCE, BlueMan had stopped detecting my laptop’s bluetooth adapter after I upgraded to BlueZ 5 from BlueZ 4. Rest of the features work fine, and I’m very satisfied.

I got myself an Arduino Mega 2560 R3 microcontroller board so that I can build circuits and DIY (do it yourself) electronics. At present, I’m learning the Arduino code.

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Arduino Mega 2560 R3

I also ordered Beagleboard.org‘s Beaglebone Black as I am very curious about single-board PCs.

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Beaglebone Black A6A

Right now I’m looking for a HDMI-to-DVI/VGA adapter so that I can hook up my old display to it and a externally powered USB hub to attach peripherals to the board. Hoping to get cracking and experimenting in a week or so.

My workstation, a customised HP Z420, is going to arrive soon. So I have one more reason to be excited.

Coming to blogging and WordPress, I have noticed an interesting finding. If you are a user of the WordPress HTTPS plugin, uninstall it as soon as possible. This plugin has a poorly written page filter than significantly degrades page loading performance and causes regular timeouts in the admin panel. For a month I was unable to figure out why the admin panel was working poorly on technofaq.org, until I disabled the plugin. Also, its interesting to note that trying to secure the admin panel with HTTPS and serving the site over plain HTTP can be a real pain. I’m not saying it has problems serving pages. What I am trying to say is that, if you are securely connected to the admin panel and are making a new post, any new image or media attached to the post will load from the secure site even when the site is served insecurely. This is an undesired behaviour. In my opinion, WordPress should integrate HTTPS options properly into the GUI so that we do not have to depend on tweaks and third-party plugins to secure the admin panel while serving the site as it is. For now, I stopped using HTTPS, until I find a proper fix.

Right now, I’m writing my General Proficiency report for college.

Also, Pyrokinesis, Assam Engineering College’s annual fest is on, and I might be attending it when I’m free.

So its finally time for me to lift my hands off the keyboard. I’ll be writing again soon. Take care and have fun!

Till then, enjoy this sandwich. 😉

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Sandwich


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