Magic Blue Demons and Testing a SMD ATmega in a breadboard

I apologize if this is getting too technical too quickly; but it’s what I’ve got for you (and, if you’ve managed to find this post it means you probably need it). I promise it’s a quickie.

Recently I acquired one of these awesome things:

It allows you to temporarily use a tiny square 44-pin surface mount microchip (qfp ATmega32U4 in my case) in use it in a breadboard to make sure you have everything like the multiple Vcc’s properly decoupled, etc. Also, I mean, just look at that:


Isn’t it just cool!? (It also makes a pretty satisfying *click* 😀)

But, I digress. Full of excitement, I wired up a simple regulated power and ISP circuit – nothing can go wrong! – plug in the 12V source and *POOF*

The magic blue demons got out. 😦

AS IT TURNS OUT, my assumption that “pin 1” marked on board would correspond with “pin 1” on the chip was absolutely ludicrous.
After googling around for a while, I couldn’t come up with a datasheet that showed the proper pin-mapping; so, I broke out the old multimeter continuity probe and made one!

1020160051As it turns out, in the aligned orientation, “pin 1” on the chip corresponds to the much more sensical “pin 7” and “pin 1” on the package (the pin on the top left corner) corresponds to a pin on the middle of an edge on the chip (“pin 39”) -exactly where no manufacturers begin their numbering scheme. Brilliant, I say!

Hopefully this was helpful to you if you, like me, were looking around for a drawing of how the pin map for this test-socket actually worked. If not, maybe you’ve learned something to lookout for in the future. And if nothing else, maybe I’ve helped you proscrastinate successfully 😀




while(i<2){ "Hello World"; } i++

First off, let’s begin with the casual: “Hello”. My name’s Connor. It’s nice to have you as a reader on this blog that is yet to realize its true form.

This blog is a project I have been wanting to start up (and, in fact, have begun to) for many years now. Going forward, I’m not sure what form it will take, but I hope I can make it a good one. Looking back at the various attempts I have made at this in the past, in the form of a few public posts and many unpublished drafts, one thing seems clear, I wanted this to be a structured yet free dumping ground of anything I make that someone might find useful. (How anyone could find use in a 3D-printer spool holder made from a water bottle and duct-tape, described in my linguistically creative but nonetheless broken English I do not know.)

My previous attempts have all failed because I either wanted absolutely no shackles (or proof-reading, or good-judgement for that matter, as can be seen in my first post which I leave up as a form of terribly self deprecating humor) OR wanted to create such high-quality lessons that there was never a chance I would finish the posts to my satisfaction in my spare time.

So! What should you expect to see here, dear single reader, who is most probably reading this post, half-asleep, late at night, so far in the future that you have a much better grasp on what my content will be than I. Well I’ll tell you!

  1. I encounter a lot of potentially useful lessons [read: “failures”] in a week, and I’m going to endeavor to post at least one of them every week.
  2. In addition to being enrolled in university and running a start-up, I have quite a number of side projects, details of which I will post here on the regular. I believe heavily in the open-source community and it’s time I start pulling my weight!
  3. Also, I’m involved in some research on prostheses, I hope to post quick notes any developments therein to this blog so that others (in communities such as eNABLE) may make use of them before I get around to publishing.
  4. Remember that company I mentioned wayyy back in #2. We’re currently working on developing a hardware product (premiering at CES 2017!) and all of it will be made open source. In addition, the start-up scene can be a tense one at times, especially with legal and economical considerations (everyone’s favorite!) looming overhead all the time. So, any lessons from the launch process will be shared!
  5. I am quite prone to musings of the linguistic and astrophysical variety but often lack anyone to share it with; so, perhaps they will end up here.

As you can probably tell from the above, I have my hand in a lot of different fields and am  not quite sure who I am in terms any one interest; but what I do know is that I enjoy -nay love- learning anything I can, no matter how practically useless it may seem (racking up them skill points!). If this seems like you, and you could use a topping up of some knowledge

XP, then join me as I journey into ever fleeing polymathy*!



*also memes, lots of crispy memes.

The Supreme Court and Your Death Bed – in Celebration of Marriage Equality

After last Friday’s victory in the Supreme Court, I’ve kept thinking about how it’s so surprising that it really took this long for people to get the right to have their love recognized. So, I figured now would be just as good of a time as any to actually get back to [read as: start] blogging and add my personal brand of finger-vomit into the interwebs.

Here’s the issue. Most of the “arguments” still circling around about overriding the ruling get it all wrong. The legal debate has never been about whether certain individuals should be allow the right to love each other. They already have that. Everyone does here in the land of the free. The legal issue was (<-mind you) about whether or not those individuals should be allowed to have their love recognized by the government and thus obtain all the benefits that come with that. I say: yes, they should.

If your own common sense isn’t tuned properly to understand, allow me to give you an example as to why:

Forget everything I’ve just said. Let’s just talk about you for a second. Try to imagine, waking up dazed in the hospital after experiencing a sudden and unprecedented heart attack and your doctor comes in –overwhelmed with grief-  to tell you that, due to your condition, it is unlikely that you’ll ever get to leave the hospital. When you hear this news, you feel the rush of your entire life flash before your eyes and it makes you long to see one person above all others: the one whom loved you for all of your life, you want to be there at your side for what may be the end of your life.

And of course you do –you should; every person should get that right to see their loved ones in the hospital. And yet, for security reasons, hospital visits like this are typically restricted to family members only.

Which means, if say, you’re in 40’s and don’t have kids or siblings –which is common- and your parents have passed: the only family that can visit you is your spouse –this one person whom you’ve loved for all your life; without them, you are alone in that hospital for what very well may be the final hours of your abbreviated life.

This –the issue of equal policy and rights- is why same-sex marriage should be legalized.

Because, imagine again being that 40-something dying of heart failure alone in a hospital, but now with the caveat that you’re gay. Nothing’s different. The scenario is exactly the same except now you don’t get the right to see the love of your life, effectively your spouse, on your death bed,

because they’re not family,

because the government doesn’t [didn’t] recognize you as married.

That’s the root of the controversy over the legalization of same-sex marriage. It’s not whether homosexuality is “moral” or “should” be practiced –people are going to do what they do and love who they love, regardless of federal policy. The debate is over whether the government should provide all of its citizens the same rights with respect to their loved ones.

Intuitionally, you may not think that this issue of policy is huge because the scope of rights based upon marital status is probably small; however, the case is actually the opposite: there are over 1,100 rights granted to married couples.

These rights exist to facilitate the role and importance of love in our society. To deny these rights to couples who depend on and love each other the same way as married couples do and are functionally equivalent to married couples is not just hypocrisy, it’s unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Likewise, same-sex Marriage should not just be legalized for the sake of being consistent with marital status policy but, moreover, because denying homosexual individuals the right to marry itself is a form of unjust discrimination to them under even our current laws.

As far back as 1888, the Supreme Court ruled, in Maynard v. Hill, that marriage is “the most important relation in life” and “the foundation of family and society without which there…” is “…no civilization”. Here, 125 years ago, it was established that by denying an individual marital status, you are denying them the very human civility fundamental to our society.

More recently, developing on this idea, in 1967’s the act of Loving v. Virginia, it was established that “the freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the.. pursuit of happiness…” and, later in ’74, that the ”freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.”

That is: This right to unrestricted personal choice in whom we are permitted to marry is the right to be free from the government dictating whom you can love. It is the right to pursue unrestricted happiness.

And, finally, in 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court ruled once and for all that:

“[i]n forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were … marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

No law is going to change how people behave in their own home: who we choose to love and who we choose to spend the rest of our lives with; and now everyone gets to show their profound respect for that love.
Now, there is no longer a divide between federally-approved marriage and “gay-marriage”. It’s just marriage. It’s just love.

HowTo: Costless Orbital Spool Coaster to Make Your Printing Experience an Ease Breeze.

Being a new contestant to the 3D-Printing game can be rough; adjusting all of the printer parametres alone takes tonnes of time and still your prints fail afterwards (especially if you’re not on one of the top of the line MakerBots).

One of the most difficult things to refine on the lower end printers is consistency and you’re never going to achieve even marginal consistency if your filament spool is flopping around all over the table. If you find thyself having to carefully attend every print because otherwise you would:

  • Have print failure from a kink in the filament getting caught in the hobblt-bolt and jamming. (TIP: TPE Thermoplastic Elastomers [a fancy-Materials Science term for the colloquial “rubber”] like NinjaFlex doesna kink because of its elasticity so it is a wonder to use aside from your printspeed needing to be ~15-25mm/s for it to lay correctly)
  • Have your filament knot up.
  • Have your spool not unwind easily|require too much force to unwind just sitting on the table or else fall over if you were to try to stand it on its end.
  • Have to by an expensive spool coaster (kit) which would take more time than you have around to ship.
  • &c.

Then you need the NEW TOP OF THE LINE waterbottle ORBITAL SPOOL COASTER Yes, that’s right!; for just the cost of a trip to the fridge and broomcloset, you too can cast all of your filament feeding frensies fabulously far away!

“But how‽” you say to the innanimate slave-machine in front of you which can only answer what I tell it. Well, I’m glad you askt!; here’s what you’ll need: a

  • Waterbottle
  • Filament spool causing you tonnes of agony and wasting your precious dollari on extrusion material.
  • Roll of DUCT TAPE @,@ -fairly full and second roll if you have another.

Once you’ve spant the seven seas in search of these everso rare and expensive materials, you may obtain thy next quest to:

    1. Set the full and unopent waterbottle on a flat surface near the printer.
    2. Reel out and cut off about a foot of duct tape.
    3. Place the roll of duct tape over the bottle and let it fall to the base to act as a support.Empty Empty
      3.1: If available, it is best to then place a second on top of the first for /extra support/.
    4. Use the foot’s-worth of duct tape from step 2 to secure the bottle into the tape rolls in whatever way you feel best; I’ve fount wrapping it around the circumference of the bottle works wonders.Empty4.1: If you have any extra tape, tape /around/ (but not under the base) for EXTRA EXTRA support.
    5. Place your spool on top of the waterbottle.Empty
    6. Do a happy dance [INFOID No.1: ] and enjoy attendance-less printing!facebook_farmville_freak_peanut_butter_jelly_time_fun1

Nota Bene:

Due to a bunch of wibbly-wobbly physics-y science-y-type-stuff -especially if you rolls of tape are not new-, you will need to drop the feed rate to the range of about 100mm/s as to avoid having the filament be yankt off the water bottle. Other than that, you shouldst be good.
Also, ’tis okay if the bottle leans over at an angle in the duct tape, the coaster should still work but this does indicate that you might want to readjust the placement of your coast such that it more properly aligns with the feeding direction of your filament.


Regards and Pleasant Printing!

-Connor W. Colombo “CoCo”

Hello World

Hello World!

Having been toying with the internet for what is now approaching a decade, I find it awe-full to step  (or lean) back every once and a while when I’ve been writing it to realize the impressive amount of literality this statement has gained from the time when it was first used by Brian Kernighan in the 1,970’s [FACTOID NUMERUS UNUS!] up until now when, unlike in the ’70’s, these words can /truly/ say hello to every eye in the world which cares to turn and look.

Filt [<-jes, I will from time to time in here use my own Quasi-English -pronounce ‘t phonetically and you’ll be fine 😉 ] with such ideas and the urge to start a journal so that I could finally stop bantering to myself in public and almost then immediately forgetting what I thought of, where I am, what I was doing, what I’m holding, why I’m holding it, omg I can’t see my eyes -where’d they go‽, the missile launch codes, and which prime factor of 42 life is [<-I aim to solve this herein this blog], I finally got my fingers to depress the keys and start this blog:

Herein, regardless of if you choose to accept or not, you shall venture the mad ramblings of an insomniatic scholar’s project notes and binge typings which may seem to amount to saying nothing because that’s exactly what they’re doing! The aim on my end, however, being to post these ideas of mine as fodder for the masses in a pursuit to change the way people outlook things -to empower them with a MOTOSPECTIVE, everchanging and everpowerful because “if you change the way you look at things, you change the things you look at.”

So: Andiamo!, Incipiamvs!

-Connor W. Colombo “CoCo”