Adding Headers to an IOIO

Q. Am I dragging my feet with the whole IOIO code cleanup deal?
A. Take a look at this little pictorial dealio regarding soldering headers to my IOIO

Exhb 1:

IOIO headers


Exhb 2:

headers in place on IOIO


Exhb 3:

powered IOIO

golf clap

I’ll get on that; you have my word. I am toying around with the idea of tossing the open drain app on both github and the Android Market, in order to throw some chum out to the crew of IOIO owners. We’ll see.

Android 120V Controller

It was worth the wait…I now control 120V via my Android.

ioio android powerswitch tail 120V FTW

awesome project is awesome

I had a mostly sleepless night, again. I managed to figure out what I had been botching while trying to provide enough juice to my PowerSwitch Tail. Transistors and alligator clamps are out; extra pins are in.

Take a look at the (awful quality) video…on the main page, as the picture quality won’t grind loading to a halt.

I still need to toss some headers on the IOIO, and take some clips out of the picture for a better picture of what I did here. Look for that shortly, along with a snippet. Pretty straight forward, but we’ll have to see where this one ends up.

Google Plus Instant Upload Settings

I am still horsing around with Google+ on my Droid 2. A few posts back, I lambasted the Instant Upload feature. The whole idea of tossing geo-location-having pictures onto Google’s servers seems awfully odd to me.

As this feature is ‘featured’ in Google+’s Android app, I figured I would play around with it some more, in order to gauge its evilness. The jury is still out.

It does work as intended. I snapped a few pictures of my fancy breakfast in my cubicle, with the Instant Upload activated, with the Battery Uploads selection…

cubicle bacon via instant upload

+1 delicious

Surely enough, once I plugged my D2 into the charger, it began to sync/upload. Within several seconds I was notified of my complete upload to G+. So, while I am still unsure of the impacts of this feature, I am impressed by its function. Google’s devs hit the ball out on the park with this one, in regards to pure functionality. Especially, as the Android Facebook and Twitter apps are rough at best. Hats off.

Expect a full review of G+ in the near future.

IOIO Android Breakout Board


My new thing has officially arrived. Both in the literal sense and philosophically. I love my Arduino, and I love my Android…now I can have the best of both.

Introducing, the IOIO breakout board…

ioio breakout board

+1 sleek

I snagged this guy from SparkFun. You know how the Android is full of stuff? Accelerometers, touch screen, GPS receiver, WiFi…etc? Instead of having to start from scratch for each of my Arduino projects to introduce components, this board will allow me to use the Android/Java as the backbone of my code, instead of using Processing/C++. And that, my friends, is +++.

Take a look at this awful-picture-quality-having video:

Sorry about that…I had to use Katie’s old BlackBerry to record the demo. It leaves much to be desired.

Anyhow, so far I have just managed to get Eclipse configured, and have uncovered several gotchas. The biggest obstacle was getting the permissions worked out and linking the libraries properly. When in doubt, chmod -R 777 * and let it rip. We’ll see what comes of this…could be cool once I dust off my Java skills.

Of note: pretty sure I am the first person to get this working on a Droid 2, and likely the first to set this up on Linux. It just shipped yesterday, so the sky is the limit on this…I am very excited. Big props to Ytai and SparkFun.

Verizon Wifi Tether…Droid + Ubuntu

The internets have been abuzz with talk of further stifling of Android tethering. Regardless of what will come of this, I would recommend getting a setup in place. May as well…you paid for the device. Am I right?

My breaking point came with continued poor results from the wireless connection at work. Enough was enough. After trying several mean with which to tether, I think I have found one that is suitable for my needs.

droid 2 verizon tether

scrubbed MAC / IP

My hardware is simple…mid-line Dell Studio Notebook running Ubuntu 11.04…Droid 2, rooted, running Fro-Yo. Verizon with data plan…unlimited, if that is still the case. Connection…check

droid verizon tether

swantron = my connection

I played around with several apps, but have found that Barnacle Wifi Tether from the Android Market does the trick quite nicely. I have dumped several gigs through 3G, and it is decently fast. Haven’t had to reboot, or do anything wonky to this point. I have had two clients connected simultaneously, and it seems to be chugging along. You must configure the security settings, as this puppy lets it rip wide open out of the box.

Grab the app from the Market before Google folds to Verizon. If you need any help rooting your phone, holler at me as well.

Android GPS Test

As I type this, there are over thirty satellites blasting around geo-sync orbits transmitting GPS data. As luck has it, my battery-ass-draining phone has a receiver built-in GPS receiver, of which now I am a master.

Not really, but I can read the info…


Boring, FTL

Location, time, velocity, etc. Not sure how to tune this yet, as the above was done via an emulator. Since my Studio 15 doesn’t exactly (read: at all) have a GPS receiver or accelerometer, I’m working somewhat blindly. I did have some luck when I dropped my app on the Droid 2…


'Lab' is too cold, FTL

…but that screen cap does a better job of showing the MLB Network reflection than the info on the screen. Sweet Lou should be in the top ten list of managers, FWIW. Glad he could make an appearance.

Back to the GPS stuff. Cross referencing the data that I managed to pull in from the SDK library info, I was able to verify that the elevation was fairly accurate (w/in a hundred yards of Bozo Wikipedia listing) and the latitude / longitude was functioning well to several yards accuracy, relatively speaking. Not too bad.

The next step would be to figure out how to put this to use. A ballistics chart would be pretty cool (read, profitable) if the elevation info could be read in automatically along with weather conditions. I’m not really sure…this one was more of an exercise in reading sensors and tossing out output. The accelerometer is next…I’ll shoot to provide a better write-up at that point. Less bonus baseball footage…or far more bonus baseball footage. Stay tuned.

iM tiRed of lazy tech journaliSm

Tech writers are the best. I most certainly don’t read the stuff that hits news aggregates because of informative banter and notable content, I read it for comic value.

Well… comic value and insight into human nature. Most notably: laziness

It seems to me that the easiest way to get published is to talk about a i* killer. Replace the wildcard with either “pod”


(expensive media player)



(expensive tablet)

or “phone”


(sort of like an Android, but worse, except for battery life, which doesn't matter)

…and write a half-assed article about a new product. Guaranteed Google, MSN, Yahoo, Drudge, or whoever else will have that bad boy on the front page.

Protip: Next time you are charged with the task of covering a new Samsung product’s press release, save some time and just go with “End of Apple???” and be done with it. The whole killer angle was spent several years ago…when we nerds were buying Sandisk players, loading Ubuntu on netbooks, and making wild guesses on forums what RIM was going to do with the next generation of BB phones. Oh….the good old days.

FWIW, I’ll put a Droid X up against all three of those products. For the price point, nothing can touch that machine…my Droid 2 included.

Droid 2 Must Have Games

Games kick ass, am I right? Am I right? (****Spoiler…YES!*****)

Since I haven’t blathered about how awesome Android stuff is in a while, I figured I would ramble about games for a while. So far, I have found four games that are pretty much “must-have.” I hate that term, but it gets me search engine traffic. And traffic is a must-have. (Sorry.) You can find these must-havers on Android Market, but you probably knew that. Let’s begin.

In order of most-must-have, to still-must-have-but-not-as-much-as-most-must-have…

Angry Birds — Q. Why so angry, birds? A. Those egg-stealing pigs, that’s why.


I like that one ^

Robo Defense — Tower defense, FTW. I got really, really sucked into this one, keeping it in the two spot. All acheivements, check.
joke fail

D - Fence...get it (shakes head)

Fruit Ninja — Chopping the shit out of fruit…this game is as fun as it sounds
nacho ninja

Fruit Ninja looks more like Nacho Ninja

Doodle Jump — Pretty sure this (like Angry Birds) made some waves on iStuff. You jump a doodle…it is amusing as hell.
stupid flanders

Stupid Flanders

I’m still waiting for the non-advertisment-laden version of Angry Birds to drop. Right now, the free app is all that is out there on the Android Market. I’m not entirely sure, but I think I spent less than 3 bucks for the other three apps. Robo Defense has a pretty solid trial version, FWIW.

Well, in any regards, get Angry Birds. Meetings at work become little workday vay-kays. Little bird flinging vay-kays.

If you come across anything that I should check out, hit me with a comment. Or, Tweet that crap over to @swantron. Plug.