Evolution of a Project

I have two speeds when it comes to projects: percolate and bazooka. Whereas my swantron comment / to / LCD project was bazooka, this Twitter deal has been percolate. Haven’t been able to jump in completely, rather, I have been poking this one with a stick.

Still poking…

arduino controlling blue lcd

dual terminals and a terminal

Making progress…snagging my Twitter page via Python, and dumping it to LCD:

body and html closing tags on my lcd

+1 closing tags

I just need to hammer out some parsing, and I will be good to go. I really need to figure out some sweet regex and drop this whole ‘import (some junk)’ stuff. Who knows…at this rate, I just may.

HTML to Python to Arduino to LCD

Last week found me standing tall upon my shell script soapbox, shouting command line praises to all who would listen.

Thou ought direct thine output aftways, to-wards thine USB port of thee. And that is well and righteous.

Well, that still is the case. My latest project has made it glaringly obvious that sometimes a little Python script will render a whole bunch of shell scripting moot. Namely, parsing HTML. Let’s see a picture…

outdoor hacking

bad lab mobile

Lunch hour project: parse the comments from swantron.com; feed said comments to an LCD screen.

I was horsing around with wget from a CLI a few days ago. I found myself trying to smash through the resultant file via pure regular expressions…which is incredibly clumsy. Well, as luck would have it, my go-to after my main go-to is Python, and this type of thing has been issue enough to warrant a library. BeautifulSoup. It acts to parse the HTML info into items, that can be smashed around as I see(med) fit.

My setup was simple: py script to snag my comments and write serial, Arduino sketch to drive a LCD and read/write serial. And a source of shade. And a WiFi signal to snag.

mobile mobile

bad lab mobile-mobile

Check, check, check, etc. Video time:

Pretty slick…hit the fold for the code, as promised, and a summary.
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Python Teaser

After a deal of success with the command line interface-to-Arduino project, I am in the middle of stepping it up a notch. I ended up on a few blogs due to that last effort, which indicates that I am doing something worthy of note. Hats off to me, perhaps. Well, my tool belt is what it is…if I can’t do it via shell scripting, I reach next for Python. In an attempt to parse stuff that I have been ‘getting’ via wget, I found myself trying to do some clunky regex from the command line. Guess what…I can do that without as much heartache via Python via BeautifulSoup…

beautiful soup

so...beautiful


Thus far, I have python doing the website getting and Beautiful Soup doing the parsing of my site…basically just grabbing some info at this point that I can modify. I have my LCD driven via my trusty Arduino, and that is that. Instead of redirecting standard out to serial, I am writing to serial via python. Easy breezy.

I have some sloppy sloppy code at this point, and need to add some hardware and stuffs to my prototype. Stay tuned…this could be a good one.

Command Line LCD Arduino Interface

Liquid crystal displays are pretty awesome. Command line interfaces are very awesome. Hmm…

I started daydreaming at work about how to go about making hardware interface with an RSS feed. I have seen some projects that use Arduinos with ethernet shields to check Twitter, for example, but they seem unnecessarily bulky. Or clumsy. I spend a lot of time working on the command line, and love to put together dirty little scripts to solve problems. It sort of goes along the lines of ‘when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail’…I figured that the same thing could be implemented with a little shell scripting and my trusty Arduino, sans anything complicated.

So far, so good.

bad lab mobile

bad lab mobile

I put together a sketch (after the bump) to drive my LCD, writing serial output to the screen. After verifying that the sketch worked via the Arduino IDE’s serial monitor, I popped open a CLI and got to work. FWIW, I am using Ubuntu 11.04 still…ctrl-alt-t pops open a terminal window…unity has me all over shortcuts these days. Anyhow, I was able to verify that I could echo text and direct it to the USB port that the Arduino was mounted to. No sweat.

As a proof of concept, I decided to display the number of times that I had the word “awesome” on swantron.com. Once the LCD was shown to work, the sky is the limit…see some regex, pipes, wget, and so forth in action:

CLI

CLI FTW

Survey says:

+1 awesome

+11 awesome

Eleven “awesome”s. Awesome.
(Hit the bump for some code, an oddity, and more fun…)
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Easy LCD Arduino Display

I am tired of looking at wobbly windows full of Eclipse. The best and worst part of the IOIO board is the fact that the libraries are Java-centric…unfortunately, I am in the middle of a ‘worst’ phase. I am sort of stalemated. Unfortunately, my issue lies in something that should be trivial, namely naming. Once I can figure out how to orient the crap out of these object-ass pins, I will be good to go. Until then…I am going back to the basics. Processing looks so safe and warm. Coziness, for the win.

How about a 20 by 4 LCD project? Okay.

easy blue LCD arduino +1 easy

+1 blue

I have had this sitting on the workbench of bad lab for a while. Time to get after it.

The unit came assembled, minus the jumpers I needed to plug this into my breadboard for prototyping. Coincidentally, my soldering station needed to come out of retirement. Sixteen pins…sounds about perfect.

(hit the bump for several more pics, a snippet, and some other awesome stuff) Continue reading

PS3 To Support 3D

Who doesn’t like 3D? This ol’ gal certainly does. Or did.

lol-ing the shit out of some 3D

I don’t get the last joke, but Engadget reported the following:

Get your active shutter glasses ready: your PS3 is going to go 3D this Summer. In conjunction with the release of its 3D BRAVIA LCD sets, Sony is planning to release updates to turn the PS3 both into a stereoscopic 3D gaming platform, in addition to a 3D Blu-ray compatible movie player. Sure, we knew Sony was planning to give us 3D sometime this year, but now that we’ve got a summer time frame we can plan our wardrobe decisions according — jean cut-offs, here we come!

I’ll gladly wait for Visio to come out with a 3D LCD/LED, and kindly pay less than half of the price of a Bravia, thanks. Regardless, this is pretty sweet news.