Posts

Showing posts from 2014

BotQueue client updates!

It's been only a couple of months since the last software release, but it feels like it has been far too long. Instead of releasing 0.6, I'm releasing 0.5.1 today. There are two reasons for this, which I'll get to in a minute. But first, features!

Makerbot support Or at least, mostly Makerbot support. It supports all of the printers that speak s3g/x3g, so no 5th generation (yet). There is also way to slice things. I have a solution for that, it's just somewhat difficult to work with closed source software. For now, you can upload your *3g files and it will run them just fine. It also allows you to upload .makerbot files, but those aren't supported yet.

Automatic updates This is something I've wanted to do for a long time, and is the first reason why this only jumped up to 0.5.1. I released version 0.5.0, and in the very next commit, released 0.5.1. This was to test the auto update feature. Every 2 minutes, if your bots are either in idle, error, or offline mode…

FTDI: The Clone Wars

I saw an article on Hackaday that talked about an FTDI driver update on windows that purposefully set the PID of the device to 0 on fake or 'cloned' FTDI chips. I've also seen a bit of confusion on this topic, so I'd like to clarify a few points.

First, what is FTDI? Basically, this company makes products that allow micro-controllers to communicate to a USB host, like your computer. The make both drivers, hardware, and most importantly here, chips.
1) Many people aren't aware if they even have a fake One of the first arguments that I saw was in regards to how users should be punished for using a fake chip. Most of the people using these products are using end products, or products that are made using these chips. It's much easier for someone to include an FTDI chip with their device than to go through all of the trouble and cost of getting their own Vendor and Product ID. So, some devices have these chips in them without their users ever really knowing. This me…

Setting up Bumblebee to run on boot

BotQueue's client code no longer requires there to be a tty to function. You could simply add a line in your /etc/rc.local file to run bumblebee as your user:
( su -c /home/user/bumblebee user ) & the /home/user/bumblebee file would just be an executable that runs the python code. An example:
#!/bin/sh
cd ~/Bumblebee/
screen -dR botqueue python -m bumblebee It's a much simpler process than previously. This should work exactly the same on a raspberry pi too.

BotQueue 0.5 released!

I know it's been quite a long wait since version 0.4 was released on July 4th, 2013. Since that time, Zach Hoeken has moved away from supporting BotQueue in code, but he still believes in the project and has continued to help whenever possible. For that support, I want to thank him. Now on to the fun stuff!

I'm so excited to release this for a couple of reasons. The main one is that this is my first major software release, so I expected it to be a bit rougher. Still, I expect bug reports in the future, so please post those here for the server, and here for the client.

I was originally going to summarize every cool now feature about this release. This release doesn't have too many amazing new features, but it has quite a few bug fixes. I wanted BotQueue to be more solid than ever, because that's what you should be able to expect. This involved fixing everything from UI issues, to a ton of fixes in the background so that everything runs smoothly.

Some of the new features…

DSLogic unboxing

Today, my DSLogic came in the mail. For those that don't know about it, it's a logic analyzer with the ability to act as an oscilloscope and a DAQ.

Here are the unboxing pictures for those that want to follow along with this review. Note that I haven't actually gone and analyzed anything, so that review will come later.

The first thing I noticed is that the box that the logic comes in looks nice, but isn't going to make a nice case for it at all. I would have rather had a nice case that all of the probes and everything would fit into that I could carry around. It has four phillips screws on the bottom, so if anything goes wrong with it, at least the case is openable. There's a little hole for an LED, that really needs a lightpipe because it's down inside the case. I'm sure it will still be visible, just not diffused as well.

After seeing some other reviews,  I checked the cables to see what they meant by the poor quality. I hate to confirm that they're c…

BotQueue and Heartbleed

Have no fear, for the system is secure... well... almost. It's currently not vulnerable to Heartbleed, however we need to get new private keys because we have no way of knowing if they were compromised.

Looking at what information I have available, it doesn't seem like anything was really attacked, but then again, it's almost impossible to know with the heartbleed attack.

Zach Smith will have to regenerate keys for the server just in case they were compromised, but it looks like everything updated correctly and no one was affected. If you were affected, please let me know immediately!

 According to SSL Labs, we currently have an A- rating because of 2 issues I'm still working on improving.

Enjoy using BotQueue knowing it's secure!

BotQueue for Windows

A long standing issue is that BotQueue's client bumblebee doesn't work on Windows. I'm going to try to fix that with this blog post.

I started by looking at Portable Python version 2.7. Note, that I'm installing this all on an 8GB flash drive. There's two reasons for this. The first is that I want to test this with multiple computers, and the second is that I don't have admin privileges on any of them. Go ahead and run the installer, it takes a while.

Next thing to download is easy_install so I downloaded ez_setup.py onto my flash drive and ran it using the python I had just installed:
python.exe ez_setup.py It might tell you to run a different command. I ended up having to run:
python.exe ez_setup.py -U setuptools  Next, add the "Scripts" directory under your App folder to your PATH variable.  For me, this was at "E:\Portable Python\App\Scripts". You should also add the App directory so python can be found anywhere. You know it worked if yo…

A day with Google Chromecast

Today I decided to buy a Google Chromecast. This nice little device plugs into the HDMI port of your TV, and gets its power from either the USB port of your TV (Warning, plugging it into the service port might be dangerous for reasons unknown to me) or from a little wall adapter.

Setup Setup was a little difficult at first, but most things are difficult when you swap two digits in your password. When you first load the device up, it will tell you to go to a URL. I went there on my Galaxy S3, and was greeted with an app link. Once I downloaded the app, it discovered a device was on the network I was on. How did it do this? I'm not actually sure. It didn't know any of the networks authentication at this point, so I'm guessing there's something low level with mac addresses that allows that to work.
After clicking on the device, it puts a code on the TV and one on your device just to make sure you're talking to the right device. It will then ask you what network you wa…