Monday, December 9, 2013

Modern caveats...

So my plan for bi-weekly video updates failed somewhat.
No surprise there really, even thou I've thought about what to record I've just not been up for the task.

What I have done on the other hand is creating a new development environment using an old spare laptop (is to be used for the CNC - whenever that's done). But I noticed a lot of curious internal compiler errors popping up. At first I thought it was a flawed harddrive or RAM, but it turns out the project is just to complex to properly compile using all optimizations on the limited RAM available on the laptop. GCC has a lot of options to limit memory usage so the problem was quite easily remidied once the cause was known.

With that sorted out I created a debug mode where I can directly toggle switches, lights and solenoids from the laptop. Should ease troubleshooting as some of the switches are reaaaally hard to trigger manually, not to mention specific modes could be a pain to recreate etc.
Now I'd just send (via console) "s5 s6 s7" to toggle switches 5,6 and 7 for instance.
Obviously this would only be useful for momentary switches, but anyway - still very useful.

I also noticed that I forgot to actually upload the music and sound effects to the SD cards (doh!) so that has been done, as well as creating the maintenance diagnostics page for sound and music. While creating the SD cards I noticed one of the major drawbacks of using a Mac - unnecessary hidden folders. That means file #1 wasn't always the first file on the system, so the cards behaved differently in the MP3 Trigger boards. At first, the two sound effects cards looked the same, but showing hidden files it was obvious Spotlight had been indexing files on one of the cards. One of the downsides of programming/handling old filesystems on modern systems, I guess.  

Off topic - 

I found my pinball machine "featured" in an online quiz as "question #59 (ultra hard) - What's the name of this game?". After numerous guesses such as F-14 TomCat, Addams Family, somebody (who wasn't me!) finally guessed the right answer - my BioShock machine. Fun stuff! :)