A technical blog about open source hardware and software.

Adventures With Microprocessors

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I’ve always been fascinated by embedded systems but haven’t taken the time to dive into them or hack on ‘em. Over the past few weeks, however, the Arduino platform caught my eye and I’ve started reading about it and understanding what it’s capable of.

My verdict? It seems like the perfect introductory platform to start measureing sensor data. So, last night I took the plunge and purchased the Inventor’s Kit from Sparkfun electronics. It should arrive next week (right before I leave for France!). I’ll take some unboxing shots when it arrives. I can’t wait to experiment with it and start hacking together some novel ideas. I plan to post all of the code I write in a GitHub repo for others to grab and run with.

However, to get my feet wet, I busted out a TI eZ430 Chronos watch that my good friend Jeff gave me a while back and started playing around with it’s default firmware. I’m not able to do anything too exciting yet, since I don’t have the firmware reprogrammer, but I was able to capture some of the button events from the watch and route them out to, a free WebSockets API.

The next step is to write a Chrome extension that watches for those WebSockets events and does something interesting. I’ve got a few ideas and I’ll post about them here once it’s up and running.

If you’re curious, check out the Ruby script that gets the watch talking with