21 Oct 2001 rudybrian   » (Master)

Time for another update...

Since the launch last month we have run Zaza every Saturday. As expected, we ran into a few minor problems, but have worked most of the kinks out by now.

I put together a few Perl scripts to push images from behind the museum's firewall to an outside web server. Eventually this will be done by more efficient means, but the existing system works quite well. Video from the control room and from the robot (when online) is available here.

I managed to clean up a few more bugs on poslib's simulator, and added automatic timeouts to visited goals. This allows testing without manual intervention for visited goal reset.This thing is nearly ready for public testing...

Just a random note: My old HP 1722B oscilloscope looke like it is ready to give up the ghost. I can no longer focus a trace on the CRT, and after spending some time poking around inside, it looks like the CRT is failing. The tubes are no longer available, so it seems as though it is the end for this scope. I did some research on the availability of stand-alone (with PC-connectivity) and USB scopes, and was very dissapointed with the offerings (and prices). It seems test equiment market is a bit behind the times and are just now beginning to offer connectivity options like USB and ethernet. In my searches, I found references to the BitScope in a 1998 article in Circuit Cellar, a few Linux UG's and a few PIC developer sites. This thing is impressive. It's a two channel, 100MHz, PIC-based oscilloscope and 8-port logic analyzer with a 115k serial port. Both Linux and Windows applications have been written for it, and it's under continuous open hardware and software development. A kit is available for $250 on the BitScope website.

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