Sunday, July 23, 2017

Circuit Playground Notes

Circuit Playground

It has:
  • 10 x mini NeoPixels, each one can display any rainbow color
  • 1 x Motion sensor (LIS3DH triple-axis accelerometer with tap detection, free-fall detection)
  • 1 x Temperature sensor (thermistor)
  • 1 x Light sensor (phototransistor)
  • 1 x Sound sensor (MEMS microphone)
  • 1 x Mini speaker (magnetic buzzer)
  • 2 x Push buttons, left and right
  • 1 x Slide switch
  • 8 x alligator-clip friendly input/output pins
  • Includes I2C, UART, and 4 pins that can do analog inputs/PWM output
  • All 8 pads can act as capacitive touch inputs
  • Green "ON" LED so you know its powered
  • Red "#13" LED for basic blinking
  • Reset button

To program it you can use the arduino ide.  There are lots of programs available that do fun stuff that you can just download and install but first you have to setup your computer so you can talk to the circuit playground.

If you are using windows you will need to install a driver:
They say just install ALL the drivers so you are ready for any of their boards.

Then you want to install the arduino ide:

It looks like they've made it really easy and you just have to click the green button (some of my clients have great difficulties following instructions like that but I have every confidence in you).

Then you need to follow the instructions on that page so it can get the details of the adafruit boards.

Then you have to install the circuit playground libraries:

And again you can click the green button.  You have to put that in your arduino sketches library folder.  

So this is their instructions for libraries but below I've pulled out the path for you and given you a link to the windows page so you can skip some info if you're bored/impatient.

as a windows user you need to know where to put it and then follow the windows instructions.
On Windows and Macintosh machines, the default name of the folder is "Arduino" and is located in your Documents folder.
This is a common source of confusion on Windows and Mac machines, your sketchbook folder is not named "sketchbook" it is named "Arduino"!
User installed libraries should go in a folder named "Libraries", located inside your sketchbook folder. This is where the IDE will look for user installed libraries. 
Windows instructions:

Also see:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mum's Garlic Prawns

4 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tbs black peppercorns crushed
2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbs brandy
500 g green prawns shelled, cleaned and split lengthways.
Olive oil
chopped parsely

Crush garlic with salt, add crushed ppercorns, lemon juice and brandy together.  Mix well.

Place prawns in saucepan (or individual ??? dishes)
Add garlic mixture and enough olive oil to just cover.
Cook quickly until prawns just change colour.
Servce hot and sizzling in small bowls garnished with chopped parsely.

Mum's Salmon Casserole

Mum put (economical - serves 6) for this one.  My sister made it for my oldest brother this year because it was his favourite.  And there were always some left over chips in the packet.  I seem to remember potato straws being used for a while.

16 ounce can salmon
2 medium sized onions sliced
1 large packet potato chips
1 pound sliced tomatoes
4 ounces grated tasty cheese
2 cups cooked rice
salt & pepper

Drain liquid from salmon and keep
Place alternate layers of:
salmon, onion, tomato and rice in a large cassole dish, seasoning each layer to taste.
Pour salmon liquid over the top and cook in a moderate oven for 30 minutes.

Just before serving, spread thickly with the grated cheese and crushed potato chips and return to oven for a few minutes.
Serve with salad and crisps.

Mum's Apple or Fruit Crumble

She put Cheap Lunch next to this one.

about 4 stewed apples in pie dish or peaches tinned etc.

Sprinkle crumble over fruit.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 - 10 minutes.

Cream 2 ounces sugar and 10 ounces of butter (a pint jug is good for mixing)

Stir in with a fork - 1/2 cup of flour.

Serve with custard - hot or cold.

Mum's Baked Apples

Mum used to make these for desert sometimes.  Especially once we were grown ups coming back for dinner.  And Later she did them in the microwave.

1 Apple (cooking) per person
for each apple:
1 clove
1 level teaspoon sugar
6 sultanas
1 little butter
icing sugar

Wash, dry and core apples, leaving some apple at the flour (???)
Fill hole with sugar, clove, sultana and butter.

Slit skin around centre to prevent from bursting.
Place in pie dish with little water.
Bake in moderate oven, 30 minutes or until tender.
Baste frequently.

Serve with remaining syrup, icing sugar and maybe custard.

Mum's Pavlova

This was a feast day meal - birthdays and high holidays.

Beat 6 egg whites then add slowly
1 1/2 cups castor sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Fold in:
3 tsp vinegar
3 dis pp corn flour (that may be teaspoons)

then only beat 1 minute

Swirl on greased paper in cake shape and make vertical stripes with knife round edge.
Cook at F200 - 250 for 2 hours

When cool fill with wipped cream and strawberries

Fanforced - cent 110 decgres


Add sugar in small amounts (1/2 of volume)
Don't overbeat, just peak mixture
Fold in vinegar, cornflour and vanilla

Mum's Jiffy Fruit Cake

Mum used to make this several times a year.


1 pound packet of mixed fruit
1 cup cold water
1 tsp soda
1 cup sugar
6 ounces butter
1 tsp mixed spice

Place all ingredients in pot and bring to boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add 2 beaten eggs
Mix in (sifted):
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
salt vanilla

Add spoon brandy or rum (underlined in the original)

Moderate oven 1 hour.  9 inch tin.

170 -> 150 fan forced

Mum's Christmas Cake

This is the Christmas Cake Mum used to make every year.

1 kg Christmas Cake

3 12 oz packets mixed fruit (boxes are now 375 g)
1/4 cup sherry
3 Tbs orange juice

Mix well and stand overnight


8 ounces butter (225 g)
8 ounces dark brown sugar (225 g)
few drops almond essence
1/2 cup mashed banana

Add 4 eggs (one at a time then mix)

Fold in the fruit


2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp spice
pinch salt

Use 8 inch round or square cake tin lined with 3 thicknesses of brown paper and one of white (???) (20 cm - and I think now we'd use baking paper)

Drop cake in tin (after filled) to remove air bubbles

Glaze smooth with hand wet with water.  Can cover cake with paper.

Bake 3 to 4 hours in very moderate oven, decreasing heat.

My Mum's Rum Balls

Rosie made cocoa balls today and it reminded me of Mum's rum balls (which were nicer but very similar).  So I thought I put the recipes I remember Mum making her on my blog.

This is the rum ball recipe that Mum used to use for school fetes and other "bring a plate" ocassions.

Mum's Rum Balls


1 tin condensed milk
1 packet Nice Biscuits (crushed)
3/4 cup coconut (extra for rolling in)
1/2 cup mixed fruit
4, 20ml pp cocoa
3 teapsoons rum


Combine all dry ingredients then mix with condensed milk and rum.  Roll into small balls and roll in cocoanut.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Yoga 260 linux - trackpoint/trackpad issues psmouse

The "mouse" buttons on the yoga 260 are not registered fairly regularly - particularly middle click - it often takes several clicks to open a new tab for example.  The cursor will jump from an inch or two when the button is clicked.

dmesg | grep psmouse
[    1.967548] psmouse serio1: elantech: assuming hardware version 4 (with firmware version 0x4d1f04)
[    1.980573] psmouse serio1: elantech: Synaptics capabilities query result 0x80, 0x14, 0x0c.
[    1.994395] psmouse serio1: elantech: Elan sample query result 04, 01, 85
[  209.233037] psmouse serio1: elantech: PS/2 packet [64 80 80 36 00 00]
[  209.360528] psmouse serio1: Touchpad at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost sync at byte 6
[  209.368585] psmouse serio1: elantech: PS/2 packet [0c 31 f4 56 54 1a]
[  209.368593] psmouse serio1: Touchpad at isa0060/serio1/input0 - driver resynced.
[  209.375853] psmouse serio1: Touchpad at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost sync at byte 6
[  209.383980] psmouse serio1: Touchpad at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost sync at byte 6
[  209.392074] psmouse serio1: Touchpad at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost sync at byte 6
[  209.400410] psmouse serio1: Touchpad at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost sync at byte 6
[  209.409071] psmouse serio1: Touchpad at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost sync at byte 6
[  209.409079] psmouse serio1: issuing reconnect request
[  232.070354] psmouse serio1: Touchpad at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost sync at byte 6
[  232.180747] psmouse serio1: Touchpad at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost sync at byte 6
[  232.210626] psmouse serio1: Touchpad at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost sync at byte 6
[  232.289699] psmouse serio1: Touchpad at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost sync at byte 6
[  232.428175] psmouse serio1: Touchpad at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost sync at byte 6
[  232.428182] psmouse serio1: issuing reconnect request

And then sometimes the cursor disappears and to get it back you have to (with root permissions) run 

rmmod psmouse; modprobe psmouse

This report has a good description of the problem.

When I look at the different reports - they all start the same but seem to fizzle out except this redhat bug where it looks like someone is working on the elan_i2c module:

rmmod elan_i2c
rmmod psmouse

lost cursor

modprobe elan_i2c
modprobe psmouse

Got cursor back.
Now have:

[ 2491.362187] input: ETPS/2 Elantech TrackPoint as /devices/platform/i8042/serio1/input/input703
[ 2491.377156] input: ETPS/2 Elantech Touchpad as /devices/platform/i8042/serio1/input/input702

Looked really hopeful - but now the messages are back - but my middle clicking seems not to be ignored. and there are only three lots of lost sync messages.

Yoga 260 - debian thinkpad_ec errors - fixed

I installed tp-smapi-dkms at some point while I was trying to get my yoga 260 working with all its features.

I noticed these messages from dmesg after a reboot.

[   10.557939] thinkpad_ec: loading out-of-tree module taints kernel.
[   10.558304] thinkpad_ec: thinkpad_ec_request_row: arg0 rejected: (0x01:0x00)->0x00
[   10.558305] thinkpad_ec: thinkpad_ec_read_row: failed requesting row: (0x01:0x00)->0xfffffffb
[   10.558307] thinkpad_ec: initial ec test failed
[   10.639393] thinkpad_ec: thinkpad_ec_request_row: arg0 rejected: (0x01:0x00)->0x00
[   10.639394] thinkpad_ec: thinkpad_ec_read_row: failed requesting row: (0x01:0x00)->0xfffffffb
[   10.639397] thinkpad_ec: initial ec test failed

Googling I found this thread from that started in 2012 and continued to 2015.

The gist seems to be that I should remove tp-smapi-dkms because those features are not supported by the hardware.


apt-get purge tp-smapi-dkms

And on reboot the messages have gone away:

 dmesg | grep think
[    2.661884] thinkpad_acpi: ThinkPad ACPI Extras v0.25
[    2.661885] thinkpad_acpi:
[    2.661886] thinkpad_acpi: ThinkPad BIOS N1GET70W (1.49 ), EC unknown
[    2.661886] thinkpad_acpi: Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260, model 20FDCTO1WW
[    2.671689] thinkpad_acpi: radio switch found; radios are enabled
[    2.671850] thinkpad_acpi: This ThinkPad has standard ACPI backlight brightness control, supported by the ACPI video driver
[    2.671850] thinkpad_acpi: Disabling thinkpad-acpi brightness events by default...
[    2.675346] thinkpad_acpi: rfkill switch tpacpi_bluetooth_sw: radio is unblocked
[    2.678097] thinkpad_acpi: Standard ACPI backlight interface available, not loading native one
[    2.681189] input: ThinkPad Extra Buttons as /devices/platform/thinkpad_acpi/input/input7