Mushroom Season

Tags: Fiinland, Other

Mushroom season is in full swing and I've taken some time to go find Chanterelle mushrooms. These tend to be the easiest to deal with, and taste really good too. They can be a bit difficult to find (and get picked very fast). The website has more information on mushrooms (and berries), and don't forget to check out the two links at the bottom of that page for more information on the different varieties. As always, don't go out picking without proper knowledge on the topic...

The best part of my search was that I found a decent quantity on my own plot of land this year. My recipe: fry in butter, add some pepper and salt and serve with a nice grilled steak, preferably grilled on charcoal made on the spot from a combination of pine and spruce wood.


Flashing STM32L15X EEPROM with STLink under Linux

Tags: Embedded, Linux, Programming

For a while now I've been evaluating some 32-bit micro controllers for a future product. One of them was the STM32L15x series. There are some handy development boards available such as the Nucleo boards. Since we need to have the ability to program processors from Linux for our small production line, tool support is one of the checkboxes that need to be ticked.

For the STM32 series, flashing the microcontroller can be done through GDB, OpenOCD, and the STLink tool. One issue that arose however was the need to program the EEPROM available on the STM32L series. This requirement comes from need to generate and program different EEPROM content on a per board basis at the production line. Doing that requires a few tweaks that are documented below...



Solar Eclipse

Tags: Other

A solar eclipse occurred on March 20th 2015. The weather was great without clouds, so that made for perfect viewing. I'm guessing we were at about 80 percent magnitude. It was also pretty special since the eclipse happened at the same time as the spring equinox. The below videos are a quick attempt of capturing the event at 63.1000° N, 21.6167° E (Vaasa, Finland). The videos are all at 30x real time. 


How Small?

Tags: Electronics, Embedded, GPS, Hardware

As some of you may know, we at WRD Systems have been working on our new, next gen, GPS tracker. The goal of this one is to be as small as possible, yet pack as many features as possible out of the box while keeping the cost low. We often get requests asking how small our tracker is. We tried communicating scale in millimeter, or took a picture of the board next to a coin, but they did not seem to convey how small our tracker can really be. To try to improve on this, we present the Matchbox Tracker:

On Processes and Threads

Tags: C, Computer Architecture, Linux, Programming

Some time ago I followed an interesting discussion on a board where people were discussing multi-core software development. During the course of the discussion it became apparent that there is a lot of confusion and misconceptions about a 'process' and a 'thread' as they exist on e.g., a Linux system. Both are applicable to make use of multi-core systems, but they do so in different ways. Even though the exact distinction while compared to early definitions of the terms has perhaps become somewhat blurred, the two remain separate entities which can complement each other perfectly. In this post I'm going to try and illustrate the similarities and differences, and show you some real life scenarios of both. Keep in mind that we will be making some generalizations - and there are lots of examples where these generalizations do not directly apply, or where there are other possible implementations of the cited examples. Going into these would turn this blog entry into an entire book...


New Horizons for Embedded

Tags: Computer, Embedded, Programming, School

Well, maybe not that new - but definitely something that is getting more and more important. 

The embedded development toolbox is rapidly expanding, and it is becoming harder and harder to find people skilled in these tools. Starting from the university, 'embedded' is considered hard and not as 'cool' as traditional software development. Why spend hours hacking away and reading datasheet to get to blink a LED and send 'hello world' over a UART when you could build rich graphical programs with web technologies or mobile? The fact that embedded development requires a wide skill set going from electronics, process control, signal processing to software, to Matlab means that substantial time is required to form a good base on which to build the required specialized skill sets. Not many people are willing to do that. 

Web Proxy

Tags: Network, Security

We just launched a free web proxy service: Not only will it help you get around firewalls and sites blocked by your ISP, it does so without logging user data. Oh, and we're 'Not Subject to American Law' - in reference to the recent NSA surveillance debacle ;-)


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