I’ve been using KiCad on and off for a few years now. I like KiCad reasonably well but it doesn’t always play well with Mac OS X so I usually run it in a Linux Virtual Machine. Here are the install steps for Arch Linux assuming that the X Windows System, graphical interface environment, is already installed.
# Update Pacman and download dependencies sudo pacman -Syy sudo pacman -S cmake bzr wxgtk glew # Configure bzr username... # Even though I would prefer not to... bzr whoami paretech # Change into Arch User Repository download directory # or wherever the download should go. cd ~/aur # Download Bzr Tools (includes the necessary Bzr Patch plugin) curl https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/bz/bzrtools/bzrtools.tar.gz --remote-name tar -xzvf bzrtools.tar.gz cd bzrtools # Inspect PKGBUILD first! makepkg sudo pacman -U bzrtools*.xz # Download Kicad AUR and name file same as remote name curl https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/ki/kicad-bzr/kicad-bzr.tar.gz --remote-name tar -xzvf kicad-bzr.tar.gz cd kicad-bzr # Inspect PKGBUILD first! makepkg sudo pacman -U kicad-bzr*.xz
That’s all there is to it on Arch. Good luck on your next PCB and Happy Hacking!
A while back I took opportunity to hack together a piece of Assistive Technology (AT) for a good friend of mine using a damaged pair of Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic. The first version, pictured on the right, is constructed with a three button array found on ebay.
The second version, pictured at the bottom, is constructed with large arcade buttons from Sparkfun and a custom enclosure that I made with sheet metal, a breaker bar and pop (blind) rivets. This version should be easier to use than the first as it has larger softer buttons, less dangling wires and a case that can withstand being squished between an electric wheel chair and a door frame.
If you are interested in what is inside the Apple Earphone controller, there is a wonderful tear down post.
When I was an intern at Sandia National Laboratories I was introduced to the concept of using virtual machines to sandbox my projects. I have found this to be very helpful for many software experiments and development environments. I even use virtual machines to run my day-to-day Linux install. Here I give my notes on how to use Virtual Box to run an Arch Linux guest install on Mac OS X. Once a base install is complete it’s easy to make snapshots and spin up and destroy clones from the base install as needed.
Create New Virtual Machine
- Download Arch Linux ISO Live CD
Create VirtualBox Disk Image (VDI) with desired settings.
Load the Arch Linux ISO as a CD/DVD image and select the “Boot Arch” option when the live CD boots.
Partition the drive(s)
# gdisk /dev/sda
- Use the n command and values (above) to create partitions using gdisk.
- Print the the gdisk partition table with the p command.
- Write the gdisk partition table with the w command.
Install and Configure System
# Format Partitions mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1 mkswap /dev/sda2 mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda3 # Mount Partitions mount /dev/sda3 /mnt mkdir /mnt/boot mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot swapon /dev/sda2 # Configure Mirrors # Install Base System pacstrap /mnt base base-devel linux # Generate File System Table genfstab -p /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab # Set hostname echo 'myarch' > /etc/hostname # Change Root Directory arch-chroot /mnt # Configure language echo LANG="en_US.UTF-8" >> /etc/locale.conf echo LC_COLLATE="C" >> /etc/locale.conf echo LC_TIME="en_US.UTF-8" >> /etc/locale.conf echo "en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8" >>/etc/locale.gen locale-gen ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/New_York /etc/localtime hwclock --systohc --utc # Generate Ram Disk mkinitcpio -p linux # Install and Configure Bootloader pacman -S syslinux gdisk syslinux-install_update -iam # Exit CHROOT, Unmount Drives and Reboot exit umount -R /mnt reboot
The following isn’t really intended to be executed as a script.
# Setup Network systemctl start dhcpcd systemctl enable dhcpcd # Virtual Box Guest Utilities # https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/VirtualBox#Arch_Linux_as_a_guest_in_a_Virtual_Machine pacman -S virtualbox-guest-utils --noconfirm modprobe -a vboxguest vboxsf vboxvideo echo vboxguest >> /etc/modules-load.d/virtualbox.conf echo vboxsf >> /etc/modules-load.d/virtualbox.conf echo vboxvideo >> /etc/modules-load.d/virtualbox.conf groupadd vboxsf systemctl enable vboxservice systemctl start vboxservice # X Windows System pacman -S xorg-server xorg-server-utils xorg-xinit xterm ttf-dejavu --noconfirm pacman -S awesome # User Configuration pacman -S sudo --noconfirm # use visudo to add under "User privilege specification" before # using sudo as # Replace user_name with desired user name. useradd -m -g users -G optical,power,storage,vboxsf -s /bin/bash user_name chown root.vboxsf /media # Set password using "# passwd " # Set root password using "# passwd" # Update Packages and System pacman -Syy pacman -Syu
Per User Config
Configuration for users other than root.
echo /usr/bin/VBoxClient-all >> ~/.xinitrc echo "exec awesome" >> ~/.xinitrc ln -s /media/sf_share_name/* ~/share_name
At one point I was trying to install linux wireless drivers and since I didn’t have access to an ethernet connection I decided to transfer my driver to the computer in question via a USB thumb drive. But what do you need to do after plugging in the USB disk drive to the Linux machine in order to access the data?
Before connecting your USB device, execute the list block devices “lsblk -f” command. Then, connect your USB storage device and execute an “lsblk -f” command again. Notice anything different?
In my case I observed a new block device filesystem named “sdb1″ and its own UUID. Using the UUID, one can mount the USB device by executing “mkdir /mnt/usbdrive && mount -U YOUR_USB_DEVICE_UUID /mnt/usbdrive” as root. Take care when typing these commands, unlike most Windows/Microsoft systems I have used, *nix systems are case sensitive.
When you are finished with the device, you may “un-mount” it by executing “unmount /mnt/usbdrive” as root.
That was easy!
Christina Ott is a natural building consultant and owner/operator of Barefoot Builder, she also happens to be a very good friend of mine.
During the nice sun shining months of summer, Christina offers a number of natural building and permaculture related workshops. Christina hosts workshops at her home base outside Woodbury, Tennessee but she has also held workshops at various locations across the country.
During the summer of 2011, I had the unique opportunity of working with Christina on her “off grid” cob building workshop in Middle Tennessee. The workshop helped our friend Mati Karol, of the Daffodil Meadow Contemplation Center, grow his presence at the meadow.
This summer, Christina invited me back to work with her again as her tractor operator for her 2012 “building with cob” workshop at a different site in Middle Tennessee. As the tractor operator, I was responsible for machine mixing the ingredients for cob (sand, clay, water and straw) in large quantities and delivering it to the building site as opposed to the labor intensive, but educational, foot mixing method.
Using the MSP430 toolchain in Ubuntu 11.04 is very simple to set up but what about on Macintosh OS X? It turns out that the fink instructions on the MSPGCC wiki for Mac OS X are very good and work flawlessly, even easier than the Linux install. However, the MSP430 USB-Debug-Interface (MSP430UIF) didn’t work immediately, but here is the fix!
Read the rest of this entry »