#qi-hardware IRC log for Saturday, 2012-03-24

kristianpaulwhat's the "best" way to catch up a 64bytes word given trought a uart/serial link to then be loaded in to a memory mapped register for further analisys00:26
kristianpaulmy first concer was how i do indentify the 64bytes word, and i guess i shall include a EOL string (\n right?)00:27
kristianpauland thats it?00:27
kristianpauli know looks easy but i wanted to confirm, the more simple the more dangerous small problems i may found..00:27
wpwrakkristianpaul: depends a bit on how much overhead you can accept00:47
wpwrakif you don't care, use hex encoding plus a newline00:47
wpwrakthen you'll know that, if you don't receive 8 digits, it's invalid00:47
wpwrakerr, 16 digits :)00:50
kristianpauloverhead woulr not much00:50
kristianpaulthe 64bytes string will go to a double sha256 operation00:50
kristianpaulthat at the moment takes 8 seconds !!00:51
wpwrakbitcoins ? :)00:51
kristianpaulyeah00:51
wpwrakoh dear, the most efficient way to earn yourself right into poverty ;-)00:51
kristianpaulmoney is sign of poverty anyway..00:52
wpwrakthat i'd consider a novel interpretation :)00:53
kristianpaulbut i do like bitcoing as a exchange an hopefully alternative for trading..00:53
kristianpauls/exchange/currency00:54
wolfspraulI'm wondering whether they can be used to reward data relay in a p2p network00:54
wolfspraulsay I bring a packet of data from A to B, I get some (tiny) amount of bitcoins00:55
wpwrakkristianpaul: they may already have evolved beyond that point00:55
wolfspraulbut there would need to be additional algorithms to determine partial deliveries, auction delivery prices00:55
wpwrakwolfspraul: you'd face some stiff gratis competition00:55
wolfspraulgreat00:56
wolfspraulthat's the point, to establish the network at the lowest possible cost00:56
kristianpaulwpwrak: do you pay in argentina somwhere with bitcoins already? :)00:56
wolfsprauladd up all the yearly revenues of all worldwide mobile carriers00:56
wolfspraulhow much is that?00:56
wolfspraullet's say 500 billion USD00:56
wolfsprauleven more probably00:56
wolfspraulis that the most efficient way to create a global mobile network?00:56
wpwrakkristianpaul: pretty soon, i'll probably have to grow potatoes or such to be able to trade. if you haven't noticed, argentina is deindustrializing at breakneck speed.00:57
wolfspraulnot sure, but I think any serious p2p effort can only take off after you introduce *some* concept of reward00:57
kristianpauldeindustrializing, yeah i heard rumours00:57
wolfspraulthe totally altruistic ones we already have for years, and it will forever be a tiny niche only imho00:57
wpwrakkristianpaul: yesterday, they killed book imports (also private ones, not just for companies)00:57
kristianpaulbook !!!00:57
kristianpaulWHATT00:57
wolfspraulfon tried the sharing stuff, that was good for a while00:57
kristianpaulwow00:58
wolfspraulbut imagine you can make a few bitcoins simply by installing some package on your openwrt router00:58
wpwrakkristianpaul: well, stalin killed the intellectuals. the populist government of argentina found a better way.00:58
wolfspraulyou could suddenly have millions of people installing this package :-)00:58
wolfsprauland establishing a p2p network as a side effect00:58
wpwrakwolfspraul: the "altruistic" ones just use the default settings :)00:59
wolfspraulyes but is it growing?00:59
wpwrakdunno. does it have to ?00:59
wolfspraulthe actual movement is in the exact opposite direction00:59
kristianpaulwpwrak: what's the size for the smallest box you got from digikey?00:59
wolfspraulsure, it doesn't :-)00:59
wolfspraulyou can also turn off your computer now and do something else :-)00:59
wpwrak1) find/invent name of popular download ("britney spears naked", death_of_toulouse_terrorist.wmv, whatever). 2) put your data into it. 3) fire up you p2p client. 4) wait half an hour. 5) tell your friends.01:00
wpwrakkristianpaul: no idea ;-) not terribly small. maybe shoebox-sized. but i generally order things for a value around USD 400-80001:01
kristianpaul800usd !!01:02
kristianpauloh well01:02
wpwrakwolfspraul: what i mean is that it may be sufficiently big that you don't care about trends for the next few years01:02
wolfspraulfree networks?01:02
wpwrakkristianpaul: shipping used to be more expensive. now, it would make sense for maybe around USD 200 already01:02
wolfspraulI think the chance for them to catch on has passed. that's why I think the next wave/chance may come when some means of payment are embedded right on top of the routing protocols01:03
wpwrakwolfspraul: well, torrent, kadmelia, etc.01:03
wolfspraulah, I mean the first connection01:04
wolfspraulfree wifi spot01:04
wolfspraulthe net is striving, no doubt01:04
wpwrakoh, access. yeah, wireless access is still an issue.01:05
wolfspraulyes01:05
wpwrakthe problem is a lack of sense of pointless heroism01:06
wpwrake.g., if everyone just opened their wireless network, and the few who get sued by some asshole, would just try to injure/murder their assailants in the courtroom, heroically sacrificing their own lives, the whole situation may quickly settle at a new equilibrium01:08
wpwrakbut since people don't do that, this will never happen ...01:08
mthif we can get a majority to care about sane copyrights, the laws would be changed and there would be no base for such a lawsuit01:10
wpwrakmth: isn't democracy the process of fairly electing the most efficient liar ?01:11
mthsometimes; I guess the trick is to force them to lie so convincingly that it is indistinguishable from telling the truth01:12
mthin the sense that they'll do the right things for the wrong reason01:12
wpwrakonce they have your vote, and it's a representative democracy, why would they bother ?01:13
mthbecause there is always a next election01:13
wpwrakhow many times can they be reelected ?01:14
mthI don't think we have a limit in the Netherlands01:14
mthbut popularity doesn't last very long usually, so they are replaced after 10 years or so01:14
wpwrakand would one more term net them more profits than making the best (for them) of the current term ?01:14
mthsometimes much sooner than that01:15
wpwrakten years isn't too bad01:15
mthhere politicians usually get well paying jobs after their political career, not before or during01:16
wpwrakyup. so nobody can accuse them of being corrupt :)01:16
mthit's not ideal, but it's better than having someone like Berlusconi or the "campaign donations" of the USA01:17
wpwrakwell, have politics in italy every been sane ?01:18
wpwraks/y/01:18
wpwrakclose :)01:18
wpwrakand the USA simply have mastered the art of carrying the label of "democracy" without the ruling class suffering its disadvantages01:20
mthnot that I can remember, but it used to be one government after another, lasting about a year each, while Berlusconi was around for a very long time, mostly figuring out how to stay out of jail rather than running the country01:20
wpwrakso in terms of running the country, not much changed. only the distractions did01:21
mthBelgium didn't do so bad when they were without a government for over a year, maybe a government isn't really required most of the time01:23
wpwrakdid they still implement new EU laws during that interregnum ?01:24
mthI think the old government was still running day to day things, just not allowed to make major changes01:27
mthat least that's how it works here, not sure about Belgium01:27
wpwrakoh, then nothing had really changed. they were just freed from pretending to make changes01:28
mthin some cases, the drive to make changes is what is causing problems01:28
mthfor example, we've had one minister of education after another making big changes01:29
wpwrakwhile in truth, everything significant is now decided at the EU level anyway. and more and more even in secret negotiations01:29
mththe teachers and book writers couldn't keep up at all01:29
wpwrakah yes, the overzealous can be an annoyance01:29
mthalso, new systems were introduced before the previous one could be properly evaluated, so there was little opportunity to learn anything from the results01:30
wpwrakif they do this consistently, you may want to consider simply ignoring them :)01:30
mthignoring doesn't really work if they use earmarked budgets or change the state exam requirements01:31
wpwrakif they decide to implement sanctions for following set of rules for time t, there will be a new set of rules t+1 by the time this even reaches the courts :)01:31
wpwraks/for fo/for not fo01:32
wpwrakwell, with earmarked budgets, you have to please the decision makers directly anyway01:32
wpwrakthe only problem occurs if all they crave is submission and compliance. everything else, girls, boys, drugs, money, or fake praise could be provided easily01:34
wpwraki mean, if they weren't deeply corrupt, there weren't in politics :)01:36
mthI think a lot of the people who enter politics are actually there because of their ideals, but if they stay too long they'll be corrupted01:37
wpwrakyeah. i guess are nice to see them through the first few weeks. until they can find a comfortable place at the troughs and settle in01:39
wpwraki think the only remotely hopeful concept is direct democracy. as long as the people can stop any madness relatively quickly, that should stop at least the wildest escapades01:40
mthI don't think direct democracy will work for most issues01:41
mth90% of politics is about how much money to spend where01:41
wpwrakof course, this requires a high level of education. or else it just falls prey to populism even quicker than anything else01:41
mthif you ask people if they want more teachers, nurses etc, they'll all say "yes"01:41
mthbut it's always a tradeoff01:41
mthmodern society is simply too complex to have a reasonable understanding of everything, even if you're smart and educated01:42
wpwrakit seems to work well in switzerland. they have teachers. they have nurses. they have plenty of other things, too.01:42
wpwrakand direct democracy doesn't mean you have to vote on every little detail01:43
wpwrakif the administation has some idea and not enough people disagree with it, then it passes without involving everyong01:43
wpwraks/ong/one01:43
mthCalifornia is nearly bankrupt because the people votes that the government should take care of X, Y and Z, but neither of the parties wants to raise taxes to pay for that01:44
wpwrakperhaps a problem of education ?01:44
wpwrakthe US have a large span between the top and the bottom of their voting society (and then some even lower)01:45
wpwrakas i said, i don't think direct democracy works without proper education. and proper education implies a reasonably balanced society01:46
mthif you want everyone to make informed decisions, it's not just about giving them a good base education, they have to follow current events as well01:46
wpwrakthat is easier today than it ever was01:47
mthI think some direct democracy can work, but it won't be able to replace the government01:47
wpwrakbesides, you can inform they before they have to vote. specifically on the issue at hand01:47
mthit's easy to get access to any info you want, but not to digest it01:47
wpwrakthere we come back to the education :)01:48
wpwrakand of course, those things do get discussed in the media before they voted on01:48
mthwhat I mean is, it would require many hours per week per voter to make informed decisions if you want to run a country on mostly direct democracy01:48
wpwrakand yes, you need an administration to take care of daily business01:48
wpwrakpeople probably spend some hours per week anyway, dealing with politics in one way or another01:49
mthtrue, but I usually follow only the subject I am interested in, not everything that goes on01:50
wpwrakyou're not obliged to vote on everything. also, there can be several levels of votes. communal, regional, national.01:51
mththe main problem I have with politics as it works here today is that almost every party seems to have the goal to become as large as possible01:51
mthwhile they should just have a vision and whoever likes that vision can vote for it01:52
wpwrakif the neighbouring town wants to rename a street to "harry potter avenue", there's no reason to involve the rest of the country. even if it may be a hot topic in that town.01:52
wpwrakyeah. it seems that very little significant has been added to politics after Machiavelli01:53
mthit happens to some charities as well: they become institutions focused on their own survival and growth, rather than their original goal01:54
mthpeople in the shopping district will ask you to donate to some cause, but they're just hired, they don't believe in the cause themselves01:54
wpwrakas an engineer, i doubt the concept of charities. particularly long-lived ones.01:55
mththe lack of enthusiasm shows when you ask them a little about the cause01:55
wpwrakcharities try to manage a problem. engineers try to solve it. of course, managing is usually more profitable.01:56
mthnot every problem is solvable though, or solving might take a really long time01:56
wpwraktrue. but i'm worried about the focus shifting more and more towards managing problems.01:57
wpwrakand "a long time" is often measured in legislature periods. if it can't be started, executed, and cashed in politically, then it's not worth doing01:58
wpwrak(all that within those ~4 years typically available)01:58
mththere are cases where this is an issue: in NL, the data about drug addicts is collected by organizations that help addicts, while in some other countries it is collected by people who fight drugs01:59
mththe bias has an impact on whether high or low estimates are reported01:59
wpwrakhmm. for the ones "fighting drugs" (they're not), i guess it's high when a new government takes control, and low right before the next elections ? :)02:00
mthI don't know if there is such a sawtooth, but it does lead to lower numbers overall02:01
mthat least, that's what some people think, there are no hard numbers to prove it02:02
mthit's hard to find people that are both independent and knowledgeable02:02
mthbecause often to become knowledgeable on a subject, you spend a lot of time on it as part of some organisation02:03
wpwrakyeah :)02:03
wpwrakanyway, i doubt europe will contribute much towards improving the global drug situation soon. governments a generally too far on the right for that.02:04
wpwrakmaybe south america, after the world cup, when brazil no longer has to project a clean image02:05
mthleft and right is just a wave, it might swing to the left again pretty soon02:05
mthNL was progressive in their drugs policy once, but has stagnated for decades now02:05
wpwrakyes, NL is a bit of a disappointment there02:06
mthI'm not a fan of drugs, but legalization solves more problems that it causes imo02:06
wpwraki guess a lack of regional support played a role in that02:06
mththey ran an experiment with semi-legalization, but forgot to conclude that experiment by evaluating and drawing conclusions02:06
mthinstead, they just let the experiment run on and on02:06
wpwraki saw the importance of that in the 1980es in switzerland. back then, it was very lax on drugs. the consequence: all the addicts of europe, mainly heroin, flocked to zurich.02:07
mth30 years ago the neighbours were a big issue, but nowadays some other EU countries are more relaxed about drugs than NL is02:07
mthI'm not sure everything should be legalized, but at least stuff like weed and mushrooms should be02:08
mththey're not more harmful than alcohol02:08
wpwraki'd say legalize everything. treat it like medicine. if you want cocaine on a prescription, fine, here's your week's package02:09
wpwrakit would stop being cool before you know it02:09
wpwrakthere'd be zero motivation to get non-addicts hooked02:10
mththe problem might be with stuff that is addictive after even a small number of uses02:10
mthpeople are going to try stuff02:10
wpwrakand those who have become addicted would have a much better chance of running halfway normal lives02:10
mthnot sure though if that would be more people if it's legal02:10
mthin any case, legalization would cut off a lot of funding from organized crime02:11
wpwrakthere may even be means to cure an addiction. that's a sector with very little research. for obvious reasons 02:11
wpwrak(crime funding) exactly02:11
wpwrakdo you have much drug-related violence in NL ? street robberies and such ?02:12
mthrobberies not so often, but violent revenge between criminals is an issue02:12
mthwe've had several cases of that here in Eindhoven02:12
mthhouses shot at with automatic weapons etc02:13
wpwrakah, as long as they kill each other, i wouldn't worry a lot :)02:13
mthusually it's only the criminals that get hurt, but it's still dangerous for bystanders02:13
wpwrakyeah02:13
mthand there are problems like illegal growing of cannabis, where they tap power illegally and often create fire hazards02:14
wpwrakin south america, very violent robberies by addicts are a big issue. they're virtually always have firearms and are more than willing to use them at the slightest difficulty, real or imagined02:15
mthapparently there is not so much profit in it if they actually have to pay for the electricity that the lamps burns02:15
wpwrakheh ;-)02:15
wpwrakthat's kinda sweet02:15
mthhere addicts mainly steal bicylces :(02:15
mthwell, better than armed robbery02:15
wpwrakso, a lot less urgency to do something about it. of course, then there's mexico, where drug crime has more or less reached the proportions of a civil war02:18
mtha lot of that is probably export though, so a different approach to drugs elsewhere could improve the situation in Mexico02:19
wpwraki wonder what would happen if the mexical government would simply legalize everything, including trade. war with the US ? how would the nearly 50% people of mexican origin living in the south of the US react to that ?02:19
wpwrakwell, the problem of mexico are obviously the US. not just for drugs, of course02:20
mthI don't think they would get invaded, but they might get isolated economically02:20
wpwrakthat may be an improvement :)02:20
wpwrakas long as the US don't try to sink chinese freight ships ...02:21
mthwhy would they do that? they've lost a lot of their own manufacturing, they need Chinese goods now02:22
wpwrakyes. so if they isolate mexico, mexico would still have access to pretty much everything they need02:24
wpwrakit would require a lot of rearranging of local industry, plus it would complicate life for families depending on payments from relatives who have crossed the border. but it doubt it would be an existential threat.02:25
wpwrakplus, they could then collect taxes on drug transit :-)02:25
wolfspraulwpwrak: I want to promote boom a little to other open hardware projects02:29
wolfspraulprobably in private mails, maybe also some lists if that is appropriate02:29
wpwrakwolfspraul: kicad-using projects, i hope ? :)02:30
wolfspraulI don't expect any quick results, but this is a tool that I believe is solid and will stay for the long run. so it's good to tell people early about it.02:30
wolfspraulfirst the idea02:30
wolfsprauljust saying, I feel we don't talk about it enough as an independently valuable open source software02:31
wolfspraulmy question: what is the version?02:31
wpwrakmaybe once it's been used for a while in M102:31
wpwrakthere's no current version you'd want to recommend02:31
wpwrakthe new one isn't finished yet02:31
wolfspraulthe one we had last year, was that 1.0 ? 0.1 ? I think some kind of versioning is important so others (like me) can talk about it02:31
wolfspraulsure sure02:31
wpwrakthe old one is slow, hard to configure, and since digi-key changed their database interface, it has only manually provided data for its database anyway02:32
wpwraknaw, it has no version :) old vs. new it is :)02:32
wolfspraulwill it never have a version?02:33
wpwrakand it's a lot more like version 0 than 1 ;-) it was basically a proof of concept. not a tool for production use02:33
wolfspraulyes of course, I know. I used it.02:33
wpwrak(version) dunno. maybe a git commit hash :)02:33
wolfspraulbut also as long as you just talk about it as some sort of 'only in my garage goofing thing', then most people will not bother to even look02:34
wpwraksure. but it's not at a point where they'd go "wow"02:34
wolfspraulthe concept is very strong02:34
wolfsprauland fills a void02:34
wpwraki think most projects simply do manual sourcing once and then just try to resist change02:35
wolfspraulor are you aware of similar efforts?02:35
wolfsprauloh sure, that's what they do02:35
wolfsprauland that's one reason where there is so little (let's say 0) reuse between open hardware projects02:35
wpwrakfor me, the main feature is that it tells me if there's a problem in my shopping list02:35
wpwrakthe automatic component selection is sort of an added benefit02:36
wpwrak(reuse) hmm, not sure if the problem is the BOM02:36
wolfspraulone of them02:36
wolfsprauloften overlooked even02:36
wolfspraulbut sure we are on the same page. I just wanted to ask about versioning, and your answer is clear.02:37
wpwrakit's probably more like this order: 1) overall platform (e.g., avr vs. arm vs. 8051 or whatever). 2) tool suite. 3) design goals and capabilities. 4) component libraries. 5) and then perhaps BOM processing02:38
wolfspraulI think a software that has no version number barely exists to many.02:38
wolfspraulthink about the perspective of an outside roaming the interwebs for interesting new things02:39
wpwrakwe can invent versions at some point in time :)02:39
wolfspraulyes. got it.02:39
wpwrakeven retroactively02:39
wolfspraulthanks!02:39
wpwrakfor me, the development process is generally more fluid. i try to avoid creating long periods where things don't work. so at the end of the day, you should have something that's either the same as in the morning, or a little better02:41
wpwrakthis makes the "recommended version" pretty much always the latest02:42
wolfspraulthat works only for 1-person projects or if you have a very strong test suite02:43
wpwrakyou can always do risky development in a branch02:43
wolfspraul'works' in the sense that stable/functioning software is what creates value, not broken new features02:43
wolfspraulI agree we are in no rush about boom versioning02:43
wpwraki think the main issue with a fluid model is that it's difficult to create "newsworthy" items02:44
wolfspraulI can talk about it without version number as well, no problem.02:44
wpwrakreleases are good for that. ten highlights. that gets more attention than a small piece every week02:44
wpwrakare you thinking of any specific opportunity to pimp it ?02:45
wolfspraulno, just thinking how to talk about it as an independently valuable piece of software02:45
wolfspraulthen I realized it has no version numbers :-)02:46
mthif it's in git, it has a unique ID02:46
wpwrakthe memorable aa2fe3ef1644a2ba92f06bd7d1180d0532a7c4f6 at the moment ;-)02:47
wolfspraulthe version numbers I meant are not auto-generated02:48
wolfspraulthey have to do with the author's pride in his or her work02:48
wpwrakfunny. i don't think heise newsticker ever referred to a new release by its git hash. maybe there's some oddball way to get press attention :)02:48
wolfspraulyou can look at any creative field, and creators care about when their baby is released, how, etc.02:48
wolfspraulif the creator already doesn't care, then surely nobody else will either02:49
mthstep 1 is to have something to find the source belonging to a binary, step 2 is to only pick those revisions that are good02:49
mthif you can't have step 2, having only step 1 is still worth something02:49
wpwraks/not care/it too avantgarde/ :)02:49
wpwraks/it/is02:50
wpwrakbah02:50
qi-bot[commit] Maarten ter Huurne: Merged LinkAction class into its base class. (master) http://qi-hw.com/p/gmenu2x/57ad81e10:54
qi-bot[commit] Maarten ter Huurne: Added missing #includes. (master) http://qi-hw.com/p/gmenu2x/d2413d810:54
qi-botThe build has FAILED: http://fidelio.qi-hardware.com/~xiangfu/building/Nanonote/Ben/openwrt-xburst.full_system-20120323-0957 13:07
whitequarkwolfspraul: boom?21:25
wpwrakwhitequark: http://projects.qi-hardware.com/index.php/p/eda-tools/source/tree/master/boom/README22:20
wpwrakor, for work in progress that doesn't do anything yet, http://projects.qi-hardware.com/index.php/p/eda-tools/source/tree/master/b2/22:21
whitequarkhm22:23
whitequarkinteresting22:23
whitequarkbut it won't work with eagle22:24
wpwrakwell, you could write a BOM format converter22:28
whitequarkeagle's is space-delimited text22:28
whitequarklike R0 10K MURATA22:28
wpwrakkicad uses semicolon-delimited text :) (well, it has two formats. that's the one that comes from eeschema. i think pcbnew uses CSV)22:31
wpwrakof course, i also want to an interactive interface, to assist in component selection when making the schematics. that wouldn't be possible with anything closed source.22:33
wpwrakor at least less convenient to use22:34
whitequarkwell, that may be a reason to switch to kicad22:34
whitequark_if_ it is a good CAD for schematic capture22:34
whitequarkwhich I never heard of at the moment22:34
wpwraki find it quite tolerable for schematic capture22:37
wpwrakwe need to redo the symbol library, though. the default one is not very complete and full of small inconsistencies. but that's a relatively minor problem.22:38
whitequarkhm22:47
whitequarkping me when you'll do that22:47
whitequarkI want to look into kicad.22:47
Action: kristianpaul notice its digikey basket is empty :-|23:37
kristianpaulwpwrak: what kind tweezer should i need to hold a QFN chip?23:48
kristianpauli need to make this order from digikey worth.. so any other iten you consider i'll add it (if this not cost 200USD :-D)23:49
kristianpauli have zero tool related to SMD stuff, atually my soldering iron is just 60W.. i gues it will work23:50
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