Raspberry Pi Ordered

Like many, I have been following the developments of the Raspberry Pi project with anticipation. When the RPi was released recently, I was ready to try to get my order in at the earliest possible moment. Unfortunately, it seems that the chosen distributors underestimated the demand and I ended up participating in the “DDOS” that crippled these sites. In the end, I was able to “register my interest” and that allowed me several days later to place a pre-order myself.

My Raspberry Pi is expected to ship in May, so I’ll have a bit of a wait, yet, but after waiting this long, what’s a few more weeks? I have a number of ideas in mind for mine, and I’m sure like-minded geeks are going to find endless uses for the innovative device, but I’m most excited about the foundation’s vision for using the Pi as a tool for getting kids interested in programming. I applaud their efforts and look forward to seeing the fruits of their labor in the months ahead. Read More ›

Back on IPv6, and it feels so good

I had let my Hurricane Electric tunnelbroker account lapse several years ago when shuffling around my OpenWrt builds. At that time I determined that I didn’t need the extra overhead imposed by the tunnelbroker.

Having recently upgraded from my trusty Linksys WRT54G, to an x86 Alix router platform, I decided to reactivate my IPv6 tunnel. It was a piece o’ cake. I was then able to update my DNS records and bring JonSharp.net and JonandJolene.com back on IPv6. It feels good to be back. ;) Read More ›

Shamelessly promoting my company, Campground Automation Systems

Hey Internets,

I have this great company I started with my friend, Tyler Duffy, named Campground Automation Systems. With our team, I’ve been very busy building outdoor Kiosks, designing wireless utility control devices, and writing software to tie it all together for the past 5 years – which is why this blog has been so neglected.

We provide online reservations for campgrounds and RV Parks through our SunriseReservations.com portal site.

We don’t just do online reservations through our central reservation system, (CRS) we have a complete campground management software package named Sunrise.

Stop by our site and read all about it, then visit us on Facebook and “Like” us! Read More ›

Bearwaller Gap Trail

Rugged, straight-through trail with a backcountry campsite at midway mark. Read More ›

TI's MSP430 Launchpad: Budget Embedded

I recently ran across an ad for TI’s MSP430 Launchpad 16-bit embedded microcontroller kit. How did I miss this before now? $4.30 for a complete 16-bit microcontroller development kit? Needless to say, I ordered one. I probably should’ve ordered several. ;) Don’t get me wrong, I still love my trusty 8-bit AVRs, but for the price, you can’t go wrong. Surely you can find something to do with another micro?

Obviously, the price has a strong appeal here, but the true draw (pun intended) is the amazing power budget afforded by this micro. TI has posted several Youtube vids demonstrating the device running on things like grapes and potatoes, just to show off. Real-world applications might require more juice than that, but the MSP430 starts to make small-scale energy harvesting look practical. And this is what really starts capturing my imagination.

I’ve only barely begun to play with my Launchpad, having tested the various examples using each of the major toolchains available. So far, I’m impressed. For now, the Launchpad’s in the drawer, waiting for my next low-power / energy-harvesting application. What will it be? Read More ›