First steps toward programmable matter?

Arguably, since the dawn of the solid state era the human race has been experimenting with the development of computronium, or forms of matter optimized for the processing of information. The doped silicon semiconductors that make up the CPU and much of the supporting circuitry of the computer you're using right now are variants of computronium (albeit very primitive when compared with the above link). Most circuitry as we know it today has a few limitations that we don't often think about, however. First of all, it's on the fragile side. Drop a circuit board when it's not inside a …

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You're probably wondering where I've been lately.

By and large, work has been, well, work.  Lots of hours at the office, lots of hours stuck in traffic sweating like Kevin Mitnick during a traffic stop.  When I haven't been logging time behind a console, I've either been trying to get my head back into Python coding (try as I might, I just don't understand GUI programming in general or PyGTK in particular), reading data sheets, reading up on the Arduino microcontroller, or pulling a Tesla while pondering the best way to build my latest obsession, a laser synthtar.

You see, it all started at HacDC a couple …

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Arduino cross-development kit on Gentoo.

While I’m sitting here hacking around, here’s the exact command that I needed to run to get the Arduino development kit to install properly on Windbringer:

It should be noted that I’m using Layman to manage my overlays, which is why I had to specify the environment variable on the command line.

I discovered that GCC v4.1.2 didn't support the Atmega328, which is what my Arduino Duemilanove is based upon, so I had to upgrade GCC to the latest stable release for Gentoo.  To generate code for the Atmega328, you need v4.2.2 or …

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The Last HOPE.

I arrived in New York City somewhen around 1400 EST5EDT, after getting turned around in Penn Station (what kind of adventure would it be without my getting lost, after all?) and being sent in the direction of the hotel by a wary yet friendly security guard at the office building I'd blundered into. I finally got to the Hotel Penn, which they really did a nice job fixing up since the last time I'd been there (though the air conditioning was still pants, which became a common complaint that weekend). I wandered around for a while because I had no …

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