Author Archives: Jeremy

About Jeremy

I'm a 4th year Electronic and Electrical Engineering undergraduate at the university of Bristol who loves finding the answer to the question, "What can we make it do that is was never designed to...".

In depth with the TwitALU software

We’ve touched on this area before with the software layout and planning post but a lot has happened since then. This includes a GitHub repository where the latest version of our code can be found here. If you fancy having a read through it and reckon you have spotted any problems or know a better way of doing things then let us know and we’ll look into what you’ve spotted.

Work in progress system class diagram

Work in progress system class diagram

For the most part it is structured just like the diagram suggests we had it planned. A cool feature of the project is that the code is portable to other platforms, with just a simple rewrite of the lowest level classes – I2C and Quick2Wire. This means that you could implement the TwitALU on completely different hardware – for instance on the BeagleBone Black or even an ARM based mobile phone.

Continue reading

Tweets in motion

Here we go everyone, as promised, a video of the prototype system working from start to finish! I can recommend viewing it in HD at full screen with a bit of volume for effect. Obviously theres still the final system to create but this is the big turning point in functionality. Let us know what you think in the comments here or on YouTube we’re interested to know what you think of the system as much as the video at this stage.

 

The Twitter API, Twython and I

Musical references aside my time has, since building as much of the actual system on breadboard as was needed and ordering PCBs, been spent mostly on finding a suitable Python 3 compatible Twitter library and getting it to work.

Job number 1 was finding one I liked the look of. Truth be told, this extended as far as some Googling and finding a list of popular libraries. Then choosing one that was actively maintained, worked with Python 3 and introduced the least interfering with data between me and the actual Twitter REST API 1.1.

Continue reading

Breadboard prototype

We thought it was about time you saw the breadboard monster that we’ve been developing with until the PCBs arrive and here she is! It’s only a mostly functional version of the registers and the adder function but it’s allowed us to make sure all of the most important functions work for now.

A basic functional prototype of the registers and adder hardware
A basic functional prototype of the registers and adder hardware

Breaking the silence

Ok, so we know we’ve been quiet for a little while now but that’s only because we’ve made epic progress.

Last we said was that we’d laid out the PCBs ready for ordering them. Well, we have ordered them but it all underwent a full re-work and re-plan before submitting the orders finally because we learnt a few important things.

V0.1 of the TwitALU PCB layout

V0.1 of the TwitALU PCB layout

Continue reading