What a week! My first project for the embedded systems class I’m taking was due yesterday at 6:00. This was challenging because my C programming skills are rusty and I never took a “prerequisite” undergraduate microcontroller class before this graduate class. I do have some self taught microcontroller experience that is helping but our instructor is less than helpful. He spent the first week of class reading the syllabus, forcing horrible analogies in an attempt to teach us about corporate culture of programmers instead of useful info about the board and project and explaining why it’s bad to wait until the last minute to start on said project. Seriously, he spent 15 minutes talking about why we shouldn’t wait until the last minute. The class is almost unbearable and is only made worse by the shit eating grin he flashes eleventy billion times per class.
Anyway, this would all have been fine if not for Wednesday. I had planned to work on the project all day and then enjoy a fancyish date night with dinner and Wicked at DPAC.
Instead, a clogged water filter exploded flooding my lab with nasty dirty water and I spent the day taking apart tools, mopping and putting them back together. Here are a few pics of the nasty residue and peeling up floor tiles.
After cleaning all day with a short break to sit in the Dr. Shiteatinggrin’s class we also had to make an appearance for an NSF big wig who was visiting our engineering research center. This amounted to standing around until 6:30 pm with relatively no interaction with said big wig while I lamented missing out on dressing up nice, having dinner and letting Indy out before rushing to Durham. Fortunately our roommate was home and kind enough to walk the dog and we ate cookout in the car on the way to the theater in our t-shirts. In the end it was ok though because Wicked was phenomenal and we had a great time once we got there despite the back of my brain occasionally whispering “You’re never going to finish your project on time!”
Spoiler: I did finish on time after a couple 12 hour stretches in front of the computer peppered with shouted and muttered obscenities with a 5 hour sleep break in there somewhere.
I went to work with a few friends also taking the class without the prerequisite knowledge so we enjoyed beating our heads against the monitors together. We had to set up LEDs to fade in and out based on input from a touch slider and a tilt sensor along with timers to time out the light and flash various signals and a low battery detector. In the end it was reasonably satisfying to finish. This is the board. It uses an ARM Cortex M0+ processor and is pretty cool despite the documentation being hard to find and spread out all over. Such seems to be the case with microcontrollers though.
We celebrated the end of a long week with margaritas and enchiladas at does taquitos.
The enchiladas are easily the best dish but I suggest substituting chorizo and spinach for chicken. Ignore your server’s questioning glance and his or her concerns about potatoes being in the chorizo mix (seriously, that’s a bonus!). They always seem confused and that makes me confused as to why this substitution hasn’t caught on because it’s freaking amazing.
On a side note, I’m starting training for my half marathon this week so hopefully my foot injury is now under control. Stay tuned for more exciting updates on swollen ankles and how hungry I am after running.
How was your week?