Recently, I’d been trying to re-program some Atmega168’s for use in Arduino modules, and was having no luck using my AVRISP MkII programmer. All appeared to be working, but it kept failing. I even dug into the details of avrdude, and the programmer responded as if it was working but delivered no love.

Fortunately I had on hand a USBTinyISP from Adafruit. Even more fortunately, Limor Fried has written some nice instructions on the programmer and on installing and running avrdude to program with it. What’s nice is that she’s packaged the software well, so you can run it without too much hassle. The only thing I had to learn was how to point avrdude at her custom config file, by using the -C flag, like so:

./avrdude -C avrdude.conf -v -p m168 -e


Even nicer, David Mellis is including support for this programmer in Arduino 0010, so that I can burn new bootloader firmware onto the chips using it without needing to touch the command line app.

Even nicer still: her programmer’s cheaper than the AVRISP mkII (of which I have blown up a few). I may blow this one up in time too, but I’ll be able to afford to replace it much easier.

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CCD Direct

CCD Direct sells everything you might need for computer vision: cameras, frame grabbers, cables, and more. They also have a nice search tool that lets you search by manufacturer, sensor, input, output, features (including rs-232, external trigger, megapixel, etc), and more.

Thanks to Sasha Harris-Cronin for the link

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MidiStroke is an application for OSX that allows you to trigger keystrokes an any application using MIDI messages. It can be used to automate various tasks using MIDI devices. Could be useful not only for musicians, but also for anyone looking to control an everyday application using a specialized physical interface: occupational therapists, VJs, designers working on large scale projects, graphic artists, and more.

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