Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Getting Started

The Hardest Part
What's the hardest part of doing a project in your free time (especially when you're not a motivated person in general)?

Getting Started.

Over at the simple dollar trent makes the statement:
Big goals, big dreams. None of them will happen until I sit down and make the decision to get started with them. I can dream all I want, but until I get started, nothing will happen.
The Key
This is key to what I've said before about getting started, start spending time on what you're passionate about. Trent makes the challenge to go home and spend 2 hours on the big thing you're dreaming most about in your life.  This reminds me a lot about what my dad said about working on our backyard. Looking at it from the perspective of the whole project it looks like it's going to take a lot of work, but if I spend 30 minutes a day on it, you realize it goes a lot quicker then you really ever thought it would. The beauty of it all? It only takes 30 minutes a day. If you can't spare 30 minutes a day about something you really genuinely care and dream about, it really can't be that important to you.

Directing Focus
I like to think of it this way. I used to spend my "relaxation" time just watching tv. But I found myself getting more and more restless. Why? I don't care about watching TV, and unless I am specifically watching TV for a specific show, I just start to get mad at myself. I might complain because I have a bit of a belly, but I don't work out hardly ever. Bam 30 minutes a day, and I bet I could start to fix that. What is 30 minutes? 30 minutes is 2% of your day roughly. Start focusing your time on what you care about and you'll find you have more time. All it takes is a little bit of focused time each day. I truely believe that my "relaxation" time will become the thing I'm passionate about. and the more I

My Project
For my Car project I have some specific things I need to finish, but just getting myself up and doing them can be a challenge. So here is how I'll start finishing things, I'm going to map out what I have left and start making plans to complete each piece.

1. Program my PIC 18F4550 to determine if I can emulate a COM port. If not Use a 16F913, and use true RS232.
2. Using the PIC 18F4550, communicate with my CAN bus chips. (Or 16F913)
3. Find out the CAN messages that my car will produce when I press the song change buttons, as well as various other buttons. (Map out the entire CAN message structure if possible).
4. Hook up my USB port I installed in my car with the right resistances to charge USB devices.
5. Integrate iPod Touch Control with Microcontroller.
6. Use Messages determined in 3 to convert and send to my iPod with knowledge from 5.
7. Determine how to "trick" my tape deck into thinking it's got a tape in it but don't require the motors to be running. (prevents the terrible noise of the motors spinning).
8. Clean everything up and make it look professional. (Possibly cable channels or wraps to make the wires look clean.

School starts in about a week, so finding time is going to become challenging but I know that I can do it.