Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Introducing Proof of Concept Music Glove

Well the day I never thought would come has arrived. I have finished a proof of concept of my android music control using an external (in this case glove) device.

It was a long and slow journey, I've often times got so many projects in the pipeline that it's really exciting when I get to see one finish up.

This evening I finished up wiring my device, and asked @civissmith over to help with the video, so Thanks I really appreciate it, trying to do what I was showing with one hand would have been, painful to say the least.

Basic concept, Buttons attached to arduino send characters to android app, when music is running, pressing a button allows control of the music app.

Shot of Glove
Shot of Glove

Button inside glove

Without further words, I think the video will be proof enough.

If you'd like to follow me on twitter I can be found here: @onaclov2000

Monday, April 16, 2012

Causing the next song to play

With the android music player you can change songs using the following broadcast. It's not guaranteed to work with any other music players, or even with any updates they make, however it works for what I need right now (I have no interest in making a music player), If you have a music app and have an intent to change songs,etc, please let me know and I'd be happy to support if possible. I found this across the interwebs somewhere probably nearly a year ago now, I can't remember where I found it, or who wrote it, so if you are the one responsible I would love to give you credit (i'm sure it came from stackoverflow at one point, but after a lot of searching recently I can't seem to find anything about it).
Intent i = new Intent(""); i.putExtra("command", "next"); sendBroadcast(i);
Good luck.

Modifying Bluetooth Chat

I started out trying to pull the android bluetooth chat application from the developer website....BAD IDEA. I spent quite a bit of time commenting this out, adding a toast here and a if then there. That one is built for a different sdk version than I'm using, so my recommendation would be to pull it from the examples folder in the sdk download.

Well I finally grabbed the bluetooth chat application from the sdk examples folder (when you download from google). After about 5 minutes I tried loading the default app on my phone and touchpad, it worked just fine. I then changed ONE LINE of code and my arduino can talk to my android devices with bluetooth. What line say you? This one:

In the
private static final UUID MY_UUID = UUID.fromString("fa87c0d0-afac-11de-8a39-0800200c9a66");

private static final UUID MY_UUID = UUID.fromString("00001101-0000-1000-8000-00805F9B34FB");

That's it that's all it took. Apparently that UUID from what I've been able to gather is for the bluetooth serial interface, so that's all I needed.

Here is video proof of the application in action.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ada Withs

Eclipse has a really nice feature which allows through a keyboard shortcut the ability to update the imports required for your code.

I liked that, but didn't know of anything that did the same thing for Ada source code.

I have began creating a script which does this, and you can use programs to run it, (perhaps port it to a plugin for a program).

I called it Ada-Withs (I know it sounds pretty boring)

It's not complete, but right now the script will pull out all packages used in the program.

If you want to give it a try go for it. If you want to mess with it, pull and let me know if you have any improvements.

The link above does go to it but here is the full url as well:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

One Language to Rule Them All

Do I think that there is one language that is best? No. I can say that with a high degree of confidence. Each language has it's own idiosyncrasies. If the first language that was created was the best, we wouldn't be using anything else. But we all know that there are issues with each language, and each language was often created to make an aspect of another language easier/better.

Last week I recommended not attempting to solve a particular problem with python. The solution was already partially coded up in perl and it just didn't make sense to re-solve the problem (simple data parsing) all over again. It got me to thinking, was this the right suggestion? I think the final result of the script should have been in perl, however learning to do it in python was a good idea. It would improve their toolbox.

I realized I should encourage writing things in a variety of languages. Why? So you know which tool to use. I came to realize that parsing data was easy to do in perl 90% of the time. If I knew python better I would probably feel the same way about python. The issue isn't about python vs perl vs java vs c++ vs c#, the issue is knowing what to use when.

I know that if I want to make a simple fast to build gui application I can use Visual Basic. Joe Blow will use Java, and Jim Bo will use Perl. Are any of them wrong? No, what you use, depends on your tools available. If you know how to do the same thing in 5 different languages, you'll start using a default for one set of problems, another for another, and mixing them if necessary.

I can solve the same problem in every single language, but the issue is, which is easier to do it with? Do some research, if you find that dragging and dropping a button onto a form is easier then writing the back end required to create you idea. DO IT! There is nothing more encouraging then building something and actually seeing it working, then spending tons of time building something and never seeing it come to fruition.

Good Luck.