April 8th, 2002

motherboard

one giant leap for spacefem

I just have to post this...

I woke up today at 8. Did some reading on applications, filed my state taxes, ate breakfast, and was at the tech center around 9:30. At 10, my senior design group had a meeting. I explained my issues, and they described a product they'd found that would translate an analog signal to digital and transmit it to your PC... it even came with its own software. We wouldn't be able to use multiple devices of course, but it would get us a degree. You'd think that, after all the PIC crap I've gone through, I'd have jumped right on it, but something in me couldn't. Maybe it's because I rode the moonbuggies and saw how much strain gages would help them. Maybe it's because I have no job offers, so "just getting the degree" isn't that big a deal to me anymore. Maybe I'm sick of working with both these cynical hippies. But I said I wanted to keep working on my application. I had no A/D conversion, no working PIC program, no software, no hope for doing anything in the three days before the race, but I somehow got determined.

So I set to work. What's more, I promised myself that I was not leaving the building until I had a PIC producing output.

At 2:00, I had a program that compiled into a hexadecimal file.

At 4:00, I broke my promise to myself and went out for tacos. Yeah, food will be the end of me some day, so what?

At 6:00, I had a PIC that turned on some LEDs but still had no output to the serial USART register. Then I had PLC class for three hours.

At 11:30, Dave got worried about me and showed up at the tech center. It was actually really nice to see him. I took him with me to do my umpteenth re-compile and program, he was quite amazed. Then I hooked it up again, turned on the power, and it worked. I think. Anyway, bits of ones and zeros came out of the serial register. I have yet to test them to see if they're close to being the right ones, and the port B LEDs are still doing weird things, but I had an output.

And I came back home. See, the nice thing about technology is that victories don't happen because of someone else, they happen because of you. And even though I have a ways to go in my now personal mission to complete this project, I feel like I had a little victory today. I can sleep now. And tomorrow I'll put in the same amount of time and might not get the same number of results, but that's okay... they're all little minutes in the end, and I feel good about me again.

and don't worry kart, per latest code, 80% of the signal is dedicated to actual data :)
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