Installing Android Studio

In one of my older posts, Getting started with the Android SDK, I made a mention of Android Studio and how it would be replacing the Eclipse ADT plugin. Well sometime since then, it looks like the switchover has indeed happened and its time for me to ditch Eclipse take a leap into Android Studio.

Downloading Android Studio

Now that there is only one option to choose from, Google has streamlined the download process significantly since my last post.

Simply head over to the Android Developer page, and click Download Android Studio. Do your usual reading of the license agreement (you all do that, right?), accept, and you should be downloading all 800MB of Android Studio goodness!

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Temperature Sensing with DHT11 on Arduino

Ahhh temperature sensing, something so simple yet can be integrated into so many different projects. How about a temperature controlled RGB LED? Or perhaps an Arduino controlled thermostat? Heck, even a full blown weather station! Your imagination is the limit.

There are a few different choices when it comes to temperature sensing such as a completely water proof analog temperature probe to digital sensors. I will be focusing on the DHT11 which is a very affordable (~$1) digital temperature and humidity sensor. Its good for sensing 20% to 80% humidity within 5% accuracy, and 0c to 50c within 2% accuracy, which is more than enough for any indoor projects. If you want something a little more capable and accurate, the DHT22 is another option for digital sensors.

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Serial console with Arduino Pro Mini

As I was doing some debugging in the serial console with my Arduino Uno R3, something occurred to me… The serial console is absolutely invaluable for debugging, yet in my first Arduino post (Getting started with Arduino) I did not even mention it at all.

If you’re using the Arduino Uno or Duemilanove for example, the serial console is fairly straight forward as you just use the same USB cable you use to program with. These boards differ from the Pro Mini as they already have a Serial to USB converter on board.

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Build your own Arduino starter kit

I have a friend that keeps asking me about micro controllers and costs associated with getting started. He has no prior programming experience, and doesn’t own a soldering iron. By the sounds of it, he’s a little on the fence (rightfully so) and isn’t sure whether he should try it or not. Totally understandable when starting with something new. So I figured hey, lets break it all down and see just what it would take to build your own Arduino starter kit!

Before I get into the actual costs I just want to point out that while previous programming experience is handy when it comes to Arduino, its not at all necessary! The Arduino community is literally huge (250k+ members worldwide, 2 million posts) which means finding a sketch and wiring examples that do exactly what you want it to do (at least when you are first getting started) is going to be very easy. My recommendation when starting out is to concentrate on small projects with the thousands of ready made examples (blinking, fading, controlling, etc.). This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the platform (uploading, debugging, etc.). Once you have a solid base is when the real fun begins and you can let your imagination run wild!

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PWM control with Arduino

Just a real quick snippet today. If you followed along my first Arduino post (Getting started with Arduino) then you should already have a simple blinking LED on Pin 10 (or pin of your choice). I wanted to take that just a step further and use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) for a fade in / fade out effect.

PWM uses a pulsing digital signal (high/low) to simulate the effect of an analog signal. If you really want to learn the technical details of PWM, head on over to the Arduino page –

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Tracking Down Unknown Network Devices

This is going to be a short and sweet post, but it touches on something I had to deal with just the other day.

I was going through my router, which I do on a regular basis, to check what unknown network devices were showing up in the network list. In my case I usually do this for two reasons. The first is to name all my devices in the router itself and typically assign it a static IP. The second is for pure security. I want to know what devices are on my network, and who the device belongs to.

The particular unknown network device that I noticed, and could not identify was named “GainSpand48cb6“. I usually take pride in naming my devices, so GainSpan was not something that I had setup. I made the assumption that the d48cb6 was the last 6 digits in the mac address, which I confirmed by looking at the device info more deeply.

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Getting started with Arduino

Well its been so beautiful outside here lately *sarcasm alert* (averaging -40 degrees Celsius…) I decided now might be a good time to dust off my Arduino boards.

First off, if you have any experience with Arduino micro controllers, this post probably wont be for you. Its been many… many years since I have done any work with them (ahem… high school). I need to build my own skill set back up, so this is a recap for myself, and for those who might be just starting out (or looking to start out) with Arduino boards.

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