Although my favorite vegetarian asian restaurant, Wholesome Vegetasia, closed, an excellent vegetarian dim sum restaurant, Vegetarian Bistro, opened in its place. I went yesterday – definitely try the fried mashed potatoes and egg custard

I also found a great Korean place north of the city on Aurora. I set out to find a restaurant I’d been to a couple years back, but didn’t see it, and instead tried this place. If you’re in the neighborhood or up for a drive, check out Hae-Nam Kalbi & Calamari. I got the bi-bim-bap, which was excellent, and tried a bit of a couple of soup dishes that were also quite good. I’m looking forward to going back.

posted February 19, 2006 – 6:02 pm

I got my LMD18200 working last night, and can now successfully control a DC motor from the PIC. No PID controller yet, but it’s not far off. Pretty soon I’ll be ready to fire up a motor in place and bring the arm to life.

Towards that goal, I’m continuing my foray into the world of sparkies (electrical engineers) by laying out a circuit board (for the robot arm) with PCB-123. Not only do they share my rhyming moniker domain-naming scheme, they provide (Windows-only) free schematic and layout software. We’ll see how it goes.

posted February 14, 2006 – 9:34 am

Two weeks ago, I ended up working the whole weekend, and not shaving for a couple days. I figured it was the perfect time to experiment with a beard – something I hadn’t ever done, unless you count the adolescent crap everyone tries where it looks like you’ve just got some dirt on your chin. You can check out the results here, but not in person, since I’ve shaved it off. A successful experiment in the sense that I learned something, but mostly I learned that beards are itchy.

posted February 7, 2006 – 2:45 pm

Turns out, after much fussing and attempted debugging, the reason I couldn’t get I2C working with my PIC was due to a compiler bug. I can’t complain too much, since I’m using the free version of the software, but still, it’s a bummer to spend days working on a problem only to find out it’s nothing to do with you.

They did release an update to the compiler this week, and I spent some time last night coding. I successfully got my Mac reading motor encoder position info from the PIC over I2C! Once I get the motor control electronics worked out, I’ll be ready to start hooking things up to the robot arm itself. Plenty of things still to work out, but it’s nice to make progress.

It was an active week – I went for a run, played soccer, walked to work twice, and went climbing. Took today off from exercise and spent the morning with friends eating and playing card games. Very satisfying.

posted February 4, 2006 – 3:40 pm

More progress on the robot arm – I got my PIC 16F690 communicating with my PC via I2C. Should’ve been a lot easier, but at least it’s going now. Next step is to interface the motor driver chip with the PIC.

I played in my first Co-Rec soccer game last night and had a good time. I’m sore today, though.

posted February 1, 2006 – 2:44 pm
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