Make your BeagleBone Black am355x magically turn itself on with the built-in alarm clock

bbbrtc.gif

The am335x ARM chip in the BeagleBone Black has a Real Time Clock hidden inside that you can use to have the board spontaneously turn itself on anytime in the next 100 years.

Here I present a new utility to manage that built-in clock from the Linux command line, and explain how to use it to keep time, shutdown, software power cycle, and more!

Continue reading

Idea Dump 2018

As each year passes and my to-do lists get longer, I have to accept that I will die long before I will get to make and do everything I want to.

Here are some things that I probably will never get to, but maybe you will? Don’t let the crackpot-stream-of-consciousness-style throw you, I believe most of these ideas could actually be successful and profitable… with some work.

Let me know if you are truly interested and I will try to share any effort I’ve already invested to give you a head start….

Snag_11f3266

Continue reading

More Adventures in Auto-routing – The Big Spin Swap

Untitled

It doesn’t matter which side of a resistor goes to which connection, and sometimes switching them around can make a board much easier to route. Same goes for equivalent IO pins on a microcontroller and lots of other cases. Here we see what a big difference a little pin swapping can make, and how to give the TopoR auto-router the freedom to swap your pins for you.

Continue reading

How a Bitcoin is not a Dollar

There is no intrinsic value to a BitCoin because it is an anonymous IOU written by no one.

I want you to give me half of your doughnut.

I can offer to give you a signed IOU that says “Josh will give the holder of this IOU 1/2 doughnut”. The more you trust that I will actually honor the IOU, the more it is worth to you. You might even be able to trade that IOU to someone else for something that they have and you want… assuming they also think there is some chance that I will honor it.

Instead of writing the IOU, now imagine that I write a program that generates random sequences of letters on my computer. I let that program run for a very, very long time until it happens to generate something like “IOU 1/2 doughnut”. I print this out and I offer to trade it to you for 1/2 your doughnut.

YOU: So if I take this note, someday I can give it back to you and you'll give me something yummy?
ME : Nope. This is not an IOU from me. It was randomly generated by a computer.
YOU: So who owes me the 1/2 a doughnut?
ME : No one! But it took the computer a really long time to generate this note at random!
YOU: If there is no one who will pay me back, then why would I ever accept this note?
ME : You can try to trade it to someone else for something they have and you want!

A dollar is an IOU from the government, a BitCoin is an IOU from no one…

Continue reading

A different kind of Initial Coin Offering

IMG_6880.JPG

I have 2,500 in shinny new $1 coins that I need to get rid of. I want to give them to you… if you can come up with some way to creatively use them.

You have until midnight December 31st to tell me your idea. The winner will be announced on New Year’s Day. If you win, you will have 30 days to come pick up the cash in NYC.

Some facts about the coins:

  • 100 rolls of $25 each
  • Weigh almost 50 pounds
  • Stacked like flapjacks would make a tower more than 16 feet tall
  • Laid edge-to-edge would stretch father than a city block

I am looking for a project that:

  • uses the coins as coins rather than money
  • can be completed quickly and decisively
  • is a concrete plan of action rather than an abstract concept
  • will make people say “That is amazing”.

I’ve intentionally avoided adding rules to encourage wild and unexpected creativity.  I’m looking forward to see what you come up with!

Tweet your entry to @ico_irl

Website is at https://ico-irl.com.

Pass this on to anyone you know who might have been waiting for an opportunity like this to do something amazing!

-josh