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This is a blog about our everyday exploits in all aspects of everything. From science, art, computing, engineering, playing badminton to even playing computer games. Just about everything!

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Posted by on in Altera FPGAs

 Altera Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are popular devices used world wide and  can be found on many high-end and not so high-end development kits and boards.  Some of the less expensive evaluations kits (and favourites of ours) that are ideal for rapid prototyping of their mid-range FPGAs include the DE0-Nano, the BeMicro CV and the BeMicro Max

The application software used to program Altera's FPGAs is known as Quartus and is available for both the Windows and Linux platforms, although sadly, just like Xilinx's Vivado, it is not available for OS X. In this blog post we overcome the hurdles required  to run Quartus on Linux's OpenSuse 13.1 (Bottle), as the time approaches to put one of our BeMicro CVs to work. 

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Posted by on in Photography and Sketching

After reading my last blog post some of the professional  photographers amongst you must have had a smug grin on your face thinking this blog category is amateur hour and will make an entertaining read. Well I definitely hope it is entertaining and although I may be an amateur toady I am resolutely determined not to be tomorrow! One day I will have a respectful grin on my face when I read a beginner's photography blog.

Anyway, as you will see in this blog post, I'm making steady progress.

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Tagged in: Development Boards

Posted by on in Xilinx FPGAs

I recently got my hands on a MicroZed Evaluation Kit from Avnet that contains a Xilinx Zynq-7010  FPGA. To use the kit one needs to install the Xilinx tools, which in this case includes the Vivado design suite.  The webPACK version of the Vivado design suite is available for download on the Xilinx website ( Navigating to the Xilinx application download page, provides download installers for Windows and LINUX platforms, but not for OS X.

To install Vivado on a Mac or MacBook I suppose one should install the Windows version on a Windows binary emulator like WINE. Here is my experience of installing Vivado 2014.4 on LINUX, openSuse 13.1 (Bottle).

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Posted by on in Photography and Sketching

Hello, regular readers of my En Vacances blog category know that sometimes I use a Canon EOS 550D or more recently the Canon EOS M to take blog photographs.  The Canon EOS 550D is a better camera, but I tend to use the EOS M a lot more nowadays, due to its small and compact size. Although lets face it, irrespective of which camera I use the poverty of quality in my photographs is self evident. Most of my photographs are of the snapshot variety and are generally not outstanding.

Well this is all about to change, as I have decided to invest some time in the art of photography. I have been especially spurred on to do so, because some of my blog photographs of FPGA development boards are crap not very good, not to be too self critical. Hence, this blog post delivers the results of me knowing what the Canon EOS M's ISO setting are and how they are involved in remeding my less than flattering blog post photographs of FPGA development boards.

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Posted by on in First Impressions

I love drawing, but I've never given myself a chance to become any good at it. I love my iPad (iPad Air) too. Hence, when  I saw a device, the iSkecthNote, that happily married the two I didn't hesitate to help fund it, when it was introduced on the crowdfunding website, Kickstarter.

However, as has been symptomatic of Kickstarter projects, this one was delivered late too, but this time I didn't mind. This was because I thought that the wait would be well worth it.

When the engineers behind iSketchNote conceived of the idea they probably thought that it was very good one and if they turned it into a product they might be able to sell a few. They were wrong, it is an absolutely brilliant idea and it wouldn't surprise me if they end up selling them by the bucket load. This is my first impression of using the iSketchNote.

Just after finishing this article ISKN released app version 2.1 and the Bluetooth connectivity pairing issues seem to have improved.

UPDATE: 14/02/2015: I have now posted a follow-up review

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