Aug 172010

I’ve been following the comments on the Sparkfun serial graphic LCD backpack and Sparkfun has recently released upgraded the firmware. Since my unit is pretty old, I re-flashed it tonight, but it still acts funny. It’s acting like two vertical bands in the LCD are not getting addressed.

I’m wondering if this is an issue other folk are having, or if I’ve got a genuine broken unit. Here’s what the display looks like during the built-in demo. Bummer. The regulator on the backpack sure gets hot too. I think it’s a bit underrated.

Flexing the boards seems to change the behavior. Maybe I’ve got a broke trace or a bad solder joint.

Thinking while writing, I’m realizing that the vertical bands in the display aren’t dead, they are just getting skipped. Here’s another shot from the internal demo.

Take a look at the third and fourth rows. Notice how part of the number six is on one side of the dead band and the rest is on the other side. The same thing is happening with the K and look at how no letters are missing between U and V!
I’m baffled. Maybe I’ll try the independent firmware.
 Posted by at 9:36 PM
Aug 162010

If the Golden Book of Chemistry doesn’t have enough Carbon Tetrachloride for you, then check out this book:

My mom rescued it from the trash for me when she worked at Tewinkle Middle School. Why would a school throw away such an awesome book? Well, since I ended up going to Tewinkle, I know why: the science teachers were incompetent. Completely.

Here are a few gems from the book.

Here’s how I irritated my neighbors (remember people needed antennas on their roof in order to get television):

I didn’t notice this mistake as a kid:

 Posted by at 8:49 PM