Thursday, May 2, 2019

Nova Empire Beginners Tips

I've fallen down the rabbit hole of a p2w but still fun if you're free-to-play game called Nova Empire. Despite numerous flaws the game is entertaining and good for when you're pinned under a baby.

However, it has a bunch of traps for beginners. I'd like to share some tips. Currently as a bit of a random assortment. I'll update this occasionally.

Beware, the game is kind of addictive. I play it when I'm pinned under my cranky toddler who wants to use me as a pillow. But it's designed to get its hooks into you and get you playing more, so keep an eye on it. If you're tempted to spend money on it... well, with my software developer hat on I say "go ahead, really, do it." But with my responsible adult hat on I say "the prices are ridiculous for what you get, just be patient, it's a game". If you do want to drop some cash to support them, do it early on in the game to get to level 5 station faster and speed up overall growth.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Adafruit Gemma, Macbook and the dim red light

My partner recently picked up an Adafruit Gemma as an intro to Arduino and embedded. It has not gone according to plan - it turns out there's a known issue where on some systems the Gemma will fail to enter the bootloader properly. The green power light comes on, but the red light stays dimly and constantly lit. If the reset button is pressed it goes out for a moment then returns.

Trying to program it anyway results in an error like

avrdude: Error: Could not find USBtiny device (0x1781/0xc9f)

The issue seems to be somewhat intermittent, too. Occasionally it works on her Macbook Air. It always works 100% of the time on my Lenovo T460 (Linux). So there's something platform related...

Not a great intro. The Gemma doesn't behave like usual Ardiuno systems - it doesn't expose a USB serial port, for example - so answers are also thinner on the ground.

But I think we found something.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Updating the tomu bootloader on the tomu.im EFM32HG


I got a tomu tiny EFM32 that fits in a USB port at lca 2018. More information on Tomu.

Mine came with the serial bootloader (it presents a USB CDC ACM device). I didn't manage to get to the update booth to reflash it at LCA.

I had some difficulty getting the new bootloader on it when I pulled out recently to try to play with it, but since I got it working, here's a short runthrough of how I got it updated.

I use Fedora 28 but this info should apply for any Linux really.