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Hello. I'm Rob

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Marvin
(@rob42101)
The Paranoid Android
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 32
Topic starter  

Like many (if not all) of you, I like to 'build' stuff. When I was much younger than I now am, I would infuriate my parents by taking my stuff apart, because I wanted to know how it worked. The 'taking apart' was easy, but seldom did I have the skill to put things back together; hence the infuriation felt by dear parents. To their credit, they did recognise (now that I look back on it) that I was simply curious, rather than a vandal and maybe "infuriate" is too strong an adjective, but I'm sure you get my meaning here.

So, I was supplied (for Birthday gifts, and such) with things that one was supposed to build and take apart: construction kits. I also had a deep fascination with anything electrical; I had wires, batteries, switches, little light bulbs, magnets, and built a AM Radio receiver. It didn't work too well, but I had a lot of fun.

Some years later, when the Home Computer Market kind of exploded onto the scene, I discovered that I could build stuff in software and my love of computers kicked off there and then.

As happens, one grows up and has to work for a living, and free time becomes ever more limited, so "hobbies" kind of took a back seat for quite some time, but my DIY skills were good, as I'd learned such things as the fundamentals of household electrical systems, back when I was younger. I also had (or have) the kind of mind that can "see" how things work, right off of the bat. I put this down to my curiosity, as a child, and the 'taking apart' of my stuff.

Now that I have more free time, as I'm now of an age where my off spring are very independent and making their own way in the world, I've returned to my first love; building stuff. This restarted some years ago, when I was trying to get back into coding with C. I discovered a new (well, new to me) scripting language; Python, which has (so I discovered) C at its heart. At around the same time, I also discovered the Linux based computer OS(s), which again have C at their heart. I knew about the Unix OS and how C had come about, so all this seemed to come together and made a lot of sense to me.

I have build a good many Python apps; not many are fit for public distribution, being more learning tools as practical ones, but I've a couple that I think others may find interesting least ways, if not useful, and I'll link up my GitHub page in my profile, if you'd like to see what I've produced.

I now what to combine my Python skills with some electronics as I gather that some (if not all?) micro controllers can be programmed using MicroPython. As you can see, this is at the edges of my knowledge.

But before I get into that, I need to learn about "electronics", which is how I came to find Bill and his excellent DroneBot Workshop.

If you've read this far, well done, and thank you for taking the time and interest. I'm very much looking forward to this new chapter in my life and I hope to be able to contribute to (given time) as well as learn from these Forums. In fact, I already have a project in mind, which I don't think has been done yet, but I may be wrong about that, as I've not yet had a real good look around; time will tell.

Call me anything you like, but I prefer Rob, and I look forward to interacting with you, in time.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7285
 

Hi Rob (@rob42101),

Welcome to the forum. I too was excellent at taking things apart when I was younger, and I travelled some similar paths, first computer 1959, IBM hardware trained (actual computers, not PC) plus many years of training even though I only completed tech high school. I closed my computer consulting company in 2004 and have been retired since then.

It's good to hear of your interest in python, as we occasionally get a python question and there aren't many of them here. I had a look at it but it isn't my 'style' of language.

When you are ready, post your questions about your project in the appropriate forum.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Marvin
(@rob42101)
The Paranoid Android
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 32
Topic starter  

@zander Thank you, Ron.

I can see that I'm going to have to brush-up on my HTML skills: I've become a little lazy, in so much as I've using Forums that support markdown and as such, my HTML skills have slipped, but I'll get there and this will be good practice for that.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7285
 

@rob42101 I am an old tube guy, no html, no solid state stuff. If I am adding or slightly modifying something with HTML I can usually get by. I can't recall ever being stopped on a project due to HTML though, it hardly ever comes up in the world of MCU and MPU. But I guess it could be handy maybe somewhere down the road.

I had to really stare at the blue blob to see the word markdown. I have run into that word before, IIRC it's a way of formatting text. Back in my IBM days I was very opposed to that WYSIWYG style, I much preferred the 'markup' language we had at the time (DCF IIRC) for the simple reason it is MUCH easier to maintain and I was the maintenance guru at IBM with sign off approval, so DCF was the standard.

Always willing to look at new stuff, so feel free to post some simple samples.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Marvin
(@rob42101)
The Paranoid Android
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 32
Topic starter  

Posted by: @zander

... HTML though, it hardly ever comes up in the world of MCU and MPU. But I guess it could be handy maybe somewhere down the road.

Sorry. I'm not being clear with this. I was referring to Forum Posts, which (here) are in HTML format, rather than Markdown. Markdown is a very easy and powerful mini-language, that I use for my 'notes' system, and with some Forums, it [Markdown] is supported, which makes for an easy life, if one knows Markdown, is all.

to add: I'll stop using that way of highlighting words; it was simply a test and the BG colour is site dependent.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7285
 

@rob42101 Ok. I never knew I was posting in HTML, I just see text. If I want to 'decorate' my text, I simply use the toolbar above the text entry window using industry-standard icons. I just assumed it was RTF, not HTML, can I now add HTML to my resume? When I copy paste only the text comes along since I specify that my editor is only in text mode, not RTF.

I wouldn't worry too much about 'marking up' your posts, correct grammar and spelling are much more important and easy peasy since it is built in almost everywhere (I use Grammarly free but with AI off)

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Marvin
(@rob42101)
The Paranoid Android
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 32
Topic starter  

Posted by: @zander

I never knew I was posting in HTML,

Yes. You see the {;} icon, in the toolbar? Click that, and you'll see the raw HTLM, to which you can add your own HTML, within that source code, but (obviously) you'll need to have some knowledge about HTML formatting: one of my projects (way back), was to build my own website, using HTML, PHP and CSS, so I do have some skills in that area. 🙂

As an example, this..

This is a blue h2 heading

  ... is done by adding <h2 style="color:blue;">This is a blue h2 heading</h2>

 

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7285
 

@rob42101 Ah, I forgot about that. The forum instructions are to use the other source code insertion icon, the <>. 

I think the Arduino IDE has a menu item for this but it was broken, so lets test it here.

Arduino IDE Copy for forum (Markdown) into the {;} then the <>. I a pretty sure it's the last we are supposed to use. Also attached screen grab of menu from IDE. I wonder if a plain copy would be different?

Screenshot 2024 02 10 at 11.19.12

 

 

```cpp #include void setup() { } void loop() { } ```

Now the <>

```cpp
#include <Arduino.h>

void setup() {
    }

void loop() {


}
```

 

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7285
 

@rob42101 Here is both {;} and <> with plain copy. 

First {;}

#include void setup() { } void loop() { }

Now <>

#include <Arduino.h>

void setup() {
    }

void loop() {


}

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7285
 

@rob42101 The only difference appears to be that the copy for forum (Markdown) has some extra characters namely ```cpp at the beginning and ``` at the end. They don;t appear to do anything usefull.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7285
 

Posted by: @rob42101

Posted by: @zander

I never knew I was posting in HTML,

Yes. You see the {;} icon, in the toolbar? Click that, and you'll see the raw HTLM, to which you can add your own HTML, within that source code, but (obviously) you'll need to have some knowledge about HTML formatting: one of my projects (way back), was to build my own website, using HTML, PHP and CSS, so I do have some skills in that area. 🙂

As an example, this..

This is a blue h2 heading

  ... is done by adding <h2 style="color:blue;">This is a blue h2 heading</h2>

 

That looks similar to DCF I used at IBM, the difference is we only had to specify the H2 part as it was defined as blue bold 14pt as a made up example. There was no colour back then, the purpose of the H2 tag was two fold, it's placement in the TOC and it's appearance re weight, indent, maybe font but discouraged and a few other obvious like underline, all caps etc.

 

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Marvin
(@rob42101)
The Paranoid Android
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 32
Topic starter  

Posted by: @zander

The forum instructions are to use the other source code insertion icon, the <>.

Right. There's some confusion here. To post 'source code' as 'source code', yes; you need to fence it off so that it is rendered as 'source code' and can be viewed as such, but the 'source code' that you see from the {;} icon, is 'source code' that will be interpreted as 'code' by your browser, and rendered as such.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.


   
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Marvin
(@rob42101)
The Paranoid Android
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 32
Topic starter  

Posted by: @zander

The only difference appears to be that the copy for forum (Markdown) has some extra characters namely ```cpp at the beginning and ``` at the end. They don;t appear to do anything usefull.

These are called 'backtics' and are found (on most keyboards) on the key just below the Esc key, top left.

'backtics' are used to fence off code blocks, so that the code is rendered raw by ones browser. Code can be 'auto highlighted' by using the likes of:

```python
print("This is a Python print function call")
```

... which (given 'markdown' support) will highlight the keyword 'print', because it's a keyword.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7285
 

@rob42101 Doesn't the <> do the same thing as the ```, at least on my screen the code is colorized according to some convention.

I always wondered why there were two 'source code' icons, but I misread, one is called source code the other code. It's the <> code icon that correctly handles code copied form the IDE as the following example should show. I am not at all sure why the {;} icon is called source code, it does almost nothing usefull.

Here is <>

#include <Arduino.h>

void setup() {
    }

void loop() {


}

Here is {;}

 

 

 

 

 

#include void setup() { } void loop() { }

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Marvin
(@rob42101)
The Paranoid Android
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 32
Topic starter  

Posted by: @zander

Doesn't the <> do the same thing as the ```, at least on my screen the code is colorized according to some convention.

I've not tested that, but I will. I need to be AFK for a while, but as soon as I get back, I'll do some testing: as you know, I'm new here and I'm still finding my feet. It could be that it's all the same, and I'm simply using my knowledge, in the same way as you are using yours, but it's an interesting learning experience, how different Forum frameworks implement the same features, in different ways.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.


   
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