Programming & Electronics

Current Projects be they electronic, software or both & comments on industry.

Statistics (and Blah) for August

Website NotesPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Fri, September 04, 2009 11:25:55

Activity has been brisk on with total hits of 74,891 and total files downloaded 62,544. Max hits per day was 6,106 and an average daily hit rate of 2415. Despite these encouraging figures, August was in 4th place this year. The world-wide search on Google for ‘connectable’ revealed that this has slipped to 6th place in 832,000, whilst on Yahoo a search for ‘connectable’ maintained 1st place in 1.3 million. By far the most popular page on the site is the PIC USB development stuff.

Activity on remained moderate, with hits for August at 17,335, making August 2nd only to May. Strong interest has been shown in the number of downloads of my Dysphagia article, and several of the stories remain popular – especially those marked as sexually explicit! Already this month I’ve added a new story regarding a Bus Ride To Balham - nothing sexy, but hopefully still entertaining.

I’ve belatedly updated the ‘Software To Die For’ on to include this months choice Jenny Young. This beautiful young lady already brightens up what has been a dull, dark start to September.

Also added to and are Google ‘Translate’ widgets. This follows my discovery that numerous pages are translated by foreign guests, and I hope this makes things a little easier for them.

No further work has been done on, so my opus on development of embedded applications remains firmly in my head! Too much to see, too much to do and too little time – familar?

JWBD4 4th September 2009

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Comment on IndustryPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Mon, August 17, 2009 09:41:10

Good Morning, you may have read the 'About' page of my new Blog already, so bear with me.

This morning inform me that my Blog pages cannot be accessed in any programmatic way, and that if I want copies of these, I have to cut and paste same from the browser! Probably this dosn't surprise you, but it does me - a bit like breaking open my shiny new PC and finding it stuffed with brass gearwheels.

The text of my email and their answer is appended below. I'd be interested to hear from other bloggers what policy their blog hoster applies.


Reply from Hi,

Regarding your inquiry, I am sorry but we cannot provide you the data for this as its in a secure server, you can however hightligh and copy the text you have and save it in a text editor to get a copy of your blog entries.

Should you have anymore inquiries please do not hesitate to contact us thru our 24/7 online chat or email us. Best Regards



My email to them:


I've been trying to obtain a complete set of my blog entries for, and the live chat help desk says I have to contact you, as the messages are stored on blog servers that are inaccessible to me. I would be obliged if you could arrange for the transfer of these files to me, so please advise procedure.

I would add that I am not happy with this situation, as I believe the blog data is mine and should be instantly accessible. As a result, I am considering terminating my use of your blog facility and re-siting it, probably alongside my Wordpress website at In this regard I would be interested to hear the reasons why blog data is held by you in this way.

Regards from Joe Brown.

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Stats for July

Website NotesPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Fri, July 31, 2009 00:40:40

It's that time again - already! had it's second highest number of hits this year at 82,452. Analysis of a handful of referrers shows that the PIC USB projects are still very popular, and file downloads this month top every other month since the site was started.

A search for 'connectable' on Google rendered a consistent 4th place out of 850,000, and on Yahoo was in 1st place all month again out of 1.35 million. Bing is consistent in being unable to find anything 'connectable' other than Microsoft's 'connectable' objects - what a surprise!

I've decided to retain the 'forest' banners for again this month, as my foray into 'code' and 'electronics' themes were too inorganic.

Very little was added to this month except for addition of 'Software To Die For' - August. I hope you like her, I know I do.

Interest in continues to grow modestly, and this site had it's second best month since launch, with a modest 16,381 hits. Additions this month have included a couple of stories, and a short essay on DISH and Dysphagia.

No additions to have been made this month, and interest remains moderate - no surprise there then.

So what have I been doing? Alternating between engineering, electronics and software - all related to 2 projects. First, construction of an automated drill table to drill my printed circuit boards, and secondly an XY table and Rotary table for Router work. Several other 'orphaned' projects have been prioritised for imminent progress.

For light relief I've also got stuck into learning more Shads stuff for guitar. I've reset the action on the Strat and it sounds great with no more rattles. I built a treble-booster to use with the Fender and I'm pleased to say I can now mimic the very thin reedy tone Holly used to get from the instrument. An adjustment to the action of my Takamine electro-acoustic has meant that I've played that quite a lot more also.

Be Good


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Circuit Cellar

General ElectronicsPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Fri, July 24, 2009 10:55:45

The latest Circuit Cellar is available - now. Take a look at:

Although CC has uniquely concentrated on embedded development for the past few years. This issue is packed with projects requiring the dual skills of electronics and programming.

Exciting for a large number of 'hardware' engineers will be the news that the latest round of Cortex M3 ARM processors DON'T require any expertise in assembly-language at all - every part of your application can be coded in 'C'. This may seem like small beer to some, but to date even the most powerful ARM product lines needed at least some assembler. This can only accelerate even further ARM's Exocet-like progress into being the world's most prolific 32-bit processor - my hat's off to the M3 designers.

An article on using a cheapo development kit for the M3 is in this months mag.

BTW I will be taking my trusty portable USB hard disk on my 'Grand Tour' this year, so friends to want to take a peek at the above article (or others) just need to ask.

Bye for now


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Upgrade XP to SP3 and other stuff

Comment on IndustryPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Sun, July 05, 2009 16:17:29

I jumped in with both feet a couple of weeks ago, and upgraded one of my PCs to SP3 and IE8. I'm seriously impressed with the big improvement in speed - especially in boot times and also launching applications. I waited until last week and then went ahead and upgraded all the other PCs - except the one I'm writing this on, which is mostly used to update Web pages etc.

This experience has convinced me even more that I won't be moving to Vista - or indeed anything else Microsoft develop, at least for the life of my existing hardware.

In another note I mentioned I had built yet another PC to mostly run Ubuntu linux and CNC software. I decided to go for the cheapest option I could as long as the motherboard had a parallel port, so went for the the ECS GS7610 Ultra motherboard c/w an AMD 754 64-bit cpu. together with a cheap case (wafer thin steel), a 160GB drive, a cheap DVD-RAM drive and 2 x 512Mb RAM modules I already had. I've now got a little PC which is running Ubuntu Hardy Heron and XP-SP3 on separate partions - all for under £100.00!

Extras I've fitted were a 2-USB socket plate to bring out the remaining motherboard USB ports, and an extra 4-Port USB card. Since there is only 2 PCI card sockets on the board that's it in terms of any expansion - but it's all I need.


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Stats for June, and other news

Website NotesPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Thu, July 02, 2009 00:29:06

Another popular month for Hits for the month totalled 70805 which puts June in 3rd place so far this year. Searches on Google for 'connectable' yielded 1st place in ~860,000, and on Yahoo 1st place in 1.4 million. As has been noted previously, connectable fared badly on 'Bing' - not placed - an interesting result for Microsofts new search engine offering.

Traffic on was light, and on even lighter - the latter is understood because there is little content there yet.

In fact, work on all three sites has fallen to a minimum over the last 6 weeks, as other matters have required my attention, plus also being unwell.

The spam defeat plug-in WP-SpamFree I've added to the sites should be considered a success, as I've had no more comment spam - at all. I can heartily recommend this program to other WordPress users.

I completed the build of another PC today. This will run Ubuntu Linux and the CNC application emc2, and will be sited in the engineering workshop as a testbed for my PIC-based Stepper drivers, homemade XY mill table plus homemade rotary table. All of this stuff will be written up and presented on all 3 of the websites: mechanical stuff on, circuit design and electronic hardware on and code source/design/analysis on Eventually I want to meld my DRO design into a fully integrated CNC suite using the PID loop available in the linux CNC software.

Yes I know I've got too many projects 'on the go' - believe me - keeping busy keeps me sane.


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Sorry - I forgot about Linux users

Website NotesPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Tue, June 30, 2009 10:52:56
I realise an apology is required - I didn't realise until this morning that the MP3 files on each of and won't play on the LiveCD version of ubuntu linux. I can promise I will look into this and come up with a fix/workaround if possible. The problem is that I rarely use my linux installation as most of my development (electronics and programming) tools are PC-based. However, I am currently building (yet) another machine to run EMC2 (the CNC application) in my engineering workshop and naturally I will be using linux far more often.


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Bing - another trashy search engine?

Comment on IndustryPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Sun, June 28, 2009 15:47:28

Our chief technology officer reported that 'from the start' Bing was 'absolutely useless' and 'joins the ranks' of other search engines which cannot properly resolve as no. 1 in the 'connectables'. Whilst Yahoo resolved as no.1 in 1.4 million, and Google resolved it as no.1 in 853,000 - both for the whole of the month of June, neither Bing nor placed the website even within spitting distance of 1st place. So now you know - use Bing and you will never get an accurate search which truly represents numbers of referrers!!

I take this opportunity to apologise for my absence in these pages over the last few weeks, normal service will be resumed ASAP.

Regards from JWBD4

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