Ninite

I recently just learned about a peice of software called ninite. It allows you to create a list of common programs to be installed on a windows computer, and generates an installer for it. I tried it out on one of my laptops, I selected some common stuff: Chrome, Java, 7zip, gimp, security essentials, and itunes. It automatically installed the latest 64 bit (if applicable) versions of each to my computer in 1/4 the time I could have done it manually. It even denied the adware toolbars that usually come with this stuff. I started using it on client computers and it automatically detects 64/32 bit and grabs the latest version, no input on my side. Cut my clean install jobs in half. The only downside is that your restricted to the software packages listed on the site. I wish there was a way to add one manually. The other thing is that it has to be connected to the internet. No offline installer is available (of course it’d be huge). Does anyone know of anything similar that works like ninite?

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Multiplex Easystar Out-Runner Mount Part 1

So a while back I bought a Multiplex Easystar almost ready to fly kit. The Easystar is an RC plane aimed at the beginner market since it is easy to fly and virtually indestructible, but mainly it is well known for it’s use in amateur UAV’s. This was primarily my reasoning behind the purchase. Recently I’ve acquired all the parts to begin assembling the plane. For now I just want to get it flying, then I’ll go on to adding the cool stuff. One of the things I hated about what came with the EasyStar was the dinky looking Permax 400 motor. Luckily a friend let me have a nicer looking Exceed-RC Alpha-370. Unfortunately it’s an out-runner, so there is no where to put it on the Easystar. So I decided to build a mount that will let me put it on the plane.

I found some 1/8″ aluminium plate to start with, and I drilled a large whole to let the back of the shaft stick out. Then I put some flux(any goop will do) on the motor’s mounting holes and pressed in onto the plate. This gave me four perfectly spaced dots. I drilled the holes out and beveled the edged with my dremel. Everything matched up and screwed together perfect. I tested the motor out by hooking it up to the ESC and receiver. Everything seemed to work OK, no conflicts with any of the moving parts. Now I just need to mount it to the Easystar. I worked up a little design that I will cut out later. After that I will see about fastening it to the nacelle. I may need to drill some holes on the back of it to improve airflow, but I’ll just get to that later. Hopefully I’ll have the motor mounted and the plane flying soon. Then comes the fun part of adding DTMF controls and programming the ArduPilot.

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DTMF decoder

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I recently bought a few MT8870DE’s to try out DTMF decoding. I finally got a working circuit that decodes eveything ok and outputs the result as binary to the LEDs. Now I just have to hook it to an arduino and HT and I’ll have remote DTMF controlled devices.

Posted in Blog Post, Hardware, Radio | Leave a comment

I have a blog?

So I have to admit I completely forgot about this poor blog. My first year of college came and went and this is the first time I’ve thought about it since my last post way back when. When I woke up today, I decidied I should really start documenting all the projects I’m working on. I’ve done a lot in the past year. In addition to school, I have been involved in several projects that were heaps of fun. We built and launched an arduino based weather balloon. I realized I don’t know anything about programming through the experiences of helping a friend make an XNA game. I prototyped a wireless data aggregator for commercial use. I even got started on building that UAV I’ve always wanted. There is so much I am still doing. I forget and get projects mixed up, but it’s crazy fun. Anyway, I decided I wanted to get all of this stuff down, and I remembered I had this blog. So I figured why not just post it here. Worst case scenario I have an archive of all the stuff I’m working on, and who knows, it’s on the internet, so maybe someone will find my write-ups helpful. It doesn’t matter to me. I make and post because it’s fun. So stay tuned Nigerian spam-bots, and I’ll try to have something good up here before the weekend is over.

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How to find a memory value, and modify the source.

A lot of people have been asking how exactly to find a memory address.  So I decided to write up a little tutorial describing what program I used, and how to incorporate the found address into a program.

First off, your going to need a program called cheatengine.  It’s basically the gameshark of the PC; scanning and organizing changes written to memory. Though intended for games it will work for just about any process. The program I am going to be scanning is called RealTemp. A little utility that monitors CPU temp, and spends its time hanging out in the taskbar.

First off lets open RealTemp.

It displays temperature for all four of my cpu’s cores. Lets determine the address that holds the value of the first core’s temperature which for me hovers at about 58. Open up cheatengine, and select the the RealTemp process by clicking on the flashing icon.

Now lets get started hunting down the address.  Change value type to “4 byte” its the most common data type for whole numbers, and for scan type do exact value. Its a little tricky, because the value is uncontrollable, and changes every second.  The best way for me is to use a value that pops up a lot like 58. So enter your “common popup” number under value.

Now wait until the actual value becomes your previously picked out common pop up number and click first scan.  Quickly the list in the left hand pane will populate itself with a large list of addresses.

To reduce this list, change your common pop up value to something else like 60. Then wait for the actual value to be equal, and hit next scan.  Repeat until only a small list of value are left all with equal value and changes. Note: the appeared values update real time.

The addresses in green are static addresses, so use them if you can, as the black ones may or may not be the same next time you load up the program.  This can be fixed with pointers, but I won’t delve into that here.  Tutorials and guides are easily found on your favorite flavor search engine.  Controllable values are much easier to find.  You can use other functions like increased value, stayed the same, or unknown initial value to narrow down some really complicated values.

Now lets write a simple program that lets you push a button, and display the CPU temp in a message box as well as blast the sparkfun serial display. To make reading from memory a lot simpler I reference VAmemory.dll which was written by Patrickssj6, and is available for download at the bottom of the post. Just download and add it as a reference in visual express.
Here’s the code, its real simple:

The Port.Write(“v”) sends a model specific clear code to the display. Also be sure to change the port to the right one for your computer.

If your still a little lost check out Patrickssj6′s tutorials on finding a memory value and using his dll. You can find them here:  http://www.vivid-abstractions.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=200 as well as his VAMemory dll here: VAMemory

Posted in Programming | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

First post, first C# project.

Halo Score Display

A picture of my setup

Ever play a FPS on the PC that doesn’t always display your kills/deaths/score?  I have, Halo for the PC is one of these such games. To check your score you have to stop what your doing and press the F1 key, taking focus off the game.  As a fun project I decided to implement a 7-Segment Serial Display I bought for fun, and use it to display something useful like my number of kills in Halo.  The setup is easy, I connected the display to my arduino (strictly for power and serial access any serial to usb or serial port will do) and hooked it up through a usb cable.  The I wrote a C# program that finds and polls the number of kills, and sends it to the display (thanks to Patrickssj6 for helping me big time with the code).  The result? Well see for yourself:

I think the end result turned out nicely, this method could be adapted for pretty much any value in any process on your PC, and with the most expensive component at $12.95 I’d really like to see what others come up with. CPU temp/load on the cheap? Maybe even write code to calculate values not present in some games like K/D spread.  Post your ideas in the comments.

Here’s the source in Visual C# Express

Posted in Hardware, Programming, Video Game | 2 Comments