Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to turn a Beagle GadgetPack into a digital ASCII bunsen burner

Time for a silly application of modularity... for no intent or purpose, simply demonstrating a Matrix-esque special effect on the front of the BeagleTouch module, running aalib's ridiculously cool aafire app.

Will and Chris put together a pretty cool little auto-loading script, and made sure all the aalib libraries were in place (which they were), and it just worked. The cool part is mostly how fast the demo seems to run...

Now time for the good part... as every hacker knows, the food pyramid contains 3 essential foods:
  1. Red Bull (drink)
  2. Pop Tarts (dessert)
  3. Raman Noodles (entree)
Yes, they are listed in that order because that is roughly how they stack up in order of mass consumed by me per week. I mean seriously,  where would Linux virtual memory, Android's driver subsystem, and Ruby on Rails be, if not for these 3 food groups? I can personally attest to consuming my fair share... not because I particularly like the taste of any of them, but simply because generations of hackers before me have lived on exactly this, and who am I to challenge tradition? (This is getting ridiculous, I know). Many books have been written about programmer and hacker productivity, methods of development, etc. but I might argue that Red Bull, Pop Tarts, and Raman are a radically under-researched productivity tool.

But suffice to say, a digital ASCII blue fire bunsen burner - although non-functional - sure *looks* cool as heck underneath a can of Red Bull, doesn't it? It must be doing something... I swear it tasted better than my not-so-highly scientifically isolated placebo trial.


Ok, here's how to get it up and running on the Beagle Embedded GadgetPack:

Open up a terminal like xterm using the keyboard connected to the USB port on the side of the GadgetPack.

Then, either download this package onto the SD card, or if you have the Wifi Module or Ethernet Module, you can type this directly onto the command to download aalib:


Untar the archive:

tar xvf aalib-1.2.tar.gz 

Move to the directory:

cd aalib-1.2

Run this command to configure:

./configure --host=localhost

Then compile the source code:

make install

And then run, sit back, and enjoy the digital fire that neither keeps you warm, *nor* cools you down, so at least it's not a negative fire, or put in other terms, at least the correlation coefficient between this digital bunsen burner and utility is not negative (R is at worst 0, so ha!):

export DISPLAY=:0.0
xterm -fg red -bg black -e "./aafire"


For more pictures of the ASCII burner, I've uploaded some high res shots at flickr...


Shimshon said...

Jolt Cola is the old-school drink of choice.

Matt said...

@scooter - ha, yes you're right, but i could never stand the taste of that stuff, so i've been happy to see the massive uptick in different types of drinks