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Archive for the ‘Information’ Category

Uninstalling Dymo Label Web Service

Monday, November 21st, 2016

I just re-installed the dymo software recently. Maybe I didn’t notice the install package question, but after rebooting, I got a funny icon on my menubar called Demo Label Web Service. I searched around and couldn’t find out how to remove this since it didn’t show up under the startup services in user accounts.

So after searching a bit, I found the culprit and thought others would find this useful. Open a terminal and type the following:

sudo rm /Library/LaunchAgents/com.dymo.dls.webservice.plist

The app is still on your computer, however, it won’t automatically run after every reboot. Completely fucking obnoxious that they don’t allow you to disable that anywhere.

Amazon FireTV and Flirc

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Amazon left out IR on their fire TV, but Flirc came to the rescue. TonySKI got a flirc for his firetv and spent the time to put together an awesome tutorial to help others. Be sure to check it out. Thanks so much Tony, who was also thanked with a plethora of free goodies for my sincere gratitude in helping the community.

 

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Behind The Scenes

Monday, November 18th, 2013

It’s probably easy to assume that there isn’t much going on with Flirc. The website doesn’t get updated much, I’ve fallen silent on the blogs, etc. Usually when this happens, I’m hard at work and don’t have a second for an update. Things are finally settling down. I mentioned I had a bug in my latest bootloader, I will publish the blog post detailing this. I’ve fixed that, and was hard at work for over two months re-writing a lot of code. Check out the git activity. Nearly every day I was pushing a substantially large amount of code to the main repo.

Github TrafficPlease remember, I’m nearly doing everything alone. I have a couple friends that help but their support is minimal. I work full time, and am also a new father. Every second of free time I have goes to this company. I know all my work has been mostly behind the scenes, but things will start to be a bit more obvious soon.

Two new products coming out that are variants of flirc will make a splash in the markets they were created for.

I’ve certainly learned a lot since Flirc has been created. I couldn’t have dreamed of the scaling problems that I’ve had. It hasn’t all been on manufacturing and the physical product aspect. I’ve had that under control for quite a while now. It’s been on the software side. I didn’t imagine how the firmware and code base would grow. It started out as some firmware with a sister application. It’s grown to a massive amount of code with shared libraries between products, abstraction to take care of different versions, and a build system that would make any huge company jealous. Deploying packages is easy now that I’ve integrated a tool called bart.

It’s been fun, and I can’t wait to show off what I’m working on.

 

555 Timer Guts and Kit

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

The 555 timer is a staple in electronics. From hobbyists to evil mad scientists, it’s simplicity of internal components allows for a wide array of complex use cases that has all of us engineers using the device over and over again. Universities design courses around it because it demonstrates the amazing things you can do with the simple fundamentals of electronics.

Eric, my good friend, partner, and founder, teamed up with some folks at Evil Mad Scientists to design a board made of discrete components. Since the 555 timer is made of a simple logical blocks, it’s still hard for a student or hobbyist to figure out what’s going on inside those blocks. Here is a block diagram:

F12QE7IH6MF005C.LARGE

Their idea is wonderful. Expose the guts of the device, give the engineer access to the good stuff so they can probe every point in the circuit.

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They had the clever idea of making the device look like a blown up version of the chip. Absolutely brilliant, and for those wanting to get into electronics, this would fit beautifully into any educational building block.

 

Windows 8 Supported Installer Released

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

This is a bit over due, I’ve worked with someone over he past couple months to figure out how to do a signed driver and package this into the installer.

Done, finally. No more hack needed to install the driver. No need to turn off allowing the installation of unsigned drivers.

The old 0.96 installer has been updated with the new installer that will work on Windows 8.

Thanks for the patience.

[Link]

Cleaning up and Getting Organized

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

As I mention repeatedly to supportive and patient customers, it’s just me here. I have a couple friends that help, but their help is minimal when it comes to the time needed. I do shipping, logistics, support, development, the web work, reaching out, manufacturing, debugging, you name it, and it’s all on the side of a very demanding full time job at a startup. It’s rough. I work 80 hours a week, sometimes a lot more. But I do it because I love it, and I’m not complaining.

But as a result of the work and attention required, I’ve been forced to get organized, and to be intelligent in the way I do things. I’ve learned a lot, and I want to be as open as possible in hopes that what I’ve learned can help someone else. Because the truth is, I’ve learned a lot from other people, to the point where I’m not quite sure how I would have gotten over some very big hurdles. Joe, the CEO of Saleae, is extremely open on his blog. He does a phenomenal job of communicating with customers. Sparkfun is another example of a company that is extremely open with their products and growing pains. I’ve at times, contacted them, or others with questions, and with no obligation, they have helped me. I was even recently featured on a sparkfun interview, and it was such an honor. I’m hoping that those who understand what flirc is, where it came from, and what I hope to accomplish feel comfortable in approaching me if they are struggling with something that I may have accomplished.

As everyone knows, I’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes work, and I’m sorry to say software and firmware have been extremely slow going. But I’m cleaning up. I was forced to figure out how to get orders out without killing myself, and I’ve got it. Shipstation has been my saving grace. They nailed it when no other company has even come close.

I found a relatively new service to help with support called help scout. It’s amazing, clean, simple, and helps me stay on top of customer emails. Nothing will get lost anymore, and I can better keep track of dangling emails that need response. I’m very happy with it so far. I changed the website so all emails going into the support link, email to support@flirc.tv, and get routed to help scout. It no longer goes to my flirc inbox. Any emails leaving the site for registration, order status updates, lost passwords, come from noreply@flirc.tv. While that seemed obvious, for the longest time it was also coming from my own flirc email address. Customers would just hit reply, and my email box was filled with important emails and junk. Now, my email will be held strictly for business and staying on top of manufacturing, working with partners, and that’s it. I can manage support at help scout, and it will help me stay on top of everything by letting me know how long I’ve been taking to get back to people.

On the development side, I’m revamping things as well. I’m changing everything in my git repository, cleaning up all my code, re-structing all the firmware, and getting my tool chains cleaned up. Software is a mess right now and it takes too long to try anything out and deploy stuff for customers to try. I rely on Eric, my partner, for deploying the windows GUI. In fact, he does an amazing job as he’s done 95% of the GUI work. But when I want to add something, it’s too much work. I rely on virtual machines galore. That’s all getting solved. I am fixing my cross compilers, so that I’ll be able to make windows, mac, and linux GUI’s directly on my mac with one command. It’s going to be phenomenal and result in much faster beta’s that will be posted to the forums. Once that’s done, I will publish the API with doxygen, and shortly after, fix these stupid beta images, make one image that combines them all, and find out what’s wrong with waking the computer up from sleep.

If anyone is interested in hearing about some of the electrical problems that I’m having which effect yield, leave a comment and I can follow up with some pictures and how I intend on fixing them.

Thanks everyone for all the amazing support.

More Inventory

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

I just received some stock and will be getting orders ready over the weekend to drop off at the post on Monday. All preorders will be trickling out over the next couple weeks.

Forums Live

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Flirc forums are live.

I haven’t had much time to play with the forums, but I added some general places for people to start posting. If I missed something and get a lot of spam, I don’t have much time to run through everything again, and will temporarily shut them down. Hopefully this wont be the case.

Don’t mean to be pessimistic, but I have a lot on my plate. While I know this is overdue, I don’t want to have something that sucks my time. Remember, this is just primarily me, and I’m doing my best.

What’s Brewing

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

I’m confident that the v1.0 firmware release has fixed the sleep/cold start issue described in the last post. If anyone is still experiencing this after the firmware upgrade, please, say so.

A special thank you to everyone giving me feedback and testing the non public images. I’m forever grateful for you guys, your patience, and understanding.

Here is what’s on the drawing board for the near future. There are two issues outstanding with the firmware, which I have been making slow and steady progress. Check out this page for past fw release notes, and future firmware feature release notes. This page will get updated with tentative release dates.

I will also be putting together forums. This will bring a social advantage for users to share their setups, post problems, request features, and try/discuss beta firmware releases. This has been a long time coming, but with everything quickly stabilizing, a very important necessity.

But before I start publicly releasing firmware images, I’m going to be taking a break to work on finalizing one of the most important aspects of the project, the API. We will be putting together a C API for users to integrate all of the flirc functionality in their own programs. We will also be releasing source code for a QT GUI which act as an example usage program. All in this time, the public GUI will be updated for better stability.

I will post API news and updates via the blog, as well as share when the forum goes up. Beta firmware releases will all be done in parallel, which will be available to anyone who wants to try them, but I don’t expect to integrate them into the GUI until the API and GUI are stable.

Thanks to all the great customers who make every ounce of effort worth all the hard work.

Customers, Need Your Help with Sleep Issue

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

I’m calling out for your help regarding an issue effecting a small amount of users. I have been unable to make any progress on some of the other firmware features because there is one major bug that I can not re-produce, and can not solve. I’m spending all my time on this one, so I’m asking for your help.

When you wake your computer up from sleep, and your flirc no longer works and requires you to unplug/plug, then please leave in the comments section the following:

1. Operating System [Linux/Windows/Mac]

2. Operating System Version [Lion/Snow Leopard/Hardy Heron/Vista/etc] (32/64 bit as well)

3. Your Motherboard Manufacturer (If you don’t know, leave your PC Model)

Even if I have talked to you previously, please post a note in the comments section. I need help narrowing this down and will most likely purchase an identical unit.