New Pet!

Posted in Insects, Interesting on August 11th, 2010 by nisburgh – Be the first to comment

Meet Spike, the newest pet in the family!

Red-Eyed Devil grasshopper

This is Spike.

Spike was found crawling around our courtyard.  Actually, she was crawling up the glass door, getting away from our cats.

After a bit of research, it turns out that Spike is a pretty neat grasshopper. She is a Red-Eyed Devil, fairly common for this area. Thank you to Dr. Chris Sansone with Texas A&M Entomology for identification and links.

Here are a couple more shots to see her coloring a bit better, and get an idea of size.  The hand is my 10 year old daughter’s.

Red-Eyed Devil

You can actually see her breathing!

Red-Eyed Devil

About 5" from head to tip of ovipositor.

Anyhow, the best part, and most unique thing about this grasshopper?  She’s carnivorous!

Red-Eyed Devil eating

Nom nom nom..

Red-Eyed Devil eating


Red-Eyed Devil eating


Small Update to Mirf Library

Posted in Arduino, News on July 13th, 2010 by nisburgh – Be the first to comment

One of my readers asked ( in the forums too ) for some help on reading register values from the Nordic chip, so I put together a quick example and added it to the library. This example reads the RF_SETUP register and prints the value in binary to the Serial output:

 * Pins:
 * Hardware SPI:
 * MISO -> 12
 * MOSI -> 11
 * SCK -> 13
 * Configurable:
 * CE -> 8
 * CSN -> 7


void setup() {
  Serial.println( "Starting wireless..." );

  // Setup
  Mirf.setRADDR((byte *)"clie1");
  Mirf.payload = sizeof(unsigned long);

  // Read and print RF_SETUP
  byte rf_setup = 0;
  Mirf.readRegister( RF_SETUP, &rf_setup, sizeof(rf_setup) );
  Serial.print( "rf_setup = " );
  Serial.println( rf_setup, BIN );

  Serial.println( "Wireless initialized!" );

void loop() {}

When I ran this code on my board, it printed:

Starting wireless...
rf_setup = 1111
Wireless initialized!

So that’s 00001111 for the value of RF_SETUP. Breaking it down, high bit to low bit, using the datasheet:

0 – No continuous carrier wave
0 – Reserved – must be 0
0 – RF_DR_LOW is 0
0 – No PLL lock signal
1 – RF_DR_HIGH is 1, and according to chart, 01 = 2 Mbps
1 – High bit RF_PWR is 1
1 – Low bit RF_PWR is 1, according to chart, 11 = 0 dBm output power
1 – Not used/obsolete

You can download the library and bundled examples ( including this one ) from the Software page. Cheers!

Git: A cause for changing your SCM tool

Posted in Software on April 18th, 2010 by nisburgh – Be the first to comment

I’m generally one of those people that doesn’t feel the need to fix something that ain’t broke.  So when all of this hooplah about Git hit the programming scene a while ago, I didn’t feel obligated to jump on board.  I had been using Subversion quite happily for years, and CVS before that.  SVN did what I needed, and worked well for me since I ran a remote, secured repository which I backed up hourly.

A friend recommended I look into Git, and I did.  I looked at the website, read the tutorial, and simply could not figure out why I should switch my Source Code Management system.  It felt like change for the sake of change, and I am not a fan of that idea.

Enter: Hg Init – The Mercurial Tutorial.  Here was a very well written tutorial and explanation as to why you should make the move to Mercurial ( which is very similar to Git ).  Give it a read, you’ll see what I mean.  I know I’ll be switching soon.

Sandia Peak

Posted in Nature on January 11th, 2010 by nisburgh – Be the first to comment
View from Sandia Peak - 2010, Nathan Isburgh

View from Sandia Peak, Albuquerque, NM -- © 2010, Nathan Isburgh


Posted in Animals on December 22nd, 2009 by nisburgh – 3 Comments
Love the owls

Love the owls

Bubble Calendar

Posted in Product on December 19th, 2009 by nisburgh – Be the first to comment

I’ve gotta admit, this is probably the coolest use of bubble wrap I’ve ever encountered..

Bubble Wrap Calendar!!

Bubble Wrap Calendar!!

Back from the dead

Posted in Website on December 19th, 2009 by nisburgh – Be the first to comment

I’m finally back!  The last three weeks have been grueling.  Mondays and Wednesdays have seen me at ACC teaching my regular Linux class in Austin, then Tuesdays and Thursdays I have been commuting to San Antonio to teach a new Linux class at Northeast Lakeview College.  All spare time was dedicated to making the new Linux course successful.  Anyhow, that’s finally done for a few weeks, so expect to see some new posts!

Updates coming soon

Posted in Website on November 28th, 2009 by nisburgh – Be the first to comment

I just wanted to say that I’m still here.  Been super busy with the holidays and work.  I have more projects to post about, just no time.  Putting together a course for my new teaching position at Northeast Lakeview College in San Antonio.  That’s taking a lot of my time.  Plus, I’m taking the CISSP exam December 12th, which requires lots of studying.  Hopefully I’ll find time to post some new stories!  Like how I got an experimental version of my mesh network running a couple of weeks ago!  :)

Zombie Apocalypse!

Posted in Comic on November 20th, 2009 by nisburgh – Be the first to comment

zombie_howThere are some hilarious comics and quizzes on this site. “How Everything Goes to Hell During a Zombie Apocalypse” is one of my favorites. =)

More software! This time some fixes to the Mirf library

Posted in Arduino on November 12th, 2009 by nisburgh – 16 Comments

I’ve added another Arduino library to the software page. This one is an updated version of the original Mirf library, used for interfacing with the Nordic Semiconductor RF modules, like the nRF24L01+. I fixed a bug, updated the code here and there, fixed one of the examples and made some other small changes. As I work further with the library, I’ll push changes up here if they’re big. The bug fix was a pretty big one, so I wanted to share it with everyone. Let me know if you have any comments or suggestions!