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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Reusing a Laptop Camera

A few months ago I came across this instructable, its showing how to reuse a laptop camera module as a usb device, which some of them use. so later when I've decided to clean up and get rid of old and defunct laptops, I've found two camera modules and attempted to repurpose them.

The module's quality is nothing to be impressed by but they are UVC compatible, which should be good for linux use as well, but I'll test them at a later time.

The connectors seem like a standard, the following diagram is from the instructable, one of my modules even had the pinouts on the silkscreen!

While my devices are:

I've had a few USB connectors laying around, so I've looked up the pinouts

Soldered the connectors

and tested the cameras are not a short circuit risk with a USB tester

The first showed up as VID_05E3&PID_0505, which is a Genesys Logic USB2.0 PC Camera, its power consumption is around 80ma.

The second one showed up as VID_04F2&PID_B106, which is a Chicony® USB M UVC WebCam, its power consumption is around 110ma.

Next, testing them with an Orange PI....

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

IDesign - The Architect's Master Class - Review

I've had the privilege of taking Juval Lowy's - The Architect's Master Class last week and while I've been a Senior Software Developer for the last 10 years, I've also wore the architect's hat in some of my past positions.

Juval takes the class on a roller coaster of  realizations, explaining the difference between computer science and software engineering which requires an understanding of what engineering really is about as well as the business aspects of change and growth and what's the architect's role in a software project that is on time, on budget while maintaining high quality.

I don't consider myself easily persuaded, I do believe that I learned some new mental and practical tools. Some participants complained that the class was a bit overly dramatic but I think it was on purpose, most if not all participants listened to Juval for a week from 9:00 until 20:30 with only small breaks for recuperation, lunch, coffee and the occasional cookie, so "drama" did the trick.

The first 4 days looked like they were planned to break habits, open the participants mind to new (or old to be precise, see David Parnas's On the criteria to be used in decomposing systemsinto modules,  and Designing Software for Ease of Extension and Contraction), and eventually present Juval's arguments towards a proper software engineering project planning and execution, e.g. "The Method".

Some of the quotes that stuck:

"The only way for a project to be on time, on budget and on quality at the end is to be on time, on budget and on quality throughout"

"The purpose of testing is to prove something doesn't work"

"Being Agile, not DOING Agile"

"Agile forgot the Andon Cord"

"Gold Plating"

"Features are the result of integration, not implementation"

But I won't ruin it for you, if you have the time, budget and mental readiness, you should go, you don't have to do anything about it... but you'll probably learn a thing or two and if not, the interaction with other architects or aspiring architects will probably be fruitful.

Further Reading: