Arduino vi mode pedal

In the past I was a vim user, mostly because a full vim install had nice syntax highlighting, since recent versions of nano also do syntax highlighting and nano has become available in the default installs of many distributions I’ve switched to nano as editor of choice.

However some colleagues came across the vim clutch the other day, which is a cool hardware hack, to switch between vi’s command and text entry modes using your foot. Coincidentally I had ordered a StealthDuino 32U4 which I received last week. The StealthDuino is basically a miniaturized Arduino Leonardo (in USB stick format), which easily does USB HID (Keyboard & Mouse). The other cool and convenient thing about the StealthDuino is that it has a QRE1113 infra-red proximity sensor on-board, so it’s possible to sense if anything is closely overhead. Which means it can effectively be used as a pedal.

My Arduino sketch can be downloaded here. When you load this sketch into a StealthDuino you can control it directly with your foot (no pedal casing required), however I’d recommend only operating it with your socks on, controlling it with your boots on will quite likely significantly decrease the units lifespan.


Gnoduino FTW

Recently I’ve been re-entering the world of electronics, and more particularly microcontrollers. Back in the day I had some introductory experience with Parallax’s BASIC Stamp, which wasn’t that great. Only recently I discovered the Arduino project, which is absolutely awesome.

The original Arduino IDE is written in Java however, and that makes for poor integration on the Linux platform, particularly with Ubuntu Unity. Luckily enough someone has been busy to do a simple rewrite of the original IDE in Python and GTK, making a fully Linux native IDE, and it’s called Gnoduino, and I even have a PPA for it.

I did a screencast on the general topic of Arduino and the differences between the original IDE and the Gnoduino IDE:

You can also download the video for offline viewing if you prefer.