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January 14 2020 PineTime, watch, computer games and 3D printing Meet

Posted on January 16, 2020
( 4 minute read )

Mike had had problems applying a patch to dhcpcd and so David S talked him through the process while the rest of us got on with the meeting.

Kriss and Shi demonstrated the PineTime open source swartwatch which had been released in December 2019 and uses the nRF52840 SoC.

PimeTime watch
PineTime watch

They had found that not everything is documented yet, the CPU is not very powerful and there is not much memory. However, they had been able to program it via a Raspberry Pi connected to a breadboard, using OpenOCD.

PineTime watch in breadboard at top with Raspberry Pi below it
PineTime watch in breadboard with Raspberry Pi

Details of the specs are in the PineTime Wiki and the port assignments are in the Port Assignment datasheet. However, not all the pins are used.

They had developed the watch face in Inkscape and then exported it as a 240×240px PNG which can be seen on GitHub.

It needs to be in sleep mode most of the time; otherwise the battery only lasts for about six hours.

They build SD cards for the Raspberry Pi using scripts and QEMU; they need two, one to run it with the Raspberry Pi and one to run it on its own.

Darren had had a problem with the battery on his laptop not registering and had written a short script using watch and awk to interrogate /proc about the state of the battery and calculate its level of charge. This now showed the same calculation as the GUI battery monitor (which had previously said there was no battery). John suggested that the problem might be a hardware problem relating to the battery as he had a notebook for which he had two batteries; one of them registered all the time; the other would cease to register from time to time until he took it out and put it back in when it would register again.

David C shared the computer games he had been looking at recently, among them:

David S responded to John H’s email comment about it not being the end of the decade by pointing to RevK’s rant on 1 January 2020 about people saying it is not the end of the decade because there was no year 0.

Kriss and Shi then shared a number of figures they had created on their 3D printer using OctoPrint. They had used Blender to design the items and Slic3r to confirm that the object could be sliced in such a way that it would not fall over during the 3D printing. OctoPrint uses G-code, originally developed in the 1950s by MIT for computer aided manufacture.