Showing posts from 2014

DIY: Atari Punk Console, Sound Synthesizer, Noise Maker

Here's a video I've posted on with detailed steps on how to build an Atari Punk Console (APC). I've also covered some of the key concepts required to understand the APC circuit, including the workings of the 555 integrated circuit chip and the workings of the 555's astable oscillator circuit setup and monostable oscillator circuit setup, which collaborate to produce the wonderful variety of tones we hear from the APC. I've also included several demos of the finished product, both solo as well as plugged into my Line 6 Spider IV 75W amplifier, which adds some amazing effects on top of the APC!

To help you get the most out of this tutorial video, I've posted the slides and the video narration transcript at the links below.

APC Tutorial Slides

APC Video Narration Transcript

Please don't forget to like the video and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

A Short History of Iterative Software Development

[This post has also been published on, where it has gathered well over 5,000 views.]

It is useful to know about the various iterative software development project methodologies and how they originated, not so that you can follow them religiously but so that you can add them to your bag of tricks.

I recommend learning about the following.

Kanban (1953), whose origin lies within the Toyota manufacturing process innovationsScrum (1986), and its storied origin in the 1986 Harvard Business Review seminal article The New New Product Development Game, which examined 6 major Japanese and American companies to conclude that successful teams had replaced sequential approaches with iterative onesRational Unified Process (1996), proposed by IBM in response to some of the growing market forces looking for alternatives to the Waterfall family of methodologiesLean (1998), and its origin in Toyota's manufacturing systemAgile (2001), especially the contents and motivation behind the Manif…

DIY: Rebuilding My Front Porch

My new DIY project. Rebuild the front porch. Lessons learned (actually confirmed) so far. Nothing is as easy as it seems. Always allocate time for preparation, evaluation and planning (don't jump straight to project execution). Pick a small representative (and, ideally, non-critical) section of the project to execute first. Apply the lessons learned to the remainder of the project (if something goes wrong, the impact is somewhat limited).

Watch this space as I report on the progress of this project.

Learning to Fly: School Bus Adventures in Delhi

I spent most of my younger years in New Delhi, India. I lived with my family on the campus at IIT Delhi and attended Modern School, Vasant Vihar. The campus where we lived was like a walled city within a city. School buses weren't allowed inside the campus. So, in order to catch their respective school buses, kids had to walk from their homes to the campus gates, of which there were three or four. This could easily be up to a half mile walk. On occasion, I missed the school bus and had to take the public transport bus. Delhi's public transport system is known as the Delhi Transport Corporation or DTC.

As anyone who has lived in Delhi would know, taking the DTC bus is an adventure and a test of fitness. During rush hour (i.e. when I missed my school bus in the mornings), DTC buses don't quite stop at designated stops. Rather they merely slow down because while they must let off passengers they don't quite have room to let on more passengers. Therefore, those who need t…