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Take Me Home, Country Roads

I hear her voice
In the mornin’ hour she calls me
The radio reminds me of my home far away
And drivin’ down the road I get a feelin’
That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday

Hello World!

Since Wednesday, I have been exiled in my lovely little village: Pernes les Fontaines. However, this is no excuse to stop working and enjoy the beautiful weather of Provence. So when I arrived, I immediately brought out my computer and all my cables, and now there is an official branch of the A406 in the South of France.

My main task was to implement all the BLE services and characteristics on the drop. For now, there is one service (Drop) and two characteristics (Message Command and Box Command). The Message Command characteristic has already been explained with schematics in a previous post, but since there has been some changes, I will publish an updated version soon. But the code behind the scene is now working thanks the amazing work of Lauriane on DropFS. I heavily tested the message commands (and the called DropFS functions) with gatttool, because I don’t have a phone with BLE. Fortunately, I took some time to develop a web interface to help me writing requests and parsing responses (don’t care about the design, this is just a developer tool !!).

Message Command Generator

This tool helped me a lot to test all the functions, and check if nothing had been broken when I made some changes in the code. And good news: we now have a working version of the Message Command characteristic, which supports the basic operations (create, read, update, delete) and returns potential error codes.

I also started to work on the Box Command characteristic. But there is still a lot of work to do in DropFS, so I keep this task in background and I update the code as soon as new functions are added by Lauriane.Another job was to migrate to SDK 4.4.2. As I explained in my previous post, we had a bad surprise because we received an outdated and very buggy version of the nRF51822. So we had to rollback to a previous version of the SDK and I performed this migration (otherwise, the drop was simply not working, so we couldn’t test anything!).For the next days, I have a lot of items in my todo list! I have to think about a way to handle long messages (for the moment, we can’t write messages longer than 13 characters). I also have to add new commands and characteristics to reflect the functions that Lauriane is adding in DropFS. And above all, I have to find all the easter eggs before my brother tomorrow.

May the force be with you!

Back to ROSE

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to…..
I go back to us

Hello World!

Yes, I’m back. Sith Lords are not as powerful as they used to be, so kicking them out of the galaxy has been easier than expected.

Last week end and on Monday, I worked a lot on the Drop Scanner app. I had to learn many things (Scala, Android, Scaloid) and to dive in the code Lauriane had written. When I began to understand how the code was working, I changed a little bit the interface. No breakthrough, but this helped me to put my hands in the code. There are still a lot of things to improve about the UI and the UX. Also, some bugs remain and have to be fixed as soon as possible!

Yesterday, I also started to think about the memory organization. We will have a Flash memory, which means that we have to spread the write requests across the pages not to wear them too fast. So I began to search for existing Flash file systems, in order to take some good ideas. Especially, I found UBIFS and JFFS2 which are popular Linux flash file systems. In the end, I designed a brand new flash file system, called DropFS (stands for Deluxe Rather OPerational File System). We still have to think about a few issues, but the global architecture looks solid. I will explain the whole design in a few days with gorgeous schematics. Stay tuned!

Finally, we decided to think again about our use cases, and clarify them in order to know what we really need to implement in our drops. I was assigned to think about the Cairn use case (the one for hikers). I wrote a little text explaining how the user would use the app, but above all I made an interactive mockup of the app, showing the different screens and interactions. Check it out!

May the force be with you!