LATEST POSTS


MINIMIZING RISK WHEN CHOOSING A RESEARCH LAB FOR PhD

Applying to universities with good PhD programs is only a third of the application process. Most students end up ignoring what is considered a “good” advisor and assume their achievements (GPA, publications, winning your March Madness bracket, blah blah blah, what have you) will automatically garner them that baller PhD advisor. As PhD Comics often states, selecting the right advisor is like being in a long-term relationship. If you ask me, it is more like arranged marriage – find the word on the block about your future spouse’s family, and then meet and question your future spouse.

Ending up with a well-funded advisor is not a draw of luck but about doing your homework smartly on the advisor and the PhD program. How do you end up with a good advisor (I didn’t want to be stuck taking care of their dog while they are in Magens Bay for some conference. True Story.) and in a good research lab (Not doing support/maintenance/code-monkey IT work but doing actual research, the entire reason I am there for)?

Read More
Posted on by Ankur Kumar.

USING YARDSTICK ONE TO CONTROL A REMOTE CONTROLLED POWER PLUG

USING YARDSTICK ONE TO CONTROL A REMOTE CONTROLLED POWER PLUG

I had a remote controlled power plug (Figure 1) purchased from Home Depot (or Amazon, cannot remember anymore) whose remote was malfunctioning. The On button would work but the Off button did not. I saw this Hak5 video on the Yardstick One and realized I could try doing the same with the YardStick One I had purchased a few years ago, but never used. If you love watching videos instead of reading blogs, the Hak5 video linked earlier is good enough. However, if you prefer reading a blog instead, this post is for you.

Read More
Posted on by Vikas N. Kumar.

MICROSCOPE FOR ELECTRONICS REVERSE ENGINEERING

MICROSCOPE FOR ELECTRONICS REVERSE ENGINEERING

Electronics is getting tinier and my eyes are getting older. To be able to re-use old hardware, sometimes it is necessary to:

  • discover the JTAG, SPI, I2C or UART pins on the circuit board, or
  • extract and/or reload firmware correctly without damaging the board, or
  • check the quality of the connnections of the main processor chips, or
  • map the pins of the main processor back to a datasheet, especially with custom ASICs and System-on-Chips (SoCs) being made based on standard designs but by arbitrary vendors.

I saw this post on Twitter, got excited and ordered a full microscope which could do 300X zoom from AliExpress. This took a month to arrive, but was an exciting wait.

The microscope and the stand arrived last Friday, and I assembled it myself. However, it does not have an assembly manual so this post will act as one.

Read More
Posted on by Vikas N. Kumar.

RE-PURPOSE SATELLITE DISH TO CUSTOM DIRECTIONAL ANTENNA

RE-PURPOSE SATELLITE DISH TO CUSTOM DIRECTIONAL ANTENNA

Keeping the theme of re-using old hardware, I have always wanted to build a directional antenna from an old satellite dish and this is what I demonstrate in this post. I wanted it to look professional so no zip-ties were used. I also wanted the directional antenna to be generic and not limited to just a WiFi dongle. Using a 10’ SMA-connector extension wire from Amazon (non-affiliate link), I was able to pass this through the LNBF assembly that comes with the satellite dish, and convert it to a professional looking re-usable directional parabolic antenna. This is more generic than strapping a USB WiFi dongle using zip-ties, and can be used for any other radio that accepts an antenna with an SMA connector. Here is how I did it.

Read More
Posted on by Vikas N. Kumar.

PLAYING PLAYSTATION 2 GAMES USING NETWORK SHARE

PLAYING PLAYSTATION 2 GAMES USING NETWORK SHARE

Keeping the theme of re-using old hardware, I decided to take the non-working PlayStation 2 (PS2) off my brother’s hands and try to get it to work. The CD/DVD reader had stopped working and after a few tries I gave up and decided to use the FreeMcBoot bootloader to modify the PS2 so that it could load games off an SMB share on the network. You have to use a wired ethernet connection for this. Here’s how to do this in the year 2020.

Read More
Posted on by Vikas N. Kumar.

Pages:  |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  Older
SUPPORT THIS SITE
Donate DOGECOIN to DBevjMg3fd8C5oxZbV8sFpAffo6Tas1s8Q. DBevjMg3fd8C5oxZbV8sFpAffo6Tas1s8Q Donate BITCOIN to 19hrWWw1dPvBE1wVPfCnH8LqnUwsT3NsHW. 19hrWWw1dPvBE1wVPfCnH8LqnUwsT3NsHW