My son and I bicycled up to campus today to test out his data logger code (that will be used in the circuits course) on the Windows computers in the lab. The lab support staff had told me yesterday that they had gotten Python 2.7.3 installed and the Arduino 1.0.3 development environment, as well as the PySerial module that the data logger code requires.
My son has been working pretty intensely on the code lately, doing a complete refactoring of the code to use TKinter (instead of PyGUI, which is difficult to install and quite slow) and to have a more user-friendly GUI. He also wanted to make the code platform independent (Windows, Mac, and Linux), though he’d only tested on our Macs at home before today. He’s also trying to make the Python part of the code (the user interface) work in both Python 2.7.3 and Python 3.3, though the languages are not precisely compatible.
We found three problems today:
- Python 2.7.3 was not quite completely installed. They’d forgotten to update the path to include C:\Python27\ (The path should also include where the Arduino software was installed—I forget where that was now.)
- The device drivers for the Arduinos were not installed. On Macs, there are no drivers to install, but on Windows, you need different drivers for different Arduino boards, and it seems you need to have the board plugged into the USB port in order to install the drivers. (Instructions at http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/Windows#t0c4)
- My son had forgotten to include one of the dependencies in his list of what needed to be installed—the Arduino Timer1 module from http://playground.arduino.cc/code/Timer1/ .
Because they had given me administrator privileges on the machines, my son was able to fix one of the machines to run the data logger code (though he had a couple of minor changes to make in his code for Windows compatibility also).
For the data logger debugging, about all I did was type in my password for him, and once do a search to see where the Arduino code was hidden.
When he has finished debugging and documenting the code, my son will be releasing it with a permissive license on bitbucket, and I’ll be putting links to it here and on the course web page.