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ORM Designer 2 – Why do you need it?

For sometime now I have been busy working with Symfony 2. The more I work with this framework the more I am falling in love with it. There are so many features for which I love Symfony. One such is tight integration with Doctrine ORM.

Symfony comes with set of command line tools which helps you with your ORM entites creation. But it was not visual and is a one shot creation tool and if you need to update or make any changes it was not possible, you need to edit these files definations manually. I was in hunt for a good tool which will make my life easier for managing my entities and its relations. So I was Googling and I found this great tool ORM Designer.

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This tool has an amazing intergration with Symfony. You can import the existing entities into the designer and make any changes to the one and export the same back to the project. It supports YAML, XML and best part of all Annotation.

Why do you need it?

  • To be honest it saves a lot of time editing your entities and easily exporting it
  • You get clear view of what you are dealing with and how your relationships are mapped
  • You don’t have to remember all the annotation and it’s constraints
  • Avoid relationships mistakes which I do all the time
  • Error free definitions

Pros

  • Easy import of existing Symfony projects
  • Visualisation of Entities and their relationships
  • Organising Entities by Bundles
  • Easy export of modifications back to your Symfony2 project

Cons

  • Editors needs more shortcuts and easy to copy paste fields across entities
  • Drag and Drop Features
  • Should remember the imported source file, and facility to update modification from the source file
  • They should be seriously thinking of a different pricing model. USD 400 is lot of money !! Make it cheaper so that It can reach more developers.

Why do you start using ORM Designer today as they offer 14 days fully functional trial version. Share your feedback how it goes ;-)

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MicroView – Arduino with a built-in OLED display

I am really excited about backing a new project “MicroView” – an Arduino Microcontroller with built-in OLED display.

GENERAL SPECS

  • Support for the Arduino IDE 1.0+ (OSX/Win/Linux)
  • 100% Arduino Compatible
  • Built-in 64×48 OLED display
  • Direct 3.3VDC – 16VDC power, input, no power regulator needed
  • Standard DIP Package
  • Breadboard friendly or direct solder

HARDWARE SPECS

  • Display: 64×48 OLED Display
  • Microcontroller: ATmega328P
  • Operating Voltage: 5V
  • Input Voltage: 3.3VDC – 16VDC
  • Digital I/O Pins: 12 (of which 3 provide PWM output)
  • Analog Input Pins: 6
  • Flash Memory: 32 KB
  • SRAM: 2 KB
  • EEPROM: 1 Kilobyte
  • Clock Speed: 16 Mhz
  • No other components required

This will be a great addition for projects where we have to use small display for displaying  critical information and status of the sensors if needed. It would be great if they can make an enclosure and Bluetooth BLE built in. It would be a great add-on for fast prototyping and connecting the device to your mobile devices.

Back the project and get your own Mircoview on Kickstarter.

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Easy, Cheap and Robust Cloud Hosting Solution from Digital Ocean

For the past couple of years I have been hosting with Hostgator. I was a happy customer until the acquisition by EIG. In the past 2 months my blog was down for almost two days. I really wanted another cheap and best solution for hosting my website. Another thing is the response time has gone so bad over the months. When you goto their website for support you have to wait for 30 to 45 minutes for the technical guy to come up say something. So I decided to part away from hostgator for bad service and being very expensive.

Last week my friend Ambarish recommended a new cloud based hosting service from DigitalOcean. First I was very sceptical about this cloud as I tried hosting my site with same configuration on Amazon Cloud and did not get good result. But I though let me give a try. So I migrated my blog and did a test run for couple of days and I am pretty happy with it.

Some of the best features I like about DigitalOcean

  • Very easy to create an instance. (Droplets)
  • You have very good list of configuration to choose for the instance
  • The instance can be loaded at 6 different location. I choose Amsterdam as I wanted my instance to be high all the time ;-)
  • You can boot the instance from variety of images
    • Fresh Linux Distributions
    • Pre build Linux Distributions with custom application like WordPress, LAMP, Ruby, GitLab etc
    • Your own custom images
    • Your existing backup images
    • Even from recently destroyed images
  • Automated Snapshot backup etc.

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The journey with DigitalOcean has been really good. Will be updating more on how to related to DigitalOcean and some stats in a months time. They are giving away 10$ credit for every referral I make. Please click on the banners in this blog post if you wish to get a new account. You will be supporting me on my hosting cost for this blog ;-)

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4WD Robotic Car controlled over Bluetooth with iPhone App

After massive brain damage I finally managed to build a prototype 4WD Robotic car controlled over Bluetooth using iPhone app. This was done using serial communication between Arduino mega and Hercules motor driver. Sorry for not posting detailed pinout diagram. If anyone interested in detailed connections please drop me an email or comment. The real trick was to make the serial connections work and test without connecting the USB cable on Hercules. Hercules board should have had two serial communication pins for easy testing as it was pain to keep removing the connected Arduino serial connections for testing. Anyways its done now ;-)

Parts used in this demo

You can download the source code used in this project “CarRemote” in Github. Please forgive my bad C code as it been real long time.

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4WD Robotic Car with 15 Kilo Load Test

Finally I put together my 4WD Robotic car. Thanks to Hercules Motor controller it’s doing what I am expecting of it. My self challenge was to make it carry 5 gallon water bottle. Few attempts failed as the motor was starting and stoping fast and the bottle was jumping out of the car. So I had to increase and reduce the speed slowly.

Parts used in this test

Source code used for this experiment ;-)

Watch out for next update with remote control :-D