First Submit to Google

I’m not sure if this really qualifies as an achievement, but after lots of strenuous back-and-forth reviews, I finally got my code pushed to the Google code base! Too bad I can’t really talk about what it does. Oh well, here’s some proof:

First submission on Friday, August 16, 2013 at 11:14 AM PDT

First submission on Friday, August 16, 2013 at 11:14 AM PDT

Charlieplexing Problem

My current AG:MF03 flashlight design incorporates a 20 LED display by charlieplexing them to 5 I/O pins from the microcontroller. I won’t go into the details of how charlieplexing works, but you can see more here. So anyway, when I programmed the chip to sequence through each LED individually, I noticed that multiple LEDs were lighting up at the same time in some cases, and none were lighting up in other cases. So for example, if I was trying to just light up LED2 by setting all I/O pins to the high-impedance state, except for the two connected to LED2, then maybe LED2, LED4, and LED5 would all light up. Alternatively, doing the same with LED3, none of the LEDs lit up.

Continue reading

Site Migration

I just moved the site from to  The main reason for this is that I’d like this site to be focused on my personal projects, hence the use of my name for the domain name.  The AG-Element site can be used for other stuff – maybe business?

In any case, I’m not quite done yet.  There are a few more things I’d like to complete before calling the migration finished.

  • Reduce memory usage: I’m now running this on my own server, but it only has 256MB.  Loading pages currently spikes usage close to the limit, causing really laggy page loads.
  • New theme: The current theme I’m running is a bit slow in terms of loading.  I’ll be moving to a faster responding theme, Responsive, in the coming weeks.
  • More content: I’ve been doing a lot on my project since my last update.  I haven’t really talked about it too much, but that’s because I’ve been a bit lazy.  Rest assured, I have plenty of pictures/documentation, so the only problem will be me having to just do it.

And that should be it for now.  Hopefully all of these changes will take affect before the end of February.

President Obama Visits TJHSST!

Today was fairly interesting.

President Obama (yes, the President) visited our school (Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology) to sign the “America Invents Act,” which essentially trades the old “whoever invents first gets the patent” system to the new “whoever files first gets the patent” system, which would streamline the process.

Anyway, it was really quite a neat experience being that close to the president. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to shake his hand, but I did get fairly close. You can watch the whole event here:

C-SPAN or White House

Senior Year

Well, today is the first day of my senior year at TJHSST. I’m both excited and nervous (excited because I enjoy school, but nervous because we had homework I might not have finished).

In regards to school, I think it’s very important to my learning – not because I learn much in classes, but rather because it keeps me stimulated with ideas. A lot of times, I already know what’s being taught in class, and wonder what the point of “wasting” time is. However, I think if I just had a ton of free time, I wouldn’t be any more productive (with regard to projects), and in fact, I’d probably be much less productive. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think we would get more done if we had more time. Maybe some people are that disciplined, but I’m certainly not. My projects stem out of pure interest, not out of necessity or self-discipline.

Well, besides school, I also have some extracurricular clubs I have to be responsible for, as well as college applications. That means I have even less time to work on my projects, which according to my above statement, means the likelihood of finishing them on time is higher!

I’m cautiously looking forward to the coming year.

Project: AG:MF02 Flashlight

As of now, my newest project is the AG:MF02-2012/WTU2 flashlight. Although I’m still adding content to my other project, this website, I’ll probably be spending a lot more time working on my newest flashlight.

The flashlight will be similar to the AG:MF01 except it will be completely cylindrical (with the body containing the lens), and it will incorporate capacitive touch sensing. Other advances include the use of a more powerful microcontroller, the ATMega-168, as well as a commercially-built PCB (designed in Eagle).

The project page can be found here: AG:MF02 Flashlight.

NRL SEAP Internship Starts

Today marked the first day of my internship at the Naval Research Laboratory near Washington, DC. Loosely speaking, my project appears to be to compare various frameworks for parallel processing for speed and ease of use. I’m not sure exactly how much information I can post, though.

Anyway, the first day was pretty fun. I got to meet my mentor and some new students (although I’m not working with anyone else). Hopefully I’ll learn some interesting things.

Project: This Website

As of 01/29/11, my current project is this website. Progress has been kind of slow due to school work and other obligations, however I hope to finish it by the end of September. Most of the Design is finished, but I have yet to add content. For those wondering, more details about the website can be seen here.