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Lots of Aircraft to Monitor!

Hello from The Philippines! As being the master of antique hardware, I wish I can do a ADS-B project with my BeagleBone Black, but I cannot always afford to buy a McDonald's cheeseburger! It has almost been a decade (10 years) since I moved out of the USA, and into the Philippines. Despite minor hardware issues, I am still enjoying my ICOM IC-R3 and ICOM IC-R1500; both are very useful, here in the Philippines! Both, the R3 and the R1500 are programmable, embedded systems that I purchased in early 2006, almost five years before I got into embedded systems development (Microchip PIC, Atmel AVR, etc.).

I WISH I can do a ADS-B Project!

After reading the article, Tracking Planes with RTL-SDR, I figure this is something I can do in the Philippines. Mr. fustini gave me a product link, Software Defined Radio Receiver USB Stick - RTL2832 w/R820T, and somethat like that does NOT EXIST locally, here in the Philippines. Besides that, there is HIGH IMPORT TAXATION IN THE PHILIPPINES; a $20 product becomes over $75 before I can receive it. I remember BUYING my Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi for the local element14 distributor; I paid $75 for it, whereas people in First World countries bought it for far less money! Back then, I could ask my dad for money; since early 2014, my dad is a speechless stroke patient!

Another Wish to Dry Out!

As with most of my wishes, wishes become a mere fantasy with me. Lots of people are doing the projects I want to do, but for me, it will most likely never happen. As a disabled, unemployable person, I will never afford to financially support my hobbies, and besides, too many people, when they see my PayPal donation link, they consider me a "scam artist" and never donate. So, since my wishes dry out, I can no longer dish out freebies that people have enjoyed from me.

Thanks for Reading!

Yes, times are tough for me! It is getting to the point that I might need to start trading my Arduino boards for decent meals. On an average, to SAVE MONEY, I eat an average of one to two small meals, a day! I don't have money to buy new clothes; I have been thinking of trading my embedded systems development boards for new clothes. I told my wife that if I ditch all my computers and electronics stuff, I don't need to run an air conditioner 24/7; but the money saved will NOT be used for my hobbies. Well, it's is ME, a poor guy that has been fated! Thanks for Reading and Have a Nice Day!


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Listening to The Real World!

Hello from The Philippines! After realizing that, once retired from the element14 Community, there is no return, I have decided to focus my spare time, elsewhere. Considering the fact that my Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi is deceased (and I cannot afford to buy a new one), I will no longer be able to create cool Raspberry Pi projects, I have decided to move on. I have thought about doing more Arduino projects, but I will never have that popular ESP8266 Wi-Fi board everyone else has, and nobody is interested in Ethernet shield projects, anymore. Element14 still has cool Road Test projects, but I feel my time there has already expired. I have over three dozen microcontroller development boards collecting dust now; my wife tells me to get rid of them since I am no longer using them. Even my 16 year-old U.S. PayPal account has dust in it, despite I am still advertising my PayPal donation link. I recently saw a project "Tracking Plans with RTL-SDR" I really want to do with my BeagleBone Black, but I cannot afford a RTL-SDR USB dongle because I have no money. As a disabled person, I have lots of spare time to do cool projects, but I have no money to buy what I need to make those cool projects; my disability money goes to utility bills and groceries with nothing left over. I wish I had a RTL-SDR USB dongle, so I can send data to Flightradar24... But, that is another technology that I will not experience in my lifetime. So, what is The Real World telling me? To move on and enjoy what I already have!

Scanner Radio Listening

For those that are wondering... I am a former amateur radio operator; my FCC license has expired as I have lost interest in transmitting. I still have my decade-old Yaesu HT (VX-2R) and Kenwood HT (TH-D7A), both of which are collecting dust. I wish I could trade them for the gadgets I wish for, but I highly doubt that event will ever happen. In the meantime, I am just happy listening to my scanning radio receivers!

Raspberry Pi Radio...

When I was not using my Raspberry Pi to play videos, I often used to to work my ICOM IC-PCR1500 using PCR Anywhere. Unfortunately, there is no port for BeagleBone Black.

My Radios...

While my ICOM IC-R3 and ICOM IC-PCR1500 communications receivers are a decade-old, I still use my antique Radio Shack PRO-2050 tabletop TrunkTracker scanner.

Wish: New Antennas & Coax

Over the past decade, the tropical environment of the Philippines deterioriated my antennas and coax. Sadly, I do not have the money to buy replacements, so my radios experience high signal losses. I have thought about making a J-pole antenna, but my hands don't have the mobility functions like they used to.

Upcoming Singapore Trip

Though my tentative plans on visiting element14 SG, even just to say "Hi", may not materialize, my wife and I are still going to Singapore for a three-day vacation. For those in the element14 Community that would like to impress me, here is YOUR CHANCE! My trip to Singapore is scheduled for January 2017. I have many wishes, element14 SG has many of them, but I will never afford any of them. Gifting Me is the Best Option for me to continue publishing my technical projects! Either buying a product for me to pick up at element14 SG and/or some type of Gift Certificate to be used at element14 SG. I would even accept the BeagleBone Black 4GBeagleBone Black 4G as an upgrade to my 2G unit from Mr. fustini. I'm even wishing for a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B & 16GB MicroSD cardRaspberry Pi 3 Model B & 16GB MicroSD card or something similar.

LEGO: My Alternative

Though my Singapore trip is months away, I am already planning on buying the LEGO Classic Creative Building Set. My wife's cousins are already working (in Singapore), one of which is a mother of a toddler; I figure, LEGO is an idea gift. I had LEGO blocks when I was a young child and my interest in LEGO is returning... Besides, I am thinking of building a LEGO case for my BeagleBone Black.

Thanks for Reading!

Considering the fact that my return to element14 Community, after being absent for two years, has resulted in almost no interest in my hobby work, I decided to write a not-so-technical blog post; something that doesn't give me headaches. Thanks for Reading and Have a Nice Day!


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My Return to element14: A Reality in the Works!

For the past two years, I have had a ship-load of heavy personal problems that I would not wish for anyone, not even my worst enemy. The heavy trauma I endured, forced me to wipe out my original blogging history from element14 Community blogs. Meanwhile, everyday I woke up, I stared at my laboratory of computers & electronics, wondering what I should do with the dust collecting gadgets that I originally made miracles from. As a disabled person, I received a lot of product donations, which allowed me to experience advanced technology, first hand; stuff that, a decade ago, I never thought would ever be possible.

Farnell/element14 Discovered Me!

For most people in the element14 Community, it was the other way around. In my case, I was just a disabled American citizen, living in the Philippines, that local people presumed my pockets were loaded with cash. Here, in the Philippines, there is an electronics shop "Alexan", similar to the old-style Radio Shack, that I, as well as hundreds of others, has grown used to over the earlier decades. On my own, I invested into 8051 development; I bought the programmer, two development boards, and worked my C programming skills. I posted my progress on my old blog (now deleted). After about four months, I bought a PIC16F877A development board from Alexan and began to program that with my C programming skills. I also posted my progress on my old blog (now deleted). Meanwhile, a company in Australia was very impressed with my work, they answered my Twitter request to be sponsored, and I received my first Atmel AVR development board with a USBasp programmer in the mail. With that Atmel AVR development board, i taught myself Arduino theory. Next, using my small money in my PayPal account, I invested in a $53 package deal from Seeed Studio in mainland China, which included a brand new Seeeduino 328 development board and Wiznet Ethernet Shield. Within a short period of time, my Seeeduino 328 was posting tweets in Twitter. I began making many chaser LED projects.

The Man from Farnell...

While I was making many projects with my new Seeeduino 328 board, a man from Farnell in UK contacted me (via E-Mail) about offering me free products in exchange to my blogging... I originally thought it was a SCAM because I never received free stuff before, never in my entire life! At that time, I NEVER heard of Farnell nor element14; I really thought that man was trying to scam me, and so I contacted Interpol. After a couple of weeks, Interpol told me that Farnell is a real business and has proper licenses and tax records, and the man that contacted me, is confirmed a real person with the name he used with me, is the same on his driver's license. Based on the report from Interpol, I decided to respond to that man from Farnell, whom claimed the company has been watching my progresses for several months.

1st Product from element14 SG

On November 30, 2011, via UPS, I received the AVR ButterflyAVR Butterfly from element14 SG! That was my 1st product request that was affordable in the range that the man from Farnel told me. I was shocked! My wife was also shocked as she kept asking me, "how much is it?" and "when do I need to pay for it?" I told my wife that the man from Farnell UK just proved he was not dishonest to me. Immediately, I blogged it as promised, but then I later discovered the existence of element14 Community and I can have a blog there.

2nd Product from element14 SG

On January 28, 2012, via UPS, I received the STM32 F4 DiscoverySTM32 F4 Discovery from element14 SG! Immediately, I blogged it, but this time, on my element14 Community Blog.

3rd Product from element14 SG

On March 12, 2012, via UPS, I received the Arduino Mega Proto Shield KitArduino Mega Proto Shield Kit from element14 SG! Immediately, I assembled it and blogged it in my element14 Community Blog, to.

4th Product from element14 SG

On May 23, 2012 (10 days after my birthday), I received the Atmel AVRISP2 mkII ProgrammerAtmel AVRISP2 mkII Programmer from element14 SG! This stopped me from using my USBasp AVR programmer! After blogging this product, the man from Farnell UK told me he is now leaving the company. The mkII programmer was the last product I received from that man from Farnell UK. I then made my last blog entry into element14 Community and posted my "worry" messages, because I cannot afford to buy the products I had already received.

Mr. Drew Fustini...

A few months later, another Good Samaritan, Mr. fustini contact me. He introduced himself as an employee of Newark (I think) and one of the moderators for element14 Community. He began mentoring me, helping me continue with my electronics hobby, and took on the roll of the man in Farnell UK did.

My First Visit to element14 SG

In mid-January 2013, my wife and I visited Singapore for the very first time. Her nephew, Josh, was with us, and we had scheduled tours the very next day. Prior to my travel to Singapore, I established contact with an employee at element14 SG, whom gave me his contact number. I contacted that number from the hotel we stayed at in Singapore. Since my wife and nephew did not want to go along with me, I went alone, took a taxi to element14 SG. At that moment, I don't know what I am doing, but I am an experienced explorer! The taxi driver had to ask for directions as he never been to the site where element14 is at. Once we arrived, the taxi driver was kind enough to go to the entrance of element14, while I waited in his taxi, and contacted the guy I called earlier on the hotel telephone. I paid the taxi cab driver his fare plus tip, and then entered the element14 SG facility.

The Tour of element14 SG...

Though I felt I was completely out of my league, the man I contacted, showed me around four floors of element14 SG. I got to meet the persons, whose names appeared on the shipping invoices of the products I received; that was my affirmation that element14 is a real business. I saw their warehouse and how products are stored and shipped out. I saw their main office of cubicals. I saw where the Live Online Chats are done, behind the website, itself. And, of course, I saw too many things I cannot afford. As a disabled person, I did not ask for much; I got a PicKit 2 development kit, Arduino mini, and a transparent case for my Raspberry Pi (now destroyed). I even got a couple of element14 pens; I gave one to my wife and I still use mine.

January 2017: My 2nd Visit to Singapore

As of this writing, my official plans are only in the infancy stages.

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The Plan...

Earlier today, my sister-in-law (a travel agent) called my wife about a good deal on a flight. My wife did not want to go Bangkok (twice, already) and Hong Kong (twice, already), and so she decided on Singapore. Immediately, I thought of element14 in Singapore since I am now back into the element14 Community. As of this writing, the air fares has not yet been paid for; should be paid within a day or so.

I Like element14!

Since I am now back, why don't I make a "bang"??? Why not I co-host a workshop or two, during my brief stay in Singapore??? Am I crazy??? I never co-hosted, or even hosted a workshop before! When I was previously told that element14 SG conducts workshops there, mostly for students, I figure... OPPORTUNITY! Since I cannot blog as much as I used to, I still have a voice and my memory is in-tact. Also since Mandarin Chinese is also spoken in Singapore, and Mandarin Chinese is one of my languages as a linguist, I see opportunity!

My Wishes...

As a disabled American citizen, I don't ask much in return. My Raspberry Pi Model B 512MBRaspberry Pi Model B 512MB is now destroyed, and I cannot afford to buy a new one. This time, I am not going to make my wish list from element14's catalog. Instead, I'm hoping I can be brought "up to speed" in terms of the latest technology.

  • I don't have nor cannot afford a ESP8266 or that Wi-Fi board many people are boasting about. I'm stil working with Ethernet cables!
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) seems to be a great topic, but I only have my Android phone with such tech.
  • A lit magnifying glass and a way of holding my boards when I solder them.
  • A big solderless breadboard that's compliant to the ones found in Fritzing.
  • I wish I can do a robotic project. All I have is a USB Robotic Arm.

Basically, I need a new computer to keep up with today's standards, but I already know a new computer is too expensive to ask for; I'd go back to compiling Linux kernels...

My BeagleBone Black

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It is now 3.0 years old and I am stil working it to the max!

Thanks for Reading!

Anyways, I really hope to have fun in Singapore. Thanks for Reading and Have a Nice Day!


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Now, Behind The Scenes...

Sure enough, I can simply make comic panels after comic panels, but I also do other stuff besides making comic panels! Rather than talk about, I will just upload the screenshots...

My Xubuntu Linux System



My EPD Board...

It's from Mr. fustini... But, I designed the source image in GIMP!


Yes, I am learning the Japanese writing system, called Hiragana. Though I have a cheap paperback book that shows me how to properly draw the strokes, I am also using the Write Japanese app on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. For my EPD project, I am presently using the Kei Font.

ADVISORY: Updates Your Fonts!

Specifically, YOUR WEB BROWSER FONTS! My linguistics hobby is now in full-swing, which means, I may make future posts in any of the languages I'm studying (Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Tagalog, Spanish). Here are links to help you out:

Though American English is my default language, I may post content, or some content is non-English language, and I may not post an English translation. Yes, I have repeated myself! Luckily, there are browser plugins to help out with translations. Recently, I wrote a few BASH scripts that require Japanese fonts to be pre-installed. I will be publishing those scripts, soon on element14.

Thank You for Reading!

Thank you for Reading and Have a Nice Day!


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Hello from The Philippines!

No, I cannot think of a better blog subject, other than "Technical WebComic for August 1, 2016". Why? Because I am now merging my new non-technical hobby of digital art development with my old (possibly ancient) technical hobby. I decided to start the merging because my recent digital artwork on other sites, such as Deviant Art, is not really that popular. I figure, why not return to element14 Community, where many people still know me.

Technical WebComics?

Inside my brain, stores the core foundation of my very geeky life. Nowadays, I call it a curse, whereas other people call it a blessing. I have been working with computers for 33 years; most of those years are shared with my expertise in electronics. Within the past few years, I had constructed my "laboratory" of computers and electronics; solidifying a dream I began having over two decades ago. So, in my laboratory, mostly everything just works... Why not start making Technical Manga or just, Technical Comics?

Implementing My Technical Skills...

Though I now have 19 years of Linux experiences, I had overloaded my brain, recently over the past few years:

  • Programming microcontrollers with my 26 years EXPERIENCE in C Programming Language
    This includes the very popular Arduino integrated development environment!
  • I constructed my hardware-based speech synthesizer from a dream I had in 1981
  • I mastered electronics design with lots and lots of practice
    Though I still hand-draw my schematics, I frequently use Fritzing...
  • Running headless Linux servers... I never thought I would ever do that!
  • Learned a litle bit of the Python programing language

For the past 13 years, I have been living life as a disabled person. If I was not discovered by a Good Samaritan employee (now resigned) at UK-based Farnell over five years ago, I would never have known about the existence of element14 in Singapore. Believe it or not, I called that Good Samaritan at UK-based Farnell, a Con-Man, because I never receive anything for free!

Shortly after I discovered the element14 Community and registered myself, that UK-based Farnell Good Samaritan resigned to work for another company. At the same time, Mr fustini had discovered my original (now deleted by me) posts and began encouraging me.

Technical WebComics, a fancy name for my technical illustrations, is a better option for me, mostly because I am not a teacher nor an engineer. But, as a disabled man, I have accomplished stuff that I never believed I would ever accomplish. It actually got ridiculous when engineering companies began calling me, asking me if I wanted a job and wanted to see my "engineering degree"! What engineering degree? I don't have one!

Embedded Linux...



Everyday, I run two headless, embedded Linux servers. I used to have three, but my Raspberry Pi Model B 512MB was destroyed (in June 2016) by a failed experiment of mine (resulting in a small explosion in my lab).

Even though it is 2016, I still do most of my Linux work via the command-line interface (CLI). I write & compile C code at will! Sooner or later, I plan to use content from my embedded Linux skills as story lines for upcoming Technical WebComics.

Thanks for Reading!

My non-technical opinion is, it is easier to read comics instead of reading lines of text. Unfortunately, due to health reasons, I won't be posting as frequently as I used to. For making a digital comic pane, it takes me anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours, depending on what content I want to include. Anyways, Thanks for Reading. Have a Nice Day!










SpeakJet Speech Synthesizer Development

It is something I do... It is a childhood dream that came true... Thanks to the help of Mr. fustini.

Marcos Miranda

MirandaSoft is BACK!

Posted by Marcos Miranda Jul 31, 2016

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Hello World! It has been almost two years since I departed from element14 community! I left for many reasons... and now, I am back!

19 Years of Linux Experiences!

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Just 10 days ago, I celebrated 19 years of Linux experiences! Yes, "experiences" meaning both professionally and not.

Back to Working Arduino!

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A few years ago, I received my Arduino Due from a element14 test drive; I think my initial review still exists! Today, I re-installed Arduino in my Xubuntu Linux installation.

Please Encourage Me!

Though I am a disabled person, unable to gain employment, I do not have money to support my hobbies! All of my computers are old; my primary 64-bit PC is showing signs of a pending death; I need at least USD $350 to buy a new one! My electronic toys, such as my BeagleBone Black and Arduino boards, are more than three years old. In mid-June 2016, due to a small explosion in my laboratory, my Raspberry Pi Model B 512MB (from element14 SG) and my Seeeduino 328 (from Seeed Studio in China) are destroyed! I do not have money to buy another Raspberry Pi, so ALL of my Raspberry Pi projects are trashed. I do not have a ESP8266 as I cannot afford to buy one, therefore I am unable to make any wireless-related projects. Without any financial encouragement, my hardware is going to eventually stop working, forcing me to end all work related to computers & electronics; that will be the time I will become a full-time cable TV junkie!

Since nobody is interested in donating money into my PayPal account, I rarely advertise it, as people just expect only freebies from me. The best way of sending me money, is via Western Union, just send to "Marc Miranda" and E-Mail me the details I need to claim the money. Locally, in Philippines, a bank deposit will help. If nearby my home, even bringing me food is an option. Yes, I am that broke!

Donating money to me is 100% optional, however, insufficient monetary donations or no monetary donations is the best way for me to become a full-time cable TV junkie! I am already at the point that I am planning on selling my gear for food, as my small disability money runs out too quickly. It is tough being a disabled person. It is even more tough when people just expect only freebies from me! In many places online, I have been called a "beggar looking for a free lunch" and other such negative descriptions. As of this writing, I do not have USD $12 to renew my LastPass premium account; I'm now seeking an alternative password manager for Android, Linux and Windows, that I won't stress me out at all.

Thanks for Reading!

Using alternative medicine, I have reduced body pains in regards to arthritis throughout my body. Though I am able to type with less pain, blogging is no longer a priority with me. I would rather make new digital art instead of making blog posts. Thanks for Reading and Have a Nice Day!