# Recent updates on the CompuPhase pages

21 December 2012
Starling audio player, model H0440
The "Starling" is a new series of solid-state, programmable audio players for exhibition centres, scale models, broadcasting and narrowcast solutions. The first model of these series, model H0440, features a double audio decoder. It can play two audio tracks simultaneously, for purposes of cross-mixing or voice-overs.

Update of the Twinkler hardware and tools
The Twinkler is a bright (low-power) RGB LED combined with a controller. It is designed for (effect) lighting in scale models, interactive maps, star ceilings or other special displays.

The new revision of the Twinkler hardware is smaller and cheaper. Interconnection of the Twinklers has also improved. The software protocol has only slightly changed. The newest software and documentation is available on-line.

This page is also available in Dutch, in French and in German.

Update of VisualPlace
VisualPlace assists in (manual or automated) PCB assembly. Component placement is extracted from files generated from the EDA suite (notably the Gerber files, the centroid file and the bill-of-materials). The application visualizes the component placement and converts the files (with corrections, where applicable) for further automated processing. Due to a plug-in architecture, VisualPlace works with many EDA suites, and more can be added.

This is a maintenance release. It brings improved camera setup, new plug-ins (for a carousel and linking to a component database), improved table editing, and corrections for bugs that were found since the last release. See the release notes for details.

VisualPlace is a free application.

New article: folding large format technical drawings
Folding large format technical drawings has a number of advantages over rolling them —provided that they are folded correctly. This article shows how to fold the drawings, conforming to the German standard DIN 824.
Rosette tools for translators
Rosette is a library and toolkit to create multilingual software applications. Several of our own applications use Rosette internally. The tool set that is now made available (at no cost) allows you to export the Rosette language-specific files to "computer-aided translation" (CAT) programs and import them after translation.
Anthology of our recent projects
We added a few projects to our list of selected recent projects.

This page is also available in Dutch, in French and in German.

1 August 2012
Update of VisualPlace
VisualPlace assists in (manual or automated) PCB assembly. Component placement is extracted from files generated from the EDA suite (notably the Gerber files, the centroid file and the bill-of-materials). The application visualizes the component placement and converts the files (with corrections, where applicable) for further automated processing. Due to a plug-in architecture, VisualPlace works with many EDA suites, and more can be added.

Notable changes in this release are improved visualization, improved support for running in Linux, and support for a camera to function as a digital magnifier at the same time as a component locator.

VisualPlace is a free application.

Update of the Termite serial terminal
Termite is a simple RS232 monitor, with plug-in support to allow for various extensions.

New in this release are corrected support for com0com (virtual COM port pair), multilingual support, improved filters for function key support (autorepeat) and for hexadecimal view. Another modification is that when opening the default port fails, Termite scans for the first available port.

Termite is a free utility.

Update of the pawn embedded programming language (release 4.0.4733)
This is a maintenance release, correcting a few bugs. There are no new features.

pawn is an open source product (licensed under the Apache License version 2.0).

New article: Reel quantity estimate
When working with reels, for doing "pick & place" on a PCB, it is not uncommon that you wonder how many components are left on the reel. For a good estimate, you need to have four numbers. This article tells you which numbers, and gives you the equation (plus an on-line calculator) to do the calculation.
New article: Reflow soldering profiles
For soldering with a reflow oven, a few rules apply and a few choices must be made. These rules and choices are collected in a "profile". This article starts with background information, and concludes with concrete advice. The article is aimed at "furnace style" ovens (as opposed to conveyer-belt ovens).
New article: Debouncing switches with vertical counters
Switch debouncing can be done in hardware, but if a micro-controller is available, it is more flexible to do it in software. This article presents the right way to debounce multiple inputs concurrently.
Sphider search engine replaces htDig
The on-site search functionality using htDig had accumulated a number of defects over the years. We have now replaced it with a (modified & improved) version of Sphider.

Sphider is an open source product; our adaption is found on Google project hosting, as Sphider-PDO.

27 February 2012
Update of VisualPlace
VisualPlace assists in (manual or automated) PCB assembly. Component placement is extracted from files generated from the EDA suite (notably the Gerber files, the centroid file and the bill-of-materials). The application visualizes the component placement and converts the files (with corrections, where applicable) for further automated processing. Due to a plug-in architecture, VisualPlace works with many EDA suites, and more can be added.

Notable changes in this release are a user-selectable lay-out of the "views" of the application, the ability to store the placement corrections in the project file (as well as in the local correction tables), more informative error messages and notices through a "Task Dialog", better integration with PDF readers for context-sensitive help, easier editing of tables (including autocompletion of cells in a table), report generation in PDF format, improvements in creating centroid files from scratch, support for archiving projects in a ZIP file and for opening archived projects, and another translation (German).

VisualPlace is a free application.

Update of the Termite serial terminal
Termite is a simple RS232 monitor, with plug-in support to allow for various extensions.

New in this release are improved search functionality, improved "Time stamp" and "File log" filters, and bug fixes (notably the bug where clicking on the "[x]" in the upper right corner of the application, closed the window but did not terminate the application).

Termite is a free utility.

Update of the SvnRev utility (for developers using Subversion)
A software developer uses SvnRev to include version or revision stamps into his/her compiled programs.

This is a maintenance release, giving slight performance improvements and fixing a few bugs. New is the -b switch, to disable the automatic increment of the "build number".

SvnRev is an open source product (zlib/libpng license).

New utility: DrillFile - Excellon drill file creator for KiCad
The EDA suite KiCad can (of course) create drill files by itself. However, some board fabrication firms require a specific lay-out that KiCad does not produce —in which cases you can run this utility to create the required drill file(s).

DrillFile is an open source product (zlib/libpng license).

Updated article and library: minIni - a minimal INI file parser
The programmer's library "minIni", to read and write "INI" files in embedded systems, is now at version 1.2. minIni takes little resources and can be configured for various kinds of file I/O libraries.

New in this release is a "browse" function to quickly parse through all settings in an INI file. This gives a huge performance increase if you wish to get multiple settings at once.

minIni is an open source product (licensed under the Apache License version 2.0).

12 December 2011
H0420 programmable MP3 controller/player: firmware update version 1.10, Build 4613
The most recent firmware update for the H0420 programmable MP3 controller/player is version 1.10, build 4613. You may wish to install this update if you purchased your H0420 MP3 player before 12 December 2011. Devices purchased after that date already contain this latest firmware release.

This page is also available in Dutch, in French and in German.

Update of VisualPlace
VisualPlace assists in (manual or automated) PCB assembly. Component placement is extracted from files generated from the EDA suite (notably the Gerber files, the centroid file and the bill-of-materials). The application visualizes the component placement and converts the files (with corrections, where applicable) for further automated processing. Due to a plug-in architecture, VisualPlace works with many EDA suites, and more can be added.

Notable changes in this release are printing support (4 reports), adaptions to run under Wine (for Linux and Mac), the addition of "user-defined" fields in the BOM (which then can be included in the printed reports or in the information displayed on screen), support for interfacing with other equipment or software via plug-ins, general-purpose checkmarks on component list (e.g. to "tick components off the list"), and selectable size, colour and opacity of the markers.

VisualPlace is a free application.

Update of the Termite serial terminal
Termite is a simple RS232 monitor, with plug-in support to allow for various extensions.

In this release, virtual RS232 ports can now also be identified by name, because the COM-port address that Microsoft Windows assigns to a virtual RS232 port isn't stable. The autocompletion feature has been improved.

Termite is a free utility.

Update of the SvnRev utility (for developers using Subversion)
A software developer uses SvnRev to include version or revision stamps into his/her compiled programs.

Version 2.0 of the SvnRev utility adds support for Subversion 1.7. If Subversion 1.7 is used, SvnRev can read the version numbers from the working-copy database, so RCS keywords are no longer required.

SvnRev is an open source product (zlib/libpng license).

1 August 2011
New application: VisualPlace
VisualPlace assists in (manual or automated) PCB assembly. Component placement is extracted from files generated from the EDA suite (notably the Gerber files, the centroid file and the bill-of-materials). The application visualizes the component placement and converts the files (with corrections, where applicable) for further automated processing. Due to a plug-in architecture, VisualPlace works with many EDA suites, and more can be added.
Update of the pawn embedded programming language (release 4.0.4548)
This update of the pawn scripting language" brings many changes to the abstract machine and a few important changes to the language as well. The changes in version 4.0 break compatibility with version 3.3 (and earlier). Both the host application and the scripts must be adapted for this new release. A "Porting Guide" is available with the details.

See the "pawn history" for a summary of the changes in this release.

pawn is an open source product (licensed under the Apache License version 2.0).

Update of the Termite serial terminal
Termite is a simple RS232 monitor, with plug-in support to allow for various extensions. In this release, the plug-in support is enhanced to also allow function keys to activate certain behaviour. A new plug-in for user-defined macros illustrates the new features.
Update of the SvnRev utility (for developers using Subversion)
A software developer uses SvnRev to include version or revision stamps into his/her compiled programs. Version 1.12 of the SvnRev utility adds support for Oracle SQL and Apache Ant. In addition, there is a new command line option to disregard differences in line endings (DOS/Windows versus Unix/Linux versus Macintosh).

SvnRev is an open source product (zlib/libpng license).

Updated article and library: minIni - a minimal INI file parser
The programmer's library "minIni", to read and write "INI" files in embedded systems, is now at version 1.1. minIni takes little resources and can be configured for various kinds of file I/O libraries. New in this release are support for floating-point and fixed-point numeric values, support for boolean flags, improved "write performance" and minimized "wear" on Flash memory media, a few more examples for "glue files" for file systems, and updated documentation.

minIni is an open source product (licensed under the Apache License version 2.0).

Anthology of our recent projects
We added a few projects to our list of selected recent projects.

This page is also available in Dutch, in French and in German.

Switch to MathJax
For mathematics typesetting, the site has switched from jsMath to MathJax. MathJax has improved performance and cleaner rendering of the equations. You can right-click on an equation for various settings (zoom level, method of display) and for other operations such as viewing the source for the equation.