View Full Version : World Of Stamps Project

Mike Collier
04-28-2006, 11:19 PM
Hi, not a technical question....

I am a windows developer, I build distributed systems. I have been looking for things to do with the Basic Stamp that are fun and push the envelope.

I have been thinking about a "World of stamps" project that uses my distributed computing experience to combine stamps from around the world.

Anyone participating would have a stamp connected (temp/perm whatever)·to their serial port and a service (screensaver?)·would run on their computer. The stamp hardware may include temp/ humidity/ light sensors but could include anything.

At any one time we could see·a picture of the world and a summary of the weather there. Clicking on a beacon on the map would toggle somebodies hardware etc etc. Could be far more invlolved this is just a quick outline.

I would provide all the software, I just need to know if anyone would want to join in? All you would need is your own hardware and an internet connection.

There should be some useful code left over at the end of it...


04-29-2006, 05:32 AM
Hi Mike,
I think I understand what you are wanting to do. It sounds really neat to me. I am not quite for sure how many people would be willing to sacrifice a stamp and more importantly a port on their compy’ to do this for any great period of time though.
What might be easier is to find a specific time, or even a day that you could rally people from across the world to connect their stamps and have them each process a (very) little bit of information to make an incredibly huge calculation (or something of the sort). This sounds really familiar to the SETI project that uses the idle time of your computer to help search for ET life ( http://www.seti.org/site/pp.asp?c=ktJ2J9MMIsE&b=179086 (http://www.seti.org/site/pp.asp?c=ktJ2J9MMIsE&b=179086) )
Maybe you could do something a little more “low key” than that. I imagine you could come up with some cool ideas using a BS2 and a PINK. I am sure there are enough enthusiast around that would love to be apart of a project like that. I would be one of them.

Alex Burke

"Beware of computer programmers that carry screwdrivers." -Leonard Brandwein

04-29-2006, 05:57 AM
I'd want to be a part of this! Now, could you explain exactly what I want to be a part of? http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smile.gif· Just kidding. It's a good idea: "Link stamps around the world and see stats from any stamp's sensors at any time. But before you highlight this grand new concept, you will need to·create a standard of transfer of information to and fro the PC and stamp, so that you can make one common computer program.

Mike Collier
04-29-2006, 05:56 PM
I have been doing some work recently with a non stamp chip and I expect it will port over to the stamp without too much trouble.

Basically I have a generic "Serial Command Interface" SCI that runs inside the microcontroller, it receives serial messages (SERIN) consisting of a basic command and parameters, it executes the command and returns the result (SEROUT).·

The SCI works between chip and computer or between chips. It can also pass messages onto connected chips if you ask it to.

My next step is to build some Delphi (win 32 development environment) components that talk to the SCI, so windows programmers can build applications without modifying the code in the stamp, something like:

(Pseudo code)
MyStamp := TBasicStamp2.Create(application);
If MyStamp.Pin1 = 1 then begin
· MyStamp.Toggle(1)
MyInteger = MyStamp.Serin( etc etc

Once I have these components I can then wrap them up further into DLLs that can connect to both the stamps serial port and the internet.

So, to connect to a remote computer and toggle the stamp you would write something like:

(Pseudo code)
MyConnection := TRemoteConnection.Create(ipaddress);
MyStamp:= TStamp2.Create(MyConnection);

So by the end of this project we would have plenty of source code/components/examples/documents to help other developers who want to build distributed stamp applications.

At this stage I don’t really mind what the stamps are doing, that can be decided at a later stage, but something that reads/writes in both directions would be a start. I will put some code together quickly that demonstrates the basic principles so we all have a common understanding of what is possible.

05-05-2006, 01:29 PM
I like the I dea you have, I am looking for more info on connecting a basic stamp to a PC so good luck.

Mike Collier
05-05-2006, 08:12 PM
Thanks, it's going ok so far (in lab conditions), I can't let it loose in the wild yet. Hopefuly it will save others a lot of sweat and tears! Keep an eye on this thread next week when I expect to have something for stamp users to play with - although I expect it will continue to need quite a bit of tweaking before an official release