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Monday, 18 March 2013

Suspension Training workout

I got a rip:60 suspension trainer for Christmas last year and have been using it on and off for the last few months. I started out doing the videos, but after a few weeks I hurt my knee running so took a few weeks off. 

Three weeks ago I started again, but this time with my own program. I used the wall chart that comes with the package and just picked a few moves that I wanted to do. I stayed away from squats and exercises that put too much pressure on my knees so concentrated mainly on upper body moves. 

Here is my routine that I have done five days a week for the last four weeks. I can already see results and will change it up next week.

Do a 10 - 15min warm up before completing any exercise.

10 reps each leg Alternating Lunge with Rear Delt Fly

15 reps Fly

10 reps Lat Pull Down

2 sets of 60 sec Plank using suspension trainer to support your feet

10 reps Tricep Extension with Roll Out

10 reps Bicep Curl

15 reps Plank with crunch to Push Up

30 sec Plank using suspension trainer to support your feet

2 sets of 60 sec Reverse Plank with Abduction

15 reps Push Ups

10 reps Hammer Curl

10 reps each side Plank with Oblique Crunch

Repeat from top once more

Balance on each leg for 30 sec with closed eyes

Stretch and cool down

That should take about 45 min so in total with warm up and cool down should be about 60 min.


Saturday, 16 March 2013

LabVIEW: CLAD certified

I have been working with National Instruments' LabVIEW software and hardware for about 3 years now. Unfortunately I have not been able to do any courses or qualifications through the companies I have worked for so I just learnt and taught myself as I went along.

All that changed after I moved to the UK. I went to a NI symposium and they offered a Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer (CLAD) exam at the end of the symposium for all those that wanted to take it. 

I decided to go for it and make the most of the opportunity given to me. I thought it went well and was quite confident when I left the exam. However, from my experience, that doesn't always mean a good thing.

Well this morning, after waiting a few weeks, I got an email from NI with my CLAD certificate. I passed and am now CLAD certified. 

I have been waiting a long time to get this certification and finally have it.

Thank you to NI who offer such an exam to those willing to work for it and stay after the symposium has ended.


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Raspberry Pi: NAS server

I have been wanting to set up my Raspberry Pi as a Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive for quite some time. I eventually got a chance yesterday to give it a go. Unfortunately the Raspberry Pi USB port can't power my external hard drive and I don't have a USB hub at the moment, so I just used a 16GB flash drive.

First you need to format your external drive with NTFS. Then place a file on it. Any file will do. I chose a text document so that I can open it and view it on the Pi. Once you have set up your drive, turn off your RasPi, plug the drive into the USB port and then turn on the RasPi. It is safer to plug the USB in when the RasPi is off because some versions don't have poly fuses on the USB ports.

Once booted up, log in and check to see if the drive is connected.
  • sudo fdisk -l

You can see that my connected drive is right at the bottom. The drive is called sda and because there is only one partition, it is called sda1.

Next you need to create a folder where your drive is going to be mounted into. I called mine myHadrDrive. You also need to give the folder root access so that when you connect to it you are able to read from it and write to it.
  • sudo mkdir /mnt/myHardDrive
  • sudo chmod 0777 myHardDrive
Next you need to mount the hard drive to the folder that has just been created. Open fstab and add the following line to the bottom of the file where it reflects your setup.
  • sudo nano /etc/fstab

Mount the drive
  • sudo mount -a
Now we need to install and set up the Samba server. This will allow a windows machine to connect to the RasPi over the network. Start by installing the following packages using apt-get.
  • sudo apt-get install samba
  • sudo apt-get install samba-common-bin
  • sudo apt-get install ntfs-config
  • sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g
Once all of those packages are installed, edit the Samba configuration file. It took me a while to get this right but with the help of this video, I managed to get it. 
  • sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf
Replace the entire file with the following:
#======================= Global Settings =======================
workgroup = WORKGROUP
server string = raspnas server
netbios name = raspnas
dns proxy = no
### Logging
log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m
max log size = 1000
syslog = 0
panic action = /usr/share/samba/panic-action %d
### Authentication
security = user
map to guest = pi
#======================= Sharered Folders =======================
path = /mnt/myHardDrive
guest ok = yes
guest account = ftp
browseable = yes
read only = no
create mask = 0777
directory mask = 0777
writeable = yes
admin users = everyone

A few points to note:
  • WORKGROUP is the workgroup that the drive will be connected to
  • raspnas is the name of he drive on the network
  • path is the folder that you set up earlier
  • Change the file according to your setup
Lastly you need to restart the Samba service and add the user to the Samba database
  • sudo service samba restart
  • sudo smbpasswd -a pi
Now your Samba server is set up. You still need to do one last thing. You need to make sure that the drive gets connected at startup.
  • sudo apt-get install autofs
Add the following line to the bottom of the config file
  • sudo nano /etc/auto.master

Reboot your RasPi and then you should be able to log on to the shared drive using your Windows machine.

I hope this has helped anyone who was stuck. If you still have any problems leave a message in the comments and I'll try help as best I can.