Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Programming Contest for Thanksgiving Break!

As always, I encourage everyone in the programming group to look at and code an entry for our existing contests.  Right now, however, I am giving a new one that isn’t posted on the programming challenge page of our website.

So without further delay, here is the contest problem:

The sum of the primes below 10 is 2 + 3 + 5 + 7 = 17.
Find the sum of all the primes below one million.

As with the other contests, you can submit an entry using LabVIEW, Python, or both.  Evaluation will be on accuracy, speed, and code documentation (comments).

I don’t like to give hints upfront, but if you look at the existing contests, there is one that deals with prime numbers, that may be helpful.  Further, the commentary surrounding the prior contest solutions may be just as important as the actual code, in gaining insight.

Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. PST on Sunday, November 26, 2018.

Good luck!

— Len

Updates, Updates, and more Updates!

We had a very productive afternoon meeting last Friday!  We were able to get the following done:
  1. Shake out Moldy’s wiring.  We corrected three different wiring faults.
  2. Test the flashing of the robot radio with the newly released beta firmware.
  3. Test a new release of the roboRIO flashing utility that included specific changes that we requested (we are making a difference for every team!
  4. Tested migrating our existing 2017 code to the new system.  There is still pain here, but we found new pain points.
Unfortunately, #4 kept us from actually getting Moldy to a running state.  We had hoped for a release of new libraries to fix that problem by last Friday, but that software has not arrived yet.

Speaking of software, I now have version 2.0 of our Python / OpenCV VM and the FIRST Beta software hosted on our server, with no public links.  These links will get you the entire new stack of our software.

Python / OpenCV
  • Download VirtualBox at to get the latest version and the extension image.  
  • Download our new VM image here.
  • Unzip and install the base LabVIEW Software first.  Contact me for the serial number.
  • Unzip and install the FIRST update.  We are now on the third update of this software.  It uses the same serial number.
Those parts are all you need to get started with learning LabVIEW.  To work with team code, we need more…
  • Unzip and install the CTRE software.  We cannot successfully port our code to this version, but the next version promises to fix our issue.
  • Unzip and install the NavX software.  This version is from last year.  It should work, or at least put the software somewhere near where it needs to be to work.
The new version of our VM makes some significant changes, so I suggest that you delete any of the version 1.x VM’s you may have installed.  This version is significantly smaller in overall size (4.5 GB vs. 10.1 GB).  It is based on Ubuntu 16.04 instead of Ubuntu 14.04, and the Python virtual environment uses Python 3.5 instead of 2.7.

As before, the LabVIEW software requires installation on a Windows machine (real or virtual).

Now that you have access to software that you can download and install while waiting for a turkey to cook, watch for my next post, which will be for a contest over break.

— Len