First week

Day 1 & 2: Upon my arrival, I was warmly welcomed and informed that Dr. Shawn wasn’t in office today. As a matter of fact, the other interns mentioned to me that the number of days per week that Dr. Shawn is available in the office was based on RNG.

One intern in particular (Sina), was working on an in-house designed and programmed board with a PIC MCU and a Spartan FPGA chips. Sina gave me a brief briefing on work and the project. This was Sina’s last week with Aeste and I was to take over from him. Therefore I immediately began familiarizing myself with the project. I began reading everything I could find from datasheets to Aeste wiki documentation to source code. I didn’t have any direction on what I needed to study and go through and in what order (if that even matters) to reach the level of expertise Sina had with the project (who’s been here for 6 months), so that I could take over in one week. Sina was incredibly busy but he was still generous in helping me learn. However I was doing things I did not really need to, and therefore my progress was slow.

Day 3 & 4: Guidance came. I met Dr. Shawn who gave me the real briefing on work and the project, and later on showed me how the correct approach I should be taking in my studying so that it wouldn’t take me forever to catch up. I was also tasked with learning GIT over the weekend as I should focus on learning the board during work. The chip was having problems in specific parts, therefore instead of having a complete understanding of the project, I only needed to focus on the parts relevant to these issues. Doing only what’s necessary. Dr. Shawn also taught me the design flow of chips using Verilog, as I would be working with that soon enough.

I began to understand the state machine by programming the older prototype with testing codes and messing with them. I started with easier code such as the USB CDC port code and progressed to the TCP/IP program. While the code still seems incredibly complex to me, understanding its flow seems very doable. Overtime I gained a better understanding of the code, pins, clocking, harmony functions and other concepts.

Usually an intern is welcomed by just a lunch, however, since Sina was leaving, Dr. Shawn also took us to the cinema to see Life (scary T_T). I’d like to add that the project source code was still more scary than the movie.

Day 5: As I gained some competence, Sina started giving me things to do in order to help him troubleshoot the problems with the board. In fact, we spent the entirety of Friday troubleshooting. Look for Sina’s next blog post for details on that.

Hopefully I’ll be able to properly learn GIT over this weekend, and get the hang of everything soon enough.

Aeste pro tip of the week: You can spin the chair clockwise and anti-clockwise to adjust its height.

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