package was waiting for me, opened the box: two assembled pcbs, all looking as they should.

to my utter amazement, the electronics all work out: once the pinouts were updated in the mBed firmware, its talking RS232 to the video processor without drama or debugging. to my double amazement, after a quick primer on SPI and decyphering the oled’s datasheet, a test program incants the screen into life, and some time after that the random pixels of an uninitialised buffer have turned to a pattern of my coding. some image editing and two processing sketches later, i have the byte sequences to display a full screen image and typeset my choice of pixel font. the test program fleshed out and re-rolled as a library, and we have the above sight. given the delays the screen has caused since 2009, its so satisfying having this work as per the data sheet, as per design, out of the box; and not even relying on other people’s voodoo: my library, from scratch.

of course, things are never quite that simple. the electronics check out, but the physical fit requires some rejigging – note to self: order the enclosure in advance next time, no matter how well dimensioned its spec drawing may seem. a millimetre here, and a millimetre there has now forced a complete re-layout of the PCB.

aaaand: the ultimate irony? the physical fit issues weren’t just components hitting case internals. what you can’t see in the photo are 40 jumper wires coming out of the mBed’s socket on the PCB leading to a displaced mBed sat in a prototyping block. for all of the correct design and manufacture, these assemblies are compromised by a square peg (mBed pins) not fitting into a round hole (a quirk of the socket strip i spec’d). tssssch!