Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quick fix: MPLAB X Cannot Connect to PicKit2 or PicKit3

Problem

After an update of some software on a 64 bit Windows computer you might run into the following message when you start MPLAB X:


Also, when you try to program your device it fails.

PICkit2:
Loading code from F:/Projects/PIC/LilBang.X/dist/default/production/LilBang.X.production.hex...
Loading symbols from F:/Projects/PIC/LilBang.X/dist/default/production/LilBang.X.production.cof...
Loading completed
Connecting to programmer...
The programmer could not be started: Could not connect to tool hardware: PICkit2PlatformTool, com.microchip.mplab.mdbcore.pickit2.PICkit2DbgToolManagerPK2Error0022:  PICkit 2 not found

PICkit3:
Loading code from F:/Projects/PIC/Fws.X/dist/default/production/Fws.X.production.hex...
Loading symbols from F:/Projects/PIC/Fws.X/dist/default/production/Fws.X.production.cof...
Loading completed
Connecting to programmer...
The programmer could not be started: Could not connect to tool hardware: PICkit3PlatformTool, com.microchip.mplab.mdbcore.PICKit3Tool.PICkit3DbgToolManagerConnection Failed.

Note: Using the dedicated PICkit2 Programmer application works without any problem.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Using a DD-WRT Compatible Router to Stop ISPs from Accessing Your LAN

Introduction

A couple of months ago I called our ISP's customer support line as our speeds dropped significantly. This happened overnight, with no warning, or any apparent reason (change of hardware, software, or even our internet usage habits). Furthermore, this was not the first time it happened - in the last few years it has happened about once a year at random intervals. Every time I called them they mumbled something on the phone, did not accept responsibility for the speed loss, but they agreed to send a technician to our apartment to "check the line" within a day or two. Interestingly, about one hour before the technician arrived our internet speeds were back to the usual, and the technician did not find any problem in the telephone line. Every single time! What a coincidence!

This is not what I wanted to discuss here, but I think it adds to the story of ISPs vs. home users.