Playing with the Simon Says 10935 Kit

During an ASAP ACAS laboratory tutorial class we were tasked to assemble and program a Simon Says 10935 Kit.

Product site:


It had an ATmega328 microcontroller which can be programmed using Arduino sketch.

It was a bit challenging to find the original firmware code. I eventually found it in the github repository and the code is the one that references: BOARD_REV_4_9_2009 in the hardware.h file. which applies to the Simon board 9/7/11. This date is embossed on the board.

Simon 9711

For interfacing there is an FTDI USB interface. For programming, the microcontroller, the Arduino sketch uses C. On the PC side, I was able to use a couple of programming tools on WinXP:
– powershell
– cygwin gcc – uses windows.h
– python – use pyserial

We were able to get the Simon Says kit to play a couple of great tunes like Brother John, London Bridge and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Monotone playback was available via toner() function calls and the available buzzer hardware.

We were also able to use the Simon Says kit as a light monitor at the optical diagnostics beamline of the Australian Synchrotron. The kit takes analog reads at port 0.


We also tried to use the kit as a random number generator but all the Diehard tests failed on the 5 million+ bytes dataset that we gathered. Using cygwin gcc on the PC side, I got a production rate of 1 million bytes per 4:30 hours.

On this board, the buzzer is wired as follows:
#define BUZZER1 3 //PORTD.3
#define BUZZER2 4 //PORTD.4


Gmail & Error 0x800CCC7D In Outlook 2003

Quoting solution which worked also for me from

[I just simply had to toggle off the SSL secure mail off outgoing message option, start outlook, exit, then turn back on that setting.]

Excerpted text follows…

I may be sticking with Gmail, but will Gmail stick with me? Today, one of those dreaded Outlook error messages appeared:

Task ‘ – Sending’ reported error (0x800CCC7D) : ‘Your outgoing (SMTP) server does not support SSL-secured connections. If SSL-secured connections have worked in the past, contact your server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).’

Gmail does support SSL connections. In fact, that’s what it tells you to use. It worked fine yesterday and all this week. Today, I can download just fine. I can even send a test email using Outlook’s own connection verification system just fine. So what’s the problem with sending a regular message out?

Over at Lockergnome, it was suggested to increase the timeout to 2 minutes. Did it, didn’t work.

Time to get more drastic. Another suggestion was to delete my Outlook 2003 account settings and set them back up again (instructions here). There’s absolutely no reason I should have to do this, since all my settings were fine. But I did it anyway. And it worked.

Hope it does for you, if you’re having similar problems.

Registration to Chikka while roaming overseas

I found a way to register to Chikka Text Messenger while roaming overseas. Registration requires sending an SMS to a 4 digit chikka access code which will not work while overseas. Ideally, one would perform this registration setup before leaving the Philippines. But in case one forgets to do it, there is a workaround.

To get around this, install the Facebook Chikka lite app. Then put in your Philippines mobile number. That number will be sent a confirmation code. And after that you can use the lost password process to get a new password using the phone app.

The password will be sent to your mobile with a PHP2.50 charge. After that you are good to go.

Needless to say, it is necessary to have an active Philippines mobile number to register for Chikka Text Messenger.

For me, Chikka still has to be the best way to send SMS to the Philippines while overseas. Very convenient and best of all, free.