Proffie for Dummies

I’m no expert. I stand on the shoulders of greatness and offer a layman’s interpretation. Feel free to critique. I have no qualms about learning.

Proffie for Dummies


Its much shorter than mine. I uploaded one video, but linked chapters with timestamps…people really have 2 choices. RTFM, or watch the videos. Fredrik saw how long mine was, and I think he’d rather read the manual…as would I. I make the videos to help those that don’t/can’t read. Its all in spreading the cheer of sabers and Proffie!!

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It’s difficult for me to do either, since I already know this stuff.
Ideally, I would love to have a good manual in an editable, maintainable, reviewable format though. Unfortunately, the internet seems to be fairly short on good tools for that.

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I just figure the more resources the better. And my whole angle was if a DA like me can do it, it’s more accessible than people realize. I just hear so many people avoiding proffie because they don’t code, and I think that’s unfortunate since it’s mostly ticking off boxes and copying and pasting. A coder, I am not.

100% agree with that.

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I’ve also done a simple written manual to hopefully help get people started. Mine is intended to get people up and running with their first build rather than teaching how to really get stuck in to it. It’s optimized for people installing my chassis systems as there are various configs that include accent LEDs and there are also install manuals for individual hilts that show the wiring diagrams for each install. Kind of lightsaber building by numbers. The idea is that once their saber is working, they can keep learning from the wider resources out there and make changes as their knowledge grows.

There’s also a free fontpack and OS (it’s an older OS but it checks out). Like others here, I’m not a programmer, but generous folk like the Prof, Matthew Mcgeary, Fernando etc. have made it so that you just need to cut and paste their code to make it work. But as mentioned, it can only be a good thing for these resources to be packaged in many different ways so people can hopefully find the one that clicks for them.

Anyway in case people are searching this thread for options, here’s mine:


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Bookmarked those since we’re trying to introduce Proffie along with the Python and Arduino stuff the local STEM program(s) have. Much appreciated people.

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This is fairly good resource, but there is one thing that I find makes it hard to recommend it: It doesn’t explain why you do any of the things you do. Without the why people will quickly resort to copying behavior whether it’s a good idea or not, leading to a cargo cult. Also, the incorrect use of zadig will wear down your buttons if you tweak your config a lot, so that really should be fixed.

Part 1

Why do you install Arduino to your desktop?
It’s not wrong per se, but it seems like an odd place to install programs.
Usually programs are installed elsewhere and then you put a shortcut to it on your desktop.

Next question: Why do you extract ProffieOS to the arduino folder?
I guess it makes sense to keep them together, but it makes it weird if you want to uninstall Arduino but keep ProffieOS.

I think my recommendation would be to keep ProffiOS in your “Document” folder, but rename it to something sensible, like “ProffieOS 6.7 for my OWK” or something meaningful like that.

AFAIK there is requirement to have the ProffieOS in the Arduino folder.

Part 2

You keep saying to never use the Arduino icon, but you never explain why.

To replicate a fresh download, you have to delete the “Arduino15” folder…

Most people should probably select “Serial + WebUSB + Mass storage”.

Part 3

The SD backup should be named better so it can be found in the future.

You do not need to format the SD card every time.
However, read access might be slightly faster if you do, AND it resolves any problems with KEEP_SAVEFILES_WHEN_PROGRAMMING, so it may still be a good idea.

Part 4

A lot of times, the config is actually inside ProffieOS folder on the SD card, and people may need help figuring out how to find it.

The “label” for the preset isn’t a part of the style. It’s a part of the preset.
The “label” does count, and the compiler does read it.
Only comments inside /* … */ or // … are ignored.

Telling people that your presets needs to end with ,}, is a bit misleading, because the comma before the bracket is not required. (unless you have a label string there.)

Part 5

You skipped running zadig!!!

This means you have to press BOOT+RESET every time you need to program, which will eventually wear out the buttons and make the board hard to use. Please don’t tell people to do it this way!

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First of all, I am honored that you took the time to watch and critique. Thank you. Second, I will take all recommendations into account and try to redo the affected videos (or maybe the entire series) as soon as I can. I am always happy to learn to do things better.

My entire goal was to show that, despite my vast ignorance about proffie, Arduino, and computers in general, I was able to learn to load up my saber. All of this stuff is completely new to me, but I was determined to learn to do it once I saw how amazing these things are. I hear/see so many people at a loss and terrified of messing up their sabers when it comes to proffie—even to the point of paying others to load them up—that I wanted to show that even though I couldn’t explain the why, there are a series of steps you can follow to get your saber loaded up exactly how you wanted it. I knew I wasn’t the best source for a how-to, but I thought I could at least add to the pile out there and maybe my ignorance would actually help someone. So, many times I didn’t explain the “why” simply because I couldn’t. And to answer all the “why do you do this” questions, that’s how I learned, so that’s the way I do it. I just don’t know any better. Do not underestimate the depths of my ignorance of computers nor my prior determination to avoid them for anything other than email and word processing. A realistic lightsaber is the ONLY reason I jumped into anything like this. But it has been sooo worth it!

Loading without the buttons has eluded me until now. I know I must be doing something wrong, but I haven’t figured it out yet. All I know to do with Zadig is to install the drivers, but I still haven’t been able to do a buttonless upload. Will keep trying and update videos accordingly.

Thank you again for the input. Also, please allow me to take another opportunity to thank you and everyone else who makes these things possible. They may be just expensive toys/doo-dads, but they have brought me countless hours of fun since I got into them as well as help connect me to a community of like-minded people. And they beat the hell out of politics as a hobby.

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Unless there is something odd about your computer, all you should need to do is:

  • (first time only) run zadig once according to the instructions
  • (first time only) disconnect and reconnect to get out of bootloader mode
  • select the proffieboard port in arduino → tools → port
  • if you have mass storage enabled: eject the proffieboard drive
  • press upload

Arduino will use the port to reboot the board into bootloader mode before doing the upload. This does the same thing as pressing BOOT+RESET, but is more convenient and easier on the board in the long run.

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