Friday, May 29, 2009

*gasp* an update!

I've been far, far busier than I could've imagined the last couple of months, so alas I let this slide.

Anyhow... I'm going to do a new project this weekend: A breadboard project where I use an AVRopendous and a few simple parts to make a USB-based remote control power/reset switch.

Why? Because I can, duh.

Seriously - it's because I'm hoping to get into lower-level graphics hacking, and for the bits where I can hack from the relative safety of my recliner in the other room, it'd be nice to trigger a reset from the main comp's command line when i crash the drone computer that I'll be testing the new code on.

Hopefully Marvac has some opto-isolators...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Now where was I...?

I forget. :)

Seriously I came up with an interesting lil' vintage computing hack tonight.

I got an original IBM PC from a local surplus sale (why a 5150 was put out for surplus *now* I'll never know). An original IBM PC is, sadly, not terribly useful at all, leaving me with "now what?"

So, I started thinking - I could add a protoboard to it, maybe a serial port and some terminal software. That would rely on the ancient 5.25" drives actually working, and I'd be a tad shocked if that happened.

I then remembered the 5150 (not even the XT. Just the original PC) has a casette port.

My evil idea/plan is this: Wire up an AVRopendous to the casette port, pre-load it with a "basic" program to write out to the PC to then use the port as a simple terminal interface. I'm having a little doubt that I could actually fit a useful terminal into the 16K memory of the AVRopendous, but eh, I can figure something out.

Now to put aside the time to write this... there are a lot of things more practical. But this'd be a neat hack!

Monday, February 16, 2009


looking at this:

I realized I could make an EDID interposer that would let you program in different monitor specs, to fool your video driver into making new modes... so if you wanted to make custom modes that matched DVD pixel-perfect specs* and access them in mac or windows, it'd be a lot easier.

(* - best with tube monitors, alas)