Why does Windows seem to detect certain devices as a toaster? Well theres actually a really good reason for this. It stems from the use of fictional companies in Microsoft documentation that are used to training and development purposes. In the case of the toaster appearing its basically down to a rushed hack job of a driver that was altered just enough to make it work, still nice to see though.
Interesting techinical meddling here, the author of this hack was given a Motorola 68008 CPU and then decided to get it to do something in this case blink a LED. He used a Arduino to boot strap it and get it going, uploading the code and running on the CPU. A interesting read even if your not into doing strange things with obsolete CPU's, covers some technical aspects of the CPU, the Arduino, EEPROMs, and all the problems this mash up created.
Since we posted the Amiga documentation yesterday it seems only fair that some Atari stuff gets thrown up today. Here is a site I have used in the past, its full of all kinds of documents on Atari hardware and software. The site covers the ST range (ST/STFM/STE/Falcon/Mega etc.) the schematics are particularly useful.
Links : http://dev-docs.atariforge.org/
The Amiga had some lesser known file formats that never really made it to other systems, at least not in well known or used kind of way. Here is some documention and information on those formats. Never know when this stuff will come in handy.
While reading a article about the missing Pinball game from later versions I noticed there was a mention of HyperTerminal being missing from later copies of Windows also. Now here we are struggling to keep alive the Windows XP and Windows 2000 based machines which we need for various bits of equipment where the software will just not work correctly on anything later think eprom programmers, jtag devices, logic analyzers although fairly modern there mostly USB the software side however is a tad fiddly, and the hardware issue of new PC's lacking serial & parallel ports is not helping matters. Anyhow this mention of HyperTerminal being missing intrigues me so I looked into it and found some solutions. There seems to be no mention as to why its missing some sites say 64 bit issues other sites say its a legal/licensing thing.
Found this site to use as a quick look up tool/referance when using various programming languages it seems to have most of them covered. Works in your browser so platform independent, a good alternative to some desktop based programs that do exactly the same thing but I can't remember there name right now. Worth a look if your into that sort of thing.
Heres a very interesting write up on one guys attempt to rescue all the data from a broken SD card, the story shows some interesting methods with both the hardware and the sofware, also some good explanation on how these things actually work. While it may be easy to just straight out dump the flash putting it back together is not and those pesky on board controllers getting in the way...
Commodore 1530 tape deck gets a upgraded retro style counter. These decks were very popular in the UK not so much anywhere else it seems, probably because they were cheap and 60% (varible -/+ 50%) of the time worked well enough for peoples uses. Sadly now made obsolete by various tape deck/disk drive emulators/adaptors made with cheap off the shelf IDE parts and SD cards I guess we will never see a faster, better, more reliable tape deck version.
The source page is in German.
Translated source page :
Interesting home made Arduino based Commodore 64 cart dumper, very simple not alot of parts needed, dirt cheap considering the cost of the Arduinos, author says it works well with standard carts. The author needed to do this in this case because there was no known dump of the cart available on line.
Microsoft has released the source code for some older versions of MS-DOS (1.1 & 2.0) and Word for Windows. Might be of use to some people, mainly those over 30 I would guess. Be interesting to see where this leads.
Very worrying things are going on with the popular software encyption software TrueCrypt . According to the now redirected website the developers have ceased working on it because Microsoft dropped support for XP... that makes no sense to me, they say that Windows Vista/7/8 (other platforms?) have built in full disk encryption so they see no need for TrueCrypt. The site now points to a page on SourceForge with instructions for migrating to BitLocker. There is a final version of the software on the domain v7.2 which can only decrypt old TrueCrypt volumes and drives (?) I was kind of hoping this was some hack & defacement but a while has passed and it seems its pointing to the end.
Wish I had thought of this would have made life alot easier. Simply SMD soldering iron adaptor made from a bit of copper wire. Looks simply enough to do.
Thought I would throw this 419 mail fail up as its slighty different to the usual ones, this is the first one I have seen that is mentioning BitCoin. What makes this mail odd is that it is based on a real email (or is it real?) that has been going about for the last few days, due to the nature of the company Mt.Gox and the madness that surrounds I can't even tell if this mail is real or not, as attempts have been made before at phising accounts like this and no one trusts them (Mt.Gox).
The mail comes from a real domain for what looks like a real law firm in Japan no attempts to hide it. There is a PDF attached too but who knows whats in that thing.
Every tried playing some of the old games systems on a digital TV (LCD)? Noticed they don't look so great no more? Wondering what all them silly lines are? This is a problem that is going to get worse as times go on and we lose CRT style displays or people just throw them out. Alot of newer displays either spit a error out or just don't work they can't seem to handle the video standards (mostly the freq's) most of these older systems output and in some cases the lower resalutions. There are many Chinese analog video to VGA convertors but they all seem to lack somewhere or have bad lag which is not so great playing games. Here is a RGB to VGA convertor based on a FPGA which is hoping to be built on a CPLD when its done, no news on the cost though.
A few more scammy mails from the backlog which is getting bigger all the time, you would think they would move onto something a bit more rewarding by now. I have also noticed that the mails are getting smaller and small some of them are now only a few lines of text sometimes with a zip/jpg attached.
Can't tell if stupid or a good a idea. Fitting AAA batteries instead of AA, they don't even seem to sit right and with the waving about the Wii mote gets I cant see them holding out very long.
The Zilog Z80 a true classic CPU being used in everything and anything during the 1980's and beyond. I have seen this thing powering many 80's home computers, arcade machines, terminals, used as a co-processor, telecoms equipment and who knows what else. Here a guy has made his own 80's style micro-computer based on the Z80 on a FPGA dev board. He has then ported over CP/M and even a multi tasking Unix style OS to the thing. I noticed he got this device to run at 128Mhz quite a jump considering most Z80's I ever seen were clocked at somewhere between 1Mhz and 8Mhz.
Here is some information on a new Commodore 64/128 midi interface/flash cart being developed. As usual this one comes about because all the others are no longer being made or could even be made. Its called the Kerberos it has 3 midi interfaces and some flash memory that can be used for file transfers if you want, it does not say how big the flash is only that it will hold 7 PRG format programs the pictures doe not give much away either. Its worth a look and its quite cheap considering.
Here is a screen shot of a bit of software called TruePianos, it is a pirate copy that has detected it is pirated so throws up the following screen and lets you carry on, it says it will still work with the pirate serial number but in the future please buy it, no point fighting it.
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