Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Down and dirty in unix...

Long ago, I used assembly language for the PC (in DOS) every day.

These days, working with microcontrollers, I only dip into assembly when debugging or writing initilization code.

But assembly is far from dead. Even for the PC.

Even for OSes like UNIX.

Yup. While Unix was written in C to be portable, you can get "down and dirty" if you want.

The interface is via (for a PC-based system) INT 80h, which also happens to be the website which teaches an introduction to assembly and UNIX on the PC.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not forgotten...

You were excited. Waiting with baited breath. The new, must-have video game was finally here!

But that was years ago, and that new, must-have video game is long forgotten. The people who wrote it may have some memories, but the company that published it (and owns the copyright) is long gone.

It's call abandonware. And while someone, somewhere owns the copyright (it's not really abandoned), they don't care enough to either sell it or make it available.

So sites like abandonia exist, keeping the files alive.

Yes, it's technically illegal. But if the owners don't care enough to actually sell it to you or even tell you to stop distributing it, why should you care?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Superheroes: where to find them...

Since you already have the store for Superhero Stuff, keeping an eye on the store would probably be a good place to start.

Or just check out the World Superhero Registry...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

For the Superhero in you...

When you read comics (admit it, you did!), didn't you ever wonder where all the neat toys came from?

Costumes, masks, gadgets, robots -- everything you needed to combat evil.

Sure, the Superhero is a genius, but who has the time to do it all?

Well, it turns out that Brooklyn Superhero Supply is the source for all your heroic needs.

Check it out, and maybe you can meet <insert your favorite hero or heroine here> and invite them out for coffee...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Instead of reality...

how about a little fantasy?

Steampunk rayguns from Weta.

They're pretty...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Daily routine, Part 1...

Like most people, I have a number of websites I visit regularly.

Some are humorous. Some are news. Some are educational. Some are just plain weird. Some are beautiful. Some are guilty pleasures.

And some fall into more than one category.

Like Astronomy picture of the day.

Often, I get to see a beautiful picture of some marvel of the universe. Othertimes, I get a lesson on science and how it relates to the world. And sometimes I try to see if I'm as smart as a (hypothetical) alien.

If you're not checking APOD daily, why not?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Yesterdays innovation is todays toy...

Long ago (1980!), Sinclair Research introduced the ZX80 computer. In it's own way, it was a marvel of engineering, bringing a real computer to the home for a low price.

I remember seeing the original announcement and lusting over one...

And a few years later, I had some spare money and bought a ZX81 kit. (Didn't work out, though... the PC boards were not solder masked and I wound up with an unfixable solder bridge across a number of traces...)

Today, you can build one yourself.

Or do what I did a couple of years back -- buy one (complete with memory expansion pack) at a computer flea market for a couple of bucks. But building it yourself has a much higher geek factor...

Just remember that you need an analog TV for display...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Apple update...

Well, after my previous Apple Disappointment, Apple has finally released it's updated Ipod Touch. Faster processor, more FLASH, and that's about it for anything I would use.

Of course, I've also seen a few alternatives in the meantime.

Archos has the Archos 5 and Archos 7 "Internet Media Tablets", which have a 800 x 480 screen (compared to the iTouchs' 480 x 320). But I've heard bad things about reliability and support.

The Nokia N810 and N900 also have 800 x 480 screens, though I've heard that the n810 doesn't have the CPU horsepower to do video at 800 x 480, and I haven't (yet) yeard about the CPU speed on the n900. And the n900 is expensive...

I'll probably wind up with a Touch, but there are other players out there...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I don't want to work today...

and so neither should you.

Instead, go read some computer humor.

Go ahead... your boss never checks up on you.