How I Compute

I’ve been fascinated with Richard Stallman for approximately the last decade. He maintains a pretty interesting page about how he does his computing. It’s just a little interesting because he’s painted himself into a corner. That’s besides the point of this post. I thought it would be fun to document how I do my computing. I think I have pretty unique use cases, and maybe others could get some ideas from me. I will try to sort the post into components, sorted by how important each piece of technology is to my daily life, or by how much I use that technology. By far my most used computer is my Acer C720 Chromebook. Yeah, it runs Chrome OS. No it doesn’t “limit” me. I also installed Ubuntu on the side. It’s not a dual boot because they run both at the same time. I would describe it as very similar...

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Bluetooth Arduinoboy

I’ve been selling Arduinoboys in my shop for a few months now. It’s been going good, I’ve done a few revisions that add some features and make it easier to use. One idea I had was to make the arduinoboy fully wireless by using a cheap bluetooth to UART adapter. There are several varieties available, and they’re all equally cheap and crappy. I chose the HC-06 model since it seemed easy to use. If you didn’t know, the MIDI protocol is just a regular old UART, with a few special things added on the input lines for isolation. What that means is that pretty much any UART device could potentially act as a MIDI device. So in my case, all I needed to do was to hook up the TX/RX lines of the HC-06 to the RX/TX lines of the arduino, and I should be in business! One thing about...

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The Time I Quit

In my last post, I focused on all of my successes in 2016. Lest anyone think I’m perfect, I thought it would be fun to write a post about a time I quit a job. It was January, 2014. I’d been working this job for about a month. It was a bit of an odd situation. I had been hired as a part time receptionist for a tiny little company. There were 5 people in the office, not including myself. The office was tiny. Everyone had their own office room, but we were all pretty much on top of each other. The takeaway here is that it was impossible to have a conversation without everyone else in the company hearing. The receptionist before me was apparently fired. All I’d heard was something like “He just wasn’t cutting it.” I mean, it’s reception. What could he have been doing, swearing at...

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2015: A Year In Review

Since the inception of this blog (March 2015) I’ve had a goal to write at least one blog post per month. I figure, if I’m staying as involved in development and learning as I’d like to be, then one post a month should be easy. I’ve actually done relatively well on that goal so far. I missed a post in July, but I did three posts in June so I count that. Well for January, I totally missed the mark. I don’t know if I was too busy to post or maybe I just didn’t really have anything to post about. Maybe I’ve become disillusioned since I have virtually no readership. But that’s a poor excuse, I’m writing this blog for my own amusement and benefit. I guess that’s besides the point. The point is that what I should have posted in January was some kind of New Year’s resolution...

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Reverse Engineering the Gameboy Boot Screen

Disclaimer: I am no expert on this subject or game historian. If anything I say is inaccurate, please let me know in the comments. Click here to go straight to the logo generator A while ago I wrote about completely wiping the memory of an EMS 64m USB Gameboy cartridge. In doing that, I observed something interesting: if the rom was filled with all 1’s (0xFF), the Nintendo logo that scrolls down on boot would be all black, like if there was no cartridge inserted at all. If the rom as filled with all 0’x (0x00), the Nintendo logo was completely blank and only the ® symbol scrolled down. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s an image that represents what happens when a Gameboy is booted (turned on). Or at least what’s supposed to happen. If you ever owned a Gameboy, you’ll know that sometimes the...

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