solarbird: (ART-gonzo)

Remember that iNTEL64 nonsense I came up with? The Cartridge Computing System, from an alternate-history where cartridges never stopped being a thing? And of course I built one, partly because I like physical artefacts from alternate universes, but mostly to solve an actual problem.

Anyway, the primary 'cartridge port' has been a separate external unit (because it's really just an eSATA external drive harness), and that meant a separate power switch and separate power cable and separate data cable and all that.

So I decided external cartridge ports were stupid and made an internal unit. Fits in any 5.25" drive bay. It also takes both modern (2.5" SSD) and older, larger cartridges (3.5" hard drives.) Anything SATA, really.

The hardest part was modifying the antique (and weird) Compaq case to look like it had a faceplate made for the iNTEL64 CCS standard. But once I had everything else, I just... had to. ^_^

solarbird: (asumanga-yay)

[personal profile] astolat posted: SignalBoost bookmarklet

Okay, here is the little bookmarklet -- it's pretty limited, but it serves my own laziness, so I share it FWIW and if anyone has the time and wants to upgrade it, go for it and drop me a comment and I'll (ha ha) signal boost any new versions!

holy crow, it works


solarbird: from display at PAX 2011 (ook)

cartridge computing fucking rules

yeah i said it

not sure why i said it but i did


i decided upon a 'testbed' cartridge instead of 'utilities' because lol what utilities are tiny, but i actually do have a use for a testbed OS cartridge to test newer versions of ubuntu against studio software, particularly new LTS releases, and also 64 bit, because yeah I'm on 32-bit still because of concerns about plugins. but with a separate cartridge (hard drive and booting system) then i can try them without fear.


and i hate that

it's so stupid

(if you're just catching up, i'm using an external eSata harness to have a cartridge-slot-like multi-boot system with different SSD hard drives, which, I realised, are basically cartridges like from the old Sega Genesis and before. so i'm running with it because that's the kind of shit i do.)

(the extra storage carts are for power-users with multi-cartridge-slot systems OBVIOUSLY)

solarbird: (tracer)


Okay, just to catch everybody up...

Introducing two cartridges for the intel64 Cartridge Computing System. These are actually real and actually work. I had a problem to solve with a multiboot system and after a lot of other things did not work, I realised just using multiple physical SSD drives and an external eSata docking station that doesn't cost me any drive speed in actual use would solve it, in possibly the dumbest way possible.

And that's when I realised I had basically reinvented cartridges. Just, you know, dramatically better ones.

The rest, well... it kind of just happened. Because it had to.

Branding is a mix of Commodore 8-bit era fonts (because they had cartridges), Atari 8-bit fonts (particularly 2600 and 5200, also cartridges), Sega Genesis graphics layout (they did that L-of-colour thing), and an old lower-case i for iNTEL. It's 64 because this is x64 code, obviously, and the big rainbow logo comes from both Apple and Commodore of the cartridge era, with the middle bar in the old Atari logo changed into an i, for, of course, iNTEL.

(I have no idea why the orange came out red in that one photo. Same lighting, same series of shots, same everything. Phone camera is just off on its own, I guess.)

It is so stupid, and yet, it actually solves an actual work problem, and I am so pleased with myself about it. (⌒▽⌒)

solarbird: (Default)

intel64 cartridge 1022 - series 1, cartridge 02, variation 2 (overwatch on windows 10)

solarbird: (banzai institute)


intel64 cartridge 1012 - series 1, cartridge 01, variation 2 (ubuntu with ardour)

the important thing to remember here is that I am actually solving an actual problem with this. well... okay, not with the labels. but by setting up my system this way. I AM SOLVING AN ACTUAL PROBLEM GODDAMMIT.

solarbird: (tracer)
Remember that silly idea that actually solved a problem?

Well, if we're going to live in a world where cartridge-based computing systems are still important, there will obviously be branding, now won't there? I was having a hard time with it until I realised I just wasn't 80s-ing it up enough.

I have solved that problem.

(For those keeping track: That's Commodore standard typeset in the black and white, a variation on the old Intel i for the start of intel, the Atari 2600/5200 font in the NTEL part of intel, and, of course, this AU's version of the intel logo, featuring that lower-case I again, in an Apple- and Commodore/Amiga-like version of the old Atari logo. Because that's just the kind of thing I do.)
solarbird: (banzai institute)

Introducing the new Intel 64 cartridge-based PC system! Done with work for the day?

Why then, just swap cartridges...

Hit power, and you're ready to game!

(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ ♥

(Basically, I gave up trying to get my old Win8.1 partition to take security updates, realised I had a clone of the current drive that I could play with safely, and started experimenting.

I tried to get it to upgrade to Windows 10, but that was also broken, somehow; tried to install Windows 10 as a replacement OS; that was also also kind of broken and fucked up the boot structure.

Then I realised I could just install Windows 10 on that disk, and boot flexibly using BIOS options for boot order, but turns Windows kinda hates having two separate physical bootable devices and was having no part of that nonsense.

I was going to give up, but then realised I could mount the drive externally in an eSata harness and not lose any speed, meaning I could just swap drives to swap systems if I really wanted to do this. And that was so stupid I decided I had to do this, so I did.

Now every time I turn it on, I hear SEEEEEEGAAAAAAA in my head. And I've decided that's... not really a downside. So now I have an Intel 64. Apparently. O(≧∇≦)O )

solarbird: (gaz)

This is Housemate Paul’s old first generation Nook e-reader. It's been dead for a while. The battery was bad, it still wouldn't boot with a new battery (though with the new battery, it would try again), and it still had Paul's old account data, and B&N dropped support for this device like a year and a half ago. That matters because it won’t factory reset if it can’t deregister itself, and it can’t deregister itself if it can’t talk to the servers, which aren’t up anymore.

BUT it turns out the internal SD card is NOT soldered down and (with an adaptor) mounts under linux so a few fscks and a lot of searching directories (and grep) and a bunch of hexedit and some SQLite later... ready for sideloads!

Also, it’s probably the only eInk web browsing device ever. Because WHY WOULD YOU? Because Barnes & Noble is why.

Anyway, it works again. VICTORY FOR GAZ! (⌒▽⌒)

solarbird: (Default)

Due to stupid reasons, I find myself in possession of a WebTV from 199...6ish? 1998 maybe? It's Philips. I also have a second one, a second generation model, from the same person. I also have the wireless keyboard and remote.

Does anyone know an old-tech youtube person (or anything of the sort) that would want these for some video - or to hack?

solarbird: (vision)
With bitcoin crashing, a lot of miners are starting to dump their GPUs, selling used as like-new or even returning. Be warned.
solarbird: (molly-computer-all-lit-up)
Anybody have an old Win98 USB mass storage device driver? I've set up an real Win98 box on the machine that used to be - it's a P166 from 1996 and accordingly hilarious. I have USB running on it, but not drivers for USB disk drives, and I want that working, in no small part because the non-lulz non-vintage-games part of this project is having a (the?) last working 5.25" floppy drive for PC-DOS/MS-DOS diskettes.

(I like having the ability to read all antique media. Need anything off a Commodore PET floppy? In theory, I can do that for you, as long as it's double-density or less, and yes, they had a 1mb PET floppy at one point.)

The machine is named Blue, drive D is named Purple, and it's registered to Amélie Lacroix and the password is oneshotonekill because of course it had to be. Also, the desktop starts out with weapons and such but turns into widowtracer art because we all know what's really going on here.

It's also much quieter now, particularly for a machine from 1996, as I've replaced all the fans and improved the venting. Two of the fans were outright dead - the CPU and GPU fans, so that's terrifying. (I think the CPU fan may have worked occasionally, but don't hold me to it. Also I had already improved the venting some, even with the old fans - I just improved it more now.)

A couple of power supply capacitors should be replaced too, they're bulging a bit, and I had to order them - VetCo had none of the right caps in stock. Ah well, I tried.
solarbird: (pingsearch)
Okay, so, I have a couple more old CRT monitors that I haven't tested.

Mostly what goes bad from disuse of these things is the power converter boards, and there, it's the capacitors. BUT.

I have seen video of someone using a variable AC power supply to slowly bring power up on such a vintage monitor, thereby reconditioning the capacitors. Or so I presume that's what they were doing; they didn't explain it.

Building one of those is expensive, but old-style dimmer switches (and other variable resistors) aren't, so much. Particularly since I already have them.

For, oh, two-time usage, can I just put that in-line with the AC power and do something akin to the same thing? Or would this approach damage other components?

Anybody know?

(The NEC Multisync (original) and Multisync II (1988), both of which worked when last turned on (some 10+ years ago) died almost instantly after being turned on. am 90%+ sure that the quick death was due to high voltage power supply board capacitors, and the LCM wanted them anyway, probably just for the CRTs themselves but the original's case is in good shape so maybe for that too, so that's fine.)
solarbird: (Default)

Anybody using gnome3 know what I need to set to get rid of these stupid little failed-clips/failed-transparancy handles on the upper left and right corners of every window? It's an extremely minor thing, but still annoying.

(This is the same problem I blogged about here, only I now know that gnome-tweak-tool doesn't address this problem.)
solarbird: (shego-rule?-you?)

Seagate and LaCie make wireless external hard drives for mobile use, so you can ‘expand your phone’ and carry around whatever external data you’d like to carry around without blowing your phone’s storage. I guess that’s useful. I imagine people also use them as ‘personal cloud’ devices, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean, and other things.

But I don’t care, really, because THEY SHIP WITH AN UNDOCUMENTED TELNET SERVER RUNNING WITH ROOT ACCESS. You can read and write anything and everything.

This is… amazing. How do you let this happen? It’s another case where I need an Industrial Espionage Inside! logo sticker. Here, have a first draft.

On a related note, this talk at Black Hat 2013 on hacking z/OS mainframes is pretty cool, and tells me that back in my part of the problem days that I could’ve been a goddamn rock star in this admittedly-small field at Black Hat, because the shit I was doing on IBM mainframes was way more complicated and subtle than this.

There are mainframe people in comments telling the presenter not to be so glib about mainframe security because they know exactly what you’re doing via their monitoring systems. I heard that shit then, too; it was bullshit at the time and I’m pretty sure it’s bullshit now given the sploits he’s outlining. Hell, I submitted some reports through trusted third parties because they were just too easy – easier than these, even, and some of this is pretty damn easy.

I mean, seriously, ever seen a security patch for an unpublicised exploit released in one day? I have. That was caused by one of my third-partied reports. (Arbitrary access to any account in 19 keystrokes, completely unlogged. It was hilarious. But also too easy, so, reported. I knew exactly what they were doing wrong and how to fix it, so it’s not like they had to work at it.)

But enough of the past. Go play skeet shooting with your wireless Seagate and LaCie drives now. It’s probably more effective than trusting them.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (Default)
OS X has started heading towards that point I hit in Windows where I switched architectures - specifically, where all sorts of WOW ISN'T THIS GREAT LET ME FORCE IT UPON YOU architectural changes make me rageface and want to throw the machine out the window.

Example: autosave. I've turned it off, but it's turned itself back on before and fucked me, because all of my workflow in the world relies on making changes I don't know whether I want, then doing save-as if I like them. Now? NOPE IT'S SAVED FOR YOU NOW MOTHERFUCKER and if I want to undo it, I get to scroll back through who-the-fuck-even-knows how many autosaved revisions to get back to what I actually wanted. And save-as? NOPE. But I've enabled export! Which it occasionally un-enables! And once you do export, you don't always get to go back! At least, not without going into the hellishly awful Time Machine document reversion interface, where you can't see enough of the document to make a good decision!

And so far it's not predictable. So today I found myself staring at a spreadsheet in Office going, "okay, want I want to do is delete these rows here, then move some things around, then save the result in a different file, but I don't know if I can do this, because I have no idea what OS X will do now.

Also today, I was trying to delete several related bookmarks. Delete no longer deletes a selected bookmark, it deletes your (not selected!) search and moves you back to another window! BUT WAIT I'M WRONG IT DOES IT ALSO DELETED THE BOOKMARK. Good? I guess? I just couldn't tell because it took me back to a completely different view! But then I get to reenter the search because it deleted that too and I didn't want to delete just one. I have to select all the matching ones, then delete them all at once, and then since it deleted my search and my view I have to search again to make sure it actually did it, because there's no feedback, you're suddenly in a completely different view.

Steve was a asshole. But his machines did not do shit like this. Not as regularly; not to me.

This is the kind of bullshit that made me abandon Windows. Simple tasks became inordinately difficult because Some Random Thing would happen because Some Goddamn PM had to get their feature in your face.

AmigaDOS, where are you when we need you the most?
solarbird: (molly-computer-all-lit-up)

I may have spent my Sunday off – my first day off in like three weeks – debugging UNIVAC Star Trek game code that was ported to TRS-80 Level II BASIC some decades ago. That may be a thing that happened.

(Well, I found some bugs. No, I did. One crashing! That doesn’t happen anymore. Also, now if you enter your name wrong, instead of hanging, it names you Captain Dunsel. It seemed appropriate.)

Here, have a copy of the audiocassette. Or a printout, if you’d prefer that. 16K required.

Did you know Level II BASIC’s built-in programme editor was based heavily on TECO? I feel a bit like Scarf Doctor stumbling across Shemp Doctor’s TARDIS console room and tin whistle. Or maybe it’s kind of like I spent Sunday afternoon flossing out my brain. For SCIENCE! Or something.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (molly-thats-not-good-green)

It’s my birthday! At least, my legal one. There’s another date which is candidate for Actual Birthdate, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

And I’m spending it moving boxes and files and hard drives. YAY. I can’t entirely believe I’m still moving files around from the techsplosion and Ubuntu upgrade farce, but I am. No, no additional hard drives have failed, we seem to be past that for the moment. But new drives mean larger drives mean the old backup drives aren’t big enough anymore means moving things around means playing Towers of Hammurabi with archives.

And y’know, moving a few hundred gigs at a time over USB2? That’s… not the fastest thing ever.

Home stretch, tho’. Home stretch. I should set up a Hall of Remembrance for all the dead drives. The Lord of All Drives could preside over it.

17 Years Good Service

Seriously, that’s the weird little what-is-this-doing-here 2G hard drive from lodestone that was serving as lodestone’s swap. I looked it up. It’s seventeen years old. And in fine working order! I figure that makes it RULER OF ALL HARD DRIVES, because damn.

And on a not-entirely-dissimilar note, what do I do with 160 and 40 gig EIDE hard drives in good working order, anyway? The small one is really slow, to be honest – it’s a total dog – so it kind of sucks and I’m not unwilling to drill it, but the 160g is reasonably fast and low milage and everything! What do you do with stuff like that?

I also have three dead drives, and one 500G EDIE drive that got yanked but which I’m putting into a housing and back into service in a new capacity. (Archives.) That’s six hard drives I’ve had to pull out of machines to get this all back together.

“Digital is forever,” they say. “Once it’s online, it’s eternal.” What a load of crap. Reality? Everything is super fragile and needs constant maintenance.

Even if you’re not a supervillain.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (korra-grar)

I was going to write more about Victoria and the trip – I talked about a open mic appearance on Friday already – but my Macbook drive is more fucked up than I feared.

Anybody know how to make Time Machine skip past files with read errors and not just bail out?

See, I currently have no backup because Time Machine last week decided the backup was damaged and that it needed to start over with a new one. It’s done this before over the years so I said sure, go ahead.

It deleted the old backup and refused to make a new one. It gets about 1.7 gig in, then fails due to what it calls probably-transient network errors.

What it’s actually failing on are read errors on the laptop drive. Read errors disk utility can’t find. Read errors fsck can’t find either. Read errors SMART says aren’t happening.

But there are a whole bunch of files that if you try to copy them generate read fails. dd sees them too, and fails, if I try to image the disk. I went through and generated a massive list of bad files – and there are many – by having the system cp -pr them all indiviually while I was in Victoria.

I’ve currently added all of them to the Time Machine exclusion list and am trying to get a backup that way. I rather suspect this, too, will fail, due to a previously-undetected bad file.

Does anyone out there know whether there’s a way to make Time Machine not bomb out on these read errors? Or failing that, have another, good solution? Because I really need a better backup than the results of a big tree of cp -pr.

But at least I now have that. Before I set up that job, I didn’t even have that. Not after Time Machine’s lies.

eta:: With a bunch of exclusions added, I have a time machine backup of most of the drive. But it could be better with fewer exclusions if you know how to make Time Machine skip files with read errors instead of failing out. Can this even be done?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)

Tonight’s the night for The Cosmic Ray Show and our guest appearance! I hope you can make it. 8pm Cascadian/Pacific, 11pm Eastern. I’ll be dragging along a couple of hostages as backup chorus, too, which I need to do much more often.

I was doing some testing last night and my shiny new hidef webcam? It’s a Logitech, and seems pretty cool so far. Except Google+ DISABLES IT INTENTIONALLY ON STARTUP. Along with all other Logitech webcams on OS X. They say in their FAQ that it’s just on 10.6.7 and earlier, but I have a later version of the OS than that, and they’re doing it here, too. I just want to punch them.

(Seriously, I have to unplug it and plug it back in. I can’t even turn it back on unless I do. I don’t know what the hell they’re doing to it.)

So, yeah, mmmmm standard definition, because Google Hates Macs And Also Logitech. I get the former, given the whole Maps kerfluffle, but not the latter. OH WELL.

But if anybody knows a workaround, fill me in.

See you tonight!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

April 2019

7 8910111213

Most Popular Tags


RSS Atom