So I did not “complete” my hat until very late Friday when i finally got it to announce its link status on its new set of 14 segment displays. It performed admirably all weekend. Thanks to Paul for safely transporting it to and from Vegas. I must also thank Stephen for his late night help on Wednesday. (tacos are not enough) Without his amazing soldering, i’d still be trying to figure out what i had done wrong. Here are some pictures from that night and the con to follow. . .
Originally my router/PBX this Dell P4 was installed with some of the earliest Digium PCI analogue cards. This card supported both FXS and FXO modules, and i used them both in various configurations. One of the FXS modules is what allowed my housemate’s old rotary phone to connect to the house phone system. I loved testing the system by ringing his phone. The ringing of its actual bell, was a delight. That dell survived the infamous flood (by already being decommissioned). I think I paid over $200 for this card alone. Now i run Asterisk off my Raspberry Pi with a total hardware cost considerably less than that.
I got the full tour, the place is amazing and far tidier then any workshop I have been in. They have pieces for nearly everything and almost everything in pieces. I got to try out their tools. I even touched their flame thrower!
It turns out this little bugger was the cause of all my problems or at least my technical ones. Once I got this guy replaced, my 2011 MacBook Pro was back kicking ass. Thanks Daniel you are awesome!
I brought this gift to show my appreciation, I hope you like it. It is TechStep diagnostic tool from Apple for testing and diagnosing vintage Macs. I don’t even remember what i traded it for nearly 20 years ago, but i never once used it. I hope you enjoy it and maybe even do something cool with it. I cannot wait to come back.
I learned so much from my visit. I spent nearly four hours there and still there is probably more to see. The tour guide taught much about the computers before my time.
I met a pile of incredible people. Bought some amazing toys (for science), some i’ve even got working. Saw some talks and demos. Talked to some of my heroes and listened to even more. I saw Ladar Levison talk about epoxying your ports and adding thermite to your hard drives. I played with the ECU of a fake car! now i just have finish building the DarkNet Badge! enjoy my pictures. The hat data is still being analyzed. I’ll try to build something out of it eventually.
I have been working on a number of Raspberry Pi projects in various stages of working. To distract from more difficult projects (not to mention nostalgia and fun) I have been building an Adafruit PiGrrl portable classic game emulator. At several points with this project or other without a lot of feedback from the device I’m working with, I’ve relied on milliamp readings from the Mico USB Cable/Voltage Display. This tiny bit of information is incredibly helpful in determining what my Pi is up too. Idle? Booting? Overwhelmed? In the land of the blind the one eye’d man is king. At the very least it reduced the total time waisted waiting on crashed or other broken attempts.
My doc was a bit confused about the age of this computer when he gave it to me to setup. We spoke about a 5 year old laptop. It turned out to be a beast from 2003: a Lifebook n series by Fujitsu. I’ve always said that Fujitsu must be run by a supervillain or at the very least, a rebel billionaire. They make industrial equipment and infrastructure, while at the same time making laptops and other select home electronics. Like someone just wanted their ideal laptop and then as an afterthought sold it as a product. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to disparage Fujitsu in any way. Quite the opposite in fact. I have relied on their hard drives for my most precious data and their Lifebooks have always been some of the best out there. The fact that this 13+ year old laptop is operating with all original parts and a working battery is testament to Fujitsu’s commitment to quality.
My first clue was the XP sticker. I decided to go with Lubuntu, a minimized variant on the popular Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu is a wonderful distribution, especially for those new to Linux, but it’s built on top of Debian, so it’s not just for beginners. For years, I’ve used some of the older (still supported) Ubuntu versions for old machines. I hate to see workin computers fail because of a lack of software support. Thanks to the good people at Lubuntu, Ubuntu, GNU/Linux, this is a thing of the past. This guy is running all the latest in security and cryptographic technology, a fully modern web browser and a full suite of productivity software fully compatible with the latest MS Office.