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Design, build, hack....zap and repeat!

Dead End PC?

Posted on Jan 11, 2014 | Comments Off on Dead End PC?

I finally ran into one. Ok, so it is a 9-year old Dell Dimension XPS Gen 4, but I’ve upgraded her over the years…XP to Vista to Win7 to Win8. And then I wanted to take her just one more step…Win8.1. And no! Sorry, you can’t install the update because it’s not supported by your computer’s CPU. I guess somewhere around the beginning of 2004, Intel added all this stuff to their chip: Physical Address Extension (PAE) mode, No-eXecute (NX), CMPXCHG16b support and Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 (SSE2). And the BIOS needs Data Execution Prevention (DEP), which apparently was not a stringent requirement for 64-bit Windows 8. Hard to believe a service pack would change hardware requirements for an operating system. Another strange thing is that the 32-bit version does not have the same hardware requirements, so I can...

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W2NSD (SK)

Posted on Sep 18, 2013 | Comments Off on W2NSD (SK)

It was sad to hear that Wayne Green, W2NSD passed away last Friday the 13th. I met him once at a hamfest in the 70’s, but I was an avid reader of his editorials in his magazines. While he publishes many over the years, I subscribed to 73 Magazine for many of my younger years as a ham. My interests then began moving more to computing and PCs so I started reading Byte Magazine, the first magazine that many computer geeks and experimenters read. Apple, Compaq and Microsoft weren’t around yet, so much of the magazine was about building and programming your own from scratch. On my. Wayne was 91 years old. He was a brilliant thinker and was always looking for the next big thing. And he usually found it before everyone else. The history of amateur radio...

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Is Heathkit back?

Posted on Aug 25, 2013 | Comments Off on Is Heathkit back?

So I went to a Tailgate Fest sponsored by the Cuyahoga Falls Amateur Radio Club today. I didn’t find anything I was looking for because I wasn’t looking for anything, but did see a lot of interesting stuff. The one that caught my eye was a complete Heathkit amateur radio station with transceiver, speaker, ‘scope, and tuner. It was nice and clean and functional. And boy did it bring back memories! I was a very avid Heathkit builder back in the 60’s to 80’s era….my first ham radio, my first VTVM, my first oscilloscope, and my first computer, among a whole bunch more. I loved putting those kits together, testing them and then using. But Heathkit eventually went out of business, several times if I remember correctly. And I sold off each of those kits over the years for bigger,...

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pcDuino and PyDuino

Posted on Jul 18, 2013 | Comments Off on pcDuino and PyDuino

Now here’s a board that looks real interesting. . . .the pcDuino! It’s a mini-PC that is Arduino compatible. You can actually write Arduino code, compile and run the code on the pcDuino. Cool, huh? While exploring the pcDuino I stumbled upon PyDuino. . . .a library that ports the Arduino language syntax to Python script.  You reach the digital and analog I/O pins on your pcDuino as you would with Arduino, except you code in Python.  So now you can use the same code for not only pcDuino but RaspberryPi, BeagleBone, and any other platform that executes Python. Cool, huh? Related in a way. . . Enclosure for pcDuino/Arduino – Clear Meet the LegoDuino How-To: Get Started with the BeagleBone Share this:Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to...

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