Thursday, January 16, 2020

Historical Technology Books - 41 in a series - Balloons, Airships, and Flying Machines by Gertrude Bacon - Practical Science Series

Technology isn't just computers, networks and phones. Technology has always been part of the human experience. All of our ancestors have looked for ways to help them survive and do less work for more gain. Archive.org has a host of old technology books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. Many of the technologies discussed within these books are being put to use again these days in the back to the land" and homesteading movements. You might even find something that could address one of your own garden or farm issues but has been lost to time and history. Enjoy! --Douglas
Historical Technology Books - 41 in a series - Balloons, Airships, and Flying Machines by Gertrude Bacon - Practical Science Series
 

CHAPTER I

THE ORIGIN OF BALLOONING

One November night in the year 1782, so the story runs, two brothers sat over their winter fire in the little French town of Annonay, watching the grey smoke-wreaths from the hearth curl up the wide chimney. Their names were Stephen and Joseph Montgolfier, they were papermakers by trade, and were noted as possessing thoughtful minds and a deep interest in all scientific knowledge and new discovery. Before that night--a memorable night, as it was to prove--hundreds of millions of people had watched the rising smoke-wreaths of their fires without drawing any special inspiration from the fact; but on this particular occasion, as Stephen, the younger of the brothers, sat and gazed at the familiar sight, the question flashed across his mind, “What is the hidden power that makes those curling smoke-wreaths rise upwards, and could I not employ it to make other things rise also?”


There's An Actual Name And Reason For Those Beeps You Hear In Recordings Of Astronauts In Space via Gizmodo

An excellent article on all those beeps you heard during Apollo mission and what it all means. Best explanation I have seen and it all has to do with signaling and switching. — Douglas
 

The American space program, I think we’d all agree, has its own very particular set of audiovisual signatures that immediately evoke all kinds of images and feelings. There’s a certain NASA look to the objects of space travel—that gold foil stuff, lightweight aluminum frameworks, white panels with American flags on them—that is immediately recognizable. The same goes for the sounds of NASA, a certain type of distorted audio, and, perhaps most evocatively, those beeps you always hear in transmissions between astronauts and ground control. But what the hell are those beeps, anyway? What do they actually do? Relax. I’m going to tell you.

Read There's An Actual Name And Reason For Those Beeps You Hear In Recordings Of Astronauts In Space via Gizmodo


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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Bring The Smithsonian Home With 3D Printing via hack a day

If you’ve ever been to Washington DC, you know the Smithsonian isn’t just a building, instead it’s a collection of 19 museums, 21 libraries, 9 research centers, and a zoo. Even though there are hundreds of affiliated museums, there is a way to bring at least some of the museum to you. The Smithsonian has a 3D digitization portal that currently features 124 models of items from the collection. Almost 100 of them have models you can download and print — or have someone print for you.

Printing yourself is probably the most cost-effective option if you already have a printer. According to the Smithsonian, if you want a 1/20th scale model of a T. Rex cranium, Shapeways will do it for about $21. If you want a 9-inch version of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit, that would go for $130 or so.

Some of the models are pretty intricate. The Apollo 11 hatch door, for example, has quite a few details. The models range from space, to the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, to a model of the remnants of a supernova. There are models of the gunboat Philadelphia and a blue crab, too.

Read Bring The Smithsonian Home With 3D Printing via hack a day



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Monday, January 13, 2020

Panatrap – Open Source 360 Camera Traps – Digital Naturalism Laboratories

Detailed case study of using 360 cameras for monitoring wildlife. — Douglas
 
 

Panatraps are an open-source collection of design files and code for turning commercially available 360 “VR” cameras into panoramic camera traps for studying wildlife in natural environments. These are created in Gamboa, Panama, at Digital Naturalism Laboratories by Andrew Quitmeyer and Danielle Hoogendijk. Work on this project has been supported by:

The Digital Naturalism Conference (www.dinacon.org)
Conservation X Labs ( https://conservationx.com/project/key/360cameratraps )
The project files are all open-source and available on these project pages and the project’s github repo: https://github.com/Digital-Naturalism-Laboratories/Panatrap

Friday, January 10, 2020

Historical Technology Books - 40 in a series - TRS-80 Manual: Model 100 Basic Language Lab (1983)

Technology isn't just computers, networks and phones. Technology has always been part of the human experience. All of our ancestors have looked for ways to help them survive and do less work for more gain. Archive.org has a host of old technology books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. Many of the technologies discussed within these books are being put to use again these days in the back to the land" and homesteading movements. You might even find something that could address one of your own garden or farm issues but has been lost to time and history. Enjoy! --Douglas
Historical Technology Books - 40 in a series - TRS-80 Manual: Model 100 Basic Language Lab (1983)
 
At my first job in Los Angeles in 1986, I was the support person for an online service dedicated to the music industry. Lots of members used these Model 100s, along with acoustic couplers, to get online to check their email, the Billboard Charts an, eventually, the Hollywood Reporter, online.
 
The Model 100 was a very versatile computer for the day and really robust. It took 4 AA batteries and ran for weeks on them. Sure the 40 column display was a bit cramped, but in the days before laptops, this was a great piece of kits that could easily be carried anywhere you went. I remember the keyboard being quite nice for writing, too. — Douglas
 

 

Available in PDF, Text, JPG formats, and more

Introduction

If you've used your TRS-80 Model 100 just once, you know how simple, versatile, and powerful a computer it is. Its built-in application programs allow you to perform normally complex computer operations with ease. This includes data manipulation, computer-to-computer communications, word processing, and more.

However, as you become more familiar with your Model 100, you can make the computer even more useful by customizing it to suit your own special needs. This is done through BASIC, the built-in programming language.

For instance, from BASIC, you can:

• Re-define the Function Keys (ED through (Fj£).

• Communicate with information services and other computers.

• Write programs for a wide range of applications such as forecasting sales trends and performing interest or mortgage calculations.

• Make use of the computer's graphic and sound capabilities.

and a host of other operations!

This course will show you how to perform operations such as these by explaining in detail the BASIC section of your Model 100 Owner's Manual. This means that by the time you've finished this course, you'll be writing your own programs and using the built-in application programs more effectively.

Since most of the application programs not built-in will be written in BASIC, and since BASIC interacts with the other built-in programs, you'll find it is definitely to your advantage to become familiar with BASIC.

So sit back and get ready to enjoy your Model 100 even more. You're about to find out how powerful a computer it really is!


Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Magnetic Circuits Are More Attractive Than Breadboarding via hack a day

This might be an interesting learning project for young ones who are just getting started. Sort of like an extension of Lego thinking. The space required to build things is a bit large, especially compared to a breadboard, but might be more understandable to someone who is new to electronics. Building the tiles adds another, hands-on, level to the learning that is a great combination with the electronics concept learned, too. This is a good, High-Tech/High-Touch project.— Douglas
 

Let’s face it, breadboarding can be frustrating, even for advanced electronics wizards. If you have an older board, you could be dealing with loose tie points left from large component legs, and power rails of questionable continuity. Conversely, it can be hard to jam just-made jumper wires into new boards without crumpling the copper. And no matter what the condition of the board is, once you’ve plugged in more than a few components, the circuit becomes hard to follow, much less troubleshoot when things go pear-shaped.

In the last twenty years or so, we’ve seen systems like Snap Circuits and Little Bits emerge that simplify the circuit building process by making the connections more intuitive and LEGO-like than even those 160-in-1 kits where you shove component legs between the coils of tight little springs. You will pay handsomely for this connective convenience. But why should you? Just make your own circuit blocks with cardboard, magnets, and copper tape. It should only cost about 10¢ each, as long as you source your magnets cheaply.

Read Magnetic Circuits Are More Attractive Than Breadboarding via hack a day


An interesting link found among my daily reading

Monday, January 06, 2020

How to use Arduino Alexa skill via Open Electronics

I have just such a use case I want to work up here in the home office. A great place to get started. — Douglas
 

You can now securely connect Alexa to your Arduino IoT Cloud projects with no additional coding required. You could use Alexa to turn on the lights in the living room, check the temperature in the bedroom, start the coffee machine, check on your plants, find out if your dog is sleeping in the doghouse… the only limit is your imagination!

Below are some of the features that will be available:

  • Changing the color and the luminosity of lights

  • Retrieving temperature and detect motion activity from sensors

  • Using voice commands to trigger switches and smart plugs

Read How to use Arduino Alexa skill via Open Electronics


* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!


An interesting link found among my daily reading

Friday, January 03, 2020

Alexa: 10 SURPRISING things you didn’t know you could do with your Amazon Echo Device via Steve DOES

Learn  a few things about your Amazon Echo device. — Douglas
 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!


An interesting link found among my daily reading

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Historical Technology Books - 39 in a series - Apple II BASIC Programming Manual by Jef Raskin

Technology isn't just computers, networks and phones. Technology has always been part of the human experience. All of our ancestors have looked for ways to help them survive and do less work for more gain. Archive.org has a host of old technology books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. Many of the technologies discussed within these books are being put to use again these days in the back to the land" and homesteading movements. You might even find something that could address one of your own garden or farm issues but has been lost to time and history. Enjoy! --Douglas
Historical Technology Books - 39 in a series - Apple II BASIC Programming Manual by Jef Raskin
 

Available in PDF, Text, JPG formats, and more

 

AN APPLE TODAY

keeps the doldrums away. This manual will show you how to plug in your APPLE II (easy) and be a guide as you learn to program it (also easy). If you are an Old Hand at programming, you will find some new features and conven- iences in APPLE BASIC that make programming a lot more fun. If you are a Newcomer to programming, you will also find many features and conven- iences in APPLE BASIC that make programming a lot of fun. But, if you are a Newcomer, be warned that programming, though not difficult, can only be learned by doing. More will be said on this topic later, but remember — this is a book to be used, not merely perused.

If you purchased your APPLE II from an authorized APPLE dealer, they will be willing to let you set your APPLE II up in their shop, and make sure you know how to set it up at home. If you received it as a gift or through the mail, it is not difficult to hook up — it is as easy as setting up a stereo system and no technical knowledge is needed at all.

 


Wednesday, January 01, 2020

UNIX Version 0, Running On A PDP-7, In 2019 via hack a day

Nothing like a little old-school computing to get the geek blood flowing. This system is before my time in technology, but it is amazing to see it running again. Sort go like an old hot rod that is back out on the streets. — Douglas
 

With the 50th birthday of the UNIX operating system being in the news of late, there has been a bit of a spotlight shone upon its earliest origins. At the Living Computers museum in Seattle though they’ve gone well beyond a bit of historical inquiry though, because they’ve had UNIX (or should we in this context say unix instead?) version 0 running on a DEC PDP-7 minicomputer. This primordial version on the original hardware is all the more remarkable because unlike its younger siblings very few PDP-7s have survived.

The machine running UNIX version 0 belongs to [Fred Yearian], a former Boeing engineer who bought his machine from the company’s surplus channel at the end of the 1970s. He restored it to working order and it sat in his basement for decades, while the vintage computing world labored under the impression that including the museum’s existing machine only four had survived — of which only one worked. [Fred’s] unexpected appearance with a potentially working fifth machine, therefore, came as something of a surprise.

Read UNIX Version 0, Running On A PDP-7, In 2019 via hack a day


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