Monday, October 14, 2019

Control a vintage Roland pen plotter with Raspberry Pi via Raspberry Pi

Cool retro revival using a Raspberry Pi. — Douglas

 
 

By refitting a vintage Roland DG DXY-990 pen plotter using Raspberry Pi, the members of Liege Hackerspace in Belgium have produced a rather nifty build that writes out every tweet mentioning a specific hashtag.

Read Control a vintage Roland pen plotter with Raspberry Pi - Raspberry Pi via Raspberry Pi


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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Historical Technology Books - 31 in a series - Your Computer (1982-05)

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 - 31 in a series - Your Computer (1982-05)

Available in PDF, Text, JPG formats, and more

EDITORIAL

NEXT MONTH, with ZX-81 software on flexidisc offered free with every issue, Your Computer is presenting a new idea in program storage to the micro market — an idea which could have a dramatic effect on the currently expensive business of buying software. The flexidisc method eliminates the time-consuming chore of entering a program line by line, and if adopted commercially could reduce manufacturing costs to such a point that micro users would benefit from a fall in program prices to one-quarter of their present levels.

The flexidisc is the size of the ubiquitous 7in. forty-five or single, and is made of pliable plastic. In its grooves, in the form of high- and low-frequency sine waves, it can contain the kind of program that would occupy one side of a conventional software cassette. You transfer the software that the flexidisc contains on to one of your own cassettes simply by playing the disc on your record player and recording it. Once the program is safely committed to cassette the flexidisc is stored away as the master copy, to be brought out only if you wish to record another duplicate. Of course, in next month's Your Computer there will be full step-by-step instructions on how to use the disc, plus a thorough account of its workings on the technical level.

When the micro enthusiast, hungry for novel applications for his machine, sets about buying new software it is clearly not the cassette itself that concerns him but the quality of the software it contains. Given that the cassette can satisfy the essential loading requirements, all that it becomes is a container for programs — and compared with the flexidisc, an expensive one at that. Reduce the cost of the container but not the quality of the product held in it, and very soon you find yourself on the brink of a software revolution.

For a better idea of the finances of manufacturing cassette software, we could cite one program-producer who recently revealed that a cassette which sells for £5 costs an estimated 22p to make. For that manufacturer to be able to obtain the same percentage profit margin, the selling price for a flexidisc would be 66p on a production price of 3p.

In the ZX-81's short IVi-year life, software prices for the machine have fallen considerably. Micro users look to commercial software for new ideas, and if the flexidisc means that software becomes even more affordable, new ideas will develop quickly and it will herald a breakthrough which will have an impact on both the user's pocket and the development of micro programming.

NEXT MONTH FREE ZX-81 GAME ON FLEXIDISC


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Wednesday, October 09, 2019

How HTTPS works via - How HTTPS works

What does it mean when your browser says “https://“ and why it’s important to your online privacy and safety — all told in a fun, illustrated and understandable way. — Douglas
 
 

Read How HTTPS works via - How HTTPS works


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Monday, October 07, 2019

DrumCube, an Arduino Robot Drummer via Instructables

Live music gigs are always a very special thing, but to produce it, you need humans, and humans are not always available. I occasionally play gigs equipped by my guitar and my voice, but music generally features many others instruments, like percussion, and these instruments tend to only sound when played by humans. This problem could be solved by just using a recording and playing over it, but that would somehow feel against the idea of the “live” concept.

So, I decided to get rid of the human element entirely, and build a robot drummer... The idea would be to make something portable, which could move and play sounds in different rhythms with no use of samples/recordings, that could be played or stopped at will, and that its sound could be amplified in a gig/band situation.

Read DrumCube, an Arduino Robot Drummer via Instructables


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Saturday, October 05, 2019

Historical Technology Books - 30 in a series - The Phonogram, Vol. 1:2 by Virginia H. McRae (1891)

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 - 30 in a series - The Phonogram, Vol. 1:2 by Virginia H. McRae (1891)

Available in PDF, Text, JPG formats, and more

Vol. 1, no. 2 of 'The Phonogram' magazine, published Feb. 1891.

  • The Real Mission of the Phonograph
  • The King of Phonographs
  • A Practical Test - W.R. Stevenson
  • Drilling by the Phonograph
  • The Phonograph Album
  • A Frank Confession - Julian Ralph
  • A Phenomenal Feat in Reporting
  • The Manufacture of Musical Cylinders - G.H.C.
  • "Stage Fright" Induced by the Phonograph
  • The Tariff on Phonographs
  • The Footprints of Sound - Frank M. Deems
  • A Memorial Heard Though the Phonograph
  • A New Automatic Phonograph - F.G.
  • The French Tariff and Electricity - F. McBennett
  • Thermo-Electric Piles and Generators
  • The Founders of Electrical Science - Felix Dahn
  • Electricity in Place of Steam
  • The Telegraph in War
  • An Elastic Accumulator - F. McBennett
  • Phonographic-Telephonic Transmission - William J. Hammer
  • The Telephone in Paris
  • The First Typewriter - E.W.C.
  • Possibilities of the Typewriter
  • Phonograph Chat
  • Meisterschaft System Taught by Phonograph - Edward D. Easton
  • Business Suggestions
  • Authors and Publishers
  • What the People Say
  • Splendid Tributes to the Phonograph

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† Available from the LA Public Library

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

The untold story behind the world’s first major internet attack: The Morris Worm via Mashable! [Video]

An excellent documentary on the first computer worm and the beginnings of the Internet. — Douglas

Our connected world comes with countless risks. Viruses, worms, spyware, ransomware, backdoors, Trojans: The language of cybersecurity is relatively new, but we have quickly become fluent. The misuse of technology has become the darkest danger of the digital age. Bad actors, emboldened by our inability to properly secure crucial systems and networks, are launching increasingly sophisticated attacks. No system is safe.

But in the beginning — the very, very beginning — computers inspired utopian visions of a better future, a world in which we were all digitally connected to one another and living in harmony.

Then came the Morris Worm. 

At Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, programmers were developing high-speed networks and the means by which computers could communicate with one another. This was the birth of the internet, and programmers’ ambitions pushed the limits of the imagination. But no one in Palo Alto could’ve imagined how bringing computers together would allow one bad actor to tear the system apart.

Read The untold story behind the world’s first major internet attack: The Morris Worm via Mashable!


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Monday, September 30, 2019

Raspi: Free PDF of The Official Beginner’s Guide Updated for Raspberry Pi via Adafruit Industries

To coincide with the launch of Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi Press has created a new edition of The Official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide book — as if this week wasn’t exciting enough! Weighing in at 252 pages, the book is even bigger than before, and it’s fully updated for Raspberry Pi 4 and the latest version of the Raspbian operating system, Buster.

Read Free PDF of The Official Beginner’s Guide Updated for Raspberry Pi 4


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Sunday, September 29, 2019

Historical Technology Books - 29 in a series - Your Computer (UK) (1981)

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 - 29 in a series - Your Computer (UK) (1981)

Available in PDF, Text, JPG formats, and more

 


* 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!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Alexa News: Here Are All of the New Gadgets That Amazon Just Announced via The Inventory

A whole slew of Alexa products were announced this week. This article details each of them, including a few which are “invite only” and on the cutting edge. — Douglas

Today at its Seattle headquarters, Amazon unveiled a bunch of new improvements to its Alexa smart home operating system, as well as over a dozen new hardware products that can tap into it in various ways. Below are all the new gadgets Amazon announced today

Read Here Are All of the New Gadgets That Amazon Just Announced via The Inventory


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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

MapLab: Why Google Hopes You’ll Walk via CityLab

When Google Maps launched its directions platform in 2005, it primarily served motorists seeking accurate driving routes. Public transit routes were available in a handful of cities, but a lack of clear walking paths to bus stops made them less than useful. Pedestrian and cycling routes were added years later.

So for those of us who rely on Google Maps to get around by bike, foot, and mass transportation, this summer has been big. To help folks ambulate more easily, the canonical digital map of the world rolled out a new tool earlier this month: a virtually augmented view of the streets before you, with gigantic blue arrows pointing which way to turn.

Read MapLab: Why Google Hopes You’ll Walk via CityLab | All Articles


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