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Strider

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Everything posted by Strider

  1. If my 3D printing aspirations work out, I was thinking of eventually building my own Pi 4 based "Retro" computer, once prices and stock return to some form of normalcy, whenever that may be. I have no intentions of doing a full 3D printed case, but using prints to modify some sort of existing small enclosure to fit my idea and look "retro" once it's all done. If not one of these cases, then something similar, but you get the idea. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005T8VDH2/ / https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005T6GCZM/ / https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005T592P0/ I just want to keep it small, at the hardest part of that will be the keyboard, and all I know so far is it will be 10-keyless. My only two real options will be to modify a small one that's already close to my needed dimensions, or make one, something I have never done. Thankfully, all the parts are out there these days to build your own keyboards. Either way, it should be a fun project, once I can find the time to get started on it.
  2. Yeah, once I have it setup and working, I'm going to look at an auto-leveler(BL or CL Touch) and a different flex-plate if I don't like the included one. We'll see. Depending on my printing needs, I may upgrade the hotend as well. So many options. Right now I'll just stick with the stock config and PLA and see if it works for my needs. What 3D design software do you use? Apps like Blender are well outside my current skill-set, and not needed for simple prints like my enclosures, yet... So I'm messing with Microsoft 3D Builder, got it mostly all figured out, a nice simple and to the point app. Messing with designs, moving them to the slicer, and seeing what breaks while I wait for the printer to arrive.
  3. The deed is done... Wish me luck. lol
  4. With all the projects I am working on, one constant is the need for good enclosures. While there are a lot of good options out there, all of them obviously require modification to fit your specific needs, but we live in the 21st century darn it! So, my wife and I are very seriously looking at getting two new tools for our respective hobbies. She's looking at a Cricut Joy, and I am looking at the Creality Ender 3 3D Printer. At a $200 price point, and with such a massive amount of support and mods available, it just seems like a good place to start for the small prints we would use it for. In my case, custom enclosures and parts for my projects. Though, my wife and daughter would also use it. We're in the progress or rearranging our apartment to better accommodate our hobbies, so within the next few days I have a feeling these new tools will be on their way. That all being said, do any of you own 3D printers, and if so, what one, and what do you think of it?
  5. Now that I actually have a few days off and can actually DO stuff... Excellent build! I must have looked at that kit a hundred times, it looks like so much fun. I just can't fit one in my time space continuum at the moment. The keyboard is looking really nice as well! I have been looking into building or modifying a keyboard to fit into a small space for a Pi project I have in mind, but that's on the back burner until I am all done with what's currently on my plate.
  6. I love Castlevania inspired covers! I can listen to them all day. lol Two different styles from a great series: I enjoy both.
  7. I ... cant ... stop! I think I'm settling in on a style, finally! Have a java script midi player embedded in the "About" page. Trying to make it a bit easier on the eyes, but still "old" looking in style. I'm getting there. lol
  8. Updated ... Again. Slowly getting there. Takes so long to format and make everything work using such old tools for new browsers. Of course, I only know how it looks on my end, in Firefox @ 1080P, since that's what I use. So I try and lock everything so it still works at other resolutions and other browsers, no idea if the alignment is off viewed other ways. Also, it sucks that modern browsers don't play embedded midi files anymore, you have to embed a player. Makes sense from a security perspective. Guess I'll have to find and embed one I like. Oh well, it's time consuming, but fun!
  9. I got bored ... and decided I wanted to make a simple, no fuss, continuity tester. You know, for those times you don't want to mess around with your multimeter? Just a single simple tool to do a simple easy job. OK... I wanted to test out the AVR programmer, get some practice working with these chips, and practice making labels before my wife and I invest in some new toys. So I picked something simple and that I would actually, maybe, get some use out of. What I ended up with was a Tiny85 powered tester that simply plays a tone when continuity is detected. It has simple toggle power switch becasue I'm old and like toggles! Though not really necessary, becasue it will go to sleep after 60 seconds of inactivity anyway. Using a 3V button-cell, it has a sense voltage of 5mV, so I'm happy with it. The toys I'm talking about are an Ender 3 3D Printer and Cricut machine for doing custom vinyl cuts (not sure what one we're getting yet). I want both for making small custom enclosures, parts, and labels. My wife wants them for the custom jewelry she's making along with some of the resin projects she's working on. So a win-win. lol It's good to have hobbies. Oh, and if I needed more stuff.... Decided to pick up a 5-pack of Digisparks.
  10. Global chip shortage SUCKS. It really does affect just about everything... So, I'm trying to move away from Arduino units for the final versions of my projects, and just use the ATMega328 or Tiny85 itself, along with my own support circuitry. Sadly, the Mega328 is nearly impossible to find, I can't find one in stock from any seller I trust. There are some Tiny85's, and I did order some, but they are drying up fast and overpriced, costing as much as a Mega328. I found some Mega328's on Sparkfun, a name I know but have yet to buy from, and they had 31 in stock @ $2.95 each. Was going to order 10. At checkout they wanted to charge $14 shipping, seemed like a lot for 10 small microchips. So I dropped it to 5 chips, still $14 shipping. Bumped it up to 20, still $14 shipping. These things cost pennies to ship, so it seemed off. So I fired off an email to them asking if the quote was correct, and figured I would run it past my wife about getting 20 if the shipping stays the same. Then I would have plenty to use for quite some time. By the time I got back home (I was at work), they were sold out. So, back to square one. Unless I want to buy them at hugely inflated prices from Amazon scalpers, and I don't, so I am out of luck for now I guess. My bad for questioning shipping. lol I did manage to pick up some Tiny85's (x10), and some SN74HC595N 8-Bit counter shift registers to extend the output capabilities of the Tiny85, and that will work for some things, but the Mega328 is what I really need. I guess for now I'll stick to using the several Arduino Nano units I have lying about. While doing all my shopping around, I picked up some NE555P timers, some DIP IC sockets, a programming shield for the Arduino UNO (for when I do get my hands on some Mega328s), and a Tiny AVR Programmer for the Tiny85s, just to keep things simple. Along with various other stuff. So not a total loss. Though I ended up paying more for the Tiny85's than I wanted, at $2 each and $10 shipping, still, they were one of the cheapest I could find in stock. Packs of 5 are going for $19 on Amazon, so it's still cheaper than going that route. I just can't wait for this stupid chip shortage to end! Edit: Well, after a TON of searching, I broke down and ordered 4 Mega328P-PU chips off eBay for just over $5 each, so about double their per-shortage price. It was the best price I could find, the only ones I could find honestly. Got them from a US seller with good feedback, so we will see if they're any good. They're supposed to be preloaded with the Uno bootloader, so that saves me a step, maybe. It should hold me over. Most licensed sellers say they wont have stock until February or March 2023, a few say June 2022. Whenever it ends up happening, I'm going to order about 20 of them. lol
  11. A cool project that's for sure, but I would be more interested in their Duo, SNES, and Sega projects. My old eyes and small screens are only going to get worse. lol Plus, I don't mind emulation, and have my GPi, along with all my other RetroPie powered goodies. So while I absolutely love the idea, the cost of classic carts are continuously on the rise, so it's just not practical for someone like me. Now if I still had all my old carts, I would be far more interested. I liked the Retron consoles too, but I got rid of all that a while back. Like I said, still cool to see more options coming to market!
  12. I know I mentioned this in another thread, but I wanted to drop it here as well, just becasue I think this guy is an excellent teacher. While striving to learn how to code for, and properly and fully unlock the potential of the Arduino, and by extension, the ATMega/Mico controllers, I stumbled across this gentleman. Paul McWhoter. I used his videos specifically for his coding tutorials, since I already have a fair amount of electronics knowledge, but I found myself actually watching the parts I already knew as well. He is very thorough, explains why he's doing what he's doing, and even explains how it's working under the hood. It's an overall excellent series that I would highly recommend as a starting point for any Arduino beginners. Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfYfK0tzHZTpNFrc_NDKfTA
  13. Well, I'm slowly making progress, checking a few more boxes. [X] - Overuse of animated gifs. [X] - Obligatory hit counter that only counts page hits, not unique visitors, so you can really make your site look more popular than it is! [X] - Page last "updated" indicator, becasue people want to know these things! [X] - Silly page layouts! I am having way more fun with this than I should be. lol
  14. Welcome to the retro fun! I had a similar experience with burnout, specifically with game servers. For a while there, I was trying to maintain and admin over several different game servers at once, it went from being fun to being a chore pretty quickly. I spent far too much working on them instead of playing the games. So eventually, I shut it all down, and now I only host "on-the-spot" servers for close family when we feel the need to play something together, like Minecraft, Ark: Survival Evolved, or any other game that has a standalone dedicated server option. These I host locally on my makeshift home server, so much easier, and it's only one at a time.
  15. Speaking of... https://www.ebay.com/itm/255050987423?hash=item3b6239379f:g:p-4AAOSwawxgTN1s Tempting...There are a few listed on eBay. Yes, I would have to track down all the parts, including the MOS chips, but could be a fun project.
  16. Nailed it! It's all taking place offline, and I upload to there to test it out. It's actually been there a few weeks, I just work so much that those "bored" times I am filling by doing it, are pretty spaced out. Edit: Also, if I like how it turns out, and I plan on keeping up on it, I will look into better hosting. Not that a 90's style site needs much in terms of bandwidth or storage, but the current host is slow. FTP is jankey, it sometimes stops responding, and they deactivate your site every 30 days with no activity. Though, I understand that, saving space and keeping it all clean. @Cyber I have it set that way because if it was to resize, it looses it's layout and looks horrible. A limitation I am willing to live with since that's how many personal sites were 20+ years ago. Also... JACKPOT! https://gifcities.org/
  17. For some silly reason, I decided I wanted to create myself a website, just like I would have done back in the 90's or really early 2000's. So I dug out an old copy of Microsoft FrontPage, my software of choice back then, and started messing around, just to kill time. Shockingly, it actually runs great on Windows 10. This is something I can do when I am at my PC, bored, and can't work on any other projects. So don't take it all that seriously, this is purely for fun, my own personal nostalgia, and taking a step back in time about 20+ years. No modern amenities or features, just a simple site designed using old school software, way back when this "World Wide Web" was still relatively new and wild! I spent a lot of time messing around on my old website back then, I even found remnants of it on archive.org's "Wayback Machine", from 1998 through 2001! Sadly, it's currently not accessible due to a "hardware issue". It was hosted by my local ISP where I worked part time back in the 90's. Anyway, this is where I am uploading my work in progress: http://thisoldgeek.epizy.com/ Edit: I'll find a better host at some point. That place was free and easy. Since it's so old school, bandwidth and other limitations are not really an issue. lol
  18. @martinot Nice looking board! The one thing I really liked about boards of that era was the fact they supported a wide range of standards, becasue they were created at time we were transitioning between several of them. ISA, PCI, AGP, USB, etc. With such a wide ranging spectrum of hardware (and driver) support, you could run such a huge gambit of software with minimal issues. The very definition of "backwards compatible". I was happy with my single Athlon 500 and then the 700. It was far faster than anything that machine would ever run in terms of software, in fact I recall having to throttle the machine down considerably for some classic DOS games, such as Blade Runner (for the shooting range). @Scott Robison Technically speaking, the 8-bit machines still had motherboards, they worked differently but performed the same basic task, tie all the parts together. I mean, I would love to have a C64 board I could populate myself. IBM 51 Series boards always looked cool to me, all those chips! The reason I fell in love with PC motherboards was becasue it was the first time the end user could swap out and upgrade hardware components easily. Over time, they brought standardization to the market that really didn't have much at the time. That being said, the boards in 8-bit machines will always be the coolest, and will always top my hardware lists. They are where I got my start, and they were something special to look at and learn on, at least to me. These days, I guess we would call them "single board computers". lol
  19. Well, it's finally in an enclosure. It's not the prettiest, I'll rework it in the future, but it works! I have it wired up for the 2 channel scope, 2 channel logic analyzer, and the signal generator, don't need the other functions. I ran into an issue with it not wanting to calibrate, so I reached out to the boards developer, and after some back and forth he figured out it was a software issue that was overwhelming the Pi's CPU. A couple days later he released a fix, I updated the package, and now it's working like a charm. For the cheap "tool" that it is, it seems to work well. It will never replace the real tools it's emulating, but for $29 I have found it useful for my simple circuits.
  20. Digging through old drives, I came across a photo I took of one of my all time favorite PC motherboards from days gone by, and a board I ran for almost 15 years straight! It got me thinking how much I wish I still had it. This was the AOpen AK72. Sadly, I parted with it a few years ago in my move to downsize and emulate what I wanted, though I still have the last CPU I was using on it, the Athlon AMD-K7700MTR51B. I got the board in 2001 in a machine that was given to me, stripped down, and told it didn't work. After dropping some RAM on it, and an Athlon 500Mhz CPU, I was surprised to see it worked perfectly. So I put it to use as a second "gaming" PC for my kids. Over the years, long after it was obsolete, I kept it running as a native DOS/Win95 gaming machine for all my old favorites. This board had AGP, PCI, and ISA, as well as USB! So I could run all the hardware I wanted from that era, and earlier, and have the convenience of USB thanks to Windows 95 OSR2.5. Of all the boards I have owned over the years, this one is my favorite. It ran like a tank and worked flawlessly for so long, allowing me to enjoy my DOS/Win95 era classics for so long. Do you have a classic motherboard you consider a favorite? Do you still have it?
  21. Very nice! Fun little game! As I got older, I developed a soft spot for this style of word game. Used to have an electronic handheld I took everywhere, just to kill time. Probably still have it buried somewhere. Your game reminded me of it.
  22. Well, my Arduino usage has led me down a new path, just using the chips themselves. I'll still use the Arduino's for prototyping, but the end projects will just run off the ATMega328's themselves. 1x Standalone bootloader programmer (So you can use Arduino IDE to program the chips) = $18 (You can make your own, but this is just a more convenient option) 1x ZIF socket programming shield for Arduino Uno = $7 For $25, I can create as many as I want. Quick and easy. 3 Arduino Nano (good ones - Elegoo) is about $20 right now. When I can get... ATMEGA328P-PU (28pin DIP) = $2.60 each. ($26 for 10) 16MHz crystal oscillator cans = About $8 for 10. So I end up saving a lot of money, and space, on my projects. Plus, It's a lot more fun!
  23. Mine just arrived as well. Won't have time to dig into it until next weekend, but I can't wait. I'm going to play around with emulation on it, and I want to see how far back in the Windows line I can get to run on it, all just for fun. To be honest, not 100% sure what it will end up doing full time, but I'll think of something!
  24. Yeah, I loved that video. Like many of us I assume, I was a huge Knight Rider fan, so I really enjoyed it, along with the episode visiting old filming locations. Having the message from William Daniels on there was such a great touch!
  25. I just ordered an Atomic Pi Dev Kit, can't beat the $40 price tag. Basically, an Intel Atom based quad-core x86 SBC with a top speed of 1.92GHz, 2GB DDR3L RAM, and 16GB built in eMMC flash memory. SD-Card, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB 3, GPIO, and everything you expect and need. Here is all you need to know: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CGFM2B1/ FAQ: https://www.digital-loggers.com/api_faqs.html These were originally made to power a failed robot and remade as the Atomic Pi, or so I have read, though I have also found a kickstarter for it. So I really have no idea where they got their start, but there is a lot of support for them out there. That all being said, I will be trying to run different OS's on mine, as well as trying out various types of emulation. You know, just for fun, becasue I need yet another SBC .... lol What would you do with one? Any ideas?
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