Bits of Cents — Disassembling the Dash

Bits of Cents — Disassembling the Dash

Disassembling the Dash On Thursday I got an email from Amazon saying I had been selected to try out two Dash buttons at zero cost. To be honest it as kind of surprising given that although we order from them plenty, I can’t say that we regularly stock up on consumables from Amazon: they suggested I get the Gillette razor button, something I’ve ordered twice. Maybe it’s a ploy to try and get me to order more regularly from them. Maybe it’s because I’m in New York and they are trying to get more density in Manhattan. Maybe they read my blog. Who knows but in any case it’s free hardware. The functionality is simple enough: click a button, get the Dash item at your door. But what makes it tick? Like any good hardware nerd, I was excited to find out.

More info at: Bits of Cents — Disassembling the Dash

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Arduino IDE Becomes More Open, Less Snarky | Hackaday

Arduino IDE Becomes More Open, Less Snarky | Hackaday

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KIM-1 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

KIM-1 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Remembering the good ole days. This was one of my first computers. I had to punch in the hex values into memory locations. It was the brains of my for Robot project. I was in high school back in about 1980.

 

The KIM-1 consisted of a single printed circuit board with all the components on one side. It included three main ICs; the MCS6502 CPU, and two MCS6530 Peripheral Interface/Memory Devices. Each MCS6530 comprises a mask programmable 1024 x 8 ROM, a 64 x 8 RAM, two 8 bit bi-directional ports, and a programmable interval timer.[3] The KIM-1 brochure said “1 K BYTE RAM” but it actually had 1152 bytes. The memory was composed of eight 6102 static RAMs(1024 x 1 bits) and the two 64 byte RAMs of the MCS6530s. In the 1970s memory sizes were expressed in several ways. Semiconductor manufacturers would use a precise memory size such as 2048 by 8 and sometimes state the number of bits (16384). Mini and mainframe computers had various memory widths (8 bits to over 36 bits) so manufacturers would use the term “words”, such as 4K words. The early hobbyist computer advertisements would use both “words” and “bytes”. It was common to see “4096 words”, “4K (4096) words” and “4 K bytes”. The term KB was unused or very uncommon. The KIM-1 was introduced in the April 1976 issue of Byte magazine and the advertisement stated “1 K BYTE RAM” and “2048 ROM BYTES”.[4]

More info at: KIM-1 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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All About The JPEG #SaturdayMorningCartoons «

All About The JPEG #SaturdayMorningCartoons « Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!

Our friends at Adafruit posted an article from SaturdayMorningCartoons explaining the JPG image format and how image compression works.

 

More info at: All About The JPEG #SaturdayMorningCartoons « Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!NewImage

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Blocked Website

Finally! It has been over a week since I could access this site from my home ISP. Everything looked ok on the traceroute except the very last IP would not respond. No email, no ftp, no web. In fact for all 800+ websites on the same hosted server, they were all unaccessible.

So today I narrowed it down to my router. For some reason my old Apple Airport Extreme blocked this one IP. I could access everything else that I tried. Once I reset it back to factory conditions and set it up as a new router then everything worked again. Not sure what caused it, so I’m not sure why this fixed it. I’ll wait and see if it happens again.

Update:

Found a forum discussion from 2009 that explains the problem. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/1908377?start=0&tstart=0

 

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Apple shows their security hand

Apple released the details of their iOS security and all we get from the news is crickets. Think about this a moment. We have more important information on-line then we have ever had in the history of the world. It has always been at risk and there are daily news reports of hacks, stolen credit cards, stolen data and pretty much every other kind of corporate and state espionage. This is a huge problem in modern society, this is a huge business for those trying to secure insecure systems. This is a huge problem for consumers, for corporations, and for governments. Everyone just expects everything to be insecure. It seems to me that when a solution appears that people would stand up and take notice, get excited, talk about it and be generally amazed that such a huge problem could be solved at all.

Ok, so it has to be tested, it has to be proven that it works the way they say it works. I get that, I get that we should all be skeptical. But, really we should be getting pretty excited about the benefits if this is all true. Apple has always had a pretty good security reputation, even when the competitors sling a lot of crap about them. Of course they do, because the competitors seem to have not thought about security at all.

Here is what I think is going on with Apple.

1. In 2007 they introduced iOS, a new operating system and hardware platform that is built from the ground up to be secure. It worked pretty well and a lot of bugs have been fixed since then.

2. In 2013 a new iPhone was released with a secure enclave and a finger print sensor. The sensor is used in a pretty simple way to continue to work out the bugs and make sure everything works as expected.

3. In early 2014 a security document is released that details all the different security and encryption features of the platform. Why? Why did they do this now? Why did they detail this. It is normally only a loose, loose situation when companies detail their security procedures. They either share their details with the bad guys, or they look foolish in the public eye for everything they missed or did wrong. It takes a lot of confidence to publish these kinds of details. Why, because it sets the stage for the next major industry change.

Speculation on the future:

4. In June 2014 Apple discusses the new API at their developer conference. They talk about how all transactions can be secured, how endpoints can be known and how everything works seamlessly. This kickstarts an entirely new app business. A business where everyone understands that security is now a strategic advantage for the Apple platform and that it creates a huge rush by consumers, corporations and governments to use the platform so that they can keep their secretes from their competitors, other governments and of course from the NSA.

5. In the spring of 2015 Apple announces their partnerships with retail chains and other major corporations. They offer an end to end secure payment system that does not require credit cards, just an iPhone and a fingerprint. The world goes crazy and says it can’t be done, the credit card industry sues to have it stopped, all other forms of payment collapse and by the end of the first year it become obvious that Apple just changed the world again by implementing the first secure digital payment system.

6. There’s more! In all of that everyone overlooks the fact that Apple already ships to hundreds of millions of users a non-breachable voice and video communications system. It is encrypted from end-to-end and doesn’t use the cell-service voice channel. Once again everyone that wants to have a private conversation switches to iOS. The consumers, the corporations and the governments.

7. And even more! There is now a way to sign documents electronically and guarantee the signature of the person signing it. That document can then be sent securely from person to person and not be breached by someone in the middle. Once again everyone that wants to have digital documents that are digitally signed and secured switches to iOS. The consumers, the corporations and the governments.

Perfect timing as usual. The world is pissed at the NSA, the world is scared (or should be) of Android and all of its security problems and Apple hands the world a solution to some of their biggest problems.

2001 changed the music industry, 2007 changed the phone industry, 2010 changed the computer industry, 2015 changed the payment industry.

 

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Thoughts on Apple’s new iWatch or Whatever

Everyone is designing a new watch that looks and acts just like an old watch. Look at Pebble, look at Samsung. They don’t get it. If Apple were to design a new watch it wouldn’t look and act like an old watch with just a few features added to make everyone think it was smart. They would start from scratch, something new, something useful, the only thing in common with an old watch will be the name so that we can understand it. This is what they did with the iPhone, it is not like any phone before except in name. Here are some of my thoughts on what a new Apple designed watch will do.

1. It will be much larger than a regular watch. That is, a much bigger screen size. It will not be square, it will not be round. It will be like an iPod touch on your wrist (ok maybe not that big, but big!).

2. It will be unbelievably thin. Think how thin you think it could be and then make it even thinner. It will be so thin and light you will not believe it to be possible.

3. It will have unimaginably long battery life. Think weeks, maybe months, not days. So long that the rest of the industry will laugh at first saying that it is impossible.

4. It will be all screen. How do you adjust fashion to meet everyones styles and tastes? You do it with software! Everyone that wears it will make it look different, make it to match their style and mood. This thing will be so skinnable, it will redefine the term.

5. Oh, it will have a few features too. It might even be able to tell time, check your status, show some messages, report on your heart rate. At first, everyone will laugh and say it doesn’t do something that they heard of or thought of. It won’t matter, once the basic form factor is in place then it will grow. It will be better at everything eventually. The software will be amazing. Eventually a new SDK, new apps, new interactions, new ways to stay connected and share your life with your family and friends.

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Spark | Wi-Fi for Everything

Spark | Wi-Fi for Everything

Meet the Spark Core.

A tiny Wi-Fi development board that makes it easy to create internet-connected hardware. The Core is all you need to get started; power it over USB and in minutes you’ll be controlling LEDs, switches and motors and collecting data from sensors over the internet!

Wireless programming

No need to ever plug the Core into your computer; you can write code in our web IDE and download it wirelessly to the Core.

Arduino compatible

Familiar with Arduino? The Core uses Wiring, the same programming language that Arduino uses. Plus, with an accessory called the Shield Shield, you can connect the Core to any standard Arduino shield.

Easy set-up

How do you connect a Wi-Fi device to your network when it doesn’t have a screen or keyboard? With Smart Config, the Core’s one step set-up process. Bring the Core online in seconds from any iOS or Android device.

 

More info at: Spark | Wi-Fi for Everything

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NEW PRODUCT – Rosie Revere, Engineer « adafruit industries blog

NEW PRODUCT – Rosie Revere, Engineer « adafruit industries blog

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Easy build: Make a bubble in a Q-tip cube

Easy build: Make a bubble in a Q-tip cube

Everyone should make a square bubble.

 

More info at: Easy build: Make a bubble in a Q-tip cube

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Agency Approvals Symbols

Agency Approvals Symbols

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MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer

MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer

New Leading-Edge Printers

At MakerBot, we’ve been making professional-quality 3D printers affordable and accessible since 2009. In that short time we’ve released four generations of 3D printers, helping unleash a worldwide 3D printing revolution in art and design, engineering and manufacturing, architecture, education, and more.

Today we’re yet again defining the new standard in ease of use, quality, and reliability with the introduction of three new MakerBot Replicator 3D printers. We are proud to introduce the:

– MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer

– MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer

– MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer

The MakerBot Replicator 3D Printing Platform
All three Fifth Generation MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers run on a common MakerBot Replicator 3D Printing Platform, which enables improved reliability, ease of use, and seamless connectivity. Check out the features below:

NewImageMore info at: MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer

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The Cubli: a cube that can jump up, balance, and ‘walk’ – YouTube

▶ The Cubli: a cube that can jump up, balance, and ‘walk’ – YouTube

Everyone should see this.

More info at: ▶ The Cubli: a cube that can jump up, balance, and ‘walk’ – YouTube

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Arcade/SpaceInvaders – Computer Acheology

Arcade/SpaceInvaders – Computer Acheology

Wow, this brings back memories! From the Z80 assembly language to the hardware specs. Those were the days.

09A5: 23              INC     HL                  ; Load ...
09A6: 7E              LD      A,(HL)              ; ... the ...
09A7: 23              INC     HL                  ; ... screen ...
09A8: 66              LD      H,(HL)              ; ... coordinates ...
09A9: 6F              LD      L,A                 ; ... to HL
09AA: C3 AD 09        JP      $09AD               ; ** Usually a good idea, but wasted here

;##-Print4Digits
; Print 4 digits in DE
09AD: 7A              LD      A,D                 ; Get first 2 digits of BCD or hex
09AE: CD B2 09        CALL    $09B2               ; Print them
09B1: 7B              LD      A,E                 ; Get second 2 digits of BCD or hex (fall into print)

;##-DrawHexByte
; Display 2 digits in A to screen at HL
09B2: D5              PUSH    DE                  ; Preserve
09B3: F5              PUSH    AF                  ; Save for later

 

More info at: Arcade/SpaceInvaders – Computer Acheology

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Everyone Should Have The Opportunity To Code

Everyone should have the opportunity to code. Join in here: http://code.org/learn

 

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Blokify 3D Modeling Software | MAKE

Blokify 3D Modeling Software | MAKE

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Electronics Workshop Craft Science Home Art & Design Maker Pro SUBSCRIBE Projects Blog Magazine Videos Skill Builders Reviews Events Shop Forums Education Blokify 3D Modeling Software By Goli Mohammadi Posted 10/10/2013 @ 5:40 pm Category 3D Printing, General, Kids & Family Comments 0

Last month, at World Maker Faire New York‘s 3D Printer Village, I had the pleasure of meeting two enthusiastic, bright makers, Jenny Kortina and Brett Cupta, who were sharing their brand new creation with the community: Blokify. Their custom block-based 3D modeling software makes it easy for folks, especially kids, to build object models, which they can then send directly to a home 3D printer or get printed through Blokify’s service. Giving kids easy access to designing and printing their own toys has great impact on creative potential. I was impressed with their clean, slick, approachable interface, and they had a steady stream of engaged Fairegoers interacting with their displays all weekend long

More info at: Blokify 3D Modeling Software | MAKE

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This is what a Filled-up Maker’s Notebook Looks Like

This is what a Filled-up Maker’s Notebook Looks Like

makersnotebookA two year journey of one editor’s battered Maker’s Notebook.

Read more on MAKE

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Every spaceship ever

Every spaceship ever

Tumblr Mtqsvf85Cm1Qzyrxro1 1280
Every spaceship ever. To size. Compiled by Dirk Loechel.

More info at: Every spaceship ever

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EE Bookshelf: The International System of Units, 8th Edition

EE Bookshelf: The International System of Units, 8th Edition

SIPrefixes

Have you ever wondered what the official SI unit for magnetic field strength is (hint: ampere per metre), or maybe kinematic viscosity (square metre per second), or perhaps the correct abbreviations or symbols for some specific SI unit or value?  The Bible of SI Units, The International System of Units, 8th Edition, has all the (very official) answers and can be downloaded in PDF format in English or French from the website of the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures.  It’s actually just kind of find reading through one of the most important changes in recent scientific history, but it’s particularly useful in a world where there is still a lot of confusion over which units and scale are appropriate to use and when, and how to properly cite them!

More info at: EE Bookshelf: The International System of Units, 8th Edition

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The Simpsons’ secret formula: it’s written by maths geeks | Television & radio | The Observer

The Simpsons’ secret formula: it’s written by maths geeks | Television & radio | The Observer

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News US World Sports Comment Culture Business Money Environment Science Travel Tech Media Life & style Data Culture Television & radio The Simpsons The Simpsons’ secret formula: it’s written by maths geeks When one of Britain’s best-known science writers went to Los Angeles to meet the show’s writers for a new book, he found a team dedicated to inserting gags about complex maths problems. And you thought it was just a cartoon… Share 462

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Simon Singh The Observer, Saturday 21 September 2013 Jump to comments (309)

The Simpsons: TV’s secret mathematicians. Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext/20th Century Fox Without doubt, the most mathematically sophisticated television show in the history of primetime broadcasting is The Simpsons. This is not a figment of my deranged mind, which admittedly is obsessed with both The Simpsons and mathematics, but rather it is a conc

More info at: The Simpsons’ secret formula: it’s written by maths geeks | Television & radio | The Observer

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