western electric marbling

accidental marbling found in injection-moulded recycled plastic microphone cup in a 1984 Western Electric 2702 (Princess) telephone handset

When you fix a thing and it just works …

When you fix a thing and it just works …

When you fix a thing and it just works …
Skelf is a Scots word for splinter or shard and is a weak pun on the Stealth clips that splintered for me.

When both clips broke within a week on my Timbuk2 messenger bag, I knew I had to do something. This coincided with me fixing my 3d printer (it was the extruder feed: it was too loose all along!), so I was able to prototype a new clip.

clip section

The files are on Thingiverse: Messenger Bag Replacement 25 mm Webbing Clip, or there’s a local copy here: Messenger_Bag_Replacement_25_mm_Webbing_Clip.zip.

Plotting a card …

I made this two-colour plotted card for the MeFi “holiday card exchange – v.e.” thing. Pen plotter is a Roland DG DXY-1300 (1990s) using Roland 0.3 mm fibre-tip pens. Plot size is 123 × 91 mm, and is driven entirely from Inkscape 0.92.

Building (but not necessarily running) Amiberry on Raspberry Pi 3

I might not have Amiberry — an optimized Amiga emulator for Raspberry Pi — running quite yet, but the build instructions at midwan/amiberry are a bit lacking. If you want to compile it under Raspbian Stretch, you’ll need the following packages:
sudo apt install libsdl2-dev libxml2-dev libxml2-utils libsdl2-ttf-dev libsdl2-image-dev
This will at least allow you to get it to build correctly with:
make -j2 PLATFORM=rpi3-sdl2-dispmanx
More later when/if I get it working.

CP/M 3.1 manuals as PDF

The Unofficial CP/M Web site uses some very old file formats. As almost no-one can easily run Amí 3 to read the manuals these days, here are the CP/M 3.1 manuals from that site converted to PDF:

pre-amalgamation bookplate, East York Public Library

pre-amalgamation bookplate, East York Public Library

pre-amalgamation bookplate, East York Public Library

Instagram filter used: Normal

View in Instagram ⇒

(original birb is here, not scanned from a book: )

Raspblocks: Blocks-based Python coding for Raspberry Pi

Raspblocks is a new Blocks-based web programming environment for Raspberry Pi. You don’t even need to write the code a Raspberry Pi, but the Python 3 code it produces will need to be transferred to a Raspberry Pi to run.

For maximum authenticity (and slowness), I fired up  http://www.raspblocks.com/ on a Raspberry Pi Zero over VNC. It took a minute or more to load up the site in Chromium, but creating a simple program was all easy dragging and dropping:

The code it produced was pretty much exactly what you’d write by hand:

import RPi.GPIO as GPIO
import time
GPIO.setmode(GPIO.BCM)
GPIO.setup(26, GPIO.OUT)

while True:
    GPIO.output(26,True)
    time.sleep(1)
    GPIO.output(26,False)
    time.sleep(1)

And, as you might expect, the code make an LED connected to GPIO 26 turn on and off. Science!

Raspblocks isn’t as polished as its more established rival  EduBlocks, but Raspblocks doesn’t need any software installed. Edublocks installs its own Node.js-based web service, which would be painfully slow on a Raspberry Pi Zero. Raspblocks’ code needs to be run manually from a terminal, but I’d put up with that any day over having yet another Node server distribution installed under /opt.