30 August 2002 *
Dan Bricklin went to the Computer Museum too. See his weblog entry for it. I met Dan and Bob Frankston when they were writing VisiCalc, at their offices at Software Arts (the name of the company wrote the software) at Central Square in Cambridge.
One day Bob bought a $79 pen-plotter at Radio Shack, a tiny one, that took serial commands. I had one and used it for Logo stuff, and Bob invited me back to the office to see work they'd done with DIF (see SATN), a kind of precursor to XML. That's where I met Dan Bricklin. (Mitch Kapor too, but that was another day.)
26 August 2002 *
I bought a Z Car RC Racer for $19.95 at the Discovery Store. You put the car in the remote control box for 45 seconds to charge up tiny the internal NiCd battery from the three AAA's in the base, and it runs for about 5 minutes. They claim they have accessories (faster and slower motors, mostly), but the website says not until September.
22 August 2002 *
A while back I got a Minivac 601 at a church bazaar for $5.
I was looking for information on it today and came across the Simon Personal Computer which seems very cool. I looked at Amazon, but they did not have the book, but I did find it at Powells, with free shipping once I threw in a book on Eniac.
How can you not like something that is called a Giant Electric Brain?
21 August 2002 *
The first public draft of XForms since January 2002 is out! And the first bug was found within minutes (not that we didn't find and fix a tone of those just before publication).
21 August 2002
I tried to program my PIC18 with a LED-flashing program but I ran it on the wrong machine, and my Belkin UPS was plugged into the serial port. Now it's not responding. Maybe it has an in-circuit programmable PIC on its serial port and I've reprogrammed it to flash an LED.
Or maybe it just needs to be power-cycled. How do you power cycle a UPS?
19 August 2002 *
Argh! I seem to be the only person to try to do ICSP with a PIC18F252 on the Olimex boards. ICPROG.EXE runs under Wine and even makes the lights flash on the programmer cable dongle, but nothing happens. It doesn't support the PIC18F252 in its list. Moving to NT doesn't it make the lights flash. I think I need to break it down to smaller steps that are known to work first.
17 August 2002 *
My parts from Bulgaria arrived today; there was a loose chip I'd ordered and it arrived with bent pins, but I straightened them.
It turns out I don't have a 10-14v power supply on hand.
14 August 2002 *
I am at Linuxworld using a Sharp Zaurus o type this in.
14 August 2002
Off to LinuxWorld for the day with Becky, with an exhibits pass.
11 August 2002 *
I got the Griffin PowerMate to work with RedHat 7.3's 2.4.18-5 kernel. There were some changes to make in the patch to
hid-core.c, and you have to put
alias char-major-13-64 evdev into
/etc/modules.conf. See my PowerMate page for details (well, maybe tomorrow).
I also wrote a simple program for it that lets the knob controll the brightness or pulse rate, with a click to toggle between.
Finally, I tried XMMSMate and made some changes to it as well. Unfortunately, mail to both the driver author and the XMMSmate author is bouncing.
9 August 2002 *
I just found out that there is a US version of The Register. Check it out.
8 August 2002 *
Last month my father and I went to the Computer History Museum. We got a great tour from Chris Garcia, but I felt a growing sense of unease as I went past the PDP-8 (used in the first grade, as part of a Pat Suppes experiment), to the TRS-80 and the Apple ][ (for which I wrote Logo), to the PDP-10 (of my years at the MIT AI Lab and LCS), and finally to a few Lisp Machines, both MIT and Symbolics.
I realized the source of my unease when I recognized the serial number of one of the machines -- I watched it being built: CADR-8. It was time to leave.
8 August 2002
While waiting for my parts from Bulgaria to arrive, I ordered a Griffin PowerMate. The Linux Driver by William R Sowerbutts seems to be missing (website down) so I obtained it from Griffin and put it on my website here.
There's a Ruby interface for it but nothing else. I applied the patch (which is similar to the Cuecat patch) and loaded the driver and the light comes on, but I haven't done anything else yet.
| Jul 2002 |
Aug 2002 | Sep 2002 |