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 Sunday, November 19 2017 @ 09:40 CET

AppleCrate II

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HardwareFirst the AppleCrate 1 cluster which was very impressive, and now - the AppleCrate II. The AppleCrate II is a cluster made from 17 Enhanced Apple //e main boards. Both versions of the AppleCrate cluster uses NadaNet for networking. Extremely impressive.
 
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Quick tip: Sun SPARCstation 2 - fix invalid IDPROM data

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HardwareIf your Sun SPARCstation 2 boots up and says "IDPROM data invalid" or some such, you can have problem operating it, because the IDPROM conations the ethernet address and Hostid. Luckily, the Sun NVRAM/Hostid faq have answers. To fix the problem, you do like this:
  1. Hit ``n'' to get the new openboot prompt
  2. setenv diag-switch? false
  3. f idprom@ 1 xor f mkp (this will invalidate the checkum in the idprom)
  4. 8 0 20 0e c1 62 0ec162 mkpl (hit enter)
  5. Hit ctrl-D then ctrl-R, if you do NOT see a Sun Copyright notice, it worked, otherwise it failed.
  6. That's it
Oh, if it doesn't work the first time, try again. And - if the battery on you SPARCstation 2 is dead you will have to do this every time the machine has been switched off.
 
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HPSDR - High Performance Software Defined Radio

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HardwareHPSDR is a High Performance Software Defined Radio: The HPSDR is an open source (GNU type) hardware and software project intended as a "next generation" Software Defined Radio (SDR) for use by Radio Amateurs ("hams") and Short Wave Listeners (SWLs). Wikipedia: HPSDR.
 
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SoftRock-40 - small, low-cost SDR receiver

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HardwareSoftRock-40 is a small, low-cost "Software Defined Radio" receiver kit for 40-meters, used with powerful software on the PC for multi-mode operation. It's like a low-cost, receiver-only GNU Radio for the 40 meter band. Cool! Ther is also info about a version 5 of the kit. Even more info on SoftRockRadio.org. Other kits at SDR-Kits.net.
 
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PicoLCD

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HardwareThe PicoLCD is an interesting device. Display, keys and IR receiver. It plugs into a usb port (ok, it is only full speed, but anyway) and there is Linux drivers and opensource SDK. I think they are supporting LCDproc so this will work with most opensource systems. More info here.
 
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Home automation: power usage monitoring

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HardwareHouse Electricity Usage Measured via Phidgets & Nokia 770 is an interesting project. I wonder how one could make this project work with an old electromechanical power meter.
 
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The BUG - another open gadget running Linux

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HardwareIt seems gadgets that are open and run Linux are everywhere these days. The newest I have seen is called the BUG from Bug Labs. As they say it on the web site: "BUG is a collection of easy-to-use electronic modules that snap together to build any gadget you can imagine". Currently it lacks Wi-Fi, but it is promised for later this year. I couldn't find anything about battery life either. Also - the whole thing programs in Java.
 
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Beagleboard - low cost Linux dev platform

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HardwareThe Beagle Board "is an ultra-low cost, high performance, low power OMAP3 based platform designed by BeagleBoard.org community members and sold by Digi-Key". Linux Journal have a short review. There is info at the Google code beagleboard page. There is an Ångström demo image available.
 
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Arduino - control real world devices from your computer

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HardwareArduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. You can read more about Arduino on Wikipedia. It is quite cheap too. The description of the current version: Diecimila. There are even clones available, see Freeduino.
 
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Openmoko - Neo FreeRunner

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HardwareI've written about Openmoko before. Now there is a new phone in town: the Neo FreeRunner. According to Wikipedia: "the Neo FreeRunner, started shipping on June 24th, 2008". Nice!
 
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