Friday, August 29, 2008

Techo: The new Homebrew!

A successor to the GP2x series of open-source handheld gaming devices.
Best thing of all is that GP2X is far from dead, all that has to be done is recompiling of GP2X Homebrew.

Not a bad specification either.
The Linux-powered device (running its own GP2X distribution) has an Arm9 533mHZ processor, 3D Accelerator and 64 MB of ram, 1GB of built-in NAND flash memory, an external SD card slot, and a single USB 2.0 connection.
It has a LiIon battery built-in, a place for the stylus, and a nice 2.8" OLED touch screen panel with a resolution of 320 by 240 (QVGA).
The most interesting thing is the Flash Player (Flash 7.0 compatible) and the planned release of commercial games.
If everything works out as planned, it will be shipped in mid October.

More info' here and on the linked pages.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

General: More Mozilla!

A Second-Life and Plurk friend Twinkles has just pointed out a new Mozilla program, Songbird to me.

Some Info' on it -

The Open Music Player

Songbird is an open-source customizable music player that's under active development.

We're working on creating a non-proprietary, cross platform, extensible tool that will help enable new ways to playback, manage, and discover music. There are lots of ways to contribute your time to the project. We'd love your help!

There are several features we're proud of, but we'll be the first to admit that others need ironing out, are experimental, or are just plain missing. There's still a lot to do.

It is a 16.2 MB download for Windows (XP and Vista), and is also available for Linux (i686 and x86_64) and Mac (OS X Intel).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

General: Free Fonts

I was just looking for a decent Script Calligraphy font
I eventually picked seven free ones from dozens here.

I chose:
  • Chopin,
  • Jane_Austen,
  • Freebooter,
  • Gabrielle,
  • Exmouth,
  • Henry_Morgan
  • Scriptina.
Your needs and/or tastes may be different but I'm sure they'll have whatever you want.

Start Here if you want to see all the choices in all font styles.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Techo: Free Hex Editor/Inspector

Rather nice and available for free Here.
It features support for all basic data types, Endian-ness, File, Memory and Disk sector editing and Explorer integration.

Click the picture for a larger image of the tool as I'm using it in Vista.

There are Standard, Professional and Ultimate version too (for increasing prices).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

General: Recipe Time again

I thought I’d share a bunch of interesting recipes and food-related stuff that unexpectedly came my way this morning whilst Plurking and catching up on emails.

For the bread-makers, this Irish Soda Bread looks like something different and suitable for soups in cold weather (although Tarissa - likes Stilton and Strawberry jam on hers).

Of course, you’ll probably prefer some soup to go with your Soda Bread.
Here is a wonderful mouth-watering collection of soups.
I found those when Century 21 sent me a link to a recipe for Spicy Moroccan Vegetable Soup.

A popular topic on Plurk lately has been BaconSalt, Their motto is “Everything should taste like Bacon”.

Some folk might be taking that idea a little too far though!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Techo: A goody for the Embedded Dev's

Here's a nice thing - LinuxStamp!

An open-source design, but you can buy one ready-built for only US $120 anyway.

* Atmel AT91RM9200 processor (Arm9 processor with MMU, 180Mhz operation)
* 32MB SDRAM (Only limited by 1x 54-TSOP SDRAM chip)
* 8MB SPI Dataflash
* 1x 10/100 Ethernet
* 1x USB host port (allows wifi adapters, flash drives and other USB devices to be used)
* 1x SD card slot
* Serial debug port access through FTDI USB/Serial converter
* JTAG port
* 2-Layer PCB design
* POE capable (48v -> 5v Power supply can be implemented on a motherboard)

I'll definitely be considering this for my future projects.

Mind you, Hammer and Nails is good too.

General: Global Warming stopped a decade ago

Really, but there's money and power in it for some people, so you don't hear about it much!

More info' Here and Here.

And if it's a slow day for you, plenty more controversial stuff Here!

Friday, August 8, 2008

General: The Fastest System on Planet Earth!

Brace yourselves...

It's running Vista!

A part of the exciting Assembly 2008, see the system Here.

General: Bob Geldof and Bono aren't happy

Me neither (but a lot fewer people care about that).

The G8 are halfway through the period of their promises, but only 14% of the way to meeting their declared goals.

Maybe if I sign up here, I can make at least a small difference.

Here is the full report.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

General: Tron 2, A sneak peek

It even has (an older) Jeff Bridges in it!

Here you go!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

General: Did you see "The 6th Day"?

That's the movie about cloning, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
How far off did you think 'Re-Pet', recreating loved pets, was?

Wrong, it's NOW!

Bring back Lassie and Rin-Tin-Tin

General: Oh great, more shoddy services

Just what we need, US programming at sub-Standard-Definition (below free to air TV resolution) so the low bandwidth requirements won't make Telstra et al get off their arse any time soon to provide REAL broadband at sane prices.

Read about this crap here

Techo: A Larrabee primer

A handy set of links from Blues News -
I'b be surprised if this super-CPU (not a GPU) didn't kick ass with Michael Abrash on the design team!
As Anand says in the article linked above:-

For those who haven't idolized Abrash, his Wikipedia entry helps explain his luminary status in the game industry:

"Michael Abrash is a highly regarded technical writer, and one of the top optimization and 80x86 assembly language programmers, a reputation cemented by his 1990 book Zen of Assembly Language Volume 1: Knowledge. Before getting into technical writing, Abrash was a game programmer, having written his first commercial game in 1982. After working at Microsoft on graphics and assembly code for Windows NT 3.1, he returned to the game industry in the mid-1990s to work on Quake for id Software. Some of the technology behind Quake is documented in Abrash's Graphics Programming Black Book. After Quake was released, Abrash returned to Microsoft to work on natural language research, then moved to the Xbox team, until 2001. In 2002, Abrash went to work for RAD Game Tools, where he co-wrote the advanced Pixomatic software renderer, which emulates the functionality of a DirectX 7-level graphics card and is used as the software renderer in such games as Unreal Tournament 2004."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

General: for those who miss the newsletter

Just for a change, I'll not send you chasing links for this story I received by email today.
(Thanks Rufus)

Starting in 1941, increasing numbers of British airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful, accurate map, one showing not only where-stuff-was, but also showing the locations of 'safe houses' a POW on-the-lam could go to for food and shelter.

Paper maps had real drawbacks: they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear-out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush.
Someone in the MI-5 branch (one hopes it was the youthful incarnation of 'Q'!), got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It's durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads and unfolded as man times as needed, and makes no noise whatever.

At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington, Ltd. When approached by HM Government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort.

By pure coincidence, Waddington's was also the U.K. licensee for the popular American board game, Monopoly. As it happened, 'games and pastimes' was a category of item qualified for insertion into 'CAR packages' dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war of all belligerents.

Under strictest secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington's, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany or Italy where Allied POW camps were located (Red Cross packages were delivered to prisoners in accordance with that same regional system). When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece.

As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington's also managed to add: A playing token containing a small magnetic compass A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian and French currency hidden within the piles of Monopoly money! British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first missions, on how to identify a 'rigged' Monopoly set - by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square!

Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, perhaps one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely - HM Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in another, future war.

The story wasn't declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington's, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public ceremony.

At any rate, it's always nice when you can play that 'Get Out of Jail Free' card.

General: And they sell Corona

Pretty progressive!

I guess you can't say you weren't warned if you come out loaded.

More great signage here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

General: More free music

An interesting find this morning, The Hamster Alliance.

The free music downloads page is here.

I'm quite enjoying giving the speakers a workout with "Chell's Revenge".

Saturday, August 2, 2008

General: My Saturday Morning

This Saturday was a working-Bee at the Hazelbrook Bowling and Sporting Club, likely to soon be renamed Club Hazelbrook.
(I suggested "Club Hazo'", that being the local idiom for our village, but they weren't convinced ;-)

This effort was mainly to replace the protective surround on one of the bowling greens to prevent damage to bowls travelling at speed off of the edge of the green.
This typically occurs when a bowler 'Drives' the bowl to try and clear opponents bowls away from the Jack (small white ball).
Seemingly an increasingly common gambit with the younger men now entering the game!

Astroturf Adhesive is some of the stickiest stuff around, and even trickier to work with in large quantities.

A float full of Astroturf adhesive, once you start you can't stop, because you can't put the float down with it stuck to your glove!

Anyway, Here are some pictures to give you an impression of the day.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Techo: Now That's Cool!

First they immerse it in liquid helium to cool it to 3 degrees Kelvin (Absolute).
Then they run the refrigeration unit to take it down to 10 milli-Kelvin!

Your encryption keys won't be safe for much longer - read about it here.