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  • Lighting Up the Fireworks

    06 Jul | 14
    • in Fireworks • 
    • in Woodworking • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    Back when I first started doing fireworks at my house, we need a place to stack all the fireworks and sort through them to decide what should be lit and when. I cobbled something temporary together out of scrap wood I had around. Over the years it has evolved to make setting it up and taking it down easier. Instead of screwing supports together, they are now hinged. Pieces of wood that had been intended to be re-used in real projects later have now become permanent parts of the stand. A few...

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  • You’re not missing USB drivers, Linux hates your keyboard

    23 Jun | 14
    • in Computers • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    Many years ago I decided that I wanted to build my own Linux kernel in order to make my own mini PXE boot kernel. I’ve done lots of kernel compiles over the years in order to enable and disable certain things, but had never built a kernel with my own empty config file. I also wanted to see if I could embed an initial filesystem right into the kernel so that I would have just a single file to work with instead of a separate initrd. Starting with an empty config file was pretty scary since...

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  • Those boards don't work ... unless you've got POWER!

    12 Jun | 14
    • in TRS-80 • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    A few months ago I purchased a a TRS-80 Model 1 off of eBay. The seller had listed it with a $400 Buy It Now and $40 shipping. It had been up for a long time, and I figured why not and made him an offer of $60 expecting to be ignored or rejected. A few hours later though I got an email saying the seller had accepted my offer. A TRS-80 with monitor for only $100 shipped! But it didn’t have a power supply. I was hoping I could figure out a workaround. My cobbled power cable I made...

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  • I'd buy that for a dollar!

    31 May | 14
    • in TRS-80 • 
    • in Electronics • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    Tons of parts I decided to go hit the garage sales again today, hoping for another good retro computer score. While I didn't find any computers or old game consoles, I did find a little drawer unit filled full of electronics components! The asking price was only one dollar, so I quickly snatched it up without even bothering to examine what the parts were. I was very anxious to go through everything and see what I kind of a score I had made!  I had to lay it down on its back in the...

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  • Printing posters without graphics

    13 May | 14
    • in Retro • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    Enough computers for a classroom! After a post to G+ of a picture of three of my Apple IIs all setup together, a discussion started about what could be printed on a dot matrix printer that would make kids go “Wow!” The only idea was banners and several people remembered some very large posters that they had seen in computer labs when they were younger. The posters had been made of pure text, and were too large for a single sheet so they were printed in long strips and then taped...

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