• Are you ready for #AppleIIWeekend?

    03 Feb | 17
    • in Electronics • 
    • in Raspberry Pi • 
    • in Apple II • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    The retro computing high score challenge this weekend is a special one! Unlike previous contests which were meant to inspire me to mess with computers in my collection that I'm not very familiar with and know very little about, this contest is about the Apple II which is the one I grew up with. 35 years ago in 1982 my family got an Apple II+ and in 1986 we got a IIgs. In 1990 I even worked on two different Apple IIe emulators for the NeXT computer. Because the Apple II is so special...

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  • Controlling WS2812 RGB LEDs from the ESP32

    19 Nov | 16
    • in ESP32 • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    I've posted my code which uses the RMT peripheral on the ESP32 to control WS2812 RGB LEDs. The LEDs can be controlled from within a task without any flickering because the timing of the pulses is controlled by the RMT peripheral. As the RMT peripheral exhausts its buffer it sends an interrupt which then refills the buffer just in time. I tried to make the driver fairly generic and re-usable, but it hasn't been thoroughly tested. It currently sets up and manages the RMT directly since...

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  • Making the CauzCoin Challenge

    19 Sep | 16
    • in Retro • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    Because of how uncommon the Cauzin Softstrip reader was, I thought it would make a great starting point for another retro computing challenge . I don't think too many people still have them around. It also seemed like combining ancient 2D barcode technology with Bitcoin might be kind of interesting too. Encoding the private key directly into a Cauzin Softstrip was too obvious. I wanted to obscure the key in the barcode in some way that it could be solved, not necessarily with some kind of...

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  • Another Retro Challenge Has Arrived: CauzCoin!

    29 Aug | 16
    • in Retro • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    It's been a while since I did a retro challenge since they tend to be quite a bit of work to put together. The last two used modems and my BBS as the heart of the challenge, with the first one simply requiring dialing in with a real modem, and the second one requiring a little more work by decoding a secret message and running some special software. This time around the data won't be encoded as audio, but it will definitely be no less interesting with considerable effort involved. ...

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  • Encoding Software in Barcodes, the Eight-Bit Magazine Way

    14 Aug | 16
    • in Retro • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    On RetrBattlestations one of the most popular challenges is a recreation of the days when magazines used to publish their own programs. Back before the internet, and when dialup was still expensive, magazines would publish source code listings and the only way to get it into your computer was to type it in. Whenever I work on one of these challenges I come up with a BASIC program for people to type in on their computers. But I always think about how some magazines had also started...

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