• 'rappin R2D2

    29 Dec | 13
    • in Misc • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    Some time in the early part of last year, Disney released a small papercraft R2D2 . After printing out a few in the office, I printed out a gigantic one that was life size . Once that one had been assembled I had decided that it was so cool that I was going to adapt the design and at Christmas someone was going to get a present wrapped like R2D2. In order to save time I simplified the shape of R2D2, making the body and legs simple rectangular boxes. I had to make my own boxes to get the scale...

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  • Netbooting without a network interface

    10 Nov | 13
    • in Computers • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    I remember the first time I discovered the option in a PC BIOS to boot from LAN. I was very excited because to me it meant that I could finally do something with a PC that I had been doing with NeXT computers for a long time. Of course the first time I tried it I was immediately disappointed. It turned out that the built-in BIOS on computers had no idea how to talk to a random network interface card that had been installed in a slot. I did a little research and found out that you had to install...

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  • Is this the '90s? $300 for an ethernet card?

    24 Oct | 13
    • in Computers • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    At work an old HP LaserJet P2035N printer just had the fuser go out. Quickest solution was to replace it with a new printer rather than hunt down repair parts and go through the trouble of swapping them in. Looking at the price of the same printer, it's currently at close to $500. However there's what seems to be the same printer for under $200, but it's a P2035. Notice the missing N in the model number? Parallel card in P2035 The P2035 printer was ordered, and when it arrived...

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  • To the BBC!

    14 Sep | 13
    • in Computers • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    A computer that I remember hearing about a lot, but had never seen, was the BBC Micro. It was a near mythical computer that "people in the know" would talk about. I really didn't know much about it, but it sounded very interesting to me. I always wanted one and now I finally have one. My BBC Micro My BBC Micro model B is the real deal, not a US conversion. Of course that presents a couple of problems. The first is the power standard is different, it wants 220/240V at 50hz,...

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  • The future of the Membrane empire!

    07 Sep | 13
    • in Computers • 
    • in Electronics • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    After doing a bit of testing, it turns out the only thing wrong with the Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer 2 that I got was the keyboard itself. I was able to get some schematics and I tested the PIA with a logic probe and manually jumpered the keyboard connector and I was able to type. This was both good and bad. It meant I didn't have to hunt down a long extinct PIA, but it meant I was going to have to repair a membrane keyboard. I took apart the keyboard to see how it was constructed...

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