Archive for month: September, 2010

Redstone circuits

September 29, 2010 | Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

Yesterday I blogged a bit about someone who implemented a 16 bit ALU in the game Minecraft. It wasn’t really apparent to me how the game elements were used to implement logical gates. Naturally, a bit of searching on the web revealed the secrets: Redstone circuits – Minepedia – The Minecraft Wiki!.

From Nand to Tetris in 12 steps

September 28, 2010 | Computer Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

This came across my desk earlier today. I’ve actually been interested in this kind of “from the ground” up view: basically compiling simulators for very simple machines, but then bootstrapping all of a simulated virtual machine from the ground up. From Nand to Tetris in 12 steps. Addendum: This was the story that set me […]

Arduino Blog: Dinner is Ready

September 26, 2010 | Arduino | By: Mark VandeWettering

Over on the Arduino Blog, they have mentioned a bunch of interesting new developments in the Arduino-verse. These include two new Arduino models, with some changes in the USB interface, new logos, new packaging. It all sounds good to me! Check it out. Arduino Blog » Blog Archive » Dinner is Ready.

Works of Shakespeare Copyrighted on Project Gutenberg?

September 24, 2010 | Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

As a followup to my earlier posting on the public domain, I noticed something rather curious. if you surf over to Project Gutenberg looking for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, you can look at the Copyright Status field, and it says “Copyrighted. Read the copyright notice inside this book for details.” Frown. Sure enough, […]

Teaching English, Ebooks, and the Public Domain

September 24, 2010 | Books I Read, Gutenberg Gems, Intellectual Property, Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

Forgive this slightly meandering diatribe, there are a few ideas that have been kicking around in my head, and today is the day I decided to try to give them form here on my blog. I’ve been thinking about three interwoven topics: the rather odd way we teach people “English” in high school, the oncoming […]

Ambisonic Microphone Exp2 Construction

September 23, 2010 | Audio, diy, Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

Here’s one for Tom, or anyone else interested in doing ambisonic sound recordings. It mounts four inexpensive Panasonic electret microphones into a tetrahedral array to record sound that can later be processed for surround or other spatialization effects. Seems pretty cool, and they even include the patterns for PCBs that can be cheaply manufactured by […]

Direct use of the PostScript language

September 22, 2010 | Games and Diversions, My Projects, Programming Languages | By: Mark VandeWettering

As I have mentioned before, I sometimes find it convenient to write raw PostScript. I’ve used it to generate business cards, to make templates for laying out parts for radios and telescopees, and generating score cards and labels. Today, I had an idea for creating a large poster to hang in my office. It turns […]

Software for the SDR-IQ

September 22, 2010 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Earlier this year, I blogged about my acquisition of an SDR-IQ receiver, made by RFSpace. I hadn’t had it hooked up for quite some time, so I dusted it off, fired up the Spectravue software that drives it, and did some scanning around the bands. Yep, it still works. I really like Spectravue for the […]

Stain PVC Any Color You Like

September 21, 2010 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

PVC can be a useful construction material, but it comes in an annoyingly limited range of colors: white. Painting it is a pain, but it appears that there is a way to stain them virtually any color: Stain PVC Any Color You Like — DIY How-to from Make: Projects Stashed for future reference.

Happy Birthday, Super Mario Brothers

September 13, 2010 | Video Games | By: Mark VandeWettering

Super Mario Brothers is 25 years old today. Which means that I was 21 when it was released. I feel old all of a sudden. Still, time to celebrate, perhaps with a bit of nostalgic MIDI music from

Revisiting: Printing Holograms on a Laser Printer

September 13, 2010 | Amateur Science, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

A few years ago I spent a couple of hours tinkering with implementing Thad Walker’s scheme for printing computer generated holograms (see the link for the paper): Printing Holograms on a Laser Printer A recent comment has got me thinking that I should revisit the idea and the paper. For reasons which aren’t entirely clear […]

Homemade T.E.A. Lasers

September 11, 2010 | Amateur Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

Nyle Steiner gets a link from me again, this time for his construction of T.E.A. lasers. I remember reading about these kind of lasers in an issue of Scientific American (I just looked it up, Jun, 1974 in the Amateur Scientist column), but that was the extent of it. Nyle has done a lot of […]

Guess What, You Don’t Own That Software You Bought | Threat Level |

September 10, 2010 | Intellectual Property | By: Mark VandeWettering

Sigh. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision on Friday that says that software makers can use use licenses (in particular, shrink-wrap and click-wrap licenses) to keep you from legally reselling the software that you bought. In other words, they just gutted the first-sale doctrine. Guess What, You Don’t Own That Software […]

More hackable hardware: Installing OpenWrt on Seagate DockStar HOWTO

September 10, 2010 | Hacking | By: Mark VandeWettering

I have a suprising fascination with devices that can be reflashed with custom firmware. I have an old NSLU2 from Linksys. I have more than a couple WRT54Gish routers that run DD-WRT and Tomato. I have a Canon SD1100 that runs CHDK. I have an ASUS router that runs OpenWRT. And here’s another possible hackable […]

Translating HAKMEM 175 into C…

September 8, 2010 | Checkers, Computer Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

A couple of years back, I made note of HAKMEM 175, a nifty hack by Bill Gosper that finds the next higher value that has the same number of ‘1’ bits as the input. brainwagon » Blog Archive » HAKMEM 175. If I bothered to convert it to C, I didn’t scribble it down, so […]