Archive for category: Computer Science

Ordered some ESP8266 boards in an Arduino form factor…

August 20, 2016 | Arduino, Embedded, ESP8266, Hardware | By: Mark VandeWettering

The ESP8266 is an amazing little processor: cheap and capable and (most interestingly) WiFi enabled. I have some of the older “nodemcu” boards that I got for about $7 each, but there are newer alternatives that include up to 4M of flash memory, and a variety of interesting form factors. I noticed that WeMos was […]

KenKen puzzle solver…

May 12, 2016 | Computer Science, Games and Diversions, My Projects, Puzzles | By: Mark VandeWettering

Lately, my lunch hours have been spent working on the NYT Crossword with my lunch companion Tom. While I find that the Thursday crosswords are often beyond my ability to do in the allotted time, between the two of us, more often than not we manage to plow through them. Slowly over time, we’ve begun […]

More on Caxton Foster’s Blue Architecture…

March 26, 2016 | Computer Science, Emulation, Homebrew CPU, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Okay, it’s been a long time since I wrote anything here. Not really a lot dramatic going on in life, I just have been spending my free time writing for Quora rather than my own blog. But I still am nerding out from time to time. Last night I dusted off an old project of […]

On calculators, Space Invaders and Binary Coded Decimal Arithmetic…

September 21, 2015 | Computer Science, Development Boards, Emulation, Math, Microcontrollers, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

A couple days ago, one of my Twitter or Facebook friends (sadly, I forgot who, comment if it was you, and I’ll give you credit) pointed out this awesome page: Reversing Sinclair’s amazing 1974 calculator hack – half the ROM of the HP-35 It documented an interesting calculator made by Sinclair in the 1970s. It […]

One dimensional cellular automata code in Python..

July 9, 2015 | Computer Science, Math, Python | By: Mark VandeWettering

Inspired by the KnitYak Kickstarter, I thought I would code up a simple Python program that could generate the same sort of patterns that are used in the scarves in the video. If you want to learn more about the mathematical theory of these cellular automata, google for keywords like “1D” “cellular automata” and “steve […]

Replacing the LCD Panel in a Samsung 303C Chromebook…

March 20, 2015 | Hardware, My Projects, Stupidity | By: Mark VandeWettering

In what quite possibly might be the most boring video ever produced, I recorded myself changing the LCD panel out of my Chromebook. It’s 17 minutes of riveting youtube goodness. Skip down to the bottom if you want to watch. But here’s the story if you’d rather just read a paragraph. My wife bought me […]

A Big Bin Full O’ Development Boards at BrainWagon Labs…

March 1, 2015 | Arduino, Atmel AVR, Hardware, My Projects, Raspberry Pi | By: Mark VandeWettering

I have an odd obsession with small, relatively cheap hardware development boards. Over the last few years, I’ve acquired a bunch of them, from Arduino to Raspberry Pi to BeagleBone Black. I thought it might be nice to just do a short video showing what I have around. So I did. Here’s a little 25 […]

Another bit of programmable hardware: the WRTnode

January 2, 2015 | Computer Science, Hardware, Internet of Things, My Projects, Operating Systems, Raspberry Pi | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve got a weak spot for cheap, programmable hardware. In my junk drawer I’ve got a collection of Arduinos, Parallax Propellor boards, a couple of STM32 based ARM boards, and several Beagle Bone Blacks and Raspberry Pis. Today, another entry arrived: the WRTnode. I’ve only had it out of the box for a few hours, […]

A pair of geeky Advent calendars…

December 9, 2014 | Amateur Science, Computer Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

Advent is the season observed in many Christian traditions that is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for Christmas. When I was young, we’d have an Advent calendar, which counted down the days to Christmas, and would gift us with a little chocolate or candy each day. While I am no longer religious, the […]

Probabalistic Models of Cognition

June 13, 2014 | Computer Graphics, Computer Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

This week began with a visit from Pat Hanrahan, currently a professor at Stanford and formerly at Princeton, where I was lucky enough to meet him. He came by to talk about probabilistic programming languages, which are an interesting topic that he and his students have made some interesting progress in solving difficult problems. I […]

Visual Cryptography

November 20, 2013 | Cryptography, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

I read an interesting article the other day. I’ll skip to the end to show you the result. Check out this pair of binary images: Not too fascinating, huh? If you print both images out on transparency though, and stack them together, you’ll get this… Hopefully that worked (with my limited CSS skills, I don’t […]

Deconstructing the Classic Atari Game: Star Raiders

November 17, 2013 | Computer Graphics, My Projects, Retrocomputing | By: Mark VandeWettering

Gasp, I know. It’s been some time since I posted here. A combination of life and work events have conspired to sap me of my usual exuberant energy for the nerdy, geeky pointless topics that I usually like to post about here. But nerdy, geeky, pointless endeavors do continue (even if at a reduced pace) […]

An IBM 1403 font…

January 23, 2013 | Computer Science, Fonts, Retrocomputing, Typography | By: Mark VandeWettering

A few days ago, I was playing around with my Raspberry Pi, trying to get a new, freshly compiled version of the TOPS-10 7.03 monitor running. I was having some difficulty with it, as it appears that a bug had crept into the code that simulates the DZ11 serial ports as telnet connections, and I […]

Tiny-Tim: A DTL computer (in progress)

January 20, 2013 | electronics, Hardware, Homebrew CPU, Homebuilt CPUs | By: Mark VandeWettering

Previously, I had linked to Rory Mangles’ experiments with relay based computers. He had an incredible build of a relay logic computer called Tiny-8 which used paper as program mamory, inked with a pattern which could be read by photo sensors to sequence the control logic in his computer. I thought it was amazing. But […]

Simple code implementing the SmoothLifeL cellular automata…

October 18, 2012 | Amateur Radio, Computer Graphics, Computer Science, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Without further ado… if you want code to implement this: You can download this this zip file. Do with it what you will.