Archive for category: Hardware

Using a PDP

February 11, 2009 | Computer Science, Hacking, Hardware | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve been interested in old computers for quite some time, so I was pleased to run across this link: Using a PDP.

Arduino Realtime Audio Processing

January 15, 2009 | Hacking, Hardware | By: Mark VandeWettering

The Arduino is a cheap little microcontroller, but you can use it to do some interesting audio effects. Check out the following Lab3 – Labor für experimentelle Informatik

Re-animating the PDP-11/70

December 16, 2008 | Computer Science, Hacking, Hardware | By: Mark VandeWettering

A few years ago, Tom Duff and I each wrote an emulator for the PDP-1 so we could play the original version of Space Wars! I learned a lot about old computers in the week or so it took me to do, and I must admit that I’ve retained a fascination for old computers ever […]

Barest of Bare Bones Arduino

December 9, 2008 | Hardware, Robotics | By: Mark VandeWettering

Here’s a way to turn an ATMEGA168 into an Arduino compatible controller with a minimum of external components. arduino-standalone « Conversations with spaces

Wow! A computer built from 12v relays…

January 20, 2006 | Hacking, Hardware, Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

This is just completely nuts, an 8 bit computer constructed entirely from 12 volt relays. It consumes 12 amps at 13.5 volts (160 watts). Hilarious. Technorati Tags: Retrocomputing, Hacks

MacWorld Announcements

January 10, 2006 | Apple, Hardware | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, Steve is still up there, but the big news (as yet unreflected on the Apple website) is the announcement of a new Intel based iMac. It will apparently come in the same sizes and prices as previous G5 iMacs, but will use Intel’s new CoreDuo processor that was plugged by Intel so heavily at […]

CPU disappears in a puff of logic!

December 4, 2005 | Hardware | By: Mark VandeWettering

Check out this video on Google showing an overclocked AMD Duron vaporizing. They clocked it up in both frequency (3.8ghz) and I believe also significantly over voltage, but still, pretty amazing. They just didn’t let the magic smoke out, they literally destroyed the chip. The most daunting challenge facing computing isn’t speeding up computers, it’s […]

Linksys continues to court Linux Hackers

December 2, 2005 | Hardware | By: Mark VandeWettering

Linksys has sold a bazillion of the old WRT54GS routers. It’s probably due in some small part to the many alternative firmware upgrades you can put on the device to increase its capabilities in a number of innovative directions. The most recent versions of these devices are somewhat less hackable though. The series 5 devices […]


September 6, 2005 | Hardware | By: Mark VandeWettering

This dive into the world of retro computing has rekindled my interest in field programmable gate array technologies. I found this page which contains interesting FPGA based CPU designs. Mostly marked as a bookmark to re-examine later.

Dave Slusher Hacks a $25 Digital Camera

August 30, 2005 | Hardware | By: Mark VandeWettering

Dave went out and bought himself a couple of those single use, $25 camcorders that CVS is selling these days, and hacked them to allow download of video. What is even better, he snapped video of the project and made it available for download. Caveat: it appears to be encoded in some kind of Quicktime […]

Everything You Need to Know About Next-gen Broadband – New DSL flavors, DOCSIS 3.0, Bell TV, and more…

July 8, 2005 | Hardware | By: Mark VandeWettering

Broadband Reports has this cool overview of where residential networking is likely to go in the next few years. I’m currently stuck on cable modem because we are too far from the phone switch for DSL, but it is good to see what might be possible in the next few years.

Early Random Number Generator Paper

December 17, 2004 | Computer Science, Cryptography, Hardware | By: Mark VandeWettering

Here is an interesting early paper on the justification, implementation, analysis and use of random number generators, written in 1959. The resulting machine generated about 5000 bits per second, not bad! Via Boing Boing. By the way, random numbers are still cool.

AMD K8 has reprogrammable microcode

August 16, 2004 | Hardware, Security | By: Mark VandeWettering

Real World Technologies lists an interesting article about the AMD K8 processor and its previously unnoticed ability to patch its own microcode. Apparently AMD has used this to repair a couple of bugs in the processor in the past, but nobody really noticed it before. A couple of quotes from the article: The ability to […]