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Month: July 2024

Your bedtime story has been replaced by AI

Your bedtime story has been replaced by AI

Do your kids like bedtime stories? Stefano Mazzocchi has put Fably, the AI storytelling companion, on a Raspberry PI Zero.

Just push the button, tell it what kind of story you want, and enjoy the results. So much for bedtime stories with the kids.

This project is open source and you can build one for yourself or run it from your laptop. The project is located here: https://stefanom.github.io/fably/

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Flame throwing robot dog

Flame throwing robot dog

Throwflame bills the The Thermonator robot as “the first-ever flamethrower-wielding robot dog”. It is now available for purchase for $9,420.

The Thermonator is a quadruped robot with an ARC flamethrower mounted to its back, fueled by gasoline or napalm. It also has LIDAR for mapping and obstacle avoidance, an onboard camera for first person view, and laser sighting.

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Oregon keeps losing population

Oregon keeps losing population

While other states are recovering from all the things that happened during Covid, Oregon went from being one of the #1 places to move to now one of the 8 states that is now losing population as people move away.

The picture is even a little worse than a one-year metric because this isn’t a one time thing. Oregon, and the city of Portland, has lost population for 3 years running. The state demographers have been using their own numbers and ignoring US Census data; and have been wrong (3 years in a row) saying these were only blips and incorrectly predicting quick rebounds.
Demographers are now starting to sounding economic impact alarm bells and the state faces the possibility of losing a seat in congress. Some have pointed out that this is exactly how rust belts formed in the NE.

Oregon now has the dubious distinction of ending up on a recent Visual Capitalist chart.

MelGeek MojoPad Numpad

MelGeek MojoPad Numpad

 MelGeek has created this beautiful numpad that reminds me of some of the cool, clean designs coming from Teenage Engineering.

It looks like it would pairs with their Mojo68 and Mojo84 mechanical keyboards really well.

I’m glad we’re still seeing some beautiful industrial design going on. While Apple has done a good job elevating computing devices, I think we have a TON of room yet to go. I think some of the older pc’s from the 50’s and 60’s were things of beauty we still haven’t reached.

Using Greaseweazle to make bootable DOS disks

Using Greaseweazle to make bootable DOS disks

Have written previously about my experiments with the very excellent Greaseweazle; but that was reading things like my old Kings Quest 5.25″ floppy disks from my modern 12th Gen Intel PC running Windows 10.

Recently I acquired some old pc hardware and put together a retro 486-DX pc. To that end, I needed to create a DOS boot disk for this old system. That meant I needed to write a 1.2mb DOS boot disk.

Previously I used some boot disk images to create an old DOS virtual machine running Windows 1.0. For that, I used a bunch of archived boot disks images from WinWorld archive.

But how do I write these little beasts?

I floundered around with greaseweezle’s command line but this guide from Tech Tangents really helped out. There’s clearly a lot more I need to learn, but this got me a bootable 5.25″ 1.2mb floppy disk. I was able to test it on 2 different drives, and both worked. So, that’s pretty sweet!

Greaseweezle command line samples

How to write DOS 6.22 image to a 5.25″ 1.2m floppy drive attached to the ribbon cable right before the cable twist:

gw write --drive b --format ibm.1200 Dos6.22-5.25.img

To write a DOS 3.30 image to a 5.25″ 360k floppy drive attached to the ribbon cable right before the twist:

gw write --drive b --format ibm.360 DOS330-360k.img
Do you believe in the power of god?

Do you believe in the power of god?

“Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine – but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight” – Hilaire Belloc

I think one of the most misunderstood concepts in belief in God is believing God punishes us. Jesus teaches us that we should all God abba – the loving name a child says when calling to their dad. A name like papa, daddy, etc.

If there is anything that the recent turmoil in the world – from the war in Ukraine, to effects of climate change, to the breakdown of civil life and civil discourse, riots and protests, high inflation, and all the other ills you see in the evening news – is that we don’t need help screwing things up. We do a marvelous job of that on our own.

Just like Israel that abandoned God for Baal and broke his promises again and again, instead of inflicting punishment God simply respects our free will and just lets us have our own way. Like a father calling from the house to kids in the yard. We have stopped listening and have our own way.

Shifting a John Deere 4020

Shifting a John Deere 4020

When I was learning to drive tractors, I first learned on a John Deere 720, then on a John Deere 4020

The 4020’s had a synchro-shift transmission that I liked to think had 3 ‘zones’ that consisted of a high/low forward and a reverse. As you moved down the tree, those high/low/reverse combos got faster and faster.

Did you ever drive one? How did you work it out in your head?

Reconnecting SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7

Reconnecting SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7

How to reconnect your Steelseries headset after swapping it between systems.

Even though this headset is supposed to work without their Nova 7 Bluetooth dongle, I found you had to connect to the system with the dongle first. The buttons you press are also not intuitive so this was very helpful.

  1. Press and hold the power button 4 seconds on the Nova 7 dongle until it fast blinks
  2. Press and hold the power button 4 seconds on the headset until it blinks and then connects