Show newer

I finally received the Z80-MBC2 Z80 homebrew computer and connected it via USB serial to my Chromebox (at right in the photo).

So far the Z80 device is not recognized neither under Chrome OS, nor Android, nor Linux. I'm investigating.

Show thread

I loved Skitch by Evernote and the best alternative I found is the Annotate image annotation app for Android. The key feature is it's a vector tool, not a bitmap one, and so annotations can be edited and changed.

When I visited Kennedy Space Center's Saturn V Center in 2007, this flight-ready Apollo Lunar Model was on display hanging off the ceiling. While impressive, the spacecraft's body hid most of the upper stage.

Fast forward to Apr 21, 2022 when I took this photo. Now the LM is at floor level and in full view.

Show thread

I finished reading the book "The Computers That Made Britain: The Home Computer Revolution of the 1980s" by Tim Danton. This great work tells the solidly researched story of 19 influential home and personal computers, some of which I had never heard of such as the Research Machines 380Z.

Snowdrop OS is a homebrew operating system in x86 Assembly with a GUI framework, development tools, a BASIC interpreter, apps and games. Pretty cool.

Via @mrcopilot

One of the old computing books I still own is "Expert Systems" by Paul Harmon and David King (Wiley, 1985).

Even if you didn't know the title, the trees and graphs in the illustrations are giveaways works like this were published in the early AI era.

The developer of emuStudio is implementing two features I requested, an ASCII mode for the memory inspector and the ability to transfer files to and from the emulated CP/M environment.

Show thread

In the early 1980s the Italian magazine MCmicrocomputer got me hooked on computing. With a high-quality, in-depth style similar to BYTE's, it featured news, reviews, program listings, tutorials, hardware and software projects, and more.

Here's the full archive, I encourage you to to check it out even if you can't read Italian. Just browsing the illustrations and ads will immerse you in the personal computer revolution.

In early June 2022 the Artemis I SLS rocket was rolled back to launch complex 39B ahead of a new wet dress rehearsal attempt.

When I visited Kennedy Space Center a couple of months earlier, on April 20 I had this view of the rocket on the pad from the back yard of the Saturn V Center. The second image shows a crop with a framing I like. I took the photo with my Pixel 4 XL phone at 2X optical zoom.

Show thread

I backed the kickstarter of the book "50 Years of Text Games: From Oregon Trail to A.I. Dungeon".

I've actually never been a gamer. But I'm very interested in the history and lore of computing, which is intertwined with the history of videogames. This is one of the angles the book analyzes the topic from.

All I want in a smartwatch is a cheap wearable that mirrors my phone's notifications, so I got a Xiaomi Redmi Watch 2 Lite. My first impressions:

* text is large enough and legible
* I confirm the display's activation-turning on delay noted by reviewers
* companion Android app has high battery usage
* companion app is a bit confusing

I posted more details here:

How many Android app or in-app purchases have you made this year on Google Play or other app stores?

Donating to Android app developers or projects does qualify.

As of version 1.4.1, the Redshift Sky astronomy app for Android can show the orbits of OneWeb satellites. This is what the satellite constellation looks like in the app on my Pixel 4 XL.

The Z80-MBC2 kit I ordered is being assembled. Still a few days until it's shipped, then I should receive it in a week or so.

Can't wait to play with this Z80 homebrew computer.

Show thread

As a guest of astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, I got to meet her at the "wave across the ditch", an event where crew members meet their families and friends a few days before launch. This one took place at launch complex 39A of Kennedy Space Center, less than 500 m away from the pad with the Falcon 9 rocket of their Crew-4 flight.

It was a relaxed and fun event, as Samantha's expression shows. The guy photobombing the scene is her fellow astronaut Luca Parmitano.

Show thread

The @write_as blogging platform is helping me post mostly daily. It's a clean, lightweight, low-friction platform that supports Markdown and technical writing.

Researching a blogging platform that meets all my writing and publishing needs wasn't easy. Here's my journey that led to

I use CP/M for my retrocomputing projects but its default "ed" text editor is too arcane for me. A great replacement is the "te" screen-oriented editor which also supports macros, C auto-completion, auto-indentation, and automatic lists.

In this screenshot "te" is running in the z80pack CP/M emulator under Crostini Linux on Chrome OS.

When I observed this ISS pass over Milan, Italy, on 25 May 2022, Starliner OFT-2 had undocked a few hours earlier. I hoped to spot Sarliner but I didn't see it with the naked eye, and it doesn't show up in the photos I took either.

Here are two of my photos of the pass, the second at 2X optical zoom. I shot them at 21:26 UTC with my Pixel 4 XL.

"Python 3 Object-Oriented Programming" by Dusty Phillips stands out among Python books.

Not only it covers the relevant language features, but also object-oriented design. I like the book because it provides the big picture of using object-oriented features to design Python systems.

Show older
Mastodon for Tech Folks

This Mastodon instance is for people interested in technology. Discussions aren't limited to technology, because tech folks shouldn't be limited to technology either!