Another 500 found at the , complete with cables, expansion and mouse. Thanks to my girlfriend for noticing it and telling me while I was passing by, even though she disapproves my addiction. That's ๐Ÿ’•!

Nothing fancy, just flashing some floppy drive before going to bed. These needs to be ready for future projects. I also have a colleague that wants to try one in his

hkz boosted

huh this might be fun

<< Apparently a non-trivial number of systems are experiencing #Y2020 bugs. A common Y2K "fix" just postponed things by 20 years, interpreting 00-19 as the 2000s and 20-99 as the 1900s. 20 years is now up, some of those systems are still in use, and they think it's 1920. Oooops. >>

hkz boosted

What a curious find at the : a 1888 copy of the A1 Commercial code. You can see how complex messages were translated to simpler words, faster and easier to transmit.

Got my copy of Quartet cart in the mail yesterday! The box looks great, now I need to dust off an MSX for some modern ! @bitsofbas

hkz boosted

So I was recently asked why I prefer to use free and open source software over more conventional and popular proprietary software and services.

A few years ago I was an avid Google user. I was deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem and used their products everywhere. I used Gmail for email, Google Calendar and Contacts for PIM, YouTube for entertainment, Google Newsstand for news, Android for mobile, and Chrome as my web browser.

I would upload all of my family photos to Google Photos and all of my personal documents to Google Drive (which were all in Google Docs format). I used Google Domains to register my domain names for websites where I would keep track of my users using Google Analytics and monetize them using Google AdSense.

I used Google Hangouts (one of Googleโ€™s previous messaging plays) to communicate with friends and family and Google Wallet (with debit card) to buy things online and in-store.

My home is covered with Google Homes (1 in my office, 1 in my bedroom, 1 in the main living area) which I would use to play music on my Google Play Music subscription and podcasts from Google Podcasts.

I have easily invested thousands of dollars into my Google account to buy movies, TV shows, apps, and Google hardware devices. This was truly the Google life.

Then one day, I received an email from Google that changed everything.

โ€œYour account has been suspendedโ€

Just the thing you want to wake up to in the morning. An email from Google saying that your account has been suspended due to a perceived Terms of Use violation. No prior warning. No appeals process. No number to call. Trying to sign in to your Google account yields an error and all of your connected devices are signed out. All of your Google data, your photos, emails, contacts, calendars, purchased movies and TV shows. All gone.

I nearly had a heart attack, until I saw that the Google account that had been suspended was in fact not my main personal Google account, but a throwaway Gmail account that I created years prior for a project. I hadnโ€™t touched the other account since creation and forgot it existed. Apparently my personal Gmail was listed as the recovery address for the throwaway account and thatโ€™s why I received the termination email.

Although I was able to breathe a sigh of relief this time, the email was wake up call. I was forced to critically reevaluate my dependence on a single company for all the tech products and services in my life.

I found myself to be a frog in a heating pot of water and I made the decision that I was going to jump out.

Leaving Google

Today there are plenty of lists on the internet providing alternatives to Google services such as this and this. Although the โ€œDeGoogleโ€ movement was still in its infancy when I was making the move.

The first Google service I decided to drop was Gmail, the heart of my online identity. I migrated to Fastmail with my own domain in case I needed to move again (hint: glad I did, now I self host my email). Fastmail also provided calendar and contacts solutions so that took care of leaving Google Calendar and Contacts.

Here are some other alternatives that I moved to:

Gmail โ†’ Fastmail โ†’ Self-hosted (via Cloudron)
Google Contacts โ†’ Fastmail โ†’ Nextcloud Contacts
Google Calendar โ†’ Fastmail โ†’ Nextcloud Calendar
Google Search โ†’ Bing โ†’ DuckDuckGo
Google Maps โ†’ Bing Maps โ†’ OpenStreetMaps and OsmAnd
Google Analytics โ†’ Matomo Analytics
Google Drive โ†’ Nextcloud Files
Google Photos โ†’ Nextcloud Files/Gallery
Google Docs โ†’ Collabora Office (Nextcloud integration) and LibreOffice
Google Play Music โ†’ Spotify / Plex โ†’ Spotify / Jellyfin
Google Play Movies/TV โ†’ Plex โ†’ Jellyfin
Google Play Audiobooks/Books โ†’ Audible/Kindle
Google Play Store (apps) โ†’ F-Droid / Aurora Store
Google Android โ†’ Lineage OS โ†’ Ubuntu Touch on PinePhone (coming soon?)
Googleโ€™s Android Apps โ†’ Simple Mobile Tools
Google Chrome โ†’ Mozilla Firefox
Google Domains โ†’ Hover
Google Hangouts โ†’ Matrix and Nextcloud Talk
Google Allo โ†’ Signal
Google Podcasts โ†’ PocketCasts โ†’ AntennaPod
Google Newsstand โ†’ RSS
Google Wallet โ†’ PayPal and Cash App
Google Voice โ†’Ting Mobile

Migrating away from Google was not a fast or easy process. It took years to get where I am now and there are still several Google services that I depend on: YouTube and Google Home.

Eventually, my Google Homeโ€™s will grow old and become unsupported at which point hopefully the Mycroft devices have matured and become available for purchase. YouTube may never be replaced (although I do hope for projects like PeerTube to succeed) but I find the compromise of using only one or two Google services to be acceptable.

At this point losing my Google account due to a mistake in their machine learning would largely be inconsequential and my focus has shifted to leaving Amazon which I use for most of my shopping and cloud services.

The reason that I moved to mostly FOSS applications is that it seems to be the only software ecosystem where everything works seamlessly together and I donโ€™t have to cede control to any single company. Alternatively I could have simply split my service usage up evenly across Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple but I donโ€™t feel that they would have worked as nicely together.

Overall Iโ€™m very happy with the open source ecosystem. I use Ubuntu with KDE on all of my computers and Android (no GApps) on my mobile phone. Iโ€™ve ordered the PinePhone โ€œBrave Heartโ€ and hope to one day be able to use it or one of its successors as a daily driver with Ubuntu Touch or Plasma Mobile.

I donโ€™t want to give the impression that I exclusively use open source software either, I do use a number of proprietary apps including: Sublime Text, Typora, and Cloudron.

I guess that, for now, this is all the I/O I need on this machine. No shortage of of serial ports! My only complaint is that the on the multio card cannot be disabled (and takes priority over soundcard's) and has circuitry for just a single .

And for the final upgrade to my 486 ... 256kb of CPU cache!
The main board can go up to 512, but hey, I had these chips around and from 128 it's still a 100% increase :P
Look at them, snug in their new sockets! Ready for

Uhff, finally got the serial ports working on this PC104 386 board. There was a diode missing on the trace that brought the -12V to the RS232 transceivers.

This hacky monstrosity is a based on a 386SX CPU. It now runs . It's great if you need a small DOS based machine, pity the cases for this form factor are hard to find/expensive, and PC104 to ISA adapters are too! Will probably build a box with a few sheets of plexiglass...

hkz boosted

I just love these retro devices. And it doesn't matter which company made them, they look all great. I miss that whole culture where you programmed a computer without distraction, studied a book with sprinkled in source code listings in 9-dot printer style, and did all that just for fun.

hkz boosted

John Carmack is one of my youth heroes. Not only he invented and developed many of the techniques used by real-time 3D, he also took the time to explain them in clear articles and blogposts. He also ported all his games to Linux and released the full source code as GPL, a slap in the face to all the small-minded game firms who still regarded 3D engines as their most important trade secret.

hkz boosted
Looks like mTCP (Michael Brutmanโ€™s MS-DOS TCP/IP stack and application suite, well-suited to 8088 machines) was updated for the new year:


(reposted with correct permissions, no reason for this to be followers only)

Third upgrade for my 486 : An etherlink III card (plus AUI transceiver, can't find where I put my old combo with the embedded RJ45 connector). Who wouldn't like some networking to go along with an old machine? :)

hkz boosted

Doing literally anything by yourself and then someone comes in and just sits down next to you to watch what you're doing - even when you're doing the most completely typical and normal thing - is the fucking worst thing it is so horrible.

And if you absolutely *must* do this, then at the *very* least can you not just make random comments in a variety of voices as I'm trying to do a thing by myself? Like come on. Get your own bubble to invade.

Found this M15-plus at a flea market last Sunday.
Backlight is dead, plastic is cracked in places, LCD is defective in spots, but surprisingly the internal HD unit booted up!

Time for the second upgrade to the 486 : I installed 64Mb of RAM and was finally able to get to boot (unrelated to the ram)!
All this memory ought to be enough for all my needs: I even created a 32Mb ramdisk as a scratchpad.

Found this: is a website that collects software. Just want to share it. Most of the things in there are free (some as in beer, some as in ).
I think that people that do things for the others to enjoy freely are a special kind of heroes.

Show more
Mastodon for Tech Folks

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!