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ARMigma project

check out the ARMigma project. the goal is to recreate an Amiga 500 while upgrading it to use modern accessories like SD cards for storage and use USB mice, keyboards and controllers.



link to the indegogo project page: read article


the Mac Pro upgrade that Apple forgot

talk about the past calling… it looks like Apple intended to upgrade the Mac Pro a while ago and FORGOT! an article from lists XEON processors that speed bump the Mac Pro into “the new” category as the W3565 and E5645. these CPUs were released in 2009 and 2010. here are the exact release dates according to the wikipeidia page on the XEON family of CPUs:

W3565 released 2009-11-01
E5645 released 2010-03-16

links the Intel processor specs…

W3565 4 core XEON
E5645 6 core read article


surviving a Maker Faire expedition

it’s better than the circus, the local carnival or a parade. the Maker Faire has been held at the San Mateo County Fairground since 2006. the event has changed over the years. it gets bigger adding more vendors, talks, exhibits and interests to a growing crowd that doesn’t seem so much like a crowd because everyone is there to learn and enjoy. some of the Faire seems more like a trade show than a faire and maybe that’s not a bad thing because it means that ideas have turned into businesses that read article


10T Backup Server Project


Craig Severson explained his backup system one time. it seems over the top until you hear, “I can take that drive over there, plug in, reboot and I’m back to five minutes ago.”

I needed a backup device that transparent like Apple Time, was more cost effective then a appliance NAS drive, give me the most storage for my money and it had to be something I could self repair. I ended up building a 10 terabyte server powered by FreeNAS for under a $1000.

the problem that caused the need for this project presented itself in a rude way. a hard drive died inside a MacBook Pro which had a backup but it wasn’t up-to-date. this was caused by the movable nature of notebook computers. you have to remember to plug things in so that other things can happen automatically. the back up drive for Time Machine won’t work otherwise. and because nobody thinks like, “hey, so I’m going to lunch I guess I will plug this in so it will do it’s thing.” we have to make sure that backups just happen.

which brings up an ugly rule: the only time you think about backups is when you need one.
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enter the age of 3D printing


my problem with things today is that it’s going to become virtually impossible to play. electronics is a good example. so many of the parts are surface mount only. meaning you can’t just whomp something together on a bread board. but to push the idea even further, there is no way for two guys in a garage to make an iPod. okay they could but look at the skill set they have to have to make it happen.

I read a Rudy Rucker book where lots of the tech is mindblowingly complex. tech that was so hard that a humans couldn’t even be involved after a certain point. yet interfaces to tech creation allowed the characters to control making without thinking about who made who (robot making tech based on human interaction). the book Makers mentions combining complex programming projects into a greater object. this concept of reusing code is tossed out there like it’s no big deal. but fiction always over simplifies making because the story would become boring otherwise. to most people man landing on the moon is a sound bite even though it took the better part of 20 years (don’t forgot all the work before the Kennedy speech) to get there.

I’ve had a lot of printers in my life from letter quality daisy wheels to dot matrix to dye sub to laser. and at some level the businesses I ran wouldn’t have been possible without the leveraged use I got from printing without limits. Tom pointing that this same thing is right here with 3D printing is telling.

1) it’s ground zero. think of MakerBot“>Makerbot as a Epson MX-80
2) there potential for hundreds of new business
3) be prepared to see lots of failure as it engages
4) plastics and resins are toxic. stand by for regulation in California.
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