* Posts by Trevor

7 posts • joined 3 Oct 2007

Acorn alumni to toast tech pioneer's 30th anniversary

Trevor
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Wha? Atom? Where's the Archimedes?

If my poor old crappy memory serves, the Atom was the original home computer that Acorn put out before the BBC piped up that it was on the lookout for a suitable machine to go with its TV series. Acorn revamped and upgraded the Atom to produce the BBC "A" & "B". I don't think the Atom was much of a player in the market before the BBC machines took over. I imagine Atoms must be a collector's item now.

I would have thought that the Archimedes was more worthy of mention, as it introduced the ARM Risc processor to the world. It was the bee's knees for its day.

How about the first thing with a green acorn on? The Acorn 65, which was a couple of Eurocard-size PCBs with a 6502 CPU, a hex keypad and 1KB of RAM. You'd get several thousand times the processing power in a cheapie mobile - it's got an ARM in it!

Hey Reg - I think you've got your dates seriously wrong, unless they really DID try to sell a load of 8-bit micros with 32KB of RAM and a 256 colour display for £200 at Crimbo 2004. That might explain the lack of interest.

Thumbs up for a UK company, even though they got bought by Olivetti.

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BOFH: Lift laughs

Trevor

Lift me up Spotty

Spot-welded the access hatch to the lift eh? That's going to be the world's biggest set of spot-welding jaws by a massive margin. Or an interesting bolt-on to the PFY's pinch...

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Arthur C. Clarke dead at 90

Trevor
Boffin

The Real Arthur

If anyone wants to know what Arthur C. Clarke got up to in the Second World War, check out "Glide Path". It's meant to be a largely auto biographical piece of fiction. A good read, especially if you're into stuff like the story of radar and the secret (technological) war 1939 - 1945.

No HALs though.

The hazard bloke with the specs, 'cos I once saw a pic of ACC circa 1945 and he looked a bit like that!

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Notts police seize mobile phone stun gun

Trevor
Alert

P=IV? Er, yeah, but...

The mains supply at home is built and fused to deliver from 5 to 32 AMPS.

The tidgy power transistor that's wheezing and puffing in your average flyback oscillator, pumping up some High Voltage, probably has a max collector current of 100 - 500 milliamps (thousandths of an amp).

And then it's got to through a coil as well (a la car ignition) to get to the tens or hundreds of KV, which steps down the final current in the same ratio as the step up of the voltage.

Final result? A good jolt, and an impressive spark, but that's it.

I'm guessing that the Tazer has something gutsy in the way of output driver and some form of clever output waveform shaping to be able to squirt the absolute-bloddy-max into those nasty flying dart wires.

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Space Shuttle Endeavour on its way

Trevor
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Has NASA hidden the maple leaf again?

...cos that's what they did on the last arm install mission, wasn't it?

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3Com - a company built on ether

Trevor

Modems - and WLAN NICs

I'm glad someone got some service out of USR/3Com modems - I'll freely admit that I cried when I was given Sportsters to use on projects (and not from joy). Perhaps the important factor is time - my Sportster mayhem memories are from about 1995 - that may be pre-3Com (doh)!

OK - what about 3Com 802.11 NICs? The hardware may have been brilliant - I'll never know, as the software was out-and-out tripe.

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Trevor

Don't mention the modems!

USR modems? I'd keep quite about that one. Easiest fix ever for internet connection problems in dialup days - chuck the USR modem. Sportster? Well, I suppose you could make up a sport of "lob the shite modem" along the lines of shot putt or welly throwing.

Oh, and the AC power adaptors were great at blowing up anything that users mistakenly plugged onto the end. 30 - 40 volts AC for a modem? Telex maybe.

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