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Building a USB Keyboard - Part 1

For a long time now, I've wanted to make my own keyboard. I don't know why, but it's been on my list of projects for a good 10 years now. Back then I didn't really have the confidence with electronics or the money to actually do it, so I ended up getting a Unicomp model M for the time being.

Now I'm moving to a new apartment and have a need that a custom keyboard could meet better than anything on the market, and it would be an opportunity to make some unconventional tweaks to the layout that suits my taste. In this first part, I'm just trying some basic things to get the feel for it.

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A Trip To Japan: What am I Getting Myself Into? (Day -1)

This is not a travel blog, nor do I want it to be. Future posts can be found here. I'm just about to head out to the airport, marking the start of my 20 nights trip to Japan. With me, I got a 3 kg rucksack and whatever I can fit in my pockets.

To me, this trip is somewhat exciting, but mostly terrifying. I don't like uncertainty, and I've never traveled anywhere completely alone before. I've had this feeling creeping up on me that maybe my schedule is way, way, way too ambitious, and that I'll never be able to keep it, getting stranded far from my booked (and non-refundable!) accommodation. Especially not to a country whose people are notoriously bad at speaking English. Not to mention I really don't know anyone on that continent, so any rescue is kinda far away.

I've never been in Asia before. I never even had real Asian food. I'm a picky eater who among things doesn't enjoy soy sauce or anything that comes from the sea, so Japan ought to be a challenge! I guess it's a good thing I leveled up my chopstick skills to the point where I can eat instant noodles without having them go everywhere.

Oh well, It's time for me to head off to the airport. More posts will follow if I survive the trip, and assuming my OpenPandora doesn't finally give in.

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Trollbook: The Struggles (part 1)

When designing any project, even vaguely advanced, you're bound to make mistakes. Especially if it's something you've never done before. Trollbook sure was something new for us.

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Project Introduction: Trollbook, a Homebrew 68040 Computer

For a while now, I have worked with h4xxel to build a palmtop computer based on a 68040 processor. I couldn't find many references to homebrew 68040 computers on the internet, so I figured I should write some about it.

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A Curious IBM PS/2 Model 80 Clone By Sentec Data

Sometimes, when you go to get rid of something small, you end up finding something bigger that you just have to drag back home. Last friday, my friend h4xxel was throwing out a broken lightbulb when he saw something huge gray and boxy sitting in the electronics dumpster. It looked interesting enough for him to drag the massive thing back up to his apartment.

A beast of a machine. Apparently it looks like a PS/2 Model 80.

Figure 1 - A beast of a machine. Apparently it looks like a PS/2 Model 80.

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Review: MySaga C1 Smartphone

Mysaga C1 is a low-end, dual-sim Android smartphone made by Mysaga mobile. Apart from being based in China and having plenty of glorious Engrish on their website, their model C1 smartphone does seem to pack a fair amount of features for the price, which at time of writing is around 80 USD incl. shipping.

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Interfacing the AY-3-8912 PSG

In a project I and h4xxel worked on a while ago, we used some AY-3-8912 chips as sound generators over MIDI, the Chipster. While doing this, we fell for a few traps, so I thought I might mention them here just in case someone's having issues talking to them.

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Linux on the Asus Vivobook S200 (x202e)

I bought a laptop that launched with Windows 8. As it turns out, it was entierly possible to run Debian Stable on it instead.

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Acer Aspire One 522 card reader driver for Linux

I'm just putting this here for future reference. This is the Linux driver for the memory card reader in the Acer Aspire One 522 (and possibly other) netbook.

0cf2:6250 ENE Technology, Inc. <- this is how it identifies itself.

Please bare in mind that this driver is quite flaky, a bad connection in the connector to the card will most likely crash the driver.

Also; please note that I did not write this driver, I'm just providing it here as a mirror to make sure it can be found even in the future, as I'm not sure of what the current status for this driver is considering going into mainline.

You can download it here: »» Download ««

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Scrapping code you just finished...

After spending more than a week making my inventory screen, I feel like tossing it away. Why? Because the code is ugly and slow, and I can think of a better way to do it. And I don't like having a file with 1000 lines of if-else code. :|

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