fx-991MS

Paraphrasing the movie Full Metal Jacket, this is my calculator. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my calculator is useless. Without my calculator, I am useless.

A real electroacoustic machine! 😉

Or at least it was that way during my university years. I used to know every funtionality and button of this Casio fx-991MS calculator. What’s more, I used to know what I was doing during the calculation process. Now, I see it and it looks like an old Chinese manuscript to me. Of course I recognize every term on it, but in the end, I only use the +, – and = buttons. It’s a pitty all these forgotten and unusued maths in my life. I should start using it againg, for real.

Build your own video card

As a former image and sound engineer student, I wish I had an electronics teacher as Ben Eater. You can follow his explanations even with not knowledge at all (well, a little bit in maths). In this video he is creating a fully functional computer video card. Amazing. It could had been a good final project for my degree.

Tales from the Lunar Guidance Computer

In Tales from the Lunar Guidance Computer, Don Eyles, a software engineer during the Apollo lunar missions and developer of several programs for the computer of the Lunar Module, does a very detailed description of that computer and its i/os, the real time system used and also the efforts made to solve some bugs and replicate errors. Truly interesting if you love computers and astronautics.

“I’ve written computer programs while I was stoned which have turned out to be pretty good programs.”, Don Eyles at Extra! Weird-Looking Freak Saves Apollo 14!

Nesduino

Several months ago, in my spare time and as a gift to a friend, I started a mod to a NES gamepad. Last week, finally, I wrapped it up.

The Nesduino ( yes, a very original name 😉 ) includes four main functionalities:

  • A clock visualizer with four modes
  • Three configurable alarms with different tunes to choose (Mario Bros, Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Legend Of Zelda)
  • Five games (Snake, Flappy Bird, Cat&Mice, Simon and Dice)
  • Ten background animations

The electronics consist in a Wemos D1 Mini, a small speaker, a red 8×8 dotted led matrix and the original NES pcb. Besides, the device is powered by USB. If you want to take a look to the code, here it is.

It’s been a very enjoyable project and also I’ve learned a lot along the way, specially about game development. I only miss the possibility to use the gamepad with the computer via HID , but as far as I know,  the Wemos D1 doesn’t support it.

And if you’re a retro lover like me, all this modifications worth just to save an old gamepad and give it a whole new life.

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