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giel's Journal: Hardware I own and what I'd like to do with it...

Journal by giel

I decided it might be interesting - for some - to give a list of hardware I own, not a very long list though... I ordered the items by age, specs given are a little lousy (just what came to my mind).

  • DEC PDP 11/23 2Mhz CPU, 256k RAM, 2x 5.25" Floppy internal, 2x 5.25" Floppy external, 20Mb Winchester HD external, DEC VT100 Terminal, OS: RT-11
  • Olivetti M21 8Mhz CPU, 640k RAM, 2x 5.25" Floppy internal, internal 8"? Amber CGA monitor (320x200x2bpp/640x400x1bpp/25x80/25x40), this one is "Portable", OS: MS-DOS 3.x
  • AMD K2-400 based system 400Mhz CPU, 96Mb RAM, 3.5" diskette internal, 6Gb HD internal, 512Mb HD internal, 52x CD rom internal, 100Mb Zip external at LPT, SB-Pro, 1024x768x32bpp. OS: Windows 98
  • Asus A1000 Notebook 800Mhz Celeron, 128Mb RAM, 3.5" diskette internal, DVD, 1024x768x32bpp, TV-out, 2 USB, OS: WindowsXP / SuSE8.0
  • Openbrick 300Mhz, see openbrick.org (soon) OS: FreeBSD

What do I keep these for?

The PDP dates from the late 70's or the early 80's! Maybe even a collector's item. On this type of machines K&R created C and unix. For that reason I want to put an ancient version of unix on it.
It has some features which took about 15 years to be implemented on the Intel 80x3++ processors, such as virtual memory and memory protection (3 levels). The PDP's CPU is able to perform quite complicated instructions such as: upon assignment you can defer and autoin/decrement registers. C constructs as while(*s++ = *d++) ; seem to be based directly on the possibilities of this processor.

The Olivetti M21 just looks extremely cool. Back in the late 80's and early 90's I wrote a drumcomputer emulator which was able to sample at a rate of 22kHz on a D/A device attached to the LPT (According to my calculations this is the fastest output rate possible when mixing 8 channels on such a CPU). To do so the program used selfmodifying code.
I modded the keyboard of the Olivetti in such a way dual footswitch of a dictaphone (generated ESC and ENTER signals) could be plugged to it allowing me to start and stop the drumsounds while playing keyboards or guitar.

The K2-400 is currently used by my exgirlfriend to write documents and check her bank account. In the future I hope to assign it the noble task of MP3 server, it should be able to store about 1500 MP3's (my entire CD collection, which is not too big aprox. 100). I look forward to put the (call that vintage already?) SB-Pro to good use...

The Asus, because it looks sexy, with it's curved body and it's semi transparent keys. What can I say, this is my second home. Use it for work, hobby and fun - anytime & everywhere.
At the moment I'm working on a Rebirth like application for Linux. I have a coded a test version emulation a 606, two 303 like synthesizers (wavetype, cut/res modultation), bandpass filters and reverb effects, but this is merely a begin. A lot of work on modularity and the user interface (graphics using console in FB mode) still needs to be done. I'll let you know when I publish it one freshmeat or sourceforge...

The OpenBrick. Should become either a router/firewall or a synthesizer module to be attached to my Yamaha P-80 (electric piano, stage model)

Hmmm. Lot's of plans, little spare time. Will take a while I'm afraid. Feel free to post good advice for other or better usage...

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Hardware I own and what I'd like to do with it...

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