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+ - Advanced audio processing on a 35-year old CPU->

Submitted by exolon42
exolon42 (1140715) writes "It seems that having to play back 2 minutes of audio including 11 real-time sound-effects (among these time-shift, auto-tune and vocoding) on a Commodore 64, using a 6502 CPU @ 1 MHz from 1975, 56 kbytes of memory and an audio-chip that doesn't play samples, was no problem for one of the finest hackers of the C64/Amiga era, Mahoney of Mahoney&Kaktus (also writer of the Amiga sound-editing program NoiseTracker). Well, you'll have to read the article yourself, but having to implement this using on average 13 assembler instructions per audio-sample gives me some goosebumps... Creds for the detailed explanation for non-C64 experts. PDF and full source available."
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Comment: Re:Yup. (Score 1, Informative) 750

by exolon42 (#31746928) Attached to: iPad Review

no USB ports, no flash-card reader...these are things that would be very trivial to add from both a cost and engineering perspective, yet are still lacking Because adding those things would prevent it from being smooth and sleek. Jobs hates ports on devices for aesthetic reasons and he has final say on design. Thus, Apple products have the bare minimum needed for the device to function. Didn't you ever wonder why so many Apple products have the batteries are sealed inside? If a battery compartment door would spoil the lines, you're dreaming if you expect something as hideous as a USB port.

one reason the batteries are starting to be sealed in in more devices is because then they don't need to put the batteries in a row like in a laptop battery pack. they can fit the individual cells where there is room inside the unit, using the space more efficiently.

Comment: Re:Hardware is standard, software unknown (Score 0) 93

by exolon42 (#31133704) Attached to: Low-Cost Robotic Arm Sketches Faces

It's built from the Robotis Bioloid kits. Very flexible, in two ways: the kits contain a lot of brackets and mechanics to build a lot of custom or existing projects, but more interestingly for the EE/CS crowd the servos referred to above are controlled by a 1 mbit/s asynchronous serial daisy-chain bus where you can access registers in each servo in a purely digital way. You can set target positions, read back temperature, position, current torque etc. This way you can use the servos not only as actuators but as force-sensors and for learning poses (you just drag around the robot extremities to the desired position and read out the position from the servos). So you eliminate a lot of accessory electronics normally needed for the traditional kind of servos in robotics.

Having said that, there are other modern servo systems with similar functionality on the market now. The Robotis servos are very strong but still has a plastic feel. I'd like exactly the same kit but with more metal in the parts I think..

Comment: Re:Ask about them... (Score 0) 569

by exolon42 (#29002319) Attached to: What Questions Should a Prospective Employee Ask?
I once interviewed for a job at a smaller company, and at the end of the interview the interviewer leaned forward and asked me with desperation in his voice "why do you want to start here", with the implication "are you mad??" hanging in the air.. Needless to say, I declined the job and that was probably wise.. Moral here is that some things you might not get a perfectly clean answer to, you might need to read between the lines when you visit the company, walk around, shake hands.. Listen to what the interviewers casually talk about during lunch etc..

+ - Amiga in an FPGA released under GPL-> 2

Submitted by exolon42
exolon42 (1140715) writes "This is a mandatory read for every (former or current) Amiga hacker. You have to give it to the Dutch: tulips, cheese, and now a guy named Dennis has recreated the original Amiga chipset in a Xilinx Spartan-3 FPGA, and recently released all sources under the GPL to boot! This includes the design of a PCB containing the FPGA, the required MC68000 and normal PC-style hardware connectors so you can build your own. A thought-provoking fact is that the Verilog-sources for the recreated chips (Denise, Paula, Agnus etc.) are only around 500-1000 lines each... chips in the eighties didn't contain 1 billion transistors!"
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