Back in April I attended the Notacon the hacker-art convention up in Cleveland Ohio. The hardware hacking room had a number of little project kits they were giving out to teach people how to solder. These project kits included the chips, resistors, LEDs, serial connector and everything except the solder. They ran labs and the last day they just wanted to get rid of these project kits. So I grabbed a couple that caught my eye. One kit had an Atmel AVR programmable chip, eight LEDs and sported a 9-pin serial connector. The kit is the Mini-POV3 sold by http://www.adafruit.com/ for $17.50, it’s all you need to get started with programmable chips!
Archive for May, 2009
I’ve been using Microsoft’s Virtual PC for the past 7 years, ever since I spoke with a kernel developer at Microsoft and found that they solely use Virtual PC for debug and development. Since then I have used it to build images and teach in the classroom as a learning device. It allows me to teach with what I call a surgical approach, because every lab is perfectly clean every time for every student. However it is all about the footprint when it comes to storage of the Virtual Hard Drives, sometime you need to keep several VHD images around. So over the past few years I have put a collection of tools together that lead to the best compaction method.
Again I find myself wiring up T1 circuits for a Telco provider that my company is going to use. I also find myself scouring the Internet for color codes for the T1 cable at the “Smart Jack”. The smart jack is where the demarcation point or demarc resides. So what is a demarc and what exactly is the smart jack… The demarc is where the Telco ends their responsibility and yours begins. The Telco needs a way to start your responsibility for wiring and internal maintenance, that is the threshold of the demarc. The smart-jack is a way that the phone company can loop or loopback the signal so that they can remotely check that everything is OK on their side.