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I've been messing around with scrambls and annoying people on facebook with it.  so far I've discovered a few things that trouble me a little.

First, the double-@-sign bit doesn't work with LJ's rich text editor: @@derp@@.  if I switch to HTML it will, like in my last post.

More troubling is that I can retroactively change the access group of any message, no matter where I post it.  This tells me that the decryption isn't completely client-side; your browser will at least have to phone home to determine the current access group of the message.  So, strictly speaking, you do not have anonymity when you read messages; scrambls' servers know which account is reading which message.  But it also implies that every message is encrypted under a different key, which might make it harder to break the encryption.

It admits it's "social" security, meaning it's better for personal use than for overthrowing the Syrian government.  But anyone I know who cares enough about encryption to install a plugin, probably cares a lot about anonymity too.  
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[scrambls}ceGZD5G2B ≛⋘∸ ≳≪∫☍ ∏⋂≯⊺⊞⋔≉≜ ⋋⊵⋘ ∊⊺⊝⊴≖≨⊘ ≃ ∟⊵⊊ ⊇∎∎⋈⊏∖⊚≅⊭∷⋈≞⋆ ⊫∙≇≷⊷≀ ∈⋣ ⋜☍ ⊩⊍≠≸⋚ ⋆⊒∓∣∧⊿☁☉{]

derping around with scrambls. don't mind me.
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For what it's worth, I broke my Atari trying to put the new OS in.  I even tried putting the old OS back in, still won't boot.  I wonder if I fried one of the existing components, though all the soldering was done near resistors, and I've heard resistors don't just die from heat.

I'll need to have someone who knows what they're doing come by and look and see if there's some easily reparable damage that's more apparent to the sighted than it would be to me.
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I want to mod my Atari 800XL with the super-video mod, and then maybe put Ape Warp+ OS in it.

but I would hate to spend all that money on equipment and parts, and discover that I'm too blind to do it, and break my Atari in the process.

also, nobody else cares about those old games.
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OK; that black wire is probably the antenna to my wireless card. So I figured I'd better reconnect it, just to keep it from flopping around the inside of the case, and so I didn't have to remember all this if I moved it out of this room. But I had to remove the video card to get my giant hands in there, and apparently there was a latch I was supposed to release, and now the video card is stuck in a crooked position. I'm going to wait until I can get someone experienced in here before I monkey any further.
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OK; I just swapped out the power supply and I think I reconnected everything. Rather than test it, I decided to try and install the video card. I was just getting ready to clear some room for the card, when I felt my finger catch on something that came loose. It was a lone black wire that ended in a tiny brass-plated loop, and it's in a secondary zip-tie that I didn't cut. I'm starting to think I need someone who knows what he's doing to look at this.
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last night:

* party at [livejournal.com profile] tamtrible's: pretty good, though a bit crowded and that really young kid was a human pinball. Played some Pirate Flux and ate turkey and talked programming with some people.
* secret santa exchange at Casey Moore's. will probably talk about my gift later. I didn't reveal myself to my secret santa recipient.
* RHPS: some folks from Casey Moore's actually showed up to this. there were technical difficulties but the show was good and I was surprised when my friends were impressed with my callbacks.

This morning:

* kind of achey.
* I decided to install that new power supply in my PC just now, but removing the old one is proving a little difficult. There are some cables zip-tied together that make it impossible to remove. Is there some trick to releasing the zip-tie, or do I have to cut them loose? My scissors aren't up to the task. And I wonder how important it is to zip-tie the new power supply into place.
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friday-saturday: phoenix comicon

sunday was wasted

today is monday and I am working through the rest of that Arduino book.
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So the only output device I have for this Arduino board is a blinky light. So I whipped together some code that outputs morse code through it.

But since my only input device is a button that I finally wedged into the right holes, code that reads morse code might be more useful. As it stands, I can only put text at compile time.

But that's just a trivial C++ exercise. Circuit design is the really new stuff.
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So, for the first time in a while, I bought a comic book. Well, a hardback compilation, as it turns out. [Simpsons-Futurama Crossover Crisis.

It's a new thing that I usually don't buy, but it's not exactly enriching.

So I also bought a Getting Started with Arduino Kit V2.0. I have no idea what I'll get out of it. I only have vague childhood memories of making circuits with those old Radio Shack kits where you'd connect a bunch of wires between all these little numbered springs. I didn't learn very much from those. I did make a thing on a breadboard once, probably in some summer school program, but I've forgotten whatever I learned there, too. Maybe it'll all come back to me, and maybe it'll stick harder. Or maybe I'll remember why it didn't stick the first time. Anyway, it'll probably arrive this weekend and I'll at least crack it open.

Gadgets

Nov. 28th, 2009 01:28 pm
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I visited [livejournal.com profile] jecook's new house yesterday. It's enormous, and he had a neat 720p projector set up. But apparently the plaster ceiling is a little too delicate to mount it there. Here's hoping it doesn't get spilled on.

He's building up a DVD collection. I told him I mostly stopped buying DVDs since I got Netflix, and my Roku player for streaming on the TV. But he doesn't need one because his PC is already hooked up to the projector. As for Netflix, ir's fine for fulfilling your curiosities, but there's something to be said for having DVDs on the shelf for display purposes; they're kind of an identity good. And he found the entire series of Babylon 5 for $100 -- that's less than I paid at Lowell Observatory for Cosmos, which is at least ten years older, and only 12 episodes. And you can stream Cosmos from Netflix or, without a Netflix subscription, on Google Video, or at cosmolearning.com.

Speaking of which, there are two MP3 players of note I'd like to bring up. The first is the 2GB Sansa Clip, which is on sale at woot today for $15. It's small and clips onto clothing like an iPod Shuffle, except it's got a screen and an FM radio. I bought one a couple of years ago when I was sick of losing iPod Shuffles. It even plays audiobooks from Audible. You can buy one, load it up, and throw it in your luggage for your next long plane trip.

If $15 is too rich for your blood, then compare it to this clone I found on DealExtreme, which looks almost exactly like a 2nd-generation iPod Shuffle, with some subtle differences. It has no built-in storage; you have to provide a microSD card. It also has a more standard USB port, so you don't need a custom dock. But, it has no shuffle switch, even though it has a shuffle logo on the package. I don't know if that means it's always on sequential play, or always on random play, so wait for the reviews to come in from whoever buys them. But at $7.50, it's a nice "why the hell not" sort of thing, especially if you're already there buying other cheap crap from China. It comes in black, silver, pink, gold, and blue.
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I upgraded to Snow Leopard, and my Cox email stopped working.

It turns out that it tries SMTP ports in a different order, that's all. If you force port 25, it works.

But I still haven't figured out some of the other quirks, like how the zoom window jumps around in Safari and Terminal, how Firefox crashes randomly, and the way my network storage seems to behave differently.
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Yes, Desert Sweet Biofuels is the same people as Desert Sweet Shrimp. It's carbon-negative, which is better than carbon-neutral. More importantly, it's also economical, which means you don't have to trick people into buying Carbon Credits™ to get the price down. The world is saved, unless the people who killed the electric car also kill this project.
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If you have a Nintendo Wii, and you haven't hacked it yet, you have no excuse.

All you need is an SD card, on which you download three things:
  1. Bannerbomb, the exploit that will allow you to sneak out of the Wii system menu through a trap door,
  2. HackMii Installer, which will permanently install a Homebrew Channel right on the Wii's menu, so you can get to it anytime, and two other useful things
  3. Homebrew Browser, which will download all kinds of neat homebrew software for you, like media players, games, and emulators.


From that point on, it's all magic.
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So I gave the keys back to my old apartment complex, and my keyring is much lighter.

I'm getting more unpacked every day.

Also, I've hacked my Wii. Perhaps a little too hard, as I think I might have corrupted a few strange system functions. Fortunately, I think I know how to restore it from a backup I made more or less immediately after I hacked it.
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The Apple 1 couldn't do anything except display text and accept keyboard input. But these were two features every other microcomputer lacked at the time.

The next computer Steve Wozniak designed was the Apple 2, which may still be in use at your local high school.
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I'm reading iWoz, in audiobook form.

I'm glad it's unabridged. Even though I'm not a hardware guy, I'm fascinated by all the technical details about the stuff Woz built.

Also, the longevity of the Apple 2 was already impressive, as I'd seen them installed in my high school as late as 1996. But then I learned that the design was completed before Woz even left Hewlett-Packard.

It woke me up a little. The dawn of home computing was exciting enough for me when I was a little kid. But to people who were grown up at the time, it must have been even more magical. Could you imagine being the first person in your city to buy Visicalc?
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[livejournal.com profile] crasch has a lot of interesting posts about new technology. Most of it is weird housing based on old tires or shipping containers, which is neat enough, but this post about glasses that let you dial in your own prescription really impressed me.

LensCrafters: glasses in an hour? Slowpokes.
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Crossover Mac is surreal. I have an imaginary Windows machine inside my Mac, except it doesn't have Windows on it. And I can have two different kinds of Firefox open at once, and they'll both look different.
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I noticed a lot more pay phones in Vancouver than I'd seen in any city in the last few years. I even saw a fully-enclosed phone booth once. BoingBoing reveals why. The post itself is about how the Internet is crap, but it also touches on how predatory the telecommunications companies are.

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