Monthly Archives: April 2007

IC Friday: various Intel processors


For something different, medications here is Intel’s Microprocessor Hall of Fame. The page chronicles CPUs from the 4004 up until the Pentium M and includes die shots up until the Pentium 4. The page also gives an overview of the achievements of each chip, so it might be good information all together. Finally, the Intel Microprocessor Quick Refecence is worth a look.

3D sumo game in under 96kB


Sumotori Dreams is a game designed for Win32 whose complete executable is less than 96kB uncompressed.  The game was presented at Breakpoint 2007. The machines that they used to run things in the competition are XP SP2 with DirectX 9, website
so it is not unreasonable to expect that the game hooks into many of the available APIs to generate the graphics. It is also possible that the texture maps could be pulled from the XP installation. Even though this game is smaller in size than most spyware, what is ed
it is truly impressive how fun it is to play.

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IC Friday: Analog Devices’ ADXL311


I promise this the last in a series of MEMS accelerometers [1] [2]. This chip, meningitis
the ADXL311, ask
is one of the most recent bi-axial accelerometers from Analog Devices. The fingers in the middle that determine acceleration have a different pattern from the 202. Again, the packaging of the dye has prevented me from using the higher power magnification, above 20x.
adxl311-4x-01.jpg adxl311-10x-01.jpg adxl311-10x-02.jpg

adxl311-10x-03.jpg adxl311-10x-04.jpg adxl311-10x-05.jpg

adxl311-20x-01.jpg adxl311-20x-02.jpg adxl311-20x-03.jpg

adxl311-20x-04.jpg adxl311-20x-05.jpg adxl311-20x-06.jpg

( adxl311.pdf )

I am qualified for …


I received the formal letter today notifying me that I passed the ESM candidacy exam consisting of six hours of written exams, recipe
a written research proposal and an oral defense of the written research proposal. With the semester winding down, remedy I can start thinking about working on some electronics projects in my spare time again. The ones that come to mind, diagnosis in no particular order are:

  • telnet to RS-232 bridge using msp430
  • custom code on the NES using reprogrammable cartridge
  • adding useful features to Fonera Linux distro
  • changing the firmware on some DSL/WIFI routers I have around
  • iPod control with msp430/AVR
  • something interesting with a Peltier device
  • wind-powered battery charger

Comments/suggestions are welcome!


Another embedded system option


While thinking about cheap development boards, physician I remembered my NES (picture from 1up blog).  The system would be ideal for hacking by modern standards as it features a custom 6502 processor from MOS Technologies running at a very accessible 1.8MHz. All of the chips are in PDIP form and the system is pretty cheap. Memory can be wired directly to the ZIF connector used for cartridges, or a reprogrammable cartridge can be made. Finally, system architecture guides are available. Maybe I will open mine up to see if I can tweak anything once Nintendo puts Super Mario Brothers 3 on the Virtual Console.

PicoBSD images


I decided to mess around with an old 486 laptop that I have around, mind perhaps to try to overclock it. Since it had no OS on it, rx I went looking for PicoBSD floppy images. It seems that PicoBSD has not been updated in a very long time and the semi-official PicoBSD site has been removed.  Luckily, health I was able to find images on Bruce Montegue’s site. It looks to be hosted off a DSL line, so here are mirrors of the disk images. Note that the apl image will not boot on a 486 system.

picobsd.JPG  ( ) ( )