Thursday, June 28, 2007


i moved the blue crossover ethernet patch cable that's been standing on my desk for the last four weeks. because it was getting to cluttered. i mean, it still is too cluttered and i vow to clean it up sometime during the next six months. it's not so much about the clutter as it's about the dust. bucharest is a filthy city, with lots and lots of dust on the streets, in the air, inside buildings. my allergy aside, and my visiting friends' allergies aside, the fucking dust gets into my computer and clogs up the fans. i have three fans inside the computer and for the last few days they've been competing for the title of loudest, most annoying tractor engine. you know what's worse than dust? heat. i am forced to sleep during the day and work during the night because it's so fucking hot. this week romania was kind of hit by a heat wave of historic proportions, with 40 celsius in the shade and 55 elsewhere. i walked out of the subway and the air smelled like a hot clothes iron. nice. one more new experience.

never thought

I recently bought a used Jornada 720. It's a nice handheld computer featuring a 3/4-sized keyboard, 200MHz ARM and 32 megs of RAM. It's going to be fitted with a PCMCIA wifi card, have its modem replaced with an ethernet card and have the USB host signals pulled out from under the damned BGA package where they lay in darkness. Next on the mod list is a VGA output, analog signal conditionig and acquisition, maybe a PWM controller. And a flux capacitor expanding space modulator.
It now runs a 2.6 Linux from a 1 gig CF card. It used to run windows ce, and still does upon each restart. The wince image is stored, where else but in a ROM. Not a programmable ROM, but a straight-down-to-metal-mask truly-read-only ROM. Now that's really embedded. But wait. Not only do they still make ROM chips nowadays, but those ROM chips (specifically three mx23l6430's) actually have a RAS and a CAS input, and a clock input, which probably makes them SDROM chips. Maybe without a D. Never thought I'd see such a thing :)
later edit: SMROM. synchronous mask rom.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


i       t      '     s            m     u     c     h
t o o f a s t a n d
i t ' s g e t t i n g f a s ter.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

do nothing, unsucessfully

false is considered to be more portable than true due to the fact that even if it is absent in the system, the call to it will fail, thus returning the correct value false.
[ read ]

Saturday, June 2, 2007


i've got a blue crossover ethernet patch cable laying on my desk and now i'm noticing it's so sexy. i'm now holding the blue crossover ethernet patch cable and watching it closely. i'm squeezing its rubber connector covers. now i'm putting it back
and i'm wondering:
do they make these crossover ethernet patch cables automatically, or is there someone who actually inserts the wires in the connectors in the right order? 20 000 times a day? deep question, a lot of philosophical and sociological implications.

Coming Up on Ret's Blog: politics and morality! :D stay tuned.

chhhhildren's day!

dude, i just remembered! :D
this is june 1st, children's day! happy happy joy joy
and one or two days ago was something like... international anti-smoking day
i told my friends to smoke a cigar in celebration
maybe on international aids-fighting day or whatever it's called (here in romania we hear names translated in romanian, and translation is often times sloppy)
...maybe on anti-aids day i'll just unplug my computer so it's unable to connect to the "@home" grid and compute anti-aids molecules
well, what can i say
it's children's day
i'm not happy, cheerful or gay
but at least it's not valentine's pay :D


i've recently bought two of the cheapest usb bluetooth modules i could find. the purpose was to a) hack into the pcb and use an uart instead of usb or b) use the usb whole and build a host in case (a) fails. and presto, cheap bulltooth for embedded projects.

what i've got:
btw, you also cannot change the MAC/BD addr. I mean, you can edit it, but it won't change. Which is understandable, because after all that's a virtual net adapter over the bluecrap device. But you also cannot change that from anywhere else. That's right. All devices have the same 11:11:11:11:11:11 address, which of course makes them noninteroperable. Fun.
Note that one can compile the bdaddr that comes with blueZ and use that. Problem solved.
FYI, IVT makes the driver and application, and the hardware is pretty common: ISSC chips, the pcb is identical to the one (currently) seen on wikipedia (the one with a lot of unpopulated parts) and it just has a different plastic cover.

Rants aside, I think the picture perfectly exemplifies the concept of designing software and writing code with one or both hands inside one's underpants, a concept that I am trying to raise awareness towards. That is the sole reason I posted it.