Archive for 'software'

DIY Web Radio and Media Streamer

Markus | Sunday, April 11th 2021, 18:23

-- Based on an AVR and a Raspberry Pi 0W running MPD

Figure 1. DIY Web Radio

Last year, a friend gave me a dead DAB+ radio, whose only function that still worked was the heater-function -- Oh, it wasn't supposed to do that? OK... Then it was 100% dead. -- Either way, I've been meaning to get myself an Internet radio for a while now, but all on the market were missing some feature I wanted, plus building one myself didn't sound too hard.

This post describes the radio that I built in the end, based around only the original case and speaker from the DAB+ radio.

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Tags: hardware software


Brother LW-35 Typewriter Modernization

Markus | Saturday, June 6th 2020, 18:06

-- Now that's my definition of building a computer!

Figure 1. The finished LW-35

Do you still remember the old electronic typewriters from the nineties? Many of the later machines were already pretty much full-fledged computers, just with a word processor as the operating system. One of these typewriters is the Brother LW-35 released in Europe. I still had one of these lying around; Great keyboard, a fun daisy wheel printer, and a 14 line display for distraction free writing. It even had a floppy drive for data exchange. So in summary, a pretty cool device.

But there were a few problems with it. First of all, the floppy drive stopped working reliably. And secondly, on the days the floppy drive decided to work, it was still a floppy drive. Not exactly the most convenient way to store and transfer data these days, although I'm sure some of you will disagree. Also, the typewriter used its own file format, which needed to be converted on the device itself before it could be read in a DOS or UNIX environment. This may be OK if you're writing a longer document, and only write it on that machine. But as someone who constantly changes the machine they type on, it's not practical.

Yet, even with these problems, I just didn't have the heart to throw it out.

So what can we do about it? Upgrade it!

In this post, I will show you how I converted my old LW-35 typewriter into a modern computer while keeping all the good features of the old machine.

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Tags: hardware lw35 reverse engineering software video


Brother LW-35 Typewriter Modernization Vlog 5

Markus | Monday, May 11th 2020, 17:48

-- Part 5: Bringing it all together

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In this final part, I show the completed circuit board of the LW-35 project and give a quick demo of all major features.

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Tags: hardware lw35 software video


Personal Projects Advent Calendar 2018

Markus | Thursday, December 27th 2018, 00:00

-- 27 Days of Projects

Figure 1. Thank you for 2018!
2018 is coming to an end, and so it's time to tend to things that didn't get done over the year. For me, I've been wanting to talk about many of my old projects for quite a while now, but never got around to it.

So this December (or tbh, many were shot during November), I pulled together and made videos for 25 of my projects. They date from very recent (November 2018) back to my school days (2007), so there's quite some variation to the style and type of project. I hope that you will enjoy (at least some of) them.

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Tags: avr fpga hardware linux software video


FlySky FS-i6 as PC Joystick

Markus | Updated Friday, October 18th 2019, 17:44

-- Let's pretend FlightGear is a model airplane simulator

Figure 1. FlightGear controlled using the FlySky FS-i6

In this post, I will explain how to use the FlySky FS-i6 RC remote control as a game controller / joystick on Linux. This post covers how to connect the FS-iA6B receiver to a computer and how to compile the driver and support software.

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Tags: linux rc software


Brother LW-35 Typewriter Modernization Vlog 4

Markus | Sunday, May 20th 2018, 00:00

-- Part 4: Printer

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This part of the Brother LW-35 modernization series describes the progress on the re-implementation of the printer controller on an AVR.

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Tags: hardware lw35 software video


Brother LW-35 Typewriter Modernization Vlog 2

Markus | Sunday, May 6th 2018, 00:00

-- Part 2: Keyboard

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This video shows how I read the keyboard of the Brother LW-35 typewriter using an AVR microcontroller.

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Tags: hardware lw35 software video


Brother LW-35 Typewriter Modernization Vlog 1

Markus | Sunday, April 29th 2018, 17:11

-- Part 1: LCD

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In the first video of this series, I show how I got the LCD of the Brother LW-35 Typewriter working with an Orange Pi PC Linux SBC.

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Tags: hardware linux lw35 software video


GCC is Scary

Markus | Tuesday, May 23rd 2017, 19:58

-- Debugging an application which only works in the debug build

Figure 1. The error message I was confronted with

Recently, I had an interesting bug in one of my C applications where the application would work in the debug build but not in the release build (-O3 etc.). It turned out to be a really stupid mistake of mine where I went 'How could that ever work?!' after finding it out. However, this opened my eyes to how strong gcc's optimization feature really is.

In this article, I will explain the mistake I made, how I went about solving it and what I learned about gcc in the process.

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Tags: gcc software


Building a Custom Mainline Linux Kernel System on the Orange Pi PC

Markus | Updated Sunday, August 6th 2017, 09:21

Figure 1. The Orange Pi PC single board computer
This post will explain how to build an Arch Linux system with the latest mainline Linux kernel for the Orange Pi PC by Xunlong from scratch. The target system is intended for server use only. Graphical features, while they may work, have not been tested and are not the focus of this post. The tutorial starts with a completely blank SD card, which means the following steps need to be accomplished in order to reach the goal:
  • Build the cross compiler
  • Build U-Boot
  • Partition the SD card and install U-Boot
  • Build the Linux kernel
  • Install it and the Arch Root FS onto the SD Card
  • Fun and profit :)

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Tags: linux orangepi software