Skip navigation
Introduction   Back in 2007 my current production computer died a grisly death at the hands of a merciless inflated capacitor. While the prospect of rebuilding was not desirable, I never turn away an adventure. Within a week I had done the research to determine what kind of computer I wanted and had ordered the necessary components. I had a “massive” 250GB hard drive which I decided to partition in two. The first partition for Windows XP and the second for whatever version came ...
SGarciaV

The Voltage Divider

Posted by SGarciaV Nov 26, 2015
Introduction   I just finished a course programming the TI LaunchPad, featuring the MSP340FR6989 micro controller. One of the lab projects involved a sliding potentiometer which turned a LED “on” or “off” depending on how far the arm on the pot was to either end.   The software for this lab that was provided by the course polled the Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) to determine whether the input voltage to the ADC was at 50% of the full potential. If it was a ...
SGarciaV

Arcnet MCA Project

Posted by SGarciaV Nov 11, 2015
Written by Salvador Garcia   Introduction   In 1987 IBM introduced a new standard for personal computers. While the ISA standard remained standard on most of the PC sold at that time, IBM introduced its line IBM PS/2 computer, boasting a new bus architecture known as Micro Channel Architecture, or MCA. MCA improved several aspects of configuration that was somewhat tedious before MCA came along. These included sharing interrupt lines and easier configuration of the adapters by using ...
Hi all!   One of my past blog entries described in detail my adventures in designing and building the EPROM Reader. When discussing the Windows software I made a brief mention of a sub project that provided a prototype of the communication subsystem within the EPROM Reader Windows software. The sub project consisted of developing an Arduino sketch and Windows application that allowed two way communication between these two devices. The result was a very simple app whose only propose in lif ...
Back in 2007 I was involved in a project to document, in the most simple way, all about BEAM robotics. BEAM is Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics and Mechanics. It is a type of robot whose objective is to mimic simple inset lifeforms. Yes, the pursuit for an electronic cockroach is on!   Aside from using a simple design, a BEAM robot should display behavior similar to that of an insect and be self sustaining. Although many BEAM robots use batteries, many also use solar panels to comply with ...
SGarciaV

EPROM Reader Project

Posted by SGarciaV Jul 27, 2015
Introduction   It all started at the beginning of 2015 when an EPROM related topic was discussed in the Color Computer mailing list where I participate. I recall that way back in the 80s I coded a small program that I put on an EPROM and ran when the computer was started. I recall having to take numerous factors into consideration so that the code would run correctly.   I was curious enough about these long forgotten components (so forgotten that when I search for “EPROM” ...
In 2007 the “Friends of DTSS” last updated a project they initiated years ago to build a DTSS Emulator to revive the 1964 version of the Dartmouth College Dartmouth Time-Sharing System. Their emulator closely mimicked the DTSS’ behavior and implemented the BASIC and ALGOL programming languages. The emulator can be downloaded here:   http://dtss.dartmouth.edu/index.php#download   2014 celebrated the 50th anniversary of the BASIC programming language. The Glenside Col ...
SGarciaV

Back to Karnaugh

Posted by SGarciaV Aug 1, 2014
Back in school I had a few courses in digital electronics, so Karnaugh maps were not something alien to me. Unfortunately, my life experience never took me down a path where I had to simplify Boolean equations.   A current software development project required a screen with various UI options to allow the user to configure the application. Among the usual validations that I had to perform on the entered selections was one that was somewhat unusual.   The application provides logging ...
The 23rd Annual "Last" Chicago CoCoFEST! Recap by Salvador Garcia   The Glenside Color Computer Club (GCCC) - http://www.glensideccc.com/ - celebrated the 23rd annual “Last” Chicago CoCoFEST! on April 24 and 25. This event is a celebration of friendship and camaraderie revolving around a small home computer that was popular in the 80s, the Tandy/Radio Shack Color Computer. While the original electronics of this computer may now be considered archaic and obsolete, a dedicated g ...
SGarciaV

A Cousin’s Dilemma

Posted by SGarciaV Mar 2, 2014
My cousin emailed me on Friday to let me know that she was having problems with her USB flash drive. Her employer provides these to allow their employees to store files. She mentioned in the email that the drive felt wobbly and that she thought that something might be loose inside. She was not able to access any of the files on the drive.   Since she had her work files there she was concerned about losing her information. I was not sure what was wrong with the drive and could not determine ...
RoboPanthers Have a Blast Off!   Today, October 21, 2013 marks the first meeting and workshop of the St Louise de Marillac School RoboPanthers robotics club with 17 attendees, located in the village of La Grange Park, Illinois. Thanks to the parish, the school and a handful of volunteers the RoboPanthers met for the first time today from 3:30 to 5:00 PM and will continue to meet for the next 5 Mondays.   The RoboPanthers will be exploring the world of robotics by first looking into t ...
WowWee Rovio Battery Charger Fix By Salvador Garcia     Introduction   Some WowWee Rovio robots were incorrectly assembled. As a result one of the charger circuit diodes was inserted backwards. This caused the robot to not fully charge the battery. The following is the procedure to follow to correct this assembly error.   Note: Not all Rovios have this issue. The first course of action, if your Rovio is new, is to make use of the warranty. You need to be comfortable disas ...
SGarciaV

Where is my Window?

Posted by SGarciaV May 16, 2013
Where is my window?   Introduction   Currently more and more people are using a second monitor to expand the size of their Windows Desktop. Some other users are using anywhere from 3 to 6 monitors, but these installations are more specialized and not as common in the home or small office.   One issue that comes up, especially with portable computers, is that when the second monitor is disconnected and the computer is used elsewhere application windows that reside in the extende ...
Glenside Color Computer Club The 22nd Annual “Last” Chicago CoCoFEST! Recap by Salvador Garcia   I was over at the 22nd Annual “Last” Chicago CoCoFEST! on Saturday April 27. This Fest is held annually by the Glenside Color Computer Club (GCCC). Each year this group wonders whether it will be the last CoCoFEST! Thanks to the support and generosity of people this Fest has been going on for 22 years, much longer than the Color Computer, or CoCo, has been available. Wh ...