• Using a "backup drive" as /dev/root

    06/24/2018 at 23:20 0 comments

    The answer is yes, the obscenely cheap, giant drives marketed only for backup use can still be used as internal drives. Once you don't mind losing the warranty, they can be torn down & an ordinary SATA drive extracted. The lion kingdom risked $170 + $17 tax in an act of desperation because for the 1st time in 30 years of owning desktop hard drives, the hot weather seems to have damaged one. It was a good time to start moving the entire optical storage collection of 20 years to a hard drive. The lion kingdom had 2 other hard drive failures in Hitachi micro drives, but not root filesystems.  Japanese hard drives have proven the least reliable.

    After much destruction, the goods slid out from the bottom to the top, in their own plastic assembly. The assembly was locked inside by tabs & had rubber shock absorbers.

    The teardown also liberated a USB to SATA adapter & 12V 1.5A power brick. The USB adapter does the magic trick of spinning it down when inactive, without disconnecting it.

    All USB drives are much cheaper than what are being sold as internal drives. Suspect the support & warranty costs are much higher when people install the bare drives.

    The lion kingdom got into the habit of tacking on 2nd paw, small hard drives as needed. This creates a lot of heat & uses a lot of power. The 8TB should eventually replace all of them.

  • The 6th language

    05/09/2018 at 04:52 0 comments

    The lion kingdom's 1st language was C64 BASIC, then 6502 assembly, then logo, then Applesoft BASIC, then GW Basic, & many years later, C, the 6th language.  It was extraordinary to finally be able to express the machine's native instructions in a higher level language.  The compilers were scarce & expensive, so lions would write source code at home in a text editor & compile it at the day job, the next day.  The lion kingdom's 1st trouble spot was "invalid lvalue" for using = instead of == in an if statement.  It took forever to figure that one out.

    Most of SOMA has never heard of C & probably only vaguely has heard of assembly language.

  • Lions vs Ben Heck

    05/01/2018 at 20:45 0 comments

    The fight to make a CAD model leaves the lion kingdom feeling a bit under accomplished, compared to Ben Heck. Although his show only covers baby projects, he obviously is very skilled in CAD tools, electronic design tools, FPGA programming tools, embedded programming tools, & machine tools. 

    1 week, he'll have a very high proficiency in programming an FPGA. The next week he'll design something in Fusion 360. The next week, he'll design a circuit board. There's no way he could fake a high proficiency in each tool in the time between episodes.  Just learning & getting good results from a circuit board editor takes lions a lot longer.

    He could just as easily push a large aerospace project as make useless raspberry pi enclosures. The key is learning many tools rather than developing everything from scratch & always trying the latest method instead of doing what's tried & true for decades.  Retro computing works best when applied to the device under test, not the tools for making the device.  

    The mane disappointment is how he ballooned over the last 8 years.  Anyways, back to using a 30 year old X11 interface to make mobile apps.