9
Sep
'18

Read carefully. It’s not the domain expiring. It’s some bullshit you never signed up for.

I wonder how many people they catch.





My back’s been bothering me since Y2K. I could handle that. My foot started bothering me about five years ago, debilitatingly so. After two neurosurgeons, one neurologist, a podiatrist, biokinetics, three orthopaedic surgeons, four MRIs, many X-rays, and a nuclear scan,  It Was Time.

The good news is that I have 100% medical aid cover. The bad news is that doesn’t mean what you think it means — good doctors (And Dr Makan is good, no doubt about that) charge 225% or more. So I’m in the hole for about R20k of Dr Makan’s time, as well as some amount towards the klaas vakie, but it’s money well spent for professional service.

The other good news is that the medical aid fully covers the hospital (Life Vincent Pallotti, recommended) charges, and there are many.

I went into theater at around 13:30 on Tuesday. Started being aware of my surroundings maybe somewhere around 17:00, 18:00, thereabouts, up in High Care. Saw Dr Makan, briefly, at a distance, he waved, said all had gone well.

Moved down to Protea ward somewhere between breakfast and lunch the next day, all was good. Very nice staff, great (well, for a hospital) food, morphine drip, catheter… lay back and enjoyed it.

Thursday was… not so good. They started taking me off the painkillers and the drain (pipe coming out of my back and into a bottle) was really making its presence felt. So also the catheter. Thankfully Dr Makan came around, I asked, he told ’em to lose all the plumbing, and once they’d removed that (needle in my wrist, drain in my back, catheter) life was much more rosy.

So I started swapping food pics with my mother-in-law, who was in Life Knysna at the time. Crappy cellphone pics, but still.

05:30, coffee and a rusk.

08:00, breakfast.

10:30-ish, coffee and a cookie.

12:00, lunch.

14:30, coffee and two cookies nogal.

1700, supper.

20:30, coffee and sarmies.

Hobbits would like this place.

With the Medical Aid paying, everyone was cool with me staying the maximum allowed 6 days, but I booked myself out on Sunday to make Tanya’s life easier. So now I’m supposed to spend six weeks on my back…

 

 





IMG_9817r

Predecessor of the SIMM?

IMG_9816r

This comes from a piece of medical equipment made by the other S&W, Simonsen & Weel, Denmark, circa 1979.

IMG_9769r

Each module has 8 x AM2808PC 1024-bit dynamic shift registers, driven by a DS0025CN two-phase clock driver. That’s one kilobyte of storage per module, and you have to keep on clocking the data around the ring otherwise the capacitors making up the memory discharge and forget.

It’s a lot simpler than a mercury delay line memory, but functionally it’s not that much different.

 

 

 





22
Mar
'17

12552771_1167524413278860_7728517169999734814_n

Now go away.





20
Jan
'17

Windows30

I installed Windows 3.0 for the first time today* From seven 720 kilobyte stiffy** disks. And it worked first time.

 

* Windows 3.1, I’ve installed countless times. Windows 3.0, never.

** Yea that’s what we call them here.








28
Feb
'16


Do go read

 





16
Feb
'16

PM2421-cropped

Mahala gratis verniet and for free, nogal.

And it seems to work, that’s indeed a 4.7k resistor.

Look at the ridiculous scale on this thing — not only uA but nA as well. Why would I want to measure a nano-amp?

I think this will become part of my permanent test setup.





Lindgren liked to sit on the small second-floor balcony with a view of the sea. There is a bench in a corner of the balcony. Karin Nyman, Lindgren’s daughter, who is now over 80 and closely resembles her mother, says: “Take a look under the bench.”

It’s easier said than done. Dates, a few words and many stenographic symbols are written in pencil on the underside of the bench: “July 3, 1963. Summer. Radiant. Like in the good old days. The early summer was magical. I was here all of June and wrote “Michel from Lönneberga.” The book is now finished. We bought a sailboat, the ‘Saltkrokan.'” Lindgren must have laid flat on her back to write these words, with her feet sticking out from underneath the bench. Perhaps she even wiggled her toes, just like Pippi.

Read the whole article here.





Early eighties, to be more precise.

You see, there was Apple DOS (Disk Operating System). And then there were other Disk Operating Systems, faster and therefore better (OK, faster because very often they left out a whole lot of error checking that the Apple DOS performed — but if you have an error there’s not much you can do about it so why check :-)

One of these was Diversi-DOS. It had a splash screen, which of course was stored on the disk, along with display code.

So of course I promptly hacked the splash screen to display my own message. Recently came across a printout from way back then. So here we have some of the first machine code I ever wrote.

086C-   20 2F FB    JSR   $FB2F       JSR $FB2F and $FC58 clears the High-Res and normal text screens.
086F-   20 58 FC    JSR   $FC58
0872-   A0 00       LDY   #$00
0874-   B9 A2 08    LDA   $08A2,Y     Y=0, load from $08A2 (it's down there, 8D 8D 8D etc)
0877-   F0 07       BEQ   $0880       If the value you've loaded is zero, go to $0880 ($00 marks the end)
0879-   20 ED FD    JSR   $FDED       Otherwise print the character ($FDED prints the accumulator A), increment Y
087C-   C8          INY
087D-   4C 74 08    JMP   $0874       And get the next character
0880-   A0 04       LDY   #$04        Now, load Y with 4 and jump to the subroutine at $0895, below.
0882-   20 95 08    JSR   $0895
0885-   C8          INY
0886-   C0 20       CPY   #$20
0888-   D0 F8       BNE   $0882       Then, increment Y and loop, stop when Y reaches $20 (32 -- $ indicates base 16)
088A-   20 95 08    JSR   $0895
088D-   88          DEY               Now do the same thing, but from $20 down to 4.
088E-   C0 04       CPY   #$04
0890-   D0 F8       BNE   $088A
0892-   4C FD 08    JMP   $08FD       And then exit (back to Diversi-DOS)

                                      So here we are with Y=4..31, then 32..5
0895-   98          TYA               Move Y to X via A (because this is how a 6502 works) Second TYA maybe a bug*
0896-   AA          TAX
0897-   98          TYA
0898-   8D 30 C0    STA   $C030       Click the speaker by accessing $C030 (yes, one bit, on or off, no Soundblaster)
089B-   20 A8 FC    JSR   $FCA8       $FCA8 delays for some time dependent on the value in A
089E-   CA          DEX               Now decrement X and loop, i.e. do this as many times as the value in Y
089F-   D0 F6       BNE   $0897
08A1-   60          RTS               And return
08A2-   8D 8D 8D    STA   $8D8D       This is the text that gets displayed by the code up there from $872 to $87E
08A5-   8D 8D 8D    STA   $8D8D       Says "COPIED BY THE DIRTY DEVIL"** in the middle(-ish) of the 40 x 24 screen
08A8-   8D 8D 8D    STA   $8D8D
08AB-   8D 8D 8D    STA   $8D8D
08AE-   A0 A0       LDY   #$A0        $A0 = Spaces
08B0-   A0 A0       LDY   #$A0
08B2-   A0 A0       LDY   #$A0
08B4-   C3          ???               $C3 = C, $CF = O and so on.
08B5-   CF          ???
08B6-   D0 C9       BNE   $0881
08B8-   C5 C4       CMP   $C4
08BA-   A0 C2       LDY   #$C2
08BC-   D9 A0 D4    CMP   $D4A0,Y
08BF-   C8          INY
08C0-   C5 A0       CMP   $A0
08C2-   C4 C9       CPY   $C9
08C4-   D2          ???
08C5-   D4          ???
08C6-   D9 A0 C4    CMP   $C4A0,Y
08C9-   C5 D6       CMP   $D6
08CB-   C9 CC       CMP   #$CC
08CD-   00          BRK

* As I said, the second TYA is not needed, TAX doesn’t change A. But it’s from the earlier code, which didn’t vary the time of each “note”.

** Which is what I called myself waybackwhen.

The result is a sliding note that slows down as it gets lower, then speeds up again. At full volume (erm, there only was one volume) it’s guaranteed to get attention. Of course some guys were much much more into this than I was.

Stay tuned (might take a few years) for when I blog about the digitized voice I once hacked into the Diversi-DOS startup screen… yes, you can recognizably digitize a voice using only one bit.

 





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