What have you bought recently?

Discussion in 'Offtopic Discussions' started by Cerbera, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. matzesu

    matzesu Advanced Member

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    I don’t want it in English cause my English is too bad for long books,
    So if I didn’t understand the book, I put it away,
    So I read it in german..

    But I bought „The Stand“ in English, so this is the book I have to read in English..

    Oh and i found a great Reading Spot in our Garden:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Djoga'Ro

    Djoga'Ro moonstruck

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    I've got no idea, what you're talking about. o_O
     
  3. second exodous

    second exodous Advanced Member

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    I have the original nook and the simple touch with glow light. The funny thing is the original still works fine 9 years later, no need to upgrade, I just liked the light. People were saying that e-ink displays wouldn't last long but 9 years is pretty long. . .

    I think an e-reader was the best investment I have ever made, they last FOREVER and it actually allows me to read more. I read on my phone for a few years, I had an OLED screen on my Galaxy S4, but it just wasn't the same. I switched back to my e-reader.

    I remember when people were saying they just liked real paper and books but now they're popular enough that a lot of people prefer to read on a thin light e-reader. I'm always carrying around a few hundred books on my e-reader, so a few heavy boxes of books.
     
  4. ingoreis

    ingoreis Advanced Member

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    because there is no ICP 2 ever released i was very interested in this Thing from Ipega..
    ..i bought one for my Sony Android Smart TV :)
    temp.jpg
     
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  5. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I still like real books that I can borrow from the library, or get passed through by family and friends. I think my library does lend books to kindles, but that ties me even further into Amazon's sphere of influence. Plus, no batteries, and just how many books do you need when you go away anyway?

    I quite often have a popular science book on the go and I guess looking up the little reference numbers might be easier on an ereader, but my experiences with pdfs thus far suggest cross referencing is not something they tend to do. Two bookmarks seems to be hard to beat.
     
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  6. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    I have more physical books than ebooks.
     
  7. second exodous

    second exodous Advanced Member

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    Oh yeah, I still read physical books from frequenting the library and borrowing from friends/family. I think printed books are still needed but when I go to buy a book I see if it is digital first.

    Every cycle tourist I met on my tour had an e-reader and I only met a few backpackers that lugged around physical books, the rest of them had e-readers or just didn't read. So if you aren't concerned about weight or space a book is ok but when traveling and weight/space is an issue an e-reader is a great investment.
    Me too, but I have only had an e-book for 9 years.
     
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  8. ClockworkCoder

    ClockworkCoder Chaotic Neutral

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    I find it irritating why there is tax on ebooks here.

    They'll never be a replacement for reference books either: like the hardback versions of the gang of four's Design Patterns, or The Art of Electronics, for example (both of which I bought about a year or two ago).
     
  9. matzesu

    matzesu Advanced Member

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    Hey at least the Kindle fits perfectly in the Pocket of my Workpants, this means I can read when and where I want :)
    Not at work but mybe at pause or something..
    EBooks aren’t much cheaper than paper books,
    There are some discounts sometimes, but the Song of Ice and Fire EBooks where also 15 € just like the Paper Books..
     
  10. PCXT

    PCXT Very Active Member

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    Haven't bought, but got an old mainboard and decided to fix it.
    This probably will be a long post, full of things which are not interesting for an average Internet user, but this masochism is my hobby and I like poking such hardware. I will probably take some photos, scan my notes and put a blog post about it.
    I got a PC XT mainboard. The history of it is known: previous owner got it from someone else, who told that it is damaged and cannot be easily repaired, so it became an interesting exhibit in a bookshelf. It was for bout 20 years in a bookshelf.
    The mainboard is a really old one - it has an ISA male edge connector on the side, all TTL chips from around 1983, socketed, but it was not an IBM. The logo, visible on a silkscreen under the processor, resembles a stylish written "S" letter with its center line shaped in an American resistor symbol.
    It was a clone, but a clone made with some uncertainty. Not that there are circuit errors, it electrically still is a 5160, but the design itself is... like someone took schematics from the technical manual, looked at original PCB and said "OK, let's try to design it again", and this was the first try, made quickly to verify is everything OK. The mainboard has a piece of breadboard in one of its corners produced by design. Tracks are not led with straight angles, like in IBM, but they are curved. All chips are socketed, and there are their models written on the silkscreen, but they have lots of typos, like "74L5S05" instead of "74LS05" (generally silkscreen designer put digit 5 too many times in a chip types), there are also typos in descriptions like "ROM SEPAARTION" or "16K RANS". The mainboard had a Nec 8088 processor, most components are from Nec and TI.
    The first thing before powering on was removing each chip and checking it in TTL tester. This way, 2 blown 74LS244 and 74LS74 with partially damaged output have been replaced. CPU has been tested in another XT and it didn't started. So I replaced it too.
    I dumped the PROM and compared with 5160's dump. It was OK. Dumped EPROM - a surprise, it was a BIOS from 08/16/1982, this ROM was never officially released, and comparing code I find that it is (in at least 4 places) different than another copy which is in the Internet.
    I decided to try it in my XT Turbo to see what the result will be - XT BIOSes are quite interchangeable if no custom chipsets are used, and I already tried a 1986 5160 BIOS in it. So, comparing to the 1986 one, this unofficial BIOS is slow as hell, it chews through 640kB of RAM in about a minute, has no support for 720kB drives and is too greedy about some card's ROMs. I will probably save the chip as it was originally, but I'll prepare a chip with 1986 BIOS, or maybe even a Phoenix (although I don't like Phoenix - it boots up very quickly, but may not see some board ROMs).
    Let's proceed further. Before powering it on I did a quick configuration review: DIP switches all in "ON", this should not be like that, especially when most of circuitry is like 5160 and DIP switches are described on silkscreen like a 5160, I configured it as in the original. Next, the jumpers.
    First thing I found was that one jumper block is really similar to the one in XT, responsible for 64-256K or 256-640K board mode. And it really could have this function, but someone soldered it in the solder side to 256-640 option. Some jumper pins are present in the black plastic bases, but are not soldered into PCB. And there are much more jumpers than in 5160. Especially near ROM sockets, there are 5 sockets in this mainboard and their system is different than in 5160. The first difference is a presence of 74LS30 on the way to /CE of ROM, and /OE ends in some unknown jumper block. I decided to try to power it on quickly, but before connecting power supply I tested it with ohmmeter. SHORT.
    Tantalum capacitors? Another bad chip? Short in clock generator? Nope. Someone jumpered Vcc with GND. After this discovery I decided not to trust existing jumper configuration, and after removing "risky" jumpers the machine of course shown no signs of life, but at least nothing blown PSU's fuses.
    In the meantime I burned a diagnostic ROM from MinusZegoDegrees site.
    OK, because this mainboard is not known at all, even in TH99, I had to do a comparison - with 5160 schematics.
    The first thing I found was the ROM in socket "ROM0", while it is not possible by LS138 to mount the ROM0 socket in F0000 in this board. The LS138 has all of its IBM's "unused" lines used in ROM sockets, and leftover lines are formed in a strange loop with an originally-unused inverter on the other corner of the board. A whole circus ends with a jumper: This thing or GND can be used to control one of active-low gates of LS138. How beautiful, what the hell is this thing?
    After drawing this circuit on paper I found that the only function of this thing is injecting delays to make the board run with slower EPROMs. And by slower I think about 350-400ns. These times 250 was a standard, 300 was obsolete, but usually acceptable. Nevertheless, this goes to ground, my EPROMs are all 150-200.
    Now let's go to 18 pins sticking from the board. First, I found all Vccs and GNDs. Next, I identified all EPROM sockets pinouts - all from ROM0..3, no use for me, it's 4 and 5 for system ROM. Let's go to the next, 10-pin header, identifying the same things.
    So I understand that there are address lines you can connect to ROMs pins. There may be even a /CE, which comes from LS138, while /OE can be tied to ground or to /MEMR, which is a reasonable choice because there is no /MEMR in any other place near ROMs. There is an option to connect A14 to pin 1 of socket to fit these fancy 32kB mask ROMs which have it, but I totally do not understand the possibility to connect /MEMWR to pin 27. Do they expected to turn this board into ROM development platform, in which it's possible to install some SRAM, blow the contents inside from the system itself, reboot and try how it boots?
    Another enigma is option to short IRQ2 to one of EPROM's address lines.
    I finally made some nice alignment assuming that other address lines are OK. Installed an original ROM, power on. Mainboard dead.
    Changed to diagnostic ROM and flipped a jumper for 2732, as the original was 2764. Mainboard dead. TTL probe: No access to ROM.
    OK, so let's try to finally go through the circuit to generate this /CE signal. The thing should start with address lines 15, 16 and 17, and end with /CE. During its progress, there should A18 and A19 come, as well as /MEMR, which in this board is already solved with /OE. What's near LS138? 74LS30 and more jumpers!
    So these jumpers allowed to connect A,B and C inputs of 74LS138 multiplexer to address lines, 12-17 to be exact. And of course they located ROM around the network adapter's hypothetical space, so it was obvious that the board did not started. Some inputs of LS30, a multi-input NAND gate, were going to pads for a jumper for disabling ROM entirely (but what for?). Small corrections, original ROM and boot.
    The board started POST, slowly processing its 512kB of RAM I put in two first banks of chips. Good, but I found a very interesting problem:
    - The mainboard runs BIOS without problems.
    - The mainboard can even boot ROM BASIC if I put it in.
    - Before boot, BIOS beeps me that it cannot detect video board, while displaying the memory test using the video board.
    - Diagnostic ROM test hangs when testing MDA memory, with a different Hercules (sorry, no MDA) displaying a "soup" on screen, CGA behaves erratically.
    Well, this was not a video board's fault. I decided to observe the jumpers more carefully through a magnifying glass to see how they were connected. I noticed something odd: Some jumpers were cut from double-in-line block and soldered separately. Why? And why these two pins are bent a little distant from their base, and the other two so close to their base? Maybe the jumper doesn't go horizontally or vertically, but... diagonally?
    The line A18 completed a set of signals for 74LS30, which could then drive gate of LS138 multiplexer, so the BIOS has finally disappeared from video memory space.
    System passed the diagnostic tests. With Phoenix BIOS it even booted off a 720K floppy.

    Then I decided to give an old CPU a try - it started. It looks like the problem was only in frequency rating, as the XT I was testing components in was a Turbo XT (although not in turbo mode).
     
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  11. Elw3

    Elw3 ƐʍlƎ

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    Just wow.
     
  12. second exodous

    second exodous Advanced Member

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    My first 8bitdo controller. Got this for two reasons over a USB to SNES adapter:

    1. It has a large flat 'overlay' area like a NES controller and I want to make my own custom overlay, probably a Mega Man or Bob and George.
    2. Played retro pi with my nephews with one PS1 controller with a USB adapter and one PS3 controller just wired in through a USB cable because the battery is dead and only lasts for 5 min now. I have NO IDEA how I put up with cables when I was a kid, it was driving me crazy. The PS3 controller kept getting unplugged and the PS1 usb adapter keeps needing unplugged and plugged back in.

    It feels exactly like a SNES controller, the only difference is the start/select in a different orientation which I like, more room for a custom overlay. I also got this one over one of the GB colored ones simply because of the convex x and y buttons. I'm American and grew up with them, it is a nice touch although it doesn't really affect game play either way.

    I use Linux exclusively and apparently they could be updated through Linux although I think that has fallen by the way side. A fedora dev got it working but now it doesn't seem to be working anymore. So, I have no way to update the firmware but I have played some SNES games with it for a few hours and I can't notice anything wrong, it linked fine, stays connected, and I just turn it on when it sleeps and just works. I haven't yet tried it on the raspberry pi though.

    Overall I really like it. I think the next one I get will be the sn30 pro controller, same large overlay area instead of the SNES style without overlay. I read the dpad would register up and down when rocked right and left but I couldn't find a game where that would show up. I know the trick to fix it if it is a problem but it uses star bit screws so I can't open it easily, I need to buy a bit to fit it. Grr. I need one anyway if I decide to paint it Mega Man colors. Oh well, it can't be perfect. . .

    EDIT: Got it cracked open, it takes a T7 torx bit, not a star bit, and it looks like it will be difficult to paint because the shoulder buttons are glued into the bottom half of the shell. It looks like they might have just been 'melted on', like with a soldering iron, and if that is the case I might be able to sand off the plastic, paint them separately, and then glue them/melt them on again.

    They look really nice on the inside, really good looking circuit board, really well made. I've opened quite a few controllers in my day and non official controllers usually suck but this one looks really nice.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
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  13. Djoga'Ro

    Djoga'Ro moonstruck

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    @second exodous I got two SN30 Pro. I'm happy with them on their own. Plus they spare me from having to use the JoyCons. :)
     
  14. second exodous

    second exodous Advanced Member

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    I don't know if I'll buy the sn30 pros because they are only a few dollars cheaper than PS4 controllers and I think overall the PS controllers are very comfortable. If I had to put money on which controller will be supported the longest and physically last the longest I'd put it on Sony over 8bitdo.

    I tried to use them with my pi with both the old way and new way for both the new and old sn30 firmwares and neither method works. I think it'll have to be updated an I can't do that since I don't have OSX or windows. I'll try to figure something out but yeah, this is a downside to me owning 8bitdo for me. With a PS4 controller I can just go to someones home with a PS4 and plug them in to get the update, for 8bitdo I'll need to ask if I can install software on their computers. . .

    In it's current state it does work really well on my PC though, and wired it works fine on the pi but it kinda defeats the purpose of getting this over a SNES to USB adapter. I'll customize this one and just use it on my PC and for now suffer through using wires on my pi. I really don't see myself using the pi much, that is mainly for my nephews. They actually have a PS4 with a few controllers so they'll probably use those when I give the pi to them. I just haven't fallen in love with playing games on the pi like I thought I would, it just isn't as personal as either a handheld or my computer. Playing retro games on a big screen just seems like a social thing to play a few games not something I'd play a long RPG on.
     
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  15. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    My SN30pro has bluetooth as well as USB connections (keyboard simulation, joypad simulation) and at least a couple more connections I've forgotten, all controlled by holding down buttons I can never remember when powering it on. It's worked a number of ways to drive my Pandora, although you have to pick an emulator where you can configure the controls.
     
  16. Cerbera

    Cerbera Begen

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  17. Elw3

    Elw3 ƐʍlƎ

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    [​IMG]
     
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  18. jparish1977

    jparish1977 Member

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    Technically bought them in 2015. Got them out Wednesday:)[​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
     
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  19. Elw3

    Elw3 ƐʍlƎ

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    But what is this?
     
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  20. kuru

    kuru Irate Pyrate

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    Good to hear mate!

    Now that's a boatload of metal. Does it feel any different?
     

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