Monday, 22 February 2010

Well so much for that.

Well that was an odd week. I did a lot of nothing ... instead of getting out and about or digging in the garden I spent most of it reading about the world's woes and getting worked up about it.

Maybe I should've stuck with the coding, but my mind did need a little rest anyway.

I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that I will have to get USB working ... but boy is it a lot of work. The *BSD and Linux implementations are massive - although I don't need anywhere near that sophistication. The Haiku one is about the only other public free implementation I've been able to find (and in-fact the only with a suitable license), and thankfully it is much simpler, although in C++. Most other free operating systems just don't implement USB. Maybe I should just shelve that whole idea and try and get Haiku working instead ... but my last patch hasn't gone anywhere so I lost some interest in that.

I did have a little play with trying to get interrupts working ... but no real progress on that front yet.

Another side-track was that I ended up with an old casio electronic keyboard to play with (for nothing). Given I have so much spare time I thought i'd try and learn a little piano, or at least see if I can drum up enough interest to want to learn it properly. Still not sure yet, my fingers seem to seize up pretty quickly, but it passes the time in the sort of cathartic way that reading the news or programming doesn't.

It gave me other ideas too, like hooking it up to a beagleboard, since I have a spare one still sitting in it's box. There are enough GPIO pins to hook up the matrix scan directly, although the 1.8v level logic adds a twist. Could make a fun little synth, even if I can't play it properly. Alternative is to use a smaller part like a PIC or AVR to decode the keyboard and ship out USB, serial, or even midi. Haven't played with hardware for ages.

Somehow that got me onto another site (through hack-a-day) that had some guys remarkable efforts with old Commodore 64's. I could just use the keyboard and box to put a beagleboard in to make a usable computer and not have to worry so much about USB and the like (and even if I just ran some version of linux on it, it would make a nice box to put everything in, particularly the C64-C or Amiga 600 cases). My brother still has a few old computers at home, so I might try and get one (shit, he threw them all out!), or ask around.

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