Lab Notes

Experiments with computing, electronics, and maker crafts.

The HP 50g graphing calculator

June 9, 2021

In HP graphing calculators, between my beloved high school model (48GX) and the latest hotness (Prime) was the 50g. I thought I’d try to live without one but it actually has advantages over both of those models in programmability and data access (USB, SD card).

Compute!'s Gazette collection complete!

June 7, 2021

Collection complete! With this last acquisition I now have every print issue of Compute!’s Gazette magazine. Not counting the software special which for my purposes is nice to have but not essential. Gotta draw the line somewhere.

On PETs and rocks

June 7, 2021

The Commodore PET was named after the Pet Rock fad of 1976.

The original Pet Rock sold 1 mil units at $4 each in 1976.

The trademark holder reissued the Pet Rock in 2012. It is still available on Amazon for $20.

You can get an original issue vintage pet rock on eBay for $75.

The official P8PNG compression routines

May 1, 2021

For #pico8 hackers and historians, I put the C code for the P8PNG compression routines (legacy and PXA) on Github and linked them from the Wiki:…

Many thanks to @lexaloffle for releasing this code officially!

Franklin talking dictionary

April 6, 2021

Perhaps straining the interests of my followers in vintage tech but I’m enjoying this Franklin talking dictionary. Definitions, synonyms, pronunciations; word games, study lists; booklets on grammar, tables and lists.

Sharp Wizards

March 31, 2021

Got my new tip calculator! Time to get organized…

Compute!'s Gazette disk collection

March 2, 2021

My childhood is back! My childhood is back!

Super Mario Bros Game & Watch

December 1, 2020

I thought the Super Mario Bros Game & Watch would be an overpriced toy that I put in a drawer. I was not prepared for how wrong I was. This is a perfect grab and go toy with multiple levels of engagement, a fidget toy during meetings and a casual game between meetings.

Opening the C256 Foenix FMX case

November 23, 2020

A short tutorial on opening the #c256foenix FMX case. It is quite serviceable but there are a few things to note. For starters, the panels on top provide access to the JTAG ports, DIP switches, and RTC battery with tiny Philips-head screws, if that’s all you need. (1/n)

My Foenix has arrived!

October 29, 2020

My Foenix has arrived!