Archive for the ‘new stuff’ Category

new games

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

My first MAC!

Monday, October 20th, 2008

I have bought an Macbook Air!

It will replace my old laptop which is struggling with more and more problems. I have looked to other ultra portable laptops (screen <= 12″)  but most of them were to high prized or too ugly or had specifications i did not like. Two candidates were the Toshiba Portege R500 and the Lenovo Thinkpad X60. According to reviews the keyboard of the R500 is a bit fragile and the Thinkpad X60 has no touchpad!. The Macbook Air is high prized also (1799 euro), but i bought it from ebay which saved me about 500 euro. I think it’s a very good deal.

The party was over when i discovered that there was no european power plug included, so i had to buy one from a webshop. A week later i received the plug and i was finally able to start the Macbook up. Soon i discovered that the battery was not recognized and the Macbook immediately shuts down when i remove the MagSafe plug. I tried to do an System Management Controller (SMC) reset with no luck. I brought it to an Apple shop and they have repaired it under warranty. Now everything is working fine.

Asus Eee PC

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

I really like small laptops, everything above 13″ is too big, unless it’s a desktop replacement. I already have a 12.1″ laptop (MSI S270). Smaller then 12″ laptops used to be in a very high price range (1500+ euro). Now with the introduction of the Asus Eee PC there’s a good alternative. I couldn’t resist it and decided to buy one. The Eee PC has a small SSD drive. I wanted to have more then 4GB and black color so the black 8G version was the only option. They aren’t official available in The Netherlands so i bought it from an Ebay user from Taiwan. It arrived last thursday.

Specifications:

  • Display: AU Optronics 7? WVGA (800×480) TFT-LCD
  • Processor: 900MHz Intel Celeron M ULV 353 with 512kb Cache
  • Chipset: Mobile Intel 910GML Express
  • Graphics: Intel GMA 900 (integrated) with external VGA-out connector
  • Memory: 1GB single-channel DDR2-400 (PC2-3200)
  • Storage: 8GB SSD (Using mini PCI-E slot)
  • BIOS: American Megatrends, Inc. (AMI)
  • OS: ASUS-customized Xandros Linux with “Easy” and “Standard” GUI modes
  • Wired communications: 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, V.92 56K modem
  • Wireless communications: 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • Ports: 3 USB 2.0, MMC/SD(HC)/MS(PRO) card reader, microphone and headphone
  • Webcam: VGA (640×480) @ up to 30 fps
  • Audio: High Definition Audio; built-in stereo speakers, microphone
  • Battery life: 3.5 hours (4-cell NiMH: 7.4V, 5200mAh, 2S2P)
  • Dimensions: 22.5 x 16.5 x 2.1~3.5 cm (8.9 x 6.5 x 0.9~1.4 in)
  • Weight: 0.89 kg (1.96 lbs)
  • Color: black

Pictures:

eeepc01.jpg

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Eee PC versus MSI S270

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Interface in Easy Mode. There is also an Advanced mode which is a fully KDE environment.

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Eee PC versus MSI S270

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Eee PC versus CD. You can see how small it is.

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It came with an adapter with a USA connector. I currently don’t have a adapter to change the USA connector to a European one. The Eee PC needs 9.5V. I tried a stabilized 9V adapter and it seems to be working.

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Bought Altera FPGA Development board

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

I bought an Altera FPGA development board from Ebay. It had to be shipped from HongKong to me so it took a few weeks. It arrived between christmas and new year.

Features:
1. DC 5V powered.
2. Cyclone chip: EP1C3T144C8 (QFP144).
3. Configuration chip: EPCS1 (1M).
4. Can work on JTAG or AS mode.
5. 6 digit 7-seg LED, 4×3 LED matrix, another single LED.
6. 4×3 Keys, 8-bit DIP Switches for input.
7. 20MHz oscillator for main clock.
8. 40-pin and 20-pin DIL connectors for IO interface.
9. Download Cable: ByteBlaster II.
10. Sample source code and Schematic (on CD).

The manufacturer of the board is TJQIDONG from China (Never heard of it to be honest ;) ).

The board looks a bit cheap. There was no real product package and the software CD was a burned Philips CDR. That’s not a big problem for me. Because this is my first FPGA experience a better documentation about how to get started with the Quartus II software and the board would be handy. Luckily they provided a full schematic of the board.

I can now config the FPGA through JTAG with a programming file of their demo software. I still have to figure out how to program the EPCS1 Config Chip.

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fpga_development_board2.jpg

fpga_byteblaster.jpg

Bought a Fluke Industrial Scopemeter 124

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

I recently bought an Fluke Industrial Scopemeter 124 from a dutch online auction. It was 750 euro, which is a good price i think.

I really like the scopemeters from Fluke even though they have a low samplerate. In the future i might buy a faster DSO but at the moment this will do.

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