Oh, wow.

This is one of the most beautiful examples of electronics assembly that I have ever seen. Someone in Germany built a digital Nixie clock using only tubes! Even the wiring job underneath the clock is amazing.

Windows Vista Beta2 out today..

When I saw the Windows Vista Home Page, this is the first thing I thought of..

Update: I never thought that an OS could bring a 64-bit system with 2G of RAM and 256M of video memory to a crawl.

This looks like Microsoft hired people from the Enlightenment team to design their user interface but fed them a hefty dose of LSD first.

Edit: Here’s my system specs, if you’re wondering:
– Asus A8N motherboard with AMD Athlon64 3200+
– 2G Kingston PC3200 RAM (4x512M)
– nVidia GeForce 6200 AGP video card (256M onboard)
– Hitachi 80G SATA hard drive, Lite-On DVD burner/CDRW
– PC Power & Cooling power supply, good steel case, etc

Thoughts on computers today

I’m sitting here reading through “Build Your Own Z80 Computer” by Steve Ciarcia.

It sucks that stuff like this (knowing how your system works, literally, from the ground up) isn’t taught anymore, or really pushed like it was in the 70s and early 80s. You can’t even really find *books* like this anymore – a used copy can run you as much as $200 depending on availability. The title originally cost $20 in 1984.

Having multiple different hardware platforms and OSes that ran on them led to more innovation. Now, its more along the lines of “Here’s the API, code to that”, and a lot of programmers couldn’t care less about what lies underneath as long as things work as they’re supposed to.

As much as I love my Mac and my other UNIX boxes, there’s nothing more fun than building a single-board computer, applying power for the first time, and watching it behave as its supposed to. Nothing is quite as fun as taking a pile of chips, components, and a PCB, and a couple of days later, typing this in:

10 PRINT "HELLO WORLD"

RUN

and having it spit back out

HELLO WORLD