Continuing the process of cleaning up the basement I found the original Nascom circuit diagrams. These diagrams originate from 1978 and I got the actual Nascom hardware beginning of 1981 second hand.
In my company I’ve basically completely moved to the Windows platform. My company is the typical Microsoft shop and since I’m doing more management stuff with slides and “official” documents Linux wasn’t simply an option any more. My company deploys a method to completely remotely install a PC/Laptop with all the required standard set of software. However there are those very nice to have programs like Notepad++, CCleaner or ConEmu, which make life under Windows bearable or if you want to add a programming language like Python or Ruby.
Anyway, for some time I’ve been using Ninite to install and keep my selection of add-ons up to date. Until I learned about Chocolatey from Scott Hanselmans Dev Tool List. As he says: once you start using it, you’ll be hooked. Here are some additional notes from him.
Worked without any major problems for me until I wanted to install Pip after already having install the Python programming language itself. Pip has a dependency on Easy.install, which is installed in the process. However the installation of Easy.install fails for me with this error message:
> cinst easy.install Chocolatey (v0.9.8.27) is installing 'easy.install' and dependencies. By installing you accept the license for 'easy.install' and each dependency you are installing. easy.install v0.6.11.4 Setting PYTHONHOME environment variable to 'C:\tools\python2' PS: PYTHONHOME variable is not required to Python works, but it is a good practice to have it. Using python home at 'C:\tools\python2' Installing easy_install for Python(2.7.8)... Installing setuptools from http://pypi.python.org/pypi/setuptools ... Using this proxyserver: 172.25.xx.yyy:zz Downloading easy.install/setuptools 32 bit from 'http://pypi.python.org/packages/2.7/s/setuptools/setuptools-0.6c11.win32-py2.7.exe' Using this proxyserver: 172.25.xx.yyy:zz Write-Error : easy.install/setuptools did not finish successfully. Boo to the chocolatey gods! ----------------------- [ERROR] Exception calling ".ctor" with "2" argument(s): "Could not find a part of the path 'C:\TEMP\chocolatey\easy.ins tall\setuptools\easy.install\setuptoolsInstall.exe'." ----------------------- At C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\chocolateyinstall\helpers\functions\Write-ChocolateyFailure.ps1:30 char:3 + Write-Error $errorMessage + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ + CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [Write-Error], WriteErrorException + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.WriteErrorException,Write-Error Write-Error : easy.install did not finish successfully. Boo to the chocolatey gods! ----------------------- [ERROR] Exception calling ".ctor" with "2" argument(s): "Could not find a part of the path 'C:\TEMP\chocolatey\easy.ins tall\setuptools\easy.install\setuptoolsInstall.exe'." ----------------------- At C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\chocolateyinstall\helpers\functions\Write-ChocolateyFailure.ps1:30 char:3 + Write-Error $errorMessage + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ + CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [Write-Error], WriteErrorException + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.WriteErrorException,Write-Error Write-Error : Package 'easy.install v0.6.11.4' did not install successfully: Exception calling ".ctor" with "2" argumen t(s): "Could not find a part of the path 'C:\TEMP\chocolatey\easy.install\setuptools\easy.install\setuptoolsInstall.exe '." At C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\chocolateyinstall\functions\Chocolatey-NuGet.ps1:90 char:17 + Write-Error "Package `'$installedPackageName v$installedPackageV ... + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ + CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [Write-Error], WriteErrorException + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.WriteErrorException,Write-Error Finished installing 'easy.install' and dependencies - if errors not shown in console, none detected. Check log for error
Apparently there is something wrong with the path setup for download and installing the
I circumvented the problem by executing the following steps. I installed
wget via Chocolatey, simply for the fact, that I’m familiar with it. You’ll be able to achieve the same results by using other Windows native tools, you are familiar with.
> cinst wget
Then I changed to the temporary installation location used by Chocolatey for
easy.install and created another
easy.install directory and changed into it.
> cd c:\temp\chocolatey\easy.install\setuptools > mkdir easy.install > cd easy.install
Your working directory should now be
Notice the 2
easy.install directory components. Now download the
setuptools package via
wget into this directory under the name
setuptoolsInstall.exe. Depending on your location within the larger network, you might additional need to configure the proxy server either in the environment or via additional command line options.
> wget --no-check-certificate -O setuptoolsInstall.exe http://pypi.python.org/packages/2.7/s/setuptools/setuptools-0.6c11.win32-py2.7.exe > dir Directory: C:\temp\chocolatey\easy.install\setuptools\easy.install Mode LastWriteTime Length Name ---- ------------- ------ ---- -a--- 27.08.2014 09:16 227956 setuptoolsInstall.exe
After these steps the installation of
easy.install via Chocolatey should succeed normally.
> cinst easy.install
I did all the above steps within a PowerShell window. With
cmd.exe you mileage may vary.
I’ve started the process of emptying my basement. There is still stuff there, that I’ve build during my apprenticeship years with the company then called “Nixdorf Computers”, basically my computer roots from more than 30 years ago. To remember everything I photographed every note worthy item. Then I I will junk everything.
My computer history started with a NASCOM 1 single board computer using the Z80 microprocessor. According to Internet wisdom, this board was designed in 1977 and then sold from 1978 onwards. The size was about a single A4 paper. I bought my system used from a friend of a friend in early 1981. There is a TheRegister article from 2013 “UK micro pioneer Chris Shelton: The mind behind the Nascom 1” about the creator of the NASCOM. On the second page of the article there is a schematic how the individual components were connected, just as I remember it. Here are two more links of pictures of the NASCOM 1 (1 & 2). There is even a blog about “Working NASCOM Microcomputers in the UK”.
I distinctly remember the static RAM chips 2102 with an organisation of 1024 x 1bit. Of these 1k roughly a little more than 800 bytes were left for user programs, which needed to be saved/restored to and from a cassette tape. A 2708 EPROM (1k x 8) contained the NASBUG monitor program. One of my first enhancements was the extensions of the RAM size by doubling it using the 2114 static RAM chips. These chips had a 1024 x 4bit organisation.
The original NASCOM board is long gone, however this next enhancement still exists.
This contraption replaced the Z80 CPU on the main board and the Z80 CPU moved the 40 pin socket on this extension. The 74LS244 TTL chips are one directional bus driver chips mostly located in the address and other signal lines of the CPU. The 74LS245 TTL chip is a bi-directional bus driver, sitting in the data lines of the CPU.
With this extension the CPU lines are low impedance enough that is allowed me to connect the following bus card to the NASCOM motherboard.
With this bus card I gradually moved the NASCOM to a number of boards consisting of cards in 100 x 160mm in size. I used a design from the electronics magazine Elektor, which I etched myself.
Darktable allows the export of the complete
keyboardrc, which would create a roughly 80k file containing tons of lines like the following:
; (gtk_accel_path "<Darktable>/global/map view" "m")
With this file you can basically create any key assignment, that you like. However the generated file is complete unsorted.
To make some sort of sense of the
keyboardrc file I suggest to sort the file by invoking the
$ sort keyboardrc | less
or alternatively the command
$ sort keyboardrc | sed -e '/ "")$/d' | less
This will edit out all commands, which don’t have a key assigned. In general within the
keyboardrc, after having it sorted, there are 4 regions overall:
<Darktable>/image operations/*. I think, any configured shortcuts, are processed in that order. First check for global, than look at views and so on. In that file
<Primary> is the
Since I’m very much at the beginning of my work with Darktable I’ve wanted the standard key bindings in a slightly better formatting than the Darktable manual. Therefore I created the following (this needs refinement in time to come).
|Tab||toggle side borders|
|[||rotate 90 degrees CCW|
|]||rotate 90 degrees CW|
Use the right mouse button in the Crop module to draw a line to correct the picture vertically or horizontally.
Film Strip (Module)
|Control+Shift+c||copy history parts|
|Control+Shift+v||paste history parts|
|0 … 5||rate 0 – 5|
Light Table (View)
|Control+z||preview with focus detection|
|0 … 5, r||rate 0 – 5, reject (same as in Film Strip)|
|F1 … F5||color … (same as in Film Strip)|
|l||realign images to grid|
|Page_Down||navigate page down|
|Page_Up||navigate page up|
|Control+f||toggle film strip|
Alt+1 repeatedly toggles between 100% and 200% view.
|Control-f||toggle film strip|
Misc (Various Modules)
|v||toggle live view|
|Control+j||jump to file roll|
|Control+k||jump back to previous collection|
End of last year, I decided it was time for a hardware update of my desktop computer. I exchanged the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 motherboard and the Core2 E6350 processor with an ASROCK Fatal1ty H87 motherboard and an Intel i5-4670 quad core processor.
The reason, why I choose this particular motherboard, are the on-board sound components. ASROCK put a little more effort into the design and the selection of the audio circuitry to achieve a better signal to noise ratio. I can’t compare with other H87 board designs, but compared to my old Gigabyte board this effort has definitely paid off. I’m hearing significantly less noise for instance when the mouse is moved. I guess that’s the best they can do considering that frequencies well into the giga hertz range are at work on a motherboard. The next step up is the use of an external USB sound card. My old Edirol UA1EX USB sound card is once again noticeably quieter than the motherboard sound.
Anyway, the hardware update went with minimal fuss and soon after installing everything the system was up and running again.
The only problem left was a reliable order of all available audio devices (two motherboard devices for standard and HDMI audio, a Webcam with microphone and the Edirol UA1EX). Searching on the internet didn’t supply an immediate solution applicable to my setup.
In the end this article provided the right hints in that the suggestions for the USB sound cards basically also need to be applied to the Intel HD audio driver.
This is my configuration for the ALSA sound system:
% cat /etc/modprobe.d/alsa.conf … options snd-hda-intel index=0,1 id=PCH,HDMI alias snd-card-0 snd-hda-intel alias snd-card-1 snd-hda-intel options snd-usb-audio index=2,3 vid=0x0582,0x046d pid=0x0096,0x081d alias snd-card-2 snd-usb-audio alias snd-card-3 snd-usb-audio alias sound-slot-0 snd-hda-intel alias sound-slot-1 snd-hda-intel alias sound-slot-2 snd-usb-audio alias sound-slot-3 snd-usb-audio … # Set this to the correct number of cards. options snd cards_limit=4
This leads to the following reliable order of sound devices:
% cat /proc/asound/cards 0 [PCH ]: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel HDMI HDA Intel HDMI at 0xf0534000 irq 45 1 [HDMI ]: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel PCH HDA Intel PCH at 0xf0530000 irq 46 2 [UA1EX ]: USB-Audio - UA-1EX EDIROL UA-1EX at usb-0000:00:14.0-8, full speed 3 [U0x46d0x81d ]: USB-Audio - USB Device 0x46d:0x81d USB Device 0x46d:0x81d at usb-0000:00:1a.0-1.6.2, high speed
There is a Linux dependency with the above. Before Linux 3.11 or 3.12 the HDMI sound device was actually called MCH if I remember correctly.
I’ve finally completed the move of my domains from GoDaddy to other registrars. Simply not to have to deal with their ugly administrative user interface any more was worth the effort. You never could be sure if you’re would be looking at an administrative function, an ad or if the next click put a new item into your shopping cart. Anyway, absolutely horrible.
I originally planed to move all my domains to hover.com. However they don’t deal in *.eu and *.name domains. So, now I’ve split the domains between hover.com (my .net domain) and name.com (my .eu and .name domains). Both registrars sport so much nicer administrative user interfaces. These user interfaces alone were completely worth the trouble of transfering the domains.
And while I was at it, I setup ridderbusch.eu to point at my Google+ page.