Message Of The Day

Fri, 24 Sep 2004

03:37 [zork(~)] cat FPGA.txt

Fully Portugese Goose Assassins

So, thanks to the pongmechanik thing, I came across, which seems like a good idea. I'm not really impressed with the content of the website itself, but they do have some interesting stuff.

I'd like to get some FPGA stuff to play with, it's definately more convenient than buying a brazillion discrete logic chips, even if the end result won't look quite as cool. Of course, although I'd be able to look down upon the poor PIC-using masses if I had several FPGA projects, FPGAs are still rather pricey for hobbyist usage. And much more importantly, all of the software for programming (or more specifically, the place & route) is proprietary, and although there are some free crippled versions out there, they're all for Windows (I don't yet know how well they'd work with WINE). Now, I do know enough about FPGAs to know why a manufacturer wouldn't want to release the information required to do place and route, but that doesn't mean I'm going to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for SOFTWARE of all things.

Wed, 14 Jan 2004

07:08 [zork(~)] cat LEDs.txt

Das Blinkenlights

So, in the IEEE room at the U of MN, which is one of the main hangouts for EEs at the U, they've got a collection of debris from former senior design projects. They clean up a bit more than I like, but wone thing I think they'll keep until someone uses them are the 5 8x16 LED boards that are wired up in a neat little grid. There was some talk of using them to create an animated sign, but few people associated with that project understood electrical scanning, so nothing much came out of it.

I have decided that I'm going to build a programmable sign using that and 74LSXX series logic. There will have to be some CMOS for the USB programming interface, and probably a 555 or 3, but mostly TTL, and probably a diode-grid rom for storing a default display when it's powered on.

It will be wire-wrapped, it will be insane, and that's the point.

[zork(~)] cal
[zork(~)] tree
[zork(~)] cat README