As shared with me by the wonderful @mgdm, using crystals for Dark Deeds just got even darker as it turns out one of the side-effects of doing nuclear explosive tests is you can end up creating Icosahedrite which is a quasi-crystal with fivefold symmetry such that x-ray crystallography imaging produces a pentagram.


You know what I really need in order to help me finish all the books I’m reading? To start reading a new one which will tell me about more books.

I’m sorry but the symbol for Uranus looks like NASA did a competition on the internet and then let people vote for their favourite and then 4chan heard about it.

The sass is in the alt text.

I don’t know what’s happening with all the “undefined” in the translation but the random text generator is spitting out some terrifying shit to be auto-translating to Akkadian and therefore cuneiform script.

Big mood.

tfw your bugs aren't pointer arithmetic bugs like you thought, you just keep typing the same incorrect struct path.

on is really starting to take shape (after my talk on it obvs)

I mentioned on a video chat on Friday that I can draw a more-or-less anatomically correct human skull from memory, so I was challenged to do so.

I subsequently played the first couple of bars of “Oh Susanna” on a comedically small harmonica and got called a “renaissance man” so that’s the high point of my life passed.

Yesterday I surprised myself by managing to dump half the ZX81 ROM by wiring it up to the Tl866ii as a 2732 instead of a 2364 (which the TL claims ignorance of and I can’t hack it in because the firmware is encrypted).

I say half because I should have been targeting the 2764 but got confused because the 32 is pin compatible (a DIP24 instead of DIP28) but I honestly wasn’t expecting my method to work so it’s a huge success and I know what I need to do to get the rest.

I was surprised when I didn’t get a dump of 0xffffs and even more surprised when the data wasn’t garbage and actually disassembled to Z80 assembler!

Starting to look like the ROM isn’t the reason it won’t boot which is kinda exciting!

This is the current status quo for the - got some cheapo keycaps on it and it works like a charm! Got the kit ready to crimp some more sturdy dupont cables with a bit more length on them and replace the angled headers with straight ones and a ROM chip flashing setup on the way so I can start screwing around with the "OS".

I've additionally been using it with the 16K RAM pack with no problem so the 32K RAM upgrade can go on the backburner for a bit seeing as I've got some headroom to play with!

Also had a go at loading from a line-out cable but I think I need to do some experimentation with levels to get that working.

Today I asked the ZX81 to tell me about itself.

Strictly speaking what I said was:

10 PRINT CHR$ (RND*255);
20 GOTO 10

This is how it felt about the subject.

Being able to talk to it after all these years is strangely cathartic.

Oh shit son!

Looks like the keyboard design was a success (apart from not completing the trace from the bottom row and having to hand-patch it)!

Guess I gotta figure out how to attach it then :P

The ZX81 keyboard PCBs show up on Monday and I finally found an eBay seller that does PCB mount cherry clones (Gaterons) on the cheap so I got 40 of them on the way from China.

The upcycled machine will be called the Grimmclair ZX87. Fingers crossed the PCB works!

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