Andros and Tinos

I’ve just got back from a walking holiday in the Greek Cycladian islands of Andros and Tinos; very different, but very similar in many ways, with winding walking paths, terraces, amazing wildflowers, lizards everywhere, and far, far too much good food (and wine and beer).

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A small, portable and thoroughly evil Forth interpreter

I recently found a Forth interpreter I wrote a few years ago for the FUZIX operating system, and then forgot about; I’ve polished it up and given it a proper release on Github.

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Demonstration and teardown of a Canon TypeStar 4 portable typewriter

I found a new toy in my favourite local junk shop! It’s a battery-powered portable typewriter from 1986, the Canon TypeStar 4 (slightly German edition), which uses an interesting technique to make the marks on the paper: a thermal print head, which I hadn’t seen on a typewriter before. It would print on special treated paper or use an equally special ribbon (which came with it). I got it for five francs, and I can see them on eBay for about $15, so that’s 200% profit.

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TypeTalk: smalltalk about Javascript

I’ve been prototyping a Smalltalk-esque live coding system based on TypeScript and Javascript, which runs entirely inside a browser. It’s now ready for release, which means it kinda works and I will probably get distracted by something else shiny soon, so I made a video about it.

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The Brother LW-30: a typewriter, not a computer

Back when I bought the IBM WheelWriter 6 at the junk shop for five francs, I also got myself a Brother LW-30 typewriter word processor (also for five francs). It’s a fascinating piece of early 90s consumer technology, and is actually surprisingly useful; I wrote a letter on it just the other day. I made a moderately incoherent and rambly video about it.

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FluxEngine demo reel

I made a short demo video of my FluxEngine ultra-cheap floppy disk drive controller in action. See if you can spot the cunningly hidden Brother LW-30 typewriter cameo!

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FluxEngine released!

It’s been a while since my last post but it’s been all go here: I’ve been working on a toy I’ve dubbed The FluxEngine, which is a floppy disk controller based around a $15 (sometimes $10) off-the-shelf microcontroller with no additional parts. Literally, solder on 17 pins in a row and you’re done.

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