Monday, July 29


Daily News Stuff 29 July 2019

One Shiny Aluminum Penny Edition

Tech News

  • AMD might have some more Ryzen 3000 parts on the way.  (Tom's Hardware)

    It could be an error, but the document does specifically list a 65W Ryzen 3900 non-X part.  A 65W 12 core CPU is pretty impressive stuff.

    Now they just need to get them into servers.

  • Now you can Switch to Android.  (WCCFTech)

    On your Switch.  With Android.  Which now runs...  Never mind.

  • Oh look more malicious code delivered right to your door by NPM.  

    These are far from the worst examples of useless crap masked as packages in NPM; one is nearly a hundred lines of code.

  • I went to London and I got was this lousy pencil.  (The Guardian)

    Only in 70 AD, and in Latin.

  • Notqmail is a successor to Qmail.  (Github)

    Actually, it is Qmail.  Mostly.  There are some recent updates, bust most of the code is old enough to vote.

  • HyperCard died because it was too beautiful to live.Money quote:
    And if you think that XCode, Python, Processing, or the shit soup of HTML/Javascript/CSS are any kind of substitute for HyperCard, then read this post again.  And if you continue to think so, then you might be an autistic typical software "engineer,” and please don’t waste your time commenting here.  Sink back into the cube farm hellpit from whence you came.
    Yeah, that's the stuff.

  • TSMC discuss their N7 (7nm), N7P, N7+, N6, N5, N5P, and N3 fabrication processes.  (Wikichip)

    N7 is in full production now; N7+ and N7P are ramping up.  N3 won't reach production until 2022, so between now and then there are only five upgrades in the pipeline.

    After AMD spent five years stuck at 28nm, this borders on the ridiculous.

  • AliBaba has announced its own 16-core 64-bit CPU.  (The Register)

    It's based on the open-source Risc V core so it's not a remarkable feat of engineering, but interesting nonetheless that this came from a shopping mall rather than a major semiconductor company.

    It's been done before though.  Back in 1980, Scottish hi-fi company Linn developed it's own CPU from the ground up to improve its process automation.  (Wikipedia)  Money quote:
    The last known copy of a Rekursiv computer ended up at the bottom of the Forth and Clyde canal in Glasgow.
    And stay out!

  • YouTubers are unionising.  (One Angry Gamer)

    I didn't know they'd been ionised in the first place.  Maybe check the power supply.

Retrocomputing Journal

There are no good small project cases.  They're all garbage.

About the smallest size you can get a nice looking case is mini-ITX.  Something like this:

That one is A$70 from Amazon Australia, nearly as much as the entire rest of my BOM including a four-layer mini-ITX sized board and PCB assembly in qty 20.  Some of them run about US$25 each on AliExpress, but the one I particularly like with no visible screws is naturally among the more expensive.

It's so pretty I'm not even sure I want to drill a dozen holes in that front panel for the LEDs.

I also started on a BOM for the A1250, the version with the Renesas RZ/A1 and 3MB internal RAM instead of 1MB.  It uses many of the same components, but adds about $12 for more powerful CPU, supports DVI, adding another $12, and a lot more flash storage and a RAM expansion option, totalling another $12 or so.

Board and assembly costs are identical - because it has only three more components; it just uses more expensive components - about $20 in qty 20, falling to $8 in qty 200.

So for a small pre-production run, the A750 is looking at around A$75 for a complete board, and the A1250 about $110.*  In a run of 200, about $60 and $85 respectively.  Add $70 for the nice case (or $40 for a fairly nice case).... 

And $225 for the keyboard.


* The A1750 would run about $185, so I'm not even thinking about that at the moment.**

** On the other hand, I've found that I can get the RZ/A1M from Avnet for about A$6 more than the RZ/A1LU, and it's a much better chip.  Instead of 3 graphics planes, it can produce a total of eight.  Normally those would be across two screens, but that magical FPGA retimer can fix all that.  Might need to bump it up to have more pins if it's acting as a video crossbar as well as a scaler though.

Video of the Day

Meanwhile, here's a project built using a Chinese microcontroller that costs three cents in small quantities.

Disclaimer:  Ack.  Pfft.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:32 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 I liked the idea of HyperCard, but quickly grew to hate the HyperTalk language; ambiguities in the parser turned "English-like" code into insane word salad.


Posted by: J Greely at Monday, July 29 2019 11:31 PM (ZlYZd)

2 "Make it possible for programmers to write programs in English, and you will find that programmers can not write in English."

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, July 30 2019 12:14 AM (PiXy!)

3 "Try to turn English into a programming language, and end up making people type 'get line one of card field short name of the target'"...


Posted by: J Greely at Tuesday, July 30 2019 12:47 AM (ZlYZd)

4 The two most difficult parts of my beer scale project have thus far been: finding a project box that fits between the upper and lower platform, and finding suitable mounting hardware to fix the load cells in between the platforms.
Electrical design is easy, mechanical design is hard, I guess? At least at hobbyist scale.

Posted by: Jay at Tuesday, July 30 2019 01:32 AM (mrlXS)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?

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