Brainings, Free Range Technology, Idiotic or Inspired?

3-Bit Video Abstraction Project

My employer makes a nifty little 12-volt LED light that contains separate RGB (red/green/blue) diodes. It’s  3/4-inch in diameter and intended for rugged, outdoor environments — specifically decorative use on carnival rides. The cool thing is that it can change color on command. It has four separate wires — one power plus three separate ground leads — so that the three colors are independently controllable. The result is that the unit can display the eight colors of the 3-Bit RGB palette by powering the diodes alone and in combination.

I began thinking about taking the technology for driving LED matrices and scaling it up to use this light. I thought an LED monitor of sorts made from the company’s products might be an intersting promotional tool, such as at trade shows. The larger lens size and greater viewing angle would make it more akin to an incandescent scoreboard than a desktop circuit board. That would be fairly well suited to scoreboard-style scrolling text and simple animations, but what if you want to display video?

Continue reading 3-Bit Video Abstraction Project

Tech Theory

15 Sorting Algorithms in 6 Minutes


Ok, this is weirdly cool.

According to the website, the creator calls this “Audibilization and Visualization of Sorting Algorithms”, or, “The Sound of Sorting”. It takes us visually and audibly through various methods of sorting digital data, with the algorithms used noted up in the upper left-hand corner.

If you’re like me, the kind of dolt who is aware of such brainy things Continue reading 15 Sorting Algorithms in 6 Minutes


Shutdown: Cut the Tape

Editing isn’t what it used to be.

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Computers You Should Know

How It Works: The Computer


Yesterday’s post a from engineerd™ on the Evolution of Data storage reminded me of this book on how the computer works from 1971. The book is called ‘How it works’ The Computer, and it by David Carey with illustrations by B. H. Robinson. The illustrations paint are great picture of just how classy theses machines were. Hit the jump to see more!

Continue reading How It Works: The Computer

Defective User Error

A Poor Excuse…

I considered this a few times.

Greetings, everyone.

I’ve been having a touch of difficulty trying to get today’s article together. My old computer has been getting cranky for a while, showing the signs of the slow heat death that all electronic devices suffer at some point. It occasionally decides not to boot up for the first five or six attempts, then relents and starts up. Maybe all of the USB ports will function, maybe a couple won’t, this time. The final straw was the hard drive starting to make sounds like a card stuck into bicycle spokes, intermittently. That’s always a sure sign of impending death or a reversion to childhood. So, I decided to replace the thrice-damned thing before it spattered its remains across my desk.

Continue reading A Poor Excuse…


Startup: A Brief Look Back

Anyone remember these things? Back when the iMac first came out, it was in an era when virtually everyone had written Apple off as dead. Most analysts were saying that it wasn’t worth saving. They didn’t have a chance, and there was nothing they could do to try and bring themselves back […]

User Input

User Input: Pet Peeves

See these buttons? All useless. The whole lot of them, not required.

One of the issues in technology and technological design is that there are items that eventually become irrelevant as design progresses. The problem becomes that some of these items are relied on for alternative reasons. The world of computers is a […]


Shutdown: You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry

"Blinky SMASH!"

I’m not gonna lie, based on my experiences with old computers, I really don’t want to be anywhere near one when it gets angry. It’s a scary concept. Particularly if that computer weighs three or four tons and has more machinery, moving parts and hydraulics than your average bulldozer.

[Image source: […]