Thursday, July 21, 2011

Link Round-up

I'm about to disappear for a week -- hopefully part of the trip will be a visit to Free Geek in Portland, though as usual I'm very late to organize anything -- but before I do, here's a round-up of the various odd places that stories on this blog have gotten to.

Read more below the break.


Compaq Portable III

This semi-modernization of a Compaq Portable III (written up here and here) made it onto Hack A Day, and also got a shout-out in the comments from a Danish website (in English via Google Translate here). Apparently if you're a handy Dane you're "finger easy".

I wrote Frank at the Kermit Project to say thanks for MS-DOS Kermit, which was part of the hack, in part because I noticed that the project was being shut down at Columbia University. While it's sad that this phase of the project is being wrapped up, Frank clarified that as much as possible of it is being open-sourced and thus will live on. He was kind enough to drop a link to the blog.

A lot of people love this machine and a few had either revitalized their own or were just embarking on similar projects. Good luck, folks! If you get something running, let me know and I'll drop in a link.

Wiretap Picture Frame

This one got a lot of attention. In addition to making Hack A Day, there was also some coverage from BoingBoing, howtogeek, and most surprisingly jwz.org.

People were mainly interested in the two P's of the internet: Privacy and Pornography. One of the commenters pointed to a hack perpetrated at the Defcon conference. Follow the links at your own risk.

Mystery Laptop

I was surprised by the near-total lack of information on this laptop on the usually-omniscient Internet. Well, one of the great things about posting about something unusual is that your post is likely to hit the top of the list if someone searches for it.

As luck would have it, a fellow named Sandijs living in a small town in Latvia did just that. I'd guess that his laptop was imported by a distributor somewhere in eastern Europe who then did a semi-pro job of adding Cyrillic lettering to the keyboard -- see the picture he kindly sent me, and which puts all of my shaky photography on this blog to shame:
(Photo courtesy of sandijsr)
Chaplet Systems is still largely a mystery -- a Sunnyvale, California office backed by a Taiwanese manufacturing operation (and the English in one of their press releases makes me suspect that there was more Taiwan than California to the operation) -- but many thanks to Sandijs for a lot of valuable and hard-to-find information that will make hacking this laptop a possibility. (He also pointed me to a Polish article about Chaplet, here in English. And sent me an EMS driver, and some Pascal code to hack the semi-standard display into something usable.)

Thanks, and best regards to Latvia from Vancouver!

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