Monday, November 21, 2011

Audiophile silliness, now on a motherboard!

A couple of weeks ago I got hollered over to the dismantle bench -- "you have to see this" or something of the sort. Here's what they had inside the case:

It's the usual mess of wires and junk -- but way at the back, there's something that you will probably never again see on a motherboard.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Binary Day!

It's 11/11/11 (and shortly 11:11:11) -- so happy binary day! This celebration just goes to show that we learned nothing from Y2K and still use two-digit years when it's convenient, but then again, 2011/11/11 just doesn't look quite as pretty.

I'd propose that we keep the powder dry for a real celebration in 2048 -- that's 100000000000 in binary. We won't roll over another digit like that until the year 4096.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Firmware and Bad Ideas

Geoff and Brian came across a strange situation last Thursday and called me over for a look. They were working on building a machine, and were experiencing a very Hallowe'enish phenomenon: a ghost disc.

They had installed an apparently working LG DVD drive into the machine, but every time they closed it without a disc inserted, a phantom disc called "Bluebirds" would show up on the desktop.

At first I thought it might be a PEBKAC -- a friend one listened in embarrassed confusion to most of a Frank Zappa album not realizing that she'd accidentally stuck two discs into the player at once. But to give Geoff and Brian some credit, it was nothing of the sort.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Macintosh Autopsy

This is what science fiction used to look like:

...but then again, so was this.