[Leaded Solder] found some ColecoVision game cartridges at a flea market, and like most of us would, thought, “I’ll build a ColecoVision console from scratch to play them!” Well, maybe most of us would think of that, but not actually do it. He did and you can read about the results in great detail since he wrote up two posts, one covering the design and one covering the construction.
The ColecoVision was a game console that famously could be expanded into a nice — for its day — personal computer. It even had a daisy wheel printer in that configuration. However, in either configuration, the game console was the brains of the operation. According to [Leaded Solder] the price of a unit in working order is high even though over 2 million were made because of several design problems that make them less likely to survive the decades. Rather than repair and modify an original unit, it was cheaper and much more educational to build new.
The design goal was to use composite video, a single power supply, and reduce the size of the board, mainly by using surface mount parts where possible. [Leaded Solder] admits he didn’t fully understand how address and data buses worked in a system like this when starting this project, and he documents what he learned and winds up with a pretty succinct summary of bus operation. We’d argue that the statement, “…only one chip on a bus is supposed to be enabled at a time…” is a little misleading, however. Two chips are enabled at a time, one writer and one reader. In addition, it isn’t uncommon to have several devices read at the same time (for example, some CPUs have two copies of each register). But that’s a nitpick, especially in the context of the Z80 CPU used here.
By the time the PCBs arrived, the total price tag was up to just over $68 Canadian. We remember scrambling EPROMS on circuit boards to make layout easier. After all, you don’t care that location 0 and 1 in your EPROM are actually in adjacent cells. You just care that when you ask for one, you get it. The ColecoVision apparently did the same thing with its video and audio chips. The data bus runs in reverse. That is the Z80’s D0 pin connects to D7 and D7 connects to D0. Unfortunately, the original PCB didn’t take that into account for the sound chip, so a new board revision solved that problem.
The posts are pretty blunt about mistakes made and maybe we can all learn a little from reading about them. For example, subtle differences in footprints caused several problems with the first two versions of the board. By the end, there were 6 spins of the board. Luckily, PC boards are cheaper than they used to be.
Even so, there are still some controller issues, but we have no doubt he’ll solve it and tell us about it when he does. If you’ve ever tackled a project of this size, you are probably all too familiar with the process of debugging a new board. But most of us don’t document it to this extent. If you ever wanted to watch over someone’s shoulder doing a new design like this, you’ll want to read these posts.
Maybe before making boards, a breadboard would have helped. The idea of converting a game console into a PC wasn’t just for the ColecoVision and Adam (the ColecoVision’s computer personality). There were some attempts to do the same with the popular Atari 2600.
Proteus, the Shape-Shifting and Possibly Non-Cuttable Material
How cool would it be if there was a material that couldn’t be cut or drilled into? You could make the baddest bike lock, the toughest-toed work boots, or the most secure door. Really, the list of possibilities just goes on and on.
Researchers from the UK and Germany claim that they’ve created such a magical material. It can destroy angle grinder discs, resist drill bits, and widen the streams of water jet cutters.
The material is made of aluminium foam that’s embedded with a bunch of small ceramic spheres. It works by inducing retaliatory vibrations into the cutting tools, which turns the tools’ force back on themselves and quickly dulls their edges.
The creators have named the material Proteus after the elusive and shape-shifting prophet of Greek mythology who would only share his visions of the future with those who could get their arms around him and keep him still. It sounds like this material could give Proteus a run for his money.
The ceramic spheres themselves aren’t indestructible, but they’re not supposed to be. Abrading the spheres only makes Proteus stronger. As the cutting tool contacts them, they’re crushed into dust that fills the voids in the aluminium foam, strengthening the material’s destructive vibratory effect. The physical inspiration for Proteus comes from protective hierarchical structures in nature, like the impact-resistant rind of grapefruit and the tendency of abalone shells to resist fracture under the impact of shark teeth.
How It’s Made
At this point, Proteus is a proof of concept. Adjustments would likely have to be made before it can be produced at any type of scale. Even so, the recipe seems pretty straightforward. First, an aluminium alloy powder is mixed with a foaming agent. Then the mixture is cold compacted in a compressor and extruded in dense rods. The rods are cut down to size and then arranged along with the ceramic spheres in a layered grid, like a metallurgical lasagna.
The grid is spot-welded into a steel box and then put into a furnace for 15-20 minutes. Inside the furnace, the foaming agent releases hydrogen gas, which introduces voids into the aluminium foam and gives it a cellular structure.
According to their paper, the researchers tried to penetrate the material with an angle grinder, a water jet cutter, and a drill. Of these, the drill has the best chance of getting through because the small point of contact can find gaps more easily, so it’s less likely to hit a ceramic sphere. The researchers also made cylindrical samples without steel cladding which they used to test the compressive strength and prove Proteus’ utility as a structural material for beams and columns. It didn’t fare well initially, but became less compressible as the foam matrix collapsed.
The creation process lends some leeway for customization, because the porosity of the aluminium foam can be varied by changing the bake time. As for the drill bit problem, tightening up security is as easy as adjusting the size and/or density of the ceramic spheres.
In the video after the break, you can watch a chunk of Proteus eat up an angle grinder disc in under a minute. Some may argue about the tool wielder’s technique, but we think there’s something to be said for any material that can destroy a cutting disc that fast. They don’t claim that Proteus is completely impenetrable, but it does look impressive. We wish they would have tried more cutting tools like a gas torch, or experimented with other destructive techniques, like plastic explosives, but we suppose that research budgets only go so far.
Images via Nature
Online Shopping Websites | 6 Best Online Stores For All Your Needs
Online shopping websites have emerged as one of the most essential parts of our lives. Especially now when Coronavirus lockdown is still in force in India, a lot of people depend on online shopping for all their necessary to other needs.
There are several apps available that offer various products, including electronic gadgets, household products, home decor stuff, and a lot more to list. Nowadays, online shopping websites try to offer a full-fledged package of everything you need from on-demand movies to all the accessories you want.
However, finding the best and the most authentic online shopping websites is a task in itself as there are thousands of them available on the internet. To enhance your experience, we have curated a list of best online shopping websites for all your needs.
6 Best Online Shopping Websites For All Your Needs
Flipkart can be said to be one of the most trusted and used online shopping websites. It offers a broad range of products, including gadgets, home decor products, personal care products, and others. Flipkart also promises next day delivery for selected products.
You get massive discounts in the festive seasons on different products and Flipkart’s online clothing store. Apart from that, Flipkart has a Super Coins feature that makes it different from other online shopping apps on the list. The Super Coins can be used to get an additional discount on Flipkart purchases and even to buy a subscription of other apps or services.
Not only this, but Flipkart also offers you different EMI options for all sorts of purchases. The app also provides a video section in which you can enjoy various shows and movies. The Flipkart app also offers a games section in which you can play mini-games to win different rewards. The video and the games section is only available in the Android and iOS version of Flipkart.
Amazon is another e-commerce site that has a range of products, including gadgets, home decor stuff, online clothing store, and a lot more. The website has different sections, including Amazon Sale, Today’s deals, Computers, Mobiles, Pantry, and Books from where you can hop into the store of your choice.
This online shopping platform also provides mind-blowing cashback rewards and has a grocery mart too where you can grab anything from dairy products to noodles and then add it to your Amazon shopping cart. The unique aspect of Amazon is that it offers a service named Amazon Pay that allows the user to make transactions like paying electricity bills, phone recharge, flight, and train ticket bookings.
Amazon Pay is one of a kind feature that makes the platform stand out of the crowd. Apart from that, Amazon also offers a Prime membership at affordable rates via which you can get faster deliveries, better discounts. You also get access to the Amazon Prime Video that is a streaming vertical of the platform where you get original shows, movies, and a lot more to binge-watch.
3. Paytm Mall
If you are looking for an online shopping website that can offer the most unbelievable discounts, then Paytm Mall is the best fit for you. From clothing accessories, laptops, headphones, home decor to your day to day grocery and household, Paytm mall has everything for you.
You can start with the shopping app by selecting the categories and sub-categories in the online store. You can also get customized gifts for different festive occasions. Paytm mall has a large number of refurbished products too that are tried and tested.
Paytm mall has the best customer support, and it even offers a 100% refund in case of any issues regarding your order. The platform also provides newly launched products at an exclusive price. Moreover, you can also access the Paytm mall via Paytm app on your Android smartphone or iPhone.
Snapdeal, one of the household names when it comes to online shopping, can be said to be a cheap clothing website available on the list. Apart from that, it has an extensive collection of products, including home appliances, gadgets, clothing, and refurbished products too.
However, Snapdeal was unable to leave a mark in the online shopping vertical like Flipkart and Amazon as it has a limited number of products. Moreover, the platform lacks interactive offers that make might want you to visit it less.
Google Play Store reviews of the app said it has an average customer care service. The representatives are unable to solve the queries most of the time. Moreover, the delivery performance of the app is not that good as compared to other online stores.
We can’t miss mentioning ShopClues while talking about online shopping and cheap clothing websites. It is a made in India site that offers a wide range of products with the best offers. From grocery to the latest gadgets, you can purchase anything from Shopclues on unmatchable prices.
You get different categories and sub-categories on the homepage of the website. You can head towards the section of your choice and add the products to your cart or purchase them instantly. The app also offers a section named Budget Bazaar that offers deals starting from INR 89. In addition to that, Budget Bazaar provides products at 50% to 80% discount rates.
The online store offers up to 80% discount on selected gadgets occasionally and an additional discount on selected payment methods. The best part about the app is that it promises and delivers the products at a rapid speed.
6. Tata Cliq
Tata Cliq can be said to be the most sorted online shopping website available on the list. It comes with a user-friendly interface, and the categories and brands are placed individually. This allows you to shop without messing around with hundred of sub-categories.
The major categories include Fashion, TV and Appliances, Electronics, Jewellery, and home furnishing. You can choose between the popular and the featured brands’ section to get the best deals and high discounts.
The filters offered by Tata Cliq for purchases are very convenient as you can select the exact price range, size, and even color of the product you want to buy.
Online Shopping Websites: Choosing The Best
The above mentioned online shopping websites can provide you the best shopping experience along with unmatchable service and interactive interface. All the sites have something unique and different to offer to their customers. We will update our lists in case of any new website launch or if a major feature is introduced. So, don’t forget to check the list out after a while.
The post Online Shopping Websites | 6 Best Online Stores For All Your Needs appeared first on Fossbytes.
Google leak reveals the Pixel 5’s unfortunate launch date
- The Pixel 5 release date has leaked from the most unexpected place, Google’s Pixel 4a announcement for France.
- The Pixel 5 should hit preorders on October 8th, which means the phone would ship to buyers a few weeks later.
- Apple confirmed a few days ago that the iPhone 12 launch had been delayed by a few weeks, so the iPhone 12 preorders might start in October as well.
Google soft-launched the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G a few days ago alongside the delayed Pixel 4a. The company confirmed the existence of the other two Pixel handsets, which were spotted in leaked Google code recently. Google revealed the Pixel 4a 5G price at the time, saying the 5G phone will cost $499, but wasn’t as forthcoming about the Pixel 5. The new premium Pixel will not feature top of the line hardware this year, several leaks have shown. The handset is expected to rock a 120Hz display like many Android flagships, but not the same processor as those handsets. The Pixel 5 will have the same Snapdragon 765G chip as the OnePlus Nord, a mid-range 5G phone that sells for less than $500 in Europe.
That’s all the US announcement of the Pixel 4a said. But move over to France, and Google’s local team revealed the launch day of the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5. And it’s not good news for Google, given the current context.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has changed everything about ordinary life, and that includes smartphone buying decisions. Buyers may be paying more attention than ever to what they get for their money, and the fact is that at $699 Pixel 5 can’t match an equally priced iPhone 12 version. Even if the Pixel 5 manages to offer a much better camera experience than the iPhone, that’s still not good enough. The iPhone SE, iPhone 11, and iPhone 12 would be much better choices for consumers who don’t want a phone that can last three to four years.
The health crisis did alter Apple’s iPhone 12 launch plans, and the company confirmed a few days ago that the handsets would launch a few weeks after the usual late September launch window for the latest iPhone. The iPhone 12 delay means the handset will be available for preorder at some point in October, and ship to consumers later that month.
Now, Google has always launched new Pixel flagships in October, a few weeks after Apple would sell millions of units of the latest iPhone. This year, Google won’t have that luxury, and the revelation comes from Google France.
A now-removed Pixel 4a announcement contained the following paragraph, via 9to5Google:
Here’s a Google translation of it from the cached version.
Google France told buyers that the Pixel 5 would be available for preorder on October 8th, so that’s when we’d expect Google to hold a new Made by Google press event. The Pixel 5 would ship to buyers a few weeks later.
But the iPhone 12 preorders could start right around the same time. This could hurt Pixel 5 sales significantly. After all, Google is bringing a knife to a gunfight this year.
How to Build Financial Resilience in An Economic Downturn
UI claims and GDP growth are historically bad: Now is not the time to cut benefits that are supporting jobs
What It Really Takes To Make A Million In Your Business
Bernice King, Ava DuVernay reflect on the legacy of John Lewis
Heavy rain threatens flood-weary Japan, Korean Peninsula
Everything New On Netflix This Weekend: July 25, 2020
Business2 weeks ago
Bernice King, Ava DuVernay reflect on the legacy of John Lewis
World News2 weeks ago
Heavy rain threatens flood-weary Japan, Korean Peninsula
Technology2 weeks ago
Everything New On Netflix This Weekend: July 25, 2020
Finance3 months ago
Will Equal Weighted Index Funds Outperform Their Benchmark Indexes?
Marketing Strategies7 months ago
Top 20 Workers’ Compensation Law Blogs & Websites To Follow in 2020
World News7 months ago
The West Blames the Wuhan Coronavirus on China’s Love of Eating Wild Animals. The Truth Is More Complex
Economy9 months ago
Newsletter: Jobs, Consumers and Wages
Finance8 months ago
$95 Grocery Budget + Weekly Menu Plan for 8