Archamedis.NET - The Code Strikes Back!
A computer program will always do what you tell it to, and seldom what you want it to.

PC for Video Input
Sat, 28 Jul 2018 01:29:01 -0500
#vintage #c64

Awhile ago a client brought in a Compaq Presario 6000 Midtower PC to get his information off the old failing IDE hard drives. After transferring his data to DVD's he told me to wipe the hard drives and I did. He also told me to keep or trash the PC. I figured why would I want this POS but I kept it around just in case. Fast forward to earlier today, I'm sorta glad I did... sorta.


My whole purpose was to be able to view the Commodore 64 video on my computer monitor instead of using a old TV. Also I figured I could record the input for whimsical and proof purposes. Testing old NES/SNES/Genesis etc systems would work as well all without a TV or a bunch of adapters. My main PC has a Blackmagic Intensity Pro for HD input but it does not support the above setup.

This thing errr PC has a AMD Athlon XP 2000+ cpu at 1.6Ghz, 512mb DDR ram, a 60gb IDE hard drive, and 2 DVD-ROM drives. I put my old Encore ENLTV-FM PCI card in and proceeded to install Windows XP. I had to find all the chipset, audio, network drivers not to mention a working driver link for the TV input card. After about 2 hours of installing, rebooting, and configuring I fired up the Tv card's software with a Commodore 64 attached to the Composite input.


Eureka I said! It works beatifully I said!

Then I did something stupid. I forgot to do a backup image of the system in its perfectly running state before I starting fucking with it. I have a 1512 adapter that hooks up to the PC's parallel port and to the commodore serial cable. While installing software to be able to use the commodore disk drive it wiped some very important DLL's from the system! XP would no longer boot! I tried going into safe mode... no go. I tried expanding dll's and putting them into Windows/System32 and re-registering them... nope. I tried the sfc /scannow utility... nope! I said ok screw this, I'm going to linux.

I used the tv input card in some flavor of linux before and I remembered tvtime for watching and mencoder for recording. I said, ok, this should work out better as I can install fluxbox, tvtime, mplayer, and a few other utilities and have better performance than windows XP.

I was right of course, the system flew thru the debian stretch install and the kernel immediately detected the tv input card. One slight problem! The graphics card in this thing... errr PC is a old S3 Pro Savage DDR. It's bad enough its stealing up to 32mb of precious memory but the X server's s3-savage driver doesn't support hardware overlay! Tvtime is out! I then tried mplayer with the x11 video output driver and the video output is sluggish as hell with some serious artifacts. Barely good enough for testing a system has video output, barely enough for typing, and certainly not for gaming!

Now I am considering *downgrading* to a older version of the distro when the hardware overlay was working with the s3 savage card/driver. Or *downgrading* to Windows XP and this time save a backup image once I get all the drivers setup again. Or *finding* a PCI or AGP video card in my stash that linux supports hardware overlay (ya right...) All of this to save some bucks for an adapter to go from Composite to VGA and another one to go from RF to composite/VGA.

To be continued... 

Vintage Mac Swoon
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 23:14:15 -0500
#mac #vintage

vintage macs

2 of our vintage macs in operation (L - Mac Plus 1mb with brainstorm, R - Mac SE with 2 800k drives). Also pictured, a Commodore Plus/4 and 3 Commodore 1541 5 1/4in Floppy Drives that weigh more than the desk its on.

We use an Asante Talk, a old 10mbit hub, and a windows mac emulator to get the vintage macs on our network for filesharing. They are so far unmodified and we would like to keep them that way but external SCSI hard drives that are compatible and working are hard to find. I would love to run a BBS on them for multi-node operation but thats so far down on my life todo list... maybe once I get my farm and solar array online 1st ;)

Creeper Squirrel
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 21:44:51 -0500

I swear this is the same squirrel that is always outside the bathroom window every morning. Just sitting there... watching. Creeper.

*EDIT* --- the gd_thumbmaker function needs a "rotation aware" routine or something... geesh. Or better yet, on the manage images page, an actual rotation/crop function. More JS... gr8

Static Pages
Sun, 15 Jul 2018 13:44:39 -0500

     Static pages are needed where the environment is less than ideal for security. I2P and Tor can handle dynamic pages but why take the risk? One coding error, one malicious attacker, one mis-step could lead to a disaster of dire consequences. Luckily in FFS all output goes thru a function aptly named output() so capuring the raw html and redirecting to a file is easy. Designing the mode to not include any "login required" content may prove interesting without alot of sloppiness but what is life without a challenge?

     To this end mobile and tablet menus were changed to plain and I added a noscript plain menu for all screen/browser types. No JS environments won't break the site in anyway, but I still don't feel the need for extra steps. Delete confirmation pages in non JS environments won't work but people *should* be careful where they click anyway. I still need to design a better mobile menu... something like poloniex or just a drop down icon, maybe multi level for submenus.

     I will test this soon with archamedis.i2p or something like that. Dont ask with what content... who knows... itll mainly just be for testing purposes only. Page regeneration should not take forever either... need a md5 content test or last updated timestamps to see what *needs* to be updated and what doesn't. Either way, the backend will probally have to be php-cli just incase of a timeout.

Web Standards... Drafts or Wishes?
Tue, 10 Jul 2018 20:39:59 -0500
#code #ffs

So yes, I know I'm getting to CSP late but better late than not at all eh?

There seems to be major lag time between the drafts and whatever is happening IRL. Apparently back in 2016, the report-uri method in the CSP was deprecated in favor of a new reporting mechanism, report-to. The section of the draft for report-uri literally says:

This feature has been removed from the Web standards. Though some browsers may still support it, it is in the process of being dropped. Avoid using it and update existing code if possible; see the compatibility table at the bottom of this page to guide your decision. Be aware that this feature may cease to work at any time.

Ok! No problem! I read the above as don't use report-uri, use report-to.

So I head over to the report-to section in the same draft that was updated on Mar 29, 2018, 4:25:30 PM and its looking good until I get to the browser compatibility table. Literally nothing supports it... not even basic support. In 2 years, no movement? I get why their trying to move away from report-uri but 2 years? I'm glad I read through the whole section before I started coding. My carpal tunnel laden hands would have been sorely pissed.

1  2  3  4  5  6