Running new C code on a 1982 ZX Spectrum in 2018

The 1980s home computer retro scene remains very vibrant. I dip a toe in every so often and recently have been enjoying the new Speccy games that I’ve found on Indie Retro News. One thing that caught my eye with these releases was the mentions of “engines”. It turns out that people have been building games engines for the ZX Spectrum for years. Mostly in C it seems and mostly using the z88dk toolchain. »

What do you think of when you read that Open Source is 20 years old?

Yesterday I read that Open Source is offically 20 years old. This doesn’t mean free software or GNU or anything like that, just the definition and initiative itself. It made me think about all of open source (lower case) and free software that’s had an impact on me since I was a teenager. Here’s that as a quick brain-dump. I’m sure I’ve missed tons and will update as they pop into my head. »

Downloading YouTube videos on Android for offline viewing later

One of the all-time great tools of the internet era is youtube-dl. It enables you to download any YouTube video for watching offline/later. It has been a fantastic boon over the years for watching all my hundreds of subscribed channels when in planes, trains, automobiles and treadmills. It’s also the basis for my own YTPodders tool for generating podcasts from videos. Normally I run it on the PC and copy the files to the mobile devices, tablets or media players. »

I may have over-blinged my NodeConf EU badge

If you attended NodeConf EU 2017 in Kilkenny, Ireland, you’ll know all about the digital badge powered by Espruino that we created with Gordon Williams. You can read more about it on the nearForm blog and check out the docs site. I hope you’ve continued to learn about Espruino and the power of JavaScript on tiny microcontrollers. Don’t forget it’s entirely Open Source Software and Hardware. Our Github repo is here. »

My Media Players in 2017

Our journey with media players started a long time ago by adding a hardware hack to an original pre-360 XBOX so it could run XBMC. We’ve gone through a bunch of devices since, with the Raspberry Pi being the mainstay since 2012, until its lack of x265, 4K and Netflix meant we had to look elsewhere in 2017. Quick side-note: By complete coincidence, XMBC has just been released today on the XBOX One. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Solved - Missing synced contacts on new iPhone 8

The parents both got new iPhone 8’s for Christmas. I figured it’d take 10 minutes to tranfer them from a 5s and a 6 respectively. Boy was I wrong. Five hours later I finally had them both working ok. Hopefully this post will save you some of my pain with these magical seamless awesome incredible devices (as Tim likes to call them). Builtin transfer process - Make sure you have Bluetooth on. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

End of an era - Our Wii is going in the attic

Last night I setup a monitor in the 12yo’s room for his Android media box and his Nintendo Switch. He told me not to bother setting up the Wii. And I was kinda sad. We became a Nintendo house in 2005 with my US purchase of the original DS for the 6yo. This September he started college. In that time we have bought DS Lites, DSis and 3DSes. And some of them are still in intermittent use from the 18yo down to the 11yo. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Using Puck.js with the KuLight RGB Bluetooth Lightbulb

I have a massive backlog of tech posts to do but I never quite finish the projects to the level I want and they are left hanging. So I’m going to start posting more WIP stuff from now on and hopefully they’ll be useful to someone. I’ve been a long-time fan of the Espruino project created by Gordon Willams and have had great fun with the original board, the Pico and Puck. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

All the grisly details of Skeletony and the Halloween Doorbell of Doooooom V2.0

Intro After the silly complexity and Hackaday article! of last year, I decided to keep it simple for Halloween this year. Of course that worked out :-) The kids’ favourite thing from all our Halloweens was the doorbell that made scary sounds. So that became the focus. As I hadn’t really done anything with my two C.H.I.P.s, I picked one to handle the bulk of the activity. I immediately became a big fan of its small size, built-in Wifi and simple Linux UI. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Quick review of the BLU Life Mark £80 Android phone

A couple of weeks ago, I took my Galaxy S6 out for a run in the rain and it died. Based on previous experience with the horror known as Vodafone Ireland Insurance, I figured I’d be looking at 10 days minimum to get a replacement. This proved 100% accurate as the usual completely inept software that connects Vodafone’s PDP-11 to Stay Mobile’s Commodore 64 had cancelled my insurance without notification several months previously. »

Author image Conor O'Neill