Saturday, September 28, 2019


I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me but the decks on barge closest, is actually underwater.

This hilltop overlooks the Perfume River. The birds were singing and the butterflies were flitting between the trees. Such tranquility, it is hard to credit the brutal history of the place. If it were me with a Kalashnikov or an M - 16 i would have just put it down and had a snooze. What was the point of it all?

Before I met with Old Mate and his family I wanted to go on a bit of a tour of Vietnam to get used to the vibe. I chose a trip with G Adventures who were just amazing. The tour guide was top notch. I told him I was a Tour Guide myself and I would be asking a lot of questions so he deserved to know why.

At the end of the tour I absolutely blitzed his customer feedback form with ticks. I gave him a very generous tip. There was nothing i could suggest he could do to improve his performance. He took on incredible tasks. He would often let us all just wander off to do our own thing. I would be terrified to do that. He did it and monitored us all as individuals. He was an education. A totally class act.

A note on tipping. Supposedly tipping is not necessary in Vietnam. I beg to differ. It is polite to give money in a card as a gift to begin a interaction then do the same afterward to say "thank you". Never look at the money until you are alone. Never wait for the shopkeep to make change.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Most Hated Bird on the Planet

The masked lapwing (Vanellus miles), also known as the masked plover and often called the spur-winged plover or just plover.

At the outset I didn't consider pouring my venom on this particular individual, more the species as a whole, but now I am not so sure.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

X - Y Scanning CRT clock

This project is very  cool bit I reckon it would be nicer as an Atari style X - Y rendered image.

A CRT is an inherently analogue device and the raster scan scheme was an inherently analogue technique based on two sawtooth waveform generators.

The 80s machine code methodology was very cool but required a certain special type of autism to author. I did a bit of PDPII machine code once. Rather than sperg right out I am wondering if simply deciding the X - Y fields into a single table and asining each of the characters in thier respective positions a set of consecutive coordinates corresponding to the vertices of the characters.

Back up the line what be required is to generate a sequence of ordered pairs.

Bandwidth might be an issue but that then becomes a hardware problem. The image programming could be done in a fairly human friendly workspace.

Two 10? Bit ADC for X Y and a Z drive hooked up to a standard electrostatic CRT would be the display. Big would be better but the downside is the higher drive voltages.

The number rose would be a static lookup table. The hands would be generated using a sin function who input is fed by a timer.

The whole project would be extremely cool but ultimately space and time consuming and would probably culminate in something rather over wrought and appallingly baroque and steam punk.

Likely the "fake and gayness" would out way the coolness because it would be plain how much work went into the stupid thing. Now if you could pick up a vintage Oscilloscope that would change the whole outlook. You would just need an Arduino and a cuppla ADCs . Plus you could use the Oscilloscope as and Oscilloscope. Now THAT would be cool!!