Ken's repository of (useless?) stuff

Well, well. I finally set up my web page. Whatever shall I do with it?
If you see any links below, it means I thought of things to put here.

I've installed the wonderful PHP based Gallery software, so I can share photos I've taken. Currently, I have a Kodak LS633 3.1 megapixel digital camera. It's a nice little camera, and I really like the OLED display. The viewing angle is truly 170+ degrees on both axes. However, I am looking to upgrade. I'm thinking of either the Canon G9 (a great non-SLR camera, with optional opteka .45x wide angle or 3.2x telephoto lens adapters) or the Sony A-100 (an SLR camera). Or maybe both. Anyhow, go check out my gallery.

I am a member of the PDP-1 restoration team at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. One of the pieces of software we have gotten working is the Harmony Compiler, originally written by Peter Samson at the MIT AI lab in the early 1960s, and rewritten by him in 2005 because the original player program had been lost, but we had music data that we wanted to play. In addition to the music data from the 1960s, a few new pieces have been transcribed for the PDP-1, but it is a somewhat onerous process because the only way to listen to the music was to punch a paper tape of the data, and play it on the PDP-1. So, I wrote a tool to turn the text files that describe PDP-1 music into midi files. Now, music can be debugged on a PC before punching it onto paper tape to play on the PDP-1.

Click here to learn more and download the tools.
Click here to learn more about the PDP-1 restoration.

Looking for a comprehensive list of Warren Miller movies, and which ones are available on DVD or VHS?
Click here.

Looking for a datasheet for an old HP 5x7 decoded display? No, not that one, the REALLY old one, part number 5082-7000.

I was looking for the datasheet for the Rockwell R6511Q variant of that wonderful little processor, the 6502. I coulnd't find a copy online, so I scoured the local electronics surplus stores, and found it an old Rockwell databook. I borrowed a friend's book scanner (thanks Al!) and got busy. Click here to download the R6511Q datasheet.

While it wasn't my first computer, I cut my hacking teeth on an Atari 800 computer. I then got an 800XL in college. I still have very fond memories of hacking away for hours on that machine. I lusted after an ICD MIO or CSS Blackbox (both of which provided a SCSI interface) and a hard drive. I never had one when I was hacking on my Atari, but a few years ago, I learned I could still buy a Blackbox, and being out of college (for more years than I care to admit) and gainfully employed, I could actually afford one. So, I bought one. Ah, nostalgia is a powerful force. Anyhow, back when it was new, it would have been hooked up to a 5.25" hard drive, but I was looking to hook up a smaller device. At first I thought the smallest SCSI drives are 3.5", but my friend Bill told me that some older Powerbook laptops used 2.5" SCSI drives. So, I picked up a few broken powerbooks cheap on eBay, and scavenged the drives out of them. Then I noticed a problem. They had 40 pin connectors on them. I didn't know of any 40 pin SCSI standards, so I started looking for a pinout for these drives. Google initially failed me (the horror!), but with a bit more creative searching, I was able to piece together the info from several documents, and the ribbon cable that the drive was attached to in the Powerbook. In case anyone else is trying to hook up a Conner 2.5" SCSI drive, you can get the pinout below.

Note that I have not yet tried to hook up a disk drive using this info, so it may contain errors. Use at your own risk.

Click here to download the Conner 2.5" 40-pin SCSI pinout.