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X11 on Android


[ghostwalker] has put together instructions for running X11 on your Android device. This means you can run a full-blown Linux desktop environment on your phone. It requires you to already have a Debian shell on the phone, which we covered earlier. Instead of having to come up with a custom display driver, it’s hooked to a VNC server. You can connect to it using an Android VNC viewer on the phone or via any other VNC client. The how-to suggests either IceWM or the even lighter-weight LXDE for a window manager. You could potentially install Gnome or KDE, but we’d be surprised if it was any faster than dog slow. Let us know if you have any success with this and what you think the best use is.

QRSS: Radio amateurs’ slow-speed narrowband


Host of the Soldersmoke podcast, [Bill Meara], contributed this guest post.

While the rest of the world is moving toward high speed broadband, some hams—including one Nobel Prize winner—are going in exactly the opposite direction. Our ‘QRSS’ mode makes use of an unusual mixture of modern digital signal processing (DSP), ancient Morse code, and simple homebrewed transmitters. Very narrow bandwidth is desirable because this reduces the noise in the radio communication channel, greatly improving the S/N ratio.  But Shannon’s communication theory tells us that narrow bandwidth comes with a cost: slow data rates. In QRSS, beacon transmitters using only milliwatts churn out slow speed Morse ID signals on 10.140 MHz that are routinely picked up by DSP-based receivers on the other side of the globe. Many of the receivers, ‘grabbers’, have visual outputs that are available online in real time. QRSS has been getting a lot of attention on the Soldersmoke podcast and on the Soldersmoke Blog. For more information check out this overview and the hardware involved. Here’s a gallery of received signals.

NES controller on a DS


You can get most of the old NES games for the DS, but they just don’t feel the same. Sure your hands still cramp up, but its just not the same cramp we remember. What is the solution? Put an old Nintendo Entertainment System controller on your DS.  [Parker] did exactly that. The method he used is fairly strait forward. He opened the DS, wired extensions onto the buttons he wanted to use to a controller. Instead of making it permanent though, he chose to wire it through the GBA slot. This allows him to plug the controller in whenever he wants to use it.  This reminds us of the PSP with a SNES controller we covered back in October.

You can see a video of it in action after the break. You’ll notice in the video, he has also modded his buttons to have LEDs behind them.

In the comments, [tri-edge] points out that you can follow his build in the acidmods forum. There seem to be some other variations as well, including an SNES controller.

[Read more...]


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