Hackaday Links: November 19, 2017

[Peter]’s homebuilt ultralight is actually flying now and not in ground effect, much to the chagrin of YouTube commenters. [Peter Sripol] built a Part 103 ultralight (no license required, any moron can jump in one and fly) in his basement out of foam board from Lowes. Now, he’s actually doing flight testing, and he managed to build a good plane. Someone gifted him a ballistic parachute so the GoFundMe for the parachute is unneeded right now, but this gift parachute is a bit too big for the airframe. Not a problem; he’ll just sell it and buy the smaller model.

Last week, rumors circulated of Broadcom acquiring Qualcomm for the sum of One… Hundred… Billion Dollars. It looks like that’s not happening now. Qualcomm rejected a deal for $103B, saying the offer, ‘undervalued the company and would face regulatory hurdles.’ Does this mean the deal is off? No, there are 80s guys out there who put the dollar signs in Busine$$, and there’s politicking going on.

A few links posts ago, I pointed out there were some very fancy LED panels available on eBay for very cheap. The Barco NX-4 LED panels are a 32×36 panels of RGB LEDs, driven very quickly by some FPGA goodness. The reverse engineering of these panels is well underway, and [Ian] and his team almost have everything figured out. Glad I got my ten panels…

TechShop is gone. With a heavy heart, we bid adieu to a business with a whole bunch of tools anyone can use. This leaves a lot of people with TechShop memberships out in the cold, and to ease the pain, Glowforge, Inventables, Formlabs, and littleBits are offering some discounts so you can build a hackerspace in your garage or basement. In other TechShop news, the question on everyone’s mind is, ‘what are they going to do with all the machines?’. Nobody knows, but the smart money is a liquidation/auction. Yes, in a few months, you’ll probably be renting a U-Haul and driving to TechShop one last time.

3D Hubs has come out with a 3D Printing Handbook. There’s a lot in the world of filament-based 3D printing that isn’t written down. It’s all based on experience, passed on from person to person. How much of an overhang can you really get away with? How do you orient a part correctly? God damned stringing. How do you design a friction-fit between two parts? All of these techniques are learned by experience. Is it possible to put this knowledge in a book? I have no idea, so look for that review in a week or two.

Like many of us, I’m sure, [Adam] is a collector of vintage computers. Instead of letting them sit in the attic, he’s taking gorgeous pictures of them. The collection includes most of the big-time Atari and Commodore 8-bitters, your requisite Apples, all of the case designs of the all-in-one Macs, some Pentium-era PCs, and even a few of the post-97 Macs. Is that Bondi Blue? Bonus points: all of these images are free to use with attribution.

Nvidia is blowing out their TX1 development kits. You can grab one for $200. What’s the TX1? It’s a really, really fast ARM computer stuffed into a heat sink that’s about the size of a deck of cards. You can attach it to a MiniITX breakout board that provides you with Ethernet, WiFi, and a bunch of other goodies. It’s a step above the Raspberry Pi for sure and is capable enough to run as a normal desktop computer.

26 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: November 19, 2017

  1. You are quite correct there Brian. The Ultralight aircraft arena resembles the early, read after 1903 to 1918 time period for regular aircraft. Theoretically anyone who believes he understands the what and how and why behind such vehicles can build one and fly it. In fact a while ago someone actually applied his Apple 2 family computer to provide the intelligence behind flying one. Of course it was more limited to the battery storage time then the fuel in the tank, but it was an inspirational idea.

    Oh and first dibs on a comment. And are the tribbles in your closet reproducing yet?

    1. IIRC the FAA left it up to the States whether or not to require pilot licenses for ultralights. Of course California immediately enacted legislation or regulations to require licenses for them.

      1. No, the FAA would never give the states any authority in making federal regulations, not going to happen. Besides, it would be a mess with 50 different sets of rules, how could anyone fly across a state line?

        1. Just like it’s totally impossible for California to have different vehicle emission standards than the federal standards eh?

          Well I guess you must be the fully accredited legal expert to make claims like that in direct contravention of all blindly obvious counterexamples.

  2. I’ve been wondering quite a bit recently about the Jetson series. I first saw them many years ago when they were pricey at the Microcenter in Cambridge, MA. They do respectively pack a Maxwell/Pascal architecture do they not (TX1/2) respectively ?

    But I’ve heard a number of people saying it isn’t great to do training ‘on’ these architectures– Rather they are only built for running the models.

    I wondered if anyone knew why that was (?).

    Granted an x86 is not an ARM core-in-a-box, but the whole point of a GFX was that they did not leverage the processor as much.

    I mean this will never be an ‘SLI’ solution in a box, but maybe it is it better than purchasing an old GFX (sans computer ?).

    1. P.s. Feel bad I missed out on the conference. Recommended a ‘really’ good work person for it, and as things turned out, last thing I did not want to run into them. Hope they took the chance to have attended. Such is life. Next year !

        1. ‘Text’ means a lot to me, but at the end of the day it is not that thing. In an ‘off camera’ moment I once caught up with ‘David Ferrucci’, then team leader of the Watson Project, and just as you put it, expressed to him, could his machine understand the subtly of poetry– That being off/oft used grammar, words that (fuck-it– I know I know but even Google Spelling ‘still’ thinks I am wrong).

          ‘NLP’, as they call it is a great thing, but we are so far from poems, and this is not even a meaningful ‘subversion’ of the technology.

          Today, maybe someone would know all the ‘ads’ Emily Dickson had read. But never where her heart was headed.

          1. This is the linguistic equivalent of drawing little circles on your schematics at all outputs because you think it looks sharp.

            But I appreciate that the poster has “sanely” expressed his passion for more “interesting” use of language.

    1. I thought the wrenches to the skull made it obvious that you’re not in your safe place. If your talking about the “kid” that made and flew the airplane…. Well, it looks like he knew exactly what he was doing and did it better than pretty much every adult I know. The key to safety is knowing how and why things work the way they do, not fear. Inquisitive kids should be encouraged and taught, not shushed and told to go away because it’s not safe.

  3. >collector of vintage computers. Instead of letting them sit in the attic, he’s taking gorgeous pictures of them

    Pictures look great, maybe too hipster for my taste, but WTF is with monitors?
    Atari ST picture takes only ~2/3 of the screen
    Amiga 500 not centered, plus huge pillow boxing
    Macintosh again not centered, this one understandable – screen is broken, fixing requires messing with KVolts.
    PC again huge margins all around the picture
    A500 Workbench picture crooked by 4 degrees :o
    A1200 1.5 cm top margin

    almost gave me an aneurysm ;-)

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