My website in Elektuur

For the second time the dutch magazine Elektuur (Elektor as it is called in other countries) has mentioned my website in an article devoted to retro electronics. In the July/August issue, mostly about robotics, an article is devoted to Philips EE-Bouwdozen. In the Links my webpage on the ME1200, the first Philips Mechanical Engineer, is mentioned. The previous time was in this article, about the Elektuur Junior Computer, in the january 2005 issue. Continue reading My website in Elektuur

Favorite books: Dune or Arrakis or Duin

One of my favorite science fiction books must be Dune, by Frank Herbert. In the Netherlands this appeared in the Meulenhoff Science-fictions series, sometimes in the seventies. What makes this book so special is the richeness of the scene, the humans staying human in so strange locations, the numerous links to religions and philosophies, hints at nomadic arabic heroism and immense tragedies. The series of Duin ended with Duin Kapittel or Chapterhouse Dune as it is called in English. It had a rather open end , but after the dead of Frank Herbert I thought it was over. I also … Continue reading Favorite books: Dune or Arrakis or Duin

hansotten.nl a new domain and a new ISP

hansotten.nl is mine! I could not resist the offer made by this ISP,  mijndomein.nl offers a complete package for 29 euro, the first year for 1 (one!) Euro, including a domain name. As fas as I can see good bandwith,  no limits on mysql databases and subdomains, 500 MB disk space. Registered this morning, good email communication followed today and already operational. So visit http://www.hansotten.nl (now forwarding to .com, have to think what to do with this 😉 ) Continue reading hansotten.nl a new domain and a new ISP

Getting Real: simplicity in software design

On the blog of Dominiek, a friend of my son, I found a reference to Getting Real, a book by 37signals, a company producing web-apps. Their motto is: ‘How To Write Vigorous Software Our modus operandi We believe software is too complex. Too many features, too many buttons, too much to learn. Our products do less than the competition — intentionally. We build products that work smarter, feel better, allow you to do things your way, and are easier to use. Underdo your competition Conventional wisdom says that to beat your competitors you need to one-up them. If they have … Continue reading Getting Real: simplicity in software design

Musical roots: Led Zeppelin

   End of the sixties the british scene was all about blues. Alexis Korner, John Mayall were the people helping young and talented guitar players start their career, like Peter Green and Eric Clapton. Jimmy Plant, guitar player of the Yardbirds, belongs to this generation of blues gitarists, that changed from traditional blues to the exciting music of the seventies with hard powerful rock music. The first album of Led Zeppelin, around 1969,  has a blues background, but the guitar, the bass and drums are loud! Combined with the somtimes scary voice of Robert Plant this started a new genre. Dazed … Continue reading Musical roots: Led Zeppelin

MSX SCC Mega Flash ROM

The Mega Flash SCC is a cartridge for the MSX with a flash RAM memory inside. So it can be used as a normal cartridge once a suitable program has been stored inside, also known as ‘flashing’. This kind of memory has become quite cheap lately and is a lot easier to work with than the now old-fashioned EPROM’s with UV light erasers and special hardware for programming. The SCC in this Flash module gives this cartridge something extra: the SCC is the music IC that is found in so many MSX Konami games. And the SCC IC also provides … Continue reading MSX SCC Mega Flash ROM

Pascal-M, software archeology

In 1978, via the KIM-1 user club, a Pascal compiler written by Mark Rustad, based on the P2 compiler, with a 6502 interpreter by G.J. v.d. Grinten, was given to me. It was a complete package, on a KIM-1 cassette tape, and with rudimentary documentation. Quickly Micro-Ade, the invaluable assembler/editor, was enhanced to edit Pascal program source. The idea was great, the result was terrible: load Micro-Ade, edit a Pascal program, load the interpreter (4K), compiler (19K), compile the program, load the object, and run the program. Of course the compiler would find errors and then the editing and compiling … Continue reading Pascal-M, software archeology

Simplicity, Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

I try to live by the rule that things must be simple. Complicated things are obvious in need of more thought. Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem It all started with William of Occam (aka Ockham), the 14th?century English philosopher who wrote this in latin, which literally means , ‘entities are not to be multiplied more than necessary’. This principle, known as Occam’s razor, implies that all other things being equal, the explanation that involves inventing the fewest new concepts is always to be preferred. Simplicity is not about deficiency, It takes a lot of effort to produce elegant and … Continue reading Simplicity, Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

Old? Am I? Will I become old?

My son triggered me into this rant with his comment ‘dad is becoming an old man’. That could mean: ‘you already behave old’ or ‘I hope you wil become much older than you are today’.  I hope the latter of course 😉 But what are the signs of already being old? Being physically old?Hm, something I cannot deny. Some grey hairs (don’t laugh, grey, not bold),  the condition is not as when I was 20, my sons beat me at races without any chance of me winning. And I can not work long nights and be fresh in the morning, … Continue reading Old? Am I? Will I become old?