Category Archives: Tech News

Makerbot inspiring the next generation.

Thank you MakerBot for being the catalyst for a new generation.

Makerbot has generously donated a majority of the funding needed to get our school it’s own Makerbot 3d printer through Donors Choose


Back when I was younger, the biggest impact to my future, and education was the Commodore Pet computers that my elementary school had acquired, later on the Apple IIe’s that Apple computer helped get into our schools.  It taught me how to problem solve, program, and follow through.

The new generation was slowly losing touch with this do it yourself, figure it out sense of accomplishment.  Computers and technology have become so much like appliances that there just isn’t that same feeling when you figure something out for the first time.

3d printing is currently at a stage where home personal computers were in the 70’s and 80’s. It was magical, and inspiring to figure things out.  This is the opportunity we get to give this generation.  The chance to adopt a technology and mold it to their own liking.

Thanks again to Makerbot and the maker community for creating a revolution in technology for future engineers, artists, and tinkerers.

Open Letter to Asus






To Whom it may concern at Asus:

I sent an Asus G51JX-X2 “ROG” Gaming Laptop to be serviced after an “Asus Liveupdate” recommended a bios update and proceeded to automatically update the bios in windows, blue-screening the machine and rendering the machine non-functional.   I should have known better, but later found out that its common for the winflash to fatally damage an Asus system board.  Unfortunately I went with the recommendations for the BIOS and Driver updates that Asus recommended.

When I called, asking for the simple recovery method used to allow a base flash to be reloaded after it failed (I do know this is possible, yet nobody would/could tell me so I could recover the system myself)

Instead, I was instructed to return the machine to be repaired under warranty.  However this was after the SECOND phone call, the first time after explaining that Asus Live Update recommended the bios upgrade, I was told it would have to be repaired at my own expense and I voided my warranty.  Fortunately the second time I called it was not an issue.

This is where it gets more interesting,

the machine was returned missing the power adapter I had sent with it for repair.  And the original box (the box it came in when I bought it) was also not returned.

WTF!  How am I able to use a computer without its power adapter?  Even worse is the Laptop Repair Summary even stated that the A/C adapter was included, so it should have been returned.

could not work this past weekend and **LOST** an enormous amount of development time and money.

I did manage to test the machine off the battery for a short time, and it doesn’t recognize 16gb of ram.

A little background on this machine, its an Asus “Republic of Gamers” G51JX-X2 with a G60JX system motherboard, I had sought out this specific model because it has 4 DDR3 Dim slots,  I had purchased it for development, but left my other job and it was sitting in its box for 6 months unused.  Yes, its a gaming machine, but it was one of the only machines under $2000 that had a high resolution screen (1920×1080 FHD), a quad core i7 processor (8 threads), and did an enormous amount of research verifying if it could support over 8gb of Ram, which I was told on numerous occasions it could support up to 16gb.  So I am pretty disappointed that I cannot use all 16gb that the bios sees, but isn’t making available to the O/S (I tested on Linux also to be sure it wasn’t just my installation of Windows 7 Ultimate).  I didn’t buy it for appearance, its actually ugly, and a little embarassing to use for work related tasks.

It is a G51JX-X2,  G60JX motherboard with 4 memory slots, the Bios recognizes 16gb but the O/S only says 8gb

I have decided I no longer want this computer, however the BOX IT WAS SHIPPED IN, and was instructed to pack it in for warranty reasons,  was not returned.  Not having the original packaging makes it nearly impossible to sell!  Even though it looks brand new and has no signs of wear, it will be impossible to get top dollar for it without the box and packaging.

The support person who I spoke to told me “You don’t get back your box”  WTF! I was told to ship it in the original packaging to avoid damage! 

I want this laptop gone,  I’d like to return it to the store where I purchased it, but too much time has passed (15 days from date of purchase). 

PLEASE ASUS do something to make this right. 

Nobody on the phones has been able to help, all they tell me is it will be escalated and someone would call me back. NOBODY has called back. I called early enough on friday that they could have shipped me a replacement (or my original) power supply overnight and I could have used it this weekend, instead I was told I would be called back, of course they never called back, or did the right thing and just overnighted a new power supply.  I spoke with them again today, MEMORIAL DAY, WASTING MY ONLY DAY OFF to try to get this resolved.  I was told I would be called back within 24 hours.  Its a holiday weekend and its already too late to un-do the damage, so hopefully I get a call back..

Emulating an Apple //e on an Apple iPhone 4

Okay,  since iDOS has been release and pulled,  I was recently playing with DOSBOX,  I’m a huge vintage computing fan, and I have all of my old PC and Apple hardware,  plus I’ve taken the time to emulate these older systems to show off my older efforts (I was a huge BBS enthusiast when I was younger, since roughly 1982)

I was inspired by someones comments to make a Apple ][ emulator for iOS (which I’d love to see KEGS or something else ported)

What better way to show off a little than to install DosPAD (aka iDOS, based on the DOSBox emulator) on my iPhone.

One really cool thing about DosBOX is the several interesting ways that networking can be emulated.  Being a BBS enthusiast, the way it emulates a modem (and listening on a TCP port, when a connection is detected, it “rings” the modem) led me to set up my older BBS programs that ran under DOS,  MajorBBS, Renegade, Synchronet, all work.

But my enthusiasm started with the Apple ][ and //e computer, and thats where my BBS obscession started.  So I started looking for something along the lines of KEGS or some other apple ][ emulator being ported to Mac osX and perhaps to iOS.  No luck, and I’m not yet proficient enough to port the code myself.

BULB GOES ON..  See if one of the older 16 bit Apple 2 emulators will run in DOSBox!  I started  by getting DOSBox running under my trusty Ubuntu Netbook.  So I gather some of my stuff together, copy APPLEPC to a path and mount it in DOSBox, OOPS! Forgot to get a ROM for my Apple //e.  I find a rom and copy it over.  It boots and hangs, OOPS, need an apple boot disk.  So I created a prodos disk image from one of my original disks.  BINGO it boots!

Yech its kinda slow,  but it worked!

Next step,  copy the files in my APPLEPC directory to the iDOS emulator on my iPhone…..

BINGO! It works!

Its slow,  opening the super serial card actually works (you get a ring, and can type ATA to answer) and Ascii Express (running tardis) worked perfectly.

Stay tuned for my next steps,  to install my old BBS Hard disk image and connecting to it.

More pictures and updates to follow!