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Produits U

Just a small whinge - it seems that an ever-increasing selection of products in our local Super U (supermarket) are being replaced with own-brand products. This isn't to say a selection of own-brand is a bad thing, but when it comes at the cost of the branded products, it does make you wonder.
One thing I can say is that I perceive the own-brand chinese egg noodles to be of a lesser quality than the branded (Sara Lee, if I remember correctly) type.
I took a quick picture of the tiny "Asian" section of our local supermarket. Own brand, own brand, own brand... so much choice... meh.
Own brand products, Super U.

 

Come get some!

On a related note, in the lobby of the supermarket is a prop to advertise "Duke Nuken Forever", otherwise the one that took forever to arrive.

What I'd be interested in knowing is what the French think of this slice of Americana - the somewhat skanky cheerleader-schoolgirls one of which is almost groping a hunky guy old enough to be her father, who is laden with ammo and looking like he wants to pick a fight - fire and explosions going on behind.

Duke Nukem Forever, advert.

 

Vide grenier, yet again!

Earlier we walked around this...
Vide grenier.
...in a sudden heatwave that saw the temperatures pushing their way into the mid-30s. This from an otherwise dull so-called "summer" where it would struggle into the low 20s by day and drop into single digits (yes, really!) at night. Up until today, the time during Easter when I was off sick was the best weather of the year. But now our heat record has been broken, our in-the-shade thermometer pushing 38.6°C. The real temperature is likely to be a little less - maybe 35 - but either way, it was verging on madness. As we left, a SAMU (service of re-animation) ambulance went screaming by. Probably some granny didn't fare well from the heat...

 

Interfacing

At said vide grenier, I got a USB floppy disc drive for 50 centimes. And a fold-up padded chair to laze around outside (for plastic deck chairs are no fun). The floppy drive works well, although it is weird seeing the drive lamp flickering like a harddisc. I've not tested it much, other than to say "it works". I wonder if one of the Acorn emulators (VirtualAcorn, for instance) would be capable of reading ADFS floppies with this device?
Floppy drive, CF and reader.

Sitting atop it is a 4Gb CompactFlash card I picked up for a fiver, plus a little million-in-one card reader/USB hub I got for a euro. End of line clearance. I must say I am somewhat disappointed in the card reader only being capable of handling vanilla SD cards. It's like the one that came built into the NAS box (Ayleigh), it can't hack SDHC either. Really, isn't it a bit late in the day to be finding hardware that won't work with SDHC?
At any rate, it works well with CF. It is good to have a reader around, as the one in Ayleigh is hooked to USB 1.1 (=slow) and the eeePC only talks SD/MMC. I may look to getting an IDE-to-CF interface so I can pop this into my RiscPC and think about doing away with one or both harddiscs. If I run it through the Simtec interface, I ought to be able to partition it to match the existing setup, meaning transferring my system would be as easy as:

  • Start the machine, skipping the boot sequence.
  • Rename all drive partitions to have an X in front of them.
  • Dismount all the partitions.
  • Format/partition the CF card.
  • Dismount the partitions.
  • Mount an "old" partition and its "new" one (i.e. "IDEFS::XAnya.$" and "IDEFS::Anya.$").
  • Select everything in XAnya, draggy-droppy to Anya. Wait while it does so.
  • Dismount those partitions, select the next pair, repeat as necessary.
  • Set the boot drive configuration appropriately.
  • Shut down, power down.
  • Take out the mechanical harddisc.
  • Power up.
The slow part will be the file copy, as the RiscPC's main bus is lethargic. The podule bus, running flat out, is 8MHz. I/O and memory isn't that much better - the only thing running nippier than 20MHz are the processors (25 for the 80486, and 40 for the ARM710). Otherwise, it is a remarkably simple process. If I shift the small boot drive to a CF partition, I will need to load up the boot script and alter some paths (ADFS -> IDEFS), otherwise it is pretty much draggy-droppy. Unlike, say, certain other platforms I could mention. ☺

I also have, as part of the pack of stuff I got, a tiny USB mouse with scroll wheel. It works, but that's all I can say, for I prefer the touchpad. I also have a plug-in numeric keypad. That too works, though I never quite saw the purpose in numeric keypads for small laptops that don't have a full-size keyboard. There's also a rigid-cable USB lamp, just right for coding in the dark!

There's a write-up on RiscWorld of what I am thinking of.

 

JTAG?

At the moment I am overdrawn. A lot. :-( This dates back to my few days off back around Easter. I'm not so worried, as working night rate gets me 25% extra per hour (which is pretty poor really, but not to be sneezed at). I will probably take the extra this month to balance the bank account, and then in the following month - maybe over the summer break - look to getting the hardware for the JTAG. What's holding me back is having to pay €12 per command from Farnell. There's no minimum, but as a non-client I will need to pay an amount for post. It isn't that big a deal (it is, like, 48h UPS delivery) but I do wish to be sure to order all that I'm likely to need in one go. Shame I can't afford an oscilloscope...

 

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ScrewU, 29th June 2011, 01:38
Asswipe.
Austin, 29th June 2011, 12:44
Well you can't please everyone.... 
 
I've got an oscilloscope that you're welcome to. It's of unknown provenance, only 10Mhz and presently has no probes (although I'm sure I can get some for you). Last time I switched it on it produced a trace though.

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