I have changed the setup and decided to go all-analog on the synthesizer-front. Yes, I know that the Yamaha DX is digital FM synthesis, but it is only used as timing for the MIDI-connection to the two analog synths and the analog drum machine. While I am not opposed to digital synths – at all – I do prefer the analog counterparts. However, my firm rule for creating sound effects and music for my games is that everything has to be synthetic. No samples. The Yamaha DX falls under this rule.
I recently started mining the most awesome Duino-Coin (www.duino-coin.com), which gives best rewards when using low-power devices such as Arduino, ESP32/8266 and the like. When I first looked at my earnings this morning I saw that the amount of mined DUCO (the ticker for Duino-Coin) was the same as my second-favorite album of all time. Here’s to you Rush!
Isocube Software has begun work on a project that is to be offered as an NFT, most likely on the Ethereum blockchain. The growth of this sector has been interesting to follow and it is certainly a most excellent usage of the blockchain technology. While it has not escaped our attention that we may live in an NFT-bubble, we are certain that NFT has come to stay – and it might change, or influence, the way we do everything on the internet.
These are exciting times. We should not let such opportunities pass us by.
I just got this in the mail. It is an extremely cheap and small (!) unit that only runs on batteries and utilizes a 3.5 mm audio output and a 3.5 mm audio input (yes, the input audio is modified by the unit – this is not a normal pass-through).
So, how does it fare? Well, it is way more useful than I thought. It can create quite amazing intense space-sounds. I find the unit to be very powerful – especially for my setup. I have a drum machine that has six sounds, apart from the mixed output on a jack connector each sound has its own 3.5 mm mini jack output. Connecting something to an output removes the sound from the mix output. As such, you can select a sound and have it run through the Monotron Delay should you need to add an effect to the sound. This cheap little unit should not be underestimated. I am having great fun with it. I absolutely love space sounds!
The Raspberry Pi 400 with Danish layout (characters “æ”, “ø” and “å”) has finally become available. I am very satisfied with the build quality and the feel of the keys. It is sturdy, pretty and still has the GPIO-header. The 3.5 mm audio jack has been omitted for the 400 – so you’ll have to use sound through HDMI or an external USB sound card.
I recently heard about these units, which are based on the most triumphant EPS32 microntroller. I know next to nothing about them, other than they have VGA output, 3.5 mm audio output and keyboard + mouse PS/2 connectors. They also have a couple of pins, which I hope are I/O pins.
I have some images of people using them for VIC-20 and ZX Spectrum emulation. They are incredibly small – and I have two of them. I will follow up when my PS/2 mouse arrives. I do have PS/2 keyboards, but it has been many years since I have owned a PS/2 mouse. Stay tuned!
I just gave a Raspberry Pi 4 a spin. I was somewhat opposed to try another one, due to me being a “microcontroller-guy” first and foremost. However, I also want to be a little bit in on the action regarding SBCs (single board computers) and that is why I tried again. Earlier I had a Raspberry Pi 3, which many stated would be usable for normal PC-use. I have no idea which PC’s people are using, but the RPi3 was 100 % unacceptable for any kind of daily use. The same goes for the much more powerful ASUS Tinker Board (left SBC in picture). The RPi3 ended up in a C64-case, with an image that boots into a full Commodore 64 within seconds. The ASUS Tinker Board ended up in my box of microcontrollers, frowned upon by the likes of Arduino 2560’s and the like.
I understand that people – other than the ones stating the usage of a RPi3 for daily use – will suggest using the SBCs as project-boards, much like any microcontroller. But to me, this doesn’t make sense. Programming an SBC like the RPi3 or other, will have you doing that on the unit itself; working in a sluggish system. Apart from that, you will still have a full-fledged OS with thousands of files and programs, which a real microcontroller does not have. It just have the code – which you either compiled and uploaded from your main PC (Arduino etc.), or coded directly on the microcontroller (MMBasic/Maximite and MicroPython)
The Raspberry Pi 4 was a lot better. Even though it is slower than the ASUS Tinker Board, I had an OK experience running Raspberry Pi OS on it. You still have to wait for browsers to open and such, but overall it is a pleasent experience working on it. Video playback is pretty good too. I recommend the unit.
So, where is all this going? Microcontrollers are getting faster and faster (CMM2 is 480 MHz) with multi-core CPU’s, SBCs are also getting stronger and stronger, need lots of amps, needs cooling, the RPi4 has 4 cores and what not. It could appear that the main objective of having something simple might be left behind. I loved the idea of the single CPU on an Arduino. You have the setup and the loop and nothing else. 16 MHz or sometimes only 8 MHz. I hope this will not go away.