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Showing posts from February, 2015

The Keys to the Kingdom

Apparently, the NSA stole the keys to the GSM kingdom.  It was already clear that GSM is not secure and two heads of state were annoyed by the Yanks listening in to their calls already, but this is ridiculous: What is clear, is that the US government doesn't care how much damage the NSA causes to states and corporations the world over.  This is a Dutch/French company, NATO members and the NSA did them in to the tune of half a billion Dollars, with hardly a peep from any politician anywhere.  If your computer system is not secure, then you can lose your business thanks to the US military, whether you are an ally, at peace, at war or neutral.  With such friends, who needs enemies? The CTO of Lenovo has now proven himself to be just as clueless as a previous CTO of Sony: They all failed to understand that if you subvert thousands of computers, then the system is weaken

Thermionic Valve Amplifier

I stumbled upon a source for some cool old stuff called Magic Eye tubes.  The shop is in Chelyabinsk Russia, called Tubes Store. Here is a nice VU meter video: While browsing there, I decided to make a little(!) audio amplifier to hook to my Mac, get a couple of Magic Eye tubes to use for a VU meter (blah) or robot eyes (yes!) and some Nixie tubes for a clock or digital read-out, or goodness knows what, so I ended up buying a handful of brand new old junk. Skeleton of FR4 on a wood base - It sounds great! Now the problem is getting high voltage transformers and capacitors that can handle >200 Volts.  Everything in my junk box is low voltage and will go pop, just like the weasel of yore. When I built radios and avionics at Grinel, there was a huge 15 Kilowatt Klystron valve sitting in the store across the hallway - a relic from a previous radar project.  That thing was about 1 meter tall an

Windows 10 on Virtualbox

What? Herman uses Windows? Shock, horror... My first desktop computer - if you could call it that - was a Commodore Vic 20 - ugh.  The second one, was an Apple IIe, which was probably the first desktop computer worthy of the name.  Since then, I have used many, many systems, including Sperry, UNIVAC, Varian, DEC and some that nobody ever heard of. As far as Microsoft operating systems go - if you can call them that - I have used practically every version of everything O'l Billybob ever made.  I even once received a cheque from Microsoft for one of their infamous illegal business practices lawsuits that they lost ( Corel, Novel, Lotus, DEC, SAMBA, SCO, Stacker, Trumpet, Sierra... ).  So I have a kind of love/hate relationship with MS and avoid their products wherever possible, since they can destroy a computer business competitor without batting an eye and leopards never change their spots. If it is Free, Take Two! You can download a Windows 10 ISO file for free here: http