The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

October 28, 2012

How to Find Good Junk

Filed under: Electronics — Cranky Sysadmin @ 12:04 pm

I recently picked up two pieces of imaging equipment from the early nineties. My aim was to salvage parts from them. I picked up both pieces for $15, so it’s not the end of the world if I’m disappointed. One of the boxes was a “infrared imaging” system built by an engineering company. It was a rack mount device and was ugly. The other box was a “color video printer”. It looks like a piece of expensive consumer electronics.
Salvage from two imaging systems

October 27, 2012

What’s an FPGA and Why Would I Want One?

Filed under: digital logic,Electronics — Cranky Sysadmin @ 12:28 pm

I recently became interested in FPGA’s because I want to continue my learning about digital electronics. It turns out that there are more reasons to like FPGA’s though. An FPGA is a “Field Programmable Gate Array”. Basically, you can program an FPGA to be whatever digital circuit you want. There aren’t any analog components in an FPGA (as far as I know), so you’ll probably still have some work outside the FPGA to interface with the real world.
Read on for more on FPGA’s

October 18, 2012

Xilinx ISE 14.2 on Ubuntu 12.04

Filed under: digital logic,Electronics — Cranky Sysadmin @ 7:19 pm

I’ve been getting familiar with FPGA’s (Field Programmable Gate Array). In one sentence, they are a chip that you program what to be instead of what to do. I bought a Papilio One FPGA development board and a LogicStart daughter card (called a megawing) so I could get started learning. Go to GadgetFactory if you’re interested. One of the first steps on the computer is installing Xilinx ISE so I can program the FPGA. I transcribed my scrawled note after the fold.
The pain of Xilinx ISE on Ubuntu

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