Getting out of the hobby

Jon Elson elson at
Sun Oct 16 10:59:27 CDT 2016

On 10/15/2016 10:48 PM, Steven M Jones wrote:
> On 10/15/2016 19:39, Chuck Guzis wrote:
>> My point blew right past you, apparently--yet I stated it as clearly as
>> I could.
> I got your point, Chuck, one hundred percent. It's a depressing
> perspective, but I acknowledge the truth of it in my own life. Almost
> every day I'm reminded that nothing is as exciting as it used to be.
Well, I'm not sure.  In 1996 I built a laser photoplotter.  
for some description and a picture.  It ran on a Windows 3.1 
computer with an ISA bus DMA card.
I was still using it to make PC board artwork and stencils 
for solder paste up to 2014, but was worried the old PC 
would fail to boot someday.  The program that generated the 
raster image files was written in Turbo Pascal for Windows, 
run under a virtual machine, and I was not sure I could 
recompile it, either.  I used fpc (Free Pascal Compiler) to 
recompile it and clean up a bunch of things, then wrote a 
program that used run-length compression to compress the 
raster file.  I got a Beagle Bone computer, and wrote some 
code for the PRU to uncompress the run-length encoding on 
the fly, and emulate the DMA card on the PC.  I got all this 
working in a matter of weeks, and felt REALLY good!  I 
haven't done that sort of software/hardware project in quite 
some time.


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