My projects from way back in time

Way back before I had a ‘real’ job I explored lots of stuff.

The workbench with several projects:

Old WorkBench and some projects
Old WorkBench and some projects

On the left in front of that monitor (orange monochrome!) is a built from scratch MicroBee computer.

It’s predecessor is in the 19inch rack box second from the right. This started life as home design Z80 computer with own BIOS (hand entered via switch bank, then via keyboard), then it transformed into an S100 bus system, and then a MicroBee computer was built onto one S100 board!

Back right is my own design linear power supply 0-20V and variable current limit. There is some test gear – custom built function generator so many addons – can’t remember, and a kit frequency counter, Forth kit computer, scavenged printer board, custom Nicad battery charger.


About this site

This site is about helping others learn, have fun and create, just like others have helped me. I hope to fill some holes in currently available information, and actively promote a sharing, open to all, unrestricted community access to the information and projects on this site. Plus I will promote some community projects and share some of my personal projects, and there will be plenty of stuff about using devices in one form or another.

Sharing implies open to ALL regardless of your:

  • artistic or technical focus, or just want/need to do stuff
  • experience
  • goal: just use an existing shared project/tool, design your own, or participate in a joint project,…
  • favourite hardware – analogue, digital, CPLD, FPGA, PIC, ARM, ATMEL, ….
  • favourite programming language(s), editor, compiler, SVN, ….
  • approach to licensing, copyright, patents
  • flavour of Open Source (OSS, OSH, OSHW, ..)
  • operating system – aim to be Cross Platform
  • use of closed source software or hardware or tools
  • thoughts on hackers, hacking and hackerspaces
  • country, culture, ….

Unrestricted access:

The use of content on photo and video sharing (eg embedded or linked) as well using popular social media sites is minimised on this site, as these are often not usable due to the computing platforms available to many people, or just ‘not accessible’ in many locations.

This is just one small step in trying to help more of the community access this content. It would be great if other sites would consider this approach, or provide alternate access to content, as this is a significant problem for large numbers of people. Later if we can identify ways to ensure access for all, this could change, so please send in your suggestions.

One final, but major part all inclusive, unrestricted access is to increase access to these devices/projects for those in developing countries or other socially and financially restricted groups by promoting really cheap and accessible, but useful projects. ie people can source parts easily worldwide, or scavenge local parts or substitutes, as well as access to the tools and techniques to build the projects.

I encourage everyone to create and GIVE BACK by documenting and publishing.

Why the name UsableDevices?

  • it is getting hard to create unique names
  • lately a lot of devices I use have been broken, unreliable, noisy, or just aggravating, and I had considerable difficulty fixing them, often only resolving the issue with the community help.

About me? See:- Historical Stuff & Recent Projects under {Devices}

Comments on this post should be directed to one of the forums.