Cool Stuff, Electronics, on the move, Vintage Computing

I’ll never complain about 40 columns again

I’ve been eyeing an Altair remake. I don’t know why, I just love being close to the metal on machines. I’m a little too young to remember the Altair and I don’t recall ever seeing one in person.

I do however understand how it works and am fascinated by what it must have felt like to run programs you came up with and saved on paper tape on it.

My Uncle ran his business on a Commodore VIC-20 for many years and I still have the Commodore 64 that I used until I graduated High School in 1993. I don’t recall when it went from being my Dad’s computer to mine, but I don’t think he minded me stealing it terribly much.

In my side project of learning 6502 Assembly language, I got sidetracked in comparing the Commodore 64 to the VIC 20. Seriously, how did anyone program on a VIC-20 with only 22 columns?

Commodore VIC-20 at 22 columns on the top and Commodore 64 on the bottom. Same program.

This BASIC program doesn’t actually run properly on the C64, because I’m using VIC-20 memory addresses. I just listed it on the 64 to compare the identical program on 22 columns vs 40 columns.

I always found 40 columns to be so limiting, but after trying out 22 columns, I think I’ll shut up about it. 🙂

Cool Stuff, Electronics, flying

Detecting and predicting loss of control in flight

I’m currently working on detecting loss of control (LOC) on an overshoot of base to final. Using data models in X-Plane which depending on the aircraft model is known to be pretty accurate (there’s a certified commercial version suitable for flight training). Not practical to do this in an actual airplane for obvious reasons like crashing and fireballs.

Anyway, here’s a screenshot of data gathering. I’m collecting about 50 data points 10 times per second. I’m feeding this into a learning algorithm to teach it to predict the actions which may lead to an accelerated stall and/or spin. 


Next step is to move the pitot/AOA probe to the other wing and see what difference this makes.