Open Problem: Forcing MaskROM Mode on the Asus C101PA

The Asus C101PA is based on a Rockchip RK3399. These have a “maskrom mode”, where if the SPI EEPROM is disabled, the chip will attempt to boot from other devices: first, NAND flash, then microSD, and then finally a USB debug mode where you can attach a A-A cable and use the rkflashtool utility to [...]

Wanted: Write-Once MicroSD Card !

Allegedly these exist! — though I have only been able to find them offered for sale by the railroad car.
For certain applications, nothing else will really suffice.
If any of my readers know of (or wish to become) a vendor offering, in (for starters) mid-three-digit quantities:

a) One Time Programmable MicroSD card
b) MicroSD card with a true [...]

Open Problem: Delousing the Asus C101PA.

Apr. 26 update: This article is obsolete, the pill — was found; if you have this machine, scroll to the end.

The Asus C101PA Chromebook is a very interesting device: it contains a Rockchip CPU, for which we already have a working deloused Gentoo; it also contains such marvels as a non-blobulous Marvell 802.11 card, a [...]

The Return of Phuctor!

I have the pleasure of informing my readers that…
Phuctor is back!

It — exactly as it was, but with a few minor fix-ups for browsing speed — now lives on a very spiffy 32-core Opteron at Pizarro, the ISP.

The WWW UI is already up; the factoring proper will resume later tonight.

“Rodenticide” with the Seiko DPU414 Tape Printer.

The Seiko DPU414 is a small (110mm paper tape, ~90mm printable width) thermal printer, similar to the type used with cash registers everywhere, but slightly wider. It is quite unremarkable apart from the fact that no thermal printer of similar or greater width appears to be widely available; and also for the price (typically around [...]

The Peculiarly Quiet Decline and Fall of the KVM

Yes, that familiar little PC peripheral. The one that toggles a single keyboard/mouse/display ensemble between two or more connected machines.
They’ve quietly vanished from the market. And the fact appears to be discussed nowhere on the Net, at all. So I have seen it fit to make a note of it here.
What’s this, you say, they [...]

Posted in: Chumpatronics, Hardware, NonLoper by Stanislav 74 Comments

Sage SmartProbe FAQ

What’s a Sage SmartProbe?
See previous articles,
A Complete Pill for the Sage SmartProbe.
The Care and Feeding of the Sage SmartProbe.

Where do I get a Sage SmartProbe?
Possibly here — while supplies last. (Warning: I have no relation with this vendor and have no idea whether they still include the probe with “Gizmo 1″ kit. I [...]

Practical Lead to Gold Conversion; or an Intro to Opteron Resurrection.

It so happens that AMD resisted the informal NSA ban on the manufacture of LinuxBIOS-capable x86 CPUs slightly longer than Intel did. Or perhaps they were simply slower to succumb to Microsoft’s Fritz chip decree. Whichever may be the case, vintage (pre-2011, with some caveats, inquire within) AMD Opteron motherboards are a precious [...]

The Care and Feeding of the Sage SmartProbe.

Note: Please read the FAQ!!!
If you cured your Sage SmartProbe of its congenital disease as per the last article on the subject, you may now be wondering what to do with it.
The vendor supplied a massive Java shitware with the thing, which does not merit any discussion whatsoever. Instead, we will use the probe’s very [...]

A Complete Pill for the Sage SmartProbe.

Note: Please read the FAQ!!!
The Sage SmartProbe was a very spiffy “Hard ICE” debugger, one of the few ever manufactured for use with modern (2010s) AMD x86-64 processors, and – as far as I’m aware – the only one ever sold on the mass market, rather than as part of “favourite son” deals (as, e.g., [...]

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