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Dingoo A330

Posted 2010.05.31 20.26 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

It’s the new release from Dingoo Technologies. I got one to satisfy my curiosity, but sadly it disappoints on many levels.

Dingoo A330

I made up a new version of Dingux that takes advantage of the added memory and faster clock speed. To do that, I needed to get a serial port in there for testing. Unlike the A320, the 330 seems to just have half a port; TX but no RX. So you can get debug data out, but you can’t interact with it. Sucky.

Probing for the RX Line

The TX data is found on a single unmarked testpoint that lies beneath the LCD screen, in the upper middle part of the motherboard. In hopes of finding the RX line, I did some probing to the copper traces around the CPU in the area of the TX line, but neither of my two most-promising candidates proved to be RX data. It is probably not connected at all. More sucky.

A330 Motherboard

I stuck the serial port on the left-hand side of the Dingoo, above the reset button. It was the only clear spot on the motherboard, but it turns out the left speaker wants to sit there, and the serial port keeps failing on me – I have to take it apart and fiddle with it to get it working again. The A330 disappoints on many levels.

HST Looming in Ontario & B.C.

Posted 2010.05.31 13.19 in Pointless Blather, Work by Stephanie

With the HST (known as VAT in other parts of the world) only a month away now for Ontario and B.C., it’s still mighty hard to find crucial information. It’s out there, but they seem to be going to great lengths to hide it. Reminds me of the planning notice that Arthur Dent found, that let him know about his house’s impending demolishment. On display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet, in a disused lavatory in the cellar, where the lights didn’t work and the stairs were broken, and a sign outside the door saying “Beware of the Leopard.”

So the information is out there, and if you happen to run a business or just need to know about the tax laws, then it’s up to you to check the government’s websites on a regular basis and dig and scrounge for information – bearing in mind that it might be wrong, outdated, or superceded next week. Eg. the Ontario government set up a toll-free number you could call to get information on the new rules. I called the number and asked some very specific questions. The answers I was given sounded authoritative and informative. Some of them were wrong, or contradicted information provided by other venues.

By and large, I don’t expect that prices of most goods or services will go up much, and I don’t expect them to go down at all. There are certain areas though where the general public can expect to receive a good solid boot to the head. For instance, the price of postage had a fairly stiff increase in January – from 54 cents to 57 cents for a normal first-class letter within Canada. This will see another jump due to the tax increase, from 5% to 8%. So a 57 cent stamp (which currently costs 60 cents) now, is going to cost 64 cents in July. Factoring the increase in postage and the increase in taxes, this means an overall price hike of  7 cents, within 6 months. Not a lot of money for a single stamp, but what if you use a hundred a month? That’s a 7 dollar increase.

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Dingoo Serial Port Step-by-Step

Posted 2010.05.26 10.05 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

I added another serial port to another Dingoo and this time I took pics of the process all along the way.

Click the thumbnails for enlarged images and details.

Cheers!

P.s. I forgot to publish this earlier, sorry for the delay.

Immutable Universal Law of Physics #37

Posted 2010.05.24 22.30 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Every package of hot-dog buns shall contain no fewer than one deformed bun.

That is all.

Beta the Betta

Posted 2010.05.19 21.13 in Aquaria by Stephanie

Meet Beta, the betta!

It’s so hard to get them to pose though for a picture.

Still Alive

Posted 2010.05.18 9.54 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Just a quick note to say I’m still alive. No excuse for the sudden lack of posts, other than I’ve nothing new to say. It’s all the same, straight from the department of redundancy department.

Still messing around with the Dingoo. Still dealing with depression. Snails are still laying egg clutches like crazy.

That’s about it.

Unobtanium?

Posted 2010.05.09 22.56 in Music/Movies/TV by Stephanie

So I finally saw Avatar the other day. It was a lot longer to watch, than it was to read the synopsis. It was a lot like the Pocahontas movie, only with blue aliens and heliopter gunships. I didn’t see the Pocahontas movie, but I read the synopsis of that too.

So the first big thing that stuck with me, was this unobtanium stuff. The word unobtanium has been around for a long time, and it more or less means something that is next to impossible to get.  I first encountered the term in the late 90’s, relating to Apple’s Newton eMate product. The memory upgrade was said to be made of unobtanium, because it was virtually impossible to get your hands on.

So in the movie… unobtanium sounds like it would be acceptable as a working-term for early on in the script developtment. But it shouldn’t have made it into the finished film. Considering this grey rock was supposed to be so important and so valuable that it was worthwhile to travel so far and spend so much money to mine it, I’d have really liked to know what it was good for.

I think the corporate guy said it was worth $20,000 / kg which at first seems like a lot. When you consider though that it takes about 6 years to travel between Earth and Pandora, and how much it must cost to move every kg of supplies back and forth, how much personelle and material had been moved to Pandora, and how long they had appearantly been there, $20,000 / kg seems fairly reasonable.

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