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Sean Curtin
Works at U. of Oregon
Attended Rochester Institute of Technology
Lives in Portland, OR
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Sean Curtin

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Holy crap, Hershey's makes giant Krackels now! I've been wanting this for years. 
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Maybe not with a Coke brand specifically, but there are retro-brands that are made now by 3rd party companies.  We talked about Twinkies being relaunched by a company like this as well, I think.  I'll do a bit more research.  It's a good idea, yeah?
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Sean Curtin

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Why does it take 3 business days to transfer money from PayPal's computer to my bank's?

I sure hope those computers are out enjoying the holiday weekend!

(Here's where if I knew how to do anything other than crop in Photoshop, I'd include a picture of a computer waterskiing.)
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Dude, apply for a paypal debit card. (Not the credit card). Works just like a bank debit card. You can use it wherever visa/mc accepted. Plus if you can find a fee free ATM you can withdraw cash from your paypal balance. Never wait for your money again. If you have to move it to your bank account, withdraw cash... Deposit cash. Should be in your account instantly. 
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Sean Curtin

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This is neat. You can sketch out an area and superimpose it on anywhere in the world.
http://mapfrappe.com/
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MacOS 10.6.8 was Apple's "Windows 7" -- their OS sweet spot. Everything they've done since then has just made the user experience worse, not better.
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Another sure sign of spring: the clipboard people are out. 
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There really should be.  Safest bet is just to keep your money in your wallet where it belongs.
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Sean Curtin

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Lego Movie:
Best animated movie since Incredibles.
Possibly BEST ANIMATED MOVIE EVER! 

I believe my face is still stuck from grinning THROUGH THE ENTIRE THING! 

THE DETAIL! FINGERPRINTS! IMPERFECTIONS! OBSCURE REFERENCES!

FABULAND!

The people that made this applied all proper reverence for the medium.
Oh, and good story too. 

I MISS MY TRUNK OF LEGOS SO HARD RIGHT NOW!

Anyway, good flick. If you have the means, I highly recommend checking it out. I'm not posting a link to the preview because I think it gives too much away.
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Good point. Howl's Moving Castle is way up there for me. Definitely top 3 then.
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Have him in circles
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What the fuck is Duck Dynasty? Looks like just yet another basic cable show exploiting rednecks. Why is it so popular relative to all the others that it has merchandising?
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Sean Curtin

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How I spent my Memorial Day weekend by Sean.

I had been working for a while trying to make an Amiga RGB->Component converter, since pretty much any modern TV has a VGA port that won't take a 15khz signal (even though there is no technical reason anymore why it shouldn't be able to), but Component ports that will.

Being that the RGB port has all the ripe ingredients for making a component signal, I figured it would be easy so I looked online... and came up empty-handed with regard to Amiga-specific circuits. I found a few generic RGB to component circuits utilizing op-amps found only in Europe or Asia or long discontinued or only available in quantities of 1000... in surface-mount form. (Miniaturization has really made the electronics hobbyist's life a pain in the ass.) I also found some instructions from an Australian guy about how to modify an A520 for S-Video. Of course the PAL version of the 520 has component numbers completely different from the NTSC version. So I ended up looking at the datasheet for the MC1377 RGB to Composite chip at the heart of the 520. 

Turns out that the 1377 does a couple neat things: It loops the Y and C signals it creates out and back in again for combination. This obviously makes S-Video extraction easy, but also means that it's trivial to unhook the Chroma signal from the output stage to give you a nice, crispy, properly balanced Y for your YPrPb. The other nice thing that the 1377 does is give you a -Y. This makes the mix matrix at your op-amps for the R-Y and B-Y much simpler! I was able to make the whole R-Y/B-Y circuit on a breadboard with just a single LM6182IN dual op-amp that I had lying around, 6 resistors, 2 pots, 3 power filter capacitors, and a 7905 for the Vee (because the A500/A1200 don't have -5v, only -12v). One of the goals for this project was to be able to do it entirely with scavenged equipment or parts from my stash. The R-Y and B-Y circuits are identical, textbook summing circuits, with the pots being used to dial in the mix ratios.

It's not perfect. It was originally a little dark, so I removed the pull-down sides of the voltage dividers that the 520 does at the RGB input, which is kind of a kludge way to fix that problem, and I'm getting some right edge dot crawl from somewhere, which I didn't think was possible without any color modulation. Clearly there is more chroma-related stuff on the 520 that I can strip away and probably clean up the signal even more. The output impedance on my color signals is deliberately wrong because they were running a bit hot and I'm too lazy to do the proper math, so I just dropped in resistors that got me in the ballpark by trial and error. The pots (1K) are a bit touchy. I wish I'd had some with a more gradual taper. Next long weekend maybe I'll dig the scope out of the basement and see if I can tighten it up, but it's certainly good enough for now.

I also learned that CF cards are basically little solid-state PATA drives, so all you need is a physical adapter to connect them to an IDE port. I was able to transfer everything over (at great effort, but that's another story) from my 20 year old 250MB hard drive to a CF card and put it in a safe place. So now I have a silent, component-video A1200 that boots at lightning speed!

All it needs is a new case.

(Yes, the keyboard is a scavenged A500 keyboard.)
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The worst thing is that there is no good reason for it. It's just a matter of software in the monitors. The input chip takes a 15khz signal from the composite, s-video, and component ports, so it could readily do it from the VGA port too, but doesn't, because the VGA standard "officially" starts at 31khz.

I suspect there are some TV's out there that will take 15khz on the VGA port, but it would be a completely undocumented feature. 

Sadly, even VGA ports are going away on TV's now. The reason I ended up with a Samsung is because even in 2007 when I bought it, Panasonic had already done away with VGA.
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Sean Curtin

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I suppose this isn't too surprising, but when I'm walking up to 10th or so from work, I get hit up for change at least twice per trip when I go the downtown route, but almost never when I walk through the "hood". The streets are parallel,  have roughly the same amount of traffic (pedestrian and auto), and are only separated by about 3 blocks.
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haha, the "hood".
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Sean Curtin

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FIRST DAY OF SPRING!
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Hope you got your skipping shoes on.
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Started playing this hardcore yesterday:
https://store.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com/#!/en-us/games/ni-no-kuni-wrath-of-the-white-witch/cid=UP0700-NPUB30932_00-NNKDLFULLGAMEPTA?smcid=ps:show-now:visit-playstation-store:ps-playstation-store

Not terribly into RPG's, but Ghibli + $10 = Hell Yes. Only complaint so far is too many boss battles. I hate boss battles. 

Anyway, it got me to thinking: What would you rather live in: a low-tech society with magic, or a high-tech society without?
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This game is gorgeous, like all Miyazaki things. It's unusual that I can just sit and watch a game being played and really get into it like it's a film that I can give instructions to, but this was like that. And yes, Boss Battles are tedious. but whatevs, the rest of it is awesome. Also the soundtrack is super soothing.

I haven't enjoyed a game his much since Flower. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_(video_game)

And I've been wanting to play wipeout in a bad way lately (mostly because Top Gear is back on), but I can't play it properly without the NegCon controller, which doesn't work with something something (generations of playstations?) that Sean explained to me. SAD. 
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There was a guy next to me on the train playing ball-and-cup very seriously. I <3 Portland.

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Ball-and-cup is tricky business.
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Have him in circles
62 people
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Work
Occupation
Looking sternly at gadgets until they work again.
Employment
  • U. of Oregon
    VC Overseer. Crestron Programmer. A/V jack of all trades., 2008 - present
  • George Mason University
    Crestron Programmer. Classroom integrator., 2006 - 2008
  • Mote Marine Lab.
    A/V & IT miscellany., 1998 - 2006
  • Jabil Circuit
    Diagnostic Tech. Board repair., 1997 - 1998
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Portland, OR
Previously
WV, MD, VA, FL, NY
Links
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Story
Tagline
Millionaire jet set playboy. Bean Lover.
Introduction
Greetings professor Falken.
Bragging rights
So out of shape that the only trophy I have is atrophy! Creator of national household white-board cartoon sensation Stalky The Fish!
Education
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
    Computer Engineering Technology, 1997
Basic Information
Gender
Male