I got another LED sign up and running in the master bedroom. When I had a cable modem, the nearest cable drop to the computer room is on this wall in the MBR. At the time, it was easier for me to run ethernet from here to the closet than coax. Since I moved to DSL, which drops straight into the closet, this ether line has sat dormant. It was easy enough to patch that line into one of b5's serial ports. And since I got the modem running again this week, it's showing Caller ID too.
I still need to do some software work. I drive these signs with a collection of quick hacks, particularly the device paths are compiled in.
I have an old Motorola Syntor X mobile VHF radio I bought off eBay a couple of years back to use as a 2-meter base station. I finally bought the last parts I need to Make It Go today (power supply, antenna, and a power/SWR meter to tune it up with.) The tricky part was reprogramming it. All the settings for frequencies, PLs, squelch behavior, power level, etcetera are stored on a 2816 EEPROM. Motorola still sells the equipment to do this, but it costs thousands of dollars and the service software license doesn't allow you to sell it. (Moto is notorious for stepping on eBay auctions of RSS.) People with access to RSS setups did some reverse-engineering, so there's a few third-party and even freeware packages that do the bit-banging. My Dataman S4 burns the silicon. I was going to use a 2716 EPROM instead, but Fry's didn't have a reasonably-priced EPROM eraser. However, they had exactly the right EEPROM part (surprising, as Fry's parts shelves are pretty barren.) I'll test it out tomorrow. The S4 is also a ((E)E)PROM in-circuit emulator, so if this works, I can muck around with settings without beating up a consumable.
You can still smell smoke outside, but they're beating the fires. They did, in fact, save Julian. Shockingly, we got rain today. It drizzled lightly where I was in Murphy Canyon, and again at home. Apparently, it poured in UTC. They've gotten a some drizzle in the mountains too, which helps with the firefighting a little bit.
I need to change out the battery in my car tomorrow. I bought it yesterday, but haven't taken the time to do the work. This morning, it took a couple of minutes of cranking to get it to catch.
I've been abusing this Dire Straits track lately. It's used at the end of "West Wing"'s second season finale. (Sorkin really knows how to write them.)