March 21, 2017

Data Knightmare

DataKnightmare 1x23 - Benvenuti a GATTACA

Il congresso USA ha presentato una legge che consente alle aziende di richiedere test genetici ai dipendenti --e di disporre dei dati. Questo consentirebbe alle aziende di discriminare i dipendenti in base al profilo genetico. Forse gli USA non hanno imparato molto, dagli anni della segregazione razziale; ma l'Europa ricorda ancora i lager? Siamo sicuri che nessuno oserebbe presentare una legge simile da noi?

by Runtime Radio

March 13, 2017

Data Knightmare

DataKnightmare 1x22 - Fake news tu' sorella

Facebook si muove contro le fake news. Con una mossa abile, affida ad altri il compito che gli spetterebbe. Purtroppo, questa soluzione è sbagliata e controproducente: benvenuti all'alba della censura online.

by Runtime Radio

March 10, 2017

videogame confessional forum

celia pearce

I'll just give you a short snapshot of me. I have a day job as a college professor. I am an Associate Professor of game design at Northeastern University, which is located in Boston. That's my day...

by david wolinsky

March 07, 2017

Data Knightmare

DataKnightmare 1x21 - La posta in gioco

A parole nessuno vuole controllare la rete. Eppure l'industria del copyright, la politica e i giganti di Internet si muovono tutti in quella direzione --ovviamente per proteggere gli innocenti. Cosa c'è veramente in gioco?

by Runtime Radio

March 03, 2017

Museo dell Informatica funzionante

TOP2004 EPROM programmer: a simple mod!

Some time ago we expained how we fixed our EPROM programmer TOP2004. We saw that if we plug some BAD EPROM into the socket, the current peak at Vpp pin is too high and able to burn the switching Vpp transistor in the programmer. A bad EPROM like that is also quite hot so somehow you can touch it to check if it’s good or not.

Max current for Vpp switching transistors (MMBT3906) is 200mA; rarely we saw an EPROM in need of more than 100mA on the Vpp.

So we decided to mod our EPROM programmer, to protect it from bad EPROMS… we just cut the Vpp trace, and added a FUSE SOCKET for 100mA fuses, to protect it. Simple and effective!

L'articolo TOP2004 EPROM programmer: a simple mod! sembra essere il primo su Museo dell'Informatica Funzionante.

by asbesto

March 01, 2017

In the news

10 giorni per trasformare con l'arte Scaletta Zanclea (ME) - Resto al Sud

Resto al Sud

10 giorni per trasformare con l'arte Scaletta Zanclea (ME)
Resto al Sud
Ciò che ne verrà fuori sarà distribuito in modalità open, uno dei cardini di, la fondazione di cui Federico fa parte e che per la prima volta sostiene Trasformatorio. Dice Federico: « è una free software foundry, è una fondazione che ...

Alan :: law, technology and cinema, washed down with wine

End2End: Privacy Theatre or Promise Deferred?

Back in October I recalled how the Google had announced in June 2014 that it was going to develop and ship a plugin for Chrome, E2EMail, which would give Gmail users the chance to use end to end encryption. This effort was announced in the aftermath of the Snowden disclosures when surveillance was a major public issue and many Google engineers were still smarting from the discovery that a NSA project called ‘Muscular‘ was slurping Google data as it traveled between their systems – and joking about it.


Google announced a number of security changes in response to the revelations almost all focused on the internal processes at the company, E2EMail however was something that users themselves would be able to choose to use. With an estimated billion users Gmail is the biggest provider of free email and well integrated encryption functionality could offer users real privacy and security gains. Of course there are plenty of alternatives, from running  GPG/PGP locally on your email client to clients like Mailpile which have encryption built in, but Google has brand power as well as unquestioned engineering talent and with that comes a certain ability to influence user behaviour.

But two and a half years later there is still no plugin. Last week a post on the blog of google’s security team announced that E2EMail was ‘leaving the nest’ and would now be opened up to a community of developers around the project’s Github page. Observers are wondering if this is Google’s way of walking away from any responsibility for it. Wired published an article worth reading which also details some of the challenges involved in the development of such a tool. Google’s deployment of encryption on other users tools such as their messaging apps has been half-hearted – so far they have only implemented the Signal protocol on Allo and it is not enabled by default. This is in contrast to WhatsApp for example, which ships with encryption on by default; most users are loathe to reconfigure their software which is why default settings are so critical.

by nonrival

February 27, 2017

Data Knightmare

DataKnightmare 1x20 - Big Data e propaganda

Chi è Cambridge analytica? Possibile che suoi i Big Data permettano di influenzare perfino il nostro voto? È un messaggio che al marketing piace vendere e ai clienti piace sentire. Ma la verità è sempre più complessa...

by Runtime Radio

February 26, 2017

Museo dell Informatica funzionante

Freakware GNU/Linux 0.4beta … finally published!

Now we can say… finally! 😀

Around 1999 we, Freaknet Medialab, at the time located at the CSA Auro squat in Catania, decided to make a little GNU/Linux distribution, specifically tailored for old computers (well, those which were already old back in 1999 🙂 ). So,we put together a little and light distro, for very slow and old computers, with some add-ons and tools we thought useful for retrocomputing.

We based our work on Slackware 3.6, in our opionion the best distro available in 1999. We left out some packages we considered useless, creating space for our own add-ons:

  • KDE 1.0, which had been just released in 1999 🙂
  • Corel Wordperfect, doc editing program
  • A folder full of DOS utilities / Drivers for old PC, XT, AT add-on boards
  • Communication programs like Telix and everything needed to put up a working FIDONET-like BBS
  • Historical docs and books about the political and sociological situation in Italy, including “Digital Guerrilla”, “Kriptonite”, “Lasciate che i bimbi” by Luther Blissett, docs on the Hacker Crackdown and the Fidonet Crackdown, investigations on Ustica and “Stragi di stato”, Post Axion Mutante, “Sociologia del cyberspazio”, thesis by Luciano Paccagnella
  • Some historical internet site mirrors like our “Freaknet” pages, and “Sociologia occupata” in Rome
  • The MINIX 2.0 operating system 🙂
  • Several Frank Zappa MIDI files
  • A selection of files and utilities from 🙂
  • A directory with hardware tricks and schematics: Nintendo Powerglove, VGA-SCART cables, pinouts, motherboard settings and other stuff
  • A collection of PC DOS programs, games and the famous Caldera OpenDOS 7.01 🙂


During our work for a data recovery project last week (we will talk about that in a forthcoming article 😉 ) we were struggling to install the right kernel into a special linux box, adding the correct set of system modules  and fine-tuning everything, checking kernel options etc. After hours of  madness, mainly due to the current Linux kernel having become too fat in the last 20 years or so,  we remembered our old Freakware distro, thinking that it would have been just perfect for the task. So we decided to give it a try  and check if everything that was working in 1999 was today literally fucked up in the new kernel madness.

We found the Freakware CD in our archives. The first tests revealed some problems: the CDROM was full of data – too much data, in fact some files were left out of the ISO image, and were actually missing.

We recovered the missing files from a Slackware 3.6 mirror, we made up some additional space in the cdrom by compressing “Appunti Linux”, and replaced the corrupted files as needed.

And today, after about 18 years, we can finally release the 0.4 beta version of our Freakware GNU/Linux distro! 🙂

There’s a little confusion about versions: the installation screen says 0.4beta; the “leggimi.freakware” readme says 0.5beta, and the CDROM itself is labeled 0.6beta! Since this is a piece of history of Freaknet Medialab, we decided to not correct those mistakes, and to release the CDROM ISO just as it is, only with the corrections we made to fix the few problems we found.

The only modifications we made are:

  • Compressing “Appunti Linux” to have some more space, into “libri” directory
  • Recovery and replacement of corrupted and missing files into the “bootdsks.144” directory

The CDROM ISO image is downloadable here.

NOTE: the CDROM does not boot by itself! You must create 2 boot floppy disks, one with the “bare.i” kernel image and the other with the “color.gz” disk image that you find in the CDROM. You use those to boot the kernel and to load the installer, and then you will be able to install the system files from the cdrom. Just read the documentation  and follow the instructions. The hard disk must be partitioned by hand – also the X-Windows system must be configured by hand.

Freakware was tested on a Pentium 200 MMX with 128MB RAM and 3GB Hard Disk. The full installation uses about 450 MB 🙂

P.S.: well, it’s kind of ridiculous to look back to how much we struggled to compile a current Linux kernel with  the correct set of modules for our data recovery project… while the old Freakware had everything ready for the task, perfectly working an ready to be use, well,  18 years after it was conceived… 🙂

Good luck, and have fun!



L'articolo Freakware GNU/Linux 0.4beta … finally published! sembra essere il primo su Museo dell'Informatica Funzionante.

by asbesto

February 24, 2017

videogame confessional forum

mark cousins

Yeah. My full name's Mark Cousins. I'm Irish, but I've been living in Scotland for 30 years. I'm 50 years old. I mostly make documentary feature-length films. I don't work in TV, I'm a director,...

by david wolinsky

Mobile Communications for All

GSMA, please loosen your grip on spectrum

In a few days, Mobile World Congress, “the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, organised by the GSMA”, will take place in Barcelona. With that in mind, we’d like to offer up some thoughts and criticisms around the “mobile miracle” and the GSMA in general.

The mobile miracle has connected billions of people around the world to voice and data services in a relatively short period of time, especially when compared to fixed-line services. There is no debate around this. Nevertheless, there are major problems that the GSMA has not adequately addressed.

In a recent GSMA report, the Association finally admitted that 3000 people is the lower limit for a viable site. We also see stagnation in the growth of mobile services in that what is on offer is becoming higher bandwidth but is not expanding geographically. In terms of affordability, campaigns like Data Must Fall in South Africa, are just a hint of what it means to be poor and rely on a mobile broadband connection as your only way to communicate digitally.

Even if we assume it were possible to cover everyone with mobile technology, is that actually something we want? Shouldn’t participation in the digital world be something a bit more involved than what is available via mobile networks? As things stand, even major Internet players have to shimmy around the fact that most mobile data networks are too slow and expensive for many to use meaningfully. Hence the explosion of products like Facebook Lite and YouTube Go and Smart Offline.

As the GSMA is a membership group comprised of mobile operators, one of their main tasks is to lobbying national and international telecommunications regulators and policy-makers to ensure their members get what they want. And what they want is spectrum. In their words:

“Spectrum rights should be assigned to the services and operators that can generate the greatest benefit to society from the use of that spectrum.”

“Regulatory authorities should foster a transparent and stable licensing framework that prioritises exclusive access rights, promotes a high quality of service and encourages investment.”

“[There is] urgent need to secure additional, exclusive and harmonised spectrum for mobile broadband, and this continues to be the primary objective at the regional and international level.”

What is obvious from these policy indications is that the GSMA believes that mobile is the best way to connect people and that the status quo around exclusive spectrum licenses should be maintained. So again, while the mobile miracle is real, it cannot be ignored that over 3 billion people still do not have a way to participate in the Internet because they either can’t afford data costs or live in a place without coverage.

The GSMA does whatever it can to stymie attempts to regulate spectrum differently. As they themselves have admitted, mobile as currently designed and deployed by large operators, is not suitable for small populations. At the moment, those who are interested in covering these small populations have to either come to an agreement with an existing operator, create some other kind of network, or fight to create regulatory spaces so this can happen.

There are examples of all of the above, but not many. There need to be more. In order for that to happen, there needs to be a shift towards more inclusive regulation and a recognition by the GSMA and its members that they will benefit if more people are connected, even if they don’t do the connecting directly. With that recognition comes a responsibility to loosen their grip on spectrum. That does not seem likely to happen. Here is what GSMA has to say about it: “eliminating the cost of acquiring licensed spectrum to provide cellular-type mobile services could create an unfair advantage“. Unfair to whom? Is it fair that those who have not been provided coverage have to break the law if they want to self-provide? Attempts to introduce sharing mechanisms into how spectrum is distributed have also met with much resistance from the GSMA: “use of TV white space must not jeopardise the future of the UHF band, especially in the case of reallocation for exclusive mobile use“.

Unfortunately, the GSMA does not seem to be particularly interested in letting go, even as they recognize their particular approach does not work in all situations, especially for the poor and those in rural areas. The GSMA is also quite hypocritical when it comes to unlicensed spectrum, like WiFi. On the one hand they advocate for strict, unalienable spectrum assignments while on the other hand mobile operators currently offload more than half of their traffic via unlicensed frequencies, a figure expected to rise substantially over the coming years.

The hypocrisy here is that these same operators corner the market with exclusive spectrum to provide services to customers and then squat the commons (WiFi) to move that data around inside their infrastructure. To take things even father, there is an emerging technology called LTE-Unlicensed being developed. This technology, which hard-codes the above-mentioned hypocrisy into protocol, is pushed by something called the LTE-U Forum. The Forum is comprised of, you guessed it, a number of high-profile GSMA members.

So as the GSMA kicks off and you are enjoying your cocktail wieners, we’d like to send the Association a simple message. First, you aren’t going to go out of business by letting more people be involved in connectivity. In fact, you will probably make more money (Network Effect). Second, stop assuming that the mobile miracle will have a second coming and connect the remaining billions. You’ve already said as much is not possible. So please, loosen your grip on spectrum.

by Peter

February 22, 2017


„You wouldn’t survive a single night here“ – Zur aktuellen Situation in Serbien

Von Marlene Becker und Marc Speer Einleitung Seit einigen Wochen gibt es einen wahren journalistischen Hype um die alten Lagerhallen direkt hinter dem Belgrader Bahnhof. Auf etlichen Bildern [1], in Artikeln [2] und in Videos [3] wurden die Gegebenheiten dokumentiert, unter denen dort etwa 1.000 Geflüchtete – fast ausschließlich Männer, darunter auch viele Minderjährige – … „You wouldn’t survive a single night here“ – Zur aktuellen Situation in Serbien weiterlesen

by ms

February 21, 2017

Data Knightmare

DataKnightmare 1x19 - il discorso dell'Imperatore

Mark Zuckerberg ha deciso: Facebook è così grande che deve essere il mondo a fare parte di Facebook, non più non il contrario. E quindi tutti noi dobbiamo non solo pagargli l'affitto dandogli gratis tutti i nostri dati, ma dobbiamo riconoscerlo come Imperatore e vivere secondo le sue regole.

by Runtime Radio

February 19, 2017

In the news

Sistema imploso, Italia allo sbando - l'Adige - Quotidiano indipendente del Trentino Alto Adige

l'Adige - Quotidiano indipendente del Trentino Alto Adige

Sistema imploso, Italia allo sbando
l'Adige - Quotidiano indipendente del Trentino Alto Adige
Con la scissione del Pd decisa ieri di fatto da D'Alema e company sulle note di «Bandiera rossa» cantando «Evviva il comunismo e la libertà», giunge a compimento l'implosione del sistema politico italiano determinata dal referendum di dicembre. La ...

and more »

Evgeny Morozov

We all have the ‘right to disconnect’ – but only some of us can afford it | Evgeny Morozov

Laws protecting workers from employers’ out-of-hours emails ignore the fact that, for many, switching off is not an option

The global race to tame and civilise digital capitalism is on. In France, the “right to disconnect” – requiring companies of a certain size to negotiate how their employees handle out-of-hours work and availability – came into force on 1 January. In 2016 a similar bill was submitted to the South Korean parliament. Earlier this month a congressman in the Philippines introduced another such measure, receiving the support of an influential local trade union. Many companies – from Volkswagen to Daimler – have already made similar concessions, even in the absence of national legislation.

What should we make of this new right? Will it join “the right to be forgotten” to become yet another inventive measure that aspires to compensate ordinary users for the unpleasant excesses of digital capitalism? Or will it simply leave things as they stand, giving us false hopes without addressing the fundamentals of the global – and increasingly digital – economy?

Related: How living offline became the new status symbol | Gaby Hinsliff

Gig workers need no right to disconnect as no one is forcing them to work – yet disconnection is almost impossible.

Continue reading...

by Evgeny Morozov

February 17, 2017

Museo dell Informatica funzionante

Tape reel data recovery from MERA-400 polish computer

Around May 2015, Andrea “Mancausoft” Milazzo got in touch with Jakub Filipowicz, a Polish guy involved in MERA-400 computer historical researches; Jakub was writing an emulator of this machine, but the operating system was missing and almost unavailable. (Details on website)

Jakub found 5 magnetic tapes at the Warsaw Museum of Technology, containing hopefully copies of the CROOK operating system. The Museum was not able to read them. After some months, he managed to get the tapes, to try a data recovery, extracting the operating system.

We offered our collaboration, so we had the tapes shipped at our Museum. We also received a nice “good luck” sign, that now hangs in our library 🙂

The tapes were recorded around 1990; they were well stored, in original boxes, at a constant temperature, and well sealed. They seemed written using the Phase Encoding standard, 1600 BPI, but maybe the header was recorded at 800 BPI NRZ. This could (and in fact did) create some problems to our tape reader,  which is able to read only 1600 / 3250bpi tapes.

At our Museum we have about 3000 magnetic tapes, of all brands/types. This means that we can get a perfect matching tape of the same brand / type / age of virtually any other tape, and make any kind of needed test without wearing off the original tapes. Those tests regards consistence and state of magnetic tape, and the needed treatments for successful data extraction (heat settlement, chemical / heat / mechanical treatments).

We recorded a few test patterns on our test tapes, to have something to test our recovery system with. After having done that, we proceeded to test the data extraction pipeline using our equipment.

Jakub’s suspects about the impossibility of reading those tapes were well-grounded: our tape reader (an IBM 9348 tape drive) got stuck at the 800bpi NRZ unrecognized header.

So the problem was to get another tape drive to recover data. In our deposit we have a Qualstar 1052 tape drive, but we don’t have its computer interface (a PERTEC). We decided to take it and maybe check it: the idea was to create ad-hoc hardware able to read data directly from the magnetic head, translating signals into data bits.

We opened the drive, and we looked at a nice circuit board in which we could see some sort of pattern: there were 9 circuit parts dedicated to every single track in the tape (8 bit data + 1 bit parity).



And here a crazy idea sprung to our minds: reading the converted digital signals directly from the circuits, instead of reading them from the reading head, in the hope that we could have clean bits there.


We performed a few preliminary tests using an Arduino Mega hooked to the tape, at certain test points obtained looking at the tape drive schematics, available online. Help by Enzo “Katolaz” Nicosia, that came from London and, remotely, by Mancausoft in Krakow, was crucial at this stage 🙂

By putting the tape in TEST mode, we could roll and unroll the entire tape; and we saw digital data flashing, data that could be read by our Arduino Mega.

We started a discussion about this method in the Vintage Computer Federation forum; that discussion is avaliable here.

We want to thank Al Kossow, Chuck Guzis, Gerardcjat  and the other friends at VCF Forum for the invaluable help they gave us! 🙂

This system was able to read all the tapes but not the header; moreover, we had some errors because the Arduino software didn’t do any kind of error checking/correction. But the results were really encouraging!

At this point, Jakub proposed a different approach: to use a logic analyzer (saleae, 16 channels) to dump the entire tape and use a software to decode the saved signals and extract the data, according to what is described in this document.

So we ordered a chinese “Saleae” 16 channels logic analyzer; in the meanwhile, Jakub sent us his analyzer to start testing. While we were waiting for the analyzers to get delivered, Jakub made some additional tests, by creating a simulation of the tape reader circuits using LTSpice.

The software must check data consistency, solve some skew track misaligning (a problem related of how the reading head is made), and correct data  using parity bits, if necessary.

As Jakub says:

“The real problem I see is the processing power needed to do that sampling _reliably_. 1600BPI = 3200 flux changes per inch. At 20in/s (slowest drive speed I know of) it means 64kHz signal. Taking Nyquist frequency into account we need to sample at 128kS/s, but from my experience with such a type of signals (where clocking “floats” due to physical nature of media and drive) we need at least 5x-10x more than the signal frequency, so at least 320kS/s. Now, I don’t know how fast the Qualstar drive goes, but fastest speed for 1600BPI is 200in/s, which requires 3.2MS/s… And even 320kS/s can be a problem for an arduino – with 8MHz CPU you have ~25 instructions per sample to spend, in which you need to not only sample the data, store it in a buffer, do some maintenance work, but also send it to a host (not enough memory to store it locally). I really think that fast programmable logic analyzer is the way to go here. The key is to sample the data with precise intervals, otherwise later analysis becomes impossible.”

Another problem was to clean out some “noise”, magnetic flux fluctuations which could be misinterpreted as data.

The software was written in Python by Jakub Filipowicz after a lot of reading tests and debugging sessions; it’s a very beautiful piece of work and is available on this link.

The nice thing of this software is that it is able to read any kind of magnetic tape, recorded at any BPI, at any tape speed or writing standard (PE or NRZI).

The fine-tuning of all the software parameters was not easy, but eventually we were able to recover all the data from all the magnetic tapes, restoring everything without errors!

We had several very nice surprises: not only we recovered a copy of the CROOK operating system (which was believed to be missed forever), but we found a lot of different versions of various operating systems, a dump of a MERA-400 System Disk, OS source codes, and a lot of programs.

Jakub wrote:

“Tapes were written on two different systems: MERA-400 and K-202. K-202 is probably the most famous Polish computer system, a predecessor of MERA-400 (MERA-400 is often called a “production-ready” version of K-202).
Four of five tapes contain source code only, and these sources are absolutely golden: 260 files (dated 1973-1984) contain different versions of various operating systems. For most, if not all of them, there were no preserved copies up until now.
– SOK-1 (K-202 original operating system)
– SOWA (K-202)
– CROOK-1 (K-202)
– CROOK-2 (K-202)
– CROOK-3 (K-202 and MERA-400)
– CROOK-4 (MERA-400)
– SOM (MERA-400)

Huge number of versions allow for reconstruction of the whole CROOK development process.

Other sources (hundreds of files) include various OS tools and utilities as well as:

* K-202 command shell
* CEMMA analog circuit simulator (several versions)
* 8080 simulator
* ASSK assembler (for MERA-400 and K202, dozens of versions)
* Basic (for K-202 and MERA-400)

And finally, the fifth tape contain several backups of a live MERA-400 system with complete CROOK-3 OS installed. This means we have a binary CROOK-3 “distribution” ready to run in the MERA-400 emulator. There are also users’ home directories with loads of other software in various stages of development.”

And here is our final press release written by Jakub:

“Recent cooperation between Museo dell’Informatica Funzionante and, a Polish site specializing in preserving history of MERA-400 minicomputer family, proved to be a great success.

We’ve managed to restore data from 5 NRZ1-encoded 9-track tapes written between early 70’s and early 80’s, despite the fact that we didn’t have an NRZ1 compatible tape drive at our disposal.

Restoration was done in two phases. First, a low-level tape images were taken by tapping into 9 head signal paths with a logic analyzer, running all five tapes at a low speed of 50 in/s, and sampling the signals at a rate of 1MS/s. This eventually resulted in 2.2GB of raw head signal images ready for further processing.

To convert the signal data into actual files that were stored on a magnetic tape, custom software was needed. Second phase of the restoration process brought to life a software called “Nine Track Lab” – graphical tool that allows not only decoding NRZ1-encoded data, but also fixing problems related to tape age or drive’s read inaccuracies.

Development version of the software is available at:

Final result was a 100% success: 8340 data blocks were correctly read, yielding almost 1500 files written between 1973 and 1984. Among them were 260 files with source code of various K-202 and MERA-400 operating systems that were presumed lost until now: SOK-1, SOWA, CROOK-1, CROOK-2, CROOK-3 and CROOK-4. Other files contain sources of many utilities, as well as binary copies of a CROOK-3 installation taken from a running machine.

This collaboration made it possible to preserve for future generations an important part of Polish IT history. We are not only happy, but also proud that we could be a part of this process.”

An article related to this data recovery work was published on the MERA-400 Facebook page.

This project would have not been possible without what is, in our opinion, the true identity and characteristic of a Museum: the scientific and technical collaboration among researchers and scientist from all around Europe (London, Krakow, Warsaw, Cosenza), and between different institutions / entities (our Museum, the MIAI in Cosenza, the Warsav Museum of Technology, in Amsterdam). We thank all our MusIF / MIAI / members and everyone involved in this project 🙂

For further information about the MERA-400 system, his emulator, software and technical information, please check the MERA-400 website.

Image gallery:

L'articolo Tape reel data recovery from MERA-400 polish computer sembra essere il primo su Museo dell'Informatica Funzionante.

by asbesto

In the news

Fiamme alla Furlani Carni - l'Adige - Quotidiano indipendente del Trentino Alto Adige

l'Adige - Quotidiano indipendente del Trentino Alto Adige

Fiamme alla Furlani Carni
l'Adige - Quotidiano indipendente del Trentino Alto Adige
I vigili del fuoco sono intervenuti per spegnere un incendio che ha devastato un tir parcheggiato nel piazzale della ditta (foto di Alessio Coser e Simone Dalprà). Tutti i dettagli su cosa è accaduto sull'Adige domani in edicola. Qui sotto intanto ...

February 15, 2017

Museo dell Informatica funzionante

Fixing a chinese EPROM programmer TOP2004

We took the taste, with programrs of Eproms, after our recent repair of Willem?

No. And it happened that, to verify some EPROM during repair of Willem referred above, we realized that our second Eprom programr, Chinese TOP2004, USB, no longer working.

With it we could only read any EPROMS, but not programd.

Appoint in vain the name of the Lord (ground floor) there hasnt been a great help. So, we put under to attempt to solve the problem.

First step: recover the electric diagram of this Chinese programr, purchased years ago on Ebay when still costing less than EUR 30. Company failed, Pattern not found 🙁
If you find it, please let us know.

Here is a picture of the internal card:

Yep, it’s a chinese, but seems to be designed in a very clean and linear.

The voltage regulator is practically identical to that of Willem, same PWM16018 integrated:

Going back to the operation of the circuit, we see that the Vpp is generated correctly, without any problem! It is found on the pad in the bottom right, marked precisely as the “VPP”.

From here, the VPP goes to the manifolds of the whole row of transistors (one in the top, in the photo below) PNP ranging from Q1 to Q34; SMD are marked “2A”, in reality according to the site Are MMBT3906 family, switching transistors ON/OFF, -40V (are PNP), 200mA.

The row at the bottom instead serves to send the Vcc and other signals on the right pin. Those side pff… tap follow the tracks, we wish we had the scheme!

At this point verifying that on the basis of the EPROM type, one of these transistors is switching ON, and Vpp then arrives at the right leg.

Trovo qual’e’ il transistor dedicato a programmare le 2764 (oggetto del ns test) e mi rendo conto che, col transistor switchato, invece della giusta tensione (12.5V) escono 4V. Suppongo quindi che il transistor sia bruciato.

Una misura effettuata al volo con le SMART TWEEZER ci da’ effettivamente dei valori diversi dai transistor accanto ad esso. I componenti attorno (resistenze, diodi, condensatori SMD) sono tutti a posto.


(Le Smart Tweezer sono COMODISSIME, le consiglio vivamente! Misurano di tutto con grande precisione spesso senza dover dissaldare nulla 🙂 )

Sostituisco il transistor (fortunatamente abbiamo una striscia di questi transistor SMD perche’ anni fa riparai un identico programmatore di EPROM 🙂 ) e faccio un test: la sostituzione ha avuto effetto positivo!

Ora il programmatore e’ tornato a funzionare correttamente.

Cosi’ adesso provo qualche altra EPROM… che non riesco a programmare! Toccando il transistor relativo alla Vpp, lo trovo BOLLENTE! E scopro cosi’ che queste EPROM sono DIFETTOSE, come gia’ visto durante la riparazione del Willem (vedi link all’inizio).

Le EPROM difettose assorbono un sacco di corrente e sono secondo me responsabili del bruciarsi dei transistor che portano la Vpp sui giusti pin. Questo vuol dire che una EPROM difettosa puo’ BRUCIARE il vostro programmatore di EPROM TOP2004. Fate ATTENZIONE!

Una modifica che voglio fare su questo programmatore, dato che sul case e sotto di esso c’e’ un bel po’ di spazio, e’ TAGLIARE la pista principale della Vpp di programmazione ed inserire in serie un FUSIBILE da 100mA, in modo da preservare i transistor in uscita ed avere una indicazione immediata di EPROM GUASTA! 😉

Aggiorneremo questo articolo appena faremo la modifica del fusibile 🙂


Galleria foto:

L'articolo Fixing a chinese EPROM programmer TOP2004 sembra essere il primo su Museo dell'Informatica Funzionante.

by asbesto

Willem PRO 4isp EPROM programmer fix…

Anni fa, credo fosse il 2006, acquistammo questo programmatore di EPROM che ci sembrava al momento il migliore in circolazione. Fin dal primo momento abbiamo avuto problemi: non ha MAI funzionato per nessuna EPROM, mentre non ha dato mai alcun problema con le EEPROM, le EPROM seriali ed altri dispositivi moderni.

In realta’ l’abbiamo acquistato per uno scopo preciso: programmare le EPROM “vecchio tipo”, roba come le 2716, 2732, 2764 e simili. Ma non ci siamo mai riusciti. Chiedemmo aiuto anche su un forum di esperti:

Feci un mare di test, ma la cosa si fermo’ li’. Non riuscii a cavarne nulla e lo misi da parte, in una scatola, fino a qualche giorno fa.

Ripreso in mano l’oggetto in questione, ho ripercorso i passi di quel forum, rifacendo ogni test e verificando ogni componente, compresi gli strani oggetti che sembrano fusibili ma in realta’ sono dei diodi SMD.

Su questo modello avevo gia’ modificato il gruppo alimentazione: il suggerimento era di cambiare regolatore, perche’ quello SMD scaldava troppo, andando in protezione. Alimentazione quindi sottodimensionata, una cattiva progettazione. Montai un 7805 ma, ripeto, senza successo. Il 7805 comunque funziona correttamente.

A questo punto ho avuto una idea migliore – nel 2008 non avevamo un oscilloscopio, ma oggi si.

Cosi’ mi e’ venuto in mente di controllare quello che e’ il segnale principale per programmare chip EPROM cosi’ vecchi, cioe’ la Vpp, la tensione di programmazione, che per alcuni modelli deve arrivare a circa 25V.

Mi aspetto quindi di trovare sull’uscita dell’integrato PWM (un comune ed usatissimo MC34063) una tensione continua a 25V. E invece, cosa trovo sul pin 1? Questo ORRORE:

Perche’ DIAVOLO questa tensione in uscita non e’ livellata? Me la ritrovo uguale sul pin della Vpp:

Penso immediatamente ad un condensatore di livellamento difettoso. Procedo a studiare lo schema elettrico del Willem, che metto a disposizione qui:

Seguo lo schema, traccio tutte le piste, verifico i transistor, e scopro cio’ che avrei dovuto scoprire anni fa, nel 2007, per poi rilasciare feedback negativo al venditore. Ecco la foto del condensatore elettrolitico di livellamento, sullo schema indicato come C3, 47uF, 35V, messo in uscita sul diodo D3:

Ma come, non lo vedete? Certo, e’ TRASPARENTE! Perche’ e’ semplicemente… MANCANTE!

Praticamente, questo programmatore di EPROM e’ stato, da sempre, DIFETTOSO perche’ privo del FOTTUTO condensatore di livellamento!

Installato al volo, ecco il risultato sulla Vpp:

26V precisi. Anni di bestemmie, ore buttate al vento, per un condensatore mancante.

Ma i problemi non finiscono qui. Proviamo a programmare qualche EPROM, ottenendo ERRORI SU ERRORI. Non c’e’ niente da fare. Il 7805 diventa INCANDESCENTE e va in protezione termica, la tensione di programmazione cade a pochi volt. A questo punto faccio due cose:

  1. Mi rompo le scatole e decido di installare un regolatore esterno 7805 in case TO3 con aletta di raffreddamento. Cosi’ voglio proprio vedere se va in protezione termica. 😉
  2. Decido di testare delle EPROM “vergini”, usate, si, ma appena recuperate da una scheda proveniente dalla spazzatura, in modo da esser sicuro di non avere per le mani EPROM difettose, che possano sovraccaricare il gruppo alimentazione.QUESTA SCELTA SI E’ RIVELATA VINCENTE.

I test con EPROM funzionanti e “nuove” hanno avuto esito positivo!

Mi sono cosi’ reso conto che alcune delle EPROM che stavamo testando erano difettose, assorbivano un sacco di corrente e mandavano in sovraccarico il gruppo alimentazione del Willem. Ora, con il 7805 esterno in TO3 con aletta di raffreddamento, questo non accade piu’, la corrente viene erogata 🙂 ed otteniamo pero’ un errore di programmazione. Con EPROM in buone condizioni, invece, nessun problema.

A questo punto ho rimosso l’ingombrante dissipatore esterno ed ho montato il 7805 direttamente sotto il case del Willem, utilizzandolo quindi come dissipatore.

Il risultato e’ comodo e carino, il Willem e’ ora perfettamente funzionante e riusciamo finalmente a programmare ogni tipo di EPROM dalla 2716 in poi – comprese alcune 2516 / 2532 che abbiamo 🙂

Un link utile e’ questo insieme di test prodotto da uno dei membri del forum citato precedentemente:

E’ un foglio di calcolo che metteremo presto online su Google Drive o su posti simili con aggiornamenti relativi ai nostri test con altri tipi di EPROM. 😉


Galleria fotografica:

L'articolo Willem PRO 4isp EPROM programmer fix… sembra essere il primo su Museo dell'Informatica Funzionante.

by asbesto

February 13, 2017

Data Knightmare

DataKnightmare 1x18 - Chi paga per l'algoritmo?

Come nella vecchia barzelletta, se l'algoritmo va bene guadagno io, se va male paghi tu. E se non fosse abbastanza farsesco, c'entra anche Trenitalia.

by Runtime Radio

February 10, 2017

videogame confessional forum

ryan kuo

Sure. Ryan Kuo, 33, and currently based in Cambridge, Massachusetts having moved here a few years ago from New York where I was editing a magazine called Kill Screen. It's funny, I noticed that you...

by david wolinsky

February 08, 2017


Trasformatorio 2017

Trasformatorio Third international lab for experimental and site specific arts April 21st to May 1st 2017 Scaletta Zanclea (ME) Together with the City of Scaletta Zanclea, in the person of the Assessora Daniela Di Ciuccio and the Cultural Association Siddarte from Milazzo, co-producing, we are proud to announce the third Trasformatorio in Sicily. What it […]

by fredd

February 06, 2017

In the news

Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato - La Nuova Ferrara

La Nuova Ferrara

Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato
La Nuova Ferrara
Denis Roio, programmatore della fondazione e ricercatore dell'università di Plymouth, spiega come può accadereintervista di Gaia Scorza Barcellona. La risposta di Trenitalia. «La determinazione delle tariffe nel trasporto regionale è ...

and more »

Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato - Trentino


Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato
Denis Roio, programmatore della fondazione e ricercatore dell'università di Plymouth, spiega come può accadereintervista di Gaia Scorza Barcellona. La risposta di Trenitalia. «La determinazione delle tariffe nel trasporto regionale è ...

and more »

Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato - il Corriere delle Alpi

il Corriere delle Alpi

Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato
il Corriere delle Alpi
Denis Roio, programmatore della fondazione e ricercatore dell'università di Plymouth, spiega come può accadereintervista di Gaia Scorza Barcellona. La risposta di Trenitalia. «La determinazione delle tariffe nel trasporto regionale è ...

and more »

Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato - Il Piccolo

Il Piccolo

Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato
Il Piccolo
Denis Roio, programmatore della fondazione e ricercatore dell'università di Plymouth, spiega come può accadereintervista di Gaia Scorza Barcellona. La risposta di Trenitalia. «La determinazione delle tariffe nel trasporto regionale è ...

and more »

Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato - Il Piccolo

Il Piccolo

Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato
Il Piccolo
Denis Roio, programmatore della fondazione e ricercatore dell'università di Plymouth, spiega come può accadereintervista di Gaia Scorza Barcellona. La risposta di Trenitalia. «La determinazione delle tariffe nel trasporto regionale è ...

and more »

Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato - Gazzetta di Mantova

Gazzetta di Mantova

Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato
Gazzetta di Mantova
Denis Roio, programmatore della fondazione e ricercatore dell'università di Plymouth, spiega come può accadereintervista di Gaia Scorza Barcellona. La risposta di Trenitalia. «La determinazione delle tariffe nel trasporto regionale è ...

and more »

Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato - il mattino di Padova

il mattino di Padova

Treni pendolari, tariffe calcolate con un algoritmo sbagliato
il mattino di Padova
Denis Roio, programmatore della fondazione e ricercatore dell'università di Plymouth, spiega come può accadereintervista di Gaia Scorza Barcellona. La risposta di Trenitalia. «La determinazione delle tariffe nel trasporto regionale è ...

and more »

Data Knightmare

DataKnightmare 1x17 - Il personal SEO per non finire in manicomio?

IBM dice che fra cinque anni il Machine Learning e l'analisi del testo permetteranno di prevedere e diagnosticare malattie mentali e neurologiche come depressione, psicosi, schizofrenia, Parkinson, Alzheimer e Huntington. Pare che già oggi 300 parole siano sufficienti a stabilire la probabilità di psicosi in utenti a rischio. Siamo sicuri che sia una buona idea, considerate le pressioni che storicamente hanno sempre giocato a favore di un uso politico delle diagnosi psichiatriche? Al prossimo G7 di Taormina al tavolo dei Grandi siederanno per la prima volta i CEO di Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook e (forse Huawei). A parte l'ironia di vedere un CEO cinese ma non la Cina, questo significa che stiamo riconoscendo ai giganti dell'high tech un potere politico che scavalca il ruolo dei parlamenti. Che cosa potrebbe andare storto?

by Runtime Radio

January 30, 2017

Data Knightmare

DataKnightmare 1x16 - Chi più sbaglia più guadagna

che siano Analytics, Big Data o Machine Learning, il mercato è uno solo: quello dei falsi positivi: quando l'economia premia chi sbaglia di più.

by Runtime Radio

January 27, 2017

videogame confessional forum

saru jayaraman

Sure. So, my name is Saru Jayaraman and I am 41 and I co-founded and run a national organization called the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, ROC United; I’m also the director of the Food...

by david wolinsky


Redes sociales libres en la universidad pública

Redes sociales libres en la universidad pública

A pesar de que Internet nació con una estructura descentralizada, hoy se experimenta una fuerte tendencia a la centralización de los servicios de comunicación soportados por esta red de redes. La consolidación de monopolios como Google, Microsoft, Facebook y Amazon, han generado que gran parte del tráfico de información pase por las infraestructuras de unas cuantas empresas que han acumulado un enorme poder económico.
En este contexto, las universidades públicas mexicanas, a pesar de contar con capacidad propia, en los últimos años han migrado buena parte de sus servicios de comunicación internos (como el correo electrónico institucional a Google), herramientas didácticas (como el uso de Facebook en el aula), o medios de difusión y divulgación científica (como la transmisión de eventos académicos por Youtube) a la infraestructura de dichas empresas.
El presente trabajo tiene como objeto aportar elementos para una discusión crítica acerca de las consecuencias de la utilización de plataformas y servicios de comunicación web privativos, gestionados por empresas monopólicas, en las universidades públicas mexicanas.

#redessociales #redessocialeslibres #facebook #diaspora #twitter #gnusocial #universidad #público #softwarelibre #México

January 24, 2017


Guess what! Your #cardiology could be a wrong #password

Guess what! Your #cardiology could be a wrong #password

via StartPageSearch ->

Proposal to use your heartbeat as a password is dangerous for #privacy & #security - #biometrics

January 23, 2017

Data Knightmare

DataKnightmare 1x15 - Algoritmi à la carte... un po' troppo

Dice Forbes che negli USA un'assicurazione fa mining di dati sanitari per sviluppare un test "accurato all'85%". Lo fa per curare la "prima causa di morte accidentale negli USA". Bravi, bene. Peccato che la "prima causa" sia in effetti la 10ma, stando ai dati reali, e che una "accuratezza" dell'85% significa che solo il 38,63% delle persone positive al test avranno veramente la caratteristica ricercata. Benevenuti nel business che gioca con i dati, dove i data scientist fanno statistica inferenziale, i loro manager guardano un estratto in Excel e il CdA decide sulla base di un PowerPoint.

by Runtime Radio


The #Culture of #Fear

The #Culture of #Fear

#London #university admits to monitoring #student #emails under pressure Government anti-terror programme

via Paul Bradshaw ->

#privacy #surveillance

January 16, 2017

Data Knightmare

DataKnightmare 1x14 - Abolire l'anonimato in rete?

Nel gran bailamme riguardo a fake news e hate speech qualcuno, come al solito, suggerisce che "l'anonimato in rete" sia la causa da rimuovere: un punto di vista provinciale e ingenuo (postulando la buona fede), come credere che le persone non delinquano perché c'è la polizia. Peccato che in rete il vero anonimato non esista, e quel poco che c'è sia socialmente molto utile.

by Runtime Radio

January 13, 2017

videogame confessional forum

madeline johnson

So, my name is Madeline Johnson and I'm based in New York and I am 52. I started in public relations -- one of my first accounts as an intern at an agency called McGrath/Power at 500 Fifth Avenue...

by david wolinsky

January 10, 2017


Governing the Balkan Route: Macedonia, Serbia and the European Border Regime

Together with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Southeast Europe, e.V. recently published a report on the Balkan Route: The growth and development of transit migration along the Balkan route in 2015 and 2016 highlighted the major role Macedonia and Serbia played, not merely as the main countries of passage, but as important buffer areas within … Governing the Balkan Route: Macedonia, Serbia and the European Border Regime weiterlesen

by ms

January 09, 2017

Mobile Communications for All

Great video about Rede Kalunga in Brazil

Rhizomatica has been working (so far in a very limited way) with a big group of people to help build communications infrastructure in the Kalunga (Quilombola) community in Brazil. The idea is that we will get more involved and help install a community cellular network there later in the year.

Watch the video here



by Peter

January 08, 2017

Riccardo Orioles

Corteo antimafia a Catania, alla testa ci sono i figli dei quartieri

Il bambino pedala allegramente una ventina di metri avanti al corteo e ogni tanto si ferma e mette in mano al passante una copia dei “Siciliani” che è fieramente impegnato a distribuire. E’ un bambino del Gapa, uno di San Cristoforo, uno del doposcuola. Lo guardano distrattamente i poliziotti, lui non fa caso a loro. Alle spalle, il corteo avanza lento, con lo striscione dei Siciliani in testa e un paio di centinaia di cittadini che marciano in silenzio. Il gelo di gennaio dà al tutto un’aria vagamente pietroburghese, col sole e gli striscioni e i passi rilassati e decisi.

Poliziotti e bambino, in realtà, dovrebbero guardarsi in cagnesco, nemici irriducibili per destino. Lui, nelle statistiche giudiziarie, dovrebbe infallibilmente entrarci fra due o tre anni, da adolescente povero catanese; loro, gran parte del tempo dovrebbero impiegarlo per correre dappresso a quelli come lui: così vorrebbe il Sistema. Eppure stavolta non sarà così. Lui crescerà – alla faccia dei baroni – sano e tranquillo, imparerà cose buone, sarà felice e utile, conquisterà dei diritti. Loro non cacceranno più delinquentelli di quartiere ma mafiosi e capimafia, questi ultimi con tanto di colletto bianco e soldi in Svizzera o nei centri commerciali.

Sarà così domani, garantito. Siamo tutti a lavorare per questo, anzi è già cominciato. E intanto il nostro piccolo attivista-ciclista vola, è lui che in realtà guida – guardatelo! – il corteo.

* * *

Non è semplice organizzare questi cortei, non lo è mai stato in tutti questi anni. Assemblee interminabili, con gran dibattiti lunghi e spaccature di capelli in quattro. Poi però, una volta esaurito il rito, al corteo ci vengono tutti quanti. E una volta lì, ti accorgi che in realtà non c’è niente a dividere gli uni dagli altri, che le facce son simili, che il piccolo popolo è unito, e che è in cammino. Politici non ce ne sono, o se ce n’è non contano, grigi fra i loro vigili come corvi infiltrati fra gli uccellini. C’è solo la “politica” – se vuoi chiamarla così – delle speranze e dei dolori quotidiani, della vita comune, che un giorno sarà migliore se ce la conquisteremo tutti insieme: una fede antichissima, senza grandi parole, che in ogni luogo del mondo ha nomi e volti mutevoli – qui, Titta Scidà o Pippo Fava o Peppino Impastato – che puoi incontrare ogni giorno, perché sono di esseri come te, di persone comuni.

* * *

Questi cortei non si sciolgono: nascosti nelle giornate comuni, risgorgano all’improvviso quando occorre. Ne vedrete ancora altri, quest’anno. La città non è sana, nella città c’è dolore, i giovani ormai se ne fuggono a diciott’anni: il potere è mafioso. Né le parole truci o ridicole (“Andateve che è meglio per tutti”, “Ne abbiamo parlato col papa”) cambiano questa realtà. Cambierà, solo se lo faremo cambiare noi, quelli che non hanno potere, quelli che ufficialmente non dovrebbero contare mai niente.

Ma non è sempre così: ogni tanto, chi non ha mai contato si sveglia, e ha molte cose da dire, molte cose da chiedere, e alla fine se le prende. Ci rivedremo ancora in piazza, quest’anno, determinati e decisi. V’illuderete che non ci siamo più, non sentendoci urlare. Ma anche il silenzio parla, parla sempre più forte.

L'articolo Corteo antimafia a Catania, alla testa ci sono i figli dei quartieri proviene da Il Fatto Quotidiano.

by Riccardo Orioles

Evgeny Morozov

Democracy is in crisis, but blaming fake news is not the answer | Evgeny Morozov

Claims that Russia is behind the political shocks of 2016 ignore the corrupting influence of digital capitalism

Democracy is drowning in fake news. This is the latest reassuring conclusion drawn by those on the losing side of 2016, from Brexit to the US elections to the Italian referendum.

Apparently, all these earnest, honest and unfashionably rational grownups are losing elections because of a dangerous epidemic of fake news, internet memes and funny YouTube videos. For this crowd, the problem is not that the Titanic of democratic capitalism is sailing in dangerous waters; its potential sinking can never be discussed in polite society anyway. Rather, it’s that there are far too many false reports about giant icebergs on the horizon.

The problem is not fake news but a digital capitalism that makes it profitable to produce false but click-worthy stories

Continue reading...

by Evgeny Morozov