Ethan McTague

The SX-64 Keyboard Cable

On EBay, replacement keyboard cables for the Commodore SX-64 can run around $20-30 before shipping costs are added in. Understandable for such an old and obscure item, right?

Wrong!

The SX-64 Keyboard cable is actually an ever-so-slightly modified version of a common connector: A D-Sub DB25 connector, used for older serial and parallel ports. In particular, it uses a male-male DB25 cable with an angled connection on one end, and (according to some sources) the metal sheathing of the connector removed on the other end. Some of the pins are also missing on both ends, but apparently, these don't need to be removed for replica cables to work correctly.

The total cost of parts needed to recreate this cable is approximately $3 - A regular DB25 male-female cable (because male-male cables are way rarer) and a small male-male adapter. Simply trim the sheathing off one half of the adapter piece, connect it into the female end of the cable, and you should be good to go.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019 at 03:13 PM

I've been working on this new site for about two days now. My goal was to develop a simple, yet usable blog entirely from scratch. It's made with one thing in mind: images. Text is secondary - the image content I post should be visible front and center without much obstruction.

Because of this goal, plenty of emphasis was placed on media management. The image management system for the blog was developed prior to the actual posting system, and allows images to be easily embedded into posts. Image information, such as accessible alternate text, is stored alongside the image and automatically inserted into the page when the image is embedded in markdown. This makes it possible to adjust the description for images that are used across multiple posts, if necessary, without editing each post. It also lets me implement new image viewing features (perhaps a zoomed-in view) without editing each individual post.

The entire system is implemented on the Google App Engine for simplicity. The Cloud Datastore is used for post and image data. The Google Cloud User System is used for authentication, allowing me to log in with a single click when I'm already signed into my Google account. You could log in, too, if you'd like! You couldn't actually do anything, though, only my account has administrator rights!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 01:24 PM

Close-up photo of an abrasive sponge

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 04:40 PM
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