Daily Archives: 2021-12-20

Xlibe: an Xlib/X11 compatibility layer for Haiku

Source: OSNews

Article note: Man Haiku keeps showing how clever their devs are and how good the fundamental architecture of BeOS was.

An Xlib compatibility layer implemented on top of the Haiku API, in order to run X11 applications on Haiku without an X server.

Xlib‘s API is relatively low-level, but it is just high-level enough that it can be emulated on top of a higher-level API like Haiku’s.

At present, it provides “most” commonly-used Xlib APIs, but many of them are stubbed or incomplete implementations. (GTK, with some hacks, can compile, link, and open a window before it runs in to missing functionality.)

This is crazy person work by Haiku developer waddlesplash. He also posted continuously updated progress thread on the Haiku website, which provides a lot more detail about the process, the current state, and possible future plans.

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All Hail Your New Giant 555 Timer Overlord

Source: Hack a Day

Article note: Discrete component versions of familiar ICs are always fun to look at. This is nicely executed.

You asked for it, and now you’ve got it. It’s taken more than a decade of accumulated complaining, but this gigantic 555 timer IC has finally gathered enough psychokinetic energy to take corporeal form and demand fealty from the readers of Hackaday.

Or not. The less exciting explanation is that creator [Rudraksha Vegad] was looking for a way to combine his interests in discrete electronic components and woodworking. The result is an incredible build that’s more than just a conversation starter; this desktop-sized version of the iconic integrated timer circuit is fully functional. You can even hook it up to a breadboard, assuming you’ve got some alligator clips handy.

Lifting the lid on this wooden “chip” uncovers an intricate hand-wired array of discrete components that stand in for the microscopic goings on inside the real thing. He’s even gone through the trouble of recreating the symbols for the comparators and flip-flops that you’d see in a diagram of a 555 using wooden shapes to elevate their respective components. It might not fit the classical definition, but surely this must count as some form of circuit sculpture.

[Rudraksha] credits several other projects for not just inspiring him to create his own mega 555, but for helping him wrap his head around the internal workings of everyone’s favorite IC. Using components he salvaged from old hardware, he says the project ended up being very educational for him. These days, when most makers are more likely to reach for a microcontroller than a logic chip, spending some quality time with transistors and passives can be quite illuminating.

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New Harbor Freight Bauer Modular Tool Box System

Source: ToolGuyd

Article note: I saw the headline and was chuckling that "Of course, I just bought another VersaStack component, so Harbor Freight has released a cheaper alternative" but... these are more expensive than any of the lower-end name brand clip-together plastic tool box systems.
Harbor Freight Bauer Modular Tool Box System

Harbor Freight has launched a new Bauer modular tool box system, and they encourage users to “compare to Milwaukee [Packout]”.

Not to mince words, this is no Milwaukee Packout competitor. The Bauer tool boxes have extremely lightweight load ratings, such as 25 lbs for the small tool box and 60 lbs for the rolling tool box.

Milwaukee Packout tool boxes can hold up to 75 lbs, and their rolling tool box is rated at 250 lbs if weight capacity.

So while Harbor Freight encourages shoppers to “compare to Milwaukee” on price, the Bauer tool boxes don’t compare on even ground with respect to features, construction, or specs.

This is still an interesting product line.

Harbor Freight describes the Bauer tool boxes as “incredibly rugged.” They also emphasize that their 5 options allow for “over 50 storage configurations.”

At the time of this posting, there are just 5 Bauer modular tool box and organizer options:

  • Small tool box w/ 6 removable parts cups: $30
  • Storage tote: $20
  • Large tool box: $40
  • Rolling tool box: $70
  • 12-compartment parts organizer: $35

The pricing seems a bit high, as a 3-piece system built with a rolling tool box with small and large tool boxes would come out to be $140.

The Craftsman Versastack combo (with organizer instead of tool box) is $90 at Lowe’s, and the Craftsman Tradestack launched at $169 at Lowe’s. There’s also the Ridgid Pro tool box system 3pc combo, currently $119 at Home Depot, and a Hart Stack system that’s $89 at Walmart.

With Harbor Freight so focused on how their lower pricing compares to “competing” systems, one would think they would have been more conscious about how their pricing actually compared to true competitors’ modular tool box systems.

There are some interesting and notable features. The Bauer parts organizer, for instance, is said to be IP65-rated watertight and dustproof. All of the tool boxes look to have metal latches.

Harbor Freight Bauer Modular Tool Box System Locking Latch

I’m a little hesitant about Bauer’s side latches, which are used to lock stacked tool boxes together. Maybe the images give a false sense of scale, but it looks like there is a tiny finger loop built into a sliding tab. It’s hard to say without seeing and feeling it in person, but this doesn’t look very user-friendly to me.

It’s unclear as to whether Harbor Freight has a broader lineup in mind for Bauer, and it will be interesting to see where they go with this. Maybe their more premium brushless motor Hercules cordless power tools could be bundled with Bauer tool boxes? There’s plenty of potential.

It’s always good to have more tool options, but how does Bauer differentiate from all of the other modular tool box systems currently on the market?

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