ThinkPad 560E

Complete ThinkPad 560E system.

I’ve been idly looking for one of the mid-90s ThinkPads known to have perfect OpenStep/Rhapsody support for years as a fun collector piece, but been unwilling to pay eBay prices. The other week I scored a pristine IBM ThinkPad 560E for $20 in a Shopgoodwill auction, below is notes on getting it up and running, plus some relevant history and plans.

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Apple 12″ Macintosh RGB Monitor Recap

This post is a retro post on a retro topic – a repair I did in 2017 on a monitor made in 1991. I got a question about (probably) the same problem in another venue and realized I never put it online. I managed to dig up my pictures and notes, so there is useful information to be shared.

My 12″ RGB Display is getting sad.

The end of my (2016) post about Recapping my Macintosh LC I discovered that my matching Apple 12″ Macintosh RGB Monitor ( M1296 ) was going pear-shaped, and speculated that I’d need to recap it.

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I have a machine with SSH exposed on one high-numbered nonstandard port forwarded through a NAT. A few days ago I noticed some log noise about failed SSH logins and turned on fail2ban with sane defaults. It banned almost 300 addresses the next day. Looks like a botnet of compromised VMs, most of the random sample I whois‘d are from cloud/telecom provider’s IP ranges. The only common-ish use of the port in question is a very obsolete game matching service, and a couple machines behind the NAT with SSH on consecutive ports aren’t being harassed.

I’m used to attracting unwanted attention running services on standard ports (another machine that runs SSH on port 22 + HTTPS on 443 usually hands out at least 2000 bans a day), but this is new. Is the Internet that hostile now that bots are roving around in the 4-digit ports startin’ shit? Are there new behaviors that attract unwanted attention?

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Macintosh SE Health Check

I had my dear old Macintosh SE out for a health check as I slowly extract my vintage computer collection from the (unconditioned) place I’ve been keeping it at my parents house to the basement of the place I’m renting. It had a couple interesting findings that seem worth putting online, including another floppy drive rebuild and a slightly elaborate fan replacement.

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Why did a Banggood package I ordered on March 26 just appear in Bahrain on July 5, the same day it finally showed “Shipment picked up?” Did it just get packed into a container and loaded on whatever outgoing vessel they could throw it on to get it out of their warehouse, and it was finally reprocessed there? Is it taking a tour of human-rights-violating trade partners for sport?

I’ve had China-export stuff with possible customs issues get routed through the Netherlands before, but the other package from the same order had lock picks and came faster and more direct.

ED: Since it arrived, full path for maximum hilarity:

Jul 07, 2020 10:33 Delivered
Jul 07, 2020 08:37 With delivery courier
Jul 07, 2020 07:34 Arrived at Delivery Facility in ERLANGER - USA
Jul 07, 2020 06:59 Departed Facility in CINCINNATI HUB - USA
Jul 07, 2020 00:48 Clearance processing complete at CINCINNATI HUB - USA
Jul 07, 2020 00:46 Processed at CINCINNATI HUB - USA
Jul 07, 2020 00:38 Arrived at Sort Facility CINCINNATI HUB - USA
Jul 06, 2020 21:02 Departed Facility in EAST MIDLANDS - UK
Jul 06, 2020 20:59 Transferred through EAST MIDLANDS - UK
Jul 06, 2020 18:59 Departed Facility in LEIPZIG - GERMANY
Jul 06, 2020 18:57 Transferred through LEIPZIG - GERMANY
Jul 06, 2020 18:08 Customs status updated
Jul 06, 2020 07:14 Departed Facility in BAHRAIN - BAHRAIN
Jul 06, 2020 05:05 Processed at BAHRAIN - BAHRAIN
Jul 05, 2020 17:18 Arrived at Sort Facility BAHRAIN - BAHRAIN
Jul 05, 2020 16:07 Departed Facility in BAHRAIN - BAHRAIN
Jul 05, 2020 14:05 Processed at BAHRAIN - BAHRAIN
Jul 05, 2020 13:37 Shipment picked up
Jun 20, 2020 09:15 Package has been sterilized and shipped out.
Jun 19, 2020 08:45 Our warehouse has started packing your items.
Mar 26, 2020 00:14 Order submit.
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College Advice from a University Instructor

I’ve seen a spate of articles pop up recently discouraging people from going to college in fall 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic situation. They’re mostly from self-mythologizing startup douches and/or carpetbaggers trying to sell alternative education products, so there isn’t much of value in them and I won’t be linking.

However, talking about them has me refining and recording the advice I give to prospective college students.
So in that interest, a list of my usual advice. Which is very, very explicitly prefaced with the usual “Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer” disclaimer.

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Improvised Remote Instruction Tools

During the first week and change of our vast national COVID-19 induced remote teaching experiment I made some notes on practices and improvised some equipment that has proved useful, and seems worth sharing with others.

This two week period I’ve primarily been running lab sessions to help my herd of mostly-Sophomores do and get sign off for a digital design lab exercise using Verilog to implement state machines, adapted slightly from our usual lab at this time in the semester.

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Even though I haven’t done any work in that area in years, I got pulled into the Supercomputing conference again this year.  Can’t complain, it’s always fun.  UK’s combined booth looked good this year

Far corner is a little updated TinyTitan style Raspberry Pi cluster with a interactive CFD demo running on it that the CCS folks have been playing with, that thing in the leading corner is a cute flip-dot “quantum computer” model we built as a front-end for a 16-bit instance of Hank’s parallel bit-pattern computing system that can do quantum algorithms efficiently on a conventional platform – set in the corner of the booth like

You don't need quantum physics to perform quantum compution. Change my mind.

He did surprisingly well with this approach.

The exhibit floor was even more dominated by cooling tech this year. Exciting finds are the coming of very open (Open Compute Project, Coreboot + Open Network Linux) white-box 100GBE switches at reasonable prices, Fujitsu’s A64fx ARM with SVE and obscene memory bandwidth parts actually landing in systems, and (just because it tickled me) pre-wired fully populated Clos topology 100G cable harnesses.  The other dominant species was AI woo; my body is ready for AI Winter 3.0.

Google photos album of my annotated show floor photos is here.

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Anycubic Linear Kossel: Unofficial Owner’s Guide

Anycubic Kossel on its stand

I’ve been working with a number of Anycubic Linear Kossel / Kossel Plus (whatever branding they’re using when you look) 3D printers for the last couple months, including one I bought personally. While I’m overall extremely pleased with them, there are a whole bunch of notes, fixes, and improvements I feel like should be collected somewhere.

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Selectric Cozy

Bias-tape bound seams out looks better, even if the sewing job is obviously uneven.

Some months ago I decided I wanted to play with an IBM Selectric typewriter, and after some fuckery, obtained and started working on an example of the dual-pitch, correcting Selectric II I find most appealing. At some point there will be an extended post about that, but 1. I’m not entirely sure I know what I’m talking about yet, and 2. Too much writing at the time I was working on it. This post is not about the machine, just the cover I made for it.

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