This is a part of the homework feature of my blog, which is an ongoing conversation with my mate S.F.

Hey mate. Lovely to see you again, as always.

Per the Xbox technical specifications the Xbox CPU was a 32-bit 733 MHz, custom Intel Pentium III Coppermine-based processor using a 180 nm process.

A good essay from Umberto Eco’s Travels in Hyperreality is On the Crisis of the Crisis of Reason.

Is the ABC’s postmodern philosophy thing you mentioned this one: The Postmodern Grand Narrative?

There is a good article on the topic of acronyms and initialisms over here: Acronym vs. Initialism vs. Abbreviation With Examples:

  • Initialisms are when you abbreviate a word to its initials. Then, you say those initials as individual letters, like how “National Security Administration” becomes N-S-A. The United States becomes U-S.
  • Acronyms are abbreviations that also use initials, but those initials are pronounced as a word rather than saying the individual initials. For example, “National Aeronautical and Space Administration” becomes NASA and is pronounced “nah-sah.”

In logic begging the question is jargon for is an informal fallacy that occurs when an argument’s premises assume the truth of the conclusion. This is often mistakenly used where “raises the question” is what is meant. Your best policy is never to use the phrase “begging the question” because it is not reliably understood. Say either “raises the question” or “assumes the conclusion” depending on what you mean to say.

In law mere puffery is when certain statements made by advertisers that are obviously not made in a serious manner can be exempt from usual rules relating to promises in open contracts.

A reminder to check out More, it’s brilliant.

There are some notes on Kraftwerk about the Moog and the Minimoog synths. You can listen to Kraftwerk on YouTube.

There is an article about the “roger beep” over here: Roger Beep – useful tool or annoying toy? As you know the roger beep is a small tone made automatically when the radio operator unkeys their microphone to let the receiver know they have finished speaking.

Heroin by The Velvet Underground was also covered by Billy Idol. The lead singer of The Velvet Underground was Lou Reed.

You mentioned the Song Exploder podcast. I will check it out.

If you can find some time to watch it I would definitely recommend Mr Inbetween.

You mentioned Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. Annoyingly it doesn’t seem to be available in ebook format.

The opposite of “hyperbole” is “understatement”.

After some ruckus of being canceled Scott Adams seems to have dilbert.com back online with some explanations about what happened here: https://dilbert.com/faq. His new thing is Dilbert Reborn which is subscription only and nsfw.

You mentioned Everything is a Remix which is available on YouTube.

User: define nebulous


The term “nebulous” is an adjective that describes something that is vague, unclear, or ill-defined. It often refers to ideas, situations, or objects that lack sharp boundaries or are difficult to describe precisely. The word can also evoke the image of a cloud or haze, suggesting something that is misty, indistinct, or without a concrete form.

The latest Mission Impossible movie is Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. It is good fun!

Metropolis a scifi film from 1927. It is also available on YouTube.

Technological determinism is “a reductionist theory that assumes that a society’s technology progresses by following its own internal logic of efficiency, while determining the development of the social structure and cultural values.”

There is a good intro to some of Kant’s thought over here: Kant’s Theory of Judgment.

User: what are synthetic a priori judgements?


Synthetic a priori judgments are a central concept in epistemology, particularly in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. They refer to statements that are both synthetic and a priori. Let’s break down these terms:

  1. Synthetic: A synthetic statement is one where the predicate (the part of the sentence that describes the subject or assigns it a property) adds information that is not already contained in the concept of the subject. In other words, the truth of a synthetic statement is not determined just by the meanings of the words it contains; it requires additional information about the world.
  2. A priori: An a priori statement is one that can be known to be true independently of any specific experience. Instead, its truth can be determined through reason alone.

Combining these, a synthetic a priori judgment is a statement that is known to be true independently of experience (a priori) and whose predicate is not contained within the subject, thus adding new information (synthetic). Kant argued that such judgments are essential for the possibility of certain kinds of knowledge, particularly in mathematics and natural science. For example, the statement “7 + 5 = 12” is synthetic because the concept of “12” is not contained in the concepts of “7” and “5”, and it is a priori because it can be known through reason without needing empirical verification.

Kant’s introduction of synthetic a priori judgments was revolutionary because it suggested that humans have innate knowledge structures that enable them to understand the world in a certain way, which in turn makes empirical science possible.

User: define kitsch


“Kitsch” refers to art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way. The term is often used to describe art that is overly commercial, cliche, or banal. It can also connote a certain cultural appeal linked to nostalgia or popular aesthetics that are considered tacky or lowbrow by mainstream standards.

Jailbreaking is discussed in iOS jailbreaking. Basically it allows a user to run unsanctioned programs on their device.

Stop Punching Me In The Head. It’s about the idea okay!

I’m a little bit involved.

When I was in Melbourne I bummed a ciggie of Geoffrey Rush. He smokes Benson & Hedges Ultimate.

This is Head Like A Hole and Sin by Nine Inch Nails.

I know fucking heaps and that makes me feel like I know nothing.

Mulholland Drive is a 2001 surrealist mystery film written and directed by David Lynch.

Also from 2001 is Donnie Darko an American science fiction psychological thriller film written and directed by Richard Kelly and produced by Flower Films.

You recommended Succession which is an American satirical black comedy-drama television series created by Jesse Armstrong that aired for four seasons on HBO from June 3, 2018, to May 28, 2023.

We listened to A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturdays” by De La Soul and The Distance by Cake.

I feel happy when:

  • I am in my lab thinking
  • I am home alone by myself
  • I am enjoying a cup of coffee
  • I am soaking in a warm bath
  • I am talking with my Dad in his study
  • I am hanging out with my mate on the veranda at his house
  • I get to see my mate’s dog, Ruben
  • my friends take me out for lunch or dinner at the Lappo
  • I complete a project
  • I work on a project and make progress
  • I let go of things which aren’t a priority for me
  • I let go of things which I have no control over
  • I write down a list of things that make me happy and that I can be grateful for
  • I eat less than 8,409 kilojoules in a day
  • I imagine how much better the future might be than the present
  • I do some maths homework
  • I learn and understand new things
  • my network backups are up to date
  • I am

Arlec Single Outlet Safety Switch

Thanks to my mate Raz I now have an Arlec Single Outlet Safety Switch from Bunnings. It’s a 30mA residual-current device (RCD), which is a type of earth-leakage circuit breaker (ELCB).

Over here:

You can see my bench UPS in the bottom right:

It’s a PowerShield Defender 1200VA.

The UPS then has the Arlec device in the back of it, which then powers the rest of my bench (behind the scissors):

You can see I still have my Xbox power cable plugged in. We’re not sure exactly what that does. In addition to an electronic fuse maybe an RCD or maybe an arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) or maybe all of the above.

Playing Xbox

So I sorted my Xboxes today. I have owned 36. I sold 2. I turned one into my bench testing system. I have 26 which are in various forms of broken. That’s anything from a dicky DVD drive, to error screen, to FRAGing, to won’t even power on. Then I have 7 which are working. Of those 2 are chipped, 3 aren’t chipped, and 2 I’m not sure about yet.

I’ve introduced a colour coding system. On the left is a red sticker if the Xbox is broken or a green sticker if it works. On the right is a yellow sticker which has an X in it if the Xbox is not chipped, a question mark in it if I’m not sure, and a plain yellow sticker means it’s chipped.

I stuck a reminder on the second drawer:

Picking a 16-channel external power connection

So I’m planning to put an Xbox power supply,

in a box,

I wasn’t sure exactly which box, so I got four, hoping one would work.
The sockets and pinouts vary,

So I will need to make three different types of cables, one for each version range: v1.0-v1.1, v1.2-v1.5, v1.6. But those vary only on the “motherboard side”, the connector that connects to a power supply in a box can be anything, and I can pick it. By my count the maximum cable requirement is 16 cables. So I’m looking for a recommendation for what power connector to install the on the box. Ideally something I can bolt into the box that can handle a couple of amps of DC and into which I can plug my custom cable. Craig? :)
Update: from here maximum observed current 8.6A. I would like to use D Sub Connector Housing, 25 Ways, D Sub, 3, AMPLIMITE HDP-20, Receptacle, Steel Body but I’m not sure if they’re rated high enough for the current.


Man, I walked through the valley of the shadow of doubt with this one.

What is pictured is an after-market Xbox controller I picked up recently. While I was doing the intake I found its plastic was a bit “sticky” so I gave the controller a bit of a clean, but it started tearing gunk off the plastic, and it all basically went to shit.

I scrubbed and scrubbed and hit it with isopropyl and vinegar and ethanol (ethanol seemed to work best) but ultimately I popped the whole thing open and washed the parts with soap, bicarb soda, and boiling water.

I managed to salvage the controller in the end, but there are still some stains in the slots for the memory cartridge as you can see in the second photo below (for a while there the whole thing looked like that!).

I’m gonna have another go at those stains when my Goo Gone arrives, and maybe give it another hit with the ethanol too.

For a while there I was pretty sure this one was destined for the scrap heap. But after taking it to bits and scrubbing it I put it all back together, and not only did I have no screws left over, all the buttons continued to work too!

How to mount an Xbox formatted drive on Ubuntu

When I finally get a PCIe IDE adapter that works, this is gonna come in handy: How to mount an Xbox formatted drive on Ubuntu.

The IDE adapter that I have is this one, but it reports all disks as damaged (and they’re not). I think maybe it’s too new for the drives maybe? Speaking a newer version of the ATA protocol? I have no idea really.