Blast Processing Retrospectives

The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis is what started it all for me over a decade ago: it was my journey into reverse engineering and bare metal programming.

Demystifying CryptoKit Signatures

Apple’s CryptoKit framework provides an easy-to-use interface to common cryptographic operations, including working with Secure Enclave keys. Signing data is easy enough, but turns out verifying signatures on the other side of the walled garden is easier said than done.

The Dollar Store Pax iOS App

With the official Pax app no longer downloadable from the App Store, I needed a new way to control my devices that’s a little more polished than the previous proof-of-concept Mac app I wrote. As it’s been a while since I last touched iOS development, I figured it’d be a fun challenge to write an app in a weekend.

Solder paste deposition on a circuit board, before placing parts and soldering.

Cooking PCBs

A recent project required some QFN packaged components – not exactly easy to hand solder. Without a reflow oven at hand, I had to get a little bit creative.

Embedded Linux Adventures on STM32MP1

With mostly functional hardware in hand, it was time to give the programmable load software some attention. And thus begins my journey into building an embedded Linux distribution.

Revised programmable load controller and partially assembled front panel, installed into the final enclosure.

Overengineering or Making Do? You Decide!

Faced with the prospect of another board revision and parts that became unobtanium, it was time to go back to the drawing board and figure out a way to use more readily available parts, while making the hardware more powerful and polished.

A somewhat more finished pile of programmable load boards splayed out on a workbench.

Programmable Load Updates

After a much-needed vacation, I’m back to working on my programmable load. Time to remember what parts worked and which didn’t for the inevitable ∞th revision.

Photo of the various programmable load PCBs on a workbench.

Baby's First Programmable Load

After trying to burn my place down one time too many, it’s time to retire my pile of power resistors for testing power supplies in favour of a fancy digital programmable load. Except obviously, I’m going to build it myself, and overengineer it to hell and back.

Photo of the 68komputer main board, showing the logo with lit status indicator lights.

Task Failed Successfully

With the first revision of the 68komputer boards and the required parts finally in hand, I spent the holidays (inside, in the warmth) assembling one. While it didn’t completely work, it also wasn’t a complete exercise in futility and a waste of time.

It's not dead… somehow

Despite what the general silence on this topic might imply, quite a few things have changed in the land of 68komputer since the last time I wrote about it. For one, there’s completely new hardware based around a 68000 with a full 16-bit data path. And, a boot ROM and firmware that’s a bit more… inviting.