Saturday, 16 August 2014

MIPS32 support

My satellite receiver has the odd bug, but otherwise it is generally a pretty good piece of hardware and software.  However, the bugs and the inability to fix them, are something I wish I could do something about.  The firmware, is written in MIPS assembly language, which runs on an Ali 3602 chip.  Scanning through it, you can see interesting things like the license for Linux-NTFS, something which was reported to the GPL violations mailing list several years back (with no action taken).

Anyway, I can't afford the main interactive disassembler out there, IDA.  So I have my own, which has a token amount of features comparatively.  Peasauce.  Up until now, it only disassembled m68k machine code, but I've just finished adding basic MIPS support.  It's nowhere near perfect, but it's a start.  And it shows how much work goes into IDA.

The next architecture is likely to be ARM support, although it like MIPS gets more complicated.  There's ARM and ARM thumb instructions, and they are different sized and mix together to some extent.  There's also MIPS32 and MIPS16, and they are different sized and mix together to some extent.  But that's a problem for another occasion.  The work on this could be endless, if I had the time.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Rhubarb / 2013-2014

I had unwanted rhubarb donated from two different parties. In both cases, what I got was crowns, which I divided and planted out. It didn't fare well. And I got maybe one feed out of it.

Day X+0: One divided crown has already sprouted and started growing leaves. The second divided crown will have just been planted out the day the photo was taken.

Rhubarb - 01 - 2013-09-13

Day X+50: More growth for both. A mini-bed dug out for comfrey, purchased from Koanga, at the back.

Rhubarb - 01 - 2013-11-02

Day X+80: Both beds were getting overgrown and the leaves were sitting on grass. I dug out around them and joined all three beds up.

Rhubarb - 01 - 2013-12-01

Day X+101: Both beds are looking even more lush.

Rhubarb - 01 - 2013-12-22

Day X+120: Heavy rain for a day or so flooded the bed, which causes the rhubarb to die back. What I should have done in this situation was harvested all the stalks immediately. Unfortunately, I left them on, the leaves wilted and also the stalks with them.

Rhubarb - 01 - 2014-01-10 - After too much rain

This actually happened several times. And finally, the chickens started eating the leaves right down. It is said that the leaves help kill worms in their stomachs. But how many old wives tales have to turn out to be false, to make all the unproven ones untrustworthy. As I recently read somewhere else, putting a silver coin in a bucket of milk was supposed to stop it from spoiling, yet here we are with refridgerators.

The comfrey is supposed to be good for chickens too, and some people report them eating it freely. Mine won't touch it. It also takes up a lot of ground with it's leaves.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Osage Orange Seedlings

After reading that it made good carving wood, and good firewood, I bought some osage orange seeds from the national auction website. They produce a green orange shaped fruit. Not edible.

Day X+0: No idea when the seeds were planted out. Here they are in the rightmost lowest 10 segmented tray.

Seedling placement, front deck - 2014-01-13 - Osage Orange, Chili

Day X+75: And planted out in pots. The broken glass was from a rabbit or hare that must have jumped on the cover pane over night. They are still in the pots now, and look a bit bigger, but have lost leaf for winter.

Osage Orange - 01 - 2014-03-29 - 80

I've since read an anecdote by someone who attempted to deal with some of these trees. He reported that the thorns made doing anything a painful activity.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Seed Saving / Kiwifruit

Day 1: I was left some kiwifruit by a visitor. I'm not really a big kiwifruit eater, so I decided to see if I could grow some kiwifruit plants, after saving some of the seeds. The first step was digging out the seeds from it's centre, and soaking them to remove the fruit flesh which would otherwise cause them to rot. The water was changed every couple of days, to keep the seeds in a good way.

Kiwifruit, Sprouted Seeds - 01 - 2014-01-20 - Soaking pre-sprout

Day 99: Eventually, I put the seeds on a damp paper towel, which I kept damp until they started sprouting. Then I planted them out and put on the window sill where they continued to grow. Some time later, my first mistake was knocking the tray off the window sill. My second mistake was scooping the contents back in, and the seeds ending up under too much potting mix. So I lost a lot of them, and some I saved I had to dig out when I saw them growing at the bottom of the transparent tray. In the end, I had four or five seeds remaining, which I planted out and have growing. Come spring, I'll plant them out and grow them up a tree or trellis.

Kiwifruit, Sprouted Seeds - 01 - 2014-04-29 - Also parsnip cutting