Category Archives: Science and Technology

Another Government IT fiasco

Once again, “New” Labour have proven their complete and utter incompetence in IT-related matters. Not only are they trying to implement a completely unworkable ID-card system (if you’re a British citizen, take a look at No2ID), but they’ve completely bollocksed up the Student Finance online applications system. Yum.

Makes you proud to be British, doesn’t it?

Nah, I didn’t think so either.

More info on the calculator LCDs

Hmm, seems RCL make some other calculator chips too – [more info]
Anyone care to take a guess at just how many calculators there are floating around with RCL controller chips inside them?
Looks like the C7171C2 is the closest match to the chip used in the calculators I gutted. The LCD pinout in the datasheet matches my findings exactly…

I wonder how well a PIC16 core could run SHA-1? Might be worth implementing the SHA-1 variant shown in the Dallas DS1963S datasheet and benchmarking it, just for grins.

OTOH, a 64-bit date/time counter coupled with a 448-bit secret key might make a nice little secure-authentication tag. Think “open-licensed SecurID”.

The record companies are bastards.

Well, it’s finally happened. I wanted to copy a Robbie Williams CD onto Minidisc to listen to on the train (much as I hate to admit it, there is a limit to how much you can listen to Beautiful South in a week). Problem is, the CD (“Robbie Williams: Greatest Hits”) is copy protected. My LiteON DVD recorder won’t even detect the disc, and my Ultima CD-ROM can’t pick it up either.

Sudden flash of inspiration – the RiscPC has a 52x LiteON CD-ROM that (from experience) will read damn near anything… So in goes the CD and ten seconds later I’ve got AudioFS2 ripping it to disc.

Copy protection? What copy protection?