Blue blocking glasses and eye strain

I was listening to a Podcast I enjoy and they had a sponsor who sold blue light blocking glasses. This got my attention because I often have eye strain from staring at the computer screen too long. So I went to the website and was put off by the over $100 price even with the shows discount. I won’t name the podcast because they rely on the advertisement. So I checked Amazon and they sell blue light blocking glasses for ~$15 with good reviews and that includes a second pair. So thank you podcast for putting this in my mind. There were video reviews with tests that proved they work.

Typing special characters

  • Ctrl+shift+u (a underlined u will appear)
  • release the key combo (the underlined u will remain)
  • Type the HEX value of the character (it will appear next to the underlined u)
  • Press Enter
  • the special character will replace the underlined u and HEX code

For example using the HEX value…
2186 will display the down arrow ↆ
266A will display the music note ♪
271d will display a cross (The purple doesn’t appear in a my text editor) ✝
271e will display a different cross ✞
06e9 will display whatever this is ۩

In Linux Mint you can find these codes and many more in the Character Map

  • Useful scripts (on the left)…for me are Latin and Common… Sometimes you have to scroll down a bit to see them

60 Year old AA battery

Apparently others don’t think this is as cool as I do. Posted on Twitter and not a single reaction. Here’s what I said…

“I found this old AA battery (probably from the 1960s) in some old electronic device. Very surprised at no sign of leakage and my meter showed it had 1.43V. My dad worked at Southern Bell before being renamed to BellSouth and later merged with AT&T.”

I might add it’s hard for me to leave a battery in a device more than a few months today without it leaking.

Playing old games

It seems to me the easiest way to play old console games is to buy one of these retro game machines already setup and preloaded with thousands of games. They are android or tiny MS-Windows computers running various emulators to play games from many different consoles.

I never intended to get deep into this topic. However I recently downloaded a Z80 emulator and it sparked a small interest. I think I’m about over it now. Although there may be one exception. Light gun games. I had a light gun game and a light gun for the PS1 and I found it so much fun. The game was called Time Crisis. Except the light gun didn’t last long. I definitely don’t think I got my moneys worth with that gun.

Was checking out Light gun games on YouTube and it looks like the Nintendo Wii has some real good Light gun games. Surprise! House of the Dead series…looks good. Also some Resident Evil games. So I might just consider a real used Nintendo Wii console down the road.

Installed dolphin game emulator

Thank goodness for the repositories. Because I didn’t realize it existed at first and tried to install manually. I’ve lost all patience for some manual installs such as this one which reminds me a little of the old days. You install something missing only to find it goes a little farther until something else is missing. Dependency hell anyone? Anywho…

sudo apt update
sudo apt install dolphin-emu

Game ISOs here.

I found Luigi’s Mansion ciso (which I own) and started it. The into started and appeared to run smoothly. But I couldn’t play by keyboard…I assume.

Colecovision emulation

A few things I’m learning:

Game emulation is a topic new for me

I guess I shouldn’t be shocked, keeping in mind the era (early 80s) of these games. But very surprised at how small these ROMs are For example Donkey Kong is 16K.
Although I’m somewhat familiar with ROMs because of the TRS-80 emulator (sdltrs)


  • Place I found many
  • Some sites have garbage and zero byte files
  • Files extensions are usually .bin and I have to rename them to .col for the emulator I’m using, Just figured this out with a guess.
  • Keys don’t work for most games. Perhaps I just need a game pad?

My first calculator

Probably one of the first thing I owned with some type of processor in it. The Commodore US*8. I read here – “It utilizes a single Texas Instruments chip, the TMS0103NC, which is one of TI’s first-generation of single-chip calculator IC’s, for its calculating brains”. The article also states “was likely manufactured in the early part of 1973”. So it even predated my Magnavox Odyssey 300 (1976), Sears Video Arcade (1977, not a clone but an actual Atari 2600 under the covers) and TRS-80 Model 1 Level II (1978). I still have everything except this calculator. I remember throwing it away because some spongy black material under the keys started disintegrating (probably not a good reason). Probably cost ~$100.