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On absent-minded preparedness...
 
  

11/07/09 @ 03:23:58 pm, Categories: Life of Baka, Magical Blue Smoke, 536 words, 2673 views  

People often hassle me about all the random shit I acquire despite no clear need or desire. I continue to prove the necessity of such hoarding any time an unforeseen obstacle pops up.

Today, I finally received the EPROM programmer I bought from Hong Kong last month. Nothing fancy just a ‘Willem’ type parallel port burner that cost me all of $16…but it should be enough to burn BIOS ROMs for my NEO-GEO boards and things like that. I also bought a USB->Parallel adapter on the off chance that it would actually allow it to work, since none of my computers have Parallel Ports. (My older machine and my father’s machine, which have the same motherboard, have a header for a parallel port at least)

Well, the adapter doesn’t work, of course. So I knew I needed a DB25 at the end of a 26-pin IDC ribbon cable. That isn’t a terribly common thing, except for this exact purpose. I went into the storage room where all my electronic junk will continue to stew down into a mulch for the next thousand years. There, sitting atop a box, is the stripped carcass of an old VTech IBM XT knockoff that someone offered me and I didn’t see any reason not to take it. (And then they also gave me a hugef00k dotmatrix printer and a little CGA monitor) I had recently gutted it for a couple reasons; for one, I wanted to get some steppers and stuff from the floppy drives. I also wanted some random boards to work on with my soldering station.

Sitting in the middle of the mostly gutted skeletal remains of the computer, was an expansion card slot DB25 port with a 26-pin ribbon cable. However, when I removed it, it turned out the DB25 was male, and not female. This struck me as still being rather lucky, since a male DB25 suggests it was a Serial port, and DB25 serial ports hardly ever have all their pins hooked up… (In fact, only the same 9 pins as a DB9 serial port and an additional ground are needed.) Nonetheless, I needed a female connector for the parallel port. I have a DB25 F-F gender changer somewhere, but I haven’t seen it in years… F-to-F cables? Don’t think I have any. Hmm… That’s when I remembered a lot of connectors I purchased off eBay several months ago. Mostly I jumped on it because it had nearly every conceivable type of USB board and cable connector (And lots of them) but it also had DB25 and DB9 male and female ports, both PCB connectors and solder-cup style with bolt-together housings. (Not bad for $25, since that’s what a couple DB15s with housings cost me a while back from Digi-Key)

Now, all I need to do is snip the ribbon cable, and solder the wires to one of my solder-cup DB25 connectors to create the correct header cable for my ASUS M2N32 SLI mobo, and I’m up and running. (But first, breakfast!)

And there you have it, whenever something like this comes up, chances are I will find everything I need amongst the things I have collected with no particular need in mind.

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A peek inside the mad, mad, mind of Baka-chan. Animator, artist, hater of stupid people, and evil genius. Look upon the undoing of all order in the universe, and tremble.
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