Brad Ormand in Austin, TX

11.01.2014 – Moon Painting, SSD1306 & AX-450

Holy Smokes, there’s a lot going on.  Well, it’s just that I updated my moon painting (it looks a zillion times better), I tore down the Brother machine, found a few surprises inside, and I compiled a video of all of the SSD1306 animations I have done to date.

First, I painted the moon landscape over, after I receiving some insight about the texture of limestone, which is plentiful here in Austin (I brought a big rock in from the yard).  It was kind of a shame to paint over the previous work, but…  That’s how it goes – incremental progress – better techniques replace what came before them.  And, well, it looks a million times more realistic as a base.


This time, I only used a tiny bit of blue and green, and made it almost totally desaturated.  The craters look fantastic as a base and I haven’t yet decided what to do next.  I’ll sleep on it and wait for the next inspiration to surface.  What I end up doing might be different that what I thought of in the beginning..  Or..  It might be the original idea, squared.  Let’s find out…

And, here’s my halloween costume..  Uh yeah, regular dress for me this year.  I was tired from the late night of the 30th and the project delivery on Halloween, so I just stayed around with a few close friends and chatted.  I rarely talk about personal stuff in the log, but..  since this Halloween pic was taken, and it’s a holiday..  what the hell:  I was going to go to a costume party as a warewolf wearing those neon orange sunglasses and some gold bling.  I was really looking forward to it back in September, but circumstances changed and time went quickly and well…  It never came together.  The moon was eerily plump and the breeze cool. I was looking forward to howling at that moon. 🙂  It seems to be the first day that really feels like fall this year.


Aaaand, in other news, I made a video of my collection of SSD1306 animations.  I got really involved over the last 2 weeks, blittin’ frames, just coming up with new ways to bang that screen up, and put them all together in a tidy format.  I’m sure when I look back on it in a few years, I’ll get inspired and want to re-create or extend these.    It’s a good supplement to the stuff going on right now.

The song I chose to go with the vid was a song I started in 2006 called “Afterburn”.  It made it over to some music libraries, but it wasn’t ever sync’d to anything (or anything prominent) like “In Tha Den” was from the same group I sent over (sync’d to a prime time Veronica Mars episode).  But, I still luv it – it’s got lots of energy and good synths and kick, However, it was made with my old mixing style, so I have it on the block to be polished for release soon.  It’s not out there as of now.  But, got nostalgia feelings working with it again 🙂  Anywaeeees…

The animations in the vid are of varied kinds – particle animations, bar graphs, sinusoidal wave explorations, and math graphing.  I still have some sci-fi / free-form things that I still want to do like I mentioned in a previous post.  However, this is a good collection for now.  I got what I came for.

And, wow – I did more…  I tore down the Brother AX-450 Electronic Typewriter (from ’89) to look at some stuff, and I found a cool surprise inside.  There’s a tape mechanism that transfers the ink to the paper that also “records” the previous keystrokes, and it was just cool to see what the previous owner had written about – haha.  There was mention of “Monday Night Football” and “Adventure” and “Party Machine”.  haha.  Didn’t mean to be snoopy, and there was nothing juicy in there, I assume just a fellow writing some shit like I’m writing right now – my intention anyway was to to see how the power supply worked, the display, and the keyboard unit (nice spring-loaded feel), and I was just pleasantly surprised with this extra finding.



And, also, I feel like I struck gold with the display – it has a “real” HD44780 QFP chip – the board was actually *from* Hitachi, with the “HD44780” QFP chip branded on back – not like these days when I mostly see just a chip-on-board black gunk-dot on the back – who knows what those are.  I know the HD44780 is super-prevalent, but this is cool to see in it’s ’89 form 🙂 .  I get excited about these things.  It’s kind of cool to look back into history and see this type of stuff. Fun.





I traced out the power supply circuit and tried to see how it was managing the electro-mechanical stuff, and also found a pretty cool “font-set wheel” in there – it’s like each letter has a position ratio (n/numSpokes)*(PI*2) in the spectrum, and when you push a key that corresponds, the MCU looks up that keystroke and the motor turns that wheel to that ratio in the table and waits for it to be “whacked” on it’s back to smudge the ink (through the ink rubber) to the paper.  I don’t know – something like that, I assume…  Just guessing.  It was cool to look at.  Nice.



I mean, there’s a lot I got out of breaking it down. Justified time spent, for sure – as it was with the LG bluetooth-audio subwoofer unit and the Casio keyboard that I jacked open in September (before I started keeping log).  And, that reminds me – it’s that actual jacked sub that I’m using in my truck to provide the boom-booms right now.  Forgot about that…  Anyway… So, yeah – I always get a lot out of these investigations.  I have been doing this type of stuff since I was about 10 at my dad’s shop.  And, I’m still as fascinated as I was then. 🙂