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I think it’s done. This evening I went to work a bit more on BMOW, and realized… there’s nothing left to do. The last little bit was finished this weekend, and involved creating a self-running demo loop of all the BMOW programs in ROM. Now it still boots to the same power-up screen as before, but after 30 seconds of idle time, it’ll start looping through a sequence of 10 different audio, video, and interactive demos. It can be interrupted at any time, and if somebody starts playing with the interactive demos (Microchess and BASIC), it will let them play as long as they wish, continuing the demo loop after another suitable idle period.

The only other bit of work I can conceive of is constructing a clear replacement cover for the BMOW case. The current case is solid steel and hides everything away inside, so a clear cover would be a nice way of showing things off while still keeping them protected. I looked a bit into some online custom plastics manufacturing options at Big Blue Saw and Polou, but they’re both limited to 2D parts. A custom replacement cover would need a top, sides, back, and guide rails on the inside, and I’m not too excited about trying to glue or screw together a 3D part from a bunch of 2D parts. Unless I come up with some great brain wave that can simplify it, I’ll probably skip this idea, and just leave the cover open when I want to show the machine off.

The timing of the Maker Faire is a lucky coincidence, giving me an excuse to polish things up nicely and have a little celebration before going on to a new project. I’ve spent more time in the past week planning for my Faire exhibit than on BMOW itself. Originally I’d planned to have some business cards printed up that summarize what the project is about, but then I asked myself why I’d want boring business cards when I could have stickers! I think I have an irrational fondness for stickers. I designed a custom 3×3 inch BMOW sticker and ordered 1000 of them from UPrinting. Take a peek at the sticker proof to see the design. Come to the Maker Faire and I’ll give you one!

I’ve still got a few more projects left to prepare for the Faire, like T-shirts, a Powerpoint presentation, notebooks of schematics and construction photos, and general booth equipment (lights, cloths, cords, monitors, wire wrap samples, and other sundries). That should keep me busy for a while.

I also updated all my online documentation recently, including quite a bit of new content, and put it all on a new Downloads page. It includes all the schematics, software, wire lists, Verilog models, PC tools, and anything else I could think of.

As one door closes, another opens, and I’ve begun thinking harder about my next project. One practical question I’m unsure how to answer is where I should write about it. I’ve really enjoyed logging my progress with BMOW here, and the great comments and dicussions it’s led to with like-minded people all over the world. I definitely want to keep that going for my next project, but is this the right place to do it? Right there at the top of the page it says “Big Mess o’ Wires”. Do I start a new site? Do I keep adding to this site, even though newer entries will be unrelated to BMOW? If so, how will future visitors understand what’s going on, or realize that there even was a machine that came before the new one?

My current thinking is to redefine “Big Mess o’ Wires” as referring generically to any electronics project of mine, since they’re all big messes of wires in one way or another. Then retroactively rename BMOW to BMOW I or BMOW Classic or something stupid, and turn this site into more of a catalog of various projects, including BMOW I. It’s also probably about time to get a real URL for this thing, instead of hanging off my content-free personal web site. Sadly, is already taken (curse you, Broward Meals on Wheels!). Other options like seem a little verbose, and I know from my site statistics that most visitors incorrectly insert the “f” in “of” when doing a search. Maybe a .net, .org, or .info domain? Or maybe it’s fine just the way it is.

Read 4 comments and join the conversation 

4 Comments so far

  1. lee - April 22nd, 2009 3:05 pm

    How about – turning BMOW upside down!



  2. CompaniaHill - April 29th, 2009 7:55 am

    I just discovered this site while looking for character bitmaps, and found your January 8th 2009 “Fun with Fonts” entry about 8×16 chars. You may be interested to learn that the PLATO system used 8×16 chars throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. If you are interested, see for some folks who are still running (emulating) a classic PLATO system, or email me and I can send you a bitmap of their default 8×16 system character set.

  3. Phasma Felis - May 30th, 2009 10:37 am

    How about

  4. Bleack kendall - March 23rd, 2021 10:19 pm

    Good effort nice.

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