How to Install Win95 on an iPad

This tutorial will teach you how to install Windows 95 on your iPad. It runs on an emulated environment so performance is very bad. This is just a proof of concept, not a practical application.

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Windows 95 booting up on the iPad.

Things you’ll need:

  1. Mobile Terminal. You can get this from Cydia (source: cydia.xsellize.com).
  2. bochs.deb file.

Installation Instructions:

  1. Transfer the bochs.deb file that you have downloaded to /tmp on your iPad. You can use WinSCP.
  2. Run Mobile Terminal on your iPad.
  3. Type “login” and login to “root” using password “alpine” (if you haven’t changed it).
  4. Type “dpkg -i /tmp/bochs.deb“. This will install bochs.
  5. Once installation is complete, type “killall SpringBoard” to restart springboard. Capitalization is important.
  6. You will see a new bochs icon on your iPad. Run it.

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Bochs comes “pre-installed” with Win95 and Win3.11.

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Everything works. You scroll around using the touch screen.

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Resolution support is bad though.

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Solitaire is not a game that you want to play on an iPad.

Although booting Windows 95 on an iPad is cool, it’s not very practical. The emulation is very slow and it takes almost 3 minutes to boot Windows 95. Performance in Windows is also sluggish. I would estimate that the emulator is capable of about 33Mhz of CPU speed because it feels slower than my very old computer (66Mhz DX2).

Here’s someone doing the installation and demoing it:

Mobile Mouse for Apple iPad

I’m back in Kuching right now so stay tuned for updates soon.

The Apple iPad is a versatile device. With thousands of Apps in the App Store, there is almost always an App that does exactly what you want. And developers have really been pushing the possibilities on the iPad with creative and innovative Apps. One App that caught my attention was the Mobile Mouse.

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Mobile Mouse is an App that turns your iPad into a giant multitouch trackpad. It uses WiFi to connect to your computer so your iPad and PC/Mac must be on the same WiFi network. You must install the App on your iPad and a server software that can be downloaded from their website on your PC/Mac. Setup takes about 5 minutes only and it is very straight-forward and easy.

1

Installing the server software.

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Running the server. There are a few parameters that you can play around with in the other tabs and they are basically self-explanatory. The only thing you need to make sure here is that the IP address is correct and that it is on the same network as your iPad.

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Launch the Mobile Mouse App and you will be able to detect the server computer and connect to it. Your oversized trackpad is now ready for use.

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The whole surface can be used to move the mouse pointer. You can even pinch to zoom. On PCs, it will launch the Magnifier and zoom into your screen. Two buttons below are used for clicking. There are regions on both sides for scrolling. On the lower region, there is a dock-like interface, similar to the one found in MacOS X. This allows you to switch between applications quickly. For example, if you tap on “Firefox”, the Firefox window will come into focus.

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There are also special buttons on the top region that you can activate. The set shown above allows you to control Firefox with ease. You can go back, reload or favorite a page, stop page loading, and so on.

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You can even turn your iPad into a giant remote control for your home PC. Pause or fast forward through a movie, change the volume, skip video clips and so on. This is indeed turning your iPad into a very expensive remote control.

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If you need to type, it comes with a fully-featured keyboard as well.

Mobile Mouse is suitable for users who want to use their iPad as a trackpad because they do not want to lug a mouse around with their laptops. Or for those rare occassions when they need a bigger touchpad. Also for users who wish to control their home PCs. Instead of getting a wireless keyboard and mouse, the iPad is a more elegant solution. Mice and keyboards don’t belong in the living room.

Peltier cooler

About a week ago, I have never heard of such a thing called a peltier cooler. When my housemate bought a CPU cooler that cools using electricity from lowyat, I was very surprised and amazed. I kept thinking to myself on the way back home how such a thing can work. I’ve heard of using compressors and feron gases to produce subzero temperatures. But using electricity alone? You can imagine my curiousity.


Subzero 4G for rm50 at lowyat.

The main component of this cooler is the peltier plate. It’s a plate that, when voltage is applied, creates a a temperature difference between its top and bottom plate. In short, when electricity is applied, the top plate becomes hot and the bottom plate becomes cold.


The peltier plate.

The peltier plate does this by transferring heat energy. And the interesting thing is that if you reverse the polarity, the hot and cold sides will switch. The more interesting thing is that if you apply more voltage, it gets colder.


Stuff that came in the package. Heatsink with peltier plate, casing fan, microcontroller to control the temperature.


The peltier cooler.

This thing is very cold when running. It’s not like normal cool, but it’s cold. It’s like touching ice. If you can’t take my word for it, look at the picture below.


You can see drops of water forming on the plate due to condensation!

This peltier technology has been around for a long time. It’s just that it’s not too pratical for some applications because it’s not very efficient. Anyways, some links for further reading:

Peltier coolers

The heatsink guide – Peltier cooler information

Peltier beer cooler

A really cool piece of gadget. Pun intended.

UPDATE: How to make ice using your peltier cooler.


Put something hot on it and ice will form. Continue reading

Mp3 player resurrection!

I mentioned that I was working on a secret project. This is it. Here’s the full coverage:

I (or rather zhing) bought a used 1GB mp3 player for RM120 plus postage from KL. The reason the seller was selling? The volume control buttons were spoilt and the volume was stuck at 0. No one listens to mp3s at 0 volume I presume. That means all the player can do is store files. So he sold it at a “1GB thumbdrive” price. As far as I know, 1GB mp3 players are selling for around RM250-300 if I’m not mistaken.

So it was quite a bargain. But now to solve the volume control problem. I figured that it would take at most 15 minutes to get it fixed. And I was right, until someone came along and screwed the whole player up. And it took me another 3 days to get it fixed.


RM120 1GB mp3 player with everything working except volume control.


With backcover opened. Here you can clearly see (maybe not in this photo) that both volume control buttons are missing. Surprise surprise!


Dug deeper into the player to see how it’s like. The biggest chip there is the Samsung 1GB memory chip.


I found one of the volume control buttons floating in the player.


Testing out the volume control buttons. I managed to turn the volume up by shorting the volume control contacts. But it wasn’t a permanent solution because once the battery is taken out, the volume falls back to 0.

And then the unexpected happened. I went out to “ta pao” dinner and when I came back, Shih told me that the player is dead. He had shorted out the whole thing. Nothing works. But I know it’s not really dead. Probably the firmware was corrupted. Luckily I know of a forum that is dedicated to these kind of players. It’s at http://www.s1mp3.org/en/ and I started to browse for a suitable firmware. Let me tell you, finding the right firmware for your dead player is harder than finding a non-existant needle in a haystack. I didn’t find it.


Downloading firmwares…

Believe me when I say I tried over 100 firmwares and none worked. Uploading a new firmware is not as easy as plugging it into the computer and running a firmware upload program. First you have to short the pins on the memory chip to make it think that it has a corrupted firmware. It was very frustrating and the seller wasn’t being helpful. He said there wasn’t any CD that came with it.

Anyways, I found one firmware that was “compatible” with my player. It could load the menus and all that. But the thing is the buttons are all messed up. The play button became the next button, the next button became the enter button and so on. There wasn’t a play function! So I still couldn’t play mp3s. Without any choice, I decided to try my luck on modifying the firmware myself. I won’t go into details here, because they all involve replacing numbers. Read the How to fix your button configuration guide here if you are interested.

I managed to get all the buttons fixed except for the previous button. That means I can’t scroll back. But that’s not such a big problem. And the best thing is that this firmware sets the volume at a proper level! So I don’t need the volume control buttons anymore!


Plays like a dream! Hard work really pays off!

Okay, you might be saying that you’re better off with a new player if your player is in the same condition as my player. But hey, don’t expect much from a RM120 1GB mp3 player ;) Continue reading