Ben Heck is always up to something, isn't he? This time the modification maestro has created a BASIC pocket computer from an Xbox 360 Chatpad keyboard, an Arduino Uno and an LCD display — a Hitachi HD 44780. It's a total blast from the past.
This little computer may not be the most grandiose of his creations, but it is no less interesting as he takes us through the process on how to do it. The pieces hacked from the new devices to create something old school isn't just to prove that he can do it (we all know he can) — it's to illustrate how even a little mod using old fashioned BASIC programming can still be used to interact with modern, real items.
In other words, the foundations of computing can still be relevant.
As usual Heck uses his video show to explain how he made the little device, and offers tips along the way. The top tip in this modification? Check the Internet: modders love to share, and whatever you might need could very well be out there.
Duly noted, Ben.
With his signature whimsical side, the "real" object that Heck tests with his old school pocket computer is a ghost with movable arms that's part of a pinball machine.
That's a relief. If Heck deems it worthy of "keeping around the workshop" who knows what else that funky little computer could control?