h a l f b a k e r y
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It looks a bit like a tablet, but it's covered with an array of odometer dials, each with a
hex digit from 0-F. They're grouped into bytes, and then into four byte groups, like most
hex editors. Next to each character is a thumbwheel that lets you adjust the character.
You connect the device
to your computer over USB, and load up a file. The dials adjust to
display the current section of the file you're looking at.
On the right hand side is a group of dials with an ASCII representation of the hex data (if
this proves impractical, a nice looking OLED display might also be acceptable). Page up
and Page down buttons let you navigate, and a separate set of wheels at the top both
indicates and lets you specify the offset into the file. An insert button lets you put in a
blank character at any point by pressing it and then moving a thumbwheel. A delete
button works in a similar fashion.
This has no real purpose, except that the sort of person who uses a hex editor would also
find this beyond cool.
||I love blinkenlights as much as the next guy, but this was how things like boot address were programmed (and you could do file edit too), up 'til the '80s.
||The joys of the PDP-11 ...
||Just about everyone couldn't wait to get their hands on a 80 x 40 green screen monitor with an online editor ... ASR-33's are cute for Steampunkery, but thumbwheel programming is incredibly laborious and (worse) error-prone.
||It's still used (or emulated) for some legacy PLC installations. Many early PLCs like the Modicon and Omrons had no processor I/O other than the "programmer panel" ...