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Hardware Hex Editor

Bit twiddling
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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.

ytk, Sep 02 2014

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       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.
FlyingToaster, Sep 02 2014
  

       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" ...
8th of 7, Sep 02 2014
  

       arduino
pashute, Sep 02 2014
  
      
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