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Believe it or not, lock picking can and is a hobby (outside and away from the criminal elements), providing years of enjoyment if you are into that sort of thing. There are even clubs, etc. for this and competitions.
Some of the locks are quite exquisite and complex, resulting in a mighty fine puzzle to solve.
I was reading about how a Raspberry Pi (or is it Arduino?) can be configured to work as an oscilloscope that can interface into a regular computer, thereby using the computer's ... well ... computer to process the signal. I figure that if this is something that a hacker could do, certainly someone could make a COTS product. Any ideas?
I think Mike mentioned Pico Scope, I have used them, they are quite good, but I miss the clicky switched dials of a real scope! Pico Scope, the Raspberry Pi versions can work but I think having to hook up a screen through the HDMI is a little odd!
As others have noted, there are tons of "USB Scopes" out there, from the ultra-cheap (and limited in numerous ways) to the very, very expensive. In fact, virtually all of today's "standalone" scopes are not much more than a specialize sampling interface connected to a custom embedded system. Usually that system runs anything from some embedded (or not) form of Windows, Android, Linux, VxWorks, or even a custom or customized real-time OS.
If you go on Ebay or Amazon, and search for "USB Oscilloscope", you'll find a ton of options.
If you google the same - again, you'll find plenty. Some of the more interesting ones are cheap Chinese things that don't cost a lot, but have a decent amount of bandwidth for hobbyist use - anywhere from 20-100 MHz on a single channel (usually half that on dual channels, if that is offered). Most of these also have a built-in signal generator, and an 8 or 16 input logic analyzer input. Most of the time the software is Windows-based, but some of them have Linux open-source ports available too.
The downside of these cheap scopes is that the front-end - that is, the thing that samples and such - can leave a bit to be desired. If all you want is to check a basic signal level or maybe the frequency of a bit train or something, they are perfect for that. But if you are trying to figure out some kind of noise issue, the scope itself might have millivolts of noise on the output as-is, which is no good (so if you are doing serious work, pay for a serious scope).
Other items you'll see out there are all manner of USB Logic Analyzers, which are basically multi-channel oscilloscopes designed to measure and show a set of digital signals, within a certain bandwidth. One well known (and expensive) set of models are made by Saleae - they also tend to be the most cloned set, as well (mainly because their software is so good). So you'll find their top-end models, plus counterfeits (some of them will be marketed as particular embedded dev systems - because really that's all the Saleae scope is, done up in a fancy case).
Finally - if you continue to dig - you can find tons of articles, blog posts, Arduino forum musings, Instructables, and other instances of people showing how to build such scopes; everything from display on an LCD to dumping the data over USB and such can be found covered, using virtually every kind of embedded processor you've ever seen. And if you dig really far down, you'll find old text files on how to build such scopes using a PC, it's parallel port, and custom DOS software (back in the day, there were commercial scope offerings that worked in the same manner - just with a really good front-end).
Now you might be wondering what I mean by "front-end" - by that I mean the part that the scope probes plug into, and which does the actual sampling and storage of the data. It might be completely in software and just be a couple of analog input pins on a microcontroller. Or it can get very complex, very quickly. The better the front end, the faster things will be (more bandwidth per channel is always better), the less noise there will be, the more samples that can be taken, etc. You can find a lot of material out there on how to design such systems. When it comes to digital sampling and such, you also have to figure out if you want to use an external clock driving a ring-buffer of memory as fast as possible (then somehow read that memory using whatever you have for a controller), or if you want to implement something similar in software (there are a ton of ways to speed up a single channel system for a standard Arduino to get it to sample way, way quicker than the naive analog read command allows for).
It's actually a very complex topic, but one that also has a very long history (before electronic oscilloscopes existed, there were electric and electro-mechanical - and even wholly mechanical - systems developed to measure and visualize sound; they were all lumped under the term "oscillographs" - they were mainly a method to either directly visualize, using light or another means, the vibrations of sound, and/or photograph them (early sound recording on film and glass plates were an early practical use of such techniques).
Herself had a lazy morning - she was still in pajamas at noon - so I thought I'd do a Full English Breakfast, and we'd have that as Brunch.
Tomatoes cooked in juice.
Coffee / Tea
I'm having difficulty moving ... but that's good. Not something to have often, maybe twice a year at most - but damn good.
* I tried them Sous Vide** for the first time, with butter, thyme, and soy sauce, and I have to say they were excellent. Firm, but cooked and tasty with added umami flavour. Definitely will try again.
** As were the beans and tomatoes - not only does it make life a load easier and give you moist food, but it reduces the number of pans you have to wash up by three as well. Bonus!
Sent from my Amstrad PC 1640 Never throw anything away, Griff
Bad command or file name. Bad, bad command! Sit! Stay! Staaaay...
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