Archive for January 26th, 2009

A Discrete BUF634

There happens to be an electrical integrated circuit (IC) called the BUF634, which is used as an output buffer in a lot of DIY audio circuits. In the past, this hasn’t really been a problem, but for the last year or two it’s been a consistent headache, as availability of the BUF634 has been unbelievably erratic. It’s not uncommon for the chip to be out-of-stock everywhere for six months or more at a time, which is extremely inconvenient, to say the least.

There are parts from other manufacturers which are a direct, drop-in replacement, and which in many cases not only perform better but are cheaper, to boot. The catch is, replacements are really only available for the surface-mount version, leaving designs based around the through-hole, BUF634P version stranded.

Now, you can adapt surface-mount chips to fit the DIP8 socket, but it’s annoying, not to mention off-putting to those (unreasonably) scared of soldering surface-mount components.

Well, there’s a solution…
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Published in: Geekiness | on January 26th, 2009 | 1 Comment »

Flavors of Conspiracies

I feel that one should never stop learning new things, which I admit isn’t exactly profound. But I also feel that, especially in the intelligence field, too many people are unreceptive to new ideas simply because they don’t trust/like/know the source. That’s crazy, I think; you can learn things, and gain new and interesting insights, in the most unlikely of places. (I’m not “reading webcomics”, I’m conducting research!)

Anyway, an interesting observation I stumbled across this weekend, in an unlikely place, and wanted to share:
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Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on January 26th, 2009 | Comments Off on Flavors of Conspiracies