Category Archives: planning

Goodbye Nextthing.co

This is only tangentially about the GruePhone.  It appears that NextThing computer company has folded (probably actually ceased operation months ago)… apparently it has closed up shop and left a lot of people with outstanding (paid-for) orders unfulfilled.  This is sad on many levels.  It certainly sucks for people who are out the cash, but […]

Wumpus

In a flurry of activity, I’ve added yet another game.  This time the classic “Hunt the Wumpus‘.  It’s fairly faithful to the basic version, though the numbering of the rooms is different (still a dodecahedron though.)  For those not familiar with the game, you are an intrepid explorer in a cave with 20 interconnected rooms.  […]

GruePhone Lives Again!

Wow, it really has been a while, but improvements in technology have given me an idea of how to improve upon the original Dial-a-Grue phone. The idea is to use a small embedded computer, this time a $9 “chip” computer and actually embed it into a gutted phone.  From there I can use text-to-speech (tts) and […]

It’s Alive!!!

What I hope will be the final piece of the puzzle arrived today.  It’s a little adapter that turns a regular modem into an acoustically-coupled modem.  It’s intended for use when there isn’t a regular phone line available—you can strap this to a regular handset instead. I decided to do a proof on concept, just […]

Brains too small, make bigger…

I supposed I should have figured this out earlier, but there just isn’t enough SRAM for the zip interpreter to run the Zork I story file.   It is trying to malloc() approximately 30KB of ram for various data structures, and the poor little Arduino Mega only has 8.   It might be possible to […]

Ears and Mouth have arrived…

The key to making this project work is allowing it to communicate with the old TDD.  To do that, I’ve managed to acquire a couple of TDD modems, specifically designed to talk to TDDs.   The Intellimodem can even do Baudot, which the TDD does (at 45.5 baud[*]). More after the break

Grue Brains — the plans

Since my original concept was to power this with an Arduino microcontroller platform, I’ve decided to see if I can power it with an Arduino Pro from Sparkfun. Why Arduino? Why not code to the bare uC?  Arduino has got a nice IDE, which makes development easier, and it’s got lots of pluggable hardware that […]