Résumé (PDF)

Weird Stuff

Citicar Restoration
My Instagram clone for vintage digital cameras.

Software Development

Instagram Clone (Python, Django)
IS31FL3741 LED driver library (C)
NT35510 TFT driver library (C)
Terminal Parser library (C & C++)

Hardware Development

Nikon lens adapter
The $15 Linux Machine
Portable Dumb Terminal
Mr. Robot Badge
Zip Drive Tower
Full Color Circuit Boards
RGB Gaming Coaster
Serial Fidget Spinner
Baud Box
A Wall of Circuit Boards

CAD Design

Silicone Membrane Keyboard
Injection Molded Palmtop
Retro-inspired industrial design
Quarter-Scale Retrocomputing
Hardened clamshell computer
3D Printed Tank Treads

Zip Drive Tower

What is it? It’s a tower of Zip drives, all connected over USB. This demands a picture, so:

Zip Drive Tower

The Zip drive tower is built from fifteen ATAPI Zip-100 drives. A custom board was made for fifteen ATAPI-to-USB converters.

Why build this?

There are two reasons I built the Zip drive tower. The least important reason is to build a RAID array, just because. This turned out to be just as useless as expected; the array is slow (as Zip drives are very slow) and in RAID 0 configuration only presents a volume ~1.5GB in size. It also draws about 15 Amps at 5V on startup, so it’s far less economical than a thumb drive.

The second reason is to start a record label. The rise of vinyl and cassette relases signals public interest in rare media formats, and it’s too expensive to build a minidisc duplicator. Either way, I can produce some releases for Akai samplers and MPCs.

Building the USB -> IDE Adapters

While new USB to IDE/ATAPI adapters can be purchased, they do not work with what operating systems consider a ‘floppy’ drive; this includes Zip drives, MO drives, and MD-Data drives. There are, however, chipsets that do present floppy drives as standard drives to the OS. In this case, I cloned a GL811E chipset by depopulating and delayering a board:

Delayering USB adapter

From there, a replacement PCB was constructed and new boards were made with New Old Stock GL811E chips. These USB to ATAPI adapter boards were then connected to a USB hub where they can be accessed by the OS.

Eagle PCB of IDE adapter

The ‘finished’ version of this project is a four-drive tower, with four Z250 drives, a four-port USB hub, and the IDE->USB adapters. The case for this tower is 3D printed, with a second case printed for SCSI applications:

Micro Zip Tower 1 Micro Zip Tower 2

More information can be found in the ATAPI Tower repository.