Vintage Computing in the New Year

Anything to do with New Zealand Classic or Vintage Computing not covered in the other forums

Vintage Computing in the New Year

Postby lizardb0y on Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:08 am

I woke to a damp, but sunny morning here in Wellington. It was warm enough, and it seemed like time to get things moving.

I'm starting by clearing out some space in my "workshop" a.k.a. workbench in the garage. Over the past couple of years the garage has sprouted a number of bicycles, an adult tricycle (my wife never learned to ride a bike, and quite enjoys the luggage space) and many more boxes of stuff than I'd anticipated. All this has made it difficult to use it for sitting down and repairing things. I've started this morning by clearing out some junk and moving some stuff into my storage lockup, and is enought to let me move onto step two.

The second task will be to clear off the workbench to get it into a state suitable for achieving my Retro Challenge Winter Warmup (in Summer) goal - assembling the Briel 8800micro kit I bought a few months ago. That will be done by early afternoon, at which point I'll move to step three; assembling the 8800micro. Once that's done I'll learn to program it :)

What are your plans for the new year?
lizardb0y / Andrew
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Re: Vintage Computing in the New Year

Postby tezza on Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:09 pm

Good topic.

Three things.

I've been writing a series of articles on writing disk images back to real disks. I've done most of them and have two to go. The BBC and the Lisa. Before I write the articles I actually try the methods described to make sure they worked..at least for me. The BBC transfer is problematic at the moment. I'm investigating...

Next, I want to see check out why the font on my comment boxes on my blog articles is so small. I might be using the wrong javascript link as the service I use (Haloscan) has changed hands a couple of time. They put in place legacy scripts but I might need to update (to Echo) in a wholesale way.

The third relates to the first one. I need to figure out why my BBC can receive data over it's serial port but not send it. Cable is wired correctly. I've tacked this problem before and couldn't find the answer. I know more now though. Might be time for a re-visit.
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Re: Vintage Computing in the New Year

Postby tezza on Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:37 pm

tezza wrote:Good topic.

Three things.

I've been writing a series of articles on writing disk images back to real disks. I've done most of them and have two to go. The BBC and the Lisa. Before I write the articles I actually try the methods described to make sure they worked..at least for me. The BBC transfer is problematic at the moment. I'm investigating...

Next, I want to see check out why the font on my comment boxes on my blog articles is so small. I might be using the wrong javascript link as the service I use (Haloscan) has changed hands a couple of time. They put in place legacy scripts but I might need to update (to Echo) in a wholesale way.

The third relates to the first one. I need to figure out why my BBC can receive data over it's serial port but not send it. Cable is wired correctly. I've tacked this problem before and couldn't find the answer. I know more now though. Might be time for a re-visit.


Ok, I've managed to acheive all three objectives. It didn't take as long as I thought.

All the disk imaging articles are done, the tiny font blog comment problem is solved (I did need to the replace the legacy code as I thought) and the BBC turned out to have a faulty serial chip which is now replaced.

What next? I'm not sure. I have a donated original Vic 20 Datasette I need to clean and test, another donated Mac Classic II I could try to fix (bound to be leaky caps) or maybe I should drag the scanner out and get a few more copies of NZ Bits and Bytes up on the site.
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Projects and Articles: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/index.htm
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Re: Vintage Computing in the New Year

Postby Carcenomy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:40 pm

I've started by restacking my 'wall of doom' - the massive stack of used BabyAT and ATX cases lining my shed. It was getting to the point I could add no more - so some had to come out to go to the scrap yard, and otherwise just set them in such a way that I have more room.

Found a couple of 386 machines, a couple of 486 machines and an XT in the process which I'd totally forgotten I had! :)

Where to for the rest of the year? Finish arranging my gear then do the big Windows install.
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
eisa on Trademe. A lasting reminder of a Compaq fetish when I was younger.
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Re: Vintage Computing in the New Year

Postby Gibsaw on Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:06 pm

I was quite encouraged by the success with the europlus, so my agenda for the new year, (should I have time to accept it) is to gradually tidy up my computer area where I can actually walk in the room.

On the computer front, I want to slowly repair the IIe platinum, hopefully without blowing up any more chips.

I've also got a "Magnum PC" XT that needs a keyboard repair and a low level format of the MFM hard disk, so we can all imagine the series of events that will enable this to happen. (Keyboard repair, cleaning the 360k drive, Building 360k boot disks, low level format of disk etc.)

Then there's a 386sx laptop which "kinda" seems to go, but needs a new screen backlight/inverter, hard disk, BIOS battery etc..

Also, I've written (in "C") a minimal graphics library for the Apple II, which is fast compared to implementing the routines in the interpreted basic, but still slower than the built in ROM routines. I aim to convert more parts of it (the pixel plot calculations and lookup tables) to pure assembly, and implement the case specific optimisations (horizontal line draw, vertical line draw etc)

Hours of fun... Doubt I'll get time to do any of it. :)
"dsakey" on trademe. Apple II's are my thing.
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