Found a disk labelled "Games" in the CP/M boxes. The floppy drive started playing up again before I could start Zork though. I think I'm going to need to swap the mechanism over from the external drive.

This box of floppy disks I've found certainly is from a very specific period of history.

Finally started catching up on my tech reading. Looks like this CP/M thing is going to be huge!

Deeply disappointed in myself for apparently no longer having any way to attach a keyboard to a PC with an AT-type keyboard socket.

You'd think I'd still have an AT keyboard, or an adaptor in a drawer, wouldn't you?

It's time!

While my mum is moving house, I'm babysitting and doing any required maintenance on her partner's stash of old computers.

There's some interesting stuff there - a ZX81, a Spectrum 4k (with funky microdrive) ... and this one weird beast. I don't know a lot about it, beyond that it runs CP/M. I've used it before many moons ago. I think it was the first thing I played Zork on.

Anyway ...

Kind of pleasantly surprised how usable a 35 year old word processor program could be, also still blows my mind a little that I could just casually send it into the background and open a command prompt to check something, in an environment from 1985.

So my mods aren't done yet, it seems. The coin cell I put on the expansion board in place of the leaky old thing isn't quite providing enough power I think.

The time and date is RETAINED when the power's off, but the clock doesn't advance.

Maybe I could just replace it with a modern board, they're not expensive. Not like 512K of RAM is a big-budget item these days.

I guess it's not really that critical that the date be right either, though.

Flawless victory - Gotek drive installed and working! Plus I have an external real drive so I can back up the physical media I have!

One of the other reasons I was excited to get the Amiga bundle was that I now finally have a monitor that works perfectly with the in 80 column mode, making it a practical terminal amongst other things.

Amiga 500, with original packaging and a 1084 monitor with the front panel door still attached. Only one previous owner, stored well for about 30 years. Now mine. : awesome:

I bought myself a desoldering gun! It's been on the shopping list for quite a while, and I saw one on sale last week. I put a chip on my "sacrificial" C64 board into a socket to test it out just now, and the process was as effortless and clean as I'd hoped.

I have some modifications to make to my C128 that I didn't want to attempt without proper tools, so I guess I might get onto that soon!

One thing that's definitely missing from my life right now is a serial terminal with an amber mono display.

Would also accept green, but man - amber is the shit.

Hey you, are you bored?

I recently ordered some 27C512 EPROMs from AliExpress and I just got around to checking they were all OK. Well, they seem to be - and they weren't blank.

Only 1 was a duplicate, two of them seem to be 1997 firmware from VCD players, 4 include possible device model numbers, and 3 I have no clue. All I've done is run "strings" on the dumps and look for obvious stuff.

Want to poke at them? Here are the images!

This looks pretty unimpressive, but I've been chipping away at a little framework to hang a simple C64 game off of for a while now.

There are no graphics defined, so the screen's mostly junk, but as of yesterday that's a double-buffered, smooth-scrolling display right there with a stable status line for score.

Honestly, 90% of my fiddling has been how to format the code and run the builds. I kinda know how I'm going to structure it all now though.

I kinda had to. Vice runs pretty badly on a 500MHz G3 though, heh.

I'm shocked that getting this far is even a possibility on this OS, it's very slow though.

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Well, I did a bit more poking around and I got a dump of the EPROM just fine, although I don't have any tools to inspect it really and I'm not sure I really want to dive into 8051 assembly anyway.

I did poke at the board with a multimeter afterwards, and there's no voltage at all reaching the CPU or RAM or anything - so it's probably a power supply issue. On the bright side, that suggests a good chance that the actual logic stuff might be fine.

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Mike, First of His Name's choices:

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