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!
drive.chinwag.org/s/z3zk26tdgs

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.

@retrocomputing@gup.pe

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.

@retrocomputing@gup.pe

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Mike, First of His Name's choices:

Chinwag Social

Consider this a friendly, local pub. Make yourself at home, bring your friends, have a good time! Meet new people, have a laugh, enjoy the ambience, and the Oxford commas.