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Got desperate for a break so I decided to see if I could convince an old 486 system to boot. Had to yank out the hard drives and give them a bit of a nudge before they'd spin up, but they did!

Wow, remember Net Toob? The ultimate "bitcasting" solution?

Yeah, me neither.

So these look really nice and I'd love to have a Commodore-styled modern computer, but holy shit that's a LOT of money for an empty case.

I'm going to plug this thing into my precious Commodore 128 shortly, and hope I haven't made any horrific mistakes.

It started with deciding to do the ROM consolidation detailed here:

I have early ROMs with bugs, so makes sense to update them - but I've incorporated the switchless JiffyDOS mod to select a different set by holding down a key at boot instead of poking a hole in the case for a switch.

I haven't seen this combo done before.

Self-promotion: I have a little link aggregator site at where I sporadically post interesting links as I come across them.

If you're a person who likes stuff of that nature, I'd love to see your links too!

Hope I don't hurt my Commodore 128 tonight, as I'm going to combine this:

With this:

And plug the resultant wad of wires and EPROMs into the poor thing.

I have a bunch of little mods to do, I guess the key thing will be to do one at a time and test things frequently right? Or maybe just charge ahead boldly without a care ...

A bunch of parts for my arrived today, so I guess it's time to clean up the workshop and start work on my precious.

I've got a video RAM upgrade, new capacitors and while I'm in there I might replace the ROMs with some updated versions as I've got one of the ones with a caps lock bug. Strip out the RF modulator too? Why not? What other things can I do to it I wonder?

Now that runs on a Pi Zero, that's a much more tidy setup and I've got a Pi3 freed up to do something else with.

I really need a friend who's into 3D printing ...

Feeling a bit of a sense of achievement here because I didn't have the right transistors and managed to figure out a suitable replacement from what I had kicking around in a drawer. :awesome:

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Cleaned up this old monitor because it's a pretty good aesthetic match for old Commodore gear. It's got HDMI and VGA inputs, a powered USB hub built in, and speakers. I might try removing the branding and stencilling a CBM logo on there if I get the energy up.

First up I'm going to assemble a little breakout box for the cabling mess. If I can get the 80-column and 40-column outputs onto separate inputs and can swap them with the monitor controls I'll be super happy.

It's a hell of a mess here, but my is now actually working as a terminal for my main PC so I've effectively got three monitors now. I'm so cool.

There are a while lot of bare circuit boards on my desk that need cases, but my is calling BBSes!

It's been a long wait with many shipping delays, but I finally have everything needed to hook my up to a VGA screen, so I can have it on my desk without needing to accommodate a massive CRT monitor as well.

Next up, a serial line to my desktop PC so I can use it as an extra terminal window. :awesome:

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.

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Chinwag Social

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