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  • Making Belts With a 3D Printer

    22 Oct | 17
    • in 3D Printing • 
    • in Commodore PET • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    Just as the 40th birthday of the Commodore PET rolled around I managed to get a Commodore PET 2001 with the itty bitty calculator keyboard and a built-in cassette drive. The cassette drive on my model is some off-the-shelf cassette player that Commodore hacked up with a bandsaw and mounted under the lid of the PET. Old brittle belt Of course being 40 years old the belt on the tape drive had long since become stiff and brittle and broke into pieces when I removed the tape drive from the...

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  • Kermit on the JAIR 8080

    28 Aug | 17
    • in IMSAI • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    After bringing home an IMSAI with a JAIR 8080 board from VCF West it didn't take long before I wanted to get it connected to something else. As always, my go-to communications program is Kermit. Since the JAIR 8080 board is a little bit different than other S100 or CP/M computers, I wasn't sure if there would be support for the serial ports in Kermit already. After trying out a generic Kermit build I discovered that it was going to require actually modifying Kermit to add support for...

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  • Adding Solid-State Storage to an Original IBM PC

    14 Aug | 17
    • in Electronics • 
    • in IBM PC • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    After CGA Weekend it became pretty obvious I needed to do something about getting some kind of permanent mass storage installed in my IBM PC. I can't simply add an IDE hard drive controller since the slots are only 8-bit and in general IDE controllers are designed for 286 computers and up which have 16-bit ISA slots. 8-bit SCSI cards are uncommon and ones that can be used to boot from even more so. I've messed around with using the XT-IDE BIOS over serial , but it was very slow. The...

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  • Attacking the Demon in Multiple Regions

    20 Jul | 17
    • in Gaming • 
    • in VIC-20 • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    During June I was bombarded by an overwhelming amount of videos and discussion of the Penultimate cartridge for the VIC-20. Unable to withstand it anymore I splurged on an untested VIC-20 on eBay that also included the original box and eight cartridges and simultaneously placed an order for the Penultimate cartridge. While I had planned on getting a VIC-20 eventually, I regarded it as sort of a clunker because of the primitive text screen and limited built-in RAM, and it had remained low on my...

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  • Are you ready for #AppleIIWeekend?

    03 Feb | 17
    • in Electronics • 
    • in Raspberry Pi • 
    • in Apple II • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    The retro computing high score challenge this weekend is a special one! Unlike previous contests which were meant to inspire me to mess with computers in my collection that I'm not very familiar with and know very little about, this contest is about the Apple II which is the one I grew up with. 35 years ago in 1982 my family got an Apple II+ and in 1986 we got a IIgs. In 1990 I even worked on two different Apple IIe emulators for the NeXT computer. Because the Apple II is so special...

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