• Testing an 8-Bit Microprocessor on a Breadboard

    05 Oct | 15
    • in Electronics • 
    • in Retro • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    One of the retro computer mailing lists I’m on recently had a side project go by about building a single board computer using a Hitachi HD63C09P 8-bit processor which is a descendant of the Motorola 6809. I followed along with interest and there were some small PCBs designed and when it got to the testing phase the project stalled because they couldn’t get the 63C09 to start up. For some reason the crystal wouldn’t start oscillating, or when using a full can oscillator the E...

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  • Bug fixes and new features for ninepin

    18 Aug | 15
    • in Raspberry Pi • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    Adventure games via Periscope Over the weekend I was having some fun with Periscope and having people join in while I played some old graphic text adventures. Remember graphic text adventures? They were text based adventure games but would show a picture above the text so you didn’t have to use your imagination as hard. You still have to type commands and read descriptions. Because of their slow pace I thought they would lend themselves well to a little bit of interaction while...

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  • Adding a Hard Drive to an Original IBM PC Using a Raspberry Pi

    09 Aug | 15
    • in Raspberry Pi • 
    • in IBM PC • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    My rev B IBM PC 5150 A couple of months ago I moved my IBM PC into the living room thinking that with a more prominent location I would use it more often. It’s fun to try out ancient software, or use the PC to connect to the occasional surviving BBS. I also like tinkering trying to use the PC to access the modern internet, or at least see if I can. I definitely won't be playing YouTube videos on it, but I can read reddit, or search Google. Because of the nice keyboard and no...

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  • Lighting Fireworks With a Raspberry Pi

    09 Jul | 15
    • in Fireworks • 
    • in Electronics • 
    • in Raspberry Pi • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    A couple of months ago I purchased several relay boards and switching power supplies off eBay with the plan to re-use one of my original (256 megs of RAM and no mounting holes) Raspberry Pi model B computers as a sprinkler controller. The parts arrived and I set them aside expecting to have time to work on the project after the 4th of July. About two weeks before the 4th though I realized if I got the project assembled in time I could use the sprinkler controller as a fireworks controller. ...

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  • Emulating an old HP-IB disk drive with HPDrive

    14 Jun | 15
    • in Retro • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    It'll never work like that! I bought a National Instruments AT-GPIB IEEE-488 ISA card last year intending to use it with HPDrive so that I could make an old PC pretend to be an HP-IB hard disk. I installed the HP-IB card in the old KT7A-RAID computer I’ve been using for doing lots of other retro things. Unfortunately the card had to go all the way at the end and the HP-IB connector was too large to fit on there which meant swapping the motherboard into a different case that...

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