• To the BBC!

    14 Sep | 13
    • in Computers • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    A computer that I remember hearing about a lot, but had never seen, was the BBC Micro. It was a near mythical computer that "people in the know" would talk about. I really didn't know much about it, but it sounded very interesting to me. I always wanted one and now I finally have one. My BBC Micro My BBC Micro model B is the real deal, not a US conversion. Of course that presents a couple of problems. The first is the power standard is different, it wants 220/240V at 50hz,...

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  • The future of the Membrane empire!

    07 Sep | 13
    • in Computers • 
    • in Electronics • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    After doing a bit of testing, it turns out the only thing wrong with the Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer 2 that I got was the keyboard itself. I was able to get some schematics and I tested the PIA with a logic probe and manually jumpered the keyboard connector and I was able to type. This was both good and bad. It meant I didn't have to hunt down a long extinct PIA, but it meant I was going to have to repair a membrane keyboard. I took apart the keyboard to see how it was constructed...

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  • It's really dirty because it's TRS

    22 Aug | 13
    • in Computers • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    Feeling like I don't have enough TRS-80 computers in my collection, I purchased a Color Computer 2 from eBay. There were only a few photos of it and not enough info to determine which specific version of CoCo2 it was. The seller only took the time to plug it in and say "no light, as-is untested." I got it for a good price because of that, and I'm sure because it was really dirty. Once I got it the first thing I did was hook it up and was delighted to find it works! Or at...

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  • Video demo of the Pi acting as a disk drive

    04 Aug | 13
    • in Commodore 64 • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    I've made some more progress on my software that allows the Raspberry Pi to act as a Commodore 64 disk drive. I was amazed at how much more of the IEC protocol was missing from the documents I have. One of the things that I found a little strange about the IEC protocol was there was no way to specify how much of the data you want. Once you say go, the sender is just going to send it all. It turns out that when ATN is asserted it doesn't mean abort , it just means pause. Took quite a...

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  • Making a Raspberry Pi into a unified retro peripheral

    21 Jul | 13
    • in Raspberry Pi • 
    • in Commodore 64 • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    If you've been following along here or on Twitter or Google+ you've no doubt seen the experimenting I've been doing with interfacing a Raspberry Pi in various ways with several retro computers like the Atari 800 and Commodore 64. My first project was using the Raspberry Pi to act as a converter for a USB gamepad to turn it into an Atari 2600 style joystick. After discovering Eric Nelson  on Twitter and seeing all the games he was playing on the Commodore 64, I really wanted to...

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