• Making more circuit boards

    11 Sep | 14
    • in Electronics • 
    • in ZX Spectrum • 
    • by FozzTexx

    A cassette adapter works, but is less convenient It’s been a while since I last made a PCB  but I finally had need to make another circuit board. The board I needed to make this time was a simple circuit that would be installed in a ZX Spectrum +2B which would bring the record and playback lines out to standard headphone jacks so an external source like a smartphone could be patched in instead of having to use one of those cassette adapters. It came about because when the...

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  • Using modems without phone lines

    16 Aug | 14
    • in Retro • 
    • by FozzTexx

    Ever since I did BBS Week on RetroBattlestations , I’ve been wondering if there’s a way to use a modem without having to use a land line. It seemed like it should be possible since modems work with T1 lines, and T1 lines are digital. However when I experimented with it during BBS week, I didn’t have a PBX that I could use to interface to an analog line, and I didn’t have any modems with an acoustic coupler. I decided to setup an Asterisk PBX and get the cheapest card...

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  • Im not an expert on these things, just buy it already

    28 Jul | 14
    • in TRS-80 • 
    • by FozzTexx

    A lot of the auctions I win on eBay are for items that are listed as “untested, as-is, for parts or repair.” While the sellers will post lots of pictures, they often won’t do any kind of research or investigation of what they are selling. This is great for me because 9 times out of 10, the thing I bought actually turns out to work just fine and doesn’t need any repair at all. And with computers it’s not unusual to find some nice upgrades have been installed that...

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  • Youre not missing USB drivers, Linux hates your keyboard

    23 Jun | 14
    • in Computers • 
    • by FozzTexx

    Many years ago I decided that I wanted to build my own Linux kernel in order to make my own mini PXE boot kernel. I’ve done lots of kernel compiles over the years in order to enable and disable certain things, but had never built a kernel with my own empty config file. I also wanted to see if I could embed an initial filesystem right into the kernel so that I would have just a single file to work with instead of a separate initrd. Starting with an empty config file was pretty scary since...

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  • Those boards don't work ... unless you've got POWER!

    12 Jun | 14
    • in TRS-80 • 
    • by FozzTexx

    A few months ago I purchased a a TRS-80 Model 1 off of eBay. The seller had listed it with a $400 Buy It Now and $40 shipping. It had been up for a long time, and I figured why not and made him an offer of $60 expecting to be ignored or rejected. A few hours later though I got an email saying the seller had accepted my offer. A TRS-80 with monitor for only $100 shipped! But it didn’t have a power supply. I was hoping I could figure out a workaround. My cobbled power cable I made...

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