Saturday, June 30, 2018

RE: My newer acquisition

Okay so, after some testing, I discovered the C128 does seem to have some problems. While it still operates fine in C64 mode, in C128 mode it locks up and when anything is plugged into the serial port, I get machine code error messages. This is likely a bad ROM chip and the system does work sort of, so I am going to set this aside for the time being and focus on the Apple IIe.

I tore the Apple IIe apart and scrubbed down the plastics with a magic marker sponge. This worked pretty well, all the grunge came off including a sticky mildly greasy film that was all over it, my guess is it came from a smokers house, although it did not smell like it. I also popped all the keys off the keyboard and put them in hot soapy water for about an hour. While keys were stewing, I cleaned the rest of the keyboard, which was surprisingly clean, it was really just a bit dusty. After that, I pulled the power supply apart, thinking maybe is was just a blown capacitor, that was not the case, ALL the capacitors were blown.

I looked on ebay and found several replacement power supplies that were tested and working, two of them were $30. The problem with those two were the sellers did not have 100% positive feedback. Now I am not a fascist about it, but if you have negative feedback, it should not be in the last 12 months and if you have negative feedback in the last 12 months, it absolutely better not be for sending the wrong part and then not replacing it or even bothering to communicate with the buyer. So both of those sellers were out, The next one was for $40 plus $12 shipping, seller had 100% positive feedback, so I went with him. I should have that by next weekend.

After all that, I pulled out the keys and scrubbed each one down with a toothbrush. Most of the crud came off in the bath, so very little scrubbing was really necessary, but I gave each key a scrub and a wipe down anyway. You can see, it is much improved over the original.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

My newer acquisition

So my problem with the C128 was not serious, it turns out I had the 80 column button pressed, but I was using the 40 column video connector. As you can see it is functioning perfecting. Thank you goes out to the THOMCBM64 on the Lemon64 Forums for suggesting I try that before desoldering ROM chips.

The Apple IIe I bought for $30 arrived today, as expected it does not even power on and the internal speaker has detached from the case and the motherboard. The case is dirty as hell, but that is easily fixed with windex and a rag. I was moderately surprised to find both a floppy disk controller and an 80 column card inside. I suspect if I decide to fix it, I will start with the power supply.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

My newest acquisition

I recently bought a Commodore 128 computer. This is my third Commodore computer, 2 years ago I bought a Commodore 64 and last year I purchased a VIC 20. This was an untested machine, so I knew there was a good chance it would not work. Fortunately it did power on, unfortunately it gives me a blank screen with a green border.

This is far better than getting no power or getting power but having something weird like garbled video. The odd thing about it is, when I tried to boot it into C64 mode, it worked perfectly.

So whatever the problem is, it is likely not going to be tough to fix. I have not opened it up yet, I probably will not get to that until this weekend. In hopes of getting a running start on it, I posted these pictures on the Lemon Forums asking for help. Hopefully I will get some direction before I start heading down this road.

I also purchased what I think is an Apple IIe, the label is gone so at this point I do not know exactly what it is. This I know probably will not work and will probably not be repairable for any reasonable amount of money or effort. I have no idea what I am going to do with it yet, but I am not going to worry about it until after I have the C128 working properly.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Origins Game Fair vs Larry Correia

So Origins Game Fair uninvited Larry Correia as a guest of honor due to his political beliefs. Now I know some of you are going gasp and clutch your pearls, but take a deep breath. Origins is a private organization, they have the right to invite or not invite anyone they want. You are free to disagree with them, but that does not obligate them in anyway. For those who don't know who Larry Correia is, he is a right wing nut job who writes science fiction on the side. A few years ago he made a big stink at the Hugo Awards because he felt the SJW's had infiltrated it and was using the awards to further their agenda and that so called conservative writers were not getting a fair shake. What Larry did was put forward his own list of what he felt was worthy books written by conservative writers and got all his friends to vote for the books on this list. He tried this several times and came close to influencing the awards a couple of times, but his movement eventually petered out.

Looking at these events, it really is no surprise that Origins dropped him. He brought politics into the Hugo's and this upset a lot of people. There is a lot of cross over between gaming and Science Fiction Fandom, apparently many of these crossover people have long memories. In my book, I view it like this; If you shit in someones swimming pool, you should not be surprised when other people stop inviting you to swim in their pools.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


If you have not seen Sense8 yet, I suggest you put it on your list of shows to watch. This was some of the best TV I have seen in years. It is well scripted and acted, the story is engaging and the whole thing is very sexy.

Before I go any further, let me say, if you are a cynic who does not want to believe that love conquers all or you do not believe that diversity makes us stronger or you don't like hot sweaty beautiful sex, then this show is not for you, go back to watching Fox News or listening to Rush Limbaugh or whatever it is that makes you feel better about the world, you will not enjoy this show.

For the rest of you, this show is about 8 people who are spiritually and psychically connected and share their lives with each other. It is surprisingly emotional and intimate. Like many Netflix series, the show is full of nudity and sex that spans the full spectrum of human sexuality, I found the orgy scenes to be be especially arousing. Over the two season of episodes, the story explores how each of these people reacts to the situation and adjusts to having complete strangers with access to their most private moments and how this affects their lives and their loved ones. There is also a big bad leading an international conspiracy, but this is really just a side line to the relationship stories that are played out on screen.

This is probably the best TV show since Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, it is innovative both is characterization and in story telling and it is one of the very few TV shows I consider must watch. So put aside a weekend, get naked and binge watch this show, you will not regret it.