Friday, September 27, 2019

Fall Vacation

I have been on vacation this week, as I stated in previous posts this week. I painted the living room and made a cake for the wife's birthday. On Wednesday and Thursday, I tried to get some writing done and I did, although not nearly as much as I wanted to. I started out thinking I could punch out 5000 words, but it became really obvious to me that I was just not in the right mood and brought my bar down to 2000-2500. Well, I did not even make that, I think I finally got 1000 at some point.

One of the things I did accomplish was I made a cable for my Commodore 128 that allows me to access 80 column mode. To do this you have to be able to plug a monitor into the RGB connector on the back of the computer. The problem with this is, no RGB monitors have been made for probably 25 years. You can buy them on ebay, but they cost a couple of hundred dollars with no guarantee as to how long it will last. There are basically three ways to convert this output to something a modern screen can display, a $15 solution, an $80 solution and a $200 solution. Someday I may invest in the more expensive solutions, but considering I actually use my C128 only very rarely, it seems a waste of money to use those methods. The $15 solution does require a bit of work and will only display in gray scale, unfortunately, no color.

For this project, you need two things, DB9 Male D-SUB Adapter Plate Connector RS232 Serial to Terminal Board Signal Module and an RCA video cable. Both of these things can be had on Amazon for less than $8 each.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071ZLNDYT/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B6J8TJK/ref=twister_B07B62BSWS?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1


The first thing you will want to do is cut off one end of the cable and strip the insulation off. With these cables, you have two layers of wire, so genitally strip off the first layer of insulation. There will be wire wrapped around an inner wire, covered with more insulation. Twist up the outer wire, so it is out of the way, then strip the inner insulation and twist the inner wire. Make sure these two wires are separated and not crossed with each other.

The next thing you are going to do is connect the outer wire to pin 1 (or 2 if you like) of the DB9 connector and then connect the inner wire to pin 7. This picture shows the solder side of the connector, I would suggest using the connectors I linked to above, it uses screw contacts instead of soldering, it just saves time and energy.

That is pretty much it, plug it in to the monitor and the C128, depress the 40/80 Dis[lay button and turn your C128 on, if all went well, you should have a monochrome boot screen.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Lancelot and Genevieve


I like this picture, I am not sure if it is meant to be Lancelot and Genevieve or not, but it certainly invokes that feeling for me. The world has turned against the lovers, the happy times are behind them and the road ahead is nothing but darkness, but still he protects her the best he can for as long as he can.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Yearly baking of the cake

I am on vacation this week. Yesterday was my wife's birthday. I promised her I would paint her living room for her, which is what I spent Monday doing. Yesterday I baked the annual cake, here are the instructions I followed. It was a pretty tasty cake.

Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 Devils Food Cake Mix
  • 1 21 oz. Can of Cherry Pie Filling
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tsp. Almond Extract
Cake Instructions:
  1. Place all ingredient in a bowl and beat for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Pour batter into 9x13 buttered pan
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes
Frosting Ingredients:
          • 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
          • 1 Small Box (3.3 oz.) of Instant Vanilla Pudding
          • 1/3 Cup of Powdered Sugar
          Frosting Instructions:
          1. Pour Whipping Cream into a large bowl, using a mixer, whip for a few minutes until peaks form.
          2. Add Powdered Sugar and continue whipping to mix on high.
          3. Just before you get stiff peaks, add the Pudding Mix and continue to mix on low speed for another minute or so.
          4. Scrape down the sides and check to make sure nothing has clumped at the bottom, mix for another minute.
          5. Frost cake.

          Sunday, September 15, 2019

          The world in pictures

          I don't just look at porn on the internet.

          Summer's end

          Well summer is over. I am told Montana is getting the first signs of fall. Here in Texas it is still a hundred degrees and probably will be for a few more weeks.

          Tuesday, September 10, 2019

          Hello Darkness My Old Friend

          I can't sleep, I hate it when I can't sleep. I have no idea why, I just woke up at 2AM and could not go back to sleep, I laid in bed for a good hour before finally getting up, hoping occupy my mind with something for a bit. That really didn't help, I just wandered the internet aimlessly, not really doing anything useful or even interesting. Even Reddit and Pintrest have failed to amuse me. This has been happening to me a lot in the last year or so, I think it is a side effect of when I was working the graveyard shift, when my peak functional time was around midnight. I think I just never quit bounced back from that experience. In some ways, living life like this is not a bad thing, if you think about it, you have half the world to yourself, no one bothering you with the useless drama that is their lives. On the other hand, it is also lonely and things you normally enjoy, like music, can become irritating, because it breaks up the quiet.