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Archive: 2008

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Updated: March 8, 2020

January 2008
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January, 2008

Happy New Year!

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...once again correcting the Microsoft Mentality Press....

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20071230/31: Whoooow! That was a close one. When I first got Mythreal, John said "get a heavy duty power supply," or words to that affect. Mythreal has SCSI, Mythreal has an 060 accelerator, Mythreal has tons of stuff plugged into it. Mythreal is an Amiga 1200.

The words of the profit.

I had just recently fired up the Amiga Escom AG 1200 after an almost solid 5 months dormancy. Everything worked well and whatever I did, it was a bizzillion times faster than I was used to. Gee, I wish I could put that machine in my book bag!

I turned off the monitor and went off. It might have been the next day I was doing something like recording off the ThinkPad onto cassette, when I noticed the power light was not on on Mythreal. The light on the DataShield was on. "Hmmm...."

I turned on the monitor and sure enough, Mythreal was not on. I suspected it was the PS. So I went to take the PS from the Commodore Amiga, since I need to pull it part way apart to get the HD replugged in and it's down now anyway. But then I looked at the specs of the PS. 5volts @ 3amps, 12volts @ 100milliamps, and -12volts @ 500milliamps.

I then pulled out my 500's PS and looked at it. The volts were the same (important) but the amps were substantially more umphy. Namely, 4.5amps and 1amp. Hey, this thing is a heavy duty PS! So Mythreal is up again with John's advice in place. I can just read him now, "You got lucky." Recalling the time my PS went out on my FD drive -- it took the drive down with it.

So when you smell a smell you can't quite put your nose on, definitely investigate. It smelled like wet fabric, and when I finely pulled the PS I found the culprit of the strange smell I smelt before I found the dormant Mythreal. It is possible that the PS came with the CD-ROM for the Amiga 500, and that is why it is heavy duty, or perhaps the 500 just needed it.


I recently, well, I guess it's been a while now, acquired an 850MHz, PIII, ThinkPad A21p. I bought it partly for parts partially to see if I could resurrect it. It has a 15inch screen with an UXGA resolution of 1600*1200. I've gotten an HD for it and installed Spring 2007 Mandriva on it. A battery is now on the way as is a screw kit -- the LCD has had screws removed from the side and the backlights don't always turn on. I've been using it for several months as an at home machine, occasionally borrowing BlackDragon's battery), and some RAM sticks in the neighborhood of 512 Megs.

Franken Puter The IV.

Ok, the A21p is one of the Franken Puter Family of machines here at Noesis Creation. It's Name is Dampier. Yep, named after the famous and infamous, nefarious Pirate and World Explorer and Capturer of information on many cultures.

Today the screw kit arrived. It looks like it has the things I need. The coatings actually appear to be intact on the two screws I really need -- the two that go on the sides of the LCD. I am in hopes that when all is secure, the back light lamps will come back on when the lid is closed and reopened. Mostly when reopened.

It is nice to be typing on my 1200 once again. I hope to do lots over the next two weeks on it, before school starts up again.

Not so early morning.

It has been nice to be back. I've hashed this article out via the 1200, while spending time doing hardware on Dampier. A lost tape was found (Mia was planning to transcribe my stories to text that I had recorded live), been experimenting with BlackDragon (BD shuts off -- usually at the time I need it not too -- all on it's own, the question is why and the idea is to tell it to knock it off! ;) Lots of stuff is happening. Not to mention all the household projects -- so I won't.

The last few hours.

Well, it's about 10 to 8 (am) according to the IBM clock on the wall. Thoughts of all the museum pictures (I've taken pictures of actual NC displays) and the source morgue as well as other projects (LOADSTAR, eBaying, etc) are pushing back into my brain once again. These things faded from site during the past semester.

As the year 2007 is drawing to a close, I can only reminisce about the up and coming as the recent memories are Shakespearean in form piled high with Algebra and Trigonometry, and Word and Access, and Pedagogues, and other things from school.

Then there is the box. The box is full of a combo of stuff that either needs to be put away, eBayed, donated or simply dealt with in some way -- to get it out of the box. The box is like a door to the music room -- one must strategically slide between the box and the stool for the C64 in order to pass. It'll be nice to not have the box.

In the top of the box is an IBM wireless access point. You can plug it into the 10-base-T or you can put in two PCMCIA nic cards and extend the wifi network. I plan to do the latter and put it in close proximity to Samwise to extend the signal to the trailer -- it's hard to stay on the network out there unless I have the external antenna hooked up to the nic.

Lots to do. Lots to do. And, as the year winds down, and the clam of Christmas continues, let there be Peace and Happiness in your New Year and Years to come.


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February 2008

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

At 7pm on January 28, 2008 Xavier Gerald Crosthwaite was born. 7lbs 10oz, he is a healthy, baby boy.

Both he and the Mama are doing fine. He had a Billi Blanket when his Bilirubin Levels were at 16 and after much bili bed and blanket and his foot getting poked, his levels went from 18 to 14 and all is well.

STARDATE: 20080105: Back in the saddle again. I just spent the morning by the fire coding on BlackDragon in WinVICE. It was nice. I finally figured out the 10 Year Old Nexus and the Curio. Two plots that were close and yet were not clicking.

Warming my toes by the fire, the ideas just flowed clearly and freely. It was rather nice. The print feature on VICE is nice. Actually it is more of a printer setup feature. I needed to copy the math into the "what?" portion of the PRG. That's the name of the info part that provides a very, very, basic overview of the math and how it works.

While the maths were on my brain, I had three to copy over and I leave out the INT and the XCing variables since they are only for programming and not actually part of the math. I simply typed:

open4,4:cmd4:list «return»
close4 «return»

and a file magically containing the source code appeared on my HD. Ok, well magic is an IT term ;) It was actually in a file called grapher.out since I had it set up to output to a file of that name. I changed the file name inside the device settings menu and it still used the same name. I assume the change will be there, however, the next time I run VICE.

I then opened the file in WordPad and moved the window and scrolled the text to see the math. I then simply entered the math by hand into the explain part of the PRG.

Not the smoothest solution, cutting and pasting would have been nice. But it was better than having to scroll back and forth between code areas. I could have done hard copy or opened two VICEs and simply lined up the parts of the program and windows and copied from there.

To do that, at least what I was thinking (just printing out the file), I would have to copy over the network to a computer with a working floppy. Then go the 1581copy route. I have been deliberating upon the idea of getting a new drive for Back Dragon, as the cable for the floppy is torn. I have found the drives with cable, but not the cable alone. I have also been thinking about the whole process of putting a power jack in on this machine since it's broken (I'm in WinUAE) -- it was that broken power jack that got me in touch with this machine in the first place.

I had been watching A22m's on eBay for a while, and they were closing at more than I could afford. Then one morning I saw a new posting for one that had been disassembled with a bad PS jack. The seller said it was working, sans the PS jack but complete; it came with a port replicator that could be used to power it. It was at the right price as a buy it now.

The machine will suddenly pop off unexpectedly, or at least at times it shouldn't. Geogerbra did it first, then IE with Java, now eBay with IE or Firefox will do it. Loading radar images (Java powered stuff) will do it. But neither WinVICE, nor WinUAE will do it. Do you suppose the Universe is trying to tell me something?

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March 2008

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

The Mad Search.

STARDATE: 20080111: Having finally had time to get to the keys of the vintage machines over the break was really nice. I still have a few moments here and there, but my days are numbered.

During this time I finished a LOADSTAR project that I had started early last summer. I had it mostly done, but the final render was not what I wanted. There needed to be some serious tweaking. I got it done and decided I wanted to compile it. Since I was doing all the Honey Dos that have piled up from the past few months, I couldn't just sit down during the day and work on it.

I decided I needed an image of the BASIC-64 compiler and then I could work on it in the early morning AM sessions I was having. Well, all I needed to do was get geoBeap on the 128DD and put the image on a 1581 disk (the image would be a 1541) and plop it in the Amiga and send the file via the network to BlackDragon, who has been spoiling me with a commodore 64 with a 15inch LCD screen.

I did a little research on the web and found the information I was seeking concerning the way it could be done. It was on a little site called Noesis Creation. :/ You'd a thought that would have been the first place I'd look. Yes, I'd done this before and chronicled it.


Where is geoBeap? Well, that was indeed the question. I looked on floppies everywhere. Utility disks and partitions on the HD40. I didn't seem to have geoBeap. So I went to LOADSTAR, found the 2.0 geoBeap -- the disk was actually in one of the disk boxes for the 128DD. I had to break down and use Wraptor. While Wraptor is not easy to use, it does a great job. I sat at the screen lost for a while, but I eventually got geoBeap onto a 1581 disk and I was on the 128DD with geoBeap open and the BASIC-64 disk in the drive.

Something didn't copy correctly, so I looked on Arnold's and found a decent image.

This process took most of the day -- keep in mind it was a part time job at best, as I was off doing other things for the majority of the time this span.

The compile didn't go well, and I didn't have time to read up on the subject. So that part of the project will have to wait. I submitted the 10YearOldNexus to LOADSTAR. Dave pointed out that on the next issue of LS, there will be a new DotBASIC that he felt might suit my needs well.

I have some really cool ideas that popped into my head last semester. Doing math with graphs tends to feed this sort of creativity.

The early morning firelight.

Yet another peaceful morning at the keys of BlackDragon in the guise of, this time, an Amiga -- over the past week or so, it has been a commodore 64 in native mode and GEOS. Roasty toes! I am actually doing some of the things I've started out to do this year. I'm getting started on eBay again, I've gotten the latest PRG coded, I'm getting things fixed around the house. But these days are limited and will soon be coming to a close.

William Dampier.

Dampier, a modest IBM A21p ThinkPad, has been running Mandriva Spring Free 2007 on it for the past month or so. It seems to have problems with browsers. I run Opera on it, as it seems the most stable. I think the memory gets full and it has no way to flush it out. It will tell me the HD is full after files are removed. I have to go into the TMP folder, delete stuff, then reboot to get it to forget about the full- disk- thing.

MSF7 was not stable on Gandalf's install either. I told the installer to only use one partition and it didn't (on Dampier). There also seems to be an i/o thing going on with Dampier. I plopped in a 10gig HD to install Debian ETCH4 on it and it couldn't get through the install. I got errors on Fedora 7 when trying to install. Now the F7 might be a bad DVD, however, I only checked it on Dampier and no other system. Strangely, I've done the disk checks that come with Open Linuxes and never has a single one passed -- even on CD/DVDs I've done complete and successful installs from!

So this morning, Dampier's new HD is in Gandalf getting Debian ETCH4 on it for Dampier to update later. This install has taken quite a while and looks to be no where near done.

Meanwhile, I have not let Dampier stay off for long. I have not tested to see if I can close the lid down and get the backlights to come on. It should go well, but I just don't want to have to fight with it if it doesn't, not when I can use the system around the house and experiment -- it is just too new a machine. The screen shuts off (as it is supposed to) and moving the mouse or pressing a key pops it on. I shouldn't stress it, but I just don't want to have to fight with it as when it was off before there seemed to be nothing I could consistently do to bring it back up.

Perhaps if I turned it off for 45 minutes or so it would free up memory -- there are configurations that can get locked in a computer (I'm recalling a nasty shut down bug from Writer that you had to deal with if you simply powered your c64 off. It has to remain off for 45 minutes before the computer was usable! There are a couple of similar things on the Amiga. Usually most things clear out in 30 seconds, so I have done the 30 count before re-power and it does help.

Debian looks close, it has been at it for a very, long time. I got up at 5:30 and started installing and it is now 7:15. Kids are rising, the sun will be creeping in soon, and the furnace will come on. That is the time the fire goes out and the session ends.


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April 2008

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

From the Kyocera, possibly June or July 2003:

Windows 95 is now considered an obsolete OS. While game software, quite often will run on 95 and many educational PRGs run on as low as 3.1 (this due to an interest in selling to a large audience. Educational game sellers know that, if you have kids, there's a good chance you have an older system. This is logical and sensible), the rest of the crowd of software companies seem to subscribe to the latest and greatest camp, where you have to have the fastest, most powerful machine on earth to run their softs.

PDA-zapware proves the obsolesance of 95 as Win98 is required.

Back to the real world....

paraNexus is in the final testing stage as I ready it for LOADSTAR submission. It was born on the Epson PX-8 in Microsoft BASIC. It then moved over to an 8088 running GW-BASIC. Moving it over to the ThinkPad, I opened up a window, under Windows95, with the program running in GW-BASIC. I then launched X64, opened a disk image with The Tool on it and booted The Tool. I then moved the windows so I could easily see the code in the one with GW-BASIC and type in the one with the The Tool.

This worked well and in no time. I had a working version for The Tool. After saving this version, I booted GEOS, ran Grabber and made a geoBASIC program.

It took several camping weekends to add all the GEOS bells and whistles to make it a LOADSTAR worthy program.

NEWS ITEM: noesis0 gets a Personal Digital Assistant, a palm powered KYOCERA smartphone. In fact, everything up to this point was written using the palm.

...back to modern times ;)


Sun Set: STARDATE: 20080121:

On a night in December of '07, we were out and about, delivering girls to Girl Scouts and Antony and Gina to a fancy dinner, leaving Mia and the babies and I to our own plans. We had just dropped our son and his girl friend off and I needed to hop out of the van and adjust something in the back. My Kyocera had popped off my belt and was sitting in my lap. When I hopped out, it fell face first on the ground. The digitizer was spilt in several places. My PDA was dead.


Well, my brother had given that Kyocera to me 5 years ago or so. I only used it as a phone once -- when our old van was rear-ended in nasty three car pile up. I called 911. It worked wonderfully. Or at least that is my recollection. I was kinda frazzled and there were other things to worry about at the time.

My brother had emailed me a while back saying he had gotten spare parts in the form of a couple of other Kyoceras. I emailed him and told him what happened. We had been planning to hook it up as a phone as we need another phone for when Natasha is off doing things with music, etc. Well, Roy set me up good. He programmed a new phone onto the network and wrote up instructions to program it on Verizon's network.

I took the new(er) Kyocera into Verizon and the guy did some exploring and then hooked it up to their computer and it came back with "not E-911 Compliant." There was no way to get it on the network as a phone that can simply call and receive calls as it had to meet that standard. That aside, it would have been fine.

So then, I had to discern. New smartphone, or simply get another phone?

A Morning by the Fire.

STARDATE: 20080127: This morning, long before sunrise, I sat at the fire and watched one of the DEMOs from Tri Micro's The Tool. It was in the palm of my hand.

One of the things I had wanted to do when I first got the Kyocera was to get C64 programming on it. I found Frodo, but alas, it was for PalmOS5. The Kyocera had 3.5 and was not upgradable.

One of the things I had to decide when I found out about the E911 issue was whether I wanted a smart phone or continue with the Kyocera as only a PDA and still have a separate cell. I must admit, during the process of deciding, the thought of a portable 64 on my palm had crossed my mind.

Enter a Palm Trio 700p.

Mia, had initialized the whole idea of a new smartphone and had looked into what Verizon had to offer. But even with on-line discounts and mail in rebates, it was still too cost prohibitive.

I got to thinking, I had taken a used phone in and if it weren't for the E911 thing, it they would have gladly set me up with it. What would happen if I could get a used smartphone that had the needed capabilities? Well, I found one, a Palm Trio 600 that looked promising, so I called the Verizon store and the tech/sales person asked who branded the phone.

It was an AT&T. He said they used a different technology than Verizon and it wouldn't work. Good to know. So I went looking for a Verizon Branded phone and found the very same phone I was looking at before. It was a lot less.

The seller was a reputable one on eBay specializing in cell phones. It was before a three day weekend and it didn't ship till the following Tuesday. When it arrived we promptly zipped over to the Verizon store (there was a wonderful snow fall taking place) and got hooked up.

Now, my sync cable hadn't arrived -- I bought it separately. I borrowed Mia's and went to install the HotSync softs that support USB, as mine hadn't.

I could not find it. I had to DL the complete desktop. The one for Verizon was 41Megs. I went to install and BlackDragon got to the last part, about to finish up and pop! BlackDragon popped off. :( Major bummer. Try again. Same thing, same place.

I looked and found a smaller desktop 17Megs. The same. :/

I finally found an 8Meg one and got it installed. The desktop does not work, but I don't care, I use FranklinCovey anyway, and all I wanted was USB hotsync capability.

Now all is well in the land of PDA/cellphone/commodore64-dom!

Last night we listened to the SID DEMO I put together back in 1998 for TVBUG showing off the SID Stereo Cartridge and Stereo player. It was awesome! Having a little C64 with a real (little) keyboard is just 2cool!

STARDATE: 20080210: Well, a new project has been started. I have some ideas for new plots and the plan is to write it entirely on the palm in Frodo. I found if I put a .d64 file on the SDCard, and set up the emulation to do 1541 and always write to card, I can update code in my PRG and save. I can then select a new file from the images list, and it will update my image on the SD. I can then reload the image I'm working from and continue.

This may sound a bit round and about, but it really isn't. It is quick and easy. It is one more step for save however.


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May 2008

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20080217: Ok, I had Dampier shut down when battery hit the 5 minute point and I was in the middle of typing -- that's gone. What a year this has been, so far. Xaby Baby keeps us very busy, the twins just turned 7 and chaos is chaos as usual. I feel just a little tireder every morning. Thank goodness for espresso!

I've been trying to get E-UAE up and running on Dampier -- an IBM A21p ThinkPad. I get the usual 5 pen error that I don't recall how to fix. I did get it to boot up on the Picasso screen at 1600 * 1200 -- wow I can see one and a half pages here in Wordworth. Yep, I'm in emulation at the moment. I put RexxMast in the WBstartup and that seems to have made the Picasso run without crashing.

I seem to recall the 5 pen error being MUI with case sensitive issues. I did correct a couple of those, but then I found two MUIs on the system I need to go through and fix that. I'm guessing that will fix the problem. It'll be nice to have this booting.

I'm going to have to hide the panel as it messes with setting the pointer up and my page vanishes below it on the emulator.

STARDATE: 20080301: I am on the palm in Frodo.

Ok. That sucked. I have written files from three WPs and none have made it. I had written a great description, highly detailed, but then it all disappeared and one file craps out.

Maybe a new file....

I have tried BB Talker and The Printed Word, however those WPs save screen code. Or something -- NOT PETASCII or ASCII. The shift key on the palm has no affect in lowercase mode, so I mapped the phone key to the right shift. I'm in InterWord, and have typed up lots of great info here but it is not stable so I have little hope at this point and little energy around rewriting it

STARDATE: 20080322: Well, today is the first (Official) day of spring break. That can mean only one thing -- I get more time to do my home work!

Data Recovery or When Androids Get Hangovers.

I was moving a picture over to the Amiga emulator to edit it from the Treo. The Treo takes an SD card and I having been using a 1Gig ATP. It is a microSD that plugs into an adapter to make it a miniSD then into a second adapter to make it an SD card. You can also place it in a special adapter to plug into a USB port that looks like your basic thumb drive. It has a very, very high geek factor, plus it's extreme temperature resistant and water proof. I did the edit then went to put it in the Smartphone (Treo) and it didn't turn on as it was supposed to when ever a card is inserted. After a couple of poppings in and outs I pulled the adapters apart then re-inserted everything. Then it all worked ok. Except that there were now only the two default folders that the palm puts on them. This was bad, not only was there a BL of music files on there, but I had taken several photos with the camera that were not yet saved to the iMac. Major Bummer.

After some investigative hacking I came to find that the drive had the same amount used as before -- almost one gig! This was interesting as I had taken a test photo to see if anything shook out. I tried a couple of things that I don't recall, then I popped the drive into BlackDragon running Windows 2000 and ran CHKDSK on it. It found BLs of files and made the infamous FOUND folder.

Inside were 400 some odd number of files named FILE001.CHK, etc. What the hell do you do with .CHK files anyway?!?! So I looked on MicroSoft's website and found instructions on basically running CHKDSK. That's silly (read: stupid), it was like the whole open menu to "run" to type stuff in -- hey isn't this a GUI? Isn't the whole idea, to not type commands in? Anyway it was of no help -- I obviously already knew how to run CHKDSK. What I wanted was info on the files and what they were.


I am not sure if it is related to the Redmond that has the great UAE info, but it helped. Turns out that CHKDSK basically makes two files types: 1) the file is not altered (unless it fixes it, of course) and just gives it the filexxx.chk name. The other files are parts of files and should contain links to the rest of the file if it is broken up into two files. There are a number of utilities that can analyse these files and rename the extensions so you can use the files or explore them. One I ran had no options and found many MP3 files and gave them a .amp or some such suffix. It also found two of the JPGs I was sent from Anahiem. The other PRGs I tried didn't find any more.

Enter XnView.

I recalled that XnView displays header and other info when browsing and that was the tool I found most helpful since all I really wanted were the pictures. It displayed the pictures so I didn't even need the header text info to convert -- I just saw the pictures, then renamed the files.

I got all the jpgs recovered then went looking for the 3g2 (Quicktime video files). There were 5 I really wanted. I had forgotten the camcorder at Octavia's recital, and used my Treo to tape the event.

I found one -- that's all it took -- and discovered the header clue in XnView and that was all I needed. I eliminated smaller files before hand, but still had 400 some odd files to dig through. The original attack was to simply rename all the files with the .3g2 extension using the Amiga emulator (you can select all the files then right click and pick rename and instead of only renaming the one file the pointer is over as Windows does it, it lets you rename them all one at a time).

That started ok, but I am glad I did all my attempted playing from inside XnView as it let me see the header and that was what told me it was a 3g2 file. Once that first file was located then the others followed very quickly as all I had to do was scroll the highlight to the right and watch the right columns where the ASCII conversion appears in the bottom window until a familiar header appeared. Pretty slick!


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June 2008

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20080427: In the midst of end of semester time- crunch- mayhem, I'm in the dungeon typing on the Amiga 1200. I've been too busy it even load Frodo on the Treo and key in the right numbers for the Nexus I'm presently (read: should be) working on.

Meanwhile, the red on my power off button on said Treo started rubbing off. Any time anyone called and the Treo was in the holster, it would, more often than not, hang up when I'd pull it out. Needless to say, that sucks. Having the headphones to listen to MP3s, lets you push a button to talk -- waycool. I feel a little like I'm in an episode of Star Trek. But if the mic points down -- something I can't see unless there is a mirror in front of me -- as Mia says, it sounds like I'm yelling across a big room, and she can't hear me. :/

So when I travel via the big van, I pull the Treo out and place it on the center thingie above the engine for easy access. That fixes the hang up thing and bad acoustics, but doesn't solve the color slowly rubbing off the power button. So I got online to see what my options were. I found a case that looked promising. Speck brand's rugged case. It is a form fitted black rubber case that hugs the entire PDA and you don't remove it. It fastens to a plastic clip to your belt.

Now, it kinda freaks me out to have the PDA out of the clip when I'm wearing a seat belt, it seems like it could catch on the belt and -- you can think out the rest. So far, it has been fine. The clip part is not easily removed from belt while the PDA is in it, but pop it out and getting it off is a breeze.

The ruggerizer case has a hinged clear plastic cover that covers the screen to protect it. You simply flip it up to access the screen with stylus. This is indeed Star Trek Geeky. 2cool.

My biggest concern is, if I need to reset. I'll have to wrestle the PDA out of the case. Other problems with this design: you cannot use the IR port. The designers/makers blocked it with the case as the way it clips on to the belt holder the clip reaches around that part of the PDA. This was done to favor the vibrate switch. The SD card is also blocked from removal.

This is a trial period for me. I don't like the two blocks on the top of the PDA, but the rugged style looks cool and if feels great. Is it better than the other case that holds the PDA, protects the PDA, but rubs the power bottom? Time shall reveal all. Or not.


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July 2008

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

I once tasted Chocolate Pecan Pie, perhaps a German variety, but it did nothing for me. Then I went to New Orleans. I couldn't find non-chocolate pecan pie there, so I thought (the first time I had some), I'd just choke it down to see if it was any good -- they say (as long as you are not at a chain like McDs) that there is no bad food in that city. I loved it!

So enter my hand at it (and this recipe is not for the faint of heart), straight from the kitchen of the Cajun Granma:

Chocolate Pecan Pie

From Brian's Law of Food: Organic ingredients make for a better pie all around.


3 eggs
2/3 cup evaporated cane syrup 
dash salt
Ś cup cane syrup blend
ś cup molasses
Ś cup more evaporated cane syrup
1/3 cup butter
1 cup pecans
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 
pie crust (use your favorite)

Whisk eggs until smooth with a wire whisk. Add 2/3 cup evaporated cane syrup and salt. Again, whisk till smooth.

Mix the Ś cup cane syrup blend, ś cup molasses, and Ś cup more evaporated cane syrup, then add to eggs and add melted butter. Whisk till smooth. The molasses will want to stick to the bottom of the bowl, so a rubber scraper may be a good idea.

Spread the pecans in the bottom of the pie pan on top of the pie crust, then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the pecans (yep, they are not melted) or vice versa.

Bakes in around 50-60 minutes at 350 deg. Cover w/foil for 25 min. Uncover last 25 min. It may take as long as and hour and five minutes to get the stuff to set. It should jiggle like jello and not slop like soup before you take it out. It should look like the chips just floated to the top. This is ok.

Eat HOT -- topped with Coffee Ice Cream.

STARDATE: 20080603: Where to start. I have had brief moments at various computers doing various cool things. I'll start at the ok ones and move to the waycool ones -- which is coincidentally chronological.

On May 30th 2008, I burned a Ubuntu 6.2.6(?) PPC version and booted the old Mac tower with it! It was slow, running from CD, but not tooooooo pain filled. The next day, bright and early, I booted the old iBook with the same CD. Then the following day I popped the Knoppix DVD (fairly recent edition) into the iMac (an Intell, 2GHz core dual monster) and played many of the games and things off the CD.

Now, the really cool thing.

I have two speakers to put somewhere. I may switch the extra two for the stereo system down stairs as I need these two (homeless at present) for the Fisher -- it has a really nice turntable, CD, dual cassette, as well as a tuner. Any who, we had brought the system itself down when the old 20 inch TV blew up. There was no room on top of the stereo for the new TV.

To make this long draw out story even longer, I had the speakers, turntable and amp upstairs so we could listen to records. Now we've gotton some bookcases from an office move inheritance. One went up where the speakers were and two were video cases and they got planted in the dungeon. I managed to place them in the already too tight space, but now the speakers need to get out of the playroom. I had my temp school space there with a drawing table and computers, etc. The speakers made nice high platforms to hold my computers on while I worked.

Now that the class is over I'm reclaiming the space for others to use.

So what?

Ok, the studio, music room, playroom and annex are all laid out in a nifty keno geoPaint doc. I usually do the hard- copy- and- clip- board thing. Then I can draw on it and make modification to the drawing to see how things might pan out.

Having little time to simply sit and sketch, I wanted to put the Paint Image on my PDA. I printed out the original Studio G document (updated back in 2006). I did the clip- board thing and measured a couple of things then went back to the commodore 128D and updated the document to reflect the current situation. I then MacAttacked the file then saved it to a 1581 disk as a MacPaint. I went to the A1200 and read the floppy via the Amiga's 3.5inch and c1581, loading it into ImageFX then saved it as a jpg on Samwise (file and print server extraordinaire). I then plugged the 700p into BlackDragon, opened CardExport on the 700p. I then opened the folders containing the source and destinations and copied the file over.

It looks nice and I can scroll it up and down to see the place where I need to while I discern what to do with these blazin' speakers.

STARDATE: 20080618: The Long and The Short of It; possibly a review.

This is a review and it's most likely for me as I must have not listened the first time I discovered this, however -- 1581.handler does not get along with version 2.0 of ImageFX. Or perhaps it's the other way round. It is a hit or miss kind of thing. So I've found the safe solution to be to move the file over to the Amiga's native HD, then load ImageFX. It seems safe, as long as I don't access the 1581 disk, even if the handler is active. Although this is hardly conclusive as I rebooted several times before I remembered these two simply don't play well together. I may have never used it with it active while in ImageFX, although I do recall thinking, well it's running, but I won't access a 1581 disk.

What, pray tell, does ImageFX do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. In fact, that is what the Amiga does. It freezes. I may have rebooted to an unimplemented command (I should never get those, but get them more often than you'd think I should!).

As long as I don't open the 1581 disk from the ImageFX file browser, I have a stable situation.

Oh, and here are the pretty pictures ;)

The note above RE: Portable Computing didn't really get followed up whole heartedly as this was before the Mega STe, etc...


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August 2008

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20080608: I just glanced at my email this morning and saw what was offered by my favorite sellers on eBay. The things that exist for the C64 and 128 are just amazing! Do a search for redrumloa and you may just be astounded!

There is a card (cartridge) for flashing cartridges onto SD that supports 10-base-T. He offers the four game multiplayer adapter to add 2 more joystick ports. Looks overall a good place to send expendable cash, albeit the prices are not cheep by any definition.

I've been looking at running Linux an the Amiga, but to no avail. I did however find FreeBSD on Aminet. I DLed it, but with a fence project (you know one of those projects that you wind up with a fence when you are done ;) and summer music, and simply regaining the play room -- there seems to be little free time a head -- not to mention my life with a new baby! Perhaps I'll get to do something with this OS, but now's not time to hold one's breath.

STARDATE: 20080618: On a happy note (for me), the fence is to be done by someone else, mostly some people who do this for a living. And I can live with that. So now to our Yardsale (which will be over by the time this posts). I have found that computers don't sell at yardsales. Or do they. I had 10 or so C64s for sale at a yardsale, one of those huge neighborhood ones where everyone and their dog is selling. One person who came because of the ad, didn't buy anything, but was surprised to see them. This was several years ago (recall the Crosthwaite Mountain of Computers?). No one else bought any either.

I, however, have bought a computer or three at a yardsale (one of the reasons I go to yardsales). The Ivory Tower was a yardsale purchase, in hopes to plug the C65 in it. I'm glad I got it for less than $10 as it's a nice Linux box, but the C65 mb does not fit. :/

STARDATE: 20080726: The Procedure.

I have recently discovered Pocket DVD Wizard. It lets me move a DVD (movie) over to my Treo. The Core Pocket Media Player lets me play the movie. It is just too cool. Now why would you want to watch a movie on your PDA? Ok, you are on the wrong web site, better Google -- er ah, Alta Vista or Yahoo -- I mean, some place else.

Well, I found it seems to work well on the configuration I have set up at the moment with BlackDragon's HD plugged into Dampier. I use Mediamatic's CDVDplayer rather than Window's Media Player and it does the job. Well, I thought, I wonder if it works with VCDs. No.

Well, ok, so here is the hack.

You really didn't think I let it go at that, did you?! I also have DVD Copy (InterVideo). I made a working VCD with it once, and basically used it as a DVD player until I discovered CDVDplayer was on the HD in that usually nothing void called the value added folder.

First, I copy the .dat file to the HD. I then rename the extension to .mpg. Next I open DVD Copy and select the "from file" option. For output I select My Videos and file type .wmv.

I do both VCDs this way with any and all files. Then, I use Video Joiner to make one .avi file. Then I run it through Pocket DVD Wizard. This makes it easy to get the right size and settings. When all is said and done I have the VCD movie as a .avi file ready to copy over to the DCIM folder of the Treo. It adds steps but the result is 2cool.


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September 2008

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE:20080827: The Killing Gameshow.

I recall playing it for the first time -- Psygnosis's The Killing Gameshow. The author said the name was kinda based on something Steven King would write. There was this cool target practice animation that opened up the game -- the game came on two disks and really, it appears the entire game was on disk two and disk one was all about the animation. Which, while loading back in 1995, seemed to move along. But it really didn't and had little to do, if anything, with the game.

The premise was that you and other contestants are pitted against each other in life or death situations and you must survive in order to be the winner on this gruesome gameshow. Well, you can forget about that, since the game is really like this:

You are in a mechanical vehicle (a mech) that has legs to climb and jump up the platforms on screen, while water slowly rises up. If your craft gets wet or runs into any traps it will disintegrate (the getting killed part). It is a game of logic and strategy. If you explode, you get a second chance. If you do everything right, but mess up at the end of a level (or anywhere), and you have a life left, the level starts over and your little onscreen guy will re-run the entire course you just steered! You can sit back, but don't relax, because the idea is that you will jump in at the moment you made your fatal mistake and take over to steer the correct way.

You can now maneuver to where you think you should have.

Why now after all these years?

Well I got an idea: I have Froto on the palm, what about an Amiga? Well I Googled and found MyUAE, but it needed to be compiled, so I looked further and found PalmUAE. The latter might be older as it does not work with my Treo's KB, but the onscreen KB makes the real one a dunsel.

I made an HD image file. I have 40 megs free on my PDA's memory and 3 Gigs on it's card, but I can't seem to make an HD bigger than 2megs. :/

I got part of Intuition installed, then ran out of room -- it did a complete install though, sans the font packages -- what a testimonial to the AmigaOS!

I don't have a very functional Amiga as far as that install goes, however, I Dled an image of The Killing Gameshow and was able to watch the opening video. I also DLed the second disk that was made bootable -- I mean why bother with a long movie at the onset of the game when I don't have to? I didn't find it very playable bacause the joystick went berserk and I kept jumping when I only wanted to run. Maybe having mouse mirror joystick had sometime to do with it. This definitely requires more play/experiment time.

MyUAE v0.9

Well, I ran across version 0.9 of MyUAE and it is really a neat package. It does not yet support the Treo KB (up and coming), nor does it support HD files. The look and feel of it is very original but at the same time the E-UAE look is there too, with drive lights and such. It has a virtual KB that looks like a photo of an Amiga600 that is transparent and you point your stylus at to type. Waycool!

While these two versions of UAE have very different looks and feels, I did find that the PalmUAE was more stable on my PDA. It also supports hard drive images, albeit not like I'd like it to -- mainly letting me make the image a good size, since it doesn't seem to calculate the size correctly. I put in a 20 meg drive and it says there is not room enough, despite the fact I have 40 megs free on the device and almost 3 gigs free on the card. :/

This definitely requires more investigation!

Despite my homeschooling twins and a new baby, I have managed, with all the kids' help, to get everything pulled out of the garage, sorted and placed back in. I've trimmed some of the fat as far as boxes and packing materials go and sent the extra to the recyclers. I have actually started to eBay things once again.

Check it out!

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October 2008

The Specter At Ghrimdemere Place


Brian Crosthwaite

It was the last of it's kind. It was one of the oldest. The old house on the corner of Spice and Elm stood in regal fashion towering over the rest of the modest homes. It was far from an eye sore, but rather a beauteous ornament on the landscape.

In the early 1930's a field of house foundations slowly sprang into houses of every shape and size. The houses were very original and very well designed. They were not quite mansions, but many were two and three stories in height. Not far was a mart that sold the latest in sodas and comic books and also within walking distance was a library, an apothecary, and a bus station. The houses had spacious lawns and any trees that were in the field, still stood as care was taken to preserve the natural surroundings. Even the sidewalks that lead along the road were park-like and inviting.

These houses had remarkable windows that let light flood the house, no mater the weather without. They had stairways with book shaped picture windows that lit the insides of the stairs as well, and at night, the whole of the stir was flooded by a single low wattage light bulb that gently illuminated the steps.

Over time some people sold lots from their own yards for builders to put new houses, not so fashionable. But all in all the character of the area held. Over time, the house became empty. If a family moved out, the house going up for sale, there was always a buyer, but never a home owner.

At first it went unnoticed. Then there were jokes and the wondering. But no one ever looked into it. And so it went until almost all of the original eight homes and all the newer homes were empty.

The truth would soon become apparent one spring morning in 1973. An army of bulldozers and cranes with iron wrecking balls roared into the area and began a devastating plan of destruction. They hit so hard and fast that in the fifteen minutes it took the sheriffs office to arrive, most of the homes were leveled sans all but one damaged beyond repair.

It was Archibald Tupperman who had devised this plan, the end result was to be a shopping mall the likes that no one in the town had ever seen.

Bert Tener, was the occupant of the sole standing house. The house he lived in. He had been tracking Tupperman for a while, but couldn't prove anything. He eventually amassed enough evidence to convict him of neighborhood genocide. Tupperman had cut too many corners, which lead to his arrest and eventual conviction. The town apparently had not wanted the mall and had turned Tupperman down 15 years earlier. Tupperman's bitterness only grew with time.

Tener was the district attorney who made sure that this unethical method of doing business didn't go unpunished. Tupperman received a sentence of 35 years in prison with no chance of parole for at least 25.

The towns people were very angry at being swindled by this man. They loathed the fact that this beautiful historic district was demolished. Many felt as if the city had been bombed. Tupperman's fortune was dissolved in the process of paying off his swindles and cleaning up the place once know as Ghimdemere Hallow.

Bert Tener retired from his practice to become a writer.

Thirty years later.

John looked up from his reading to see something very odd. John had been seated facing the window, but buried in his book he hadn't noticed the darkness falling and the time slipping. This was not something he had ever seen before, and would not soon forget. The stairway windows in the unoccupied house next door started to glow. Out from the light, a dark shadow of a figure stepped out, rounded the corner and became a stark silhouette.

It was like a portal opened up and out stepped some dark specter. It sent a shiver down John's spine.

It disappeared. Soon it rounded the corner on the next floor, rising up then vanishing into the shadows just as before. Again it appeared one last time, higher up in the third floor of the house. It vanished and was gone. There was no more.

John sat and stared at the now dark house. It was a beautiful old house, made in the 1930s, the last of it's kind. It had been unoccupied ever since John moved in last May.

Next Day.

His ride arrived early and she came in for coffee and conversation. They talked of work and movies, then the conversation came to the old house. That's when John retold his account of the strangely eerie happenings of the previous night. "It sounds like a daydream."

"Perhaps you're right, it does seem rather odd."

Virgin sat listening. She was fascinated by the tale, but the time had come to go and all too soon.

They rose to their feet, headed to the car, and the rest of the week was business as usual.

Late one evening.

John found him self sitting at his reading chair. It was a still, quiet night. He had looked up pondering to see only darkness out his window. Little of the house next door was illuminated by the street light outside. It was a faint dark image that might as well been an empty field as far as John's eye could see.

It was during one of those contemplative moments when John was staring into the darkness that he saw it. The bottom window suddenly filled with a dull glow. It grew steadily brighter and soon, as if a door had opened, out stepped the dark figure. It was hard to see at first, then it became bold and plain as day -- the same dark figure retreated into a fading glow and then it was gone!

John's heart raced, he had seen the specter he had before! His previous sighting, no more than a dream, now emblazon upon his mind as real after this new sighting. He was not merely daydreaming. The thing was real!

When his ride arrived the next day he was filled with excitement at the first moment to share his sighting. "It was like a door was open and a dark figure stepped through. It was terrific! It gave me such a start, I was unsettled for at least a half hour."

"That is rather odd. Surely there is something there that seems a bit different than it is."

"What could it be? It happened three times at different levels of the house -- all on this side."

"You know, that looks like stairs. I wonder if that's a stairwell."

John moved closer to the window and studied the columnous windows on the side of the house. "You're right! I hadn't really noticed. Doesn't help explain what I saw. Perhaps I'm mad."

Virginia laughed, but wasn't sure if John was joking for his voice had a small amount of uncertainty in it.

The following two nights John watched the house as the specter ascended the staircase next door. He didn't report it to Virginia any more, but she could tell there was something else on his mind when they spoke each morning.

Until one morning: "That was Bert Tener's house. The writer who took on some real estate mogul who was trying to put a mall here. I guess the guy underhandedly bought up the houses, using roughian tactics and in one early morning assault on the neighborhood, basically came and tore most of it down with an army of bulldozers and wrecking balls. That house was the only one spared."

"You're kidding! Virginia, where did you find that out?"

"I was at the library, had some time on my hands and looked at the news archives. I've got more..." She opened her brief case and started rummaging, "hm, I must have left them at home. I photo copied some articles for you." She looked at her watch, "guess that'll have to wait."

That evening John set out to meet his famous neighbor, in hopes to learn about this strange mystery -- surely it could be explained and surely the person who lived there would know what he saw.

John went to the front of the house next door and knocked. The door opened and there before him stood Bert Tener. John introduced himself as the man's neighbor. They talked a while. Bert told John of the once beautiful neighborhood comprised of the houses by the same architect and the tragic fate, "it is a shame, really, each house was uniquely different. This neighborhood was the pride of the town. Tupperman leveled most everything, including the trees."

John could see the distant, yet still painful memory upon Bert's face. Finally John had to tell his neighbor of the strange phenomena he had seen for the past several weeks.

Bert sat thinking for a moment, then he said, "I know! It's my laptop!" He pointed to the desk in the corner and there sat an old Zenith Data Systems laptop. John had one back in the late eighties. "It must be the glow from the screen that illuminates me as I wind my up the stairs at night. -- sometimes I go up and finish in bed. Your ghost is only me walking up to bed."

Both men laughed, it seemed quite silly now that the mystery was solved!


The next morning Virginia handed John some photo copies, "These are the papers I'd left at home. This has all the markings of a great thriller story.

"A man named Tupperman deceived the town by buying up properties under various aliases, until he managed to buy most of the properties in the Ghrimdemere subdivision." John sat, anticipating a story he already knew. "He used money to buy out those he could, then strong armed others to sell, apparently he blackmailed a couple of the owners. He came at the houses with a virtual army of bulldozers and wrecking equipment, conveniently damaging a few houses along the outskirts -- people who wouldn't sell. The mayor stopped the demolition, but it was too late, they had demolished everything to the point of no return -- just to the point where the house, may still be standing, but no longer safe, in hopes to get to all the houses. If they were no longer safe then they would have to be torn down regardless, they didn't even have to finish the demolition of a given house before they moved to the next.

"Bert Tener's house -- the house next door -- was spared because of the rock wall that runs around the corner. He was the one who not only went after Tupperman, but he was the prosecuting attorney that convicted and sent Tupperman to prison. It was a huge mess." Virginia looked up from the handful of papers she was riffling through. "When Tupperman was released after 15 years, he went straight to Teners's house and killed him."

John sat listening, as if in a dream as Virginia continued.

"By then he was retired, spent his time writing. Tupperman came at night when Tenor had just gone up to bed. Tupperman wound up shoving him down the stairs. He tumbled all three floors to his death."

The End.

(c)2008 Brian l. Crosthwaite

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE:20080914: Emulator Heaven.


Ok, now that the awe has settled, this is what is up: I don't recall the impulse, but I found Project Tempest, DLed some .jag images and have been playing my Atari Jaguar games on my ThinkPad. Next came the Lynx, as in Handy.

Some of the ROM images for the Jag don't quite function as you'd expect and there is this address dialogue that pops up that I need to look into. However overall playing Jag and Lynx games on a 15 inch LCD is a gas!

I DLed Checkered Flag and it didn't show the road. Also the ROM image I found of Super Burnout doesn't show the road, but I found a Checkered Flag that does show the road so I live in hope. The one image I found that seems to work almost perfect is Zool2.

Ah! That is what I was doing! I was looking for Zool2 for the Amiga when I stumbled upon the Jag emulator. Now it is really impressive as emulators go, it emulates 5 CPUs (the Jag has five!) and it seems to zip right along on my humble 850 PIII. The sound kinda chokes but it isn't too bad and the over all experience is a highly playable Zool2 on my laptop.

Enter Handy for the Amiga.

Well, I've DLed Handy for the Amiga and that is the next great explore! Meanwhile I am home from school this semester, homeschooling the twins, writing and eBaying. So this should be an interesting adventure!


STARDATE: 20081011: Ok we were going go to Brunaeu Dunes last night but the freak October snow storm delayed our departure. Projects like my latest LS submission and several stories are now on hold. The weather does not look too good at the moment, so there may not be any early morning writing adventure for me for a while.

Allergies hit me hard this year, then I got the bug that everyone has. I have been avoiding the bugs the last few years, but I didn't this year, and it's a wapadoozy of a flu. It is basically a really bad cold and you get to feel bad for a long, long time. As my wife says, "I am sick and tired of being sick and tired."

I have yet to get Handy to even boot on the Amiga. Perhaps I should try booting in 020 mode. 020 mode is nice to have, I use it to boot A64, but I loose all that wonderful Fast RAM along with anything on the 1230 SCSI :(. But if I'm only playing Lynx games....

Falling back.

With the upcoming cold we get to fall back and gain an hour as day light saving time comes to an end. Speaking of falling back, MiamiDx would boot and I'd wait about two or three minutes for the connection to resolve something, then I'd get a dialogue box saying MiamiDx could not resolve DNS servers and was falling back on my IP as the host.

Well, it finally occurred to me (this was while getting an IBM wifi card plugged in and set up on the network -- this Ami is wireless), that I could get into the configuration and tell it not to look for the host name:

Go to Interfaces, highlight the interface, select edit, Go to interface TCP/IP settings, then set Get dynamic DNS servers to ignore.

The Next Morning.

Ok, we didn't go. So what about those projects? The LS project is a new Nexus plot that had been written entirely on a Palm Treo using Frodo. I visualize the math and see if my actual code looks like the math in my head, the problem is I can hardly see the code, the small screen has been a confusion. At least that is what I'm thinking at this point. I did manage to crank out the code before, but it doesn't quite do what I need it to do. I am an audio learner, but I see what I hear, add in a touch (or more) of dyslexia and my visual space is confused.

Anyway, I am thinking I will plug in the Treo and read it as a USB Mass Storage device and attach the .D64 image to VICE and at least list the PRG to see if it will help me crack through this problem. I have stared at that little screen and jumbled the fraction around and can only get close. I need the visual to overwhelm the audio in my head to see what the code is doing and what it is supposed to do. If that works I can then finish the code on the Treo.

I know, kinda strange.

My writing of GMSs (Ghost Mystery Stories) will most likely take the place of other morning writings. Well, bacon needs tending (we're camping at home!), and my latest story needs proofing, so I'd better go....

P.S. 020 mode was a no go :(.

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November 2008

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

November's posting was written in it's entirety on a Treo 700p using Portable Documents ToGo:

STARDATE: 20080502:

AC On The Go.

I semi-recently wrote an entire story in the Treo's notepad. When I finally got around to printing it out, I found that the file had not backed up to the PC all the way.

Putting into smaller notes, I was able to access it in full on the PC. When I finally got it moved into enough notes, it took up six files! While it is fun doing a text file in Frodo, it is not practical. So this (the words you are reading now) is a .doc file that is destined to be a test of what I can do on a PDA via ToGo.

STARDATE: 20080703: Another lakeside adventure. Actually, I've been writing a novel. I have spent early mornings on that and on the go time on Frodo exploring the basic circle in degrees and radians. I've moved my reading, Dampier's New Voyage and Treasure Island to ToGo.

This works nicely. I can use Frodo as a USB RAM drive to access all the files I'm working on with the power of a fully networked computer, or a computer on battery while camping. I can detach and take my PDA and type on the go when moments of free time might pop up.

I've been writing my stuff as well as re-reading Treasure Island and other files I have.

STARDATE: 20081019: Halloween is just days away, homeschool fills our weekdays, house painting fills my weekend, not tot mention weekend cleaning and some extra projects around the house.

I lost two weeks when this nasty bug hit me. All eBaying came to a halt and Halloween plans lay left undone.

I feel like I'm mostly among the living now. I hate being sick. We managed a field trip to a local Magic Shop. It didn't have much magic -- it was full of top quality Halloween props and tons of wigs and costumes. The girls loved it!

It has been a while since I set foot in a Magic Shop. I had hoped they'd have more magic out, but with it being October, I should have known.

I finally unearthed the TRS-80 Model 1 and hooked it up to it's PS. I'd gotten the computer ten years ago or more and had no PS. I got my hands on a PS years after that. I only recently got around to plugging it in after all those years.

It needs cleaning. It acts like the video plug isn't quit making contact. Hopefully since it is in the way it will only be six years before I clean and test it -- not ten.

I found it interesting, having had the A21p basically run out of memory, when the iNet was not coming in too well, the Amiga was able to get through quicker.

The access from Dampier running BlackDragon's Win2k was sluggishly accessing a web page and only the background color would load. eMail access was nill. When I checked my email on the Amiga, it logged in and started downloading. It was slow, but moving along. It was really slow when a 200k file was DLing, but it kept on going.

The router needed to be reset -- it perioticly blows it's mind and just needs to power down a few seconds. Now the Ami used to be on a 10-base-T connection, but I swapped that cable out for a wireless card to use the 100ft cable for the repeater router to extend the wifi range.


I should be experiencing great moments in Geek History since I have started selling the Apple //es after all these years. However my time is gone. I have as little extra time as I had before. Perhaps I shall discern more on how to go about moving them.

We are on Autumn break, but with Halloween prep and a new(ish) baby there is simply not enough time.

I've applied to be a poll worker. It entails all day election day. A prior training and I vote early. It'll be interesting, though a 14 hour+ day sounds intense, especially when sleep seems to be a premium.

STARDATE: 20081103: Halloween was a blast! Our homeschool kids had a party (Anastasia's party). Anastasia made a bingo game, Victoria made a name draw game, Natasha baked a chocolate cake that she decorated to look like a Jack o Lantern and I put up more decorations. Trick or Treating this year felt a little empty. Not at first, but when Mia and Xavier went home (Xaby Baby was asleep), Antony too went back. He has been applying to conservatories and the application process is intense. It was a bit odd not to have him along. :(

Octavia was spouting rederick when she said she probably wouldn't be Trick or Treating next year as she's getting too old. That is, until I pointed out that her 13 year old sister was with us, we crossed paths with four girls Natasha knew from Jr. High choir who were Trick or Treating, and that I have never missed a year of Trick or Treating. Such a silly notion.

Well, HSing has kept me from the Apples! One Apple has made it's way to a new home. 1 down, 3 to go -- //e s that is -- there are iic s out there in the form of complete systems. I've also got some A1000 mother boards and cases. Maybe I'll hold on to them.

So, now how to move this file to the web...

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December 2008

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20081119: Portable once again. Time at the keys simply has not happened.

I recall the feeling when thinking of the commodore 128. Seeing it at Fred Meyer. There was a time when C64s were at Sears, and K-Mart.

It is a warm fuzzy feeling. With a sharp pang of longing.

Oh, the current technology is fun, but there was a fresh innocents to sitting at the keys of a C64. A keyboard that had a certain feel to it, the warm glow of the analog TV.

With the parting of the analog TV, as we all go digital, we loose a part of ourselves. I grew up in a house that had two TVs. One color and one black and white. Those TVs now sit dormant in the basement of the house my Mom lives in.

I saw Sesame Street on both of them. It was that 20 inch Admiral color TV to which I first hooked the Timex Sinclaire to and later the C64. The computer sat on one of those aluminium- 1970s- TV- trays. It was a time of change, political and economic uncertainty, and -- bliss.

I recall the warm blue glow. I made cards for everybody and every occasion, showing them right there on the TV. I had no way to save the programs I wrote.

It was bliss.

Which OS?

So, which OS is my all time favorite? Preferred OS?

Compatibility, reliability and use.

That last one is loaded. Not necessarily ease of use, or even look and feel. I admit I love Wheels and GEOS. But AmigaOS also tops that list. These OSs also carry a huge nostalgia factor in them.

Pick one.


I love the whole point and click on the C64. I guess it represents one of the the first we- can- do- it- all- on- a- C64 things. It was witness to the fact that 8 bits is not really a limiting factor. Add the SuperCPU and one realizes that speed might be a limiting factor, but not bit count. Ok that's a 16 bit CPU but it behaves as if it were 8.


Hmm I would say Linux or XP as I do more on the PC than the Mac. Linux - I overwrote my XP partition eons ago.



Even over MacOS. But really the winner here is AmigaOS 3.1.

M e r r y C h r i s t m a s !


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