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Archive: 2010

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Updated: February 24, 2020

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Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20100125:

Ok, lets see..

Disaster! So I located the box containing my entire Atari 8-bit system. Everything, sans monitor (tv). I have it on a dolly with one of those big rubber bands and I'm thinking I should lower the rubber band. I don't. It's just for the stairs and I can jus.... the entire box flips forward and rolls, crashing down the 13 some odd, concrete steps. When the box stops the 800 and 400 are now under everything.

Now, the box did not explode -- no small miracle. At present, the 800 is setup with the Happy drive, cassette, and plotter. The computer appears to function, although the K key was sticking. This is a major bummer. It might have been worse. It might be worse. File this in the time will tell category.

I have resurrected systems that have been outside for 18 months, covered, partially covered and totally exposed sitting on a dirt road between warehouses, now we get to see how well a computer can survive intense shock.

I'm reminded of the 128 system I knew to be on continuously for five years, got flooded in a hurricane, dried out and fired back up to full functionality. It will be interesting to see how this system's plight will play out.


I think I need a USB port on the 1200. Once again I am writing on my PDA. It just seems easier than lugging a laptop along or going into the dungeon. With a USB port on the Amiga, I could x-fer this text directly to my online tools.

I had set off to the Orthodontist's Office with another that is WiFi enabled in hopes to look at the Angelfire editor from it's browser, but alas, the battery was dead as a doornail.

Speaking of USB, the current project (stalled by the massive project to clear crap out of the shop) is at the explore the USB ports on the R50p point. Are the pins bent? Is there stuff missing from inside the box? I am curious as to why things get power, but there is no recognizing of devices, rather there is no finding any device hooked up. The machine acts as if there is nothing hooked up at all. Strange.

I have moved The Antique Computer Museum from it's old home in geoCities to a new location that can do the binaries. I have not setup the binaries as it will have to wait for the shop project.


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February 2010:

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20100406: So much time -- so much time. Not that I have so much time, but that so much time has passed. I have been reading and watching films covering the subject of Hacking. From the informed, knowledgeable type, to the over the top paranoid, by teckno phobes. Various clashing definitions of the word Hacker and what hacking is.

One thing that struck me, and I don't recall their names, was a film that mentions two people who want to define the word two different ways.

One gentleman was a computer Anthropologist who was a hacker that wants the word hacker to be defined as those who seek knowledge of systems and share that knowledge -- this covers not only network stuff but things like, you know, computers themselves.

The other gentleman, at Oxford, writing for the Oxford Dictionary, wants to use the definition of computer criminal -- what the mainstream media says it is. You know, word definition through usage.

I am reminded of the Iroquois. I don't know how these people feel, but I can guess at how I would feel. The word Iroquois means the enemy. The Iroquois people, as some of us not so informed Americans have come to call them, have a different name for themselves. Perhaps, we could convince the guy from the states to tell the British guy, that we in the US have been using the words "Oxford Dictionary Writers" to mean "Assholes." Cos, some of them might be Assholes or rather Oxford Dictionary Writers.

We could start a movement on our own and after a while, whenever you called some one an Oxford Dictionary Writer (or ODW for those with a little tact) we might receive the finger in return. It's all in good fun.

But, how do you suppose the folks who really are Oxford Dictionary Writers would feel about this? Well, if everywhere you went in the US, people used those words, I'm sure they'd understand.


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March 2010

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20100406: Learning some history of phones and Phreaking has been interesting. I can recall cool numbers you'd call and get recordings or your phone would ring back. As a kid I recall dialing numbers to see what happened. I was hardly a phone enthusiast though and lost interest fast.

The touch tone was interesting to me as far as sound generation went. One blind phreaker in one of the films was fascinated by the patterns of phone numbers. I recall the same fascination. One of the earliest C16 PRGs I ever wrote was Phone Lines. It drew a phone pad and then drew lines from button to button of a number the user entered. It then erased the screen and redrew the lines. The C128 version (and the Simon's BASIC version) also played the actual crossover tones that could place the call if you put a phone up to the speaker!

But, alas, a Phreak I am not; a Hacker, only in the old archaic sense of the word.


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April 2010

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20100406:

Sup? Cables. Tones of cables and more computers hooked up! I managed to get the two A2000s wired up and running. I think the 1000 is all plugged sans that ever so important monitor cable (it's a D plug to TTY connection -- I probably have one on the color cart, I just need to look.

The first phase of the NC physical library is done. There are some boxes I still have to deal with. I finally opened the Apple boxes that have sat in the garage for the past 8 years. Now I have no place for the PC and Atari as well as the Apple libraries that are still in the Northeast Bay.

This is the very same bay that once held the mighty Crosthwaite Mountain of Computers. What a whorl wind of events the past 29 years have been, computer wise!

The Specs:
1982: Time/sinclair 1000: 2k bytes of Random Access Memory. Zilog Z80A, 3.25MHz Central Processor Unit Hooked up to a color Admiral 29inch Television set with a portable monophonic Realistic cassette tape recorder.

2010: IBM R50p ThinkPad: 1Gig RAM. Mobile Pentium M Centrino 1.68GHz CPU, 15inch TFT screen with 580 gig HD and DVD/CDr.

What a trip! What a trip.

I think of my folks' time on Earth, the early 1900s to the early 2000s. The things they saw. The changes in the world, and the technology in it. TV became the new radio. My family would gather for many shows that we seemed to watch on a regular basis. This was most likely more of semi regularly. I don't recall being glued to the TV on a regular basis -- with the possible exception of Saturday morning cartoons. (There were many we had to wait through to get to the good ones.)

Telephones, in my lifetime, have grown from one in most people's homes to one to two or even three, to cordless, to people in business with these huge cell phones to people with no land lines and only a cell to smartphones that can surf the web and open PDFs, view PowerPoints, maps, music and watch movies.

Wow, Watson! I really need you!!


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May 2010

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20100531: Well, I am typing on the Portfolio miles from WiFi and cell.

"Ah technology." Words spoken in irony, usually. When something that is supposed to save us time doesn't or when a call is missed or a phone is out of range. But, let's look at this as, well technology.

The Altair and ZX-80 seemed to enter every nerds life, even if we never got our hands on one. It was a nerdy dream to own a computer. Some didn't think that big -- computers were huge! Where would we put one? Our folks wouldn't let it in the house and - especially back then, when cars were so big -- it wouldn't fit in the garage.

But to see ads showing a computer like the Altair, one that not only fit in a single photo in a one page ad, but you could put on a desk in your room, gave us hope.

It seems like only a fleeting moment now, but it was a timeless moment, then -- they were off! The biggest race since the race to the moon (and we all knew what that was)! There were computers coming from places we nerds knew well, from having bought calculators.

Let's step this way for a moment.

The Novus Math Box. TI-31, HP-29. Electronic calculators. I recall the day my Dad gave me a transistor radio. It was his, and I recall looking up to my brother as the epitome of cool, and he had gotten one a while back. Dad sat me down on the porch and told me how to take care of it. I still have it and it still works almost 40 years later! It was, in kid times, several years later that we went to Skaggs; my brother, my Dad and I went to buy a pocket calculator. And yes, I do believe my Novus still works to this day. It's funny, my folks never seemed the ceremonious type, but on these two occasions there seemed to be some sort of "this is an important life moment" to them – your first transistor radio and your first calculator. These were new technologies, but Dad had built a HiFi and was somewhat into old a.m. radios and electronics.

Calculator companies began advertising computers. It was geek heaven! It was a strange time, the world events seemed like many scary Sci-Fi stories coming to a head, and perhaps many of us were distracted by technology or hid in it.

Remember those huge cell phones?

Car phones were cool, but only the boss rich had them, you'd see radio phones in cars in movies and that was cool. Those big-ass cell phones the size of old war surplus walkie-talkies were cool, but didn't happen along until the 80s. Back in the 70s we all had walkie-talkies, eventually CBs, then "excellent" car stereos.

Soon, many of these things became more common place. Cell phones got the size of a big wallet, and you could see business people walking down the street with them -- they were still large enough to see from a distance.


The Personal Digital Assistant was born somewhere amongst this madness. Not before many nerds, gone geek, had finally gotten their hands on a computer! The calculator wars folded into the computer wars and soon many of the nerds who wanted a computer had better access as the competition became fierce and prices started to drop.

Apple, TI, commodore.

Soon there were so many -- Atari, Adam, Kaypro, Osborne, Aquarius, Dragon, to name only a small fraction of the offerings. Geeks brought the technology out to the hobbyist within the masses, then business spread it to all.

I recall the first PDA I had, I must have gotten it in 1991 or 2. It was a TI and it was pocket sized. Large packet sized, it fit better in a brief case than in a pocket. It was little more than a calendar, clock and alarm.

It wasn't soon after, that I saw the Epson PX-8, now that was the size of a text book, and since it was a computer, it could do more.

To ramble some more, computers got smaller, the VIC-20 had everything under the keys, the Mac detached the keyboard and had it all in one box, including the display.

Atari went innovation, like commodore and Apple. Game consoles, many of us played on, where mere blocks of color moving around to meet our challenge.

The Newton, many say was great, gets canned, commodore decides customer service should be like advertising and does neither, Atari makes the greatest game consol of all time and provides no support for those who wish to program for it and thus, it turns out to be not much more than boastful-hype-ware with scores of great games with crappy to mediocre graphics.

These three shoot themselves in the head and all vanish, with Apple going almost a shadow.

Now you can loose your cell phone and your PDA since they are one in the same and are small. Laptops have gone from large luggables to Portfolio small wallet sized palmtops back to luggable 15inch and 17inch screens back down to tiny -- back and forth, back and forth. Multi touch input, Multi-core processors, phones via the internet, game consoles, with more computing power in a single console than existed on the whole planet 50 years ago (maybe even more recent). From such wonders as the commodore 64, the Epson Geneva PX-8, the Atari Portfolio, the Kyosera Smartphone 6310, to iPhone, the 9inch Dual Screen DVD Players, the iPad -- technology has grown, run amuck, shrank, gotten smarter, faster, cooler.

You can see and follow street views on your computer from all over earth on a small laptop.

Ah, technology.


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June 2010

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20100602: Speaking of technology.... I rose this morning hoping to smooth out a Ghost-Mystery story I had written. I fired up Strider, battery said 90%. Plugged in USB drive, oops!, need to remove DVD drive first, no matter it's usually smooth and it was, plugged USB back in, opened file, started perusing it when computer shut down into sleep mode -- Battery at 0%. Drat. No matter -- mostly subspace, I'll just whip out the Portfolio and here I am.

Time Line.

I love time lines. I've done time lines. is laid out, for the most part, in a time line.

I've done a time line here. But in the world of technology, time seems to stretch out in the current or last part of those lines, and yet it marches on. So...


As you can see, this is hardly comprehensive. I've hit some industry highlights -- that are of interest to me. Still, it is an amazing trail to today. And to think the overall basic concept from the very first monster computing devices has remain virtually unchanged.

* has one of these, but I didn't acquire them necessarily the year they came out.


Where am I in the coding world? Well, I am in the midst of many large time consuming projects at home. The Babys, now 9 have gone two nights sleep terroring, then Xaby (2) called to me at 4:30am. So my mornings have been short and unproductive. Add to that my ThinkPad's battery not holding a charge :/

I suppose I need to dedicate tomorrow am to the project I started several years ago on the palm for the c64.

I am planning to dive into the deep end in C#, as home projects allow....

Home Projects.

For over a year now, we have been clearing weed trees, pulling ruins, removing and hauling, measuring and leveling, and pounding, nailing and screwing. There are a few more things, but the end of the list is in sight. From there projects, for the most part, give way to the everyday. My morning usually starts letting the chickens out, and topping feeders and water as needed. There is still delivering of a baby on his rounds, as Xaby goes from crib to the Mama to a sister.

A couple of camping trips ago, I brought three computers so I could be completely free of plugging in. Last time I brought Strider only and got 45 minutes time over a couple of days. I don't recall what the project(s) was, whether commodore 64 or writing. This time round I powered up with 90% bat and it instantly went to sleep. :/

Thus the problem with maintaining old laptops. My latest project laptop is almost done, but on hold. The R50p appears to have a brand new battery. It has gone to Moxie for a trial a while back -- between home projects - with the intent to plug it into AC. Well, I sat down with my Quad and a Danish and saw no AC outlet handy, so I powered up, booted Ubuntu live and ran off DVD for 45 or more minutes. I think battery was at 75% when my time to return to the real world had arrived.



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July 2010

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20100603: I have access to three Atari Portfolios, and yet I use the one that looks like it has been trashed within an inch of it's life. Why?


Responsibility in manufacturing, is something I belief in wholeheartedly. When a company makes something, they need to be responsible about materials. Cheapo disposable toys, like party favors need to be materials that are easily recyclable. Things really need to be made to last. The people making the items on the line need to make enough money for living - a living wage.

On the other side of the coin, we as consumers need to be aware of what we are buying. I know this is hard. Hand painted chopsticks made in China may be made from a small home factory by a family who has been doing it for generations.

But when a US company out-sources manufacturing, they are taking US funds to make jobs over seas. And they do it because they can pay squat to the workers and the US Government agencies responsible for watching to see that people are being treated justly, can't touch them. In a the current economic climate, were jobs are hard to come by, it would be nice for unskilled workers to get jobs here in the US. Think of all the fossil fuels/pollution being consumed/exhausted by the process of shipping at least 50% crap from China to the US. Chinese officials say they want to change the way workers are treated in China, but it is hard since a job is a job when you are stuck in poverty.

We also need to take care of the things we do own. If we recycle or donate items we no longer need or want, this can help too. Think of the Nineties when people all over wanted to now how to use that c64 they bought at a yard sale. (I've moved over to an A22p STARDATEs: 20100824-25:) It actually spurred businesses like CMD and LCI to expand.

If you have something that is absolute trash, then by all means send it to the recyclers. But what I am talking about here is really the use and reuse thing Mr. Rogers taught in the 70s, 80s, 90s, up until he no longer did his “Neighborhood.” I am using the thrashed Portfolio for two main reasons. 1. It preserves the other two, one of which is still in its original box. It has had a hard life, but has more life two it, so 2. is just that. It still works and I can use it on a regular basis. It actually isn’t in that bad of shape. Over all the body looks close to new when it’s open. It’s rather scuffed up when you close it. I don’t think the feet are on it and both the latches are long gone.

So this brings the point of responsibility up again. Perhaps a museum piece should be in a museum. That way everyone can share the joy. Hmm, it does little than offer 3-d evidence of its existence if it is in a glass case. Now, there are hands on museums, where kids of all ages (as they say) can have hands on experiences. But what about the users like us, who have an ancient artifact that they actually use? I mean the Portfolio is a great piece of History and all, but it’s my easy to grab, battery powered hand held solution. It does what I need. I can’t afford a Netbook or an iPad, so where does that leave us?

Well, recall the stories of 3rd world countries where tractors lay dormant at the sides of fields long after the volunteers took the people into the 20th century with farming – leading to sand box water filters and other lo-tech solutions that actually make sense. This little box gives me a small device to move thoughts from my brain to the bitstream. It is an eloquent solution.

I can type up ideas miles from AC, take longer than my old batteries will allow and bring it all home and move it over via the parallel link the 770Z for emailing, posting, etc.


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August 2010

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20100830: The Obsession. Ok, raise your hand if you bought a computer for the sake of owning a computer. No, not because you use one at work. Not to do email. Not because you are a student. Those are reasons -- but are not for the sake of owning a computer.

Back in the late 70s and early 80s we wanted to own a computer, cos it was cool. Computers were these things only the nerdy kids had or got. Many of us, who grew up watching Star Trek and Hawaii 5-O saw computers in action: Spock, Bones and Jim gather around the consol, "Computer," it's Jim, "bring up all references to blah blah blah." Moments later the computer would spit out all known references to the info they sought. We all knew what computers were and what they did. They accessed databases! The next great search engine should call themselves "Computer" and incorporate those Star Geeks Spock, Bones and Jim into their logo!

Who knew Gene Rodenbary invented Googling ;)


Ok you are thinking of getting an old computer. Well, as with most things computer, we need to talk system requirements. What's that? You don't have the machine yet? Don't confuse things here. You need space. Empty space. Large empty space. You're gonna need an empty garage. A flippin' big, empty garage. If you are married, stick to your Mac and call it a day. If you are 35 years of age and still live at home -- you are the prime candidate!

You have decided you want an old computer.

There are two approaches here. The first is what I did. I got a brand new commodore 64 the year it came out. Then waited. That is my big secret. Yes, I was one of the early buyers of the greatest computer ever. The cost was little over $200. If I were to wait and get an old one it would have been free. Hm.

I bought most of my Ataris from 2nd hand thrift stores. I recall haggling over an 800XL. My first Atari ever. Marked $15, I offered $5 they countered with 10, I settled for 7.

The Atari was/is cool. I really like the machine, but it seamed kind of bland after hitting the scene with a C64. It didn't have much sparkle. Same with the Apple. There is something -- something about the C64. It just had this brain candy thing that no other computer seams to have. Even the Amiga. The quintessential extension of the mind, just doesn't quite have that thing the C64 has.

The un-nameable.

There is something that I've never been able to put my finger on. Something ethereal, something clandestine, something magical. That's it! Commodore put Christmas, chocolate, a warm spring day and adrenaline all in one computer!

So what is the alternative?

Buying a used computer. Ok, buying an old used computer. Or even a new old computer. Now and then, you can find an old computer that has never been or barley been used.

There are even new kits of old computers. The ZX-81 is around in kit form from

TV time.

I recall a few years back when WTBS Super Station was on your cable as channel 5. It was a standard. No matter the cable you got, the Super Station was channel 5. I don't know when this started, but programs were started at 5 after the hour and therefore ended 5 minutes after the hour. I rarely watched TV back then aside from "Yo MTV" which was followed by "Monty Python." I wanted to tape some Halloween shows to watch at a time that was convenient for me. They were all on Channel 5.

Every last one had the last 5 minutes missing. Hm.

Several years later CBS or NBC or ABC showed Hallmark's "Frankenstein" on two different nights but only advertised the first night. Hm. I taped it but never watched it when I figured out what had happened. A few weeks later, they ran Merlin. True to form, they only advertised the first air date, but this time I was prepared. I taped both nights. Ha! Hm. They ran the second show earlier in the evening than the first one.

This is precisely why iNet and Digital TV is a winner. Maybe if I had one of those VCRs you type in the magic number and it sets itself up. I've used one of those. 2cool.

end of rambling


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September 2010

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE: 20100831: Popcorn. It is an obsession. It pulls you in, it calls to you, you must have it. Ok, maybe not. But when you wind up waiting somewhere for tires or lubes, there is that popcorn dispenser. Why do we grab a bag? Is it the salt? Is it the artificial butter? The lure of free food? Just why do we all grab a bag?


My R50p tells me every time it boots up, along with 30,000 bug fixes and updates, that the new Ubuntu kernel is here. I am not sure I want to upgrade. Everything works so well and the computer is now getting to be a couple of years old. I'd hate to break what I feel is working well.

The default is to boot Kubuntu. In fact, I rarely use the Ubuntu install. It's a KDE thing. I'm just a fan of KDE. Perhaps I could try it on the Ubuntu install and see how it goes.... But not likely.

Amiga IFF sound.

I have been toying with the idea of mastering a new Halloween background track on the Amiga. I have setup a sound conversion utility on the Kubuntu system that converts just about any sound format to just about any other format via right clicking. I love right clicking and in this case, you really need the 1600*1200 screen res to see all the format choices.

A file requester opens up to select a destination. And, in the case of mp3s (what I usually convert to), a requestor box opens for me to select a frequency rate to write the file in.

But, alas, I used Audacity on the R50p and finally Audacity on the A22p. It was more convenient, or was to be. My battery on that machine is where the 770z's was a month ago, so there wasn't much in the form of portable convenience.

So what are these projects?

First it was clearing out the garden. Loads and loads to the dump. This began May 15 2009. A chicken yard. Trees felled, stumps ground. Trim in the house. Setting up a play house as a 2nd coop, building another yard (fencing), building more fences. Building a shed, milking a cow, moving and stacking hay, clearing out a garage. Irrigating and irrigating and irrigating and irrigating...

The list is actually more intense than presented here. Somewhere along the line I managed to unpack most of what is the now studio. There is a midi kb setup to an Atari Mega STe. The sound element of the studio is back in the studio. I have the R30 setup on a stereo to digitize tapes and records as well as a VCR to grab movie music.

I have been recording Halloween records to mp3 via Audacity. I've included some tracks from TV Tunes like The Addams Family and Star Trek.

The studio is back!


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October 2010



Brian Crosthwaite

We were motoring down the old highway 33. Yes, the deserted old road with the cracks and the weeds. Abandoned, a road to nowhere. Almost.

The old highway was not a straight line, but wend its way through the foot hills as if searching for a destination. Since the dam was built most of it was blocked. Buried under the reservoir. There is a small dirt road that attaches this end of the road to the town, but it is narrow and rough.

Carmilla and I were in an adventurous mood, as we often shared moods, good friend often do. It was late afternoon. Not just the day, but the month. Late October. The day was nice and warm. There was adventure and exploration in the air. We'd hope to get to the museum in Lancaster that morning, but one thing after another lead to delay.

The problem was it was 4:30 and the museum closed at 6. It was normally an hour and a half drive -- the museum would be closed. The windy old highway could get us there in 25 minutes, maybe a half hour -- if you could drive through.

That's just it. Could you drive through? There used to be a couple of big homes about half way. They probably drive in from Lancaster -- if people still lived there. The dirt road was only legend to us. Neither of us had seen it, much less driven on it. But this was the day of adventure! We'd drive along the now fishing road remnants of the old highway until we came to the dirt road. And that is exactly what we did.

It was only a 5-minute drive to the base of the cut off. If this connector was short enough, we could easily make it to the museum. But what if it weren't? What if it took longer than driving the highway? I mean before the dam. To our pleasant surprise it took all of ten minutes to navigate the dirt road and return to the old highway.

Darkness fell upon us as the road left the reservoir side of the hills.

"Oh, I remember this," Carmilla said, "the road straightens here for a ways. I think there is a farm -- was a farm here." We could see over grown fields in the passing darkness.

"I think they grew raspberries here," I commented. The field had these strange shapes, like domes with tendrils reaching out from them. Obviously raspberry bushes gone wild but in the dark, lit only be the full moon, they had an eerie, unearthly look about them.

The road continued up and down as we rolled along the hills. Then it happened. The engine shuttered and chocked. Carmilla pulled over to the side of the road right as the engine died. She sat there, looking down at the dash her face lit up by the dash lights with a look of disdain. "We are out of gas."

She sighed as she turned to me. "I'm sorry I forgot I was getting low and I didn't even look at the gauge. I was too occupied with the sights."

"I know. Neither of us has been here since we little kids." I responded. "Well, I guess the museum is a no go." We got out of the car and stood outside our respective doors for a moment, "do you have a gas can?"

While I didn't really see it, I knew her face light up, there was triumph again and a new adventure had began, "Yes I do."

She went to the trunk and I looked down the line of the side of the road. I thought I saw a faint glow from the horizon of the next knoll. "I think there is a farm house up ahead." I held my hand out and pointed into the darkness toward the faint glow.

"It could also be Lancaster."

"Could be. Either way I think it can only help."

We walked up one knoll and down another. It seemed like the land stretched as we walked, getting longer and longer. Any familiarity from memory was long lost. The bushes in the fields seemed tamer now. Almost groomed. It was now feeling late. Very late. I was going to comment on that very point, when coming to the crest of the rise, we both saw the house come into view.

"See, Mike, nothing to worry about."

"Nothing," I responded. We both picked up our pace as we got near our destination.

There was an old farmhouse. I'd say turn of the century, but that term no longer applies. Turn of the century before perhaps. It was old. It was immaculate. Three stories with tall windows on front with white pillars and wide steps. It reminded me of one of those big plantation houses. A place with a name.

What luck! A light was on. Someone was home. "You know, I'll bet they have gas. Farms keep big tanks on hand to gas up farm equipment."

"I hope it's not diesel," Carmilla stated.

"I'll bet they have both." It was more to comfort me. We figured no gas, then they'd have a phone. But that means we call someone.

It was dark and as we approached the steps, the light seemed to change. It was like a fog had lifted. Everything seemed brighter. "The moon is bright tonight." Carmilla loved night, but knew I was more of a morning person and it was getting late. It felt late. It was as if two or more hours had passed, but it couldn't of. We had only left the car 20 minutes ago, tops.

Music drifted from somewhere, perhaps an open window somewhere. It sounded 1920sish. Like it rolled off a Gramophone, there was an ambiance of sound with it, sort of like the hiss and clicks of a phonographic record.

It stopped. The moment my hand was a half an inch from knocking. I stopped and looked at Carmilla. She shrugged and I proceeded to rap my knuckles on the wooden frame of the screen door.

It was only an instant. I thought perhaps she saw us approach in the dark or perhaps she was just expecting someone, but a woman opened the door.

"Good evening," she smiled. "What brings you to my porch at this time of night?" It hadn't seem odd at the time. It seemed late in ambiance, but it must have been 5:30 at the latest.

Despite the bright moon, I realized it was raining and it began falling in sheets.

"Come in, come in," she beckoned us.

We entered the house and explained our predicament. Carmilla held the gas can out as I asked for gas.

"Heavens, yes. Here, sit. My man is out in the backfields. I dare say, he may return soon with this downpour." She must have guest our puzzlement, she added, "he has the gas key. Unfortunately, I don't know where he keeps the key. I'm sure it won't be more than half an hour at best."

We sat in her front parlor and she gave us chamomile tea to lift the chill and she served us raspberry tarts from barriers grown on her farm.

"The fuel truck came only this morning, so I know we have some to spare." She seemed relaxed most of the time. But seemed to get agitated at the subject of her man. We talked of this and that and the subjects changed often. She was a widow; her husband was killed in the war. I didn't ask what war. But it sounded like WWI. Surely not, it was the music we had heard on arrival that planted that idea. She was not more than 35 and though she dressed as if she was from a farm the 20s she was there in the here and now with us. At least it appeared that way.

The night seemed to be slipping away. Like when old friends get to talking. The clock tolled a half past toll and Mrs. Witherspoon pointed out that it was 11:30, "Where is that man," she whispered as she searched the room as if he were there with us, but she couldn't see him. Then aloud, "He must have had to cover the fresh cuttings." Then, almost as if reassuring herself, "Yes, he needs to cover the new cutting so they don't drown in this rain." And then she nervously scanned the room again.

I asked if we could use the phone. When she said she had none, I insisted we needed to press on and would get gas in town. "Oh, don't be silly, it is dark, very late and very, very wet." This seemed to comfort her. She seemed to really like having us there, but not in a needy way, she just seemed comforted somehow.

Finally she said, "Well, you certainly are welcome to stay the night. I can stoke the fire a little and get you some nice wool blankets and you can rest here on these two couches. I'll see to it that my man gases up your car and brings it here. That'll be nicer for you. Goodness knows he is dressed for this weather and you two are not."

She was right. Tee shirts and shorts and the rain was bringing such a chill. Perhaps I had grown accustom to the warm fire, it took little to convince me. It appeared we were spending the night.

I stretch out on the couch that was a little further from the fire, nearest the door to the room. The room was a library, Mrs. Witherspoon referred to it as the sitting room. The lamp burned low, it must have been kerosene. It was quaint -- the house had electricity in the center and only on the first floor. This was one of the things we learned during out conversations.

Carmilla was on the couch next to the fire. She loves the direct heat, and I felt better being near the entry. She was a sleep, I could tell by her breathing. I just lay there in a stranger's house awake.

Mrs. Witherspoon didn't seem a stranger thou, she was warm and welcoming. It felt a bit odd, none the less.

The entry to the house lie just past the entry to this room. It was dimly lit now that we had settled in. I lie there staring at the dark, high ceiling, wondering how long it would be before her farm hand would be back.

I then heard voices from past the foyer.

"I know that, but they need gasoline." It was Mrs. Witherspoon. I couldn't hear the other voice but I assumed it was her man. She seemed to be arguing, no pleading with him. I am not sure if he didn't want to part with gas, or if there was some other point.

"We can. They can take us away from here. They can get us out. They can help us," she pleaded.

Not “out of here,” she clearly said “out.” Like she was caught in a bubble. If this was her man, then where has he been? Why was he gone so long? What possible help could we offer them? It was all feeling like a dream. Like some surreal place all out of time -- out of sync with reality. I thought perhaps I was dreaming or maybe it was just the lack of electricity and all the antique furniture. I sat up right.

I rose up off the couch, surely, the time had come. We would get gas and be on our way. It was time to go home.

Lightning flash, flooding the foyer with white light. It was for only a moment. In that short span of time I thought I had seen the back or Mrs. Witherspoon and the front of her man. He wore overalls. That was my only sensory aside from Mrs. Witherspoon voice. I didn't hear what she had said, but I could tell she was still pleading. Why, when she was the owner, I couldn't say.

The floor creaked and as Mrs. Witherspoon turned my eyes adjusted to the dimly lit corridor. She placed her hand on her chest as I had startled her, "Oh, my goodness, you gave me quite the start." I could see she was alone. Had I only imagined there was a man here? She addressed the puzzled look upon my face, "I'm afraid he is not back yet. When it rains like this he has to cover all the cuttings and this time of year, well and his two boys, who usually help," she went on, “are gone for the evening."

She took my arm and stared back to the sitting room. "I'm sure it won't be more than an hour now. I'd forgotten his boys had gone." Her hand was cold as ice.

"I'm sure we could get gas in Landcaster," I argued, "We really don't want to put you out."

"No, it's no trouble at all."

Carmilla had woken and was now getting up to stand.

"Mrs. Witherspoon says it won't be long now," I don't know why, but I tried to sound reassuring.

"Oh, just a minute," Mrs. Witherspoon said and she hurried out into the house again.

I'm not quire sure I heard this or if it were my mind playing with the white noise of the storm, "James, please come to your senses. We can help them and they can help us."

Carmilla said she was ready to forge the storm, "I think we have been here long enough. Mrs. Witherspoon is nice and all, but I have a strange felling about being here. A sort of urgency to leave." She put her hand on my arm, "I want to go now." Her hand was warm and it really showed the contrast of the icy touch of Mrs. Witherspoon.

Just then Mrs. Witherspoon returned to the room, "James is back!" She held out the key. At first she looked like a little girl who was about to open the biggest birthday present, then her expression changed to one of despair as if she had remembered some painful memory long forgotten. She looked like she aged 50 years.

"James can't come with us." She blushed and corrected herself, "To get the gas, of course." But there was more on her mind. She fidgeted and seemed to take a breath, "Ah, a small thing really. I'd like to come with you." It was as if on queue lightning flashed upon her face and for in instant in the bright intensity, I could not see her.

It was as if she were not there. But in the relative darkness of the room I could see her plainly.

She left the room once again and as we gathered our stuff I could hear her arguing, and once more pleading. While I couldn't make out her words it sounded like she was offering or perhaps asking one last chance or one last time. The tones in which she whispered sounded like…. Like 'goodbye.'

By the time she came back, Carmilla and I had gather our jackets and belonging. Mrs. Witherspoon wore a long riding jacket. We left the house, by the same means we entered it.

We made our way around the house to a large tank. It was clearly labeled "Petrol." She fumbled nervously with the key and upon unlocking the lock, she stepped back and let me fill my gas can. Nobody spoke as it was still stormy, but the rain had toned down to a mild drizzle.

We quietly made our way to the car and in a few moments we were in the car driving down the old highway once again.

I expected the road to be clearer, but it was overgrown even more as we drove towards Lancaster. Mrs Witherspoon sat beside me in the front seat. She fidgeted nervously, like she was scared, like she had something to hide. Something she so desperately wanted to keep from us.

I couldn't help noticing how the storm had cooled the inside of the car considerably. I was surprised that I could not see my breath.

The road doubled back as we climbed out of the canyon. There were many violent flashes of lightning before us, illuminating the farm below. In one flash I noticed the old farmhouse we had left only a few minutes ago, with the large fuel tank just to the rear. Thunder shook us almost immediately.

Just as I recalled the label, "petrol," on the tank, a bold of lightning struck the tank! It ruptured, spraying the whole rear side and roof of the house that instantly burst into a horrific ball of fire! It engulfed the entire house, which burned like a loose ball of paper thrown into a fire.

I recall hearing Carmilla gasping as well as myself. I hit the brakes. The reality hadn't hit me yet that James was probably still there! Before I could speak. The flash was over, as if it had been only lightning illuminating the countryside. Another flash reveled that the house was gone. It had been gone a long time ago.

In fact, all that was there was a foundation sticking up out of the reservoir. And Mrs. Witherspoon was gone leaving only a slight chill in the air and an empty seat.

The End.

Happy Halloween!!!!

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

Wow. 2010. And October at that. It seems like it was so far off. I recall Walt getting Arthor C. Clark’s “2010” as soon as it was out. He read it in one night. I borrowed it shortly thereafter -- the next day. It was the year Timothy Leary came to BSU. We were into the Moody Blues and both attended BSU. 2010 is a bit different now that it’s actually here.

Dampier is back!

It was in the year of our Lord; Two Thousand and Nine on or around the 15th of January. There was trouble with Dampier, an A21p. It was shutting off when a screen saver ran. Then during a powering up it got shut off, then on again; the recipe for disaster on the A series ThinkPads. Sure enough when all was said and done the infamous crc2 error reared its ugly head. Dampier was dead.

There was a possibility that it was simplely the crc being corrupted as that is a known flaw/event that can happen when the powering up is interrupted, and, I think, started again. It could also be that the motherboard did indeed have a failed component. I could have sent the TP to a person who specializes in fixing the crc to boot the machine. But I might have paid 75 dollars and found out it was a component. The computer would act the same, as nothing would have changed.

Having someone trouble shoot it and eventually (maybe) fix the problem would have most likely exceeded the cost of replacing the machine. It would be ideal, however, rather than let it hit the junk heap.

I opted to do a mother board swap. I found a new one for 40 bux. Better than 75. I saw some used, most likely not working -- full computers for even less. I happened upon one sold as-is for parts for 10.50. Lines on screen, the power jack is cracked, and there is no CD.

So I get this thing, thinking it boots up and that's all I need. Plus the original A21p is an 850MHz and the new one was a 1000MHz machine. I get the thing and the latches don't work, the screen has three vertical lines toward the right side of the screen and the case is cracked in a couple of spots. The bottom of case, as well as the keyboard, are spotless; like new. It has a working install of Win2k on a 10 gig HD. It’s power jack is cracked. So, I put BlackDragon's expansion deck on it with BD's PS and off I go. Well, I get a couple of DIMMs adding up to 512 Megs, plug in Dampier's DVDRW, IBM nic, etc.

Precautions were taken to not mess the machine up the way BD may have been messed up using the TrackPoint while on the deck by using my IBM mouse on the mouse port. I eventually got a USB port expander to turn 1 port into 4. I could even use my card swiper and barcode reader on it as well as charge my PDA. Using the USB RAM device to move files, however required unplugging (yeah I know) the USB expander and going direct from Treo to computer, as the PDA would lock up -- way worse than unplugging a peripheral as I had to slide the tight silica case off the PDA in order to remove the battery cover to reset the thing! So I guess I can unplug and replug, at least it's totally hot swappable. All worked well, except that only one of the DIMM slots seemed to function.

I couldn't cannibalize a working machine even if one of its memory slots wasn't showing up. Initially I put what I thought it was 256 megs of RAM in it but when it said I only had half of what I thought I just figured I was mistaken about the chips. I found a sweet deal on eBay for 512megs that would work in it and when I installed that and only 256 came up I knew something was up.

But the machine still worked well despite the lines on the screen. The memory I had was now just what I had before. This machine, despite all, was faster.

There sat Dampier. It was in the back of my mind, just lurking there. I might have let it go, but the day it died I had booted up its Linux drive. The original setup I had when I was working on the Model for my Elements of Scenic Design class. BlackDragon was over on the scanner running the Win2k that was to become Dampier's. Memories came flooding in….

Well, I came across the bottom to an A22p on eBay (yes, I live there) for 12.50 complete will plastics from the very bottom, all internal drive holders and hardware -- sans one screw. In the end, I had to replace the plastic faceplate on the floppy as well.

I got it and did the transplant only yesterday. Tonight, I once again hotsanc to Dampier.

The procedure was fairly easy thanks to 307. I usually just google the TP I'm working on even though I have repair manuals somewhere.... It is a redirect from IBM to Lenovo.

Nice convenient PDFs.

The hardware maintenance manual was on the yet to be named machine. The basic procedures are really easy. The IBM docs take you step by step and I would rate the IBM manuals top of any except that sometimes you kinda have to experiment to move certain parts in weird ways to get the apart or make things fit, not quite how the manual says.

First steps, remove HD, Ultra Bay occupant and battery. From the bottom you undo three screws. Flip it over and pry off the kb. Each step is clearly illustrated with tech info on screw size and torque. Most directions are pictures, no words. They are very clear and concise. For the most part. Illustration instructions like this save time in language translation, saving many hours of paying someone to do it.


So, what are Mexican labor laws like? Many IBM TPs were made in Mexico. Perhaps with the negative mystique of out sourcing to China IBM bought Lenovo, claiming Levono bought ThinkPad and winPC tech from IBM as a ruse to out source TP tech to cheep Chinese manufacturing. My guess is Mexican Labor might not be much better and certainly out sourcing to China has more than a bad mystique.

Just a thought.

After the mb transplant I swapped RAM in Bonny and Dampier. Swapped the DVD-RW and CD-ROM, and finally put BD's win2k drive in, along with Dampier's nic that Bonny had borrowed.

Dampier is back!

Bonny wouldn't bring her screen up. I swapped the RAM to the other slot, but got the three quick beeps repeated two times signifying a "no RAM" situation. I swapped back; perhaps the HD was not in right, although I should get a red screen saying there is no HD. It wouldn't boot from DVD and the weird thing was the screen was black. I couldn't even see the post at an angle (if it were simply the LCDs not lighting), there was nothing.

So I looked closer at some stuff. Ok, the drive is a CDROM. The HD really is in. And -- ah haw! PC355! RAM. I grabbed the old sticks I had in the puter before I expanded it's RAM and whammo! She powered up!

Bonny is now up and running.

During the surgery, Bonny was getting low on battery. Now her PS jack is cracked and I really didn't want to drag out the dock -- I wanted to focus on getting the machine I was working on fixed. I thought of plugging back in over in the studio, and putting the PDF on Strider, but then I just plugged in the PS and the machine beeped it's TP "thank you" beep. It was charging! Surgery could continue!

All went well and there are now two 1GHz machines here at NC, Dampier and Bonny.

The portables: Adobe Reader.

Ok, I really need to be able to have my PDFs at the ready. It would be nice not to have to print, "ewe, hard copy," or have to have a computer handy. Ok, I might have a laptop handy, but I am using my drawing table as a workstation for the various surgeries I plan to undertake and have undertaken.

Enter Adobe Reader for Palm OS. Now it is convenient, but as seen in the palmification software, Reader 6 is the recommended reader for the PC, placing the Palm version at a disadvantage, meaning it is out dated. The R50p HMM converts to page 57, then, simply disappears from my screen with no message. :/

While the install does a great job setting up the softs for your screen res (I installed on the square Tréo and the large screened TX), there seems to be a size limit. The converter seemed to do ok with "Vol4HMM.pdf," IBM's volume that covers the 760ED, among others, but the palm freezes a long time on any attempts to load it and eventually resets. Bummer. I can see why people might consider the 700w over the p, although I don't know if it makes a difference.


Some how I've avoided Windows CE. Curiosity has been seeping in. Some may wonder about Mac. I b and m about the MacOS ‘cos everybody who develops something I look forward to using requires the next decimal beyond the MacOS I have access to. It is the deadly craze of the latest and greatest leaving the likes of me behind.

Other satiable curiosities.

Having used DOS and Amiga DOS on many machines, Linux is a nice system to mess with. Still not an expert, but I use the console quite often when I can't get something done via KDE or Gnome. It is nice to pop open a console and hack something. All those shoe-horning Amiga's C directory has helped me to understand much Unix stuves.

I have not popped Dampier’s original Linux HD back in yet. I fear that ideas of bringing BlackDragon back are festering in the deep recesses of my mind. We shall see. We shall see.


Back to top.

November 2010

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

This is an article that got lost from a Wiki, but I've polished it (sorta) and here is is for the November posting that I thought I had already posted. Oh, well:

A long time ago in a busling metropolis known as the Treasure Valley, a small publication started as a large leaflet.  Over the months, it slowly grew to be the Nation's number one publication in it's niche.  It got big and bright and then -- poof! -- it was gone... 


dieHard, the Flyer for commodore 8bitters was, at one time, the Nation's number one commodore 8-bit magazine written for and by commodore users. dieHard covered all commodore 8-bit computers with how-to articles, reviews, specific system information, GEOS, commodore trivia -- there were even type-in programs!

Here is some of what dieHard had to offer: 


● No. 18 Mar '94 Control Program for Microprocessors! Highlights: INPUT;READER$, Rarities, CP/M, Cyberspace Cowboy, Ms. Knombers, Trader's Corner, Archaic Computer, PRG. 


● No. 22 Sept '94 Archaic Computer Comes Of Age. Highlights: Grappling The Great Gooey, Rarities, Cast in a Veil of Fog, DOS Bugs and Quirks, Collector's Corner. 


● No. 23 Oct '94 Digital Nightmare!!! This was the last issue to make out the door.  Highlights: Case in Point, Grappling The Great Gooey II. 


It all started when the creator and Editor-in-Chief, Brian Crosthwaite needed some time to pursue his own interests.  He was going bonkers as a stay at home dad whose only purpose was that charge.  At the suggestion of a friend he decided to either get back into theatre or join the local commodore 64 user group. Theatre would take too much time, so he opted for joining TV/BUG (the Treasure Valley/Boise User Group). The first meeting he attended was their worknight with Doug Parsons (also a key figure in the dieHard story) teaching a class in using The Illustrator to put pictures in documents with text from The Write Stuff (also called BB Writer) around the picture. 


Brian earlier that year had purchased geoPublish, but had put it on the shelf as something he probably wouldn't touch again.  After seeing the demonstration of The Illustrator, he got to thinking. Could he make a circle on a page and flood text around it?  Well, it lead him to typing up some thoughts along with a myriad of info he had on post-it notes around his computer. This became dieHard. He felt he was a dieHard commodore user and would probably die as one, so it seemed to fit.  The first two issues of dieHard all had circles on them and were done in geoPublish (the magazine was always done in geoPublish) but alas, he never got the text to flow around the circle smoothly.  But no one seemed to care. 


He printed out ten copies of this "Flyer" and took them to the next TV/BUG meeting and was surprised at having sold all ten, with people disappointed that they hadn't received a copy.  Brian was floored when one member (Biff Higgins) asked him where to sign up for subscriptions.  Subscriptions!?!!? That meant commitment!  Well as anyone one who was an avid reader of diehard, the Flyer for commodore 8bitters will tell you, Brian was committed. 


R. Scot Derrer soon joined as a staff writer, and while the first issues had multi platform information in them, The Flyer (and soon to follow, The Spinner) were for the 8bit commodore user -- any 8bit commodore!


The first issues were printed on an MPS 1270 inkjet printer, followed by an HP 500.  Laserprint from Q-Link, printed out the very first postscript laser printed issues.  Disks were mailed to Doug and he'd print them and send back the printed masters.  Things didn't always print out in postscript as was seen on the screen, or printed out on the test printer (a dot matrix printer).  Eventually it was deemed necessary to get an HP LaserJet 4ML hooked up to the principle commodore 128D at the then downtown office and masters were printed in-house. 


Most all of the first issues were written entirely by Brian Crosthwaite, who also laid-out the issues and did much of the photography.  Articles did, however, appear written by others and soon the writing was placed in the hands of the commodore world at large.  And did they write!  The quality was maintained at the writing standard set by Brian all the way up until the end.


What started simply as a demonstration to illustrate the placing of text in a circle around an image in geoPublish by a stay at home Dad, soon turned into a National, and eventually an International seller. 


Before the company that was producing dieHard died, dieHard appeared in over 8000 homes world wide via the post as well as in Barns and Nobles across the United States and many commodore specific stores.  Total circulation was estimated between 11,000 and 12,000 readers worldwide. 


During this time, all the commodore publications supported each other in any way they could.  The Spinner, dieHard's disk companion was set to go as it's own entity with it's wide spread reader base.  Then a series of events started happening.  The company had launched another magazine The Sewing Room.  The Sewing Room grew by leaps and bounds, but unlike dieHard, the marketing was done like that of traditional magazine sales, where a soft issue is offered and then a bill is sent out.  dieHard had been basically a pay first then the subscription begins kind of affair.  Marketing like this was hugely successful at increasing the number of subscribers, but the revenue didn't come in fast enough to cover costs.  Meanwhile, the cost of paper skyrocketed.  There was a postal increase, and the magazine industry as a whole, suffered a mass decline in readership.  People just weren't subscribing to magazines as much and investors were not willing to put money into publishing, despite the fact that both magazines' circulations were in fact gaining in size. 


dieHard went from a basement to 4th story downtown offices to a moderate office on the bench to nowhere.  The company grew, but the capital dried up.  Things simply went down hill from there.  The bottom line, dieHard ceased to exist.  In September of 1995 the company LCI (publishers of the two magazines) closed it's doors. 


Doug Parson, an assistant editor who had supported the project from the git go, provided a place (he and his wife Ruth) to store back issues of the magazine when space was needed.  Back issues became available via the internet several years later.  Doug was also the one who had the sad job of calling the recycler to come get the remaining issues for recycling when storage was no longer possible. 


In February 23, 1998, Nexus, the Bitstream for commodore 8bitters appears as a site dedicated to one of the Late Great Magazines of our time: 


The Bitstream!


The Bitstream is a project where the scans of the original dieHard issues can be found. While the images come from original issues of dieHard, many have typos corrected, thus placing a greater value on the actual paper issues.  While the site has remained stagnant for many years, the maintainer is still dedicated to the project and hopes to continue. 


Archaic Computer lives! 


When Brian was working as Editor, the bulk of the writing was taken on by other writers.  He kept two important sections for his own writings; View From the Underground, and the introduction to Archaic Computer.  As a writer with the subject of personal computers, mostly commodore and Atari computers, he still wrote many articles for Bug Bytes and The Home Computer News, TV/BUG's (Treasure Valley/Boise User Group -- a commodore user group), and ABUG's (Atari Boise User Group -- an Atari user group) newsletters.  After dieHard vanished from the post and newsstands, Brian found a place to maintain his writing on the subject of vintage computing, expanding into all kinds of vintage platforms. 


Noesis Creation was born on the internet.  NC became a family of websites; Noesis Creation; on Angelfire, The Archaic Computer Gallery; on Geocities, Nexus, the Bitstream on Tripod (, The Post Xone on Xoom and The CPU on Web Post. 


Xoom died a secret death (they never told members that NBC shut them down) so it was moved under the wings of, where Archaic Computer has returned as a full fledge monthly article.  The Archaic Computer Gallery is an online computer museum where software written by Brian is also featured.  NC is an active site with many vintage related computer antics appearing monthly.  The CPU is basically dead as it fills your screen with a god-awful amount of pop up ads and the chat and guest book areas are botted to death. 


Many of Brian Crosthwaite's commodore programs are featured on various issues of LOADSTAR. Brian still uses 8bit commodores as well as other vintage machines. He also uses commodore emulators on some of these as well as on the newer machines such as an 850MHz ThinkPad box running VICE and a Palm 700p running Frodo. 


Long live the lowercase "c" machines!


Back to top.

December 2010

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

iBook, a near death experience.

The iBook is a 700MHz G3. It runs Leopard.

It used to sit on an end table in the living room. Xaby, the small child who killed my camcorder, messed with the iBook frequently.

One day the power cord would not plug in. The power supply had the end pin broken off. Inside the computer, I never found out.

New PS.

I fussed with it. It sat awhile. I fussed more. I finally got it working.

It was one of those "if you plug it in carefully, just right" kind of things. That was, me doing the plugging -- kids were under strict orders never to plug it in. That was what put it in the critical condition.

New Power Jack.

########. The iBook sat on the workbench a long time. I Googled instructions for replacement. Found a cool video showing how it was done.

It sat some more.

Finally I found time. The part looked the same... Hmm. cable was not long enough.


This one sat a while, but not as long. I finally decided to fight with it.

The fight is the screw that holds it in. Not the screw, but rather the prying up the case. You see, you have to remove insurmountable amounts of hardware to do this simple transplant. However, I choose to do minimal and fight going around the computer top plastic that surrounds the keyboard.

When all was said and done the iBook was fixed at about 10 bux for two parts (5 each) and a new PS. Because it is a third-party PS, it was less than 20 bux.

The iBook is back!

Class 6.

Class 6 SDHC cards must have arrived on the scene after my two readers were born. I got a 32gig SDHD card, a SANDISK. It seemed to work well with both the Kubuntu and win2k boxes. That is until I tried to retrieve the data. Everything was corrupt.

Major bummer.

The seller replaced it with a Kingston, but my readers appear empty on all the machines I tried them on. It worked well in my camera.

Enter a Panasonic HDC-SD60.

Wrench time. Now that I've uncovered the secret plot, I see the SDHX. A new camcorder arrived here. I can't use it until I put an SD card in it. It supports 64Gig SDHX. I am not certain what else as I have yet to really play with it.

Technology will move on. I wonder if we can catch up. It seems that we can freeze tech time or at least take a snapshot of tech time by getting the technologies that all go together (all at once). You get a device and all it's plug-ins and use it as such. Technology leaves the standards you are using for something new. Your camcorder will continue to do what it always did, at least until something happens.

In the case of my Hitachi camcorder it was dropped and something on the board must have broke. Now I look at the devices out there and things are different. The Panasonic is smaller than the Hitachi by almost 50%. In fact, it is almost as small as my PDA. Wow.

Wonder why it can't play MP3s. Hmm. Maybe it can. It plays music in slideshow made. Wow.

A reader is on its way for the class 6 card and the new corder awaits experimentation.

Merry Christmas!


Back to top.

Whew! That was close this vanished from existence for almost one whole day. (See Nov 2011 AC for further details.)

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