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=== The Archaic Archives ===

The Archaic Archives
Archive: 2014


on it to see it!

This page was updated: January 14, 2020

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January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
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June 2014
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August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014

January 2014

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Happy New Year -- a bit late.

Well, OK, here is the scoop on the major lazies. Actually it starts from a lack of time, then a complete forgetfulness. December comes along and I need to start getting Noesis Creation's year end maintenance going. What that means is getting the AC archived and a new Archaic Computer file started. But I don't have time. So, that is OK, I can just do it in January, and that's when I really should do it anyway, so everyone can catch up on December's AC.

It takes a bit to edit the files and get them squared away, so I don't get to it then either. February slips on by and then we go camping and I realized I have neglected my postings. :/

So this morning I got on the site and posted December's 2013 posting that I thought I had posted, and then I made a templet to ease next year's year-end updates, hopefully making them easier and quicker! I also made a templet for writing AC as well. Basically a page with monthly titles, bylines and STARDATEs that I can just type around and change dates as needed. It will be nice utilizing that old idea that computers make doing things easier and I am now just catching onto.

Ok, maybe that it not an accurate assessment on my usage since I have made templates for programs for years -- I just call them skeletons ;)

What is new in the world of old computers?

I have decided, since I can't eBay all the stuff I want to -- certainly not in a reasonable amount of time. I will donate much of it. I am concerned about old monitors, especially since the last time I tried to donate one, they gave me a sheet of paper with locations of where I could dispose of it as if it were some sort of radio active garbage.

I have three boxes in the Barn; one for donations, one for recycles, and one for trash. I, personally, have been donated upon, not once, but to many times. Perhaps more too many times to count. Between the farm, upkeep, and new kids, my time and energies are limited past that.

The Apples I started to sell over 5 years ago, are still in the Annex, in the queue ready to be pulled, clean and packed. I put them there over a year ago. Now on an upside, I have been selling, albeit slooooooow, some old Mac stuff. I should say older, as old implies archaic stuff and these are only mildly out dated.

Creigslist may find a listing asking for someone who can take major portions of the collection away. My ultimate goal, above clearing the space, is to simply find a home for it. For much of this vast collection, I am done.


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February 2014

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Happy Valentine's Day!

This winter has been strange.

It started, with the end of a family vacation. Disneyland. What a blast! But the day we got back the temperatures had dropped into the 60s and upper 50s. It just felt cold, compared to the warmer dryer weather in Anaheim.

It seemed to stay that way. Warm weather was just done.

Then Boise had the coldest day hit (to be followed with many more of these sub freezing days) and Sunflower calved. Last year the same thing happened and Sunflower got frost bitten on the ends of her teats and he calf didn't make it.

This year, we put Sunflower in the shed so she couldn't get out in the cold. The calf made it, but both Sunflower and Christina got frost bitten.

Things started intense, and as with many Reactive Attachment Disordered children, the holidays were over the top, crazy. The Littles, as Mia calls them, were crazy misbehaving.

The cold was stark and heavy. This year, I managed to streamline things a bit for readying milking and through trial and error, we figured somethings out. I got a pair of used ski overalls I just slip on as I headed out to milking, eliminating the step of going to the far end of the house to change, as well as that horrid cold feeling from putting on cold cloths to go out into the cold, since I am already dressed.

Two years ago we had a nasty-cold winter and it felt like there was little escape from being cold in the house. That was when we decided to get a woodstove insert for the fireplace. We then had an out. We had one room in the house that was toasty warm. We also were pleasantly surprised that the little insert could basically heat the whole house. It is a very efficient insert.

Our bedroom was always the coldest room in the house. No wonder, it is at the end of the house and has three outer walls. But there was more to it than that. I have looked at the walls through a digital video thermometer that reviled that there was massive cold coming in from above the linen closet in the master bedroom (OK, so it's really massive heat going out).

I went up to the attic to investigate in mid-autumn and found where the closet was. The blow-in installation that had filled the top of the space, had fallen down into the top of the closet over the years leaving a 2 foot gap around it for the heat to slip out. So, I filled it with an entire bag of blow in (I just dumped the whole thing in) and placed three layers of R9 in from the mid-ridge to the back corner of the master bath.

While the room gets cool, it never gets that icy-death-chill it used to.

We managed to settle in and keep things level for a while, when we discovered that Sunflower was sick. So, we spent many, many weeks giving her meds and special attention. Even after things appeared to be cleared up, she still had her illness. So a new regiment of meds was prescribed. The second ones were not so harsh for her, so everyone was happy about that, including Sunflower.

Where does all this leave a geek?

Project build up; a sub-title.

I have been getting back into old interests, like photography, magic, old 8mm movies, and model railroading. In order to pursue these interests, I'd love to be able to sell off much, if not most of the many computers that occupy so much space, in order to fund those projects. However, that requires time that I simply don't have.

On the upside of my collecting things, it seems I am done. What? Nothing more to collect!? Time to uncollect! That is how it works.

As a kid, I collected stamps. Over the years my Mom had collected stamps, mostly just ones that were unique and not really of much value. I recall saving many I had come across that were of interest that I gave to her. I used to collect hot wheels and matchbox cars as well. I somehow got started on audio equipment, although that was more so I could record stuff.

Then computers hit. I really didn't mean to 'collect,' as I was more interested in exploring the various machines. But alas, it turn into collecting. But I no longer collect. At least not as a general rule. I would still love to have an Amiga 4000t, an Imsai or Altair, but there is little beyond that (maybe ;) .

What I want is to see the DEC Rainbow, and Epson QX-10 (MS-DOS and CP/M) machines find decent homes. There are PC Jr.s out there, that I really enjoyed playing with, but no longer have the space to keep. The list goes on.

I did this once before. I had three CBM machines from commodore that I donated. I took them to TV/BUG's auction, but it was too late in the game. Those who would have bought them either had them, had no space, or simply had moved on. So, to St. Vincents they went.

That is what I look at now. I need the space and goodness knows, the space these old machines is taking up is not well packed and they certainly are taking much more room than they should, but even so, they must go.

Mean while, there are fences that need fixed, a problem with the feeders that needs resolved, various things that simply need attention. Stuff moved, things repaired, items built. Plus with the warm weather, the gardening is starting.

This list just gets bigger as I have less time to attend to it, and those old computers that are just gathering dust; they must go.


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March 2014

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Happy Fat Tuesday!

Have a Swell Lent.

Happy St. Patty's Day

Computers, cameras, and mayhem.

This still seems to be only the beginning of the digital age. When I look back to even the nineties, we were using that term, in fact, it seemed to be creeping in as early as the (very) late 1970s. Back then databases were all the rage. We saw them on TV (as Dano waited for the "search results"). We started hearing the term "computer error" coming from utility billing offices. It just sort of crept in there somehow. We became aware of computers even before we really knew what they were.

I have a PDA that I can run commodore 64, Amiga, and Atari ST software on, I can use it for sending pictures, movies, audio notes and text messages, plus I can place phone calls with it. Touch screens are everywhere and they all have cameras.

In fact, those cameras and those devices everyone, everywhere seems to have. I haven't actually been in the same room with one of my closest friends for years, and yet I see and read about he and his wife almost daily through Facebook. I could easily tell you what he had for dinner a couple of nights ago! Yes, he is one of those people who posts dinner on FB, and rightly so, he is a bit of a gourmet.

The digital camera.

Devices with cameras builtin, that are connected to the Internet are not new, they are everywhere. Webcams were a novelty not too long ago. Now they are commonplace. But even more rampaged are these digitally connected devices we call iPads, Androids, and such. Think back to those amazing black and white pictures you saw on your Atari 400. They had funny wide pixels, but used the gray scales amazingly and rendered an amazingly photographic image of a human or a cat. Now, all our phones are capable of not only showing a really good picture, but taking them as well. And the image quality, especially compared to those early pictures is astounding. (You kinda have to compare them to the early pix to say that as some are a bit cheesy ;)

Androids have TF card slots in some and my X41 Tablet has a Micro SD slot on it. Our printer has several slots in it to take cards directly out of a camera or other digital device, affording easy access to recent pictures. When one of my daughters whips up something yummy, you can bet it'll appear on FACEBOOK either as it is being made or as it is served.

We have entered the sub-age of instant viewing. In the digital age this sub age is where not only are textual accounts of events and information available instantly, but current events stream live from individuals who are not paid media giants; video, audio, text, photos. This is the power of net neutrality. And it is a sacred right.

When NetFlix and Commcast joined together, that right is vulnerable to blocking. Any competitor to NetFlix is now at the mercy of the iNet provider Commcast. Competitors are to trust that Commcast will not slow their access? This is a bad idea all the way around.

This is truly an issue of conflict of interest and monopolizing. How can Commcast costumers be sure that any movie provider they seek will not be interfered with, when NetFlix will surely have full speed accesses at the fastest possible speeds? Something to thing about.

I have good old cable. It is a nice wide band and things just appear on screen (usually), but that same provider has an even faster access available by 5x. Wow.

While we have come a long way, there is room for improvement. Hopefully as ICANN control leaves the hands of the USA it will go to a global community of governing people, not commercial corporations. This is something to watch.

Lets get back to that technology thing. Look back 20 years ago. What technologies did we have? I was on Rover BBS and did all my email via, no longer a valid address. :( I found that calling on the Amiga with it's 39K modem to access The Links(sp) Consortium was faster than the iMac and the "online" Java based website to do library things. Now I can post pictures while camping as most parks have WiFi, at least in Idaho.

What will it be like in 20 years? What could we possibly add to technology to see? Hear? Feel?


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April 2014

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

Happy Easter!


The Container.

There are many varying containers for video. AVI, MP4, G3P, MKV, MOV, OGG -- the list just goes on. So when it comes to digitizing your old videos, what do you choose?

Some containers have advantages over others. For instance, the AVI container was designed to fill up quickly with uncompressed data. That is why so many devices write to this format during recording. It simply does not take a lot of horsepower to get that real world reflection stuffed into a box that has light and sound.

But then, G3P can be vastly small and actually supports lower res input as can also be filled at lower horsepower taking up little room.

MP4 has a kind of merging of both of these ideas on fill up, as well as emptying out (play back) but requires a bit more horsepower.

Then there is what is inside the container. Xvid, DivX, H296, mp3, acc, etc.

What is the right choice?

This is reminiscent of the days when people would ask the question "Which computer should I buy?" Back when there were major differences between computers. Back in the 70s and 80s standards were just beginning to be set and one computer most likely didn't run any other computer's software, nor did the hardware from another computer plug into it.

So the answer sounds very similar: "That depends on what you want to do."

One way to go, is simply make your movies into DVDs. There, problem solved. Now you can watch on your computer and TV. But TVs have SD and USB slots now. I could just load up a 64GIG stick and have just about everything ready to watch all in one place.

One file format may work on your DVD player (ours will play MS.AVIs), but will they work on your TV? One .AVI does not necessarily equal another .AVI. So the solution really lies in the hands of the individual and what equipment they have.

Getting manuals out and making note of what players and TVs can actually play should be the beginning place. The rest is easy.

For me, audio is so much easier -- mp3. ;) The surround sound system downstairs, the DVD player in the living room, and the Treo all play mp3 files. As do the iPod (with the right softs) and the kindle.


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May 2014

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I am in the middle of backing up data to DVD. The only burner I have access to via the machine I'm working from is usually used for Homeschool, so I have to get the work done during the break. We are on the last few days of our break and it is not done. To complicate things more, I am not at home -- we're in Oregon at Farewell Bend, where the Oregon trail leaves the Snake River.

I had hoped to have someone, who is at home change DVDs for me and label them, but alas, I have no iNet. We are truly in primitive territory. Not really, we have electric and water hookup, and I kinda think we're not actually very far from a town, but I'm am missing WiFi.

My idea went like this...

I write up a text file with instructions on what to do:

Pop out DVD, label it, "blah blah blah" Put in new DVD. Etc.

I make an audio file saying, "Attention, yadda yadda etc." To get their attention and to read the file open on the computer that is talking.

I remotely log in with Teamviewer to the machine in the studio, Dampier, move the text and audio files over to it and open the text file. Make the font large (Dampier has a really hires screen). Open the audio file and turn the volume up until some hears it and gets the message.

Then I can access Blackbeard and set up the next burn. And so on.

That would be fun. Even if I didn't get help. I still have files to line up for backup.

What I do to speed things up is this.

I created a bunch of new folders in the root of the drive I am backing up (these backups will be directly readable from the DVDs for the most part). I select the folders I just made and rename them. Now I have like named folders enumerated (1), (2), etc., the first folder won't have a parenthetical enumeration behind it.

I then move approximately 4.3 to 4.4 Gigs of info to the folders in the order that I need them to be. This is usually alphabetically, although some shuffling is needed now and then.

Once I get all my ducks in a row, I open up CDXPburn and simply browse to the folders one at a time and burn. The size should be right for each folder to fit on a single DVD. I usually click on the folder I want from the program's file browser then do a then move them right to the "disc" window. I also rename "disc" to a more accurate identifier. At least I try, it seems more often then not I remember to change the name after I start burning. Oh, well.

Waaaaaaaa! No WiiiiiiiFiiiiii!

I know, I'm supposed to be getting away from it all. But I rarely have time at the keys to do any serious work. My work seems to be on less than portable machines. I was at Monastery of the Ascension a week or so ago and was just out of range for decent WiFi connection. Firefox timed out or couldn't seem to get a fix on things. Teamviewer worked as if I was on a physical 10-base-T line! It was amazing! I actually got everything that needed to be done in a matter of minutes then I moved on to other things. That doesn't seem to happen at home!


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June 2014

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


My Big Fat Geek Database.

When I was a kid, I collected Hotwheels. When I was in Jr. High, I started collecting cameras. High school I started collecting music; LPs mostly. In my early college years I collected audio equipment.

Hotwheels was easy. It seems most kids who like Hotwheels and Matchbox cars seems to acquire a fair amount of them. With cameras, it was a matter of getting a better camera. Or so it seemed. Not sure how I acquired instamatics, but they seemed to accumulate. I seemed to be consciously collecting them. I'm not quite sure.

With music it was a matter of hunger for more music. I was trying to make a recording studio, but couldn't afford a multi-track recording device. But I could find second hand audio equipment to fill the bill, albeit I had a rather cumbersome and complicated setup to layer tracks as a result.

I don't think I had made a conscience decision to collect computers until long after I actually started. I tend to geek out on things apparently and go whole hog, as in whole hog from "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly."

The Hotwheels occupied a small space and you could see what they were easily. No car could be forgot. The Cameras were about the same (there weren't that many really) -- same with the audio stuff.

The LPs and Cassettes on the other hand were growing rather large and although filed away on shelves (at least the LPs were), it was a bit to find stuff. When looking at shelves of records, it is sometimes hard to read through all the titles. It could certainly be tiring.

And I had overlapped the audio equipment collecting with the music (and sound effects -- just about anything recorded). I had 8-Tracks and Open Reels to add to the mix. Add to that the mixes, compilations (I called them "Radio Shows"), and my own music that I was recording in the Studio and things were getting complicated. So, I started a db.

It started on 3 and 1/2 by 5 cards on a small file box. Then it exceeded that box, but I never got a second box, so I just put rubber bands around the cards that didn't fit. The box was only 2 or 3 inches deep -- a standard recipe box size box. The rubber banded portion of the db grew to 3 or 4 times that size, yet still had no box.

Each card had the name of the artist, album, all songs as well as the date on the album or tape, or when I recorded it, if I bothered to note that. All alphabetically ordered, as were the records and tapes in there various spots.

I still have the collection, and it contains many more things, like audio books, children's stories (I started to collect those in college long before I had any kids), sound effects, Halloween records, all kinds of music, from AC DC, Beethoven, Fred Frith, Melissa Etheridge, Pink Floyd, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Mozart, BR-549, Walt Disney records -- the list just goes on.

Along the way I bought a VCR in the early to mid eighties. I started collecting movies. I had a fair number of VHS tapes and put them all in a db, specifically a geoFile doc. I started getting VCDs because we could watch them on my computer while camping. I recall we all piled in the back bedroom of our second trailer and my little 760ED laptop was on this little table just big enough to hold it in the right spot so all could see, watching the first Harry Potter movie.

Then we got a DVD player and things really changed. I got a 770 ThinkPad to watch them on while camping, it was cheaper than a portable DVD player and it had a 14 inch screen. My entire family shares these loves of music and movies that I have.

Unfortunately, I have not kept up on either db.

The movie db got so large that geoFile was slowing way down when searching or turning pages, so I moved it over to a geoWrite doc. But have not updated it in a long time.

There is one database that I have kept up on, however. That is the computers db. I expanded it to include PDAs, iPods, kindles and game consoles. Ok, I only included the iPod but it included every computer we have ever owned, including the ones from the Great Crosthwaite Mountain of Computers of long ago (most of which are long gone).


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July 2014

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


An eBay Nightmare.

My daughter cleaned up some Laptops and took pictures and waited patiently for me to do my part to get them finished up for posting. They sat a while as we are mega busy all the time.

She Made lists of the software and books that went with them. I finally got around to typing up the description. I managed to get time and pack it all up and I measured the box. Well, as it was nap-time I didn't want to weigh it since the scale is in a room past a sleeping child, so it sat. More days passed, then I finally got the weight. The next morning I posted it.

It sold fast and I just had time to get a label on before nap. I was thinking, "Man shipping on this is nothing like the eBay shipping said it would be, well, it is only a state away..." Then I put the label on and saw it was for 6lbs! WHAT?!?!?!?

I looked at what eBay calculated again and it had the dimensions of a posting I put up months ago (it was an item that has yet to sell). The weight, however was from yet a different item. It was for some magazines I posted. (!)

The options offered were Parcel Select (yay, it got one right!), and Priority Flat Rate Envelope!, OK now, glad the buyer didn't pick that.

I canceled the shipping, that should be refunded in 20 days. Meanwhile I contacted the buyer, and he offered a great solution, that being, I send him the weight and dimensions and he gets a FedEx label -- from FedEx. Meanwhile I refund the shipping he paid. Fortunately I made enough from the sale to cover those costs.

What a freaking nightmare.

This has not been the first time eBay shipping was not what I selected. I even checked it twice before the item was posted and all looked well. I first noticed problems when I added the handling charges. These basically cover the cost of packing material. (BTW I get used and/or recycled when I can.) eBay would not keep the charge in the the system. I finally got it worked out. But now and then, it looses track of the weight or the dimensions, reverting back to the previous one. But what happened this time was way too illogical. Was eBay cracked or is the server susceptible to overload bugs? Or perhaps there is simply a bug in the postal calculator.

This, the shipping options calculator, is an example of a technology system that is overly complicated. It is, I'm sure, due to that "more options" mentality of modern websites. Does eBay really think it has to out compete with other auction sites? Who? I don't really see an competition here. I understand the need to stay current and offer features users want, often anticipating those wants. But, too complex does not make me want to choose eBay.

I am not saying I'm bailing on eBay -- but.



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August 2014

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


I recall getting a DVD-RW for Dampier and how it set me free from moving files to the Mac and setting everything up on a machine that I had limited access to, as my son used it for home school. Well, unless I get those discs that you can write on with the white side (I'd call it a label but it is really the whole side of the disc just about...), the writer doesn't seem to like them.


I have been backing up Teach's (Blackbeard's) 500GIG drive. Wow, you think I would never fill that thing up! I wouldn't if it were only C= and Ami PRGs. I don't think I could fill it with all of the 8-bit software NC has. Well, it is a multiOS boxer; Kubuntu (the main OS), Ubuntu, and XP. I had spent a fair amount of time making folders and moving files into them to organize the burning to DVD (each folder had 4.3-4.4GIGs in it to fit on a single 4.5GIG DVD). I had too. The DVD burner for the R50 couldn't do the job, because the drive bay is occupied by the 500GIG drive.

Meanwhile, the HS iMac has had an external DVD burner added to it as it was gobs cheaper than getting a the internal fixed. Plus, there was no downtime. The external is nice and I found a place to put it on top of the C128D (looks nice there). I had to get all the organizing done prior to burning so all I had to do was dump the files to the DVD and burn them. I used CDXPBurn from inside XP since I have had a hard time burning from Kubuntu on the R50p. Just a side here the R50p is in need of fixing and the whole machine was swapped out with an R50.

Since the DVD drive is for HS, I could only burn during our breaks. I could have worked at night, if life itself wasn't so crazy-busy.

I managed to get all the folders done, but one. I kept getting errors on burning. I checked files and connections and so forth, but it just would not burn without error. It was the last folder.

I looked at Ubuntu's free space and it had over 5GIGs! Rock on. I moved the folder over to the Ubuntu partition and swapped out the HD with the Multi-burner DVD and was able to get an error free burn. I love this install of Ubuntu, as it is lightning fast, but alas, it is not able to connect to it's databases for installing software and updates. I believe things moved on while this install lay dormant, as I chiefly booted Kubuntu on this (these) machine(s -- the R50p and the R50). All I did was move the files over in the file manager and click on the "burn to DVD" button. Rather nice.

Well, the data is backed up, and needs to be cataloged. That is the next project. Fortunately, I can do that from the A21p. I'll probably just pop the DVDs in, and from DOS save a DIR to text file, I think I can append as I go. Some of the discs can be just labeled with a sharpy, others will have to have a printout. But the time-intensive part is done -- the burning.

iFileExplorer & Teamviewer

iFileExplorer is an app for iOS that runs well on the iPod Touch 4th Generation. It allows you to move files, in a variety of ways to the iDevice. WiFi and BlueTooth as well as USB are supported.

iFileExplorer does more than that, it is a multimedia player. And it needs to be.

Unlike the Android technology, the iPod doesn't let you into it's file system (at least not easily). There are a fair number of file apps out there and many do a great job. iFileExplorer has a free version that has many features. The pay version adds things like MKV playing capability.

What I was looking for was an MP3 player and I was looking for a file manager -- these two searches are what led me to the realization of the tight state of the iOS file system.

Now, upon plugging the Touch into the Kubuntu box known as deBarry, I am prompted with opening the picture folder. Options on this machine are two photo handlers to open them or the default file system; Dolphin. Now Nautilus is installed on this system and with good reason, I was having issues on the other Kubuntu machine with detaching some USB devices and Nautilus took care of it.

Upon power up, this machine opens Nautilus up. I usually ignore it and close it out. But, with the Touch plugged in to charge, I saw it's name, "Khan," as well as "Documents on Khan." Opening the later I discovered I could browse many of the apps folders and move things around. I can also just move files to the device. Almost the file browser I was looking for. At least I can move things where I want them quickly and not have to limit myself to WiFi Xfers.

"It was twenty years ago to this very day." (1967, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken)

20 years ago, and a couple of months back, a 40 year old company closed it's doors. Commodore Business Machines called it quits. Wow. 20 long years ago.

The year was 1994, the commodore scene was in it's late summer, early autumn years. It seemed more like it would never end for some, others had already moved on. What did it mean that the company, who seemed to have given up on it's users long ago, was closing it's doors? It wasn't much of a surprise, when you look at the TV and magazine ads of the time, CBM was not anywhere to be seen. Now this reporter can't speak of the foreign market, as that was probably where their interest laid, but there was nothing in the US. There didn't seem to be any ads in the few media items that made it as imports to the US. So how does a company that needs to sell computers survive without trying to find customers? How can it go on without marketing? It can't. And it didn't.

No, it wasn't a surprise, but still, there was a shock to it, at a guttural level. There was a heavy sadness that was felt in the hearts of those who were commodoreans. That sadness still lingers a bit. Amiga took a tragic turn from one get- nothing- out- company (with the same non-advertising model) to the next.

Lilly computers seemed to be the only one who was able to breath life, albeit for a short time, into the C64. But it too, was just a fading spark in the Universe and faded to the past all too quickly. I recall they had at least three products, a C64 in a joystick, one in a steering wheel, and one other in something else, that I don't recall.

Let's review:

  1. commodore 64 (brown boxer, aka the bread box)
  2. SX-64
  3. 64C
  4. C128
  5. C128D
  6. commodoreone
  7. commodore 64 joystick
  8. commodore 64 steering wheel
  9. the one that alludes me

At least 9 forms! Wow, they could have taken a clue! I recall reading, in LOADSTAR, about how CBM had stopped all C64 sales in the US, except through Tennex.

Ah Tennex, that wonderful catalog! They knew the value of marketing! I recall seeing their catalog in the magazine sections of computer stores and bookstores! They even charged for the catalog! I still have a pile of them laying around in a box somewhere. "The Everything Book for the commodore 64 and Amiga." Awe, and that full color cover!

There seemed to be a trail of devastation in the wake of CBM's demise. Briwall. There was a piece of software (I don't recall what it was now) that I had wanted for a long time, and when I finally went to order it, it had sold out. And sold out in the way many things were disappearing -- the company that produced was done producing it. Briwall vanished shortly after that.

CBM must have noticed that no ads means no sales. They had two magazines, full of ads! That seemed like commodore's only place for advertising. But I wouldn't have bought the magazines in the first place, had I not already owned a commodore 64. Kind of a waste of advertising dollars.

While CBM is missed, we will simply chug along. After all, it has been 20 years.


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September 2014

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Doodle, Koala.

File standards. When you get a large collection of Koalas or Doodles goin' on, you may be content simply viewing/using on your commodore or you may be looking to convert your files to JPG or PNG off your commodore. The 1200 is setup to handle most commodore file formats as if they were any other picture. The system is seamless. I just open a Koala or Doodle picture as I would any other picture or graphic file.

With Amiga things are easy and natural with things like KoalaDT a Data Type for AmigaOS ( This isn't the same as what is on the 1200, but is yet, another example.

Most of the time, it is up to the C64 user to export, that is to use the C64 with one of the many PRGs out there to, convert the commie file to a PC/Mac/Linux recognizable file.

Exporting may be easier for some, but what if it is a hassle or not even an option? We'll just assume you are traveling and your commodore 64 is safe at home... Lets look at a solution on Linux.

XnView's XnConvert.

Here is a quick run down on how I got my pix to the Linux box to import:

  1. Got on the 128D, in 64 mode and launched FCOPY+ from Menuette.
  2. Copied test subject to a 1581 floppy.
  3. Popped said floppy into A21p's floppy drive and opened OmniFlop. The A21p's running Windows 2000. OmniFlop did it's thing and found the floppy to be a CBM81. I selected read and moved the files into my diskimage that I have already on the A21p (I use the same floppy and diskimage, and it is virtually like moving files from the 128D to the image).
  4. I then open DirMaster and imported the test file.
  5. I then used Teamviewer to copy the pictures to the X41 Linux Tablet.

This is the important part!

You need to add file extensions to your commodore graphics files so that the converter will recognize them as picture files.

Here are some file extensions for this demonstration:

Many more file formats are supported.

XnConvert works well, once everything is named properly. I had started out on this article and found nothing appeared to be working. It was after exploring many different pages on the web concerning the displaying and/or converting of commodore graphics files, that I decided to look into ConGo5 (Duane had recommended this one earlier, but since I was either on an actual commodore or emulating one, I never felt the need for it).

It was the same, nothing loaded, everything was a myth. You can never really see these pictures on a non-commodore machine. Give it up already! Let's look at the menu option "Help." WOW! There are tons of file extensions supported by ConGo5! O.I.C. (!) You have to add a meaningful file extension. Eureka!

Here are just some that ConGo5 handles that I have heard of:

Neither list here is even near complete, as both these pieces of software can handle several hundred different file types, but this is just to get your mouth watering.

ConGo5 runs under a Windows environment, while XnConvert (as well as XnView) are multi OS.

ddautograph.jpg 2cool

This was my test file, kinda boring, but I couldn't mix it up with another file, since it is a screen shot of AUTOGRAPH listing the graphics files on the HD.

Have fun and enjoy those graphics of yesteryear!


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October 2014

Grangerfield House


Brian Crosthwaite

The old Grangerfield House stood at the back of a field. Many fields really; all divided with the remains of barbed wire fences, no longer visible in the high grass. It was a place where piles of old fence posts find themselves, with a winding trail through the grass that cuts a vector from one corner to the other.

It was how you got to school -- if you felt adventurous. Although, come to think of it, it was more of a cut off to be taken on the homeward bound trip.

Off to the far, far corner, too far to venture on this trip of coming or going, lay this mysterious mansion, behind a wall of trees, from early spring to late fall, barely visible.

How I knew they name of this old place, I cannot tell. Grangerfield House was a common name that all the kids seemed to know. And when did we talk about it? That, too, I can not say. But we all knew it's name and of it's existence. Somehow it was just a thing, a noun like, "sky." We all know what sky was, but we never made it a destination. No, perhaps that isn't entirely accurate, since a child's imagination often includes sky travel.

So it was, that this old house was a part of the backdrop of our lives, like the far off distant mountains. Weed trees growing in the back of the field, along a ditch, slowly over took it's view from us.

It was in late October and there was excitement in the air. At school the standard array of jack-o-lanterns and ghosts and witches had appeared in classrooms and halls. Halloween had filled our minds. Brent, who always had strange things to tell us, had a yarn about an old house he had visited when he was little.

Brent's stories didn't seem plausible, but they caught our attention as we all listened. That day, we had this house where windows and doors slowly opened and closed by themselves in our minds. Brent said he saw someone close a door behind themselves right before he opened the door, and when he did -- there was no one there!

It was the day we made paper ghosts with white and black construction paper. Three days before Halloween; our minds were primed -- Jenifer's and mine. The excitement in the air sent shivers down our spines, as the 31st grew nearer.

I recall it was an especially good day. Halloween was on a Monday (that didn't matter to us back then) and our Halloween party got cleaned up early, so we got to go home early since it was a Friday. Neither one of us had homework, and to a kid, no homework meant freedom. That afternoon we were free!

Now those fields by the Grangerfield House were full of trails, criss-crossing this way and that. It seemed, everybody's short cut cross those fields. It had never occurred to us that we didn't ever see anyone on those trails. But that afternoon we were free and heading home quickly was not an option. It was a lazy, warm, late October, afternoon. It was a time to meander as we headed ourselves in the general direction of home.

We found ourselves on a trail that almost vanished under the dry grass. I was leading looking down at my feet sliding between the high weeds. I was almost shuffling a long when the toe of my shoe stubbed into a rock. The rock was half buried and large enough to stop the forward motion of my foot. It was then that I raised my head and looked up. Jenifer must have been looking at her feet as well; she plowed right into me.

I had frozen at the sight of the old house. It was enormous! It looked fairly big from far off, but up close, it was huge!

"Hey!" Jenifer hadn't seen where we were yet.

As I studied the paintless wood I forced myself to talk, "lets go in."

Jenifer looked up, "Are you serious?"

"It's almost Halloween. It'll be fun!" I only half believed the words.

"I'm not sure about that, it looks really scary."

I turned toward her, "Let's go in and I'll tell you a scary story."

"I don't think I need a scary story, not right now." She got that 'I've got 'homework- slash- something- important- to- do' look on her face, but I knew she wouldn't say anything, since I was sure she had nothing more than I had to do. And my plan was we were gonna do it together.

I grabbed her arm and turned around and we proceeded down the path that led to the old house. It grew in enormity as we came closer. It was more than a backdrop. It became a towering citadel before us. I stopped a second time and Jenifer crashed into me again; she must have been watching the approach of the house this time. I know I was.

She stepped around beside me, "Are you sure?"


Chapter 2

We walked slowly. The trail we were on had long vanished, but we were on a straight line to the front door when my foot landed on something solid. It was a sidewalk!

Navigation became easy now, and we could have easily run up to the house. But we didn't.

Strange how, on this adventure, we became almost hesitant. I say almost, as we didn't slow down. If we did it didn't seem to help, the house was there growing larger than I could have imagined.

The house was so large, and we were so close, that all we could see was the porch. It had it's own roof as porches do. This roof looked to be about the size of my house. The stairs seed firm enough, in fact, there didn't even seem to be any squeaking floor boards. This was a well build house.

As these thoughts filled my mind -- they must have been blocking less friendlier thoughts -- I got a start that just about gave me a heart attack!

Jenifer had grabbed my arm, "We better knock." She stood looking almost puzzled, " case someone lives here."

As I spoke my replay, "what do we say if someone..." the breeze picked up and the door slowly opened. There was no creaking sound. It just opened! I tried to regain thoughts of solid buildings and such, as the temptation to bolt seized me; Jenifer, still holding my arm walked me right into the doorway.

She stepped passed me and took in the wide spaces inside of the old house, "Wow!"

It looked as though someone had just stepped out -- a hundred years ago -- and never came back! Sunlight tricked though the house at every angle revealing a completely furnished house. The only clue that the house was empty was that everything was covered in a visible layer of dust.

While we left foot prints on the floor, the dust didn't seem to rise much as we walked around what looked like someone's grandmother's living room.

Jenifer turned toward me, "This is the 'front parlor.'"

"You mean, there is a back parlor?"

"Probably." We looked around more. There were couches and chairs with arms that came up the sides and swirled around. I saw a bird cage, in the corner where the room jut out and had three windows. "I mean in a house this big.... There might even be servants' quarters, you know, with a back stairway near the kitchen or at the end of a hall or something like that."

"Look at this intricate lace," Jenifer stood looking down at a small table by one of the windows.

I came up and looked. I could see a doily under a dusty vase. It was indeed intricate, while covered with dust, I could see colors reflecting on the vase from the stain glass trim that all the windows had at the top. This place was more than just someone's grandmother's house. It had a fragile- don't- bump- anything kind of feel to it. "I feel like I'm in an antique-china shop or something."

"Well, just don't break anything, and you'll be OK."

Just then we heard sounds. And not just random sounds, but purposeful sounds. It sounded as if a door above us opened, someone walked across the floor above (or down a hall), then another door opened and closed!

It happened so quickly and seemed so a- matter- a- fact, as if we were at school or any other public place and it might have been just background sound. But we had just looked around the front half of the downstairs of the house and the only foot prints were ours, the only sounds came from us. And now the tell tale sounds revealed that we were not alone!

Chapter 3

"We'd better go." Jenifer sounded so as a matter- a- fact, but my heart was racing. I was already on edge. This place had become haunted in my mind. And now there was something happening! As my mind started to process this, the realization that our adventure was over settled in.

Someone was here, and we shouldn't be. "You're right." As we turned to walk back, the stairway leading up was in full sun. We could see dust on every step. There were no foot prints. "They must use the back stairs and only use part of the house."

"Collinwood!" We'd both said it at the same time. We couldn't leave yet, there was a back stair to find! We were back as explorers and this time we had a mystery!

"The kitchen's this way."

I followed Jenifer as she walked back toward the kitchen. We explored that area to no avail. Then we circled around the stairway a long a wide hall that seemed to lead to the back of the house, but we found no stairs. We could see nothing from the windows, as far as outside stairs went.

"We can go round the house outside," I suggested as we made our way back to the door.

I guess we felt safe if we were trespassing since this was clearly the part of the house that no one used. No part of me had any stress or fear, and I suspect Jenifer felt about the same. There was excitement at the discovery of a tenant, and the idea of this house being secretly occupied. At least it had been a secret to us.

I reach out to turn the knob, when a cold chill ran down my spine and there came an audible whispering sound. I don't know what was whispered, but it passed through the room like the wind, or perhaps more like a bird flying around the room, circling us. The door emitted a load click! I grabbed the knob, but somehow, I knew, the knob was not going to turn. The door knob held fast -- the door was locked!

I turned to Jenifer, seeing the first true signs of what I was now feeling too upon her face -- fear. "It won't turn."

She put her hands on mine to add to our strength at turning and we both plied pressure, yet the knob would not turn!

"It's not budging." I look around the room, trying to sound calm, "I guess we will have to find the back way out."

The room felt cold; almost wintry cold. I was surprised to not see my breath. There was a foul smell that seem to put panic in my body. I don't know if Jenifer felt the same, but she could smell it. "Let's go. It smells bad in here. something.... "

She didn't finish her sentience. She didn't need to. The thought was already there. It smelled like rotted meat. And we were walking in it! The odor was not strong, but it was everywhere we went.

We started walking more direct, with purpose that we hadn't had before. We were more systematic in how we were moving through the house, turning only to the right to be sure no door to the outside was missed.

"We might be looking for a door in the middle of the house, you know, like the one in Collinwood."

"Mike," Jenifer began, "the door in Collinwood is on the second floor."

The thought just hung in the air and we stood motionless for what felt like several minutes. We knew where the stairs were, but it was no longer a house occupied secretly by someone. It had become a house occupied by something. Something we didn't want to encounter. Or had we all ready?

"It knows we're here." The words just came out of my mouth before I even knew what was in my mind. They felt like words that should not have been said. They felt heavy. They felt strange. They felt frighting.

"Mike, I'm scared."

I wanted to say, "Me too." But I think she was speaking for us both and there was enough fear. More logical thoughts entered my head, "What do we know? There was a strange wind. The door we came in is jammed. Someone was up stairs." There was a relief, at least I felt a relief. "Let's finish our circle and if we don't find a door out, we can go up to the next level."

We finished our circling the house. We even tried opening doors near what felt like the back of the house, when one centrally located door presented itself. One we had yet to try.

"If we don't find our own way, we'll ask the owner." Those words didn't seem to make as much sense coming out of my mouth as they did in my head. I reached out and put my hand on the knob. It was cold and burned like fire! I quickly pulled my hand off and rubbed my hands together. I must have made some sort of vocalization; Jenifer jumped as if someone had surprised her popping out and yelling, "Boo!"

"Sorry, it's so cold." I pulled my sleeve over my hand and tried to turn the knob, but it wouldn't budge. I grabbed on with both hands and struggled for half a minute, turning and pulling. I gave it up, it was at the point of absurdity, for me to turn a locked knob.

It was strange. So cold. There was no small amount of wiggle to the knob. The bathroom doorknob at home wiggles a bit when it is locked. But, that knob was solid, like iron.

No sooner had I taken my hand off the knob, that the door simply swung open. I stepped back in astonished, surprise, as the door swung all the way open. It swung at a steady rate. When it reached it's fullest point of opening, the door crashed into the stop with a hard heavy thud.

There was a brief pause while Jenifer and I stared in wonder what to do, then all at once I grabbed Jenifer by the arm and we went through the door. Either the air was a little warmer or we were getting used to the cold, but it didn't feel as cold. The smell was there, perhaps a bit thicker, but I tried not to dwell on it. There was something there. Something, I can't explain. Something that was watching us.

"Hello?" I called out. I wanted to sound friendly and lost at the same time. Sort of to make them understand we just needed help out. Out of that house. Out of what had become a trap.

The sun had moved. How long had we wondered around trying to get out? The place no longer had that appeal of a place steeped in antiquity, but now had a look and feel of a place where something bad had happened. Something very, very bad.

There was no answer and I could feel both Jenifer and my own relief. We were now free to explore. This part of the house was different. This part seemed a bit darker. Perhaps the sun was now behind trees, or going down. Going down!?

"Halloween." Jenifer spoke with hopeful optimism. "This is a fun, scary, Halloween- kinda- thing."

"Ok, now you're loopy."

She laughed. "Isn't that why we came here?"

"I guess." I hadn't really thought much about it. But now that she brought it up, it made the creepy place seem almost inviting. Too inviting. Was this place trying our minds. Warping our precepts of what is good, scary, fun and what is not? I seemed to be running a whole spiel of psycho-babel in my head, trying to find something to say. Finally the word, "Halloween," just popped out of my mouth in agreement.

Just then I noticed three previously closed doors were no longer closed. Jenifer noticed them too. They were wide open! Jenifer walked up and closed all three. One at a time. There were two more down a hall. I closed those. We started down the hall in the opposite direction than the two doors I had closed. We stopped and turned around and sure enough -- all five doors were wide open!

"Not sure if that's cool or not, but lets go with 'cool' for now." It was strange. We had a new attitude. Getting out was no longer our first priority. Exploring a haunted house; a truly haunted house was. I had to say it. It would put things into a better prospective, "This is a haunted house."

There. It had been said. There was no denying it. We were amongst some sort of thing from the past. A ghost? Perhaps more than "A" ghost. Were they good or bad, we knew not. I don't think either of us had given it much though.

A haunted house. This was too cool! I went back over to the doors, turned to Jenifer, "Just once more."

We closed the doors and backed away so as to see the action. Nothing happened, then I realized one door I hadn't noticed was already open. I pointed it out in amazement to Jenifer, when we both realized that the others too had been opened, right as we watched and yet when we were not actually looking at them. It was amazing! I wanted to do it again, but thought better of it. It might make whatever was doing this mad, so it was better to move on to the next great wonder.

Chapter 4

The hall opened up to a room twice the width of the hall, it was a place where two halls intersected. There were two small tables, both with a tall slender, glass vase on each. The vases were empty, sans the years of dust build-up. At the end of one hall, before us, was a stairway!

We stopped a moment, and I had turned toward Jenifer. I was going to say something along the lines of we should go up, but I noticed something strange in that room we had just passed through -- both vases had a single red rose in each! I just stood and pointed.

"Of course," Jenifer said. It was not more than a whisper.

"Let's go up."

"Are you sure?"

"No," we had taken to telegraphic speech.


We turned and walked down the hall toward the stairs we had hoped earlier to find. All the doors on the rooms we passed were closed. In fact, all the doors in the halls we passed were closed and we just walked on by.

The stairs were smaller than the ones in the front of the house, but they had carpet nailed down, like the others, that matched. They just didn't seem like servants' stairs. But, what had we expected?

We started up. It was a slow process. I don't recall thinking of caution, despite it being an old house. I don't think we were worried that the stairs might have boards that would give way. But we seemed in no hurry.

The ascent came to a pause, half way up we heard a noise. Someone had clearly coughed! I looked at Jenifer as she looked at me. It was neither of us! She took my arm and pulled me close, as we took the next step up. We were still going up, despite the warning.

We reached the top step when we saw the next flight of stairs behind us. There had been a flash of light or something. Something that drew us to turn around. Was it light or shadow? This part of the house was streamed in shadows and light. Some places had more light, while other areas had more shadow.

We didn't speak, but clutched together, we started up the second flight of stairs. I hadn't noticed any other sounds before, but some of these stairs creaked under our feet. The carpet seemed thinner and our feet made dull thumps was we stepped up.

When we reached the top, we looked at each other, said nothing, but understood each other well. We were going to go up the next flight, even if we saw another flash. The carpet was frayed and missing on some steps. The sounds of our feet on the steps, no mater how carefully we stepped, echoed through out the house. Our presence was surely known!

We rounded the top of the stairs and faced a more narrow, uncarpeted set of steps. These lead up to a single door. There was little light. The door was closed. Something made us go on.

Just about every stair, step creaked and groaned under our feet. One step in particular sagged under our weight. Looking back, it might not have been safe, it moved so much and it creaked so loudly, almost scraping as we stepped upon it. We continued. Perhaps slower now. It was when we were about half way up I caught a faint sound. You hear something like this and think a mosquito is coming near or something. But, as it grew louder, it wasn't an insect at all. It sounded like the faint sound of human voices. And not just one, but several. The sounds grew louder. We could heard what sounded like several people whispering.

We could not decipher anything they said, but as we approached the closed door, it grew in intensity. It grew in urgency. We were only a few feet from the door when suddenly it burst open! It slammed open against the wall with such a load crash it sent Jenifer and I sailing down the stairs and out of the house!

I have no recollection of turning around, nor running down and out, but we must have run, for we were outside in the front of the house, half scared out of our wits, laughing ourselves silly!

I hadn't though of the locked entry door, nor had Jenifer. But it didn't matter, we had just had the greatest Halloween scare ever!

We were silent on the way home, when suddenly Jenifer turned toward me and said, "Hey, you owe me a ghost story!" We both burst into laughter and finished our homeward journey.

The old house still stands there today, a fixture in the winter that vanishes yearly into the thick trees that surround the place. We never went back, and Jenifer and I, while we stay in touch, don't talk about that day much, at least not anymore.

The End

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Back in 1998, I started work on the site Noesis, the Bitstream. I had scanned the first three issues of dieHard, the Flyer for commodore 8bitters, correcting some of the typos as I found them. The site still has these issues up in GIF form. There are also two more covers -- the 4th and 5th issue covers -- but no content.

Below, those links (you click on a cover and it takes you to a page with that issue's scans) are links to all the issues of dH in .PDF form. There are also two other links. The last issue to go to press, but never shipped and the issue after that, as it was almost camera ready!

On the site are two postings for each issue. The first appears in the column at the top and is actually a series of geoPaint images of the pages. They are in .jpg form. The second are in the area where all the covers appear for all the issues. These were laser printed from the masters then scanned directly into .PDF.

Unfortunately, at this time (July 8, 2014) they are not staying on my server. There appears to be an allocation problem -- hopefully that will be solved by the time this gets posted.


It all started with a gaming site, that had all the issues of dH in .PDF form. I DLed them when I found them. It was way cool that someone would do this. It kinda validates all the work we did back then and makes it real.

Well, the game site is gone. I still have the scans, so they need to be out there, so I set out to get them posted. I got to thinking, "The masters have to be around somewhere. There was an issue that actually was printed that never shipped. It would be cool to include that issue."

Before we moved, I knew where everything was, except the IBM Convertible and the Toshiba plasma screen laptop (I know where nothing is now -- except those two machines). I searched in my mind where everything was that I did know. Once I remembered what they were in, and where they were in the old Amber House, I was able to search the Studio logically. I found them! I found the masters!

I grabbed the last disk in the box and used the PaintPages print driver to make geoPaint Paint Images of the pages. All seemed to be going well. I got to looking more closely and there were strange things like graphics that covered words and things that you shouldn't see in shooting copy. I did a fair amount of editing and typesetting. I finally got the Paint Images looking good. I did not save any of the changes, so there are no files that exist like those that got printed.

When all was said and done, I noticed that the issue said 25 and not 24. Holy Cow! That explains the work I had to do to get camera ready copy! This was not the issue that had gone to print, but the one after!

I went back to the masters and found issue 24 and printed out a Paint Image set and then a photo ready set. I did find in the View From The Underground,'s center column, that a tab was missing. I fixed that and reprinted.

I have not scrutinized the pages. They stand as they were (or pretty close) to the state they were in 20 years ago.

I did find that ConGo5 made the Paint Images with a gray background color and auto crops, whereas XnConvert made the background color white, but appears to cut off the bottom of the pages. I had to redo the pages that I had converted on the Win2k box (ConGo5), the computer used to read the 1581 disks. I re-did them on the Linux box via XnConvert when I saw the gray.

I hope to resolve the storage problem soon. More as this story develops...


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November 2014

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Problem Solved!

This is the final landing site for the dH.PDFs.

Turns out that 000webhost, who's FAQ states that there is no file size limit, does in fact, have a file size limit. The FAQ says 5Meg is the largest file you can FTP. There does not seem to be any other way to get a file on that site. The mystery still remains as to how I was able to upload the files and then later DL them on a different system, only to find them missing from the site later. Strange, in deed.

The new sight is up with the two bonus issues. You can simply go to the Tripod page ( and go to the issues page, or you can go directly by the pcriot URL above.

One thing that warrants investigation is, the cutting off of the pages. I thought paint pages had done this (and it may have), but I think it is XnConvert that does it. I have been converting all the studio floor plan Paint Images and found the XnConvert one's with bottoms of the pages missing, while the ConGo5 ones more complete, albeit the original PI gets cropped -- ConGo5 does a great job auto cropping as I have never lost any part of a PI that had either pixels or color. I would prefer to do the cropping myself.

I have found XnConvert to be easier to use and it exits clean, where as ConGo5 leaves me with two dialogue boxes that I have to close out. Memory management issues. Perhaps a newer OS alleviates this.


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December 2014

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Computers and Mayhem!

Ok, so, why is the commodore so... so.... No, let's see, ah...

Ok, so I sit down at the commodore and zip!, in a few minutes I'm done with whatever it is I was doing. Now, the machine has a SuperCPU, but it was not that slow before as far as getting things done. At 1MHz speed, the work that would take 20-30 minutes, now maybe takes 15-20 minutes at 20MHz.

There is a sense of satisfaction felt while using a commodore that one does not get with a PC or Mac. I had often wondered why?

Well, I think I have hit upon it and it is a bit strange, but I think this is it.

It's not that the newer machines are less cool. They certainly are useful and there are so many things one can do with them at a "click away." But, here is the clincher; not always at the same speed. That's right. These new computers sometimes bog down and at other times they fly. But we, as users, are used to it. It is normal.

This creates a sense of insecurity, a little like Russian Roulette; you never know when it will happen -- but it will happen, and it does happen. And often for no apparent reason. ...a spinning color wheel, and rolling hour glass, a dimmed screen...

Internet bogs happen and graphics and other high bandwidth items are slow. You pretty much don't get those on a commodore 64, so there is not really any change. Sometimes on the newer machines with their memory intensive OSs, applications run slow, possibly memory allocation problems. I see that colorful spinny-thing or the hour glass all too often, specifically on Mac and Windows machines. The commodore gets a good flush every time you load a new PRG, type 'new' or cycle power (something that takes 5 or 10 seconds max).

Your commodore seems to do everything it always did at the same speed. You can pretty much bank on how long you will spend doing something. When you are done -- Whammers! -- Satisfaction.


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