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Archaic Archive: 2020
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Archive: 2020

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This page was updated: December 9, 2020

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January 2020

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

Happy New Year!
Happy New Decade!

STARDATE: 20191028: I am on Strider (an IBM 770z ThinkPad) with the WiFi card pulled out so as not to connect. Mia has been having trouble with iNet speed, so I'm planning to stay offline until noon to see how her connection speed is. I have had no issues, except in the known dead zones.

It has been a long time since I have used Strider for writing. Strider usually sits in the shop, hooked up to a second monitor getting occasional use for looking things up for shop workbench stuff, like looking up wiring diagrams and manuals.

I have most all the IBM ThinkPad manuals on Strider. With two screens I can have a PDF open and a web browser (Opera -- last I used it, it was still fairly functional on the modern iNet, since I'm currently running Windows 98SE on this machine).

My old favorite Teamviewer is now being replaced. I will miss the over the iNet connecting to my computer at home while I'm off somewhere.

But why am I leaving Teamviewer?

They have totally dropped, not only support for version 7 (and other older versions) they basically turned off functionality. I kept getting messages to upgrade to the latest version. However since the heart of my day-to-day is on a Windows 2000 machine, version 7 was the very latest I could run.

Teamviewer would often crash, locking out part of the LAN. It took me a while to figure out what was going on. The only thing Teamviewer was doing in the end was displaying a message that whatever computer I was booting at the time was online.

The replacement?

FTP and VNC. I use SimpleFTP on the Amiga 1200, and FileZilla on MacOS, Linux and Windows machines. And yes, I can share on the Windows 2000 machine; TightVNC is running on Dampier (the IBM 21p ThinkPad).

I just removed Teamviewer versions 5 and 6 from Strider. Neither ever worked well, you had to be at Strider to accept the connection and then the whole machine crashed after the session. And that was a big "if" on getting an actual connection.

There are more of these to uninstall:

Einstein (v5 & 6 under Windows 98SE)
Batman (V7 under MacOS 10.5)
possibly Homer (v7 under MacOS 10.3)
Gandolph (v7 under Windows XP)
Blackbeard (v7 under Windows XP and Kubuntu)
Teach (v7 under Windows XP)
Locutus (v7 under Windows XP and Kubuntu)

That's all I can think of -- guess I should have copied the list from a version 7 install since it would list the machines in my account. I might be able to get online and check.

So why am I not working on the Amiga today?

It is F.A.C. (really cold), so I had to start a fire this morning and it requires monitoring. I suppose I could have run AmigaOS on this machine, but I didn't. Oh, well.

What's next? Well, there are loads of pictures to go through. I took some fall pictures yesterday, I have a Boy Scout camping trip I need to go through. I still have the second round of going through vacation pictures. There is lots of stuff.

I have residue from the barn clean out to work on, and a garage that has been so full of crap, it's hard to get to stuff I actually need. I am even more in- over- my- head, and there is no end in sight.

- -- Plus -- I need to get this file off of Strider and I can't simply email it to myself, since I am under radio silence. :/

There you go.


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February 2020

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


I was working on a posting a couple of weeks ago when I noticed lots and lots and lots of typos. :/ I ignored them as I couldn't corrected them when I saw them, despite the irritation they caused. Then I was looking on some of the AC Archives online and saw missing parts -- like the last 40 lines or more of the pages were missing! It must have happened during the renaming of the files (when I renamed them from aa1 to aa2007 and so forth). I decided it was time to proof the AC!

I have edited the 2019 and 2018 pages and am mostly through the 2017 page. It is a bit time consuming, but it really needs to be done. It is actually on the list! Woohoo!


Using SimpleFTP on the Amiga 1200 has helped move files to and from the Amiga. It is fast and convenient. However it does require me to be in the Studio at the Amiga. It would be nice to have an FTP server running on the Amiga. I could x-fer my current AC writings written in the morning to the Amiga to edit in the afternoon. I could then move the files to the X41 to work on in the following morning.

I found FTP4ALL on Aminet, but it has a typo in the script and I have no clue what to replace the word it does not understand with. It seems that the author would catch something like that since it prevents FTP4ALL from working.

Back to Aminet.


FTPD works well. It boots up with a nice GUI making set it up a breeze. However, the MiamiStack doesn't start for it, so upon booting (for now) I open IBrowse, then FTPD. IBrowse auto-links to my home page, thus initiating the WiFi (MiamiDX) and it's up!

I can then access the Amiga remotely from other computers and move files back and forth.

Another One Bits the Dust.

When I was configuring Chernobyl, the iMac, with Kubuntu, the Mac HD tool said the drive was gonna fail. Well, it did. :/

A very strange failure. MacOS will boot. It seems to have trouble with accessing the Linux partition (named by MacOS as Windows). The grub boot came up with my photo background, but dropped to cli after booting. The cli is useless as the file structure appears to be all virtual.

Booted A live Linux CD and couldn't find the partition. I tried again and did find the partition. It was then that I grabbed the files and backed them up. Basically the same thing I've done before; I grab everything off the partition in one mass to plop back in after reinstall. I have actually had several successes doing this with Windows and Linux systems.

The Big Stink-a-Roo.

What a pain in the kiester-butt! I really don't care for working on Macs. But I really need this one up and running. Photo work goes fairly fast of this machine. GIMP really flies. I should max the RAM out on it while it's open since working on replacing the drive is gonna entail surgery at the brain surgery level of intensity.

I find this fail strange. I was able to reinstall Kubuntu on the machine, albeit after a failed install. The system rebooted just fine. Then Discover crashed. I had clicked multiple times to boot it thinking the system was not responding. I had to hold the button to power off. Upon the second booting, it failed. I saw my grub screen, but the OS dropped off at the same useless point.


I had done an install to a USB drive (I bought to replace the iMac's internal drive -- it too is an SATA drive). All was working on it and then there were strange failures and reinstalls that didn't always work. I thought there must be stray currents across the bus or something. I then figured out GRUB was using the internal drive for it's location, so things would sometimes work and then not.

Let me reiterate: Crap.


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March 2020

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Hold the Phone!

Studio XPS 1340 2 x Intel(R) CoreTM2 Duo CPU P8700 @ 2.53GHz 3.6 GiB of RAM

A Journey.

I came across a fully working StudioXPS on eBay for $20. You read that right. Don't ask me how or why. It was a bid situation.

It had no HD, and the feet were missing, but all else was intact. It had a Solid State SATA drive in it that was pulled prior to posting. The seller included the mounting hardware. And, thankfully it also included a power supply But that was it.

The seller didn't mention the lack of feet, but that might not have been noticed. I didn't notice until later. It was not well packed and after I was in possession of it for a week or so, I finally dumped the box out it came in and found two circular plates that cover the lights on the LCD hinge. Oh well. I pressed them back on and they seem to be holding.

The battery was dead, of course (I knew that upon bidding). But all else is fully functional.

It has a great cool keyboard that lights up around the keys as well as the symbols on the keys. When you put your hands on the keyboard, even without typing, the lights fade on. 2cool! I'm not quite used to typing on it, but am writing this at that local coffee shop my late cousin and I had frequented.

The install.

Ok, I usually get an HD going and eventually a new battery and get Linux installed, along side any OS that is on the HD. I sometimes install a hack version of XP. But not this time.

Since it uses SATA drive tech, I didn't have a spare drive to plop in. So I really didn't have anything I could do with the laptop.

I did have a USB SATA drive I got for the iMac. But decided not to scab on that. Instead, I plopped in an empty 32Gig thumb drive. Grabbed the Kubuntu 18 install DVD and went live.

Hmm. It hung. Ah! To the shop! In the shop is a pile of DVDs that included 64bit install discs for Kubuntu 18 and 16. I grabbed 18. It booted!

The install might have crapped out at the boot setup part as is par for Kubuntu lately. Regardless, I got an install on the Thumb Drive.

It was nice. However since it is a serial 2.0 device, it would bog at times. Not often, but enough to know it was happening.

Online, I found a 320Gig SATA drive for less than the computer, and I found a battery. Once the battery was installed things really got interesting as I could do morning stuff by the fire (I was too lazy to deal with a three prong plug).

Next and new HD.

Ok, the new HD was the top. I opened the bottom up (10 screws or so and the bottom comes off). used the hardware that came with the computer -- the seller rocked that part. Got the drive in and ready for an install.

I cleaned the computer with Windex. Note: the computer has some touch sensors and it is possible that the eject for the DVD got wet and stayed wet a day or so...

Any who. I got to the last part of the install that does GRUB on multi OS systems, and perhaps on single OS installs, and the DVD popped out, the installer couldn't access the DVD and it took a dump. Shit. Retry.

DVD pops out in mid install, I tried several more times and it just craps out left and right.

Time to make a Thumb Drive installer for Kubuntu!

I found an article online, like I do (this time it wasn't one of mine). The article had many possibles. I picked one and was off.

Ok, the application I choose wanted to make all USB devices boot drives and I couldn't un-select the one I had booted the system on. Next!

The next one makes a bootable Thumbdrive from an .iso. Actually, so did the first one. This second one didn't threaten my OS boot USB. I ran it and after a while I was ready. Powered down, pulled the OS Thumb Drive and booted off the new one. Kubuntu's Live distro booted and I did the install.

Rebooted, this time off the HD and there was Linux! Now it installed some stuff on the .iso (or Kubuntu recognized the installer and said ok, let's go, but I'm thinking the former.

It works well, and O.M.G. this system booted fast via USB but the speed of boot is not lost. It might actually be faster! Way cool.

Now the real fun.

Customizing everything!

One of the things I do is get my photos on any screens that appear, from GRUB (this install doesn't appear to use it), login, desktop, etc. They're just cooler. But I also install all the programs I need, in this case: GIMP, Imagination, Konqueror, Kdenlive, Audacity, FileZilla, EasyTag, Openshot, SoundKonverter, WinFF and some new ones: Entagged, and GTK Wave Cleaner, and for fun Kamoso -- this machine also has a WebCam!


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April 2020

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


I don't even know what day it is! This time, it's good.

Lots going on in the realm of new Kubuntu installs. But, right now I'm in Venice Beach, CA. Mia and I loaded the kids in the big van (after feverously packing) and headed out on a field trip.

We drove to Hood River. Spent the night in a nice (mid-end - cos you get breakfast) Hotel with the four littles. Got up next day, had breakfast, headed into Portland and went to Powell's (big-ass-used-books book store).

I bought Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express -- the oldest copy they had. Then we went and boarded the Amtrack Starlighter Coastal Train. (Yes, I read said book on that train.)

The sights were nice, but the kids were not so nice. They still need constant management. We spent the night on the train and the last section of the voyage was why we came -- the coast! Beautiful. The sunset was spectacular.

I really didn't get many pictures, a couple with the palm Treo and several with the Canon. But we were moving along, and at that speed there is no stationary angle to get clear pictures, not no mention the whole random stuff that pops up in the way of what you're aiming at.

The Nikon was in the big bag that we decided to check. Just as well, it was one less thing to worry about.

My morning keys the past two days have been devoted to proofing the the Archaic Archives. I am currently working on December 2009. It is interesting to go backward through time and re-read the history and see it unfold again.

Of course, while I do catch many things, there is no guarantee that I'm not reading what I meant to say and not what I actually wrote. I was dehydrated at the Hotel and things were confusing and I may have messed stuff up. Hopefully, not too much if any.


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May 2020

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


These are the events before and leading up to April 1, 2020.

For a while my phone had been cutting out. (Weird, for the longest time, I have refereed to Frodo, the Palm Treo 700p as my PDA and lately I have called it my phone.) Texts would chime, but not be downloaded. Any time I was in my chair by the fire, or in the chair by Dampier in the Studio, cell signal was slight. And the last couple of days it would say no connection at all.

I had been texting via WiFi on the iPad as I often do, using Verizon's messages+ app. I hadn't really noticed the lack of "my phone" informing me of texts. I get an audio notice every time a new text arrives. I went upstairs and the notifications chimed in like a peel of church bells. I heard seven or eight notifications, as the PDA caught up.

Well, as you may know/will recall the Great Pandemic is/was upon us. It is in full swing as I write this. Mia works at Corpus Christi House. It is a day shelter for the homeless, in Boise, ID. When the pandemic hit, they instituted new safety rules: social distancing, no one enters -- it's take food and go. Well, many were not following the rules. The situation was if not out of control, was close. They closed CCH.

Mia is concerned about me as a high risk since I have a mild asthma. I have a sports asthma, in the form of a cough. Most of the time it's kept in check, but if I'm exposed to allergens like hay -- and I am every day -- it triggers the cough. If my mouth gets dry -- and I'm prone to getting dehydrated as my brain doesn't say, "hey I need a drink of water," it genetic -- it gets triggered.

Any whoot. To drag this part of the story on, Mia has taken little girls and gone to the trailer for 14 days to be sure she wasn't exposed to Coronavirus in order to protect me. Mean while, my PDA as been failing as a phone. I really need to stay connected, so Mia suggested I get an iPhone (blah) and sent me some info on what Verizon had to offer.

In the end we opted for the iPhone 11.

I decided on the Black one with 128gigs.

It arrived yesterday, and of course, true to form, activation was a pain in the ass. Only because they messed something up. Might of been because of Corona-delays, and few staff onsite, they didn't get around to setting stuff online as in the phone net. I followed the instructions a couple of times. 3 actually. Got online with Apple as well. Tried a few more links. Mia sent me links. I finally called Verizon and got an automated voice that told me to do the same things I was already doing. So I did them once again and Ta Da! Nothing had changed, it still did not work.

Well, after a while I called Verizon again, hoping to hack the line to get a real human. I got the same automated voice. I was pressing zero at the time and didn't quite hear what she said. It was informing me that something about my phone wasn't something. Anyway, it wasn't going to let me continue so I hung up. I got to thinking, is my PDA no longer on network? Was that the Verizon operator I heard when trying my new phone? I called Walgreen's as I knew I'd only enter the phone tree and not bother anyone. Boy, back in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s I could pull all manner of phone numbers to call for things like auto call back, etc. out of my brain. No mater, I used Walgreen's.

I got the same female automated voice! My PDA was on network but no longer had a number assigned to it. So I grabbed the iPhone and turn off WiFi (didn't want to call over WiFI) and called Mia. Her phone rang! It was finally working.


R.I.P. P.D.A.?

Not quite. I feel kinda sad about no longer having it on network as a cell phone. But I still need the softs on it especially the Franklin Covey Planner softs.

I'm reminded of the path that led to the Treo. I had the Kyrocera and a cell phone as the E-911 thing came along when I was finally able to get the Kyrocera hooked up to Verizon. Alas, that PDA/smartphone didn't not have E-911, so I didn't get it hooked up. I eventually got the Treo and brought two devices into one. I would probably leave the Treo behind if I could run a Palm emulator that ran the FCP softs and such. But, Apple decided "no emulators."

So there you have it. The features of the phone are quite impressive: facial recognition, waycool animated animacons with voice, and a killer set of wide and ultra wide angle cameras, to name only a few. Sigh.

But it doesn't run any Amiga, Atari ST, or commodore software. My FCP software is not available for it. And I am most certain it will not sync with any computer that I own, even if it's running MacOS X.

I have been trying to get things to work that other's say will work. They don't. Oh, I can access the photos on the phone, but not the music. What a crock-o-shit. I just feel it is a dead end.

I can't even see what is on the iTunes' window. There are some words and every now and then I accidentally find a menu. But it is of no use. I can't see the iPhone when plugged in.

Yes, that means I installed the latest and greatest 64bit version of iTunes. I should also be able to access the iPhone from Rhythmbox. It is simply a No Go.


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June 2020

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Seems it's been a while since I posted a video. I've been making videos, but they are not for posting. I have several photography projects in the works. So there should be a dot dot dot coming...

A while back I acquired a Nikon D70s digital camera. It has a 6.1 megapixel sensor in it. I have also acquired a glass filter that cuts visible light to 700mn. The plan is to swap the IR block with this filter -- an IR pass -- to make a digital IR camera!

I have yet to cut the filter. Originally I was going to go with a plastic filter, but cutting the glass looks to be easier, and much less messy.

I also have a Zenit-E loaded with some old Seattle Filmworks ECN-II process film. I'm dying to work with this!


UPDATE: The Zenit shoot was a blast. I found a place that does mail in processing and they can do the ECN-II film! So that is what I shot. While you can actually buy new ECN-II film, I shot an ancient roll of Seattle Filmworks ISO 200. Unfortunately, I shot it at 320. :/

The Zenit-E has a built in meter. This camera, as many are, is a mercy 1.34volt cell era camera. It is not plagued by this at all. It uses a photocell! So it is a great out door camera. The meter appears to work, but I cannot attest to it's accuracy past that the exposure settings I was using seemed appropriate for the shoot.

Having stated the above, I was under the impression that the ISO was set to 200, when it was, in fact, set to 320. Isn't that a .8 shift? Not enough to push, but just wish I had double checked everything. It's a major detail that turned out to only be a minor detail.

I have yet to send the film in. They state on the order form that about 25% for the old ECN-IIs they process do not come out at all. Sigh.

Global Pandemic.

We went on a train trip in March, I believe. We drove from Boise to Hoodriver, OR. Stayed in a suite that slept all six of us for the night. Next day we headed into Portland and found and visited Powell's, one of the largest Used Book Stores in the US. I got Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express for reading on the trip.

Next. we headed to the train depot and took the Amtrak to Venice Beach, CA. We road coach for the over night trip. Two days on a train!

We stayed 2 days in an Air BnB a five (or less) minute walk to the beach!

Then we hightailed it back to the depot to ride in a sleeper for the two days back.

At nap time I was dying. I felt like Jack in Family Man; if I fell asleep, I knew the ocean would be gone when I awoke.

It was a wonderful trip. Then the pandemic changed our lives.

We have a farm, so it was business as usual. We have, for the past 10 years or so, done our grocery shopping two months at a time. That is to say we shop for two months worth of things we need. Traditionally we have our large garden for fresh, shop the co-op regularly for fresh and we'd get stuff at the New Boise Farmers Market. We had just done our shopping before the Raid on Toilet Paper Bay episode. So we still have TP from then. It's a little disconcerting that Americans seem to only think of themselves.

Logically, the supply chain has a pace at which supply and demand unfold. The suppliers move things from manufacture to sales in an almost even flow. Kinda like a river. If you instantly pull the water from the reservoir, well, it takes a long time to get water back in enough for everybody. It's not just social conscience, it's a taking only your fair share.

So that part of the pandemic hasn't hit us much. We had recently closed down Feathers & Horns (our business, we used to sell at the New Boise Farmers Market, and The Boise Co-Ops), so we were already no longer doing that. We home school, so we had no kids at home, that weren't already there. On the upside, we found more time as the constant barrage of appointments that go with Fetal Alcohol Disorder Syndrome/R.A.D. kids. Some of these appointments returned in the form of Zoom.

My support structure for time to disconnect from the hard, constant pull on being "on" with these kids has collapsed. My weekly respite has gone, this happened prior to the pandemic. My back ups were gone. The twins work in grocery front-line, have to social distance, making it almost impossible to help. Plus they both do the same job and one of them is always working (sort of a good thing as they are recognized as responsible and trusted in their positions. So that has been really hard. As anyone with FADS and/or RAD kids knows, these breaks are vital to the healing of these kids, and the sanity of the parent.

Meanwhile, I have been working from the Amiga to Get Lothlorien online. The WiFi router seemed to be having severe problems. After careful diagnostics, I determined that the PS had failed. This was after some weird electrical things that were not quite brown outs, but devices randomly reset and lights flickered off and on again. I had kept our old cable modem and while it is not really useful in the real world, it has the same power specs, plus the PS is beefier. Nice. I hooked it up, reset the router, and started setting it up via Mythreal (the Amiga 1200AG). It's up and running!

Now, unfortunately the Amiga is situated in a low radio area, so even with the antenna extender, the WiFi isn't the greatest. So I pulled out the 10-Base-T card. It's been kinda fun reconfiguring MiamiDX.... no it hasn't -- anyone whose messed around with it knows it's a real pain in the ass to configure. Like throwing bait into a dark room to capture something that's in there, you don't know what it is and you don't know what bait works.....


Ok, I lost a major amount of writing this morning. I though I figured out why, then started to write of this messed up situation. But it just happened again!

Meanwhile, back at the F'n ranch...

I managed to get everything working, but forgot to save settings. After booting this morning, I got it in and set the settings again and saved them this time.

Things do work better on the WiFi, however. I can easily access all the FTP servers and those same computers can access the Amiga via FTP.

SimpleFTP is not a stable critter. If you can get a clean boot, or at least one that doesn't prompt the system to ask for a suspend or reboot situation, it does work and then is rock solid. Forget using ImageFX or IBrowse after SimpleFTP. So I've gotten lazy grabbing files. I use IBrowse. Works good.

Until today, I have had no problems keeping what I've saved.

Let's see if I can actually keep this text this time.

BTW, I'm in GoldEd.

Since it is already June, I think I should get this posted and start writing July's posting! Dang! Summer's almost gone already! :(


Back to top.

STARDATE: 2020.06.11:14:30 ish:

I am logged into Anglefire via IBrowse 2.5.3, editing live (as it were) from inside GoldED! Welcome to 2020 Mythreal!


July 2020

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


The Studio's own 10-Base-T.

I managed to find an ATI (Allied Telesyn International) AT-MR815T (8-Port Ethernet Twisted pair Mini-Hub) for a song, something like $5 and a TP-Link Powerline V500 for yet another chorus, like 10 bux or something. Anywho, instant sub-net!

WiFi in the corner where deBerry and Mythreal (this Amiga -- the one I'm using right now) is pretty sketchy. I put an antenna up and it helped a little, so I got out the Amiga's 10-base-T card and plugged into the Studio's sub-net. It's pretty nice, especially since IBrowse is back. Now all I need is for IBrowse to work with Gmail. :/

STARDATE:2020.06.23: Currently reproofing old AC. I just finished up 1999 (working backwards) using the MacBook, under Kubuntu 18.x. I was ready to move to 1998, but I failed to copy it to the thumb drive from deBerry. So, thought I'd update AC.

I have been working from the Amiga ESCOM AG 1200 using IBrowse 2.5.3 in conjunction with GoldED to edit and post to Angelfire. It works well. It seems to take less time, but perhaps some of the pages were shorter, perhaps I'm more motivated to work via the Amiga (I am) so I spend more time on it.

We are currently camping without AC (electric). I did check my email yesterday via Malificent as a hot spot for deBerry, and installed VICE on DarthVader this morning. Alas, my time is up...

STARDATE:2020.06.27: Well, I guess I should start with, today is my birthday. We are in Oregon near Oxbow Dam in an Idaho Power Campground. It is a bit strange. Manicured lawn, the sprinklers are running now. It is 6:28 a.m. Boise time (5:28 local time). I've not set my clock. There are showers and presumably bathrooms that are locked, because of Coronavirus, but there are portapotties with hand sanitizer. It is a packed full place and the camp spots are fairly close, although they don't feel close. There must be well over 100 camp spots in this campground. Very strange place.

Since we have power on this trip I've only brought one puter -- deBerry. I had debated somewhat on bringing DarthVader or perhaps even Strider. I thought it was a golden opportunity to have a different machine. But since this is our second outing of the year -- as opposed to our 5th or 6th -- and I've spent the dark am hours in the winter on VGer (DELL XPS1340) and the spring on up to now mostly on Mythreal (Amiga 1200 Ecsom AG), it was time to get back to this highly configured machine.

I really enjoy being able to do updates on Mythreal. IBrowse 2.5.3 totally rocks, and I'm dealing well with the supper wide text area in GoldED (I just have to remember to turn off word wrap -- kind backwards, I know!). That system is so well configured and with the mass of RAM it has coupled with the 060 accelerator... it's just nice!

I have burning in the back burners of my mind, to get the drives figured out on Zoule (commodore 128D) and get back to work on that machine. I have paused work on my scan doubler. I have it working, I just haven't put it all in a case and covered the cable. I also have a project that has been tugging at the lines, only slightly, and that is the Nikon N70s.

It is a 6.1 Megapixel, Nikon DSLR. I picked one up for about $20. I found a glass IR Pass filter for less than 10. I was going to use a plastic one, but cutting the plastic would be such a mess and it would be difficult. I looked into the glass option and it'll be easier, cleaner and that's what is already in the camera.

This project will result in a digital Nikon camera, that takes all my Nikon lenses that shoots InfraRed. (!) Yeah. I have been into IR photography for a while, but have only shot it on few occasions. I had a huge eclipse project -- I don't know when -- along time ago, that I misplaced.

Strange. I have these pictures I took, probably when I was in high school, of tiny little mushrooms. They were orange and about three quarters on an inch high. Fantastic little world I had caught in exquisite detail. I have no idea what happened to these pictures.

Two of the most amazing photoshoots of my entire photographic career and I have no idea where they are or where they went. Truly sad. It reminds me of the Amber House. I had an IBM Convertible and a Toshiba "plasma screen" laptop. The only computers I did not know the locations of. I knew the locations of all the other computers (no small task back then as there were hundreds of machines). I now know the locations of the two machines: The IBM is in the shop, in the corner, next to one of the large bookcases and the Toshiba went to the Reuseum. Well, ok, I no longer know it's location as, it may well have found a new home by now.

The Studio has those piles I was planning not to have. I have actually eliminated several of them and have been (more off than on lately) slowly going through stuff, eliminating many of those piles.

New Dillema.

I have several old cameras I'd like to put in the museum here at NC. There is a shelf dedicated to mostly cameras. Some Exactas, a Hanimex Compact A, some Prakticas, and several Kodaks reside there. The new ones, not cased, are a Nikon F, a Nikkormat, a Zenit-E and a Zorki C.

I have used the Zenit to shoot some pictures that I have yet to get processed. The Zenit has a photocell powered light meter and an M42 mount (a.k.a. Praktica mount, a.k.a. Pentax mount), making it a very versatile camera, even now. No batteries needed and lots of lenses to choose from. This one, made in the USSR as they were, was sold in the Russian market. It came with it's original booklets all written in Russian and was shipped from a place near St. Petersburg.

The Zorki C came from somewhere in Ukraine. I don't have documentation for it as of yet. It might be a while before I try shooting with it. There are other cameras on my list to shoot with that have been waiting, such as a Ricoh TLS-401. All black, with the cool dual angle finder. Also M42 mount.

Time to zip back to re-proofing...

STARDATE: 2020.07.19: I was ready to start the August writing, however I felt this needed to go up now. It is sad news. Idaho Camera, after 74 years, is closing it's doors sometime this summer. When I read the email, I felt like I was kicked in the gut.

I grew up as a photographer in the area and IC was one of my haunts. In Jr. High, I'd walk over to the Vista Village and visit the store there. One of their sales personnel, I believe his name was Kim or Ken (sorry I suck at names) would always "help" me. We talked cameras until I had to go. I learned a lot about a lot of different cameras. Mostly SLRs (Single Lens Reflex). And some TLRs.

Idaho Camera will be sorely missed.


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August 2020

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


I have really been enjoying using IBrowse 2.5.3 to access various online things, like NOAA and doing Angelfire edits, postings and updates. The one thing I'd like to add to this list of accessing, of course, is logging into Gmail.

It requires Java Script, and while IB appears to support Java Script, it really doesn't. I get count downs, and I hit continue, and after several of those, Gmail reports that my browser does not support Java Script and that I need a browser that does. :/ Quite annoying. Once inside Gmail, I use the non-Java Script version of the site.

Within Gmail I turned JS off long ago, when I was still able to login on my Amiga and do Gmail. I have tried various email PRGs and none work. Alas, I am not as plugged in as I want the Amiga to be.

Cameras. Time. Technology.

Way back, sometime in the 1960s my folks got my Brother and myself simple snap cameras. They had flash bulb attachments that took AA batteries and glass flash bulbs. I don't recall using mine much, but that was probably my introduction to the world of photography.

We lived near Orchard and Emerald. I recall a couple of times riding my bike to the Westgate Mall. You could walk into the main entrance and it was a wide hallway that led into the interior hall that went to the left and to the right and had shops along both sides.

I kinda seen to remember Boise Music used to be there before they moved to Nampa. But, my concern was turning left. This wide corridor led me to another hall that too went to the left and to the right. Straight ahead was World Toy And Hobby. And as you walked in, there was a glass case that just fascinated me. It was full of detective things.

Hand cuffs, thumb cuffs, a realistic looking Luger pistol cap gun, magnifiers, a stethoscope and even something called a detective kit.

At the time, I probably didn't realize it, but Ballou-Latimer was next door with an amazing array of photographic equipment.

I think I rode my bike the day I bought the Detective Kit. It was a small plastic box about 2.5 * 3.5 * / inches in size full of experiments, fingerprinting material, magnesium, and all kinds of stuff.

There were these two containers that I think held two powders. You mix the powders in water and treat paper with the solution, and let dry. Perhaps there was only one powder you added to water, I don't recall.

This made light sensitive paper. You place the paper in the sun with an object on it and after a few minutes or hours -- some amount of time -- either the paper turned blue or you added another chemical (I don't recall, but I kinda think it just turned blue) and the covered part was left white.

I, of course, took a photographic negative I had, and placed it on the paper and made a picture. It was a blast!

My first darkroom work was done out in bright daylight!


It is the 1970s and I can recall the Indy 500, running through sprinklers and going to Chatsworth for Thanksgiving.

In my Elementary years, my Dad, who worked for the U.S.G.S. (United States Geological Survey) had an opportunity to go to Hawaii for work.

He must have left in June, or late May. After a month or so, the rest of the Family flew to San Francisco on a United 727 and caught a DC-8 and flew across the Pacific to Helo, Hawaii.


It was before my Dad left, that he and/or my Mom presented my Brother and I with new cameras. Our previous cameras were roll film cameras that you loaded by pulling the paper-backed film from the spool after inserting the roll into place, across the shutter window and threading it into the take-up reel.

These new cameras were the modern Instamatic verity. My Brother's a Kodak, I believe, and mine a Keystone. A new camera! Instamatics were modern, and they took magic cubes. These were flash cubes, like the more modern cubes that many newer camera sported as their flash bulbs, except with Magic Cubes, the camera needed no batteries!

I cannot attest to my Brother's camera, but I came to learn mine was a piece of crap. Of course, I had thought it was me initally. I just couldn't seem to hold the camera steady and get a good picture. Turns out, I was not a good photographer at all. It didn't disway me much, but it was a self esteem burner.

The Move.

After I had finished Elementary School and my Brother finished Jr. High, the family moved to a place out in the middle of no where, or so I thought. Maple Grove and Victory were a long way from my friends and the intersection was surrounded by fields. There were few trees and few houses.

In my second year of Jr. High, I took a photography class. It was recommended that you get an adjustable camera.

A camera you could change the focus on, at a bare minimum. Changing the aperture would be nice as well. One that did all that, plus change shutter speed would be even better. That's when a trip to K-Mart (the very same one where my first commodore 64 came from) resulted in a Hanimex compact A coming home.

Considered a simi-adjustable camera, it was a 35mm camera, you could change the f-stop (2.8-22) and the focus (symbols for 1 person, 2 people, further away and mountains). It had a meter that would put up a red indicator in the viewfinder if the exposure was not right. Hot shoe flash, with a sync cable option, tripod mount, and cable extension on the shutter button. It really was a nice camera.

In the class the Teacher had a Single Lens Reflex camera -- a Nikon F with the big double reading lightmeter prism. An SLR has everything. You can adjust the lighting and thus the depth of field (how deep the range of focus is), you can change the shutter speed, giving a soft focus to water falls or a clear crisp shot of the same water where every partial of water is visible. Long exposures were possible with this type of camera where night skies become visible or even streak across your picture field.

Everything you see in your view finder, is what appears on film. At least, it's really close.

But there is one thing that even appealed to me more than all that. You can change the lenses!

I talked to my folks and it was decided -- despite my crappy holding the camera still abilies -- to get me an SLR!

I think they looked at the compact A pictures I took and we impressed by it's lack of my shaking the camera and thought it might just be all right.

My Dad was a big reader of Consumer Reports. We had several thick publications that they put out. We even acquired one on nothing but cameras. That last one, I poured through and did comparisons of all the cameras available and discovered a gem. It was an older model and prices were around the 85 dollar mark. Idaho Camera, downtown had one. I must admit, to doing a lot of leg work research as well, since there was an Idaho Camera in Vista Village near my Jr. High.

I walked there lots and it must have been a slow time of day for them, as soon after several trips I had gotten a relationship going with one of the sales people. He taught me gobs about cameras. He agreed the Hanimex Praktica Super TL was a really great camera. With an M42 lens mount, the number of available lenses was astounding. New and Used.

I don't recall the camera purchase, but I'll never forget how that camera became a part of me.

I recall spending gobs of time with the camera and over a short couple of years I had acquired a Vivitar 200mm lens, a 3x tele converter, and a Tamron 24mm wide angle. It was amazing.

All used equipment, but all usable equipment.

Years passed and some where along the line I acquired a Nikon FM along with sundry other cameras, all of which got some use. This lasted into the end of the 20th century.

A New Age.

Long after I had been married for sometime, with several kids, my folks came over to have birthday cake as it was my birthday. My Dad carried an HP Printer Box. Inside the box was a printer. Cool! My folks got me a printer for my birthday. The box contained not only a printer, it also had an HP PhotoSmart 315 inside.

Apparently, the camera with the printer cost less than the camera alone. My folks, not wanting to pass up a good deal, decided to opt for the one with the printer. And the printer got lots of use.

So did the camera. It was a hallmark camera for me, much like the first SLR was. This camera reigned in the digital age all over again.

I had been doing digital pictures for a while. Back when I was a photographer at LCI, I used a film camera, but had everything digitally scanned. I had been using my CDTV, Amiga 1200 and Amiga 1000 to digitize images captured by my camcorder as well as an electronic camera.

Neither was very portable or quick. This was a camera, that took the picture digitally.

Back to that Keystone. When I was in Jr. High, my Photography teacher was talking about qualities one should seek in a good camera. One of which was the pressure used to trip the shutter should be very little as the more pressure the more camera movement. Hmm.

I took that Keystone and pressed it on the bathroom scale my folks had and it took 45 pounds of pressure before the shutter tripped! Wholy cow! No wonder I hated that camera.

Well, this HP game me a new chance with photography. An instant, virtually cost free photographic venue. It was bliss. Except one thing. It was slow.

With my film camera, I could set up a photo and I was in control of when the shutter fired. It fired right on que. But this HP would sit and do nothing, my subject would move on and be gone, then the shutter fired. Aaaaaaaa!

I had acquired some cheapy digital cameras, I won one in a drawing and got two at the Grocery Outlet. None of these had screens to see the pictures they took and you had to empty the camera that day or the batteries died and you lost your pictures.

The card for the HP, plugged into an a PCMCIA adapter, and plugged right into my Amiga 1200. This enabled a virtually seamless operation. WHile I could do the same on the ThinkPad, the Amiga was able to read the card faster.

And when I got a faster, larger card, it was the Amiga that really shined, as it could access the whole card, that for some reason Windoze could not.

ImageFX really took on a strong roll in my life at this point. I could do all manner of digital manipulation with outstanding results. I also got into some cool experimentation as seen in the AC posting after a trip to New Orleans.

While, the lens isn't considered a wide angle, taking a picture of building that is "right there" distorts it somewhat. ImageFX let me undistort the images to make some amazing shots come forth.

I made a dramatic image of an above ground cemetery. Taken in daylight, I made it night and placed a lightning bolt in the image as if it had struck the ground. Fun!


grave000.png grave001.png grave003.png grave004.png

I was totally hooked on digital photography! But something was missing.


A much more versatile Canon came along. It took pictures faster. It offered a higher resolution, larger pictures and well the plus is that faster picture taking thing. It also shot VGA video.

The zoom was greater, it was optical, plus it could extend further digitally. It took pictures pretty much when I wanted it to.

So far, all digital cameras in my experiences have not always fired when they seemed ready. Getting ready is one thing, being ready and doing nothing is another.

Meet the Past.

Along the way I had acquired several Nikon F mount lenses for the Nikon film camera.

Along came a Kodak Digital Science Professional DCS 420c Camera (yeah, that's name). A press camera from the 1990s, made during the Dawn of Digital Photography.

It is a Nikon N90s (a film camera) with it's back removed and a Kodak made digital back added along with every port on the thing plugged into it. The camera has a focal length multiplyer of 1.6, I believe. What you see in the view finder is much larger than what the digitizer sees. There is a frame inside the view finder to supposedly make up for the small digitizer, so what you see in the new frame is what the digitizer sees, but it's actually bigger than what the digitizer sees. Maybe the frame is just stock on the Nikon and you're supposed to remember where your frame ends. It's a bit of a bother.

That said. It works with all my old Nikon lenses! I did a slideshow of experimental pictures taken with it a couple of years ago. 1970s meets 1990s!

Jumping ahead still.

Nikon D3400 digital single lens reflex camera entered my life as a birthday present from my family. 24.1 megapixel image sensor and an astounding array of effects and programmability make is a feature rich camera.

A thoroughly modern DSLR. It accepts just about every Nikkor F-mount lens ever made and all of the F-mount lenses I own with the exception of a Soligor 3x teleconverter. The mount spacing is slightly off, enough to not be able to fit the camera. What's up with that? There are certain Nikkor lenses that won't work because of the distance to the mirror from the mount (which is the usual reason certain lenses won't work on certain cameras -- at least in the Nikon world). Any who.

As a straight forward automatic camera to just snap shots with it seems pretty hit or miss. The kit lenses that came with it are crap. The 18-55mm sometimes will give crisp clear results and sometimes not. The 70-300mm actually works most of the time, but at long distant shots it don't shine. So I got an "real" lens. An AF S NIKKOR 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 G ED that has the switches on the lens barrel that my kit lens lack. The best part is when you hit infinity, the focus ring stops, just like on a good, old fashioned lens. This lens is a digital-photographic savior.

When the kit lens gets to infinity, focus jumps to the closest focus -- read that again -- you read that right. Like instantly too. I can't just throw the focus to infinity and shoot. To make matters worse, unless I turn off auto-focus on the camera, I fight with the camera overriding my focus with whatever the hell the camera decides is right. Add to all this one last gripe.

In auto mode, the ISO invariably shoots up to the 26000 point graining everything out. However, you can get pix in dark twilight that look like day time and you don't notice the grain on a computer as long as you don't zoom in.

It's not a full frame 1500 dollar camera, but I wouldn't call it cheap in price. It's really a love/hate relationship. Using manual mode is a god send and my 18-200mm lens lets me do my thing.


One thing I do with film that has been happening speratically, especially over the past 5 years, is IR (InfraRed) photography.

When I was in Jr, High, my photography teacher, who was also an antique dealer, told me about a camera down at the Boise Auction (BTW best place on earth to buy a hamburger in the 70s). It was a Minolta SR-1. He knew I really wanted a camera with a bayonet lens mount and Minolta had been in the running.

My Dad took me down and we checked the camera out before the auction. It was a sound piece of equipment in great shape.

During the actual action, he turned to me and asked, "Do you really want it?" I thought for a millisecond and replied, "Yes." He bid the next bid and got it.

Of all my lenses I owned at the time, which was the Hanimar 50mm that came with the Super TL, a Vivitar 200mm telephoto and a Tamron 24mm wideangle, the telephoto and the Tamron had changeable lens mounts. The Vivitar had a T-mount, so I instantly had a telephoto for the Minolta. I had a 3x teleconverter was for this camera as well.

Enter a Reader, A O Black, who donated a Polaroid Pallet (I have it out and setup to the point of connecting to the computer! It's a slow process ;) . With the Pallot came a Minolta body, much newer than my old SR-1, but old enough to take the original Minolta mount lenses. I have added a couple more over the years.

It is with these two camera that I have been shooting most of my IR. I have actually been shooting Rollei IR400. Which is a near IR film, and getting it hand processed at a local shop way across town.

Many, if not most, modern digital camera sensors are sensitive to IR. They have an internal filter that blocks most of the IR and lets visible light in.

I have had limit luck with the D3400 using a 700nm filter that blocks most visible light and lets IR in. The results are color IR pictures or at least in that zone of rear IR.

There are conversion cameras, where people either send their camera to one of a few companies that to this or they DIY it themselves. The conversion is simply removing the IR blocking filter and replacing it with a visible light blocking filter that lets the IR in. Since it is internal, what is seen through the view finder, looks the same. This is the solution I am currently working on via the DIY route.

I have a 640nm, highpass filter and a Nikon D70s (6.1 megapixel). The camera has all it needs, I just need to cut the filter and install it. I'm hopping to do that in the not too distant future, especially since the end results will be a great solution for IR experimentation at little or no cost. I got the N70s for $20 and the filter for $9, so it is indeed a low budget solution.

The Studio.

With a high-def digital camera at my disposal, I have pondered the idea of taking pictures of the machines that are posted on While many, many are long gone, it would be nice to have crystal clear pictures of things like the c65 montherboard, and other such treasures.

We shall see, we shall see.


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September 2020

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Meanwhile at the ranch: Just continuing from last month's typing (that I just finished a moment ago), I have been working, once again, on that HP wide screen monitor.

When I first got it ($6) I hooked it up, and pressed the power button and a beautiful 22inch wide screen display lit up in all it's glory -- nice, pristine picture, crystal clear.

There was a little smoking going on, so I quickly powered down and tore into it to investigate. A surface mount resistor was the apparent culprit. A long trace on the board leading to the component in question also had burned up with it.

I rebuilt the trace with a strip of copper conducting tape. I opted to use soldier glue rather than risk burning up the new component with my soldiering iron.

It worked. The monitor was restored, at least to the state prior to burning. Upon testing, the new component burned up. :/ The monitor clearly doesn't use it. However, the reality is, that something else is going on and it' would only be a mater of time, perhaps moments when the next part of the board over heated.


My less than $2 fix for my $6 monitor was not gonna make this a waycool less than $10 deal. I had found what looked to be a viable solution at the lowest price I thought was appropriate. Might, work, might not, and it didn't.

I looked online and found the actual PS, bit it, and ordered it. It's at the post office, soon to be delivered. I will still get a good deal in the end if all goes well. These monitors new are pricey and used, still more than I want to pay -- especially after adding shipping costs. That is the current project.

My scan doubler might be next; I have been reluctant to unscrew the wires to put them in the insulative casing I designed. That is why that project has sat to long.

All this is Amiga related. Although, really, the 1084 I have on the 1200 is an amazing display and far superior to any flat screen. Modern flat screens just don't equate.

I have explored the SCART option, despite it being a PAL thing, after all, my Amiga is as at home in PAL mode as it is in NTSC mode.

Going down the list of waiting projects, I need to hook up power to an really nice IPcam. The input is a small USB connector, so soldiering is gonna be hard, even though it'll be just 2 leads.

And of course, there is the Nikon D70s IR camera. I hope to clear my bench off to get that going and I hope sooner rather than later. It is a matter of having all the data gathered and having a couple of long, uninterrupted stretches of time to work on it.

I have been pondering using the 570 known as Bonny in place of Samwise. Samwise's screen shuts off seconds after powering up. Samwise has other issues as well, that just might be crap on the HD. Bonny too, is sitting on the workbench in the way.

In fact, there are several laptops in the way there. Perhaps the snow shovel/garbage can approach is in order.

An iPhone battery transplant that went well, but the case pops open is in the wait. Several other things, have piled up. Too many things, perhaps.

Monitor Update:

New PS arrived a day ago and today I put it in. CRAP! Dropped a screw and it vanished. I went ahead and put it together without the screw as I really want to test it. I ran out of time before the foot was attached, so maybe tomorrow will be the day. :/

Monitor Update to the Update:

It works! I do need to clean it off though....


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October 2020

The Haunting of Rose Vine Cemetery.


Brian Crosthwaite


I love books. I collect and read books. If I had more time, I'd collect and read more books.

I caught the reading bug late. I used to love chess and backgammon. Turns out, I don't have the patients to play chess, and the whole timer thing I find very upsetting. And I kinda suck at chess.

I'm fair at backgammon, but the game I found I excelled at was Scrabble. After coming to terms with the whole mediocre to not good at most all games, I got into photography.

I'd planned to one day have a darkroom at home, but was content to use the one at school when I was in photography class.

The summer before my freshman year in high school, I got really sick in mid-July, finally recovering just in time for school to start in early September. I couldn't even tell you now, what it was that laid me low for so long, but I can tell you this.

I lost my summer. I would have gone completely loony if it weren't for books. My big sister gave me The Hobbit and I was hooked. Next, I read all of The Lord of the Rings books.

I had to read the Silmerillian to see how it all began. Middle Earth, that is.

Reading saved my sanity, but I was still bummed about the whole summer ending so abruptly for me.

Now, when ever I get the chance, I head to The Hooting Owl, a local book store. My favorite book store.

I started in fantasy, then moved into mystery stories. Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie and the like. Then I found A Ghost Story.

My life would change again.

I really, loved ghost stories. I settled in on a long stretch of reading nothing but ghost stories. I read some horror, like Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus, but my love was with places like old castles, and houses, and cemeteries. Graveyards. I actually found myself walking through our local cemetery a lot. I would go in the evening as the sun set. I recall actually reading a ghost story about a haunted place that was an old abandon graveyard -- in a graveyard.

It was nice to have access to the school's library as there was a couple of anthologies of ghost stories I wanted to re-read.

That year, Halloween took on a new excitement for me. It was also that autumn that I came across a book called Haunted Legends, and Folk Tales. It had stories from all over, and they were purported to be true! Or at least, hear-say and other stories that people in the areas talked about in the book would know the stories as stories about where they grew up. Many people in the book claimed they were re-telling true stories, but I think I thought of it more as hopeful possibilities.

I was dismayed when after reading one story of a place less than 50 miles away from my home. The book itself was almost 50 years old, and most of the stories were probably long forgotten.

Wouldn't it be great, though, to go to one of these places and investigate the area and see what, if anything, might be happening there? To find out what actually was the cause? I mean, I didn't really believe in ghosts -- I just liked reading about them.

It was October 13th when I got to the last chapter in the book. I recall this, as one of my class mates made a fuss about me reading such a creepy book on such a creepy day. It was all in good fun. After I finished my lunch that day, I sat out on the schoolyard in the corner near the flag poll. There was a rock I sat on fairly frequently for the sole purpose of reading.

It was a warm, sunny, autumn day. Sunny and breezy. It was nice. The last chapter caught my eye. Why had I not noticed this before? The name was The Haunting of Rose Vine Cemetery! Naw! It couldn't be! It was a coincidence. But then, what are the chances of two cemeteries with the same name: Rose Vine Cemetery?

Holy Cow! It was the very same cemetery in this very same town in this very same state! I could not believe it. I read with enthusiasm as the story unfolded.

The story told of sightings about 50 years ago over several weeks in October from a caretaker named Harvey Wilton, who happened to be in the cemetery at night. He had seen someone walking around in the cemetery. The first account said that the caretaker hadn't really though much about it, since people go to the cemetery, even at late hours. What he really noticed the most was it was a large person, in dark cloths, with no real discernible shape. Kind of a large dark figure. The person in question didn't appear to be up to any mischief of any kind, so the caretaker simply went about his own business.

He never saw where the person left the cemetery. A few nights later the caretaker saw what appeared to be the same person walking in pretty much the same manner, in the same place within the cemetery.

Over time, the caretaker realized this dark figure seemed to be a regular visitor.

One night, the caretaker's curiosity got the better of him and he went to talk to the person. He said that they walked behind a large grave and when the caretaker came to the other side, the person was gone. It was strange, because on the other side of the large grave was a wide open area with no trees and no person in sight.

It happened again a few nights later. Soon, the caretaker found himself waiting to greet the person, but it was no use, they vanished before he could speak to them. He even called out to them on several occasions to no avail.

My Grampa had recently turned 68, he'd of been around 18, maybe he'd know!

The bell rang leaving my story unfinished. I couldn't wait till I got home after school, when I could finish the story and go see Grampa!

That Night.

When I got back to the story it told of one night, when the caretaker got a little aggressive in his pursuit, he ran to cut the person off. He said that the figure simply disappeared, vanishing before his very eyes!

I had to ask Grampa! I wasn't able to see Grampa for a couple of days as he had gone to visit someone across the state somewhere, so I was left with nothing but my book and speculation.


When I finally talked to Grampa about the story, he looked at me, silent for a long time. I could tell it rang a bell, but there was something else.

"I saw what you might call an orb. A glowing green ball of light. It was my high school year. I must have been all of 18, ready for the world. Or so I thought. Danny Dunkin dared me to stay the night in the Rose Vine Cemetery. I remember thinking, it was aptly named as there were rose vines everywhere.

"It's a run down place now, but not back then. I don't thing anyone had been buried there for many years. Anyway, I took the bet and decided it was gonna be fun. I thought I'd bring a couple of friends to make sure it was fun, but the only taker I had a Gregory Johnson. He was a pip, I'll tell ya.

"You know that house behind the Cemetery, what do they call it? Grangeval, something like that. That's the place Danny should of sent me. We heard it was haunted by three ghosts, something about a triple murder. Just local legend I guess. I was glad it was the cemetery, but that house was too close.

"Gregory and I got there at 11:30. We brought a couple of sandwiches and some lemonade. You know, it was October and still hot. Damn hot for October.

"Gregory would say, 'Boo!' every few minutes. He had comic timing, that kid. Made me jump every time. He finally decided he'd had enough and stopped. We finally settled in and I was about to fall asleep, having finished my sandwich and most of my lemonade. I was leaning on a grave with the name Granger on it. I didn't mean to, I was just sitting there and after a bout with the sleepies, I sort of just leaned back. Gregory jabbed me and said something about not falling a sleep. I think I told him I couldn't help it. Suddenly a dog wandered right passed us. It was just sniffing at the ground, here and there and didn't pay us any heed.

"I half expected a wet dog nose at any moment, but the dog just wondered on. It woke me up more than Gregory's nudging did. I finally stood to stay awake. It must have been right at midnight. I guess our plan was to stay awake at least till midnight, or a little after.

"I was looking around, thinking about the dog I guess, when a green light came from the direction of the old house. I though it was a car. I remember thinking it was strange that a car had green headlights.

"I got a jolt, as Gregory grabbed my arm and pointed as a round ball of green light came directly toward us.

"It had to be Danny, and I think that's what Gregory thought too -- at first. But it was just this glowing sphere of light. You could see completely through it. It was strange. I remember thinking that it was getting cold. As the ball got closer I could feel the cold as if it were coming from the ball."

Grampa hesitated and shuttered, "It still sends a shiver down my spine to think of it even today."

"What did you do?"

"What did we do? I'll tell you what we did -- we tore outta there! I think we ran almost all the way home. Gregory spent the night at my house. Danny didn't believe either of us when we told him the next day. I never went back. I'd had enough." He looked deeply in my eyes and said, "I think it's best you stay away too."

That was not what I had wanted to hear, What I wanted to hear was a plan for the two of us to go back! But those last words were so graven, it was an overwhelming cue to end the topic then and there.

I was defeated. My excitement had built to the moment of talking to Grampa. His story fueled the fire and his last words totally extinguished it. The excitement was gone. We took a walk in the foot hills along a set of paths that wove in and out of the various hills and knolls that made up the countryside. The path, slowly winding upward as it went. You could hardly tell there was much elevation change until you suddenly found yourself on the top. And the view! You could see most all the town.

We stood, looking out, pondering in silence. My eyes could see the far, but not too distant line of trees marking the boarder between the old abandoned house and Rose Vine Cemetery. I could feel the spark rekindle deep down, almost hidden away. But it was there. I knew then, one way or another, I was going to go there at night to see the strange glowing ball!

Another Life Change?

I felt a new awakening in me. I was going from Ghost Story Fan to Paranormal Investigator. It might have happened in the planning, or perhaps it was more in the thinking about going to the Cemetery. I wanted to do more than simply observe.

At first, it was pencil and paper. Then I thought -- I'd need a camera. Perhaps, highspeed film. A flash. A movie camera. Some rope. A blanket -- no a winter coat -- a big one. Food, I'd need food and water. Things just popped into my head so fast I decided it was time to write them down. And that is when it became a plan.

Once you have a plan to see a ghost, or other strange phenomena, you cross over the line of being simply curious to being a paranormal investigator. At least, that's what I thought. With that, I made a written plan.

It was a warm night. I got permission to camp out under the stars in a field that was near the cemetery; the field butted up against the cemetery. I found some bushes that formed a shield from the road, pretty much making a circle. It would camouflage the tent and the whole campsite, with an angled opening toward the cemetery. You could look out into the cemetery but from outside the bushes you couldn't see back in. This had turned into a full blown paranormal event.

I packed several books -- including the local legends one, a rain parka -- just in case, a sleeping bag, a fair amount of food, a camera, two rolls of film -- ASA 400 color and ASA 800 black & white, a tripod, a second camera with ASA 125 color film and a flash (I'd carry this one and mount the other on the tripod), a shutter extension cable, a tape recorder, and a movie camera, a note pad, two pencils and a pen. Oh, and I had a coat and wool socks to put on if it got cold, a flashlight with a red filter that popped in and out to make a dim red light or a bright white light -- red filter in. I also had my watch. I was set!

I set up camp that day around 4 in the afternoon. It was a hot day for October. It was nice since I felt I could move more easily not wearing a coat. I lay everything out in the tent next to my sleeping bag, in the ready. Since I had a lot of time, I'd read the story of the caretaker's sighting again, and go over Grampa's story and take notes.

I found it odd that the caretaker had seen the dark figure but hadn't seen the glowing orb. At least, if he had, apparently he told no one. Grampa, on the other hand, had seen the orb, yet was somewhat reluctant to talk about it, at least at first. He hadn't seen the dark figure. Were these two different things?

My mind was struggling with this. What, if anything, would I witness that night? I recall pacing the ground in my small campsite for a long time.

I finally sat down on a rock with my books and read. The books were a couple of ghost sighting reporting type books and one on the subject of paranormal things in general. I spent most of the evening reading and contemplating.

I had lost track of time as the sun had set and it was full on twilight. Hunger called and I crawled into the tent to get dinner and read a little more. When I emerged darkness had fallen. It was much later than I thought it was; I had one hour until midnight!

I grabbed my flashlight, and scrambled to get all my equipment packed and moved it over to the cemetery. I picked a spot where there was a huge grave with an open area behind, filled with smaller graves. This had to be the spot the caretaker had seen the phantom. The camera on the tripod would aim toward the gravestone from about 30 feet away and on the ground, for easy access, I put the rest of the equipment behind me. The camera with the flash was around my neck.

The camera on the tripod was set to B which gives you a time exposure as it would, hopefully, capture the dark figure. The camera on my neck with the flash, would capture the orb. I was set.

Strange thoughts flooded my head. I thought I saw dark figures out of the corner of my eye. Something sparked in the far distance! Was it green? Was it the orb? These things were all in my imagination. There wasn't anything there. I admit I was a little scared at first. But as time went by and midnight approached, I felt disappointment. Nothing had happened -- nothing was going to happen. Nothing was going to appear. There was simply nothing there. Nothing but a kid with a bunch of "paranormal investigative equipment" sitting in an abandoned old graveyard. Despite the disappointment, thinking of being an investigator of the paranormal made me feel better, almost happy, I suppose.

I really had done the research, both book and interview. I was doing the leg work. Even if I saw nothing, it had to be investigated, and I did it.

I figured the thing to do was take a few pictures of the area, maybe record what it sounds like at night there and take a few notes. I'd pack up after that and call it a night.

I took a 30 second exposure of the grave and surrounding area. Took some flash pictures. I sat down with the tape recorder and my watch and set out to record 2 minutes of sound, but didn't get to press stop.

For up till then, it was a rather uneventful night, but something had caught my eye. The moon was mostly obscured by clouds; it was not a bright night. But it did appear that there was something in front of the large grave. I could not see the whole face of the grave I had easily seen moments before. Perhaps the influence of the moon was less strong at that moment. Then, then it moved! There was someone or something there! As the shadow moved, I realized this was the wrong grave. It was not a shadow. There was a person, albeit fully engulfed as a silhouette, that walked across the area between me and the gravestone!

I realized as stood up and pulled up the camera around my neck and the figure walked passed, if this was the right grave, the event would be at an end because the figure would disappear behind the grave. I started snapping pictures expecting the person to turn or otherwise respond to my camera flashing at them. The dark figure walked on unperturbed. I followed, shooting pictures as I walked, stumbling upon and bumping into graves along the way. Finally, it came to a rather large gravestone I hadn't noticed before and walked to the other side of it. I followed. Upon reaching the other side, I found absolutely nothing. The phantom was gone. All I could see was an empty graveyard.

I stood frozen for a moment. Then proceeded with my barrage of picture taking. Nothing seemed to become illuminated by the flash other than the surrounding grounds that had been there for a long time before I arrived. It was at that point that the realization hit me -- my flash hadn't really shed any light upon the figure. It was like it swallowed up the light.

I raced back to my original location. When I arrived I found nothing disturbed, but I noticed my tape recorder was still recording. I reached down to press stop, when I suddenly stopped myself. I hesitated and yet, I know not why. For some unknown reason, I left it recording. I waited. Time slowly slipped by, if at all. I glanced at my watch's phosphorescent dial. I watched as 30 seconds went by. I slowly sat. I waited. I wanted to get more pictures before too much time had passed; I opted to leave the recorder running.

I took some more pictures of the first grave with the camera set up for time exposures. Then, I set down the other camera and grabbed the movie camera. I'm not sure what I was thinking there, it'd surely be a waste of time filming in the dark, long after the apparition had gone.

I moved over to the vanishing point, where I set up the tripod and took a guess at the distance and turned the focusing ring. I opened up the shutter and twisted the lock on the cable extension. I then aimed the movie camera at the grave. I could hardly see anything through the viewfinder. I shot about 20 seconds of footage, then stopped. I stepped around the grave and took aim into the now even darker area behind the grave -- the clouds had thickened around the moon. I aimed into the dark and filmed the area behind. I started to the far left and ever so slowly panned to the right. It got suddenly very cold. I remember fighting to hold the camera steady as I began to shiver violently. I thought I could see my breath. Just about then, the moon peeped out and flooded the area with just enough light that I really did see my breath rising in front of the camera. I stopped filming. It just got so cold, so fast.

I release the lock on the shutter and set up to take another shot at a different angle. It seemed to be warmer here. Instead of taking the picture, I moved the camera on the tripod around to the other side of the grave stone. I could see my breath again. It was cold.

And there was something else. I couldn't put my finger on it, but there was a presence, or something. I hadn't felt this before, not when I was following the dark figure. It was a feeling I didn't like. It made me want to leave immediately. I started the next exposure. I stood staring into the darkness passed the moonlit area. The clouds moved and the shadows danced across the ground and across the graves. The breeze felt very slight, but the movement of the shadows became more pronounced. I raised the movie camera up again and squeezed the shutter button. I was filming. There appeared to be a faint glow in the center of the viewfinder. It was more of a dot.

I wasn't certain that it was anymore then one of those things in your eyes you see in total darkness that's in you head or your optic nerve. I kept filming. I had decided I'd hold out only as long as my movie film did. I always felt that 3 minutes was never enough time for a movie session, but that night it was too much. It just seemed to keep filming. It felt like an eternity. I felt like I just wanted to run home and get my equipment the next day in the bright mid-day sun. But I stood fast. The thought of having not loaded the cassette in the camera properly entered my head and I was about to stop and check when I finally did run out of film.

I stopped the camera on the tripod's exposure as well and quickly gathered up all my equipment. Buy the time I was back at my tent that dread feeling had passed. In fact, I was now exhilarated. I had seen the dark figure from my book! It was a true story! And, if I had any luck I might have actually caught something on film.

Mission Accomplished.

I slept well in my tent that night. I awoke to the sound of crows, and I remembered the night before. I sat bolt upright. I recall just sitting there, wondering if I had had a strange dream or if I was remembering the actual events of the previous night. It was quite strange. It really felt like I had dreamt it all. I had no recollection of any other dreams so the disjointed events in my mind had to be my nights dream. I slowly came to realize I was in a tent. I sat for a moment longer, when it all came flooding back to me. Everything seemed more vivid. It was not a dream, I had actually lay witness to those strange events only a few hours ago. I had some film to get developed!

I gathered up my belongings and packed them out to the road. It was a lot to carry and some how, the previous day hefting all this stuff didn't seem like much of a chore. Perhaps, I wasn't in much of a hurry then. I certainly was that morning.

I decided to get all the film rewound and pulled out of the cameras. I could stop at 1 Hour Photo on the way home and I'd make home in time for breakfast.

I dropped the two 35mm films and the Super 8mm film I shot off at the 1 Hour Photo. It would be several days before I got the movie back, but then I knew that ahead of time. Meanwhile, I headed home.

My folks asked how camping was, and I said fine, which for the most part, the camping was fine. I failed to mention anything of my side adventure. After breakfast I went to my room and rewound the tape in the tape recorder. I could at least listen to the tape while I awaited the development of my pictures. I was dying of anticipation. I'd have the pictures soon, but not soon enough. The tape stopped. I pressed stop, then play.

The sound of crickets took me back. I heard an occasional frog and an owl I hadn't noticed before, but were apparently there none the less. I heard a strange hum, very faint, at first. It became loader. At first I thought something was wrong with the tape I had. I could hear the sounds of my camera clicking and the film being advanced and the whine of the electronic flash recharging. It was me taking pictures, of course. I could hear foot steps in the grass. I listened closely. It sounded like I'd walk, pause presumably to ready the camera, take a picture, then trot to catch up, which is pretty much what I did. But what I heard on the tape that I was not aware of, was that there was the sound of someone else walking more steadily. Was someone following me? No! -- it was the phantom! There was a pause in the walking where I suspect was the place I stopped the longest. The figure had lingered there momentarily.

Those sounds slowly faded as I got further away from the recorder as did the hum. As these sounds faded I found myself listening really hard to hear the very quiet sounds. My camera had stopped. I heard a strange sound quietly at first, that slowly grew. At first I thought the wind was blowing, as there was a slight breeze, but this was something different. It had a voice-like quality to it. A whisper.


My mom had interrupted by calling me to breakfast; I hit stop and abandoned the recorder. I was rather distracted at breakfast. I was processing what I had heard and was ready to go back and listen to the tape. I ate a lot that morning. I suppose following ghosts in the middle of the night works up an appetite. My folks both commented on the amount I ate, something about reading all those books really burns the calories. My mind really was a million miles away.

With good reason. I had a tape to finish listening to and it was about time to head to the 1 Hour Photo!

I rode my bike to 1 Hour Photo. Then to a nearby park. I found my favorite reading spot and opened the photos. The time exposures turned out better than I had hoped.

That first shot of what I thought was nothing had a fat green line running horizontally across the image. I thought something had happened to the film, but the line was actually behind the grave. It was something -- no -- it was the green orb -- it had to be! It had been there all along! It appeared in every picture I had taken with that camera!

The last picture on the time exposure roll had the orb zig zagging across the graves. Lighting up the graves below it. I had not seen that with my naked eyes. I just stared at the picture in awe. What I had seen that night was no more than a speck, like a trick of my eyes in the dark. What the film had captured appeared to be a glowing orb moving around the graves, like some one searching. Searching for something.

I quickly fumbled to open the other pictures. The images were strange indeed. The flash lit up the area as expected, but where the dark figure had been, it was like an absence of light. There was no discernible edge on the shape, it was simply devoid of any light.

At that point, I wondered what the movie camera might have caught that I had missed. Then it hit me -- the tape! I hadn't finished listening to the tape!

When I got to the house, it was empty. My folks had gone shopping. It felt strange going into my room now. I had an uneasy feeling. The tape I was excited about awaited.

I sat down on my bed and looked at the tape recorder sitting on my desk. I felt a reluctance toward turning it on. I guess the surprise of seeing the orb photos had finally gotten to me. What other strange thing was there in that graveyard that I had missed that night?

I leaned forward and pressed play. I heard crickets once more. I must have been gone away from the recorder at this point, following the phantom. I felt a shiver go down my spine as that thought passed through my mind. Then from the recorder, I heard the voice I had forgotten about! It almost sounded like wind. I leaned in to hear what it said. "Eiy sue?" What? I stopped the tape and rewound it, and turned the volume up. "Ice sea ooo." Once again, I rewound, this time I turned the volume up to full. "I see you."

My heart had just about stopped -- 'I see you!' The voice had said, "I see you!" I felt really strange. I was suddenly very selfconscience. It was then that I realized what the uneasy feeling I had felt that night. It was the feeling that someone was watching me!

That feeling settled in on me again. I looked up and saw no one. I listened and all I heard was the sound of crickets on the tape once again. I swallowed hard. But I listened on despite the uneasy feeling. The whisper repeated once more as it faded away. I remember wishing my folks were at home.

I heard the sounds of my feet coming back. The sounds of the camera being set down next to the recorder in the grass and me digging the movie camera out of my bag and grabbing the tripod. I heard my feet walking off in the tall dry grass.

Soon there was another sound. Another set of foot falls? Someone had just walked passed the recorder. Was it me? No, I had clearly left with the movie camera. It sounded like it stopped right at the recorder. Suddenly the tape was silent. The only sound was the sound the recorder made and the static-like sound of the volume up at full. The tape at that point was totally blank -- devoid of any recorded sound. It was more than blank, there wasn't even a hiss from the tape and that tape was not a great tape, there should have been at least a little hiss.

I froze, listening hard for the faintest of sound from the tape, but nothing came forth. And then, as suddenly as the silence had come, crickets and the sound of someone else approaching. It was my return. And then the recording stopped.

Later, after my folks were home, I listened to the tape several more times and it was the same. It seemed the voice got quieter every time I listened to it. Perhaps it was the poor quality of the tape. I couldn't be sure. It was indeed a strange recording. It scared me more than the strange pictures I had taken. The pictures seemed like an echo of something far off, but the recording, it was directed at me!

One Week Later.

It was the week of Halloween and my movie was finally developed. I couldn't wait to see what, if anything, I had caught on Super 8.

After school, I went straight to my room and got out my movie editor. It was not a professional editor by any means, but you could see things on it's screen, even low light stuff. I loaded the movie, turned on the lamp, and turned the crank. It was very dark. Mostly black with a slight tinge of gray when ever light hit the camera. I thought I could see the outline of the graves, but wasn't sure.

I was disappointed after such success at all the other ways of capturing the supernatural I had already experienced. The lighting changed. I must have started filming behind the large gravestone. It was dark for some time. Then there was a slight flash off to the right side, it slowly moved toward the center growing in intensity as it crossed the screen. I could clearly see a bright green orb of glowing light. As the camera panned passed it, it re-centered in the frame! It was following the camera! For the last bit when I had just stood still waiting an eternity for the film to run out, it just floated in the center of the frame.

I could see the surrounding graves! I could barely see them that night, but there they were, illuminated by the orb. And there was something else. I recall there being very little breeze, but the shadows seemed to be moving around as if the moonlight was cutting through trees moving on a windy night.

As I watched, it slowly dawned on me what I was seeing. The shadows were strange figures. Ghost like apparitions, with distorted faces. Like shadow faces or perhaps smoke faces. The eyes and gaping mouths were open areas and the rest of the face was made up of wisps of smoke. I could see grave stones in those open areas. Suddenly, the orb flew straight at the camera, engulfing the entire screen! I half expected it to enter the room where I was. The movie just ended as I jumped back, letting go of the crank. The takeup reel slowed to a halt and I sat starring. I moved my eyes slightly to either side of the room and then looked around. No, the orb was not there. Everything I saw was on film and not in the room. I watched the film again a couple of more times. Each time it scared me even more until I resolved to call it a day on this investigation.

I turned on my light and put everything away. I put the pictures, the movie and the tape in a shoe box under my bed, where it stayed until the next summer. I think it might have been put in storage or perhaps thrown out after that.

I recall I went as Albert Einstein for Halloween that year. I stated reading historic fiction after that October. I still read, but no longer read anything about the paranormal as most of the stuff I had read was sensationalized or felt made up. I know better. I guess I could have kept track of that box and shared it with the world perhaps, but I always felt like I was being told, or perhaps warned, not to.

The End.

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


We are at Luther Heights camping in the the parking lot! The camp is closed due to the world wide spread of Coronavirus. How did we wind up here?

Mia's Ordination date has finally been set: August 10th. As of the July 27th, Mia is on official vacation. Our whole family is laying low. We are avoiding any and all possibilities of getting covid19. Mia, has worked hard for a long time to get to the place of being Ordained. Coronavirus has complicated matters, and there are so many variables that need to come together, that one of us getting sick could be disastrous.

Kelly, the camp manager told Mia to come up. There isn't anybody here, other than Kelly and her family, and possibly a few others -- not sure as we got here yesterday and it was pouring rain as well as thunder storming.

We hung out in the trailer, ate, napped, read, wrote, ate some more, napped some more, read some more, wrote some more, then went to bed.


We were hoping to get a spot at Alturas Lake, but all the campgrounds were full. This year all the campgrounds are pretty much full or close to full.

Since we are on DC only, I brought three laptops: Homer (iBook), DarthVader (MacBook), and deBerry (ThinkPad). I booted Homer, hoping to get into the older Slackware version of KDE. After a drive check that took several minutes (hey the HD light still works!), I logged in and started X server. The battery said 0% and the computer promptly went to sleep -- dang! It won't wake up until there is a significant amount of charge on the battery, which won't happen for several days since we're here for three nights.

So now, I'm typing in Kate on DarthVader.

I have been pondering getting an Amiga boot Linux box going. What's that? A computer that boots Linux up and for it's GUI, it boots AmigaOS via E-UAE. I had an older Linux setup a while back that booted without X, then I typed in UAE to boot the AmigaOS GUI.

It was nice, but I must not have done much with it as I think I reformatted the drive for another OS. I think I was planning a better solution. I'm not sure it accessed the WiFi, so that's kinda big. I suppose I could have just 10-base-T'd everything once the computer was home and just gone without, when I'm portable. Oh, yes, it was a laptop.

It has been a while since I sat in a coffee shop, much less done anything at a coffee shop with a computer. I had been meeting friends at a local coffee house over the post year or so. The last few times I went was when our Scout was at his meeting, I'd zip over to Awakenings with my DELL XPS 1430.


Here I am typing in DarthVader. First thing I did was check the battery; KDE says there are no batteries found. I guess I can use the button and lights on the bottom of the MacBook. Just checked, we appear to be over 50%. That's good since I have two more mornings.

Back to the Subject at Hand.

The AmigaOS plan:

I'll probably start with AIAB, since that install lets me use my computers video hardware seamlessly as a Retargetable Graphics card. Not sure what computer to use though. The 700z would be good. I only have a couple of drive options however. I could see about getting a new (to me) drive and start from scratch.

The R30 is also a contender, but the machine has never run off battery very well. It says the battery is low, but I recall using it for thirty minutes after that; something is amiss on that system. I used that machine when I was in Education over at BSU in the late 2000s. But I always plugged in for power. Still, it would be a portable. A lot more portable than trying to haul an actual Amiga around with it's monitor and drive. Reminds me of that stupid ad for the commodore 128 where the teacher is walking to class with a commodore 128 under his arm -- what, he has a monitor, disk drive, power supply, and all at home as well as at work?

Perhaps, if I could get Xubuntu to install on Homer, I could finagle a system up on it. But, while I had painstakingly gotten WiFi to work, it no longer connects. Not good.

Other Projects.

As I had said earlier, the HP 22inch wide screen monitor PS replacement went well. I still have not replaced the inner screw that fell off the workbench. I guess it was a matter of time before I dropped something and couldn't find it. I've dropped plenty and recovered all but that one screw.

I have a lamp that is in need of a new shade holder. I have it on my stool, halfway taken apart. It just needs completing. I have all the parts, and it is sitting in my way, so I suppose as projects for the shop go, it's not too romantic as far as the electronics world goes. It is an antique and many of the projects that pass through there, are antiques, like the Amiga 1000 and the C64 that passed through a few projects ago.

DarthVader, the MacBook I'm typing on right now, used to have an HD light, or so I seem to recall. It no longer lights.

It's AirPort card has issues. I tried to login to the Nikon D3400 this morning and it saw it, I entered the password, but it never connected. My temp solution has been a tinny, little, itty bitty, USB NIC. Despite it's small structure, it has a good range. I guess, I shouldn't be surprised as the Nikon's WiFi is provided by an SD Card with a MircoSD inside it. Welcome to the Tinny WiFi Universe!

I guess, before I tear into the MacBook, I'll look into the HD light thing. Homer (the iBook) has a functional light, and I want to make sure the MacBook actually has one. I might be remembering things wrong. Not a good premise to rip into a machine in search of answers.

I have not explored alternate Linux installs in a while. I was wanting to get going on Kalli (what BackTrack has become). It has a myriad of tools. It too is a scoot along to the next level Linux.

Kubuntu does this, of course. As KDE progresses and Kubuntu versions come along to support features offered, they change the addresses of the repositories. Which makes sense, in that you can have different versions of software for different versions of your OS. The problem is as time passes great apps loose support, or at least get removed from your install. I love TagTool. But I no longer have it installed as it has been left behind. I had to wipe my drive to install 18 on the X41. That was the end of TagTool. They have some taggers that someone thinks are fantastic and recommend, but I'm guessing those that recommend them never were exposed to the amazing abilities of TagTool.

There are some really cool alternate OSes out there for the C64 that I have never tried. I had read about a Unix for the 64 quite a while ago. Something like that would be fun. Speaking of the C64, The 64C on the commodore Station appears to not be working. I really need to look into that.

The C128D (Zoule) has been idle since the big revamping. I couldn't get the drives to cooperate with the setup, so I just need to work on the right order for the serial cables to plug in. It might not be something with an eloquent solution. I may just resort to swapping what drive gets plugged in for whatever project I'm doing. :/

The iMac isn't connecting to the CDTV's monitor (a flat screen). I wonder if the converter box is the culprit. Perhaps the cable needs reseating. Anyway, it's just one more thing. I haven't used the CDTV in a while, so the box hasn't been tested via those cables. If I really need to access the CDTV for something, I can use the A22p (Dampier) as the CDTV's S-Video cable plugs into the ThinkPad's S-Video in.

commodore 64 X41

I have VICE installed on the X41, but my ROMs don't work with it. It was the latest version for Linux at the time. Apparently, the ROM images are somehow different. This is a major bummer as at present I have no 64 or 64 related machine running. Hmm, actually it just occurred to me that the SX-64 is setup and works fine. It's keyboard's a bit of a pain, but the computer itself functions. The ROMs I've used for years were actually from my C128D. I had gotten my image from Zoule, way back in the early 2000s.

I don't know if that's the problem, or if the ROM reader looks at the computer differently. I don't know. I've never had issues with VICE as far as running anything with it. I still used GEOS 64 and Wheels128 on Dampier. In fact, it is that computer that is the bridge to the virtual world of commodore for Voyageur Studio. The A22p has a floppy and can read gobs of different disk formats including the 1581. I can make disk images and move them any where from there. That's how String Math made it's way to the internet.

The Great Experiment.

While we were coming back from DC, I tried to take pictures while zooming down the highway. Nothing came out. Even distance shots were blurred as the angle changed so fast.

On a recent trip to Hell's Canyon, I knew I'd get no shots on the boat. So as an experiment, I setup the Nikon D3400 with an ISO of 25600 and a shutter speed of 1/4000th of a second. I let the camera decide what f-stop to use.

I knew the pictures would be soft focus because of grain from such a high ISO, but suspected the images would actually look good on a computer screen -- as long was you don't zoom to make the image pixels correlate with the computer's pixels.

The results were as suspected. I was able to capture things I would not have gotten in a moving vehicle on such an overcast, rainy day.

Keep in mind these pictures were originally 6000*4000 pixels in size and have been reduced to 600*400 pixels in size, so some clarity of detail has been lost. You can see that the images are in the moment with no blurring due to motion. The experiment was a success; I now know, if I'm in a situation where I'm moving and want to get a shot, there is a good chance I can pull it off.


Back to top.

November 2020

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


All integers can be derived by taking all even integers and dividing them in half. Prove me wrong.


thus: either even or odd = (n/2), where n is only even integers

so:   (10/2)













...(n/2), (n+2/2),(n+4/2),(n+6/2)...

Too Many Pressing Issues:

Two major ones are the C128D setup. I have been messing around with the C128D a bit, but some things don't load. I'd really like to get into GEOS/Wheels and update the computer database, especially since last September's purge.

Another pressing issue, and one that should be on top and first, is to open up the Amiga (and possibly others) and remove batteries. On the Amiga group on Facebook I keep seeing horror story pictures of ruptured and spilled out Varta batteries that were soldered onto the mother boards of many Amiga computers. That alone should motivate me. :/

In the latter, I have removed the Amiga 3000's Evil Varta.

Radio Silence.

Mia's iMac has always had network problems, as in slow loading, slow to connect, not connecting. Her phone has had trouble, but I usually only hear about the phone when she is in her chair downstairs. That might be a dead spot. I know where my chair used to be and where it is now were/are dead spots. WiFi is not good, nor is cell. I know where to hold my phone or iPad to get connected, but it's awkward and not great through-put.

My IBM X41 does not have issues as it has amazing connective ability. In the studio, where the X41 sits, and where the Amiga 1200 sits (they're about a foot and a half apart) is a pretty dead spot. I even put my WiFi antenna on the Amiga's NIC. I finally got the studio's 10Base-T set up. However, the X41 dutifully connects to Middle Earth (the WiFi SSID) and things load pretty quickly.

Mia's computer is on a 10Base-T, but she still has issues. What I've seen is it hooks up slow, but then everything works and looks like stuff loads quickly. Other than the dead spots, I have had no issues.

I have even done Zoom calls on the X41 and had no issues, with the exception of when they updated the system and made everyone update -- at the time of a call. Fortunately, I just used the iPhone as it had already updated.

One option is to move the router to the wall -- something I've been wanting to do for awhile. Moving it to a more central location should help. Mia's issues however, are not WiFi relayed, as I hooked the iMac up the Ethernet and turn the iMac's WiFi off.

The router itself reports back with flying colors. All systems go. Every connection is wide open, no bogs, all flow-through is basically collision normal, and jam free.

So as an experiment, I've turned every bit of my equipment off, to see if it's something my equipment is doing. I have to wonder, if I spent any amount of time configuring Mia's computer, if the issues would persist. Perhaps they would, but I might find something out I don't presently know.

So we're on day 2 of a 4 day shut down. Fortunately I have cell to check mail and weather -- something I do daily in the a.m. Everything else I do in the a.m. requires no WiFi as it is simply writing.

Back to Those Other Issues.

Two of the 3 RAMLinks, appear to be nonfunctional. What the heck is up with that? Perhaps the 3rd one is as well. It seemed to happen about the same time, they just stopped. A major bummer. I also seem to have issues with C64s in the studio. In the past 2 years I've replaced the one in the studio 3 times.

It is time to move the newly refurbished HP widescreen monitor off the workbench in the shop and start tearing into things.

The Dog Creek Slip.


We were at Dog Creek for the first time in 4 years. There had been a fire and for several years the campground was closed so the vegetation could grow back. It was beautiful. Unfortunately, one of the charms of the place was the trails. Those are over grown and gone. We decided to walk over and see if we could get to the creek. It's banks are really steep, but we managed to find a fairly easy place to go down and wade.

I took pictures of everyone wading and got some really cool panoramic shots with the iPhone. I didn't have the Nikon. When we were all done, I was waiting behind Maggie who was doing something with her shoe, I noticed grit in my shoe and went to wash it out. I started to move my foot upward to let the water wash it off when my other foot quickly slipped in the down stream direction. My phone was in it's holster, as was my PDA. The PDA was on the down side. I think both went under, but I can't tell.

It was a shock. Mostly that I had slipped. I am still getting used to the Choco's but that's no excuse. Any who, the iPhone was dry as a bone. The PDA, however had gotten wet.

After drying, the PDA seemed fine. I did have to let it stand upright for a day or so, but then it seemed to function just fine. Until two days ago.

When you plug in the sync cable, the red light goes on telling you it is charging and you are ready to make a data connection. Well, when I first tried to sync, that light didn't go solid. But after it stood on end a while to let the water drain it finally did it's thing and all was well. Then a couple of days ago, it sanc to the computer just fine, I planned my day and went to sync back to the PDA and the light never came back on.

I tried all kinds of things, but alas, notta.

Next, I dug out the other cable. Still a no-go. Tried other computers and had a myriad of other difficulties. None of which had to do with the PDA or the cable. I finally got out Queequeg, the Palm TX PDA and tried it.

Of course it didn't work right off. Oh it sanc, it just didn't get the FC stuff over. I finally got it to install the softs, but the data didn't come over. More messing around and the device reset when I went to open the database.

That was actually a good thing. Periodically, I need to do a db repair as it would reset the PDA, and it was apparently happening now. Quick fix, and three days later I'm back online.

What. An. F'n. Nightmare.

Three days without my db and lots fell through the cracks. I gotta tell ya, I really do rely on that list.


Franklin Covey seems to gave changed their business, to inspirational and motivational things and dropped the once famous and highly useful and amazing Franklin Planner. Their online store looks to be broken and nothing seems to work. I looked a few years back as well as lately and it looks the same. I've looked for iOS apps for a while, but there is not much and nothing that looks like or works like the system they once made. The Software on the PC as well as on the Palm was fantastic.

Recent searches online and AppStore reveal a different reality for FC. Perhaps the original style planner is an online subscription now. They appear to do seminars, pod casts, and other similar stuff. :/

The store has software Planners, Online planning, Plan Plus... Windows XP and Vista, Palm, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, but no iOS. Looks to be a functional, but old site (I did a separate search from Google, but it has the same base URL).

The software I have still works, I just wish Frodo (the Palm Treo 700p) would hotsync. :/


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December 2020

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

Happy Holidays!


The Amiga CF Journey II.

This is sort of a part two. Long ago, I setup a the 1200 to read CF cards. Or so I thought. I have a 16GIG card I tried to use, but was only able to access one of the four partitions I put on it. I had formatted four 4GIG partitions using FAT32. At least it appears to be FAT32, as I haven't noticed any resistance to file names. Remember, FAT uses XXXXXXXX.XXX file name structure. Anyway, I started in a researchin' and found a set of tools. Apparently, I had done this research before, as I found the very same tools already on the Amiga after I had spent sometime trying to get this card read thing happening.

So now, I am in the process of clearing the card to reformat. Rather, remove any and all partition info as the tutorial I'm reading takes that approach. My problems may lie in the area of scsi.device, since it is totally virtual and I can't find a physical representative on my computer. There is a tool to load scsi.device -- the one used to set up the system with a version of scsi.device that allows the HDTools to find the card. It then reboots and is ready to go. So I'm at the place of removing the contents of the card at present.

Removal is slow; for some reason, my Linux box slows way down wile accessing stuff on the cf card. It all works, it's just slow.

I've been at it a couple of days -- that's how slow it is. I did 4GIG0 and 4GIG1 yesterday and have started 4GIG2 and hope to get 4GIG3 done today. It is strange that it's so slow. I would characterize the card itself as highly reliable, despite the speed.

At Journey's End.

I'm giving up, at least at present. I've got to move on as this trek has led to nowhere. I can easily use a 4GIG CF. I did discover that a card didn't work at all. It is a 2GIG.

Also add to the fail list: can't seem to get the hot sync to function on anything except the Palm TX and Dampier with the cable I call a charge cable -- it works on the Treo and a USB charger (back when it the Treo was fully functional). R30 Sync loads at boot, then vanishes, with no error, nothin'. HotSync isn't even on the 700z, what's that all about? What are any of these about?

Not having fun anymore.

Back to That PDA Thing

It has been interesting using the Palm TX. It is color and has PalmOS5 on it. That part is nice. The part I really don't care for is where the screen is messed up enough to not always respond where I'm placing the stylus. It's a little like Russian Roulette. I have to really watch to make sure that the item I actually selected is the one I was going for. A bit of a bother, but at least I have the list.

Not having access to that list for two days was not good at all.

I have yet to get the Master List and the FC Appointment apps installed.

By the time you read this, of course, Halloween will be over.

Covid19 most likely means no trick or treating. I was born in June of 1962. The Rolling Stones, known back then as Rolling Stone, had already formed and were jamming out to crowds in the UK. I don't know at what age I started trick or treating, but I have never missed a year. As far as I know, the Stones are still around. I'd like to not miss a year of "Tricks or Treats," as Sally Brown calls them in "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charley Brown."

Our traditional haunted house has been suspended indefinitely since the arrival of neglected kids. We still do a fun meal and dress up, and go out through the neighborhood on that door to door ritual. Perhaps this year, we'll have to settle for the the feast and dressing up.


50+ years of tradition is hard to leave.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch:

I have been contemplating moving the C128D into a place where I can access the back of the computer. Not having good access to the rear of a commodore is never a good thing.

I need to tear down the Amiga 1200AG and open it up again, along with all the rest of the Amiga's in search of deadly Vartas. Those batteries Commodore decided needed to be installed to self destruct Amiga computers. This is a big project I have had on my list for some time and yet have avoided.

I'd love to have a day, once a week, were I could slip into the shop and work, uninterrupted for several hours. Another sigh, as that will never happen. We just have too much going on. Perhaps it's time to reduce even more of NC, or perhaps shut it down entirely.

I could move into the realm of digital photography. I could clear the studio and make a beaching magic room, complete with Halloween decor and a card table.

Nikon D70s.

So despite the mess of not being able to get stuff done/running, I managed to move forward -- ever so slightly -- on the IR camera project. Ok, it's not really much. Almost nothing. I put the flippin' camera strap on the camera. It looks nice. It's the Nikon standard strap of modern times.

In order to move forward on this project, I need to clear the time and space out on the Shop to actually carry it out. I have not put much energy in the process passed the researching the dimensions of the filter. I'd like to know those before I cut the filter and I have yet to find them.

Things got busy over the past few days that stuff has piled up to the point where I've re-prioritized things to insure that time sensitive stuff gets done in time -- and there's lots. :/

I have found replacement filters that I could use to get the dimensions off of, but I really don't want to buy one as I'm thinking I'm done buying stuff for this project.

I'm looking at the studio and thinking of ways to better set it all up. The problem is, this is the best setup. At least with all the systems here. It seems however, that there are lots of compromises for each system, some of which are kinda major.

Perhaps, before this gets posted there will be an update or two. Perhaps not. Only time will tell.

STARDATE:2020. Sometimes I write parody songs and poems. American Pie by Don McClean is probably the building block for a parody, not necessarily a funny one, but a sad one, concerning tomorrow.

Tomorrow marks a sad anniversary for me. While we (United States of America) remember the devastation of Nine Eleven, tomorrow also marks the Anniversary of my Cousin's Passing.

I recall she posted on Facebook one time that her favorite store had closed. I knew right off the bat, it was Boise Blue. Tomorrow, is also the planned closing date of another great creative outlet: Idaho Camera. I don't know if she frequented Idaho Camera much; it was a definite hang out for me when I was in Jr. High at South Jr, High.

JoAnn was a photographer, amongst other things -- she was an artist who painted, carved, drew, built furniture, so many creative things.

It seems appropriate, that she having passed before she turned 75, that Idaho Camera would also end after 74 years on the one year anniversary of her passing. They would have opened when she was 1, she lived in Chatsworth, I believe. I wasn't around in either case.

In Jr High, if my friend Dana wasn't on hand to go off on some photographic adventure, I'd head over to Idaho Camera on Vista (store long closed). Kim, a sales person there would always jump ahead of other sales people and we'd discuss various cameras and their features. We were definitely hardware geeks. I love cameras as much as the resulting pictures, I can't speak for Kim, but I think he did too.

Today, I have scheduled a visit from around opening time for about an hour. It's a tight schedule, but then I didn't make any forward motion on planning a time until the 11th hour.

It is sad for me to think of the closing of the doors of this place. I have visited their last location many, many times. Almost always for film developing. It was old rolls of Ektachrome that JoAnn and I shot last a couple of years back now. It was probably the last roll of that kind of film of ours they handled. They actually sent it to a different lab that had remodeled, but after the remodel they never heard back from them and they suspected that they went out of business.

Despite the short visits in the past few years, I did manage two where I looked at equipment. The last one was very brief as I was picking up my lens that they had repaired. The subject of my tee-shirt ("Everyone's a photographer, until M") led the conversation to cameras in general and back to lenses and the person I was talking to wound up showing me the lens I should have bought, rather than the one I did buy that had issues. My words. It was a bit pricy. :/

The last rolls of film I ever took them for developing were a roll of shot film JoAnn had in her camera bag and the roll left unfinished in her Nikon. Likely the last pictures she ever took. (It's possible the last pictures she took were the ones we took at the train station on our very last photo outing.) That is film pictures, she was carving some figures and sent me digital pictures of them semi-recently.

STARDATE:2020. Went to Idaho Camera. Got there a minute or two after opening time. One person shopping and several sales people was the sole occupancy at that time. I looked at gobs of stuff. They had no film at all. A few darkroom timers -- perhaps I should have bought one that looked just like the ones the schools had -- I love that type of timer! There were a couple of 1990 film Nikons and a few lenses.

There was a nice Minolta SR-T 101 in a case like mine with two Vivitar lenses. $40. I left it. I'm wondering if I should have grabbed it. There was also a Tamron 28-80mm Adaptall lens there in great shape for $15. I also left it. It would be nice, but I'm not certain I need it.

I had a planned departure time of 11 sharp as Mia had an important call she had to make. I recall there must have been 30 people in the store at around 10:40 or so; I was concerned that I'd get stuck in line and have to leave before getting anything, if I was planning to buy anything.

There were tons of filters -- I bought two at 2 bux a pop. One -- totally experimental, designed to pull back on warm colors, and one for more "on the lens always" use to remove blues that creep in. The demo photo had brilliant blues but no flood in type blues. I had my Nikon D3400 in the van -- just in case and I did go out and check the filter sizes. Any who, I bought them for the 18-200mm lens for digital use, despite the fact they are film filters. We'll see how it goes.

There was a really interesting filter that was 70% off on another rack making it $30. It had beads on the filter in random spots to give interesting focus possibilities, a soft focus, closing the focal plain more, kinda cool under certain uses. But $30 was too much for a filter that might just make my already grained-out sensor have even less crispness.

I did see the guy I talked to when I picked up JoAnn's film. He showed me a Nikon F4. Said it was a major work camera. 8000th of a second shutter. Think I only have that on my Kodak DCS Nikon. Be great for film, but it was really out of my price range. It looked like it got lots of use, but was well cared for in it's previous life.

I made my purchase, telling the clerk I was gonna miss them. He said he appreciated hearing that. The sales people were helpful and up to the day, but you could tell they knew the end was coming. I took my filters and walked out the door. I put my new filters in the camera bag and drove off.


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