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January 2021

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE:2020.09.27: Things are different.

The 22inch widescreen monitor project actually wasn't done (as seen on top of this page). After about 30 minutes of being on -- and this is after the new PS was installed -- it began to smoke again.

My PDA Frodo, still does not HotSync, so I made a clone of it. Sort of. I recently acquired three Palm devices, 2 700ws and a 700p for that project.

Well, after the apparent success with the HP22w widescreen monitor, I was ready to plan an install. I had fired up Gandalf (IBM ThinkPad R30) after hooking the HP up to it and was busy working away on something. I had left after a while then came back. The smell of flux was strong. I came into the shop and looked down in the top of the monitor -- all was well. But only for a moment. It started to smoke. Crap. Same place as before. I have not assessed damage, but am guessing the PS is not in good shape anymore. It was a single solitary resistor that burned up both times prior.

Apparently something else, other than the PS is the culprit. It's really a bummer, even when smoking, this monitor looks fantastic as far as it's display goes, the crisp clear color never faltered.

The PDA seems to work in every way, except syncing. I have not had success getting another computer running the FC software to either have HotSync on the computer or have it actually stay running. This is frustrating. It would appear that Dampier's IR does not work. This is I, believe the 2nd or 3rd mother board I have install in the laptop. It never occurred to me to check the IR since I've never had issues with IBMs and their IRs. Another crap.

I am in the process of getting another Palm 700p setup as a clone of the original Frodo. So far, so good. I want to get a screen protector to put on before I commit to using the new PDA. The old one has scratches on screen where the Franklin Software check boxes and page turning areas are. You can really tell the old PDA has been used a lot.

I religiously put screen protectors on it for years and only the past two years or so didn't. I look at some of the OCD things I used to do all the time that was way and afar beneficial and see I have been remiss in the discipline of doing them. Like keeping the computers on the Solutions Bench safe and dry, and a simple screen protector for my PDA. These are just examples. I think it is more than exhaustion, and I have mentioned before it's probably depression -- something I have had to live with for a long time. I was more in control of my life than the depression was but perhaps fatigue from the forlorn helpless feeling one gets from raising RAD/FASC kids has taken it's toll.

I have to wonder now, why have I not continued taking my Amigas apart to remove the Vartas. There are easy solutions like soldiering wires in place that lead to an external battery pack -- I've even designed and planned this out and yet, have not carried this out. OK, I use the 1200 everyday and I hate down time, but I have not had good access time on any of the others. There is just too much at stake and yet here I am.

I seem to be awaiting the opportune moment.


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February 2021

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

Click to see the receipt for my 1st commodore ever!


The year without a Halloween.

I can't image what it's going to be like.

Can you tell I'm a head on my writing?

I have never had a year in my life (since I started), that I hadn't gone Trick or Treating. Even as a young adult I went Trick or Treating. One year (I must have been in a play or something) I almost missed it. I was with two friends and we were walking to one of their houses in downtown Boise, when I said we have to hit at least one house. The guy who opened the door was out of candy, but gave us a beer -- close enough!

By the time this hits the electronic glow of the internet, Halloween will be long passed. So I shouldn't rant on it. But I can't help it. Covid19 fuckensucks.

Well, the day before yesterday, I finally cleaned out the fireplace and built a fire -- I didn't start it. I got up yesterday at about the normal time and started it then. The nights have become FAC, or really cold. It's good to warm my bones beside the fire.

This morning, I had to get up a little early to build the fire and it's goin' now.

I suppose there is a (new) romantic image of sitting by the fire writing. I parenthetically wrote "new" as this new image has a laptop involved. It is nice, but I will not be in the Studio writing on the Amiga 1200, with our kitty Isotope curled up on my lap. :/ That's a bummer. "Until next spring!"


The drone sits. The C128D sits. The Amigas all sit. Last project I started was the refurbishing of an old lamp. It is almost done.

This lamp is a very detailed fix. All it needs is the loop that holds the shade on replaced. Simple enough. But it isn't so easy. as the socket was so snug, I had to remove the base to get to the tube that everything screws into. The base itself is a bit complicated, but I made it through the whole process of taking it apart and getting the new loop on. I just need to put it all back together, or rather finish getting it back together.

Mean while we have entered the longest dry period we have ever had. It's gonna be about 9 months -- long story. So things in our schedule are changing. We have shut down sprouting barley as it is too cold, hoses are getting put away, firewood being stacked (we've already started morning fires as I've mentioned), no more hanging laundry in the morning and getting it down in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, I don't see any time opening up for things like Studio projects. Perhaps, it's time to move on after 23+ years.

My motivation around photography has waned a bit. It takes my attention from kids, if I take a camera on our hikes. I have little time to work on the photos after they get taken, so it becomes a bit futile.

I have future links on the the Archaic Archives, but have been thinking of putting them at a 25 year span and retiring the page at that point, but it seems with no time to commit right now, that perhaps now would be a better time.

It's obviously not for want of projects and subject matter, it is want and need of time to do the experimenting and research and practical experience of obtaining the subject mater. Sigh.

As of the 28th of October, yesterday (2020), I have been FTPing back and forth between VGer (DELL XPS 1340), Chernobyl (iMac), deBerry (IBM ThinkPad X41 Tablet), and Mythreal (Amiga ESCOM AG 1200). I moved "Mark of the Vampire" and "Vampire Over London" from VGer to Chernobyl for watching in the evening while planning my day. Kind of a slow way to watch a movie, but it is the Halloween Season and I lost my a.m. time in the Studio as we now have fires in the morning.

I am moving them over this morning to deBerry, in hopes to watch some of them in the a.m., by the fire.

I actually started out this morning with VGer, but it's keyboard lights were off -- the reason I got the laptop in the first place. I simply turned them back on via the keyboard shortcut, and the power popped off! W.T.F? Another DELL computer who's battery is useless.

I bought deBerry's battery two or more years ago and it is still a long lasting battery. I bought VGer's not more that 8 months ago and the last time I used it, I got 45 minutes out of it. I figure it was better than the 30 I got the time before. Before I was using WiFi and that last time I was using Bluetooth hooked up to the iPhone for iNet. I was under the impression after that, that perhaps turning off the WiFi radio used less power.

Now I have to wonder, is the battery not charging properly? I know on Lucutus (DELL Inspiron 9100) the battery lasted a whopping 10 minutes at best when I first got it. Now all it does is keep the battery compartment clean and provides a woofer (the woofer is inside the battery -- a SHIT idea).

I have four DELL computers, 3 laptops and a tower. I like them, but they all seem to have issues. :/


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March 2021

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Wow, it's election day. I'm way a head. Perhaps I need more experiment time and less time to write. Perhaps it's time to work on all those stories that are waiting to get proof read. It's a morning by the fire.


Camping now, off grid. Was working on deBarry on photography stuff. Now moved over to Darth Vader and doing AC. Still no results on the election.

On the subject of photography, I am becoming more aware that I simply must pack a small lens for hiking or walking around pictures. When you have long lenses, you use a tripod or risk movement. The D3400 is ultra light and rather than the movement pivot center being the camera -- what I'm used to -- it is comes from the lens. At present this motion is very foreign to me.

Not sure what the fix is, short of basically using a short lens for hiking and a tripod for all else. Having 4000th of a second shutter speed is nice, at least in hypothesis, but the fact that higher ISOs grain things out, really makes it not the best option.

It was great on the river trip experiment. I dubbed the experiment a success, but it does little to solve any problems other than I'm in a high-speed-lots-a-movement situation and I wanna get a shot. I have to be ok with grain. And sometimes grain can be cool. It's just not my go to.

Film really does forgive.

I have lots of low light level situations -- tough lighting situations that I have captured on film -- and, yes, some of them did get grainy. But I expected it. You can get film that has a much higher sensitivity than this camera's ISOs that is far less grainy. Some of these films are really, really fine grain.

Not what I had expected from a digital camera made in the 2010s. I think I got this camera in 2017 or 18. Still -- I'm only rehashing my prior B&Ms of the grain-out woes. Any hoot!

The Link.

I have been using Einstein (an IBM ThinkPad 760ED) as a link to the world via AmiLink. It is a parallel cable much like the Parlink except that instead of going from one Amiga to another, it goes from the Amiga 1200 to the PC.

Einstein runs Windows 98SE on it in this particular configuration. It works well, but has some timeout issues. It's always been a bit slow on the uptake and the software pops up a dialog box on the Amiga saying things are taking a long time, should I bail or wait -- words to that effect.

I have managed over the years to use this setup since the early 2000s. Now over time the screen output has become gabled. Lines covered parts of the screen, over time get worse and eventually blotted out the screen readability. :/

That aside, it has been a faithfully reliable system. And as you'd guess, over time, other systems I use have fallen prey to the Latest And Greatest Syndrome. The 770Z for instance, has a 14Gig (super large for that system!) hard drive running Win98SE. The OS updates stopped for it eons ago. Firefox is no longer very functional since it's updates no longer happen as that is what happens with old OSes.

I moved over to Opera so I could do more online, but alas, that route too, has stifled. (STARDATE:2020.12.11: I finally put the white outline/highlight Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster sticker on the machine. It is on the top so that it appears right-side up from the back when the laptop is open -- it looks sooooooo cooool.) This system is setup to burn VCD, and SVCD discs (it can't burn DVDs). But over time I surpassed all those utilities on a faster, larger PC running Win2000 that can burn DVDs.

Thoughts of moving machines around are dancing in my head again.

What I'm thinking is removing Einstein and placing Strider (that 770Z) in it's place.

This would have some advantages. Like I could also get my Portfolio cable going again (I think I have both a parallel one and a serial one, not sure) and I'd have greater storage -- I can even place Einstein's HD in the second drive bay on Strider. Or maybe I should enlist Hawking (the IBM 770 ThinkPad) instead since it is just sitting in the wait to be used.

Now once I've hashed all this out, there is a bit of a problem. The screen on Einstein really isn't the only issue, but the system does it's job. Once I decommission it, that's it. It'll have no use.

The Screen.

The 760ED's screen is basically illegible. I have used remote software to access the machine and it's messed up screen that appears remotely as well. Now, Batman (an old white iMac) has lines on it's screens, but using the same remote softs, the screen looks fine. So one is part of the monitor the other must be part of the memory. Einstein does display my custom boot screen and it didn't used to be messed up, but the last couple of times it had issues. It might be progressive. :/

I don't recall what PC Anywhere does with the display. Impending Doom or Ginormous Adventure?

Next week we are planning to snowshoe -- or hike in depending on the weather -- to a yurt above Idaho City. Since we will be carrying all our supplies in back packs, the plan is not to bring a laptop. This would be a golden opportunity to break out the Atari Portfolio since I could easily carry it in a pocket.

It is a device that needs external light as it's not back-lit. When I rise in the early a.m., I leave the lights off, especially while camping, so as not to wake anyone up since I get up early to have my a.m. espresso in peace, and build the fire (I don't build a fire if we're camping).

Since there are a great many factors that are new in yurting, lots of traditional camping stuff will change. Having kids that require constant monitoring and attention dictates little time to have a camera and in this instance, the camera, as well as the Portfolio. It will be more equipment to carry.

Kids have posed problems the past few camp trips. I didn't take the Nikon camping last trip -- I didn't even use it the two trips before that.

I might just slip the Portfolio in a pocket, just in case. There have been times I thought afterwords that I could have written or coded after all. But I doubt I'll be able to on this trip, but you never know.

For the journey, I'm thinking, perhaps, I'll make a thermal-pitcher full of espressos and just reheat them on the stove.

One thing we're concerned about is that there might not be snow hiking in, but there might be snow on the way out. If we hike in we use a wagon to carry supplies, but if there's snow on the exit.... We could pack snowshoes, but do we pack the sleds? The wagon is a Gorilla Cart and will have to have it's own sled as it'll simply dig into the snow. I suppose, it's all about how deep and fresh it is....

The Day of the Dead.

2020 was the year with out a Halloween. Halloween happened, it was just different. Due to Covid19, we didn't Trick or Treat, nor did we decorate. We did have our feast. And we did a sort of a Dia de los Muertos. Not quite the Mexican tradition, but close. It was my idea. It came upon the heals of a depression brought on by several events.

The anniversary of my cousin's death was at hand, and it fell on a day that was hard. When she posted that her favorite store had closed, I new it was Boise Blue. She didn't get to see my posting about my favorite store closing, Idaho Camera. The closing day was set for exactly one year after her passing, to the day.

JoAnn was not a religious person and adored organized religion and wanted no funeral. BTW, funerals do not have to be religious, but oh, well. I was down in the dumps when talking about these events with someone and came upon the idea of doing a photo shoot with her Nikon. I grabbed her camera and a roll of film -- a very old one, but one of my favorite films (a roll of the same type I might have shot on one of our outings), and headed to the garden.

That roll of film finally got sent off a couple of days ago to a specialty lab that develops the old Seattle Filmworks film.

Meanwhile, in October Halloween was gonna be different. I was not feeling so great emotionally about the whole not Trick or Treating -- first time in 50 some odd years. Damn you Covid19. During a later conversation with that same person, I hit upon the idea of doing a Day of the Dead thing. I guess it was stewing around in the my brain for a while, but when I mentioned it to Mia, she thought it was a great idea. This was awhile before Halloween. It just fell into place after that.

We put up pictures of my folks, Mia's grandparents and my cousin, JoAnn. We had some foods they liked in life. We made pepperoni pizza that looked like candied skulls. Twinnies came over and we watched The Ghost and Mister Chicken, and had chips after Littles went to bed. We did watch other movies the next few days as well. That was our Halloween. Fuck Covid.


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April 2021

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE:2020.11.24: On Maleficent (iPhone 11). Hiked into Skyline Yurt yesterday. Had originally planned to bring The Atari Portfolio, but upon packing it was discovered there really was no place to put it. :/

Didn't drink my usual 40 to 60oz of water I usually drink in the late evening in hopes I'd not have to venture out in the cold to the out house. Still not a good night as the pillow was messed up and was the bed short and uncomfortable.

Kept feeding the fire to keep it going all night long. Finally, for the a.m. trek to the outhouse, I just dawned my shoes and shot out the door. I had base layers and two sweaters on, I might add. Wasn't so bad.

I am impressed by the iPhone auto suggest as when I went to type a.m. it had suggested Amiga. ;) Nice, my phone knows me. Disconcerted chuckle here.

Having ftp servers that auto run on the three current Linux boxers and on the Amiga (I set the Amiga's up for manual run) is rather nice.

I have temporarily pulled Einstein and popped Hawking in it's place. The softs were already on Hawking for the AmiLink, so I just ran the install. Hawking takes up more room, but I can see the screen. It reads the directory (working from the Amiga) faster than Einstein, but appears to read data too slow; I don't get the "try again" dialog when I think I should and Amiga software appears to lockup. It appears to need some re-configuring on the PC end. There is software to do so on the PC already. BTW, both systems run Win98SE.

Really, despite a few random oddities, and the no longer legible screen, Einstein works. It has some advantages as well, like the 2.88meg floppy. If I could see the screen I could install the software to read C= floppies (including the CMD ED floppies). You get closer to 4megs on the commodore, of course.

Still, seeing the screen on the PC is nice and if I can get the Amiga and PC to work together, it might prove to be a faster setup.

But why?

Why would I need this set up? Other than the waycool factor, I really cannot see any advantages. Ok I just saw one as I typed that: disk space. Oh and I can read DVDs. I might just spend more time on this.

The C128D Move II?

Still contemplating this. Also two systems that I really want setup are the SuperPET 9000 and the PET 2001. The SuperPET would need to be near the PET 4032 so they could share peripherals.

The 2001 on the other hand is a shrine situation as it was commodore's claim to fame that launched the second level orbit. (C64 was journey to the stars, followed by bad marketing that lead to plowdirt.)

Bummer Daze.

Well, it's not that bad, but I'd really love to have typed this on the little Atari. It was a matter of carrying it safely. I don't bring the Nikon either - and the view from up here is amazing. But there really was no place for either to travel and not be a burden.

I am currently working on a solution that will allow me to bring the camera without it causing problems. A vest would be nice; that was a really popular solution in the 1970s. Also a harness that holds the camera close to your body when walking, but easily comes up to your eye with slack to get a shot would be nice. I have seen vests, but they are expensive. I have not found the harness. They seem to have faded with history. (Adding this 2021.02.18 day that Perserverance landed on Mars: found a really nice solution and yes, it's freakishly expensive -- I have not acquired one, but Cotton Carriers are what I want.)


The technology in the Nikon D3400 is astounding. I don't like the choice Nikon appears to have made with it's sensor, however. It seems they made a high resolution sensor that's really crappy. If I take a hand held shot with a long lens in not great lighting I get two choices: 1. The ISO skyrockets and the picture is grainy. Or 2. The shutter slows way down and there is a blur due to camera moment. Movement with long lenses is magnified, so even the slightest movement really messes up a picture.

Now here's the weird part, on a computer screen, even the iMac's huge hires screen they look great. Even the blurry ones. Until I hit view actual size.

STARDATE:20201125: The second morning in the yurt.

The first night's sky was spectacular, last night's was spotted with clouds, but we got a great view right before bedtime. Rain this morning before I got up. Made the required jaunt to the lue, along the way it was bits of flakes on the air, perhaps snow, perhaps stuff falling from trees. 27 degrees- it's warmed up.

Mornings by the fire are a bit different since the fire burns all night. I fed it only twice last night. This morning all I did was add wood and open the damper. My espresso, I made at home and put in a thermos, then reheated on the propane stove here. There is no Isotope to cuddle. Today we go home.

Bringing the Nikon would have been a gamble as far as night sky goes, but I could have gotten some great shots. That's a big could have since I still have kids in tow.

Tomorrow is thanksgiving. What crazy a busy 48 hours we have ahead. As I sit by the fire, I sit in the quiet before the storm. COVID style dinner. Three households coming together should prove interesting.

The twins have already done this, mostly one at a time, and it is usually with only the kids. Masks, distancing, a HEPA filter - it's like everyone has a second mask on - and washing hands. Antony has been basically separated from everyone since day one, isolating unless working. All three work at grocery stores.

I read a great description of why/how masks protect: if everyone is naked and someone pees on you, you get wet. If you wear clothes, you get less wet. If the person peeing wears clothes then you do not get wet.

The Commodore 64.

I only have one C64 up and running. Ok, there is an SX-64, two 128Ds and a couple of VICE machines, but the commodore station is devoid of an actual C64. The other C64 is buried in the New Annex behind piles of boxes, a PET computer, a B128, a C128D, and some other stuff. So it's a big deal. We used to have a tradition of C64 based holiday PRGs that we play, kinda like movies. The Twisted Christmas I and II, commodore holiday store front demos, fireworks, various Halloween related sorts. But we haven't done that since we lived at the Amber House. I have all the cables hooked up on the TV in the family room, but the SX is not setup there.

If I had the time, it would be great to dig the softs out and get an SX setup. But I don't even know where the softs are.

Speaking of lost souls, I do not know what happened to my C64 music creation software -- kinda important since I spent hours upon hour writing and performing music that used the C64 (along with other instruments).

The battery is less than 20%, so my writing time is limited. Thought I turned my phone off yesterday morning, but it was on last night. :/ Might have pressed the on button at nap since it was in my down vest and I used it as a pillow.

More logs on the fire, more rain moved through. Snowshoeing back will be interesting to say the least.

I have to wonder about the C64 situation. Three machines -- bam, bam, bam - just like that. There has to be something up there. Faulty PSU, kids knocking cartilages, moving stuff they shouldn't. The one C64 and Amiga 3000 survived my oldest and he tends to be pretty rough with stuff. Yet another mystery to solve in a situation where there is little or no time. I should concede, there is no time. I really should to take the Late Great Spider's approach and snow shovel the shit into giant trash bags and throw it out. The garage could use this approach as well. Or at a minimum, do what I did in the barn a year and a half ago.

The Barn Exorcism had lots of casualties, but I think in the long run it'll make life easier. Clearing the garage, Lego Robotics Lab, Annex, Shop, and Studio will make life easier.

I hate to think of the lost opportunity I had with the ABUG and TVBUG libraries. I had them since the mid 1990s and I never sat down to explore even a small portion of those libraries. To me, those libraries and those softs are gone forever.

What will the next purge loose?

The truth is, I can't find anything because of the time it would take to go through it all. It's just an enormous anchor around my neck in a vast ocean.

STARDATE: 20201125: Captain's Log: file II of the Yurt Chronicles.

Airliners fly through these sky's. Have to look for the Yurt next time I fly. I need to work out the logistics of bringing the Atari Portfolio backpacking/snowshoeing. It would have been nice, that. Nice keyboard, not running out of battery after 12 hours(despite low power mode): these are a few of my favorite things. I need a hard case for it. I also need to get a battery for the memory card. It would also be nice to find the Portfolio BASIC. I fear I may have lost it in the great purge of '18.


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May 2021

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Ok, that's better.

I have been messing around with the C128D for a couple of months on and off. Most programs would run, but many didn't. :/ Why?

I got to thinking about it and the RAMLink is not plugged in -- but the parallel cable to the HD from the RL is! Or was. I unplugged it and voila! I was running Wheels and the like once again!

There you go.

Next question: Why have all the RAMlinks died?

They all went cafluie at about the same time. Like, within the same week. It really was that close. Perhaps it is a coincidence. I need my RLs back up and running.

I took a pile of donations to the the local charity shop and they gave me a 20% off coupon. I went in and found two possible replacements: a Samsung SyncMaster 22 inch flat screen and a Netgear WiFi router, to replace the HP and the Sysco. $16 for both in the end. Not bad.

Well, on a side note: This morning I wrote a little snippet on the C128D in geoWrite under Wheels at 20 MHz. All went well, until I tried to get LLR to move the file to floppy.

I went to format on Dampier, but it took forever to to open the right mouse click menu -- it never opened -- I gave up. I finally got the disk formatted

Then after copying from the CBM-HD to MS_DISK, NOTEPAD couldn't find the file, even though it appeared in the directory window. :/

Back on the commodore, I turned off 20MHz, notta.

Then, I started to boot with everything off, but then gave up as navigating the system without Jiffy-DOS is ugly.

(STARDATE:2021.01.04:) This is why I used Flynn (the C128DD) to convert commodore word processor files over to ASCII a while back.

Meanwhile, other problems just lived through... Dampier wouldn't boot Windows 2000. It'd get half way through the full screen Win 2k part of the boot and freeze.

Well, I have been seeing error at memory yadda yadda yadda dialogues pop up after terminating a program for some time now.

I was in need of a fast solution to this new problem of not booting; I pulled out Avery (an IBM 570 ThinkPad -- slated to be Samwise's replacement) and swapped the HDs and plugged everything in. I used Avery for several days, and while it is a noticeably slower machine, it did rather well.

I finally got some workbench time, and pulled both RAM sticks from Dampier, blew them out with compressed air -- one was absolutely filthy --, swapped them and reinstalled. Yes, I popped the battery out first.

Windows popped up a new error. Said the BIOS didn't match the yadda yadda yadda. :/

That appears that the CMOS battery needs replaced as it did not load the system settings.

Just leave it plugged in and it boots. The big problem with the CMOS replacement on the A21p, is that it is a battery with wires and I have to pull the modem/NIC to get to it. Not a major surgery, but it is enough to be a pain and I don't stock the battery.

We are presently in McCall, in a cabin in Ponderosa State Park with a view of the lake -- sorta. deBerry can attach to the WiFi that is over at the visitor center, but barely. This little tablet has two WiFi antennas and can catch radio on the wind. I can't log in though as Firefox times out. Maybe I'll try Konquorer...

Nope. I have essentially a zero bars connection. ;)

Getting the time to boot up Zoule and write in geoWrite was fun. It's nice to have the system up and running. Dampier is a good connection for the outside world as far as getting disk images out, but I need to figure out a way to get the commodore system booted to the Little Read Reader. I actually use Big Blue Reader on the C128DD. I wonder if I can put it (or move LRR to) in the subdirectory FILES/HANDY.

FILES/HANDY is inside the default partition that I usually work from on Zoule. Wheels boots from there. The HANDY folder has utilities like Menuette and FCOPY+. If I could put LRR there I'd still have to type a cli OPEN to move into the subdirecty, but then I'd be in. This is all based on the assumption that my file copy problem is that LRR and JiffyDOS don't mix. I suppose I should make sure that's what I'm up against.

It is funny to think I've used FCOPY+ so many times years ago, that I use it now as my default for navigating the CMD HD. To use it, JiffyDOS does need to be running. I suppose I could write a program that I just leave in the root DIR that I can run, that'll open up the directory and load LLR. "To the keys! To the keys!" Well, when I get back home....


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June 2021

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


It is January at this time of writing. The 5th, one of several important days in US history. Deep breath.

I managed to catch the WiFi, apparently enough to check email and acquire a PDF from the internet archive. 31.8megs -- Compute's Music System for the Commodore 128 and 64.

I need the disk still, but I can't seem to find hide nor hair of that.

It is an early a.m. session, here in McCall. We are in a cabin that sleeps 8 comfortably. It is nice, but not as secluded as the yurt was. There is also no woodstove/fireplace :/

I did some experimenting with the Nikon last night in the cabin. Not ready to take it outside. Not snowshoeing and certainly not with kids in tow.

Played around with the ISO a little, did some shots using the fancy EFFECTS settings. Didn't really amount to much, but I did learn something I might not have known or noticed previously, and that is when focusing my 18-200mm lens manually going from the infinity end toward closer ranges, it is not smooth. The ring kinda catches a little, then lets go. It makes for a difficult manual focusing. That's the last thing you want on a lens you are counting on to get a quick manual focus.

Yesterday was a wonderfilled walk in the woods. We are familiar with these trails as we trY to get here at least once a year -- not always, we didn't make it last year. But here we are in the dead of winter.

The trails look a lot different with 3-4 feet or more of snow covering them and the surrounding landscape. I did not take the Nikon as I'm not yet ready to take it on these big hikes.

Partly because of the kids -- if my attention leaves them, they tend to get naughty. There is a pack on my back and a heavy coat and other gear to deal with as well. It just makes trying to bring a camera that I don't want to mess up a lot more work than it should be.

It was a good day. The weather was clear skies, warm(ish), and no wind. There is a bridge that crosses the Lilly March that we traditionally stop at and have a snack. It has a wide spot in the center with builtin benches. We stopped there and had a snack. The benches were very short, being covered in snow.

It was a really beautiful hike.

Turns out I have more memories about times I thought I had gone skiing. I had forgotten going up on the bus alone and getting a pass and renting skies. But the slush weather we encountered on one of our yurt tail hikes brought back those memories like it was just a couple of weeks ago.

I was laboring under the misapprehension that I had skied 3 times when I had taken lessons and a couple of times with friends. Nope, I skied a lot more than that (probably why I did so well on our cross country ski a couple of years back). I had grown to dislike winter so much I had blocked out or at least forgotten all those times I spent skiing alone.

Well, there you go. going outside year round really does help the soul.

That new monitor....

Well, ok, what about the old monitor first? I was just gonna chuck it, but it had just sat in the shop on the floor relatively out of the way, kinda unnoticed. Now my brain is going, but why did it fail? The part that shows the image works flawlessly. There are no USB parts or audio.

It has VGA and that other plug, what the hell is it? Is there a circuit that handles that set of signals that is fried/ing? Can I bypass that despite the burnt component and actually use the monitor?

If I could do that, I'd have a better monitor than the replacement. Albeit I have only tried it on the 700Z. The Z supports the HPs resolutions better than the Samsung's....

Now, I have a project related to a wide screen, the one I will use in the end, most likely the Samsung. That is the scan doubler. I need to undue the wires from the screws in the Amiga end of the cable and put the shielding on and the heat shrink cover, then put it back together. Then I need to get it fitted in the box, cutting holes, et cetera.

No Dah.

or perhaps not, I haven't verified.

This morning I put the x-fer disk in the CMD FD drive, formatted from wheels and just put the .txt file on it, popped it in the Amiga drive and -- yep -- the disk is not really a 1581 format but CMD's weird 1581 partition on a 1581 disk. But! I think it'll work after I get my 1581 disk back to a 1581 format.

Maybe I can get that verified soon.

Then what I have to do is add the text to the AC doc I'm writing. It shouldn't be rocket science. What I need is a utility either in GEOS (on the CMD FD drive) or on the Amiga or both to format regular 1581 disks.

Here is that text:


We're coming to you from the C128D (Zoule) for a quick hello from the commodore! I'm typing this in at 20MHz. I don't seem to be getting any double letters. Maybe it depends on where on the page I type and/or how fast I type.

We are heading to McCall today, on the heals of a storm (at least that was yesterday's forecast; I've to look today). The Big Van has been taking us snowshoeing up past Idaho City and the roads have been for the most part clear. We had all season tires on the Big Van. Yesterday we got Studded Winter Tires -- just in case. We also have chains, which I hope will not come into play.

Ok, now I begin the task of getting this out of geoWrite and into Kate...

...end of text.

More from the commodore 128D:


I did it!

What a pain in the ass! Recounting events: I made a disk image with the file on it, but then that's not helpful. So I tried to get things over with LLR. That wasn't working. Then I tried formatting a 1581 on the Amiga 1200 (Mythreal), while it can read a 1581 disk, it can not format one. Then I spent a lot of time trying to bring the 1581 drive online under Wheels. Nodda. Tried formatting a 1581 on the IBM -- it's software said something didn't load. So, ya, crap.

I tried formatting a couple of ways within Wheels. All I got was the FD-4000's expected result: a CMD formatted floppy. I even tried running cables differently to get the 1581 to work. I finally concluded the 1581 has something up and is not gonna be apart of this project.

It finally hit me. I can format a standard 1581 format on the FD from BASIC. Or better yet, inside -- yep, FCOPY+!

Once the floppy was formatted, it was simply a matter to convert the Write Image to a text file and plopping that file onto the floppy.

Over on the Amiga, I simply popped the disk in and copied the file to DATA:. I didn't have to copy the file, but if I launch the FTP server after IBrowse, the system sometimes likes to reset. Or maybe it's some other PRG like ImageFX. Anywho, there was no reset and I logged onto the Amiga via FTP from the X41 Tablet (deBerry), selected the file and hit edit.

And of course, rather than simply open Kate, Libre Office opened up -- it was close to bed time and I was in a hurry after all, why shouldn't the computer open the most time consuming program to simply view an online document? AND! it needed to do a recovery of a doc it hadn't saved!

Ok, shit, waiting, more time passing.... Finally the text appeared on the computer's screen! I highlighted, copied, and pasted into the AC doc that was open already and viola! After only weeks of turmoil and sweet! Sigh. This shouldn't be rocket science, but apparently it is.

BTW, I'm typing now on that C128D (Zoule) system running Wheels.

Back to the Math at Hand.

So the next thought should be to do the inverse. All the integers (one at a time) times 2 should equal all the even integers (singularly). So:

...-5*2=-10, -4*2=-8, -3*2=-6, -2*2=-4, -1*2=-2, 0*2=0, 1*2=2, 2*2=4, 3*2=6, 4*2=8, 5*2=10...

So -- does that mean there are twice the number of even integers as there are integers in total (it takes twice as many of all integers to make all positive integers), or that the set of all the positive integers are twice as big as the set of all integers? Just some food for thought.

Time to move this all over to the current AC file, which happens to be on the IBM Tablet at present. Sometimes it's on the Amiga. Today, it on the Tablet.


Ok, now for some fun. I have successfully -- and quickly -- typed stuff in (ok that part doesn't have to be fast, but it was) and got it over from geoWrite (on Zoule, the commodore 128D) to Kate (on deBerry, the IBM X41 ThinkPad Table). It was lickity-split. So now, of course, I want to do it again. I had spell checked before. geoSpell is a bit of misery, but yeah, that.

I feel like I need a job to do this again.

Just a thought: How the hell did I move the file from geoCalc to LibreOffice? The one with missing computers and such. (I think it has machines with missing serial numbers, or something like that.) I did that a week or so ago and can't for the life of me recall what I did. I think it involved a disk image on Dampier and VICE. Hmm.

Ok, off we go! Perhaps I'll try the VICE route first just to recall those steps. I seem to recall exporting the sheet as a ginormous Text Scrap from inside geoCalc.

Ok, GO!

On the Amiga now in GoldEd. I had to reinstall the driver for OmniFlop (back on the IBM) and then I was able to read the disk, then copy it to a 1581 image. However, it is a 810K image and VICE can't open it because it is that funky 1851 partition thing (see above). c1581.device on the Amiga has no problem reading the disk. I am editing the file straight from the floppy. It seems to be working. I just saved.

I am now back in geoWrite adding to the same document. Well, sort of...

I copied the document from the 1581 to SuperRAM, ran it through Wrong is Write and made a duplicate file, only it's a geoWrite file. Next I'll go back the other way, overwriting the file in question with a new updated version back on the floppy.

I also corrected the math stuff I typed up yesterday. BTW, it's now the 11th of January. This is fun!

I recall a time when I wrote everything either here on the C128D or on the PX-8 and moved everything to the Leading Edge 486 (what this site was setup from way back when); latter, the iMac was used for posting. The iMac was replaced by the powerfully, fast Escom AG Amiga 1200.

Machines I've written AC on over the years include: The Epson Geneva PX-8, The commodore 128D, Amiga 1200, verious IBM ThinkPads, including 760ED, 770Z, A21p, X41, R50p, a couple of Mac laptops: an iBook g3, a MacBook. I have entered the 23rd year of wring and posting to the NC site.

NC on Angelfire was the first Web Presence of my own. With the museum at GeoCities following only hours behind. Days, perhaps weeks later, came the Xoom.com chat area. The Ad riddled Web Post site was a site dedicated to modern computing. Lots of places died silent, screaming deaths along the way. I created and hosted the Atari Boise User Group, and The Treasure Valley/Boise User Group's wed sites. Just a note: ABUG kinda merged with TV/BUG, and then it slipped into oblivion. People. Just. Got. Busy. :(


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July 2021

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Been spending lots of early mornings at the Wheel. Er, rather the Joystick on the commodore 128D. Wheels is such a blast on the C128D at 20MHz that I have been pulled into it day after day.

Booting is a little different than it used to be. Powerup is the same, but user-input is different. I have to hit [C=][A] to highlight and activate drive A: as the drive receiving my keyboard input of input-driver select which I type in next: [C=][I]. This brings up a requester that asks if I should use the current mouse driver. I type [N]. The requester asks if it should use the Joystick driver. I type [Y] and off I go.

Well, ok. I set the clock since the clock the system gets it's time from is fast. I believe it's in the HD.

I use the Joystick input because the workbench no longer has room for the mouse. Both the CDTV and C128Ds' mice are there, I just have no desktop space to use them. So wireless remote for CDTV and Joystick for C128D it is.

STARDATE:2021.01.21: (Written in geoWrite on the C128D) Well, we now have a Woman Vice President! Exciting! The United States Of America now has a First Man (what do you call the spouse of the Vice President? Second Man?).

I have been doing some wonder filled mornings in the Studio at the keys of the C128D. I just can't get enough of it!

I got to playing around with some geoApps I wrote a long time ago. One of them had an old address coded into an info box. It was the old 3001 Smith Ave addy! I don't need that in any programs. For several reasons.

First, Noesis Creation no longer resides there. And second, I don't want people sending me $2 for a software listing. Not sure what that was all about, it was so long ago. In fact it was back when I was looking for the vMail I had sent to John. (It's on YouTube now!)

Any who. I had a memory that geoBASIC didn't run under GEOS128, and I was right. I looked into booting GEOS64 off my HD and it's not patched for the SuperCPU. So I booted the emulator on the A21p and changed the code. I actually had to make a whole new dialogue box as a bug in geoBASIC makes it so that dialogues box can't go away.

The PRG no longer displays the old address, but rather a blurb for noesiscreation.org, where all the Noesis Creation Softs will someday be....

STARDATE:2021.01.24: (Now writing in Gold Ed on the A1200.) I was looking at nc.org the other day and saw Mandelbrot for the VIC-20 and I thought "Yay! It's already on the net!" But no, it's not. I was looking at a long forgotten page build that I have yet to finish. More ketchup. :/

I have been trying to get things going, but I found myself getting back to the C128D soooooo muuuuch that I haven't really been doing anything other than exploring and playing around with the loads of nostalgia that sits right there. Have I really been away for so long? I guess so.

I recall the last eBay I did that was for 2 old laptops. It was such a burn as eBay did that thing where I say shipping is $40 and eBay changes it to $9. I hate that! I am still grateful to this day for an understanding buyer. It did indeed cost what I said shipping was. I made pennies on the sale and really was stressed out about loosing money in the name of passing some great hardware on -- especially when I didn't have the money to loose.

Anyway, that was after I had done the String Math posting project -- I think. I hadn't done much before that I suppose except possibly get Ms Bates' stories converted for her or the finishing up the last two dH's ever. That was Long Ago and Far Way.

I had inadvertently started up the LaserJet 4ML when I was getting thing running again. I later tried firing up the LaserJet and it didn't power up. That warrants further investigation. Especially since it is a main part of what I do on the machine.

Pandemic Reflections.

I'm writing in Kate on deBerry (IBM X41 ThinkPad running Kubuntu 18.04) looking back over the past year. We usually go camping and I write in the a.m. But that "usually" is kind of a new thing, at least in the larger historic sense. I used to get up at 5am or sometimes as early as 4am and write on the C128D. That was the main area to write., or the Amiga 1200 AG, and of course the Epson PX-8 when camping. This would have been before Einstein -- the IBM 760ED ThinkPad.

But during the pandemic camping actually slowed down. Partly because of the pandemic, but also just our schedule. During the pandemic campgrounds in Idaho filled up. It seems more people went camping than ever before. Even during winter months, cabin and yurt availability was scarce. Just about every day was booked.

In contrast, I have been back at the keys of the Amiga 1200 and commodore 128D more than I have in the recent past. I have been writing, rather than coding. I admit, my exploration of things has slowed.

I've written of retiring this tired old site to the cobwebs of the internet. What felt like it had loads of content for the user of an old computer, has turned more into a blog with some useful stuff now and then. I have been at it for enough time, that I think I'm googling something new I've never done, and the info I find winds up to be here, revealing to me that I have actually done it. :/

So here I am in the end of January (29th even) in 2021 writing my July posting. Well, there you go.


London After Midnight

There have been amazing images floating around of Lon Chaney with razor sharp teeth wearing a beaver skin hat. Because of these images, London After Midnight has always intrigued me.

London After Midnight was lost years and years ago to a fire. Apparently in the old days, you made one print of a movie or theaters destroyed movies after showing(?). And who knows where the original film is (I assumed it was the original that was lost to the fire and that there might yet be a print somewhere out there)? What was this film about?

The images from the movie have pulled on my imagination for years. Was the film about a killer stalking the streets of London? A phantom, perhaps?

I didn't find any synopsis on the story anywhere, albeit, I didn't pursue it, at least not very far. One of my favorite magazines, Classic Monsters, made a guide for the movie (their guides are a book in magazine form all about a given horror film with the most amazingly clear pictures you've ever seen). I have not read it. I finally looked online to see about a restoration of the film I had heard about.

I thought it had original footage mixed with stills. What I found was Turner's restoration and it is all stills, with what may be the original text. Did I mention it was a silent movie? Bummer, there is apparently none of the original film footage at all (maybe the opening credits?).

I got so see the story unfold with Lon Chaney and company with sets and all that. It looked to be a fun movie -- with a surprise ending. Lon played two characters in the movie, but only credited for one. I say two because the beaver skin hat person is in the house at the same time as Burke -- Lon's credited character. As I watched this I said, "Hey, this is the same story as Mark of the Vampire! Mark of the Vampire is still around for those who'd like a full motion picture with speaking and all that to tell the story. (I later found out that it was, in fact, a Tod Browning film that was a remake of London.) Mark of the Vampire, incidentally is one of my favorite films, but that's a long list topped by The Ghost and Mister Chicken.

The Ghost and Mister Chicken Mark of the Vampire

The above was typed on the C128D in geoWrite shortly after watching the film on the XPS 1340. I'm now on the X41 in Kate. I saved the Wrong is Writeed text file to floppy that I read on the Amiga 1200. I then copied it to the HD, in anticipation of problems. And sure enough there were problems -- the infamous Amiga Reset. Once I was passed the problems, I FTP connected to the 1200 via FileZilla on the X41, selected the file and hit view in the right mouse click menu. LibreOffice opened up with the document, and I just copied and pasted into Kate.

That part is smooth, although, it would be nice not to have to open LibreOffice. I thought I changed that to Kate for text files. :/

Back to the subject at hand. I'd love to see this film if it ever turns up anywhere, but prospects look dismal. It's happened before. It could happen again. Somewhere, sometime, someone may yet stumble upon London After Midnight.

Now, what would really be cool is to make a digitized for commodore 64 version of this "film." Using images from the stills (perhaps not all -- and certainly no panning across the images for dramatic effect). Text screens would tell the story. Text would be abbreviated a bit and still hold the story especially with those haunting images. This would be a fun project. I've made digital stories before on the commodore 64, as well as the Amiga. Perhaps a short slideshow with text is in order; it might be done before Halloween. Another project. Sigh.


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August 2021

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Back in the C128D. The pandemic is still a foot. My 2 youngest sons have volunteered to participate in a vaccine study to see how it affects teenagers. We think perhaps one had the vaccine since he had symptoms that are those of one who has received the vaccine.

We have been out snowshoeing or going on long hikes (3-8 mile). Almost all our regular appointments with the exception of dental related are virtual, via things like Zoom. Things are still strange. Things that were common place like grocery shopping are very different. Perhaps the outcome on society as a whole will be major changes in our daily lives in how things are done. Curbside pickup as an option seems like one such change that may be here to stay.


I have slowly been getting to projects. Many of which predate the pandemic by years. I have sorta put things like this into a place in my life. When I get time off from the Littles, I shoot into the shop and grab a tool and start working. Lately I've been working on a metal model (Metal Earth, I think they call them) of a Klingon Vor' Cha Class ship. It is slow, as I am also doing other things. But the vision of plopping an Amiga on the workbench to pull batteries doesn't seem so foreign any more. Several months ago I recall having the A1000 as well as the A3000 on the bench. I built an XPS Linux box.

I hope to get a Panasonic CF-29 ToughBook Linux box going on. This might be a slow one as the box coming has no drive caddy, so I need to acquire that as well as an HDD. Perhaps this will be the Amiga Portable I'm hoping to create again.

Frodo II, The Resurrection.

Sorta. Frodo is alive, but not well. All systems are functional, however, the hotsync does not happen. Cleaning has taken place; many experiments have happened. But the ability to move data to and from the computer has ceased.

Enter Frodo II.

Frodo II is a cloned Palm Treo 700p with everything about it the same as the original Frodo. A screen protector was finally added yesterday and Frodo's case was placed on Frodo II. I spent the second half of the day reacquainting myself with using a Treo rather than the T|X.

It reminds me of migrating from the Kyosera so long ago. The Treo uses a stylus, but rather than hand writing recognition, it has a lit keyboard. I miss the handwriting, even though Queequeg is in bad shape (the consistency at which the digitizer works is highly unreliable). Over time, I'll realize and appreciate the only having to enter each character in once, rather than sometimes once, sometimes over and over again. Queequeg's power on/off button stopped functioning a few months back. Queequeg has become a bit quirky.

Today will be a full day of Frodo II, and it'll still honor the original, I think, even though Lon Chaney Jr. was later in his career billed as Lon Chaney (it drove me crazy), I'll probably only refer to Frodo II as Frodo. Maybe. We'll see. ;)


Back in the C128D (still) -- I just read the 128's disk on the Amiga and ftp opened it on the X41, cut and pasted into the document that has all the ongoing articles -- freakin' October! I'm a bit ahead since at present it is February. :)

I found that the notes are not synced to the palm, so I set that up (hopefully) on the A21p so as they will magically appear upon the next syncing.

When I [view/edit] on the X41 inside FileZilla, LibreOffice opens up - I went to change it, but it would make things overly complicated), as expected. All the linefeed/carriage returns are gone, so I have been making sure to put the HTML tag for paragraph at the end of my paragraphs making it easy to find my intended carriage returns. I suppose if I had to do shitlodes of them I could simply paste into a blank text file and search and replace to put the carriage returns back in. I could then copy that file to the AC page via cut and paste.

I almost did the search and replace, but thought better of it since I was at the time in the final doc -- it'd mess up all the paragraph endings currently in place. Oh, better yet, just do the search and replace inside the doc inside LibreOffice in the first place -- problem solved*!

Well, time to move on....

Ok, over on the X41 now. *The search and replace (a.k.a find and replace) didn't work in LibreOffice, but it did in Kate. Of course, it didn't, and of course, it did.


Back in the C128D once again. The Find and Replace worked in Kate as I expected. Kate used to have a bug with larger files and it exited -- I think, it's been a while. I still used it over kWrite. A new bugged popped up in the search -- still used it. Now it appears bug free.

I don't recall where or when I first searched and replaced with carriage returns. It might have been in the waycool text editor I used in Win98, might have been an Amiga or commodore WP. I just expect it to work because I have been doing it for so long. I shouldn't be surprised that LibreOffice couldn't do it. :/


Back in the C128D once more. This is really been fun and I'm not sure when to stop. However, I have an idea that will move me to the C64. Or at least 64 Mode, and that is NextNex. I will make sure this has not been done in GEOS (by me) and it seems like a fitting project (although the London After Midnight one sure sounds fun). Having been moving stuff to the clone has had me revisiting things on that platform I haven't seen in a while.

This should be interesting!


The idea is there, but the implementation of it will be a challenge. Strider, I believe, still has a c64 emulator with GEOS on it.

That would be the way to go since this afternoon we are heading to Three Island Crossing near Glenn's Ferry. We will have AC, so power considerations are not really a problem. I could lug an SX-64 if I had planned ahead; not sure of the quiet factor as far as typing in the early a.m. goes.

However, both of these options require prep. First, I'd have to get Strider running to see if the files needed are present, and if not move them over. Zoule, has many of the files on it's HD, but I'd still have to see if GEOS was on Strider. As for the SX, I'm afraid that would be too much prep as I'd have to dig out floppies and GEORAM and other things like a mouse or joystick. I am intrigued by the idea though.

These are things I should have done before yesterday. :/

Unless I stumble upon GEOS with geoBASIC on deBerry (the computer that will most likely go), the project will have to wait until I get back.

On a brighter side I moved forward on a repair to an audio mixer. I finished that Metal Earth model of the Klingon Vor' Cha Class ship.

At the last minute, I grabbed some commodore files from Dampier and FTPed them to deBerry. I then, wondered if I did, in fact, have a working VICE on said machine. This morning (at Three Island Park) I successfully booted not only C64 emulation, but my GEOS64 disk image! I have geoBASIC up and running, er rather a geoBASIC compiled PRG that I haven't finished, at least this particular one isn't done.

At any rate, I have a.m. and portable computing options outside the Studio for creating C64 software, once again!

geoBASIC was a project, I believe, of Berkeley Softworks that never got finished. I think they abandoned it, and RUN magazine came to the rescue and published it. It isn't finished and has some quirks one needs to be aware of when working with it, however it is loads of fun, none the less.

STARDATE: 2021. 02. 03: 05: 20 am:

Messing around with HTML on the 128D....

I have a project list that will hopefully entail a series of photos. Perhaps slideshows are in order.

The problem with slideshows isn't doing the slideshow -- it's taking the pictures. Perhaps I can get the iPad setup like I did with the soldier project. Or perhaps setup the Nikon on a copy stand above the workbench -- wish the Nikon had a live monitor out. I think the Nikon should definitely be used, but without the stand, as getting that set up, while would be mega-sweet, it just is too much extra work.

What usually happens is I get into the guts of something, get what needs to be done, done, get it half put together, then go, "oh, ya, I was going to take pictures." Photo and movie making of computers seems to not be my first thought. But put a beautiful sunset in front of me and I'm running to get my camera!

This morning I have been pondering what files I need to get the ball rolling on this Nexus PRG I'm moving towards. I think I have a good shell to start with. It looks like I started, but didn't finish a PRG for LOADSTAR since the info dialogue has J & F publishing mentioned.

I recall long ago, talking to Fender about the Nexea plots and he wanted an explanation that explained the math -- great idea, I thought. I wrote one up and put it in the PRG. I think that program was a normal mode (a.k.a. not a GEOS program) program. I really need a database of my programs so I know what they are, what platform/operating system they're for and who published them. I don't particularly want to make duplicates -- unless they cross platforms.

Three Island was nice, however the first morning I had a migraine caused by my messed up neck. It ruined my morning as well as my entire day as the lasting effect was a headache with dizziness and nausea. It was so bad, the next day I was in a euphoric state with the lack of pain. That morning was great.

I got the system setup, with the exception of the GEORAM, it isn't appearing in the emulator, perhaps I need the correct configure file. It may help, but I don't have to have an REU (RAM Expansion Unit -- GEORAM was Berkeley Softworks' eco-solution). Perhaps I'll try a commodore REU approach since GEOS defaults to that out of the box.

Just a point of interest, I couldn't afford a commodore REU, so I opted for the GEORAM. It is not compatible to the commodore REUs, but it works well with GEOS.

STARDATE: 2021.02.07:05:00am: C128D:

The List of Killer Projects:

These are some really cool things to do that blow out the fog of PTS brought on by the life one leads raising RAD/FAS kids.

STARDATE: 2021.02.07:10:25pm: A1200:

There is this bigass monitor on the workbench at present. It may go on the Amiga Workbench as one of the monitors. That will require a place be made for it since the 1084S isn't going anywhere. There also needs to be space for the scan doubler and a switch box, should I want to hook up the two VGA-able Amigas.

So it is blocking the Shop's Workbench, and thus slowing the flow of projects. Note I say slowing -- I'm still pushing through regardless.

{I was working in SuperRAM before, then saved to a 1581 floppy. I converted the file to ASCII, and plopped the 1581 Floppy in the A1200. I'm editing and saving to that floppy now.}

The biggest problem is I can't seem to get the WiFi connection on the 1200 to the ftp without opening a browser and accessing a page on the iNet. :/

I need ping.

STARDATE: 2021.02.08:05:20am: C128D:

I have not found ping for the Amiga (fping does not appear to work on my system). This is a refection on the sorry state of the Amiga computer for online use.

The Amiga, at least not any I have access to, cannot log into Gmail. Gmail claims that Java Script is not running on my machine. :/ Despite IBrowse's claims to have a modern Java Script, I can't log in. (Further evidence of Java Script not functioning, is my simple year count script on this site's main page -- no value is displayed.)

I need MiamiDX to jump into action upon booting up. I need to have the 1581.device, the IP stack, and the FTP server running all at the same time and be able to open and leave the browser with the computer not resetting.

And -- I need ping! I could script it all and just rely on ping to open the IP to awake state and everything else would fall into place, as long as I can manage when to bring everything up automatically.

STARDATE: 2021.02.08:05:49am: A1200:

Now there may be a better solution to my problem, such as waiting a bit. This system used to bootup and connect to Agmar (the old, old WiFi), in fact, it hooked up to the IBM WiFi repeater, before that. How can I see what it connects to? Hit and Miss. Not mentioned in any of MiamiDX's documentation is how you connect to WiFi. You do lots of configuring in MDX and then some on the router. I can't simply open up MDX and say "connect to such and such network."

It really is a pain.

I don't want to add writing ping to my list of projects and I certainly don't have an AREXX on the horizon. When Mythreal does get online, the connection is solid. I have left an FTP connection open from deBerry to Mythreal all day long and everything functioned at 100% efficiency, no anomalies of any kind.

STARDATE: 2021 . 02 . 09 : 06 : 20 am : C128D:

Just went through memory lane on the database of computers that NC has seen blow through. The kindle Fire has no name in the db. Huh. Now I have to come up with a killer name for the ToughBook and I am revisiting the order of IBM monikers.

Let me elucidate. When writing about and listing in the computers db, do I write:

IBM ThinkPad R50p


IBM R50p ThinkPad

It seems I've used both over the years. It probably doesn't matter, no one cares, so on and so forth. But still, what should the standard be? (Someone apparently cares.)

On the Amiga, I set up an FTP directory that leads directly to the pages of this website, so I can quickly navigate to that drawer. Seems like a no brainer, however when I look at the evolution of the FTP server on the said computer, I was experimenting, and at the same time though I wanted a broad range of access. Today we are adding C1: -- that's the 1581.device. I hope to work right off the commodore floppy from the Linux box! It will most likely reset the computer and that's where I'll be. :/

Off we go -- wish me luck!


2021.02.14 I am in Xubuntu on the yet to be christened CF-29. I have been online this morning as well as trying to get the OS installed on a partition on the same thumb drive to no avail.

Return: It worked! I can FTP directly to this machine from the 1581 formatted floppy in the Amiga's df1: drive!!!!! 4cool!


testing, testing, 1,2,3....

2021.02.16 -- saved the above test text and rebooted. And it stayed! This OS on this system is dog slow. Kinda weird. But kinda cool at the same time.

Not sure I'm a fan of the CF-29's kb. It might be better than the TS1000's, at least as far as CRSR keys go. ;)

The clock is wrong. Annoying. Look at the damn BIOS! It's right.

Mousing with this OS is tedious.

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

Feel like I'm punching a code into some wacko keypad to perform some security thing. Or something.

Not a computer I'll take somewhere to type on. So what use is it?

It's gonna be April before I can put any funds into this machine for either HD caddy, HD or RAM. A CD would be nice.

It's still kinda fun though. I have to hack the file save at present. Wonder what the future holds for this machine.

Possible Names.

I have yet to dub the computer anything. Quartermass is taken. I thought CF could stand for Carrie Fisher, so Princes or Leia would be good. Bet that last one is taken too. Isotope has jumped up on my lap in the studio. Perhaps Isotope, after our kitty!


I just wrote the AC and by line on the CF for giggles.

I had to boot the X41 off the thumb drive to find the test.txt file I had written and saved within antiX -- the OS I was messing around with and failed to mention in the stuff I had typed. Any hoot. That Linux saved it in a file that decompresses or unfolds or at least is accessed via antiX when antiX is running, albeit a Live Disto. Interesting, reminds me of the nest in Dyno:Bolic -- hey! that's the OS I should try next!

Today is Wednesday, February 24th. It is 5:08am. I am trying yet another attempt at saving text from Xubuntu on the CF-29.

The above was saved to the Amiga's CF card plugged into the Panasonic CF-29 ToughBook"s PCMCIA card slot (yes, with an adapter). It is so far the best option for saving from the system as it boots the OS via (first from floppy, then) USB and has no HD and only one USB port.

I have tried to format the unused portion of the USB stick for data saving but it hasn't worked out. And using a CF card means I can pull the file without having to shut down. Networking and email might be a possibility, but the Xububtu OS version is pretty old and might not have the version of Firefox that supports modern security.

This just done:

Ok, the following was written on the CF-29 and saved to Hawking via SMB. I then changed over to the ThinkPad X41 and, using SMB, opened the file over on Hawking and cut and pasted it from it's tab to this file:

STARDATE: 2021.02.26: Xubuntu as a Live disro has quirks. Like the clock doesn't want to update to this time zone :/ for instance. This machine will be fun to get going once HD setup can happen. Apparently I'm not able to get a second USB going.

Plopp, the off floppy booter I use to boot from the USB, says it supports PCMCIA card USBs. My PCMCIA card USB appears to be a BusCARD -- 32 bit verses 16 bit. This appears to only supports the older 16 bit. Bummer.

STARDATE: 2021.02.27: In BackTrack 3 now. KWrite opened the test.txt file after I clicked on it. Old KDE, but a fun one, goin' on here.

The mouse works well under BT3 -- out of the box, however no touch screen. The touch screen works from Xubuntu, albeit a bit short -- that might be the old screen. I'll have to look at prefs to see if I can turn the touch screen on.

I have gotten the PCMCIA slot USB card going on this after all! It works well. I can't boot from it, however.

This KB is not for writing. Sigh.

I could see deBarry on SMB, as usual, but could not access any shares on it. :/

Just a note: It is February 27, so summer hasn't even happened. Making the idea of writing to get a head of posting a thing that makes the posting not current. Albeit, hacking knows no time.

2021.03.03: powered down the Gameframe. The Gameframe is in a closet, as you may well know. The closet is behind home school shelves, and has been for a while. I have been able to easily open it up by simply moving a couple of small things and a book case with Montessori materials on it out of the way. No problem. Now, however there is a really large set of drawers that house the biome materials and a bit more stuff. Opening the Gameframe up is a major endeavor, so I haven't done it for sometime. This means no dusting of the area. So I pulled the plug so no power gets in. I wonder about memory cards with high scores...


I have finally gotten Xubuntu onto a thumb drive. I had been trying for sometime to get an install via the PCMCIA USB adapter. Not sure what the hell happened this time, for as usual, with Ubuntu installers, they just get errors. I think I basically bypassed the swap partition since it couldn"t make a swap partition for what ever reason -- it would just fail. Plus there is that whole hit and miss thing. I didn't do this in the first go.

The next step is to get one of those really tiny USB drives and clone the preset install. The thought being, to place it in the USB port and close the door on the machine. The PCMCIA card slot can hold the USB card and the MicroSD I was using before. I'd only need open the door to plug in a USB drive. Looks like I can only use conventional thumb drive type devices. My CD-ROM doesn't show up.

Have not tried any other type of USB drive or device. I'd be a kick getting the USB Microscope going on this machine or say the bore-o-scope. An HD would be nice, but the cost is gonna be more than what was spent on the machine itself, so I'm hesitant, especially now that I have a bootible system (one that's not a try- before- you- buy Live CD. The Xubuntu Live booted to a choice of either installing or trying. So it would take a long time to boot, then I'd have to interact and it would spend more time booting. Then I would loose anything I installed -- plus the entire system was in RAM, so the 512 megs RAM it had was at a premium.

The Cysco WiFi Router that was formerly known as Lothlorien (R.I.P.) was replaced with a Netgear killer router a few weeks ago; last night, I replaced Middle Earth (it was terminally ill) with an Netgear ORBI Cable Modem, WiFi, Router combo. It took a really long time for things to start working. This morning the two orbital stations had lost contact with the modem. I paired them again, but the network was not responding. I reset the modem and everything came back up and it works Sofa King well!

The Roku we got for the super-fast everything, actually works really well with this system setup. The Roku has Apple AirPlay. On the old system it was choppy and intermittent and now it is smooth and fast!

StARDaTE: 2021.03.17: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I am on the CF-29, at present, known as AGC -- Apollo Guidance Computer. I have not looked to getting an AmigaOS thing going on it. I might use Fellow or E-UAE, no decision has been made.

It is really strange typing on this kb. Not sure a portable Amiga should have a kb such as this.

I'm typing this in gmail so as to zip it off to accessland -- I can grab it on the X41.

Time to go...

STARDATE: 2021.03.24: I just grabbed the above text from gmail via the X41 (Linux Boxer Kubuntu 18.04 a.k.a. deBerry). I decided to leave the typing of STARDATE as it was when I typed it. Sometime keys don't get punched on the CF-29. I added missing letters and such above, but you can see I missed the shift key a couple of times on STARDATE.

We are going to Bruneau Dunes this afternoon. We plan to stay at Broken Wheel for two nights then move to the Equestrian camp for one more night. There should be power at Broken Wheel, but not at the Equestrian camp. So I'm thinking of taking the MacBook as a just- in- case.


A note on hyphenation: Way back when I started this site, I wrote a couple of long strings of text that would normally be hyphenated. I did hyphenate, but the display got messed up as the string was pretty long and left a gap on the line either above or below (I don't recall which). So rather than use the-traditional-way-to-hyphenate, I did- it- with- a- space- after- every- hyphen. This wrapped the text well, and John thought it a good solution to a tired problem, so it has stuck here ever since. There you go.

I seem to be STARDATing the crap out of everything lately.

Current project: I took a digital photo of the CF-29 with the goal of making either a Koala or Doodle picture for the C64 from it. So far I've the image ready to make the commodore file but am up against a mystery as to what GIMP thinks resolution is. I've got color count and size down to commodore specs and it still won't save. I set the "resolution" to basically 0 (0.00002) and it still won't save. Perhaps Irfenview will need to be engaged on Windows 2000. I might also be able to go the .GIF route, but it might mess up my colors. Although, who knows if the colors are close as of now....

PANDEMIC NOTE: Got my Fauci Ouchie (COVID-19 Vaccination) Wednesday around 10:10am. Next one is in April.

2021.03.25: Bruneau Dunes. Missing the kid who slept under the table -- gave me a place to put my feet that was warm -- under their bed. But as kids get older they are learning to handle more and more things, like sleeping in the same bed. Everyone is so comfortable in the trailer it's a bit like being at home as far as how the kids react to their environment. Good stuff.

Well, over on the A21p -- under Windows 2000 -- tried said PRGs and notta. I forgot all about ConGo. I opened it up and appear to now have a Koala of the CF-29. I don't have it here, so I can't see it on even an emulated C64. I opened DiskMaster and placed the image onto a disk image -- also made in ConGo. Seems like the name should be ComGo but whatever.

Been messing around with VICE this morning. Kinda cold here at Bruneau being March and all.

Just changed geoNex to current times, updated the Copyright Statement for posting in the Dee El. Currently compiling at present. Running VICE at 100% and True Drive Emulation makes for a kinda slow environment. I'm totally Spoiled by the SuperCPU. But at present, that system isn't configured to do GEOS64 at high speed. Need a pop-up to tell me when geoBASIC is done compiling. :) Been nice if they put in a progress bar at very least.

After my shot I was just tired. Wasn't sure if it was just not enough sleep or the shot itself. Looking back on this side of the fog, it was the shot. I burned the hot dogs (not badly -- they were still great) and boiled my tea over in the micro wave after thinking 1:30 and punching in 2:00. Burned the tip of my finger at one point. Doesn't heart as it's in the corner where basically thick, dry skin is, right next to the nail, but still, you'd think I'd notice that! Feeling a lot more alert today. Got up at 5am. Not enough space on the disk for the compile. :/ try again.

Fucking inadvertently grabbed the icon from the launcher and clicked it on the VICE window, resetting VICE to load the PRG 64.exe or what ever it's called in the Linux world. :C

Take 2!

The ability to grab an icon off the panel is not something I really need and it happens all too often. What the Actual Fuck is it for -- I don't know. I don't recall using it. Perhaps it's a fast way to put a shortcut onto the desktop. Who knows? Who cares?

Just put the emulator into Warp Mode and took top speed to 200% in hopes to speed things up a bit. It's almost time to get everyone up and this compile needs to be finished ASABHP (as soon as bloody humanly possible).

2021.03.27: The geoApp is almost done. All it needs is it's icon changed and it will be done. Maybe. I want to check over the explanation of what it is to see if it is correct or could be said better, etc. That's the way programming goes for me -- just one more thing. :)

NOPE! Just checked it! PT routine entirely missing -- just figured out what to do -- bye!


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September 2021

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


The photo to Koala was a success, albeit not the direction I had planned to take. I took a photo of the CF-29. It has an Amiga rendering of The Shire, a view from the Hobbit Hole where no fields lie, as a desktop background. You can't really see the background in the photo.

I'm thinking perhaps, I'll retake the photo to get a picture that you can see the background. That picture was not only rendered on an Amiga, I had converted it with IPort into IPaint then eventually made a geoPaint Paint Image to scrap and place into a geoPublish document to put in TV/BUG's news letter so long ago. The desktop background, is not the converted IFF (it is converted to jpeg, but only the container has changed) so the colors and resolution remain the same.

1975 Ektachrome IR 200. 2021 commodore 128D.

Ok, it might have been in 1976. I was at South Jr. High, in Boise at the time. I loved and always have loved, always will love, Ektachrome film, Ektachrome IR 200 in particular. My mom, took me downtown -- destination: The Boise Cascade Building.

The Boise Cascade Building had an arboretum in it. A large open area with huge windows on all sides of the building that went up for several stories. It's still there, but ownership has changed and the owners don't seem to have a civic mindedness about the building. But I digress.

The day was an IR photo shoot. I saw a picture and jumped out of the car, and sought to shoot it. Mom had gotten the car locked up and grabbed my other camera bag (a Bell and Howell, hard case made for a movie camera, so it was more like a box). I loved the color shift I got with the film. I was known as a Natural Light Photographer back then, read: a flash is too expensive. I also shot the whole roll of IR hand held and filterless.

I got some amazing shots of the inside of that arboretum. From that whole day, the one shot I was pulled to the most, was the shot I took with Mom walking down the sidewalk. The car is a brown Mercury Monclaire pictured next to Mom. Mom is wearing green pants and a green windbreaker. The green bushes and Mom's green clothes all appear red in the picture.

It was that picture I choose for one of my Cybachrome prints. Cybachrome was an Ilford Films process to print color slides using three chemicals to complete the task. I have three pictures on our wall downstairs that have been there since I was in Jr. High. One of one of my favorite sunset shots, one of a cool sky superimposed over the train depot (a place I frequented with my camera as it was only a few blocks from South) and the shot I got of Mom walking downtown that day.

About two years or so ago, I scanned the slides from that photo shoot. I got the idea to work with GIMP on the downtown picture, hoping to bring out the colors in a more brilliant manner making the picture a bit less dark than the original, to print out and perhaps frame and hang next to the original.

That isn't going too good as the scan of the slide is darker than I want it to be. But along the way I started to move things over onto the C128D. On it's HD is an arsenal of commodore graphics utilities, including GODOT. All I had to do was find a way to get the jpeg over there.

The Amiga 1200 can read and write 1581 disks and ImageFX can read Koala files. But that might not be helpful. I need to save as Koala. GIMP on the X41 can save as Koala, but it keeps screaming about the resolution being too large. I have the commodore 64 indexed pallet, I got the 360 * 200 (I tried 160 * 200 and got a different box saying the images needed to be 360 * 200). So that's not helpful.

ConGo on the A21p got the image saved as a Koala, however it is cumbersome and seems to be hit and miss as far as getting it to do what I want.

In the end though, I wound up saving a .GIF file from GIMP using the commodore 64 indexed pallet. I then loaded it into GODOT and saved as a Koala file. I then went back to GIMP and resized it to the resolution seen here.

Click on it to see it!

I edited in GIMP on the Win2000 machine and saved as .GIF (letting that setup choose the colors -- I haven't found the Koala stuff for the Win version of GIMP) or I saved via the Linux version with the commodore colors. The non-commodore Pallet worked best.

I used Disk Master to put the images on an already setup 1581 disk image that has things like Autograph on it. I then used the disk utility OmiFlop to write the image to a real world 1581 floppy.

On the C128D I set GODOT up by loading DecodeGIF into the MODules area. I loaded the .GIF loader and the KOALA saver. I then loaded the .GIF file from the 1581, rendered it, and played with the pallet.

As far as color goes, a straight .GIF save from both GIMP and Personal Paint rendered the best results with out selecting the commodore 64 pallet (on GIMP). It may also just depend upon the image I'm converting.

In the case of the IR picture, the commodore 64 palate rendered to pink rather than red. In editing, I found brown to be close to what I wanted for those bushes, but then it was a bit too brown, but only a little. Enough to make it hard to decide upon what colors I actually wanted. I think I eventually settled on the original colors.

What makes this image special, isn't a photographic image making it to the commodore 64's screen, I've been doing that for a while, back in the 1990s I did a lot of real world type imaging via DigiMaster III. There's nothing as cool grabbing an image while in GEOS! This image was one I captured 45 years ago, long before I ever dreamed of putting images to the TV screen. My go to then was slides and the slide projector. That was the big screen back then, a 4 foot by 4 foot screen, glowing with sunsets and the like in a dark room.

I think my folks would have gotten a kick out of seeing this picture on the commodore's screen. I know I have. :D


I've brought Amiga real world digitized scans to the screen of the commodore 64, as well as modern day digital photographs and scans of old photos to that screen. I am thinking about getting back in DigiMaster III on the C128DD and do some experimenting there -- it has been a while.

Mean time, I have a group of digital photos I selected to experiment with, and hope to bring here. I might experiment with the final pictures as far as resolution for posting goes, I like the larger images as they are easier to see on the big screen computers.


I have been messing around in GODOT lately. Mostly just loading converted photos (I convert them on in GIMP or Converseen on the x41 Linux Box) and saving them as JJ or DD and the like. The ones I bring to the web, are saved as non-compressed Koalas since that is what GIMP can read. Those get resized and saved as .JPGs.

I decided to checkout some of the modules to see what could be done in this software. I saw NEGATIVE and a light went off in my head.

This is what I did:

I took this photo:

Click on it to see it!

GIFed it via GIMP:

Click on it to see it!

Loaded into GODOT:

Click on it to see it!

I ran NEGATIVE on it and saved as a .PCX file.

Click on it to see it!

I then took the 1581 disk from the C128 and ran it through OmiFlop to get it onto the A21p. Next I opened DiskMaster and saved the .PCX to the HD, opened it up with Irfanview and did an Invert (make a negative of the image) and then saved this image:

The once yellow car, after all these convertings, turned blue.
The once yellow car, after all convertings, turned blue.

Now, these images have been resized to see on modern screens, as the resolution is 160 * 200. That fills the commodore's screen, but it really small on modern machines -- not to mention the aspect ratio is off -- 160 looks great on CBM, but needs to be 320 on just about everything else.

The conversions could have as easily been done putting the 1581 floppy into the Amiga 1200 drive and read the file straight into ImageFX and the color would have been true to the commodore's. I converted some of the Koalas not noted that way.

This is what a direct conversion from Koala on Linux looks like. (To get the above, more yellow, third image above, I used ImageStudio to resize and save to jpeg.):

Click on it to see it!

A NOTE About Aspect Ratio:

Importing a straight .GIF (and this is in the NTSC world) will stretch the aspect ratio along the Y Axes (from the commodore screen point of view). The image gets distorted, and things are taller on the commodore screen. I choose 320 * 160 as my aspect ratio when resizing a full size 6000 * 4000 .JPEG. After importing to the C64 via GODOT the images appeared as they did in the original shot as far as aspect ratio was concerned.


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October 2021

Archaic Computer


Brian L Crosthwaite.

The Chill.


Brian Crosthwaite

I had to cross the room. On the far end, the room was well lit; moonlight flooded in through the large windows. On near end, the moon shed light through the small window behind. But in between, in between was a darkness, so deep that it would seem that no light had ever reached that area of the room. The darkness loomed like a large thing that blocked the path, sitting in wait.

I couldn't tell if furniture lay between the two lit areas, but surely there must be some. The entire house was furnished and this room was no exception. I wished I could have simply bolted and gotten to the light as fast as I could move, however, that would surly result in injury, having I stubbed my toe on some table or chair.

It was cool in that part of the house, almost a chill, cool and clammy. I could feel something else. It felt like someone or something looking at me from inside the darkness.

I stepped out of the light, into the black, my hands forward, so as to touch any couch or table that lay in my path to guild me. It was clear.

I took another step. I could feel a presence, touching my back, and yet nothing was there. Nothing was actually touching me. I could still feel it none the less.

Darkness engulfed me like a mist falling on top a field in the early hours of pre-dawn. I could feel the eyes now, as multiple hands reached for me, grabbing out at my back between the shoulders, reaching deep into my soul. The fear raced through me like a serge of energy, as I quickened my pace, careful not to collide with anything that lie between me and my destiny. I walked, a brisk motion pushing through the darkness, until finally, finally I reached the light.

The light stripped away the hands and the fear, leaving only a shudder inside me. And as I took a breath of relief, the light suddenly went out.

The End.

The Cemetery.


Night Creep.


Brian Crosthwaite

It is quiet by night and the stars shine below.

As the sky turns about.

As the moon starts to flow.

It wonders the sky in anticipation.

For the dead rest, to what end?

Does rest not preclude activity?

Will they arise one day and furrow their brows at the world they left for only a time?

Will they seek some sort of refuge, some sort of clime?

Will it be dry and warm? Or damp and cold?

For the dead range form the very young to the very old.

Will they find solace in the nook of a tree?

Will they settle in by some southern sea?

Perhaps, perchance, they'll room with thee?

Snuggled all warm under your covers and duffed on your pillow.

They'll bring a new coolness to the sheets and a chill to your spine.

As you try to seek the rest that they finally did find.

But no worries, as you die of fright or of lack of sleep,

For you too will get rested and do the night creep.

....end of poem.


Ok, this is ridiculous! I am writing 2022's Feb AC and it's only May '21. I think I'm going to join the July to June and basically combine the writings, making what was 2 month's worth of AC into 1 month of AC, that'll bring me a bit closer to the time line of where I'm am. Crazy. I guess that's what happens during a pandemic.

(Side Note: I went ahead and made the date changes, from July on, I doubled the articles up so that July became the second half of June, etc. Now I'm in the month of October. Changing this was a lot of work, but it went fast.)

I have been going through the large HD to grab possible C64 pictures. This collection I am gathering started as photos I took, but has grown to some great modern stuff that the C64 may have missed, like Covid19 memes. I have decided (oh, BTW I'm in Colorado Springs -- we're heading to FLA!) I need to make a partition on the HD that houses non BLC pix. I have a partition on the commodore's CMD HD named BLCPIX, with 4 subpartitions call ZONE01, ZONE02... ZONE04.

So I'll be FCOPY+ing soon....


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November 2021

Archaic Computer


Brian L Crosthwaite.

Spent an amazing day at the Beach in Clearwater, Fla. Swam, rode waves, sat, took in the sights and sounds of the Gulfo de Mexico. Fantastic BBQ burgers, and an amazing sunset to top off the day.

The XPS 1340, A21p, Amiga 1200, and C128D have been busy the past month or so. I've gone through the archives, bringing photos to the commodore realm via GODOT. It has been amazing. Some pictures look just fantastic, others not so good.

I guess what amazes me most, is the fact that so many turn out so good. Some of the images turn out to be quite different, creating a whole new image.

I updated the June posting this morning to include what was originally the July posting. I hope writing of the next few months goes well, since I've moved stuff up a bit.

So what big project is next?

That I have no idea about. I have kinda cleared off my workbench in the shop. I have RAM to add to the CF-29. I also have the programming manual for the 225. I really would like to rearrange the studio a bit. I don't like how the C128DD, VIC20, C64, and Amiga 1000 are basically in the walk way to get into the room.

Unfortunately, I have no viable plan. It'll most likely be the RAM install that happens next.

The official name of the CF-29 looks to be AFC (Apollo Flight Computer), Carrie Fisher was a close second. The system is probably as close as I'm gonna get it ultimately at present. All it needs is the RAM. It auto boots the floppy, a program that loads and boots Xubuntu off of a tiny USB tucked away (with it's door closed, mind you) in it's USB slot. It has a secondary drive -- a CF Card and finally a PCMCIA card USB adapter adding two 2.0 USB ports. 2cool!

Photo FLA.

I have been using my high speed movement mode on the Nikon. Not sure what else to call it. I set the camera in Shutter Priority mode, set the shutter for 4000th of a second, and put the ISO up at 25000 and let the camera adjust the aperture. It's a way to grab a picture when you are in a fan boat or other moving vehicle.

You do get grain, but at 24 megapixels, you really have to zoom in to see it, and then you can't see the picture, since it's so huge (6000*4000). Even on the iMac whose screen resolution/size is crazy high, images still look good.

Drives me crazy, however, as I really would prefer a nice crisp image, at least most of the time. You can take out of focus pictures and much of the time they look good, often great at lower resolutions. :/

The SnapBridge app on the iPhone does a great job of moving 2 megapixal versions of the picture over from the camera automatically via Bluetooth. On the way home from a shoot I can just turn off airplane mode on the camera and the photos start coming over to the iPhone. Sometimes I open the app to encourage the process -- but that's all I do is open the app, everything else is automatic. I can then text pictures to family or post on FB, etc.

If I want to move shots over to the computer, I just use the WiFi connection (EZShare) and pick what I want from within Firefox. DLing everything isn't an option on the computer as it has very limited HD space.

Once on the computer, I can do any Darkroom work I need there via GIMP. There are other tools I use, of course, but Gwenview and GIMP are the mainstays.

This aperture priority shooting setup lets me grab stuff I couldn't get, short of stopping and taking time to get the shot. However, when you are traveling at high speed in a boat, or car, you really don't have that option. At least, I don't. There is a cost to the quality of the picture, however, as I said before, you really don't notice it at normal screen resolution, in most cases.


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December 2021

Archaic Computer


Brian L Crosthwaite.


Back at Skyline Yurt once again. This time it's August. Have my computer and my Nikon this time around.

Unfortunately, yesterday when we went on our big hike, I had an incredible headache. Brought my pillows, but both last night and the night before, I was unable to adjust things properly. I guess it's time to get that surgery for my neck. (In eighth grade, I was in a head on collision, where I slammed into the windshield of my bug after being wrapped around the steering wheel, resulting in an exploded disk in the lower back and a messed up neck. Back in 1998/1999 or so I got a lamenectomy that fixed the back, but have yet to get my neck fixed.

...end of personal history.

deBerry's battery hit that, gonna- shut- down- any- moment- stage so I quickly copied the file to a RAMstick and fired up Darth Vader.

I had an amazing photo op yesterday morning as well as the night proceeding. But I had a horrific headache and I had left the tripod about a third of a mile from the yurt, back in the Big Van. :/

Yesterday I grabbed the tripod, but smoke had moved in and the early a.m. was not spectacular. Last night, however I could see the Milkyway as the sky was absolutely clear. Unfortunately, I had just got up to answer a call to nature and was dog tired. There you go.

We recently had the cowcam setup to watch Clairabelle at the end of her pregnancy. When I went to set it up the cable snagged and broke the tiny USB PS port on the cam. I hate those small plugs! This is what happened to a very expensive ipcam a couple of years ago. Now both are on the workbench. :/

I was able to finally install one of the outlets with builtin USB ports, with the help from Antony. That has been on the back burner for so long, I had forgotten that we had two to install and I can't recall where the second one goes. (lots of :/ in this posting -- as well as "unfortunately"s)

It is nice to have advanced on something.

My day is packed. Mia has a full-time call now and leaves at 9am. That's when we jump into chore time. Things could go faster if I could simply send kids out to do their chores all at once like normal kids. However, the three FAS kids require line of site, so I have major jugging to do and when chores are done, lunch, and nap, we start over again. I have a killer mountain bike I'm dying to ride, but have no time to.

Projects just sit.


We are at Greyback Gulch. I am in KaliLinux booted from a thumbdrive. I hope to edit tomorrow either from within Kali or Kubuntu on DarthVader. This editor, MousePad, is cool. Like GoldED, it can show text across the screen with no wrap, AND (unlike GoldED) when you cursor past the end of the line, it goes to the next line! I love it!

This looks amazing -- The Kali Desktop. Really cool.

Kali is the modern form of BackTrack, btw.

I'm on DarthVader, this morning, retyping everything I just typed that vanished to god knows where. I tried to boot via USB, but that's a no go. It would appear that there is no Apple sanctioned boot from USB on this system (a MacBook, kinda old).

There probably is a hack, after all I got the Pasasonic CF-29 to boot from it's USB1.1 port from a teeny, tiny USB drive that fits in the port with the rubber door closed. Perhaps that would have been the puter to bring camping with no electric with it's 6 hour 10 minute (!) battery. The keyboard, albeit wather proof, leaves too much to be desirered. Punching the keys might be too much of a pain. :/

Well, it's 7:55 which is way late for us to be getting up, so I guess I should move toward bacon...

Happy Holidays!


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