2022

A reproduction Amiga mouse for my A1000? Sure, why not 😆

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Schlepped the Amiga 1000 cross country in a checked suitcase. Happy to see it made it without any damage, still in working order. Now I need to sort out boot disks and peripherals…

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Ridiculously excited that a friend passed on an extra Amiga 1000 to me. Many hours of fun to come

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Starting to poke around the Amiga platform for the first time. So far, it’s like an extra colorful version of my childhood computing experience

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My friend was kind enough to give back my first C64 after losing interest in it. Feels very sentimental

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2021

Feels like it’s time to spend some time with my 8 bit machines after spending a year with my Macs. Started with the Vic 20 tonight and wasted 30 minutes on Spaceship Minus One. Easily one of my favorite games

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2020

The quality of modern C64 games really blows me away

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2019

Hmm, SD2IEC is mysteriously not seeing any of the files on its SD card. Probably a sign it’s too hot for retro computing today

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I rekajiggered the cables on my Commodore monitor so that my Apple //c video is in monochrome green phosphor. Takes me right back to having one as a kid, though the official monitor that goes with it has a much clearer picture 🤫

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Finally had a spare moment to figure out l the source of the strange plasticy odor coming from the VIC 20. Turns out it was from the penultimate cartridge. Not sure what to make of that

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Got a little desk from IKEA to put my retro set up on. I forgot how difficult positioning a large CRT on a tiny desk is, what a nostalgic experience. I quite like the end result, feels very cozy

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A friend sent me his RetroTink 2x to try out. A bit disappointed in the image quality, it’s very smudgy. However, this is the first time I’ve played C64 games with no lag on a modern TV. I think something like this is in my future for after my Commodore monitor gives up the ghost.

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Never would have imagined that there’s a vi clone for the C64, let alone that it would be so feature complete

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Hmm, the Vic 20 is putting off a mysterious foul odor when in use. I should probably find the source of that before I use it more…

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Ordered some desolder braid. The power switch in my flat C64 is broken and needs to be replaced. This will be the first repair I’ve done with a soldering iron since my breadbin C64, hopefully it doesn’t end in disaster 😳

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2018

I thought this game – Rescuing Orc – didn’t work with the SD2IEC, but it just does not like the fastloader it comes with. I don’t even remember what this game is about, but I remember being fairly excited when I downloaded it…

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This is probably silly, but I recently picked up a C64 to use as my “daily driver.” Parts for the C128 are pricey, and it doesn’t have nearly as much documentation as the C64, so I want to reduce the number of hours I put on it. There was just one fault with the C64 I got, it was missing the 4 key cap. I found a very cheap replacement, but it does not match.

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There is just something so pleasant about the VIC-20. The primitive graphics and sound make using it feel very intimate in a way that modern technology can’t match.

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Got the WiModem working with the VIC-20. This is probably the oldest computer I’ve gotten online with to date. At least VICTERM emulates a 40 column display!

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Cheese and Onion is both technically impressive for a VIC-20 game, and a lot of fun. Really enjoying the penultimate+ cartridge so far

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Super excited to try out the Penultimate+ cartridge with the VIC-20!

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Put some replacement feet on the VIC-20. It feels like this project is now complete! Can’t wait for my Penultimate+ cartride to arrive 😃

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This is probably more window dressing than anything else, but I added heat sinks to the VIC-20’s hotter running chips. Still, 🤞🏽 it helps prolong the life of its expensive and hard to source components I also discovered the source of the video not working when I first plugged in this (the original) main board: one of the potentiometers for adjusting the video signal is broken. If you turn the machine upside-down, it causes it to lose contact with the main board and throws everything out of wack.

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I’ve set out to write a simple blackjack game in Basic with the goal of it running on the unexpanded VIC-20 eventually. I’m cheating a bit and writing it on the C128 – its coding environment is massively improved over the VIC-20 and C64. We’ll see how this goes…

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Picked up a dead test cartridge. The C128 has been acting a little odd lately, figured it’d be good to test that its parts are doing ok

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I think the VIC-20’s case came out well. I was able to scrub off most of the marker and paint. I wouldn’t say it’s like new, but I’m quite pleased with where it’s at

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I hit a bit of a snag in my plan. The “known good” VIC-20 main board I had turned out to be not so good. When I plugged it in to test it, the video output was garbled! Fortunately, the original main board turned out to be ok. Just had to adjust the potentiometers controlling the video signal

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The keys dried nicely over night, I was able to put them all back on this afternoon. I’m quite pleased with the result, they feel clean to the touch. I didn’t realize what a horrible sound the caps make when being reattached though, it sounds just like they’re snapping!

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Although I got this VIC-20 with the intention of putting my working main board in it, it seems there are signs of life in the one it came with. Might be worth attempting to fix 🤔

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Case is looking much better after a scrub with soapy water. This must have been a kid’s computer in its previous life. Need to get more cleaning supplies, and I’m hoping I can get this in like new condition again

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Washing the key caps in soapy water was extremely satisfying, the keys make the same noise as LEGO bricks. They’re now out to dry overnight

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Never realized how much effort it takes to get all the caps off of a keyboard. This is the first time I’m going to try individually cleaning key caps instead of doing a surface cleaning with the board fully assembled

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Inching ever closer to having a working VIC-20 system

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Tried out some new C64 games. Really digging Krakout and Uridium!

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New power supply arrived for my Commodore machines today. I was finally able to try out the Vic 20 motherboard I got a few months back – it works! Still need to get a keyboard and case for it heh

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Got a set of drawers and tidied up my retro corner. Still a work in progress, but most of my collection is now in one easy to access place. Thinking I need some theme appropriate stuff on the walls next 🤔

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Ack! I know I haven’t really played since I was a kid, but I don’t remember being this bad at Q*BERT

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Thanks to Jan Beta’s YouTube series on repairing a C128, I was able to finally put the power LED back correctly after disassembling my machine to clean it several months ago. The light no longer intermittently goes out, and is flush with the case once again

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My Commodore setup is complete: it now has an authentic (1802) monitor. The picture is amazing, and best of all: no input lag!

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Got a replacement power cord for the VCR, so I was finally able to check that my 8 bit machines survived the move. They did! But my cheapo modern joystick did not…

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Here we go, got a VIC-20 mother board. Just need to find a broken donor machine I can harvest a keyboard and case from, and I’ll have a working system!

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It’s more a novelty than anything else, but there is a (sorta functional) Apple I emulator for the C64

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Finally got around to trying GEOS. It’s nuts that they got a pretty decently usable desktop environment working on such limited hardware

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Got CP/M loaded up on the C128, and my goodness it is slow in 40 column mode!

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I suppose it’s not the most eco-friendly, but I really like having a printed copy of the documentation for my retro stuff. It makes it all feel that much more personal

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Today I learned there’s an honest to goodness C64 Canabalt port!

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A upcoming long distance move is a good opportunity to rehome some of my extra systems

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Ideal setup achieved: Commodore 128 SD2IEC WiModem64 Now I can play all the games, and visit all the BBSes

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The C128 system guide I ordered arrived today! It seems the original owner never sent in for their Commodore magazines

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it seems the cats do not appreciate me noodling with the SID chip in my C128. they abstained from eating dinner until I finished

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oh no, the counter on my datasette seems to have started jamming! can’t say I am surprised though, I haven’t done any maintenance on it since I got it, and I am pretty sure it was stored in a barn before I picked it up at auction

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Cost of having the C128 System Guide printed and bound from a PDF: ~$60. Cost of buying an original used copy: $4.99. Well that’s a no brainer.

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The C128 seems to be working fine with the new fuse, so I put the RF shield/heatsink back on. Now I need to figure out how to repair the junked up F5 key, and the plastic on the power supply which was damaged during shipping

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I did not realize how yellowed my datasette is until I put it next to the C128. I might have to do something about this 🤔

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Plot twist: after replacing the fuse in the power supply, my C128 powers on. Used it for an hour without any weirdness, fingers crossed I don’t need to do any fixing for now

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The video cable for my Commodore 128 arrived today and… there’s no video output. Turns out the fuse in the power supply is blown. Guess I’ll have to replace that and see where I am at after

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Now that my last project is done, time for something new! My Commodore 128 arrived today. It seems to be in decent shape overall, but no video over the RF modulator. Guess we’ll see what we get with a composite connection when the cable arrives…

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Yesss, after trying for 3 months, I was able to purchase a Commodore 128 for an almost reasonable price

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