Archive for January, 2009

Still digging in the dirt (boxes)

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Today has been a rather mixed day. I spent more time looking for the missing //e joystick, which I have not found yet. I’ve been debating on which small selection of games I should run on the Gamecube. I even got an offer for a small display sign for the Odyssey2/Videopac part of the show. In all, today was as the title suggests. I was digging around, mainly for various things. While this is progress, it however doesn’t seem like anything concrete. That is the only part I don’t like when preparing for the UC show. But it needs to get done.

I also spend a little time labeling a few things, and I’ve cleaned up the Apple //e equipment the best I could. And no, I won’t be doing that fabulous new cleaning method that retro computer/gamers have recently found to make all my old yellowing equipment look almost brand new. Maybe next year…

Digging around…

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Didn’t get much done today, in regards to the UC. I did manage to dig through some boxes upstairs and find my ZX81, T/S100, two 16K RAM packs, T/S 2040 printer and various software tapes. I also need to seriously thing about video MODing one or both of these computers (I have the parts). I have not located the ZX81 or T/S power supplies yet. For some reason, they were not in the sinclair box were I thought they would be.

I also have yet to locate the //e joystick that I need.

Other than that, I’ve mainly been messing around with other things today (including Guitar Hero World Tour on my Wii). Sorry. Hopefully will get something a little more concrete done another day.

School day, once again…

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

It is another busy day. Just got off of work, then have to get some sleep, and off to class later today. Thus, this is my single post for today. I’ve only been thinking about stuff for the show (like getting the //e disks prepared), plus I did put a plug for the MGC on the wonderful Odyssey2 forum. If you are an Odyssey2 / Videopac fan in any way, and are not a member of this forum, you should be!

No time…

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Very busy day today. About all I did was actually done last night. I went looking for a few games for the Apple //e. I’ve got a few lined up, I just need to get them on 5.25 disks (yeah, I have those still).

That is all for now…

Special project canceled… Special delivery!

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

After working on the so-called special project now for a few days, I’ve come to realize that this just isn’t going to work as I would like it to. Thus, the plug is getting pulled, so I can spend time on other things. Not a big deal, as I will find other things to fill the gap, so-to-speak.

As for today, I managed to pull out another (and last) of my old Apple monitors. This one is a ‘monitor ///’, which obviously was for an Apple /// computer. Darn thing is, I don’t ever remember having an Apple ///, so I really don’t know where I got the monitor from. Nice to have though, as the one //e green monitor is acting up, and I won’t bring it to any show. The darn v-hold won’t hold, even after having played around with it today. It goes back on the shelf as a spare (or for spare parts). That still leave a better //e monitor, a /// monitor, and the color //e monitor, all of which will work fine for me. The color monitor will be on the Apple //e that will be running games. The /// green-screen monitor will hopefully be put on a ZX81, if I can video MOD it properly. As for the other //e green monitor, it will probably be put to ‘special’ use, in place of the project I’ve put to rest. I will probably run some fun and silly demo things on it, up at the entrance to the UC area.

One other thing I got in the mail yesterday, but didn’t get a change to take a good picture of it till today, was a nice little present from an Odyssey2 friend of mine. Rick, who I met at the ’07 show (if I remember correctly), was nice enough to send me an Odyssey2 pin from the 1982 World’s Fair – where the Odyssey2 was the official game system of the fair (mainly because it was close to the Odyssey2 HQ). Either way, it was nice that Rick shared one of the pins that he got off of eBay, and I thank him for this small but wonderful gift. Anything Odyssey2 related is great in my book!

Thanks Rick! 😀

The Apple /// monitor – 1982 World’s Fair Pin
The Apple /// monitor 1982 World's Fair Pin

More secret testing…

Monday, January 26th, 2009

I don’t have a lot of time to post anything till after midnight tonight, so I’m just putting here what little I’ve done earlier today. I did pull out an extra old monitor for the special display I plan on having at the entrance to the UC area. This monitor is working much better with the project than the first, so I’m guessing the first one just doesn’t have a good v-hold on it. As long as I found something, that is good enough for me. Now I need to see if the whole thing will fit, which will be the hard part. If it doesn’t fit well, the project gets pulled this year. Simple as that.

As for other stuff, the MGC site should be putting up an announcement for my UC ’09 area today or tomorrow. I look forward to the official page on their site. It is always nice to be recognized in some way! 😉

Till later tonight (really early tomorrow)…

Secret project work

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

I’m short on time again today, but I did start the first part of testing the ‘secret project’. Initial results are not that great, but it is working. I may have to try a different monitor, just to see if that makes much of a difference, as the first old one is having v-hold issues. It could just be the fact that I’m downgrading to too low of a screen resolution, but I honestly don’t know yet. I will do a bit more testing later today, if I get a chance. Otherwise I’ll try to get more in on Monday, when I’ll have more time to work on this stuff, including getting the //e cleaned up. I hope I can get most of that done tomorrow.

Till then, the secret thing is still just a possibility. I hope to get it working though, as I think it will make a fun display.

On the side, I’ve been looking at getting another old iMac. Problem is, I don’t want to spend too much. They are nice for old LAN games though, as they don’t take up a lot of table space. Here’s to the possibility of getting a 6th iMac (I’m watching one site that sells them, waiting for a good deal on the 16MB video ones – I don’t want or need any more 8MB video macs).

The //e continues

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

I didn’t have a lot of time today, but I did manage to get a few things done. I pulled out the color //e monitor, but have not tested it yet. I expect it to work, but it has been sitting in a closet for over 3 years (I’ve had things die in storage). I also have started preparation for the secret project I would like to display at the show. Preliminary tests do not look good so far, but I still have hope on this silly but fun little project getting done. I just wish I had the time to really do this thing 100%. I’ll only be going about 25% of the way on it, but it’ll still look good, it just won’t be as functional as it could be. If done, this project will have the iSkull sitting along side of it, as in the project involves music.

And that is it for today. I’m off to get some other things done (like laundry for one – yeah, one has to have clean shirts and such).

Getting out the Apple //e

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Not a lot of time to work on things today, but I did manage to pull out the old Apple //e and an old Apple green-screen monitor. It all was dirtier that I thought, as I’ve never used this unit before. Thus, I’ll have to spend the next few days doing my best to clean up the plastic (not the yellowing from age, but marks and dirt here and there and everywhere). Note that I will be pulling out a color monitor to use at the show, as I have a better looking green one upstairs, which I will be using for a special //e.

I’m just glad that after hooking the old computer up that it easily booted up the DOS 3.3 master disk. I’ll have to dig out some old 5.25 disks and give this thing more of a whirl in the next few days.

And for those wondering why the Apple //e is being displayed in the Underdog Chamber, it is because I can! Well, that, and it was an underdog system in its later years. In the late 80’s, and up to 1991 (when the //e was officially dropped) many new games where coming out for the C64 and IBM machines, but not for the //e. Biggest example here I can think of is the SSI games based on D&D role-playing game. Many of these later games never came out for the //e.

Open Apple //e – //e DOS 3.3 screen
Open Apple //e //e DOS 3.3 screen

Another school night… but…

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Yes, I had my hardware class tonight, dealing with fixing computer hardware. Mainly PC stuff however – no Macs, what a bummer, but it is learning a new area.

I did get a short chance to try out Moon Lander and YASI on the Vectrex using the real carts (I cannot get these to work on the VecFlash). I’m going to have these at the show for sure. Rather fun to play, especially YASI (Space Invaders clone, which is damn close to the original). Of course, this will be parring down the selection of games I listed earlier. I’ll work on that some other day though, as it is almost midnight were I live.

In the next few days, I need to get some other stuff done in the non-vectrex area.

Moon Lander
Moon Lander