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Lucky Phil

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About Lucky Phil

  • Birthday 05/08/1973

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  1. Wow! Nice collection there, Michael... imagine having a kind university professor mum 'handing down' her supernumerary copies? I'm thoroughly impressed. As for the latter title: no self-respecting C programmer (strange how these guys always seemed to be ex-Commodore 64 owners) would be without this! Mine is the ANSI C edition, so much less exotic than your first-edition copy (though, still a keeper). Is anyone into the original Usborne computing book series? If so, I'd love to know what these titles meant to you (they shaped my computing experience from Computer Day Dot, no doubt a common phenomenon) - I've accumulated a small collection of them to remind me of budding prgramming days past. If you were a computing child of the 80s, you'll know what I mean...!
  2. Hmm... I was fossicking amongst some of my many books (boxed) earlier today, and I came across a handful of titles that I'd essentially forgotten (tends to happen when you own an awful lot of old stuff)! It makes me wonder: what retro gems do other members have in their libraries? For starters, I've unearthed these (apologies for the loose referencing style): 6502 User's Manual (Joseph J. Carr, 1984) - Reston Publishing Company Z80 Users Manual (Joseph J. Carr, 1980) - Reston Publishing Company 6502 Reference Guide (Alan Tully, 1985) - Melbourne House Publishers Z-80 Reference Guide (Alan Tully, 1984) - Melbourne House Publishers Collins Gem Micro Facts: Commodore 64 (Simon Beesley, 1985) - a Collins pocket reference! Collins Gem Micro Facts: ZX Spectrum (PK McBride & AE Weber, 1985) - a Collins pocket reference! The Art of Programming the 1K ZX81 (M James & SM Gee, 1982) - Bernard Babani Publishing The Art of Programming the 16K ZX81 (M James & SM Gee, 1982) - Bernard Babani Publishing I'd almost completely forgotten about owning these, so I'm kinda excited to rediscover them. I know that many of these titles would be available as PDF files in the Public Domain by now, but beholding them in their staid, aging printed formats is a fitting tribute to retro computing! With that in mind, what else is awaiting rediscovery on bookshelves - or in packing boxes - out there?
  3. Strider, I still have a boxed Commodore Plus/4 in storage... perhaps one day I'll fish it out and explore further? It had a really nice form factor and tactile nature, that much I can remember. Despite its shortcomings, I really don't think that the Plus/4 had its day in the sun... probably because of no other reason than it wasn't compatible with its older 64K sibling! Apparently, many of its original developers subsequently worked on the Commodore 128 - so I guess that the Plus/4 project wasn't exactly an unmitigated disaster, after all...?
  4. Cyber, these computers are great! I especially love the POISK and its imposing plug-in cartridges (at least, that's what I assume them to be). Ukrainian machines, perhaps...?
  5. I still have an Amstrad PPC640 - actually, it's a replacement for an old friend from my vocational study days! Being a modest tertiary student, I could only afford to buy a PPC512 (the slightly lower-spec model of this machine) - but I'm still in awe of what I could achieve with a grey-on-green CGA screen and two floppy drives! The crisp, spritely keyboard was a dream, putting many modern examples to shame. I only traded the PPC512 to upgrade to a 'modern' PC, though I've since consoled myself with a vintage PPC640, complete with manual and custom backpack! Interestingly, I also own a complete TRS-80 MC-10 outfit - computer, memory expansion module, tape deck, printer... the works, and boxed! I haven't explored it much, though it does seem reminiscent of my Dick Smith VZ300 in an on-screen sense. Funny, but I wasn't much of a fan of anything TRS-80 back in my primary school days, when my friends had somewhat primitive 'CoCos' and I had a relatively sophisticated Commodore 64 - but the electronics shop-origins of these machines seem very cool in the current age of bland corporate-branded products!
  6. Terrific stuff... very nicely done! From a novice point of view, it's great to see what can still be achieved in BASIC - without diving head-first into assembly language. I guess that the relatively fast clock rate and sophisticated code (as opposed to what were on offer in the beloved, original Commodore 64) negate many of the arguments against developing in BASIC, after all?
  7. Great 'South Aussie' memories there, Sherm... despite never having been lucky enough to see one in the flesh, I always had a soft spot for the Wang 2200 given its release date coinciding with my birthday! I also share your sentiment for spiral-bound manuals - over the years I've managed to acquire fine copies for my Commodore 64 and VIC-20 machines, in addition to one or two others - and they're certainly still treasured. Emulators and PDFs can only go so far in reviving the glorious past of 8-bit computing!
  8. Hey, Trax81... nice to see another Aussie on this site! And I thought that I might be the only one to own a Plus/4 (complete but boxed up somewhere mysterious in the house)?
  9. Hey there, Troy! This fellow South Australian (born and bred) is impressed with your project. Definitely looking forward to seeing more of it as it evolves!
  10. Hey there, Justin... greetings from an ex-Adelaide boy (born and bred)! Your story sounds familiar - I guess we tended to follow the same computing evolutionary path in our part of the world?
  11. Hey, Snake! Greetings from a fellow Victorian.... Good to see that I'm not alone on here!
  12. Hey, Randall! Greetings from a fellow Aussie... nice to see that I'm not the only one here?
  13. Hey there, everyone! My name is Phil, and I've only just discovered this site... how could I have missed it? It's very cool, indeed. I'd describe myself as a long-standing retro computing tragic - though I haven't ever really committed myself enough to learn much beyond BASIC and a very light smattering of assembly language (6502/6510 and Z80). I intend to change that soon... and the Commander X16 project looks like the catalyst to make things happen! Growing up in South Australia, I owned a Commodore 64 (riotously popular over here, as elsewhere) and a VZ300 (if you're Australian, Dick Smith Electronics will definitely ring a bell here); many of my happiest memories were formed programming, and playing games on, these machines (particularly the Commodore 64, with its formidable tech-specs). In the latter part of my youth I'd finally scraped together enough money to migrate to an Amiga 600, also a wonderful Commodore machine in the evolutionary sense. Over the past few years, I've managed to pick up quite a few other retro systems - some really showing their age but others relatively fresh - and most of these have unfortunately remained boxed, rather than taking pride of place in my 'computer room' (this has never really moved past the conceptual stage). I hope to become an active participant in the site and a committed supporter of the project. As older systems - and the folk who actually remember them - become harder to find, the world needs the Commander X16 to remind us all of just how much fun computing in yesteryear really was.... Cheers!
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