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Strider

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Everything posted by Strider

  1. Digging through old drives, I came across a photo I took of one of my all time favorite PC motherboards from days gone by, and a board I ran for almost 15 years straight! It got me thinking how much I wish I still had it. This was the AOpen AK72. Sadly, I parted with it a few years ago in my move to downsize and emulate what I wanted, though I still have the last CPU I was using on it, the Athlon AMD-K7700MTR51B. I got the board in 2001 in a machine that was given to me, stripped down, and told it didn't work. After dropping some RAM on it, and an Athlon 500Mhz CPU, I was surprised to see it worked perfectly. So I put it to use as a second "gaming" PC for my kids. Over the years, long after it was obsolete, I kept it running as a native DOS/Win95 gaming machine for all my old favorites. This board had AGP, PCI, and ISA, as well as USB! So I could run all the hardware I wanted from that era, and earlier, and have the convenience of USB thanks to Windows 95 OSR2.5. Of all the boards I have owned over the years, this one is my favorite. It ran like a tank and worked flawlessly for so long, allowing me to enjoy my DOS/Win95 era classics for so long. Do you have a classic motherboard you consider a favorite? Do you still have it?
  2. Very nice! Fun little game! As I got older, I developed a soft spot for this style of word game. Used to have an electronic handheld I took everywhere, just to kill time. Probably still have it buried somewhere. Your game reminded me of it.
  3. Well, my Arduino usage has led me down a new path, just using the chips themselves. I'll still use the Arduino's for prototyping, but the end projects will just run off the ATMega328's themselves. 1x Standalone bootloader programmer (So you can use Arduino IDE to program the chips) = $18 (You can make your own, but this is just a more convenient option) 1x ZIF socket programming shield for Arduino Uno = $7 For $25, I can create as many as I want. Quick and easy. 3 Arduino Nano (good ones - Elegoo) is about $20 right now. When I can get... ATMEGA328P-PU (28pin DIP) = $2.60 each. ($26 for 10) 16MHz crystal oscillator cans = About $8 for 10. So I end up saving a lot of money, and space, on my projects. Plus, It's a lot more fun!
  4. Mine just arrived as well. Won't have time to dig into it until next weekend, but I can't wait. I'm going to play around with emulation on it, and I want to see how far back in the Windows line I can get to run on it, all just for fun. To be honest, not 100% sure what it will end up doing full time, but I'll think of something!
  5. Yeah, I loved that video. Like many of us I assume, I was a huge Knight Rider fan, so I really enjoyed it, along with the episode visiting old filming locations. Having the message from William Daniels on there was such a great touch!
  6. I just ordered an Atomic Pi Dev Kit, can't beat the $40 price tag. Basically, an Intel Atom based quad-core x86 SBC with a top speed of 1.92GHz, 2GB DDR3L RAM, and 16GB built in eMMC flash memory. SD-Card, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB 3, GPIO, and everything you expect and need. Here is all you need to know: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CGFM2B1/ FAQ: https://www.digital-loggers.com/api_faqs.html These were originally made to power a failed robot and remade as the Atomic Pi, or so I have read, though I have also found a kickstarter for it. So I really have no idea where they got their start, but there is a lot of support for them out there. That all being said, I will be trying to run different OS's on mine, as well as trying out various types of emulation. You know, just for fun, becasue I need yet another SBC .... lol What would you do with one? Any ideas?
  7. This is AWESOME! I had completely forgot Super Star Trek even existed, and I played it a lot on the C64! I played just about every version of the classic games across several platforms (C64, Apple II, TRS-80, TI-99/4A, DOS), since I have always been a huge Trek fan. Most were cart or disk games, but this one being BASIC was always cool to me. Love to see this! The very first Star Trek computer game I ever played was on my TI-99/4A, my first computer. Star Trek: Strategic Operation Simulator, and it's always been a favorite! The TI-99/4A started my love of computers in general, and started my many year fascination with Trek games too. It was the first home video game to truly amaze me, and many more would come. Good times!
  8. That it is... lol Now I need to build an Arduino based signal generator so I can test out the Espotek Labrador, becasue, I don't own one. I should have everything I need here, and why not, what's one more small project. I verified it's working just a bit ago by using an Arduino to output a varying PWM signal, ramping up and back down between 0V and 5V, and it works. So far, I guess. There is very little documentation on it so I am muddling my way through it, thankfully it's a really simple device to hookup and use. It has a few different functions and each use it's own pins, so I will end up having to test all of it, hopefully tomorrow. EDIT: I forgot, it's got a built in generator. So I mimicked a simple test circuit from their highly limited wiki page, and was able to get readings that appear to be consistent. The only issue I have now is getting it fully calibrated. It's readings are ground referenced, and when I ground out the scope pins at the end of calibration, it fails saying it's expecting to see close to 0V, makes sense, that.s grounds to the USB ground, and it still fails to complete calibration. So I need to try a different ground, see if that makes a difference. Still, it's coming along, and it's fun to play with!
  9. I dug way further into this than I had intended, but in the process, I found some really nice enclosures for projects I am working on, and even more than give me ideas. I even managed to find some that resemble the Maximite and WeeCee cases, though the WeeCee cases are pretty common aluminum ones I have seen a lot of. So far, here are some of the ones I have either already ordered, or will as soon as I can find them. Current Projects: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005T8YCOI/ / https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005T5GQ04/ / https://www.hammfg.com/electronics/small-case/plastic/1592?itm_type=similar-product Maximite Style: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005T9JGCK/ I really like what this Hammond Manufacturing has to offer! @TomXP411 Wonder if you could tare this board down and make it fit into one of those? https://www.amazon.com/Keyboard-Portable-Professional-Industrial-Computer/dp/B07DZZWD9W/ Smallest one I can find on Amazon that's not a handheld.
  10. Those things are nigh indestructible! Thankfully, you just need your hands to mold them into any shape you need. No tools necessary. What sucks is when you forget about it, then it vanishes.
  11. Project boxes, there are so many types out there, so many things you can use. You can DIY your own, or buy one, or modify one to fit your needs. Lately, I have been shopping around for quite a few of them. I have specific wants and needs for my purposes, as do most of us, and in that search I found two companies on Amazon that sell some really cool enclosures. Not just your average rectangular or square small plastic boxes, though I use those more often than not. I wanted to share them here since some people's minds may work like mine, you may look at them and think of some cool retro project ideas. I sure did! Zulkit: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08NGGMKC3/ BUD Industries: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005T592P0/ & https://www.amazon.com/BUD-Industries-PC-11495-Plastic-Natural/dp/B005T98PQS/ I really like those designs from those compaines, they really have a neat retro vibe to them, and they're not badly priced. How do you do your project boxes?
  12. @TomXP411 I think I know why it's happening... I went in and adjusted the input reading down to fix the output reading, and it worked, and it was then I realized what may be going on. The battery I was using for testing is a 12V 9Ah SLA, the type used in UPS units, it's actual output is 12.56V at full charge. So that's where I set the buck converter becasue that's where I tested it at. I neglected to check the battery again once I had it hooked up to the converter, and under the load of the converter. This time I did just that, and the battery output drops down to about 12.44V. Low and behold , right where I just set the input reading, and of course I get the proper output reading. So I hooked the converter up to the PSU I will be using, and it's spot on. The PSU output does not drop off when under load, at least not the loads I am going to be putting it under, not like a battery. So it's working as it should, it was my fault to begin with. I was only reading the output and not accounting for the fact the battery drops off when under load. Mystery solved. Guess I should message the seller back and let them know I figured it out. It amazing the silly things one overlooks when they are rushing. Glad I have the next 3 days off to work on these projects.
  13. Micro Mages is a great little game! As soon as I seen it, I bought a copy on Steam, and it comes with the NES ROM included. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1065020/Micro_Mages/ These are the types of indie devs I love to support, and would happily still pay for new "NES" style games. The great thing they did here was not only sell the cart for the actual NES, they made the ROM available if you buy the digital version of it. It's cool to play the game both natively on my PC, and on Pi units. I wish there were more devs like that out there, but being such a niche market, I can see why there's not. Still, it's cool as heck in my book.
  14. I forgot to mention, yes, I ran it under load just to see, used a 330ohm resistor with an LED. The results were identical. I am also much more interested in the actual output voltage, and that works great, so the converter is working perfectly. The reading I get on the converter itself is just a matter of convenience. I still use my meter to verify before use. I did reach out to the seller and I am just waiting to hear back. I will update this when I hear from them. It may indeed just be an issue with this specific unit, or design, either way it still works and I am not all that fussed about a 0.07V discrepancy at 12V, what it will be running at 100% of the time. Nothing I am doing with it will be sensitive to such a small variance. Like I said, I am just curious as to why it's happening.
  15. That would be cool to see, and if it was to ever happen, then there would be 4 versions of the game I would "have" to own. Especially if it was ported over to a "modern" engine. Though, there are a lot of games on Steam that just use emulation as well, mainly DOSBox, for "classic" titles. Some use proprietary emulation, like classic console collections. One thing I do like about modern computing is the wide range of options open to developers and creators. Either way, that's nice to hear!
  16. I forgot about that. Though, that will likely make me want the full version more. Every so often, a game would come along where I would end up buying it on all my favorite platforms that I had at the time. I thought those days were long gone...then Attack Of The PETSCII Robots shows up...
  17. I bought the Amiga version, but darn it, I want the C128 version just for the dual monitor setup. I also want the C64 version just to put on the C64 Mini... Yes, I have a problem, but there are no programs for retro gaming addictions. Personally, I think it would be cool to see a version that could be released on a platform like Steam. As good as this game is, it's a shame it's currently limited to classic computer systems, I think it would go over well with indie gamers in general. Plus, make some more money for David to dump into his other projects. All that being said though, it's getting a lot of good press in the retro/classic computing market, especially since it's being ported to so many different platforms. It's been a long time since we have had such a good game across so many classic systems.
  18. @TomXP411 Did you find a way to calibrate the output reading on your buck converter? Adjusting the input calibration is easy enough, but doing so throws off the output reading. Using a 9V source, it's off by about 0.20V, and using a 12V source, that discrepancy drops a lot, to just 0.07V. All with it adjusting to output 5V. I tried 3 sources, 2 were fully charged good batteries. They were a standard new 9V and an APC 12V UPS backup battery (I have a couple of these lying around for the UPS units I use, all are new). The last was the PC PSU's 12V output. The readings were the same. All verified using 2 multimeters I know to be accurate. I did the 9V battery just to make sure the unit was working before digging everything else out (I know the lower the input voltage, the less accurate it can be. ), but I ended up digging it all out anyway. lol The converter itself is working perfectly, it's just the output reading that's off. I am just nitpicking, since it will always be on the 12V PSU output. I can live with a 0.07 discrepancy just fine. I may just adjust the input reading to get the output where I want it. I really don't care if the input reading is off, since the input source will always be of a known voltage. The output reading is all I care about. I just figured I would ask first, just in case you stumbled across something I missed.
  19. Excellent, I will check that out! I use a Skil 4.8V "Twist", it's several years old now and not well suited for "precision" work. So I want something newer and better for use on project boxes, electronics, enclosures, and other such light work. Plus, $27 seems very reasonable. Thanks for the info!
  20. We use the same Thermotronics tip tinner and Easycargo heatsinks I see. haha What's funny, as if the timing could not be any better, I was literally looking at them just a few hours ago, I am in the market for a good electric screwdriver for light duty and there is one on the list! @Perifractic, if you don't mind, do you still use that ORIA Electric Screwdriver and what do you think of it? I just want one for PC and small project work, and the pen design is something I would also probably like.
  21. Well, I broke down and ordered one. This one to be exact. They mostly all seem to be the same design and work the same, so we will see. Parts are starting to arrive! Got my probes today, and the enclosure the Labrador is going in. The unit itself should be here Monday (tomorrow), as well as the buck converter I ordered for my bench PSU. I have Tuesday off so I will be testing them both out then. Sadly the BNC connectors I ordered are going to be late. I just hope they are here by next weekend, that's when I had planned on putting it all together. Though, my L7805CV voltage regulators and their heatsinks showed up today too. Need them for a couple other projects.
  22. Both the hobbies and programs sections sound like excellent additions. One other idea that comes to mind for me sometimes would be a "Modern Computing" chat. For people to share or discuss modern hardware, software, games, or maybe get help with things not "retro"?
  23. Most definitely, if you want exposure, FB and YT are a must these days. YT is a fantastic resource for countless things, for both the content creator and consumer of that content. FB is excellent for easy interactions with your base since most everyone uses it. I just choose to consume information where I find it, but only interact on forums. I guess I am just old school. Forums are more my pace, always have been. Also, I tend to lurk on here more than I post, I often save the posting until time permits.
  24. Personally, I just see the site, forum, and X16 project evolving as time goes on. Maybe not in the same way some may want, as opinions are personal and different, but in the way it all has to evolve so it can continue to exist. I came here becasue the X16, @The 8-Bit Guy and @Perifracticlead me here, but I stay becasue of the people I met here, and the fantastic interactions with like minded retro enthusiasts. This is the first "retro" forum I have ever actively participated in, and is the only forum I am currently active in. Outside of support for Pi/Arduino stuff on their forums that is. Since I left the world of social media behind many years ago, this is where I choose to "hang out". That being said, congrats to everyone taking up the mantle to help keep the forums going!
  25. That was pretty much my case, and for a while I solved it the same way, dual boot. Eventually I built myself 2 different systems, my XP rig, and a maxed out Windows 95 OSR2.5/DOS rig using era appropriate hardware. I had that second rig running well into the Windows 7 days. I eventually parted it out and just went full emulation using DOSBox. @martinot My first Windows was 2.11, but I rarely used it. I used and liked Norton Commander. By the time Windows 3.1 was released, I started using it a lot more. Windows 95 I loved. I didn't initially view Windows as an OS, just a piece of software like anything else, a fancy file navigator. It wasn't until Win 95 that I really started to see it for what it was, and the power it had. I have very little issues with stability on my DOS/Win systems, thus I never had a reason to move off it. So while I messed around with OS/2, I never ran it myself. I played a lot of games, and everything I used was designed for DOS/Windows, was easier to find, that's where all the support was, and I got good and getting them to run and do what I wanted. So I just stuck with it. I wish I had had messed with it more in retrospect, but like I said, I was happy with DOS/Win so the need never arose.
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