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Everything posted by Strider

  1. I look for any excuse to puck up my iron. I love working with electronics in general, I started soldering and making boards in the late 80's and on through the 90's. I took a break for many years and recently picked it all back up again. I will solder on anything, from simple "project kits", recapping old boards, building my own custom projects, to trying to repair/mod modern hardware. So, needless to say, I am waiting on the full kit version of the X16. I want to build it all myself. For me, it's very relaxing, and I love troubleshooting so I'm not worried about making mistakes, they can be corrected. You could say it's my "happy place". lol
  2. Having all the I/O in the rear is a huge plus for me as well, as is the dual full size HDMI outs instead of the micros. I also like the fact the GPIO is accessible under the magnetic plate. It's probably one of the best, if not the best, case for Pi 4 in a lot of aspects in my humble opinion.
  3. I'm pretty open about my Raspberry Pi hobby and how much I love the platform, especially for retro emulation. However, a while back I decided to see if I could use a Pi 4 as a "budget" mini-portable PC, I wanted to see if it could act as alternative to my desktop when I am not at home. So, I got the 8GB Pi 4 B and started messing around with it. One thing I knew out of the gate was I didn't want to run an SD card as my primary drive, they are simply too slow and that would be a non-starter for me, especially when I am used to the snappiness of my vastly more powerful desktop PC, and I also didn't want a flash drive sticking out of the Pi to use instead of the SD card. So, I went looking to see what was out there... That's when I ran across the Argon ONE M.2, basically a Pi 4 case that lets you use a SATA M.2 SSD on your Pi 4 via one of the USB 3 ports, but all contained in a small and very convenient case. I piked up a cheap Silicon Power 128GB M.2 SATA SSD (originally tried a 64GB drive but got the 128GB cheaper on sale), popped it in the case, and dropped the Pi OS on there and ... wow ... I really did not appreciate how fast the Pi 4 actually is, or how much the SD cards were "bottlenecking" it. After a couple months of using this setup for a multitude of daily tasks, from retro emulation, web browsing, HD video playback, Arduino, PCB design, image editing, and even using Steam Link to connect to my desktop and stream games. I can say that this Argon M.2 case is amazing! At least it is for someone like me. The nice thing is you can still use the SD card slot as a "slow" storage drive to expand your storage capacity. All in a very small form factor that you can easily take with you anywhere. The overall speed of the Pi 4 is actually quite impressive when running on that M.2 SSD over USB3, while it's obviously still a bottleneck for the SSD, it's a massive speed boost over SD or USB flash drives. So much so that it actually works very well as a daily driver. So yeah, I just wanted to share in case anyone was ever in the market for such a thing, and wanted to cram as much performance out of a Pi 4 as the possibly could. On a side note, I overclocked the Pi 4 to just a smidge over 2.0GHz, and it's stable in this case, and stays much cooler than I anticipated. Overall, I am very impressed. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08MJ3CSW7/
  4. Awesome picture! I had the opportunity to meet William Shatner at a Trek convention back in the 90's, and I ended up getting sick and not going. I really regretted it since that opportunity never did present itself again. However, I did get to meet Jonathan Frakes a few years later, at a Trek convention again of course, and I had a sighed photo of him and Patrick Stewart, but I sadly misplaced it years ago in a move. I think it's back in my home state with my parents, but I'm not sure. Of course, since we're sharing Commodore Shatner memories, we can't leave out the commercials we all know very well, though I still think my favorite is the "wonder computer of the 1980's". That was the one I remembered the most back then.
  5. I spend way too much time in Ark: Survival Evolved, but it's so darn addictive...Especially with it's massive mod community. I have over 2700 hours in it so far.
  6. I have been on the fence about this for a long time, but now that it's back in stock here, it's a lot harder for me to ignore. The temptation is real, just becasue as much as I would love all original hardware, that's just not going to happen due to all the reasons I mentioned before. Sometimes, I hate my love of nostalgia.
  7. After noticing the A500 mini pre-order was live on Amazon already, I seen The C64 (Maxi) is back in stock as well. So if you're in the US and want one at MSRP w/o crazy shipping, now's the time. https://www.amazon.com/C64-not-machine-specific/dp/B08GMTJYXJ/ Just in time for Christmas? lol
  8. Wow. Pre-orders are already up on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/A500-Mini-electronic-games/dp/B09CM1C3LX/
  9. One of the tech YT channels I enjoy is Level1Techs, and Wendell just posted a video about a C64 setup he picked up and how he's preserving the past by imaging and uploading the floppies to the Internet Archive. Basically, it's just a modern tech guy getting nostalgic about a computer that was before his time. So, I figured I would share. It also makes me wish I had the hardware to do this, I see a LOT of old floppies for various system on sale at local yard sales all the time. While reading IBM disks is easy, and I do have working drives in my basement, that's all I have. This just sounds fun to me. Do any of you archive like this in your spare time?
  10. I was attempting to get to the tornado without being assassinated. I got shot 3 times before I finally made it to it and was able to get sucked up, deploy my chute, and go for a ride. lol
  11. I did, and it's "Ensign Williams" I am most worried about, being seated closest to the airlock and talking about getting a promotion. That's a one way ticket to trouble town in original Trek.
  12. So many red shirts, has Bezos never seen the original Trek? Unless your name is Montgomery Scott, you should be very ... very worried! haha
  13. Honestly, if I was 90 and had the money... I would do it in a heartbeat. I mean, at that age, the clock has almost ran out so why not go for the thrill of a lifetime? It's not like it's going to come along again while you're still alive, and if I don't make it, I died doing something I loved. But... That's just me.
  14. So, I've been messing around in the Battlefield 2042 Beta (The BF series is the only modern online FPS I play), and one thing I love about this series is the weather. It actually effects the battlefield, now more so than ever! Of course, I had to run and jump in it, get sucked up, and killed. Pure joy. haha
  15. You got my vote. Phased matter sounds MUCH cooler.
  16. My personal favorite candidate are WIMPs, Weakly Interactive Massive Particles. Why? IF they exist, and they are searching like mad, they solve the problem (for now), and, I just love the name. Particles so massive or abundant they literally shape the visible universe, but are called WIMPs! I'm an astrophysics junkie. I do not pretend to understand the raw math (way over my head), but I spend a lot of time keeping up on current theories and reading WAY too many articles on the subject.
  17. So you all know I like projects, soldering, and most things retro. Also, that for various reasons I mainly stick to emulation, Pi, and Arduino. Still, I have had my eyes on many of the modern "kit" computers on the market, such as the Mini PET, VIC-2020, and I was even looking at a Color Maximite 2 to name a few. I am even looking at picking up Ben Eater's kits and just building it onto a PCB, just for fun. The problem is, kits like the Mini PET are very expensive, and some are not available due to the chip shortage. That being said, one kit I keep coming back to is the ZX Spectrum clone "The Harlequin rev 2D" kit. It's not too expensive (about $130US plus shipping), it's a full DIY, and I have never really had a chance to play around with much in the Spectrum universe. I have watched his build video, and it looks like a project I would love doing. So my question is, has anyone here messed with this kit? What are your thoughts? https://www.bytedelight.com/?product=harlequin-128k-rev-2d-black-large-diy-kit This is assuming I can get one shipped to the US.
  18. @Cyber Sounds like it's a pretty decent device. One of the reasons I moved away from wireless controllers was issues with missed or delayed button presses. Not a big deal in some games, but a killer in others. Though to be fair that was several years ago, and many of today's wireless controllers are much better. Still, my youngest kid is 20 so I really have no need for it anymore. lol @BruceMcF That's awesome! I can remember my boys playing my old 8 and 16-bit consoles and computers back in 99/2000 and saying something very similar to their younger sister. None of them really do much "retro" anymore. It sucks, but I have enough retro nostalgia for everyone.
  19. Oh yeah, I want one, as long as the price is close to the C64 Mini. For the same reasons as well, pure nostalgia. Yes, I can and do emulate it on both PC and Pi, but I am one of those people who appreciate the case as much as the internals, hence why I have the Pi cases I do. I like my hardware to look the part too! I also appreciate the work they put into it.
  20. I'm sure there's a per-flight physical and a lengthy liability waiver to sign. lol Also, I have no idea if he's paying for it or not, I didn't see that mentioned. I agree, would be great for publicity, as long as nothing goes wrong, and I truly hope nothing does. I also agree, we need the two finder tap! It would be nice to see a Vulcan greeting tribute to Mr. Nimoy as well, but I hope he just has fun!
  21. To each their own. Sub-orbital or not, no way I would pass up an opportunity like that. That would still be one heck of a thrill and as close to leaving our Earthly bonds behind as you're going to get at 90 years old, and more than a vast majority of us will in our lifetime. Plus, at his age, a traditional rocket launch into orbit would likely be more than he could handle. I firmly believe space-based tourism will be a thing in the not-so-distant future, we have to start somewhere. Not to mention it's going to be a very long time before it becomes affordable for people outside of millionaires. So yeah, if I had the money, I would totally do it. I'm no spring chicken anymore either and no way I am fit enough to handle a traditional rocket launch into space either. Darn science fiction inertia dampers not existing.
  22. Well, it seems William Shatner is finally going to take a trip to space, for a 15 minute sub-orbital flight aboard Blue Origin next month. Being a life-long Star Trek and William Shatner fan, I just had to share. I think it's cool as heck and I hope he has an amazing and safe flight, he deserves it! I also hope Blue Origin's engineers are at least half as good as Montgomery Scott!
  23. So, I know we're all about the retro here, but I'm pretty sure most of also use modern hardware as well. So why not have a thread to talk about a few modern things we find amazing or fascinating, especially with our retro perspective, since we all remember how different things used to be. A recent upgrade I did made me really appreciate how far we've come. I moved from the B450 chipset to X570, and from a Ryzen 3600 to 5600X, this also meant I was also able to add PCIe Gen 4 NVME storage to my system. Then, as if on cue, I was sent a new Crucial P5 Plus 1TB PCIe Gen 4 NVME drive for review. So, I obviously popped it in immediately to marvel at it's speed... With sequential reads topping 6800MB/s and writes topping 4800MB/s, I find it amazing how far we have come in my lifetime. Watching gigabytes worth of data load in seconds. Using your system RAM as cache for such a fast drive, boosting your performance even more. I know many people these days won't be impressed by such things, but coming from cassette tape, to floppy disk, to many different types of platter drives, to SSD, and now this latest generation of NVME SSD technology. It truly is amazing and makes me really appreciate the technology, at least I think it's cool.
  24. Best I can come up with... no electrons or technology needed. Can be designed on ANYTHING! Full DIY and you don't get much more retro that wood! And... it''s even COLOR!
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