Birthday dinner for Lisa and Joyce at the Lake House Restaurant in Newfield NJ on August 6th, 2016

Commodore Free Issue 78 Released

Commodore Free

Issue 78 of Commodore Free magazine has been released in all of it’s varied formats.
In this issue you will find:

  • The monthly editorial.
  • E-Cover Tape #11.
  • Commodore News
    • Vince Clarke Video Interview In ‘Electronic Sound’ Magazine.
    • Arcade Evolution Amiga/C64 Joystick (2 versions).
    • Borderline BBS guided tour. (Last C64 Dial-up BBS)
    • Revival Studios sales.
    • SidChips USB Joystick Adapter Project.
    • Commodore LCD Emulator.
    • Game Announcement: Phase Out by Ernst Neubeck.
    • Videos: Demo Coding On The C64.
    • 8 Bit Chord Tables Tutorial.
    • Utility Announcement: PETSCII Editor V4 by fieserWolf.
    • Reset Issue 2 Released.
    • C&A Games Issue 08 Released. [Polish]
    • SID-Wizard PDF Files Released.
    • SID-Wizard 1.6 Released With HerMIDI-1.0b.
    • GPS on the C64 with GPS View by Timo Voutilainen.
    • Game Announcement: Crazy Dog Racing.
    • Game Announcement: Realms of Quest IV (Official Release). (VIC-20)
    • Petri Häkkinen Flash Memory Expansion project for the VIC-20.
    • List of C16 and Plus/4 demos released.
    • Text Resizer for the C16 and Plus/4.
    • Game Announcement: Paddle Shooter for the PET.
    • X500+ Special Promotion – Amedia Computer.
    • 20 Years Of Morgue Soft Ltd. (ISO-CD)
  • Review: Micro Hexagon. [C64]
  • Review: ViColumn. [VIC-20]
  • Review: Android 2. [C16]
  • Review: Double Or Nothing. [C64]
  • Review: The Frog. [C16]
  • The Assembly Line: $01: 65x Processor Architecture – The Registers (Tutorial Pt.2)

Read the magazine online here or download it in it’s various formats here.

Luftrausers by Vlambeer

luftrausers

I’ve recently been playing a bit of Luftrausers which is the new game from the two man team over at Vlambeer.  The game plays as a frenetic shooter and is very similar to the old DOS game Sopwith. Just fly around and blow stuff up- but pay attention to mission objectives and make sure you’re blowing the right stuff up to advance in levels.

This game has really been a joy to play.  Controls feel spot-on and you never get the feeling you’ve been handed a cheap death.  Each plane has its own weight and characteristics.  You must keep your thrust up to stay in the air..  If your plane takes some damage, just stop shooting for a few seconds and you’re plane will repair itself… just watch out for the barrage of enemy fire.

Overall the game has a very organic feel to it, as well as a very minimalistic look.. these are both trademarks of Vlambeer games.  And personally, I think they have a winner on their hands.

Highly recommended!

Only surviving talk given by Seymour Cray

Here is the only surviving talk from Seymour Cray. An interesting video taken back in 1976 where he describes the design philosophy of his upcoming super computer; the Cray-1.

Eben Upton speaks at PopTech about the Raspberry Pi

Eben Upton was in Iceland a couple of months back and spoke at the PopTech conference about some of the goals, motivations and challenges associated with the Raspberry Pi project.

Chat about the RPi in our forum here.

Freeware Game: Cavenaut.

Cavenaut © 2012 Bruno R. Marcos.

You play as a spelunker, searching for the mystery behind the strange signs that have appeared in the misty mountains of Peru. Caves, mazes, underground rivers… unexplored areas full of challenges awaits you.

Download the game here: www.bruneras.com.

Derecho storm of 06.30.2012.

Here are a few images I took of the aftermath of Saturdays storm.  Not nearly as bad as most of the surrounding area.  There were quite a few uprooted trees and downed lines.. still, a respectable amount of damage for such a short lived storm.

Downed branches.Downed branches on a roof.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We lost power for five days.. through blistering heat, Debby always found time to catch up on her beauty sleep.

NASA SDO’s Ultra-High Definition View of the transit of Venus

This is just spectacular..  NASA shows the transit of the planet Venus across the Sun shot through a variety of filters.

Launched on Feb. 11, 2010, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is the most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the sun. During its five-year mission, it will examine the sun’s atmosphere, magnetic field and also provide a better understanding of the role the sun plays in Earth’s atmospheric chemistry and climate.  SDO provides images with resolution 8 times better than high-definition television and returns more than a terabyte of data each day.

On June 5 2012, SDO collected images of the rarest predictable solar event–the transit of Venus across the face of the sun.  This event happens in pairs eight years apart that are separated from each other by 105 or 121 years.  The last transit was in 2004 and the next will not happen until 2117.

The videos and images displayed here are constructed from several wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light and a portion of the visible spectrum.  The red colored sun is the 304 angstrom ultraviolet, the golden colored sun is 171 angstrom, the magenta sun is 1700 angstrom, and the orange sun is filtered visible light.  304 and 171 show the atmosphere of the sun, which does not appear in the visible part of the spectrum.

This video is public domain and can be downloaded here.

 

Retro PC build – Part 2

Ok, granted- I’m calling this a retro PC build.  However, I realize it’s not what springs to mind for most people as a “Retro PC”.  In actuality, I have a series of these builds planned for the future… such as a Pentium III, Pentium II, AMD K6-2, Pentium, 486 and a 386.  So when I say “Retro PC” I’m basically saying it’s older than current technology.

That being said, this particular build is moving along quite well.  I received the capacitors to re-cap the MSI K7T motherboard a few days ago.  I replaced all of the bulging/leaking caps with fresh Suncon capacitors and it fired right up and ran nice and stable.  It turns out the cap-kit I bought was missing two 3900uf 10v caps, but the ones I had on the board were in surprisingly good shape.

I removed and cleaned the CPU fan.. blew out all of the dust and dirt from the fins and cleaned the old heatsink compound off.   I then applied a thin layer of Artic Silver to the CPU and reattached the heatsink.

I’ve currently got 512mb installed onto the board, but I may end up testing 768mb or 1gb.  I downloaded an Unofficial Win98SE Service Pack which claims to address the 512mb memory limitation… but that testing will have to wait for a while.  I still need to choose the case, power supply, hard drive and graphics card.  I have most of these already, but I’m planning to buy a new power supply.  Next up is to decide on which of my old PC cases I want to refurb for this project.

I’ll post more on all of this as I get things squared away.

Check out Part 1 of this project.

For more in-depth musings on the topic of building this and/or older computer rigs in general, you can contribute to the forum topic here.

Retro PC build – Part 1

I’ve been meaning to start in on building an older computer system for playing some of the older games I’ve got lying around.   I decided to run a fairly mid-range CPU/GPU combo in order to target the 1998 to 2004 range of video games.   I’m going to be using an old MSI K7T Turbo v3 motherboard paired with an Athlon XP 1800+ CPU to power the rig but I’ll need to do a bit of preliminary work to get it in shape.  Over the years a number of the capacitor have started to leak/fail and I needed to place an order to get some replacements.  After I replace all of the caps I will need to test it out to make sure everything else is functioning and then I can tackle some of the remaining issues.

I’ve decided on running Windows 98SE with 512mb of memory..  The main reason for Win98SE is because there are a number of games that do not run correctly (if at all) with Win 2k/XP/Vista or 7… as to the 512mb of RAM- I’ve heard that 1 gig (and over) can cause system slow-down and even sometimes “Out of Memory” errors due to the wonky memory manager under Win9x… so I’ll need to do some fiddling around with 512/768 and 1 gig configurations to see what works best.

Not much else has been decided at this point..  I’ll post more on this in a bit.  Right now I’m just collecting the parts for the build, but I’d be happy to hear any suggestions or recommendations.

For more in-depth musings on the topic of building this and/or older computer rigs in general, you can contribute to the forum topic here.