Leaded Solder


  • The Origin of the Species

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    NEC moved into personal computing relatively quickly. After the hobbyist and industrial success of the TK-80, they produced a handful of “better TK-80s,” which didn’t do as well as the original. Ultimately, they developed a whole new system: the 1979 NEC PC-8001. And boy, did they ever nail it.

  • Tandy 1000SX is cleared for flight

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    Now that the Tandy 1000SX finally works, it’s time to set it up for something useful. By which I mean playing Sopwith off of a Gotek floppy drive emulator.

  • Outfitting my BlueSCSI disk image

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    The BlueSCSI hard drive emulator works well in my Macs. But what use is a hard drive if it’s not stuffed full of programs? In this article, I’ll detail my process for putting software on an old Mac using a new Mac. Don’t worry, I will play a videogame at the end. For a couple of minutes.

  • MZasters of the Universe

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    This poor Japanese Z80 computer is literally screaming out for someone to come and fix it. With the some troubleshooting and a little luck, I got it back on the open seas and pumping out its fantastic chunky colour graphics once again.

  • Pretty Eight Machine

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    I got a really good deal on a Fujitsu FM-8, the big, brown predecessor of the FM-7. Of course, it’s missing a few parts. Follow along with me as I get acquainted with an earlier version of Fujitsu’s dual-processor wonder computer.

  • Flat Panels Aren't MultiSync 3D

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    While I adore my NEC PC-TV151, there is one monitor that NEC shipped to our shores that may be the ultimate CRT. This one was cheap, and this one is also very, very sick. Can I cure it so that I can enjoy CGA the way it was meant to be?

  • Getting Kermit onto the MBC-555

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    My Sanyo MBC-555 has been a good little computer, but it’s not especially useful. I haven’t been able to get software onto its strange disk format, and the software I do get can’t be run under DOS 1.25. If I want to test out a prototype serial card, I need to get Kermit onto the computer, and the best way to do that is to be able to write it to some disks.

  • Stand for the National CF-2700 Anthem

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    When you impulse-bid on a lot of five MSX1s, you don’t expect to find a new favourite system. As soon as this thing arrived, I fell in love with it at first sight. Panasonic knocked it out of the park with the design of this surprisingly heavy CF-2700. It looks like an executive telephone from Blade Runner. But: there’s a crack in it.

  • Big Blue vs. The Tandy 1000SX

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    Thanks to the incredible kindness of another Tandy nerd, I’ve gotten a replacement Light Blue chip, but will the Tandy 1000SX finally work properly? Let’s ask the four years that I spent trying to figure out what else was wrong with it.

  • LJN Video Art Appreciation 101

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    In order to understand someone, it helps to learn how they think. To understand an obscure 1980s video game console, it helps to learn how it thinks. And how does it think? With cartridges. We’re gonna buy a cartridge for the LJN Video Art system, and build a dumper for it.

  • The Bare NESessities

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    The Nintendo NES has more than its fair share of Achilles’ heels, but the motherboard is not usually one of them. Even so, there’s an open-source replacement motherboard for the system. Blog superfriend Keegs constructed one, but it’s not quite working. Let’s figure out what’s going on and take a look at the unique features of this new board.

  • NEC's Apple Clone

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    You really shouldn’t go poking around on eBay when you don’t have something you’re looking for. How many times has this happened to you? I saw this monitor, the shipping price was reasonable, and I made a low-ball offer. The seller immediately accepted that offer without hesitation (uh-oh) and now I have a new monochrome composite CRT to fix.

  • No Highs? No Lows? Must've Decomposed

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    My friend issued me a 90s Bose AWR1-1W Wave Radio clock radio to repair, with some sentimental value. For those who are unable to rock, we solder you.

  • Dick Smith's Wizzard-ry 8 (Bit)

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    Sure, I’ve cloned TI TMS99xx-based systems before. There’s the ColecoVision and the Sega SG-1000. But those were all Z80s, and it’s important to diversify my interests a little bit. Luckily, VTech released a little 6502-based system called the CreatiVision, and let the schematics get out.

  • Mouse in the Artdink House (Travelling to Tokio, Part 3)

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    With the NEC PC-9801RA2, I’ve fought bad power supplies, battery corrosion, case rust, weird NEC design decisions, and flaky floppy drives. The only thing that’s keeping me from enjoying my quirky Japanese space-simulation game, Artdink’s Tokio, is the lack of a mouse. How can “just go buy a mouse” turn into an entire article? You’re about to find out.

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