Posts tagged "New Pickups"
Covering new stuff when I get it, these posts are often (but not always) light on repair content. My policy is that a pickup entry only ends when the machine either does something interesting, emits some magic smoke, or is obviously missing parts.
Radio Shack worked hard to get their machines into every possible price tier of the home computer market, so what happened when they went super-budget? Nothing good. Thanks to hard-working community members, this unloved 6803-based computer has gone from doorstop to delight, so it’s high time that I picked one up. Of course, by law, any computer I pick up has to be at least a little broken.
What if I told you that you can still buy a Z80-based computer from the 80s for only twenty bucks? It has a full keyboard, a pretty solid BASIC interpreter, and there’s even an expansion bus of sorts. And it runs off batteries!
Through the more-than-generous offer of a ColecoVision, I now have a real machine to use as a basis for comparison. Just what is the real machine like inside, and could it possibly be better?
Get ready to step into the cyberpunk future of the mid-late 1980s, and don’t forget to bring your boxed wine. NEC pulled out all the stops on this, their final PC-6001 computer. I have to pull out even more stops to get the disk drive to work.
You wouldn’t think it’s hard or expensive to find a Model 2 Genesis, but apparently in Japan it is both. I’d been looking for one of these for a while, and finally got just the right (cheap) console. Let’s explore some Japanese Mega Drive games with it.
While a ColecoVision is sometimes pricey and hard to find in my area, the much more rare Coleco Gemini fell into my lap while looking through my favourite flea-market junk bin. Because the machine came without cables, a power adapter, or joysticks, it had been relegated to the sad little corner where unloved consoles go, right next to a stripped-for-parts Intellivision II and a battered-looking 2600 Jr. Let’s see if it can be coerced to once again play Combat.
When Nintendo wanted to enter the burgeoning Chinese market in 2003, they did so with a neat redesigned Nintendo 64 in a single joypad. Unfortunately, they didn’t sell a lot of them (eight to twelve thousand units, depending who you ask). This makes it an interesting and uncommon artifact from Nintendo history. I won one on YouTube. Here it is! Let’s play some games.
Sometime last summer, I spotted a local classifieds listing where someone was selling a “Tandy laptop.” After some interrogation, I determined that it was probably a Model 102. Another Kyocera sibling to join my NEC PC-8300?
The internet is both really good and really, really bad for my hobby. On the one hand, it lets me buy cheap broken computers and shows me how other people fix them. On the other hand, sometimes people offer me machines and then I take them.
My PC-6001 came cheap because it was untested (and it did end up needing capacitor replacement), but the PC-6001mkII seems like it has always changed hands for a lot of money in Japanese collector circles, at least for as long as I’ve been paying attention to the prices. When I landed one for a great deal, I figured that there must be something wrong with it.
Apparently, trying to get old computers is a lot like waiting for a bus. You spend months looking at the internet for Tandys, buy a bad one, and then two more nice ones come as soon as you get on. Maybe it’s not entirely like a bus, because that metaphor assumes I can get on all three at the same time. Also this one has a 286, so it’s like a really fast bus.
Clearly, I haven’t suffered enough pain from the Tandy 1000SX, so I made a choice to re-enlist. This time, it’s a completely untested 1000EX that I found as part of an auction.
Sure, I’ve got NEC PC-88s, I’ve got NEC PC-98s, but didn’t NEC make anything that was a little friendlier to the home user? By now, you should know better than to doubt our friends at the Electric Company. The NEC PC-6001 has a thriving homebrew scene around it in Japan to this very day, and is still fondly remembered. Let’s rip one open and stuff it with hot molten lead.
I removed the clock battery from my X68000 ACE, sped up my PC-98’s video, and got a keyboard for my PC-8801MH. Come enjoy this bite-sized collection of what’s going on with my machines.
I picked up a Tandy 1000SX recently. My plan is to use it for experimenting with Tandy graphics and sound, and maybe even port a few hobbyist games to the platform. As per usual with my pick-ups, this one needs a little bit of work before it can be usable.
Another postie-threatening crate arrived on my porch this week. There’s a lot of projects in this one; I’m not even sure a single one is “usable” as-is. This one sort of got away from me, but those are the fun kind!
As part of a project to repair a badly-hurt JVC X’Eye, I’ve been looking for “parts” Genesis IIs to harvest a 315-5660 VDP chip from. Unfortunately, the Genesis II seems to be quite the tough customer. I keep fixing the parts machines before they can be sacrificed.
When I was much younger, one of the first portable computers I was exposed to was a Tandy TRS-80 Model 100. It was a surprisingly useful 80s portable machine. A real mechanical keyboard, modem capability, real ports, an okay screen, 20 hours of battery life on a set of AAs: it had everything. As a result, they were really popular with journalists (upload your story from a payphone!), scientists (take readings of your instruments at the site!), and industrial use (what’s wrong with this plane?)
Japanese Santa dropped by my house earlier this week and left behind a back-shredding 40lb box of microcomputer goodness. Let’s investigate.
Going to try a new format for this entry; there are some small updates to keep a record of, but nothing deserving of a full entry on their own.
Months ago, I won a PC-8801mkII and a PC-9821AP2/U8W off Yahoo Auctions. They arrived, but life got busy, and so the blog hasn’t been updated in quite some time. What better way to bring it back than a deep-dive into a computer whose language I literally do not speak or understand in even the slightest way?
Sometimes the best finds are in your own backyard. I was coming back from breakfast when I saw a garage sale sign. After following it for awhile, I took a wrong turn - and ended up at an even better garage sale, with no sign.
Many years ago, I got ahold of an Atari 1040STF for really cheap. However, I didn’t have any monitor to use it with, so it has sat in storage for quite some time.
I picked up a Commodore 64 off the local classifieds. It came with a 1541 floppy drive, a bag full of blank floppies and tapes, the C64 itself, the infamous black finned power supplies that kill C64s, a Rixon modem, and a Nortel multi-line keyset from the 90s.