Category: Uncategorized

New Telescope

Quite some time back, my wife bought me a telescope – a Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ*. After reading online about how horrible it was with needing collimation out of the box, and needing constant adjustments, I drug my feet about pulling it out and doing the adjustments, because I just want to enjoy the thing without a ton of effort. Fast-forward to last weekend, when I decided to pull it out at 12:30am, and I’m kinda mad that I didn’t do it sooner. Two things: first, I REALLY need to learn to use an EQ mount, since I’ve only ever used refractors on cheap Alt-Az mounts before, and second, I must have gotten lucky with this scope. I pointed it towards Jupiter and was able to focus in and just make out the bands in its atmosphere, along with 4 or so of its moons. Then I pointed it towards Saturn and easily made out its rings and several moons. This scope is amazing for the price point. Now, to find the other lense that came with it and learn how to properly us the mount 😉

*affiliate link

And we’re back…

After some digging on the Wayback Machine, I managed to find a copy of the Gamepress theme for WordPress, so I switched software again. I’m still hosting the site on my own server at home to have a bit more control over it, and the wiki experiment worked fine, but this software just feels more like home 😉 I’ll likely be adding some other social aspects that I’ve had in the past as well 🙂

New site

I’ve been working on move over to a self-hosted site using MediaWiki. The only issues I’ve having are that there’s no easy way to move this content over there, and it’s self-hosted off of my home Internet connection so it may experience downtime whenever I experience an outage. But it’s about ready to go, so I thought I’d post a note here. I’ll point the Feedburner RSS feeds to the new site in a week or so…

Tandy on the Internet

I did it! I got my Tandy 1000SX on the internet! This is an XT-class machine with 640K RAM and the CPU replaced with an NEC V20. The only thing not era-specific is the modern XT-IDE controller with 2 gig CF card in it. I found an old Intel Etherexpress 8/16 on eBay for a lot cheaper than the 3com 8-bit NICs with twisted pair, and it’s still easy to find the dos drivers. I started with mTCP and the packet driver from e16disk. After I got that going, I grabbed the later doslynx, which was just as simple to get working. Only thing that sucks is the https support is missing, and, with the push to https everywhere, this really breaks web browsing from doslynx.

Clean install

And, less than two weeks later, the file system is completely hosed. Can’t boot my Linux install. Can’t boot my old Windows install. Can’t mount the drive in another machine. Fresh install of Linux Mint. :/

Ubuntu strikes again

Over the years, I have installed various Linux distributions, starting with Slackware way back in ’96 or so. Over the years, Ubuntu has come to prominence, so on several occasions, I have installed either Ubuntu or one of its derivatives. Every time, when updating or upgrading one package or another, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong, causing a major OS crash. Most recently, I installed Linux Mint because I got fed up with issues with Windows, and ran it fine for quite some time. Then the graphical update program could no longer fetch updates and I couldn’t edit software sources or preferences, and then I noticed that I was disconnected from everything in pidgen, and couldn’t reconnect no matter what I did. So I did something you should never have to do in Linux, I did a reboot. And it wouldn’t complete a normal boot. So I got it to boot to a cli, did some messing around, and finally managed to get it to boot into a GUI, but I had to change desktop managers in order to do so, and everything is borked. I’m not sure if I should try to fix the issues with gdm, or if I should just install a different distro and regain my sanity…

Software Defined Radio

A short while back, I picked up an RTL-SDR [affiliate link] from Adafruit to get into software defined radio. It can tune frequencies from 24MHz to 1850MHz, but you may want to pick up some MCX male to various connectors [affiliate link] in order to attach a different antenna, as the included antenna is a bit limited.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everyone! Hope you have a wonderful 2019!

The Orville

I recently watched the first season of Star Trek: Discovery, and, while enjoyable, it seems like the producers changed things just for the sake of pissing off long time Trek fans. I am currently watching The Orville, and, while it is a hilariously cheesy spoof of Star Trek, it still manages to be more like Star Trek than Discovery is.

Sabre Computers

Back in the day, I worked at a local Computer Renaissance, and one of the first things I did was to refurbish a Sabre computer, which, I gathered, was some sort of re-branded, or foreign distributed, AST Advantage. I’m not sure where my boss sourced these machines, but they were fairly bare by the time we received them. I added a hard drive and multimedia kit, possibly upgraded the RAM and/or CPU, installed an OS, and we sold a ton of them. The first one I refurbished, I wound up buying, as it was a rock-solid machine. We sourced two different models, a 486SX-25, and a 486DX-33, and they had different RAM and CPU sockets in them, if I recall correctly. The 486DX is the one I wound up with, and it was easier to upgrade the CPU (I eventually installed an Intel Overdrive 83 in it, and it kicked ass) and had 4 72-pin SIMM slots. I think the 486SX model may have had 2 72-pin and 4 30-pin slots, but my memory is a bit fuzzy there. The DX had a 1-meg (upgradable to 2 megs) ATI Mach 32 on board, and I *think* the SX had the same. It had IDE, floppy, 2 serial ports, and one parallel port on board as well, and had 4 ISA slots via a riser card.

I recently went looking for information on Sabre Computers but I come up blank. I obviously found a pic of an AST Advantage, which looked identical aside from the name plate. Anyone out there have any links about Sabre, or pics of one?