Tuesday, March 5, 2019

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...

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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. :/

Friday, February 8, 2019

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...

Friday, January 11, 2019

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.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

OS/2 Warp on old Thinkpad

A short while back, a friend gave me an old IBM Thinkpad T23, so my first thought was "IBM Laptop should get an IBM OS" so I set to work getting OS/2 Warp installed on it. First issue is that the Warp CDs are not bootable, and the IBM does not have a built-in floppy. No problem, I thought, as he also gave me a USB 3.5" floppy drive. But I also discovered that the optical drive is broken on the laptop, so I went looking for an alternate method of installing the OS. I found this thread about installing from a folder on the hard drive. So, I install MS-DOS 6.22 and copy the os2image folder from the CD to c:\temp and modify the config.sys on disk1 as instructed. I boot from the Install disk, swap in disk1 when requested, then disk2, then... Error... Kinda non-descript, as it says something about a problem with either the hard drive or the floppy drive. My best guess is that the BIOS support for the USB floppy only goes so far, then fails when OS/2 gets to a certain point of the install. I recall seeing something, somewhere, about adding USB drivers to the OS/2 floppies, so I will try to track that down and see if that works. Barring that, my only other option is probably to place the HDD into another old laptop that has a working floppy and optical drive, do an install using generic drivers, then swap the drive into the Thinkpad and update the drivers to match the actual hardware. Stay tuned for progress...