Monday, March 4, 2024

Preparing for the RV

Last summer, my wife an I bought a travel-trailer RV but didn't have enough to buy a tow vehicle, so we rented a spot in a seasonal campground on the Ohio River, and we will be returning there this spring once it opens. The RV is a small-ish one, considering there are four of us and a very energetic dog. My plan is to mostly live and work out of it through the season, returning home to check on things and maintain the lawn and such, but space is already limited so I won't be hauling my personal laptop with me to work from. However, my work laptop is a little small to work from, so I recently decided to check out a portable screen as a second monitor. I've got it hooked up to my work laptop, and I think this is going to be a perfect solution. If we had purchaced a larger RV which had a space dedicated for me to work from, I'd probably take my personal laptop with me.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Favorite Books: Old Man's War

This series for books will be similar to the album covers I did for February, except I plan on making it an ongoing Frday thing, and I plan on including a little commentary in the post instead of adding a comment later. I also will not be crossposting to Facebook, because that's just too much work. And again, they are in random order.

I discovered John Scalzi several years ago at Penuicon when he filled in for Wil Wheaton as a guest. I had never heard of him before that, but he was likable and I enjoyed all of the panels he was on and such, so I decided to check him out. Natually, I had to start with his first traditionally-published science fiction novel, and immediately got hooked on his writing.

There are other books of his in my library which I may enjoy even more, but without this one I would not have known his writing at all. That, I think, is enough to land Old Man's War on this list.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Green Apple crew

Much simpler time, when many towns like Lancaster still only had companies like Green Apple to provide dial-up access to the Internet, because AOL and other national providers were a long-distance call, or the local provider just provided better service.

Day 5

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Books? Movies? Games?

I have already (mostly) selected the albums which I am going to post through February, and narrowing it down was quite difficult, and is likely to contain a few surprised. Picking these albums has me thinking that I may want to also do the same with other media. So if anyone is actually reading this, what do you think I should do for March?

Day 3

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Thoughts on the Altair-duino

After building the Altair-duino, I discovered there are actual clones out there, including the S100 bus instead of the expansion the Altair-duino uses, but I am perfectly content with the one I built, and thought I'd post a few thoughts.

My kit was missing a single 1k resistor, so I was afraid I would have to wait to finish the kit, but I discovered through the documentation that this resistor is used to limit volume level of the built-in sound. I left it out until I get a replacement (or something close), and continued assembly.

After I finished, I booted up using the USB port and started playing around with some of the included floppy and hard disk images, especially the Infocom one, and discovered how to configure it so that my favorite floppy and hard disk images are already loaded at power-on, so all I have to do then is load the correct rom and boot into that image. This saves a little bit of toggling of switches to get into an operating system with a disk already mounted.

The kit also includes a built-in VT100 terminal which uses a VGA monitor and USB keyboard. It is very picky about what keyboard it will accept, though, to the point that I was nearly convinced that I had a poor soldering joint on the USB connector or something. I used all of the USB keyboards I have, including an IBM M Keyboard which has a built in Soarer's converter (which converts it from a terminal keyboard to USB), and none of them worked. Then I remembered seeing an old Saitek keyboard of my wife's out in my garage, so I grabbed it and... Success! There a jumpers on the RGB lines so that you can set which of the three colors you want the VT100 to be. I don't know if you can mix them, but I currently have it set to green. I may replace the jumpers with small switches on the back of the machine.

Using the VT100 terminal leaves a serial port open, which I am considering using to connect a WiFi "modem" to, allowing me to "dial" into other systems, or possibly run a CP/M-based BBS system off of. I hate to leave this thing sit here idle, or just use it for the occassional game of Zork.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Monday, January 1, 2024

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to anyone still reading. Got some projects I hope to work on in the coming year, but not going to announce until they're well underway.