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Mike Maginnis
Attended Maranatha High School
Lives in Denver, Colorado
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Mike Maginnis

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The latest Open Apple podcast has been posted (#47 / May 2015).  

This month we sit down with +Jason Scott  documentary filmmaker, historian, public speaker, and archivist.

We talk about the importance of a nuanced appreciation of history, the flavors of sadness in comment threads, whom not to trust with special data and the nature of humanity, and failing at life.

Don’t miss Mike Hate Sponge Delicate Snowflake Maginnis’s sigh to end all sighs. Join us to learn how to take care of your capacitors, how to count your cycles, and how to do TCP/IP on your 8-bit Apple II.

Want to troll your cable company, accelerate your IIe, or play Bomberman on your GS? Tune in and find out how!

*Note: this episode was recorded more than a month ago so some of the news items discussed are slightly out of date.

http://www.open-apple.net/2015/05/28/show-047-jason-scott-documentaries-kaboom-infocom-secrets/
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A quick video of the Transwarp GS clone booting in a ROM 01 at 18 MHz. I didn't have my CFFA plugged in so I couldn't do any stability testing, but it at least boots every single time at that speed. More just to prove that it's real and works. I'll add more videos this weekend.
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Scanned and posted: Apple IIc User Guide (Phillips/Scellato, Brady Communications, 1984). 134 MB PDF.  http://www.apple2scans.net/2015/04/20/apple-iic-user-guide/
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Can't believe "Bonded by Blood" turns 30 later this month. Damn, I feel old. A few mosher friends and I stood outside Poobah Records in Pasadena before the store opened on the day this record came out, just so we could run home and crank it up on the hi-fi. I still have my Fabulous Disaster tour t-shirt from '89 somewhere. 

http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/kirk-hammett-says-exodus-bonded-by-blood-was-just-as-good-as-metallicas-kill-em-all/
In the latest issue of U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine, METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett was asked if it's strange to him how much METALLICA has eclipsed the other "Big Four" bands of 1980s thrash met...
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Open Apple #45 has been published. This month, we sit down with Mark Kriegsman, author of Star Blaster, and a modern Apple II hacker. He has ported the awesome FastLED driver library to the Apple II, so you can drive many hundreds of 32-bit RGB LEDs with your Apple II.

Meanwhile, we browbeat people into attending KansasFest, we rationalize our shame at developing on emulators, we talk dead tree easter eggs, we make terrible awesome BASIC & Twitter puns, we talk about post-mortem collecting, and Mike generates hate mail. Just in case you’re not completely over movies about Steve Jobs, we talk about one of those as well. Yawn.
More importantly, help us convince Mark to build a lo-res display from FastLEDs and bring it to KansasFest.

Once again, in case you’ve been living under a rock and somehow missed it, the dates for KansasFest 2015 have been announced. July 14-19! Go to http://www.kansasfest.org to register. Then pull up a comfy chair and enjoy this super-sized episode of Open Apple (yes folks, it’s another three-plus hour extravaganza… or marathon, depending on your perspective).

Apologies for some audio quality issues in this month. Quinn had some equipment difficulties and Mike has been under the weather. Thanks for your patience. Stay tuned until the end of the show for a special treat (not just Mike’s usual cheeky outtake).

http://www.open-apple.net/2015/03/28/show-045-mark-kriegsman-fastled-transwarp-gs-clone-and-newsapalooza/
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Posted a handful of KansasFest 2013 session videos. Watch 'em here.

Lots of great moments with Woz, Randy Wigginton and more.

(Terrible audio disclaimer goes here.)

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Mike Maginnis

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If you have an old computer that used to work, you probably expect it to work next time as well. But electronics parts age, and your 8-bit hardware is no exception. Read more on bad capacitors and what they can do to your machine below.
...
Capacitors are a necessary part in electronic circuits. They filter and even out voltages, which helps in getting a stable power supply for the actual electronics. There are different types of capacitors - and especially three of them can fail in vintage computers [1]. Even modern PC main boards can suffer from this problem [2,3]. So it's no surprise that your vintage computer can fail to this as well.

Mostly it's electrolytic capacitors that fail with bad consequences. This is mainly due to their electrolyte, a more or less liquid material used to isolate the two sides from each other and store the electric energy in the electric field between the poles. Unfortunately, as this electrolyte is optimized for capacity, it turned out to be quite an agressive substance. So when the capacitor starts leaking - due to electrolyte evaporating in the heat, or mechanical break of the case due to age for example - the electrolyte can spill over the board and cause extensive damage. While electrolytic caps are usually high capacitance, smaller capacity caps can blow up as well.

One such particular culprit is the mains filter capacitor. It sits directly on the mains input, and filters out high frequency electronic "noise" from the computer, that would otherwise likely cause interference with other equipment. As it runs on AC mains, it only has a small capacity to just filter out the very high "digital" frequencies. When it fails, the machine still works, but does not pass regulations. See [4,5,6,7] for examples from the Apple II and Commodore PET. [8,9] show a video of the BBC power supply "blowing" up, basically blowing out nastily smelling smoke...

While the filter caps usually just "blow" without much damage (exceptions granted...), leaking electrolytic capacitors can create a much larger damage. The leaking electrolyte "eats" itself into the board and nearby electronic parts. This goes as far as completely eating away copper traces on the PCB or even chip pins! See [10,11] for examples of leaking caps and the damage they create deep within the Commodore 1M disk drives (8250LP, SFD1001). [12] shows the result of leaking caps on a C64.

The first machines had simple linear power supplies, which are easily repaired. But later machines, like the Commodore 8296-D or the Commodore 720 (or the Apple II and BBC) had switching power supplies, which are more difficult to understand and repair. And electrolytic capacitors can fail in that too. See [13] for a video on a leaking capacitor in the power supply.

So, as the author (André) has suffered from three blown power supplies, and five Commodore disk drives with leaking caps, and maybe more stuff waiting, we hope that this article helps you become aware of the problem and maybe check your vintage computer before it is too late. See [14,15] for more links - and don't forget the batteries in some of the machines... [16,17].

Did you already have problems with leaking or blown capacitors? Tell us about it in the comments!

[1] http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/failure.htm 3 of 4 common failures are bad caps...
[2] http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=195
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

[4] http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2011-04-28-apple-iie-adventures1.htm Tezza's blog on restoring apple II, with blown power supplies
[5] http://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?t=32262 Apple II blown filter caps
[6] http://obsolescenceguaranteed.blogspot.de/2014/03/bad-caps-or-recap-kids-apple-iie-power.html Another Apple II power supply
[7] http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?45209-Replacing-the-mains-filter-capacitor Commodore PET filter cap
[8] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU55-7dWMi0 video of a BBC power supply blowing up
[9] http://www.retro-kit.co.uk/page.cfm/content/BBC-Micro-PSU-X2-capacitors/ repair the BBC caps.

[10] http://forum.classic-computing.de/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=7382 Commodore 8250 Matsushita drives with leaking caps
[11] https://www.flickr.com/photos/afachat/sets/72157651797112596/ SFD1001 repair with pictures
[12] http://www.thefuturewas8bit.com/index.php/64-repair-3 A C64 with leaking electrolytic caps

[13] https://www.flickr.com/photos/afachat/sets/72157647798386959/ CBM720 with blown power supply due to leaking caps (incl. video)

[14] http://www.sprow.co.uk/bbc/howto.htm 2 of the 3 power supply problems in the BBC are caps
[15] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_capacitor types of capacitors

[16] http://www.6502lane.net/tag/battery-leak/ apple II GS battery leak
[17] http://www.retroclinic.com/acorn/mbattery/mbattery.htm BBC master battery
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Great read.
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This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Paul Lutus, author of seminal early Apple II software such as AppleWriter and GraFORTH. We talk about the impacts of software development on society, the value of the individual in the process, and the trials of coding software in the woods.

We talk extreme offsite backups, KansasFest keynotes, telnet BBSing, and the hurricane of awesome that is ReactiveMicro. We reminisce about the original Home Computer Wars (these kids today arguing about their smartphones are so darned cute), and also Boo Atari.

We trek from Bulgaria to Korea to Canada and back again, to bring you the latest in sound cards, solid state storage, and portable Apple IIc action. You won’t want to miss Quinn plugging Phil Plait for some reason. With our story on Atari 8-bits in Poland, this marks the most Atari content ever on Open Apple. It also qualifies us as the 698th currently operating Atari podcast. Boo Atari. See what you get when you poke the bear, people? ][ Infinitum.

http://www.open-apple.net/2015/04/19/open-apple-46-april-2015-paul-lutus-reactivemicro-and-kansasfest-keynote/
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Autographed by a few Beagle Bros: Randy Brandt, Dan Verkade, Alan Bird and Bert Kersey. 
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Open Apple #44: Beagle Bros Reunion Roundtable! Plus, Andrew Roughan gets us all excited for Oz KFest.

http://www.open-apple.net/2015/02/28/show-044-beagle-bros-reunion-roundtable-andrew-roughan/
In show #44 of Open Apple, the only coed co-hosted Apple II podcast, Quinn & Mike chat with original Beagle Bros Randy Brandy, Mark Simonsen, Alan Bird and Tom
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Have him in circles
187 people
Lopes Girgin's profile photo
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Senior Technical Writer
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Technical writing, creative writing, Microsoft SharePoint Server management, Quark Xpress, Adobe FrameMaker, document editing
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
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Denver, Colorado
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Digital historian, podcaster, vintage computing and arcade gaming enthusiast, electronics hobbyist, Apple II fanatic, amateur photographer, writer and explorer.
Introduction
I grew up as a military brat during the cold war, in the shadow of fear of nuclear annihilation at the hands of the Soviet Union.  I lived in the housing projects on various Air Force bases across the US and Germany, but I have little memory of these experiences.  I blame the frequent moves and reassignments for my social awkwardness.  After high school, I joined the US Marines, where I served from '89 to '94, mostly on the west coast of the United States.

I am currently employed as a technical writer and document manager in the IT shop of at the US Fish & Wildlife Service, which is an environmental agency within the Department of the Interior.

I'm married and have no children.

Also, I hate trying to think of stuff to put in these bio boxes that seem to crop up all over social networking sites.  No one reads them anyway, and yet I feel compelled to put something here and then complain bitterly about it to anyone who will listen.
Bragging rights
Graduated Marine Corps boot camp. Facilitated Woz appearing at KansasFest 2013... Um... Lived into my 40s. Does that count?
Education
  • Maranatha High School
    1985 - 1989
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Male
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Computist