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Erik Pusch

Discussion  - 
 
Friedrich L. Bauer died yesterday Mar, 26th.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_L._Bauer

"Bauer's early work involved the construction of computing machinery (e.g. the logical relay computer Stanislaus in 1951). In this context, he was the first to propose the widely used stack method of expression evaluation. Bauer also worked in the committees that developed the imperative computer programming languages ALGOL 58 and its successor ALGOL 60, important predecessors to all modern imperative programming languages. In 1968, Bauer coined the term Software Engineering which has been in widespread use since.

Bauer was an influential figure in establishing computer science as an independent subject in German universities."
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Chris Osborn

Home Computers  - 
 
The Interstellar War program has now been ported to the TRS-80 CoCo and Amstrad CPC 6128! Still no Speccy or Commodore versions though! Who is up to the challenge?

And for an even bigger challenge, someone should try doing the TRS-80 model 100! Yes, that little portable computer is capable of doing graphics!

Source code & contest rules are here: http://redd.it/2zt6ra
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Andrew Singleton's profile photoMarek Karcz's profile photoChris Osborn's profile photo
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I started to adapt the BBC Micro BASIC code on my C-128 and if time allows, I should be able to do C-128 port before the challenge ends.
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Chris Osborn

Home Computers  - 
 
BASIC Week on RetroBattlestations now has ports to the BBC Micro & BBC Master in addition to the IBM and Apple II ports. An Atari 800 port is currently in the works. Still no version for a Commodore or a TRS-80 though! Can you help? Full source code & contest rules here: http://redd.it/2zt6ra
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Isaac Kuo's profile photoJim Donegan's profile photoChris Osborn's profile photoJeroen Wiert Pluimers's profile photo
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And I just finished a port to the TRS-80 MC-10 which does not have split screen graphics. I just made it pause after drawing.

http://redd.it/30e9bv
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English version of my review published last week in italian (it's a rewrite, actually, not a translation). Enjoy! :)

p.s. There are a couple things Bushnell states that I filed and plan to doublecheck in the future. One is that the modulator used in the Apple I was an Atari product. Uh?
 
A book about finding and fostering creativity and innovation written by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, “the first and only boss Steve Jobs ever had”

#atari   #nolanbushnell   #stevejobs  
“Finding The Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Keep, and Nurture Talent” Author: Nolan Bushnell and Gene Stone Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ohter info: 256 pages; also available in ebook format. Before starting Apple, in the Seventies, a young Steve Jobs worked at Atari.
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Chris McClelland's profile photoNicola D'Agostino's profile photo
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I'm sure a lot of people are already doing that, +Chris McClelland but I'm afraid a book about it won't sell as much as anything with "Steve Jobs" in the title. :-/
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Marek Karcz

Home Computers  - 
 
Commodore 128, the Commodore's best 8-bit computer and the mark of an end of the era as the 16-bit computers flooded the market soon after.
 
Another e-bay find. This is so far my best Commodore 128 unit. Came with the box in fair condition, all the books, original unpacked disks (CP/M, Demo), power brick, cables etc. I gave it a good cleaning and had to open the case because there was a screw loose inside. All looks good though, the screw was one of the motherboard screws that for some reason came loose. Reattached it, dusted off the mobo, cleaned the case and keyboard in and out and the unit is fully operational. I had some fun playing Gyruss in C-64 mode. C-128 is an awesome 8-bit machine, my favorite of all.
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Markus Strangl's profile photoEd S's profile photo
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Ed S
 
Ah, here's my reference for the Z80 booting story:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/107049823915731374389/posts/YfjpwMC5MCZ
(I now realise it does seem unlikely that the Z80 is there solely to boot, but it turns out it was very useful in order to boot when there's a cartridge present)
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Finally heard back from NeoCities about adding Gopher Support

Hey, Kyle here (from Neocities).

I may be one of the remaining few people on the internet that has used Gopher before. I used it a long time ago when I was really young (12)?

There was this Mac Classic at my middle school that was sortof abandoned in the corner of a commons area. I was told that they didn't use it for anything anymore, and I could pretty much do anything I wanted with it. So the idea of having my own computer to play around with was pretty exciting, so I started experimenting with what I could do with it.

I really wanted to get it online, so I found a weird old 2400bps modem designed for it (well, it was designed for a newer Mac but it had the same interface) and plugged it in. To my amazement, it actually worked. It was slow, but it worked. So I had it dial in to the ISP I used at home.

From there, I found some 3.5 disks that had random internet software on it, and installed them. One of those programs was a Gopher application, so I plugged it in, and connected to some Gopher servers being run by the University of Minnesota (the Gopher protocol was invented there).

It was kindof neat, but even then, using Gopher was kindof anachronistic.

Neocities is trying very hard to not be a nostalgia machine. We want to express that we believe making your own web site is not nostalgia, but the future of the web, and that improvements to browser technology has made this possible.

So putting in Gopher support would be fun, and I would love to do it, but we're very time crunched right now, so we need to focus on the features and improvements that matters to most people. You can get an idea of how busy our schedule is here, we've got a lot of ground to cover: https://github.com/neocities/neocities/issues

So unfortunately, we won't be able to support Gopher on Neocities.

My recommendation would be to make a site that is designed for use with Gopher. If you think that Gopher should be re-introduced to a modern audience, be the change. That's exactly what Neocities is trying to do with making sites. There's no reason you can't do the same for Gopher. :-)
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Troy Truchon (Capheind)'s profile photoAndrew Singleton's profile photo
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+Troy Truchon it isn't that SDF isn't still out there. It's just I don't see newbies going through their process and actually beings bit intimidated by it. 
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Spacewar! Emulation
News from the favorite pet project (no, not as in PET :-) more like DEC PDP-1):
The emulator enjoyed some improvements, especially to the display layer. Thanks to some nifty virtual subpixel mapping, the low-res view is now even smoother, boosting the visual resolution beyond the physical resolution of the display element. (The level of detail might be even a bit finer than the one of the genuine item.) Additional color management should bring the best colors to any browser. (Colors used by the virtual CRT are extracted from a JPEG with an included color profile.)
The descriptive texts were also redacted or rewritten and are now presented in a more legible layout.
Moreover, the paper tape reader emulation had a brush-up, too, and we may load and execute tapes with more than one program on it. Therefor, there is a new module with the very version of Snowflake that is to be seen at the CHM (tape "dpys5.rim"). By this, the emulator has reached what may be its final state.
To celebrate this, there's also my very personal flavor of Spacewar!, dubbed "Spacewar! 2015". (Yes, fresh code for the PDP-1.)

If it were an OS, it came at the glorious version number 10. So, it's just a humble revision 2.6. The update is free, anyway. :-)

(Filed under "If this were a car, it had wheels.")
Play Spacewar!, the classic 1960s video game, on a virtual PDP-1.
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Chris Osborn

Software  - 
 
BASIC Week 4: Interstellar War has begun! There are currently only ports to the Apple II and IBM CGA. Anyone want to do a Commodore port? How about a TRS-80 version? Amstrad? BBC Micro?
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Ed S
moderator

Software  - 
 
+Ken Shirriff has written up programming a Mandelbrot fractal in assembly language on the +Computer History Museum's IBM 1401: "the computer chugged away for 12 minutes to create the Mandelbrot image on its line printer. In the process I learned a bunch of interesting things about the IBM 1401, which I discuss in this article"
"Some of the unusual features of the IBM 1401 are that it used decimal arithmetic and 6-bit characters, it had arbitrary-length words, and additional instructions were available for a rental fee."
Lots of informative footnotes too - thanks Ken!
When I found out that the Computer History Museum has a working IBM 1401 computer[1], I wondered if it could generate the Mandelbrot fractal. I wrote a fractal program in assembly language and the computer chugged away for 12...
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Marco Marini's profile photoDen Zuk's profile photoAndré Fachat's profile photoXad Nightfall's profile photo
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Also, the same underlying mechanics could be used for both a storage device and as an output device creating human-readable messages.
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Cameron Kaiser (of Classilla and TenFourFox fame), writes about Rhapsody on the PowerBook G3 Series (PDQ)
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Come play with the old stuff this weekend - We are headed to Carolina Con 1. All your classic favorites will be on display and available to play with! Bringing a number of goodies with us so please join us on  Saturday March 21, 2015 at
CarolinaCon 11
Hilton north Raleigh/Midtown 
3415 Wake Forest Road 

http://carolinacon.org/

#CarolinaCon   #retro   #technology   #museum   #handson   #NC   #Events  
 
We are headed to Carolina Con 11 this weekend!  
Bringing a number of goodies with us!

Please join us on Saturday March 21, 2015 at
CarolinaCon 11
Hilton north Raleigh/Midtown 
3415 Wake Forest Road 

http://carolinacon.org/

#CarolinaCon   #retro   #technology   #museum   #handson   #NC   #Events  
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Ed S's profile photoMobile Museum of Vintage Technology's profile photo
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+Ed S  -  Pictures coming on Saturday :)
We have TRS 80's, Commodores VIC 20 and 64, Atari 2600's, Apple II, tons of games on floppies, books, magazines, boatloads of other less popular computers systems, printers, handheld electronic games from the 80's ... and on and on!
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About this community

Here we share stories and information about vintage computers, from cogwheels or relays through transistors and chips, from experimental machines through mainframes to 8-bit and 16-bit home computers. We're interested in software and hardware (but not especially interested in the home computer gaming experience because there are other communities for that.)
 
 
One of my favorite Doctors, Tom Baker, with one of my favorite companions, Lala Ward, in some surprisingly amusing TV ads for Prime Computer circa 1980.
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Margaret Leber's profile photoJuan Castro's profile photoFabian Hoemcke's profile photoJim Leeds's profile photo
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That computer gives bad advice, it seems. Or maybe it meant another Doctor -- a Doctor in Biology and Fundie Piss-Offing.
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Erik Pusch

Discussion  - 
Am 18. März ist in Tutzing der Ingenieur und Informatikprofessor Eike Jessen gestorben. Er hat den Großrechner TR 440 entwickelt und war maßgeblicher Mitgestalter des Deutschen Forschungsnetzes.
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Marek Karcz

Home Computers  - 
 
Commodore Plus 4 - commercially a flop, but this little machine has special place in my heart. My very first computer program I created in the very decent BASIC 3.5 that came on board of this computer. After the computer did not meet the commercial expectations due to poor management, the surplus flooded European markets (especially eastern European) and this is how my high school bought several units and I completed my diploma thesis on one of them.
 
Recently acquired from e-bay. It is my 2nd Commodore Plus 4 unit. Why it is special to me? Because it was the first computer I learned programming on. Also, this one came in a very good shape in original box with all the books, joysticks, popular text editor cartridge etc. Gave it a little cleaning and it could go to the museum right away. Except it will not. I will be playing with it instead! :-)
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Alex Taylor's profile photoLarry Anderson's profile photo
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I remember when I first saw the Plus/4 at K-mart, it was something like $400.  By then I had a collection going, and it was the first new computer upon seeing it, I thought I'll be able to get this for just a few bucks in a few years.  The expanded colors were intriguing but the lack of good sound and weird interfacing didn’t make me jump for it.
Commodore did themselves a disservice by trying to use it as a C64 "upgrade".  Upon using it it was good, but documentation was sparse (the programmers reference guide was by the school book publisher scott foresman, was $25 firm quite pricy and had to get it direct from them.  and it was really tough to find pinouts for the ports also.  Black and white compared to the more "open" VIC-20 and Commodore 64.
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Making a Newbie Friendly Gopher Community?

As one of my prior posts had stated, I got word back from Neocities about making a friendlier to newbies way to get into gopher. Basically they don't have time nor manpower to get involved. This is alright, I can understand the logic and I am grateful they were polite with the letdown.

So since this place is full of retro geeks and people that like blending the old and the new I want to have a sitdown on the matter. First off I want to know if there is any genuine use for Gopher, or if I'm going '_LOOK AT THIS NEAT OLD THING THAT DIDN'T WORK! MAYBE IT CAN DO A THING NOW._' Secondly, would there be any benefit in a newbie friendly way to get people into gopher? I don't want to disparage or make light of SDF, but I don't know a lot of people that enjoy getting on with a command line just for basic housekeeping.

Maybe Gopher deserves to wither and die out. Then again maybe all it needs is an easier way to make a gopher site (burrow? What's the proper term for a person's collected and connected gopher pages?) If the barrier to entry is nil, and each person gets ten megabytes of space (dear god that is so much text) maybe?

The important thing would be having at least an on-domain search tool. Community features would be nice too but I dunno how you'd do something like that.

Also I don't know how much something like this would cost not just in drive space and domain names, but in manpower to set up and keep running.

Basically someone please give me a reality check.
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Ed S
moderator

Software  - 
 
"Circa 1986, generated with Commodore 64, output with Epson RX80 dot matrix printer" - from the discussion at
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9243163 "All the assembler code was written in a notebook and debugged by hand before even entering it, which was done in the Zeus Assembler. Would be cool if we could locate the notebooks. At least we have the 6510 source code."
"The plot routine used fixed point math, which I coded in a separate portion, so was as precise as I wanted it to be. I forgot what that precision was now, but it was something like 4 or 8 bytes."
"After careful study, my brother coded it in assembly on a C64. We both had the idea to double the display resolution (from 320x200 to 640x400) by 'extending' the screen into RAM. After leaving the computer running overnight (often longer), we eagerly came the next day to check progress, and dump the output to a dot matrix printer. We couldn't use color or even grayscale, so black and white stripes were the only option to reveal the glories of the Mandelbrot set."

(The discussion sparks off from +Ken Shirriff's 1401 Mandelbrot adventure)
The Internet's visual storytelling community. Explore, share, and discuss the best visual stories the Internet has to offer.
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Ed S's profile photoJon Alcibar's profile photoJim Donegan's profile photoDave LeCompte's profile photo
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+Chris McClelland My brother used to say the noise the Epson LX-800, which I still own, made would put him to sleep while I printed :-D. I loved that noise too
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Flu bug has really had me down for about 3 weeks but did have some special visitor to our museum Friday and I was able to tell some interesting history about 2 computers that stopped the visitors in their tracks for more info.
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David Larsen's profile photo
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+Clayton Rego Yep Clayton - 2 in this photo and both donated by Nathaniel. He was so please to see we were using his computer for our retro game stations.  Thank you for the comment . Dave www.n4usa.com
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Ed S
moderator

Portable Devices  - 
 
Bob Doyle invented Merlin, and many other early microprocessor based toys. He used an HP-65 calculator to simulate his designs. Eventually Parker funded a development system. Any other examples of crucial use of a calculator as computer?  Any other favourite microprocessor toys from the 70s?
hat tip to +Peter da Silva who posted about a 1982 JCPenny catalogue:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PeterdaSilva/posts/WmGpqjfWjR3

Also hat tip to +Matt McIrvin who reminds us that Ralph Baer co-invented Simon and a number of other interesting entertainments:
http://www.ralphbaer.com/inventions.htm
If you sat down to make a list of the key turning points in the history of mobile computing, you’d definitely have to include 2007, the year Apple released
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Paul Jenkins's profile photoDavid Anders (prpplague)'s profile photoKendric Beachey's profile photoWin Heagy's profile photo
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hehe i had one of these!
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Chris Osborn

Discussion  - 
 
BASIC Week 4 starts on Saturday, are you ready?
BASIC Week 4 starts on RetroBattlestations on Saturday, March 21st. The program this time around is a Space War inspired turn based game with simple… - Chris Osborn - Google+
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I would say it's more SpaceWar! inspired since it's not interactive like the original.
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