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Everything posted by commodorejohn

  1. The way I recall, you had to use a system extension to do a startup sound. We had one that had a dozen random quotes from old comedies...
  2. Whatever else it might be, "Avatar Shark Drive" is a terrific name for a rock band.
  3. My personal site isn't specifically designed for it, but last I checked it was readable in Netscape 3.x, albeit not very pretty: http://www.commodorejohn.com
  4. Something like this would be my guess as well. I don't know what the IIGS video circuitry looks like, but that looks an awful lot like the most significant of the character ROM row-select address lines has come disconnected and it's just cycling through the top half of the character a second time instead of continuing on to the bottom half.
  5. It probably wasn't the hardware so much as the lack of time. The Mac boot-beep already does a hacky approximation of lowpass filtering, and I can think of a couple other quick-and-dirty ways to mimic analog-style subtractive synthesis that would be passably performant on an 8MHz 68000, but according to Hertzfeld he only had about two days to do the entire thing, so I imagine at that point they just had to make the call not to pursue it further.
  6. Looks like a job for polystyrene model cement.
  7. If you're worried about what the wife will say you could always send one of those 840s over my way
  8. AFAIK the AirPort cards are just PCMCIA, right? I think it's a Broadcom chipset, which is always a pain from a third-party hacking standpoint, but IIRC it's been documented enough to be supported in Linux. The big question I'd have is whether the OS9 software for wireless support is well-understood enough and whether it has enough hooks to be hackable.
  9. Now we just need WPA/WPA2 for OS9 wifi and we'd be set
  10. I think the deal was that the Mac was never really a hardware-centric system to begin with. C64, Amiga, Atari, even the IBM PC had a defined hardware standard that democoders could rely on so that they could work as close to the bare metal as they felt comfortable with, which was a big advantage in pushing this or that machine to its limits. The Mac, on the other hand, didn't really bother with standardizing the hardware, since the idea was to use the System and Toolbox exclusively and let them worry about the differences.
  11. I suppose that's true, although it had more to do with specific programs (i.e. Cubase) than with the system itself (beyond its admittedly spiffy inclusion of MIDI out-of-the-box.)
  12. Commodore: Understood the value of hardware acceleration for multimedia right from the start. Embraced third-party hardware expansion from the get-go. Had true preemptive multitasking and a well-documented high-efficiency kernel. Had only basic memory management, with a tendency to fragment. Provided only a rudimentary UI library, leading to Unix-like inconsistency and competing standards. Gave us Lemmings. Apple: Did almost as well with multimedia in software. Opposed hardware expansion at first and never really warmed to it. Had only cooperative multitasking. Ha
  13. "Mom, does your SE/30 carrying case ever get that not-so-fresh feeling?"
  14. (Also, as concerns the "cloud" discussion: yes, in the grand scheme of things they're no more or less inherently vulnerable than any Internet-facing system. But, as you say, they're a high-value target - and more importantly, they're a high-value target that a disconcertingly large number of people seem to think of as the next Future Of All Computing Forever and also as some kind of ethereal digital fairyland removed across a rainbow bridge from the actual real world of Internet-facing servers with their own potential vulnerabilities, where as much data as possible should be kept, simultaneous
  15. There's a difference between "not worried about" in the sense of "don't think it's a problem" and "not worried about" in the sense of "don't think it's something to get openly worked up about because nobody is under the illusion that it's a good thing in the first place." Poisoned DNS servers are definitely a potential problem and ought to be dealt with when they're discovered, to be sure, but nobody is going around promoting poisoned DNS servers as The Wave Of The Future, so there's no point in bothering about them beyond dealing with them when they are an issue.
  16. But hey! The Internet of Things is totally the future! What could go wrong!?
  17. commodorejohn


    It's kind of a shame to pass on something like a bundled video upgrade over the cost of a recapping (which is pretty cheap...)
  18. The BIOS doesn't do a serious memory test, it basically just checks for the presence of RAM at succeeding addresses to figure out how much is in the system. You'd want to run a full-fledged memory-test utility to rule out the possibility of RAM failure. Also, the hard disk's being good and the filesystem's being intact doesn't mean that the contents of a file didn't somehow get corrupted.
  19. Oh, I've got a few different projects hanging around the house... Got a couple PowerBook 100 series machines I've had hanging around for a while. One of them works, the others don't and I haven't tried to figure out why yet. I should get to those... Got a 386 box that works, but is having a heck of a time getting along with a 2GB hard drive even with an XT-IDE ROM. Still not sure what the problem is, but I'd like to get it working; it's sweet. I've got a NEC V30 CPU that I want to stick in my Tandy 1000RL, but I need an adapter to connect the V30 (which is a 40-pin DIP) to the spot for
  20. Oy, this argument again...must every thread about using vintage technology be co-opted for a sermon on how Everybody Who Doesn't Upgrade Is Stupid And Horrible? Cripes, this one wasn't even about using it as a daily driver. It definitely seems to be kind of an "if you have to ask, you'll never know" thing, but to analogize: if I have a boring but reliable, say, Toyota sedan, but I really like the styling, handling, and feel of an old '53 Corvette, it doesn't matter a bit if I splash on extra chrome bits or add a '50s two-tone paint job to the Toyota sedan. It doesn't matter that the Toyo
  21. It baffles me that anyone would have to ask this question on a forum dedicated to vintage computing.
  22. Be "that guy" all you want, man - but remember that "that guy" is every bit as much of a walking anachronism as a DOS user, now These days their niche in the tech world has been filled by soul-patched hipsters wearing horn-rimmed glasses "ironically" and arguing about which Linux distro is best when all they do is run its particular re-branded Firefox and post on reddit about how much better Android is than iOS.
  23. Huh. Well, if it's getting unmanageable, I'd first try disabling everything you can manage without in CONFIG.SYS/AUTOEXEC.BAT and see if that makes it stabler; if that fails to help, you might just want to reinstall Windows.
  24. Did you change the hardware configuration? Windows pre-95 is really finicky about hardware; you pretty much have to uninstall anything you're replacing before you remove it and install the new piece.
  25. Ever is a pretty stark qualifier; try some of the dreaded "chiclet keyboards" on, say, the TRS-80 CoCo or the IBM PCjr, or worse yet, the vile little membrane keyboards of the cheapest-of-the-cheapest "home computers" like the Magnavox Odyssey² or the Timex-Sinclair 1000, and the AppleDesign will feel like blessed, luxurious relief by comparison. But yeah, compared to the awesomeness that was the Extended Keyboard II (second only to the IBM Model M for hands-down best keyboard I've ever used,) it really was quite a step down.
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