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Winter Warm-up 2009


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Epic Fortran. I'm reminded of the scene from Pirates of Silicon Valley, where Ballmer makes fun of Gates for his lack of interest in girls. "There'll be tons of girls, and they'll all be interested in what we're doing, 'oh Bill, fortran!' they'll moan," or something to the effect thereof.

 

Won't be able to do anything because of massive massive traveling (the main problem being my lack of a suitable portable retro computer that won't fall apart in any kind of transit), but I'm interested in seeing what everybody else is doing!

 

*I may take my PowerBook 520s home and make an attempt at getting them merged into one useful machine with a not-dead hinge. I'd probably use them more often if I didn't think they'd fall apart upon insertion into a bag for travel. (Like, I get nearly 2 hours of battery life from my 520c.)

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Gee Cory, sounds to me like it's time for a Tandy Model T for you- I have put mine through a rather impressive gamut of abuse and it still runs great, and looks good too. My model 102 has been 1. dropped down 3 flights of stairs unharmed, 2. crushed (accidentally) under almost 100 pounds of junk (not all of it mine) while I was moving into my dorm room, 3. boiling water poured on the keyboard once, 4. baby puke, 5. 40 below zero temps in the Minnesota winter, and 6. getting used every day by me. (wow, can't imagine the kind of abuse that entails can you? 8-o ) No cracks, no malfunctions, nothing wrong with it. Could use a paint job though, beige is kinda boring...

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Looking forward to it! I've had a casual interest in previous challenges and it seemed like a good time to give it a go. I'll be using DEC gear of suitable vintage - green screens to the ready!

 

Besides, as January is a self-imposed dry month for me I'll need some distracting [;)]]'>

 

Mark.

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Another RetroChallenge grinds to a shuddering halt, and there's actually a fair bit to write home about... as usual, several entrants didn't make it out of the gate and a few were struck down mid-stride, but there were enough success stories that deciding who gets the coveted RetroChallenge Mouse Pad will be no easy task. Here are the highlights:

 

* Wily RC veteran Wgoodf managed to complete a pair of unlikely hardware hacks: the Pet Audio Data Loading Thingy for the Commodore PET and the Retro-Sketcher for the Dragon 32

* Gavo's RetroBaud BBS (Warp6 running on an emulated Apple II) was a lot of fun... the results of his door games compo are as follows: MicroBandit - Wgoodf; Rock Paper Scissors - Luddite; Leeches - the board beat everyone.

* After a bit of trial and error MacMan successfully fitted his PowerBook 520c with a Compact Flash drive.

* Urbancamo's VAX-centric blog provides some great observations on programming and using the VAXstation 4000/90 as a daily driver.

* PrintStar went for a hat-trick with his Rainbow Disk Imaging Tools; uIP port and Rainbow 100 web server.

* Macflyer's exclusive use of a Mac Plus for University work and reviews of assorted old school word processors were a trip down memory lane.

* Billdeg put together a spectacular video demo of his Y2k-compliant Apple II Biorythm program.

 

I'll announce the winners in the next few days... stay tuned!

 

*** I'm a bit too lazy to paste the links here... go to http://retrochallenge.net for the point-and-click version ;-)

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It was fun while I was actually able to participate. That BBS is still coming, just be patient. Maybe in the next couple of days I may post a video of the BBS being used. I have been doing tests of the BBS via my Apple IIgs in serial terminal mode. Apple Access works well for that. The BBS is to be run in 40 column mode- nothing says retro like 40 columns.

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