ScuzzBlog: 18th February 2007

Subject 01: VALENTINE CARD MASACRE: My Cyber Hell
Subject 02: LUGGABLE: A base Compaq
Subject 03: TRS80: Not to be eaten
Subject 04: DarkSeed: Amiga Game
Subject 05: Philips CD-i: Interactive CD
Subject 06: Why I hate modern computing: Crude Technology

Entry 0732: Blogs: 6


Entry 0732: Blog: 1

My Cyber Hell
I guess its my own fault sometimes that bad things happen.
Like when I'm lying in bed and thinking what little 
projects I can begin... From a single thought a whole
string of disasters can eminate, and that is just what 
happened this week...

Having acquired a number of A4000 bits and pieces I decided
it was time again to muck around with the A4000T. Bad move.
The 4000T had suffered at the hands of scuzz once before
having switched the beast on and burnt the Cyberstorm. And
it wasn`t the first time this month the poor old T had been
mucked around with. I determined that I needed to check out
that Cyberstorm again and having failed I determined that
if I strip the machine right down to the bones I may just
get to the root of the problem. 

And so I came home early from work and set too.. After three
or four hours of failure I had a minor break through... I 
found a pin busted on the floppy drive. I was happy-ish. 
Problem now was getting a floppy drive. Thats where the
lying in bed and thinking don`t help.. I remembered I had
a floppy drive in the A3000D project... So I was home early
again and stripping the poor T down. Well this didn`t 
work, though I did get a glimmer of life from the floppy,
which could well be busted. So I decided to put the T

That really is where this little adventure should have 

Sadly not. 

I then decided to fit the Cyberstorm MKII into the A4000d.
This didn`t work. I then tried the A3640, this worked but
I had the slowest A3640 on the planet... Flaky card. And
then the big decision.. To use my prized Cyberstorm MKII.
This worked... I had to nail the machine to the table.
The computer literally flew.. Whoo Hooo....

So on Saturday I set too building a whole work station
around the A4000d complete with PicassoIV, Catweasel,
Oktagon Card, X-Surf... There really wasn`t anything I
wasn`t prepared to bang into the A4000d.

All went well, until I tried to upgrade the OS3.1 to 3.9
I did get OS3.9 working just fine until I loaded Opus
Magellan and then I lost all the icons. I went for the
re-install from 3.0 to 3.1 to 3.5 and 3.9. All went well
until I upgraded the Picasso96... And then disaster. The
mouse froze. Then the computer froze. Then the computer
refused to boot. She was dead. And I was truly unhappy...

And all because of a thought lying in bed.

It is very sad when an Amiga dies. I cannot deal with it.
I just have to work even harder to put matters right. And
so I have contacted the guys that repair Amigas in France
and it will be done... For the sake of Amiga.

I have attached some pics of the cards.. They are working
fine. Its the motherboard that is buggered. never mind.

Cyber Hell

cyber hell cyber hell cyber hell cyber hell

cyber hell cyber hell cyber hell cyber hell

cyber hell cyber hell

LUGGABLE: February 2007

Entry 0732: Blog: 2

That BASE Compaq
I travelled to Southampton this weekend to pick up a Compaq
Luggable, the first one. Strange bit of kit this cus it
has the keyboard and small monitor screen in the base, Bit
like the Osborne, only a bit more slick. Still a heavy unit
and I have no idea how you travelled around with this baby.

What I read...

The Compaq Portable was announced in 1982. It weighed about 
28 pounds, used the Intel 8088 microprocessor, ran Compaq DOS 
(which was basically the same as MS DOS), and came with 128K RAM 
minimum. It was available with 1 or 2 5-1/4 inch floppy disk drives, 
a 9 inch CRT display (25 lines by 80 characters) and could support 
some graphics. It ran on AC power, and was about 20 inches by 
15-1/3 inches by 8-1/2 inches high. It sold for $2,995 and was 
very successful. In 1983, the COMPAQ Portable Computer rolled 
out through network of authorized COMPAQ Computer Dealers. 
Compaq took in revenues of $111 million, the greatest first-year 
ering and raised $67 million. During this year, Compaq shipped 
more than 53,000 portable computers and employed a total of 615
people at year end.

[ end blurb ]

The guy also let me have another IBM PS/2 Luggable with a very
sticky handle. Reckons he can get me some rare Russian stuff
so I do hope to keep in touch.


Not the actual machine

TRS80: February 2007

Entry 0732: Blog: 3

Not to be eaten
Last year for my birthday the good folk at work had a cake made.
And guess what the subject was... A retro computer. And not a 
work of fantasy, an actual computer model was used and they
chose the TRS80 Model III. So consider my surprise and delight
when offered a TRS80 MKIII during my travels on Saturday. I 
mean how could I refuse... Just have to remember not to try
and eat the thing... Saying that it's taking up all the 
space on the Workbench at the moment.

[ technical ]

MANUFACTURER   Tandy Radio Shack 
TYPE   Home Computer 
YEAR   1981 
KEYBOARD   Full-stroke keyboard with separated 
numeric keypad 
CPU   Zilog Z80 then Z80A 
SPEED   2.03 MHz 
RAM   16 KB (up to 48 KB) 
ROM   14 KB 
TEXT MODES   32 or 64 columns x 16 lines 
GRAPHIC MODES   128 graphic characters 
COLORS   monochrome 
I/O PORTS   Tape (500 or 1500 bauds), Centronics, RS232 
BUILT IN MEDIA   Zero, one or two 5.25'' disk-drives. 
OS   TRS DOS (other OSes were available : New DOS, LDOS, 
MultiDOS, ...) 
POWER SUPPLY   Built-in power supply unit 
PERIPHERALS   Various Tandy peripherals 
PRICE   No disk model : AU$1450 (Australia, 1981)
$2495 in 1984 for a complete system with 2x360 KB drives, 
TRSDOS, 64kb Ram, software and printer 

[ end technical ]


DARK SEED: February 2007

Entry 0732: Blog: 4

Amiga Game

Probably one of my most remembered games boxes for the Amiga was 
Darkseed by Cyberdreams. Why I never bought the game I will never 
know... Great  artwork. I have tried a few times to get this on 
Ebay and failed, but success at last and today it arrived...

[ quote ]

'Horror' mystery set in and around a dark and gruesome world based on the 
drawings of Alien-artist H.R. Giger. Man wakes up in his new house, 
only to discover that a mirror in the living room is a portal to an 
alien world, where creatures are planning to conquer our world!

[ end quote ]

What was also in the box was a Commodore Warranty Registration card 
and a games magazine for the Computer Store packed with Amiga games. 
Dark Seed must have been sold with one of the bundles me thinks at 
some time, though I can`t remember.

Philips CD-i: February 2007

Entry 0732: Blog: 5

The Philips CD-i 450 - Interactive CD

I had arrive today the Philips CD-i 450. I do recall the rush to get
CD interactive stuff when it first came out, and I guess the PS1
was very much the consequence of the failure of this technology.

Sony and Philips were instrumental in developing the

[ quote ]

CD-i or Compact Disc Interactive is the name of an interactive
multimedia CD player developed and marketed by Royal Philips
Electronics N.V. CD-i also refers to the multimedia Compact Disc
standard utilized by the CD-i console, also known as Green Book,
which was co-developed by Philips and Sony in 1986.

[ end quote ]

Interesting that Sony were first developing the Playstation with
Nintendo. But Nintendo formed an aliance with Philips and Sony
decided to go it alone. Nintendo fought Sony over the rights but
lost and the rest is history.

[ quote ]

Nintendo had initially planned to release a CD based add-on for it's
SuperNes console. Philips was one of the companies that they
initially collaborated with to design it.

[ end quote ]

There were others involved in the CDi development

[ quote ]

Besides Philips, several other manufacturers produced CD-i players,
including Magnavox, GoldStar / LG Electronics, Digital Video Systems,
Memorex, Grundig, Sony, Kyocera, NBS, Highscreen, and Bang & Olufsen,
who produced a television with a built-in CD-i device.

[ end quote ]

You can see the console on this link...

In October 1996 Philips downsized their Los Angeles office from
120 to just 15 and in 1999 officially stopped support for the CD-i
concept. The kit was always more expensive and with a general
lack of good quality games suffered at the hands of the big boys.
What is interesting, is that the errors of Philips unique development
concepts have somehow transferred to Sony, who year in and year
out seem to want to create expensive kit that nobody wants...
Strange that.

Technical Specs

Manufacturer: Philips
Model CDI 450
Released: 1994 (Start of CDI as it was 1991)
Production ends: 1996
Processor 68070 (Philips)
Mhz: 15
RAM: 1 MB (expandable to 2,5 MB with MPEG Cartridge,
+1 MB RAM +512 KB MPEG decoding RAM)
ROM: 512 KB
Data Medium: CD
Graphic, Resolution: up to 768x560
Colors: 16 Mio.
Sound: up to 16 Bit, stereo, 44,1Khz
Ports: Cartridgeslot (VideoCD-Cartridge), AV-Out, Joypad-Port
Joypad: digital, 2 Buttons
Sold in: Europe, USA (from Magnavox)
Specials: plays CDI, Audio-CD and with Upgrad-Cartridge CDI-Video and
Accessories: Digital Video Cardridge (Video-CD-Cartridge), Joypad, and a lot
Launch price: about 750,- DEM

Why I hate Modern Computing: February 2007

Entry 0732: Blog: 6

Crude Technology
Have you ever noticed just how little the insides of 
computers have changed over the years. Still those 
crappy electrical connectors and messy ribbons...
The only thing that has really changed is the size of the
fans on the processor boards... And don`t I just know it.

I made another silly error today. I decided to fit another
hard drive into this XP machine I was gifted from work.
The machine isn`t old... Only about three years old I
would say. Anyway.. I set too thinking I would be done 
in a few minutes. Not the case. Fitting a new drive was
almost impossible. Not only are all the screws difficult
to remove, the cradle had a clip on it that was fouled by 
any new drive, making the bottom of the bay useless and
having removed the clip you cannot slide the drive in cus
of the massive fan on the processor. So I dismantled half
the unit and finished up junking the floppy drive. And
when I finally got the thing up and running the insides 
looked like a butchers chopping table. Honestly... If I
cracked open a Win3.1 machine from the early nineties it
would look just the same. Is that the best we can do after
all these years... 

What the eye can`t see there seems little point in changing.
Computers really are not a design art anymore. They use to
be a design art. Just look at the vast array of machines
on my web pages. The bloated uneconomical way the computer
world is structured today flows through everything. Only
with competition of ideas will things change... And so
I won`t hold my breath. 

More cream me thinks for my saw fingers.

TRS80 - Obsolete Technology
TRS80 - Ira Goldklang Site
TRS80 - Tim Manns Page
TRS80 - Old Computer Museum
Compaq Portable - DigiBarn Computer Museum
Compaq Portable - Old Computer Museum
DARK SEED - Amiga Games frpm 1985 Onwards
Adventure Gaming - Timeline
CD-i - Console Information

scuzz site

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Last updated 18th February 2007

Chandraise Kingdom