• Rock Light

    This is one of those little projects that didn’t need to be done, or could have been done very simply.  Despite a lot of feature creep, everything just came together at the right time, and I’m really pleased with the results.

  • Retro Challenge 2017/4 – Rack Teardown and Wrap Up

    Ok, firstly, apologies for the lateness of this post.  The stuff below was actually done a couple of weeks ago, but time has just got away from me.  Hence this is being written up 2 days past the closing date for RC2017/4.  Sorry Anyway, this part of my challenge involves investigating a rack that came as […]

  • Retro Challenge 2017/4 – Keyboard Investigations

    After a visual check of the keyboards (see this post), I had a couple of questions, which were do the keyboards work? and how do the keyboards work? On the basis that neither of the Alphameric had their EPROM windows covered, and that one of the Cherry keyboards had already been modified, I chose the […]

  • Retro Challenge 2017/4 – The Key(board) to Happiness

    Next up on the things to investigate is the 4 keyboards Judging by the connectors, it was obvious that these aren’t modern (PS2, USB or even 5 pin DIN) keyboards.  Likely either a raw matrix or maybe parallel ASCII.  Lets open them up and have a poke around!

  • Retro Challenge 2017/4 – ICE ICE Maybe

    I decided the easiest thing to tackle first would be the three ICE (In-Circuit Emulators) as they’re quite bulky things to get out of the way early.  There are two non-identical versions of the same model Adtek ICE Engine BX and a Zax ICD278 – all with manuals!

  • Retro Challenge 2017/4 – Getting The Excuses In Early

    So, once again Retro Challenge is upon us, and, yes, the timing is offset , but an April challenge should mean that more people are able to participate. To try and stay ahead of the curve this time, I thought I’d get in early and give my excuses for why I failed to complete the […]

  • Retro Challenge January 2016 – Preamble

    So, you may well remember that I entered Retro Challenge 18 months ago, and what a fun crazy busy time that was!  Well, the January Retro Challenge competition is about to kick off in just over 2 weeks. If you’re not familiar with Retro Challenge, shame on you!  But you can de-shame yourself by heading […]

  • Ace adventures on Jupiter

    So, before I dive in to this, a quick history lesson for those of you that aren’t fully up to speed on your rare 80’s vintage 8 bit computers.  In the beginning, there was Clive Sinclair, and he invented the Sinclair ZX80.  From the ZX80, the ZX81 and indeed home computing was born.  From the […]

  • Happy New Year. Again. And Again. And Again…

    A recent discussion started with the simple question “When is it New Year?”.  Well, 1st January, right?  The stroke of midnight on 31st December?  Depends where you are on the planet?  [depends what planet [if any] you are on].  It depends on which timezone you are in. So, we settled on it being at the […]

  • Printing Xmas Tags Like It Was 1983

    Yesterday this tweet appeared on my Twitter timeline [embedTweet url=”538666941335236610″] Now, being the geeky retro Sinclair fanboy I am, I read it, understood it, and retweeted it.  Obviously.

  • RC2014 SD Bootloader Update

    Just a quick update to about the SD Bootloader I designed a few posts ago.  Well, the PCBs have arrived and last week I took a soldering iron to one of them and gave it a quick test One side of the board is effectively an Arduino, so without plugging it in to the RC2014, I […]

  • Chromecast to VGA

      When Google first launched the Chromecast, I wanted one as it seemed like it would solve a lot of viewing problems for me.  The trouble was, my “TV” (technically, it’s a 42″ monitor as it has no tuner) doesn’t have any HDMI sockets, so it would cause more issues than it would solve, and […]

  • RC2014 Bootloader for SD Cards

    So, the RC2014 is great.  I can run Microsoft BASIC and program it from there, and as long as I am using a terminal emulator, I can copy & paste to save and load programs.  Alternatively, I can write Z80 code using an online compiler then download it, copy it to USB stick, move it […]

  • RC2014 with ZX Printer interface

    My original plan had never been to design and build my own computer.  I had, however, planned to build a clone of the Sinclair ZX80, which has been on my bucket list of things to own for year, and which I had found plans for online.  Whilst collecting the parts and reading up on simple […]

  • The Future I AM IN YOU

    As a child growing up in the 1970s, I had no idea of what the future held.  I didn’t know if Mr Benn would be able to get back from his adventures, or if Scooby Doo could catch the Evil Swamp Monster, or even if we were going through the round or square window in PlaySchool. […]

  • Man Cave 2.0

    Recently I’ve read a few posts about other peoples working environments, office setups, man caves or work benches.  I’ve also had a couple of people ask about mine, since I tweeted about the redecoration and overhaul of my old “spare room” as it transformed in to “Man Cave 2.0”.  I had intended to write it […]

  • Linux support, upgrades and headaches

    Some of you may remember that last year , after a regretful decision to ‘upgrade’ from Windows 7 to Windows 8 I decided to jump ship and switch over to Linux.  Ubuntu 13.04 to be precise.  I blogged about the install process here, and my first thoughts after a week here, with the intention of […]

  • Assembly Language Vs Lego

    I guess this is kind of a follow up to my Retro Challenge posts, as it was thoughts that stemmed from teaching myself Assembly Language for my Z80 project.  Essentially it is a comparison between programming in the 70’s and today against building with Lego in the 70s and today. But before I get stuck in, can […]

  • Retro Challenge – Closing Thoughts

    Wow! What an awesome month July has been.  The whole Retro Challenge thing has been great, and despite moments of stress or despair, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking part and seeing what everyone else has been up to.  Before I sum up my project, I should make a few honourable mentions. Retro Challenge – A […]

  • Retro Challenge – Challenge Complete

    With over 24 hours to go before the end of July deadline the final piece of the puzzle fell in to place! But, first, a quick catchup from the last blog post;