Recent Posts

The one page BASIC SID Benchmark. Permalink

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Stumbled across this one as I was looking at some old speech synthesis stuff. Might come in very handy as I work my way through a pile of semi working commodore 64s.

How do you make sure the SIDs that are in the old C64 in your dad’s basement works before attempting a MIDIBox SID, sammichSID or other similar project? (Or midway through the project your dodgy soldering skills makes you wonder if you just blew out your 50$ SID?)

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Commodore 64 developer of Altered Beast, Rampage, Atomic Robokid releases source code after 30+ years! Permalink

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It’s always great to see how someone approaches their craft. We expect to see code in this day of easy to view, public repos, but it’s even cooler that old source is being made available. Wonderful to see techniques used in these very memory and CPU constrained devices.

Last Sunday, the Commodore 64/128 Programming Facebook group was carrying on its business as usual when received an invaluable gift from Michael Archer – the source code of many Commodore 64 games he programmed between 1986-1992.

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I Don’t Know What I’m Doing Vectrex Holiday Special

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I’m taking a brief detour from vintage computers to vintage gaming consoles for a very festive holiday special!

In this episode I’m documenting the gifts I’m giving my fiance… a restored & revitalized Vectrex with modern day mods and multi-carts!

For more info on everything mentioned in this episode, check out the links below:

Vectrex Radio
Vectrex BUZZ OFF Mod Kit
Vectrex BUZZ OFF Mod Kit Videos Moray Labs Vectrex Controller Moray Labs Vectrex 3d print shells Vectrex Light pen Sean Kelly Multi-cart Vectrex32 Vectrex Dust Cover

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What Tokyo’s metro taught me about progressive disclosure Permalink

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I always find it fascinating how great UX is an interplay of layers from the seemingly obvious to the subtle. All of this takes it’s shape by taking the user centric view and understanding what that users will need from moment to moment and context to context.

This is exactly what I experienced in Tokyo, by receiving each information at the right moment, I managed to reach my final destination without any worries. Everything went smoothly without even noticing how much I was guided.

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Using E-Paper Displays for an Electronic Etch-A-Sketch Permalink

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One of the most fun parts of attending the ISCA (International Society of Caricaturist Artists) convention 2018 was watching the last part of their art fight where two caricature artists had to do a timed caricature of the other using an etch-a-sketch. Amazing what they did. Of course, me being me I had to take a look at what could be done with technology.

Even if you don’t want to duplicate the toy, the comparison of the displays is worth watching. We were really hoping he’d included an accelerometer to erase it by shaking, but you’ll have to add that feature yourself.

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I Don’t Know What I’m Doing with the Vic-20 - Part 2

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In this episode, I continue on with the Vic-20 finishing off remaining items from the first episodes and then some brand new stuff!

  • Finishing the keyboard fixes
  • Fixing the power switch
  • Testing the memory cartridges
  • Vic-20 cxpansion options
  • Trying out Vic-20 IQ and personality tests!

This one ended up being way more involved than I intended, but I still had a lot of fun making it.

Like & Subscribe if you enjoy it!

Mentioned podcast:

ANTIC Interview 285 - Jay Balakrishnan, HESWare

Antic is a great podcast. Definitely recommend it!

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I Don’t Know What I’m Doing with the Vic-20 - Part 1

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In my first official video I decide I don’t know what I’m doing with the Commodore Vic-20 and decide to rectify that. I need to get my hands on a Vic-20, try to get it running and clean it all up. I get most of the way there, but a few things remain (along with a few additional projects) that I’ll try out in the next episode.

Mentioned recommended YouTube videos

8-bit-guy - Commodore History Part 2 - The VIC 20

LGR - Commodore VIC-20 Computer System Review

Nostalgia Nerd - Vic-20 Unboxing & Perusing - Nostalgia Nerd

Recommended Podcast:

Floppy Days with Randy Kindig

Mentioned products:

Commodore Computers Banner Dealer Sign Replica - Sold by Commodore4ever

Vic-20 Dust Cover - Sold by papa*nannysfunstuff

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Banks should let ancient programming language COBOL die Permalink

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My company uses COBOL. While it’s easy to write a click bait headline like the one above, it’s much harder to actually replace or even replicate a lot of what COBOL and the systems that rely on it.

The third option, however, is the cheapest and probably easiest. Instead of trying to completely revamp the entire system, Döderlein suggests that banks take a closer look at the current consumer problems.

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DevOps: Where it’s going and how to make the most of it Permalink

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Just a great quote form a good article. I see a lot of teams getting bogged down in trying to boil the ocean to solve problems, when a few smart moves can make a big difference.

There’s a difference between being on the bleeding edge and being a successful follower. You don’t have to keep inventing new things, but you do have to react quickly.

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Using Slack To Monitor Your App Permalink

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We’ve been using slack integrations with our git repos, Jenkins, Jira and are looking at integrations with AppDynamics and some extreme feedback items. We found it incredibly helpful for our team members on support to create some custom Hubot scripts. These tell support things like what time it is on the ship, what version of the application is deployed, how much memory and how many processes things like apache, mysql, and nodejs have.

As my curiosity grew with each ding, I began to wonder things like, What if there was a failure to create a new user? What if a user registered, logged in but didn’t complete the onboarding process? What is the result of our scheduled tasks? Now that the groundwork was in place, answering these questions was a piece of cake.

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