Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Amstrad 2

Showing the Amstrad I found (former post) to a colleague, we saw that the engineers at Amstrad actually chose to explain where the computer, tape deck and monitor were (or should be) located. I guess there wasn't enough red line left over to make it all the way from the word "tape" to the red square and the green monitor line seems to have the opposite problem; it is too long.

Another important detail for all people that think the Amstrad uses a tape deck I have some bad news: it uses a Micro Computer Software Datarecorder (not some ordinary tape deck).

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Yesterday I found an Amstrad cpc 464 computer outside in a pile of junk. I guess the former owner has been using it intensively (remember all good reasons to buy a home computer in the 80's? Put all the addresses of friends in it so sending Christmas cards is a piece of cake, mom could enter her shopping lists, so you quickly understand: a must-have, how could we ever live without? What were we thinking?) I have a weakness for old 80's computers, I guess I'm getting old and missing the good old days of owning a computer for no good reason.

It had been snowing the night before, so the computer and monitor were covered in a thick layer of frosty ice. I couldn't resist and took it home. I put it down in my basement so it could catch a breath. The next day, I had to know whether I found a dead computer or not, so I plugged the power cable and with an extra set of fuses in my hand, I turned the machine on . . .

It took one or two seconds for it to boot and told me it was ready. It has been on its way for over twenty years through storm and snow to tell me, it is ready for me . . .

How an excitement! I found a website with some Locomotive Basic examples (thanks Sean). After writing

10 s=0: WHILE s<>2.77: READ s
20 SOUND 1,s,40,15
40 DATA 478,379,478,2.77

my computer played three tones. The moody melody created tears in my eyes, I was emotionally worn out...

I guess I'll take it with me to work next Monday and give to one of the nerds through some lottery.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Naughty electronics

A week ago, I organized my electronics drawer. All wires, headphones and adapters were left behind looking like a neat box of chocolates.
After one week, I opened the drawer again and it looked like this:
It's a known fact that wires move in the dark. Never keep your wires in a dark place. Just after only one week in the dark, my Barbie mouse (the naughty pink one on the left) got pretty familiar with my DAP radio (the muscular fellow on the right). God knows what I would have seen if I had waited another week...