Life and other things.

The last few weeks for me have been relatively quiet. I’ve mostly reverted to my sort of teenage geek mode of playing with old computers, soldering and generally messing about with hardware. It’s been sort of fun revisiting this sort of thing. It is a pity that I don’t have the room in my house for all the old computers, a model railway and a whole host of other distractions to keep me entertained.

However, I did manage at least one social occasion. Last Monday reverendgrim, h0llym0nst3r, sleipnir_ and xencat decided to go see “Ocean’s 12” at the MyVue cinema in Reading. Because I hated the first film and had heard that the new one was actually worse I decided to skip the film but did turn up for the meal beforehand. It was nice seeing the group again and we all had a very pleasant time in Wagamama’s though I must admit that I wasn’t in one of my more talkative moods that day. After the meal I did get a little confused when picking up my change and accidently took the (larger) tip instead. Oops! I was obviously not at all on top form that day.

As for other things. My Mum went into hospital in Plymouth last Thursday to have a sore on her leg treated and a skin graft put onto it. Apparently the operation on Friday went well and she’s been ordering the staff about a bit since. My Dad’s been doing a daily trek up to Plymouth from Mullion, a 170 mile round trip, for the visiting hours. It sounds very tiring.

I’m still waiting for my new bike to arrive. I was hoping that it would arrive before the weather turned snowy as my old bike has great problems with the gears and brakes icing up and seizing. Neither of these things is pleasant. The former makes it tiring to cycle and the latter makes the cycling “interesting.” The new bike has all the cables and mechanisms either covered or internal, out of the weather, and hence would be far more suitable for the cold weather. It’s now two and a half weeks since I refused the women’s version of the bike that Trek first tried to foist onto me. If I’m paying £850 for a bike I definitely want the one I ordered!

Anyway, it’s time to get some lunch.

Retro gaming update.

Hmm.. Maybe opening an account at eBay wasn’t such a good idea in the first place. It’s *FAR* too easy to spend lots of money on postage (but not a huge amount on the goods).

As far as the Amiga goes, I shouldn’t have listened to the advice I was given about getting an A1200 and should have stuck with picking up an A500 as I had first thought. Why do I say this? Well, although the A1200 is faster and more expandable than the A500, and is usually cheaper on eBay, it doesn’t run a lot of the old software. The newer software from the mid-90’s meant to run on the A1200 don’t actually work on the stock machine but require massive upgrades to the memory and/or processor. :-/

This has meant that the two items of software that I’ve so far bought from eBay, F-16 Combat Pilot and SimCity 2000, won’t run on my machine. The former ‘cos the machine’s too new and the second because the machine hasn’t been upgraded enough. At least if I’d have had an A500 I would have known not to buy the second one and the first one would have worked.

There is some light on the horizon, but it means spending more money.. £4 for Relokick software which often will help old games run on the later machines and an upgrade from eBay (which will probably cost more than the machine and the software to begin with). I’m going to see if I can use a last minute of the auction bidding technique to get a 40MHz 68030+memory upgrade card for less than £20 this afternoon.

On the Atari ST front, I’ve managed to get the memory upgrade working and have diagnosed the floppy problem to the machine not being able to read the second side of the floppy disk. The main problem now is that I can’t test whether the problem is at the ST end or the floppy disk end as to do that I’d either need a seconf floppy drive or a second ST. So, it was back to eBay… where I bought an upgrades 520STFM plus games for £6.50 (plus £15 postage… See, the postage is more than the item again!). That should arrive sometime next week. Still, I would have prefered a second floppy drive as a test item (for a start the postage would have been less) but they seem to be rarer than hen’s teeth.

On a positive front, I’ve got my olf Ferguson TV/Monitor out, made up a cable to go between it and the ST and that’s working fine. So I can play Bubble Bobble and PacMania (as they’re both single sided disk games) and Starglider 2 runs nicely on both the St and the Amiga. All is not lost.