I’ve been rather neglecting LJ recently. I’ve nothing useful to say really as life is merely trundling on.

Christmas and New Year went by O.K.

I bought my Dad a Meade LX90 8" telescope but we didn’t have the weather to play with it a great deal. It does have a minor fault, the positive power lead from the battery compartment’s disconnected, but seeing as it’s going to be powered externally anyway it’s not a problem. The only problem was that the software and communication cable didn’t arrive in time for me to take them down to Cornwall with me. So, instead of my parents coming up to me for my birthday I’m going down there, along with all the technical gubbins.

Before Christmas I managed to rescue from the Physical Chemistry Department at work a bunch of old Sinclair computer equipment. Basically two ZX Spectrums and a QL. I found that one of the Spectrums (the newer, Spanish built one) was dead but the other was very much alive (but with a duff keyboard membrane) so I managed to build one fully operational Speccy. I couldn’t test the QL then as it didn’t have a power supply with it.

This re-ignited my retro-computing interest so i brought my old speccy rubber keyed case back with me from Cornwall so that I can re-fit the circuit board from the speccy+ "upgrade" case it’s currently in. I’ve just received a new keyboard membrane for it and also a QL power supply for the QL I obtained.

The QL, it turns out is a strange one… one of the ROMs is missing so that on its own it only half boots, From the socket tarnish it looks like the ROM’s been gone for many a year. Wierdly, however, if I pug in the "Metacomco QL PASCAL" external ROM (which came with this machine) it’s happy and boots normally.

I also had to fix the keyboard connector. As usual one had cracked, but by trimming the end got it functional again. I was even able to test the microdrives as it came with the Psion office suite. They’re still working after all this time. I can remember when the QL came out that the pundits couldn’t wait to damn the microdrives, deeming them unreliable. How wrong they were.

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