Purists prefer CRT monitors for a more authentic experience, but if you don’t mind an LCD, here’s a good LCD monitor for retro computing. Look for a Dell 2001fp manufactured in June 2005 or before. For bonus points, try to find one with a soundbar.
With any luck, you should be able to find one for under $60. Sometimes well under $60.
Continue reading An LCD monitor for retro computing
People frequently ask me for a list of common or useful Commodore 64 commands. Since the C-64’s built in operating system is more of a combination command line/Basic interpreter, it takes some getting used to if you didn’t grow up with it.
These commands assume a stock, unmodified C-64, freshly powered on. Many fast-load cartridges, ROM replacements, or so-called DOS wedge programs include shortcuts for these commands. But these commands work on any C-64 with a disk drive.
Continue reading Common Commodore 64 commands
Commodore’s 1541-II disk drive has a pair of DIP switches on the back to let you change its device number. DOS and Windows computers use drive letters to address its disk drives (usually A: and B:). Commodore used the numbers 8-11 to address them. Here’s how to set the 1541-II DIP switches so you can run more than one drive.
Continue reading Commodore 1541-II DIP switches
What’s the purpose of the scroll lock key? What does the scroll lock key do? With modern windowing operating systems we don’t need it very often, but it solved a very real problem in the days of DOS.
Continue reading What does the scroll lock key do?
Commodore’s rise and fall are legendary, at least to people like me who grew up using their computers. Putting numbers to that rise and fall was more difficult. I dug up the Commodore financial history from 1978-1994 to help quantify that spectacular rise and fall. Continue reading Commodore financial history, 1978-1994
Steve Jobs was aware of the Amiga. He didn’t think much of it. Even still, Steve Jobs and the Amiga did have some connections.
Jobs’ opinion of the Commodore PET made bigger headlines after he died, but Jobs had an opinion about the Amiga, too. Both pre- and post-Commodore Amiga.
Continue reading Steve Jobs and the Amiga
The dark tan 1541 is the most common C-64 peripheral in existence. Its counterpart for the VIC-20, which looks exactly like it at first glance, is pretty rare. The 1540 vs. 1541 is a fairly common topic among Commodore enthusiasts.
Continue reading Commodore 1540 vs. 1541
The Amiga had a command line, or CLI. It was a rather powerful CLI, especially for its time. But there are a number of differences between AmigaDOS and other operating systems you may be familiar with. These are the common AmigaDOS commands and their equivalents from other operating systems like DOS, Windows, Unix or Linux.
I’ve never seen a primer that relates or cross-references Amiga commands to Windows and Unix. So I wrote one. I hope it helps you understand your Amiga better. Because Amiga is sometimes like Windows and sometimes it’s like Unix, I think it might. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn something you didn’t know about Windows or Unix too.
Continue reading Common AmigaDOS commands
Did Microsoft steal DOS from CP/M? There’s $100,000 in it for you if you can prove they did.
Digital forensics consultant Bob Zeidman still says no. I’ve written about him before. But the rumors persist, hence the reward. So how would one go about claiming it?
Start with what we know.
Continue reading Did Microsoft steal DOS from CP/M?
Gary Kildall’s memoirs are legendary vaporware. Until now. Today, the Computer History Museum released 79 pages of it. What was released today isn’t the whole manuscript. But it’s better than what we had yesterday.
Gary Kildall is one of the unsung heroes of early computing. As such, he’s one of my favorite people to write about.
Late in his life, he started to write a memoir. I’ve only had a chance to read parts of the first two chapters, but they explain the man and his motives. It’s not the whole manuscript, and some people aren’t happy about that. But it’s better than what we had yesterday.
Most of what exists of computing history came from the victors’ point of view. Gary Kildall wasn’t one of the winners. But without his contributions, the winners wouldn’t have had much to build on.
Maybe someday Gary Kildall will get his due. Releasing his story in his own words is a start.
Undoubtedly I will have more to say after I read all 79 pages myself. But this release is too important not to mention.