What is a narrow gauge railroad?

What is a narrow gauge railroad?

What is a narrow gauge railroad? If you’re not a train enthusiast, or even if you are, you may be a bit unclear on this term even if you hear it all the time. Let’s talk about narrow gauge, why it exists, and why hobbyists like to model narrow gauge instead of standard gauge trains like the ones you probably see every day.

Narrow gauge railroads are railroads with a narrower track than the standard 4 feet, 8.5 inches. They typically occur in areas where a full-size train is impractical.

Read more

Build your own Commodore 64 power supply

Build your own Commodore 64 power supply

Hobbyists have been building their own replacement C-64 power supplies for decades. I first talked to someone about it in the mid 1990s, when I was still in college. But no one, to my knowledge, has ever given a step by step build process for a DIY power supply. So I will. Here’s how to build your own Commodore 64 power supply.

All you need to build a DIY C-64 power supply are the two cables you can make or salvage from an original power supply, a 9V transformer, a 5V switching power supply module, a case to put it in, and possibly some bits of wire and wire nuts. The only tools you need are a screwdriver and a multimeter.

Read more

Sears vs Stanley Craftsman tools

Sears vs Stanley Craftsman tools

Did you know there are two lines of Craftsman tools? One is controlled by Sears and the other is controlled by Stanley Black and Decker. When it comes to Sears vs Stanley Craftsman tools, there may be a difference, and it’s certainly confusing. Here’s how this confusion came to be.

In March 2017, Sears sold the Craftsman brand name to Stanley Black and Decker while retaining a license to continue to use the name itself until 2032. This is why you can buy Craftsman tools at Sears, yet find different Craftsman tools at other stores.

Read more

Amiga chip RAM vs fast RAM vs slow RAM

Amiga chip RAM vs fast RAM vs slow RAM

The great thing about Amigas was they had a flat 32-bit memory architecture from day one. Unlike 16-bit DOS PCs, memory was memory–to an extent. Amigas did have three types of memory. So let’s look at Amiga chip RAM vs fast RAM vs slow RAM.

Amiga chip RAM was visible to the CPU as well as the sound and video chips. Fast RAM and slow RAM were not, but fast RAM, which sat higher in the CPU’s address space, could run programs faster than either slow RAM or chip RAM.

Read more

Align a Commodore 1541 disk drive

Align a Commodore 1541 disk drive

This year I set out to put together a working C-64 setup. And it worked great for about a week. Then when I started trying to load a few disks I hadn’t touched since sometime in 1992, my disk drives started protesting. I went from having two working 1541 disk drives to zero, thanks to alignment issues. Here’s how to align a Commodore 1541 disk drive.

Aligning a Commodore 1541 requires an alignment program, an unprotected commercially produced disk that works (Commodore’s Test/Demo disk is ideal), a screw driver, some thread locker, and a Commodore 64. It helps to have moderate mechanical ability and better than average patience. The 1541 was notorious for disk alignment issues, but it’s possible to fix them.

Read more

Marx 994 locomotive

Marx 994 locomotive

The Marx 994 was Marx’s largest tin-bodied locomotive. It dates to 1952. It wasn’t made for very long, but thanks to its size, collectors still like the Marx 994 locomotive.

Marx released the 994 in 1950 to compete with Unique Art, a rival maker of tin toys who had entered the market in 1949. Unique’s trains were priced like Marx’s and ran on the same O gauge track but were slightly larger, which made them appear to be a better value. Marx countered by introducing its own line of trains in a similar size.

Read more

The Golden Circle and computers

The Golden Circle and computers

Why are there two standards for computers, and why do Apple computers enjoy a cult following while PCs seem bland and boring and offer nothing but a low price? I think Simon Sinek’s theory of the Golden Circle applies to computer marketing and provides a good explanation.

Apple marketing starts with why they build things, proceeds to how they build them, and ends with what they are. PC marketing generally emphasizes compatibility and price, which leaves you vulnerable to someone beating you on price, and doesn’t build a following.

Read more

Should I install updates on my computer?

Should I install updates on my computer?

I was talking with an insurance adjuster when he asked me what I do for a living. I explained that I help companies make sure they’re doing a good enough job of updating their computers. That visibly disturbed him. “So should I install updates on my computer or not?” he asked.

Security experts agree that installing updates on your computer is one of the top three things, if not the most important thing, you can do to protect your security and privacy. It’s also one of the easiest, and the most practical thing home users can do.

Read more

Pi1541 and fast load cartridges

Pi1541 and fast load cartridges

This spring I bought myself a couple of things: a Raspberry Pi, so I could build a Pi1541, and an Epyx Fast Load cartridge. I didn’t have a Pi1541 as a kid of course, and I didn’t have a fast load cartridge either, but I wanted to speed up my new Pi1541. Imagine my disappointment when my two new toys didn’t work together. Here’s how to make the Pi1541 and fast load cartridges play nice together.

By default, the mode the Pi1541 boots into isn’t compatible with fast load cartridges. You have to enable an option to load the file browser off a disk image called FB.D64, and then the two devices work together the way you probably intended.

Read more

What is Roku TV?

What is Roku TV?

What is Roku TV? It’s a smart TV with Roku hardware built in, so you don’t need a separate Roku box to stream. Should you buy one? It depends.

A Roku TV is a smart TV with the convenience of Roku hardware built in, making it a good all-in-one streaming solution. But the downside is it loses usefulness once the built-in hardware goes obsolete.

Read more

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux