Bobson Dugnutt: The man, the meme, the legend

Bobson Dugnutt: The man, the meme, the legend

Bobson Dugnutt was a fictional baseball player in the 1994 console game Fighting Baseball, the Japanese version of MLBPA baseball published by EA. He was a bench player for the Milwaukee franchise, a backup outfielder and pinch hitter.

Lack of a license to use the real names of baseball players led to the game designers using some creativity to come up with believable-sounding names. Bobson Dugnutt was the most absurd name in the meme inspired by the game.

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Repair damaged PCB traces with wire

Repair damaged PCB traces with wire

I had a 286 motherboard from the late 1980s with battery damage. A leaky battery corroded two traces completely through, severing them and rendering the board inoperable. Here’s how I repaired the damaged PCB traces with wire.

Fixing broken traces is a bit of a lost art, because it’s easier to just swap the board. But when the board is rare and/or expensive, it makes sense to repair the broken traces instead. These types of repairs can be a bit intimidating, but they’re easier than replacing a chip. And then you’ve saved a scarce board from oblivion.

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Monitor for Commodore 64

Monitor for Commodore 64

What was the most popular Commodore 64 monitor? What’s the best one today? Those aren’t quite as straightforward questions as they might seem. While there are a small number of clear-cut favorites, the truth is there were lots of different monitors C-64 users used in the 80s. And there are lots of options today too.

The “proper,” period-correct monitor for a Commodore 64 is the brown 1701 or 1702 for the breadbin-style C-64, or the beige 1802 for the streamlined C-64C. But there were lots of other third-party monitors, and many people used television sets.

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How to pronounce GIF: JIF or GIF?

How to pronounce GIF: JIF or GIF?

I thought the debate ended when the file format went obsolete, but then GIF came back as an animated file format. And with it came the argument of how to pronounce GIF. Is it JIF or GIF?

Steve White, the inventor of the file format, pronounces it JIF, and in the 80s, so did just about everyone else. In the mid 90s, pronouncing it like GIFT without the “T” became common, the logic being that the “G” stands for “Graphics,” not “Jraphics.”

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Extend case panel connectors easily and cheaply

Extend case panel connectors easily and cheaply

Sometimes when you’re fitting a motherboard into a case, especially an aftermarket board into a name-brand case, the connectors for the panel LEDs and switches don’t match up with the board. You can usually rewire it fairly easily, but extending them means splicing the wires. But there’s an easier solution, and it’s cheap. Here’s how to rewire or extend case front panel connectors with plug-in connectors.

I ran into this on my IBM PC/AT. Its HDD connector wasn’t long enough to reach an ISA IDE card because it was designed for a full-length card. And the LED for the power light didn’t reach either. The problem is less rare with recent hardware, but not non-existent.

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How to open a Commodore 64 or VIC-20

How to open a Commodore 64 or VIC-20

The original breadbin-style Commodore 64 and VIC-20 are designed to be easy to open while keeping production cost reasonably low. But they made the design so easy it’s hard. Worse yet, due to the age of the plastics, if you open one today the way Commodore intended, you can damage it. So here’s how to open a Commodore 64 or VIC-20. Let’s also talk about how to fix one if you damage the case when opening it.

The breadbin-style 64 and VIC-20 have three large L-shaped tabs on the back that originally behaved like pivots or hinges. If you try to use them like a hinge today, you’ll probably hear plastic popping, so the trick is to open the case slightly, then pull the top forward.

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How to hook up a Super Nintendo

How to hook up a Super Nintendo

Setting up a Super Nintendo can get tricky if you can’t find all of the cables. Cables from some other Nintendo consoles will work, but not always. Plus, TV sets have changed a lot since the 1990s, and that makes it much more difficult. HDTVs don’t necessarily have the same options as vintage TVs. So here’s how to hook up a Super Nintendo.

The Super Nintendo was really designed to use composite video or S-Video, like a VCR. It shares the same square connector with many other Nintendo consoles, but a cable to use the Wii with HDMI, for example, doesn’t work on an SNES. The SNES requires a different, more expensive converter for HDMI.

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Why Atari failed

Why Atari failed

Atari was on top of the world in 1982, so much so that the movie Blade Runner featured it as a dominant company in 2049. But it fell hard and fast, and several times. Here’s why Atari failed and didn’t maintain world dominance for 80 years like we once expected.

Atari’s failure happened on two fronts, the computer market and the game console market. Atari was an early pioneer in both, but its upstart competitors ultimately understood both markets better. But in all fairness, not all of the companies that understood the market better survived either.

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How to hook up a Nintendo 64

How to hook up a Nintendo 64

Setting up a Nintendo 64 wasn’t supposed to be hard, but it can get tricky if you can’t find all of the cables. Cables from some other Nintendo consoles will work, but not always. Plus, TV sets have changed a lot since the 1990s, so an HDTV won’t have the same options as an older TV, which makes it much more difficult. So here’s how to hook up a Nintendo 64.

The Nintendo 64 was really designed to use composite video, like a VCR. It shares the same square connector with many other Nintendo consoles, but a cable to use the Wii with HDMI, for example, doesn’t work on an N64. The N64 requires a different, more expensive converter for HDMI.

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