Yet another server migration

On Thursday, November 12, 2020, I migrated to a new host. My old host was a bit too far behind on some of the major software required to run current WordPress builds correctly. I decided that building a new server and migrating my 20+ years of content to it was my best option. It should … Read more

MOS 6522 replacement

MOS 6522 replacement

One question that comes up pretty frequently among vintage computer enthusiasts is what to use as a MOS 6522 replacement. Commodore used this chip extensively, but so did others. There are suitable replacements in the form of second-source 65c22 chips, but not all of them work. Here’s what to use.

Commodore went out of business in 1994, and started winding down its chip production as early as 1992. But some of its designs were available through second sources, and the 6522 was one of them.

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Hayes compatible modem: What it means

Hayes compatible modem

A lot of software advertises itself as working with a Hayes or Hayes compatible modem. What does that mean? And what’s Hayes? It’s a de facto standard named after a defunct maker of modems. Let’s talk about why Hayes was important. It was so important, you can even still buy a USB Hayes compatible modem for legacy applications today.

Hayes introduced a command set that started with the letters AT, for ATtention. Other makers adopted this command set and cloned the Hayes modem to various degrees, leading to the terminology of a Hayes compatible modem.

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Broadcom vs Intel NIC

Broadcom vs Intel NIC

My son was having trouble with the Realtek network card in his PC. The question was what to replace it with. Well, it wasn’t going to be another Realtek-based card. Should I get a Broadcom? Or an Intel? Let’s look at the pros and cons of a Broadcom vs Intel NIC.

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Monitor stand for retro computers

monitor stand for retro computers

In the 80s, when all-in one computers like the Amiga 500, Apple IIc, Atari 520 and 1040ST, and Tandy 1000EX and HX were popular, monitor stands helped us keep our systems organized. It’s hard to find a monitor stand from the period now, but there’s an acceptable modern substitute, or you can make your own. If you make your own, you can make it suitable for 8-bit systems as well, letting you stack your disk drives next to a monitor with the system unit underneath.

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Amiga Bridgeboard: The PC compatibility option

Amiga Bridgeboard

A photo of someone’s newly acquired Amiga 2000 turned up on a vintage computing forum recently. It was sporting two 3.5″ drives, but also had a Chinon 5.25″ drive in its lower bay. Someone asked what the 5.25-inch drive was for. I responded it’s a good sign the system has an Amiga Bridgeboard in it. The Bridgeboard turns a big-box Amiga like a 2000 into an odd hybrid Amiga-PC clone.

First released in 1987, the Amiga Bridgeboard consisted of most of an IBM PC clone on a single full-length card. It had its own ISA bus, but it was also able to access some Amiga functionality, not just to provide IO but also to provide ways to share data between the two systems.

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Why are some books so cheap on Amazon?

why are some books so cheap on Amazon

One question I get a lot, as a former Amazon bookseller, is why some books are so cheap on Amazon. Namely, how can books sell for a penny? And why do they sell that cheap? I can tell you nobody wants to make a living selling books for a penny, but it is possible to do so and turn a profit, if a seller is careful and the market conditions are right. Here’s how they do it.

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My plank wood ceiling

plank wood ceiling

I have a combination home office/man cave that I work out of. It’s a basement room the previous owner never finished. I fixed some mistakes and adapted it to my own needs. One thing it always lacked was a ceiling. After weighing my options, I decided to use wood planks. Call it rustic. Call it cheapo. Or whatever else you want. Rustic planks are in now, and for a do-it-yourselfer, planks offer a compelling option.

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GFCI vs AFCI

GFCI vs AFCI

GFCI and AFCI are both safety measures, but they are distinct and not interchangeable. Let’s compare and contract GFCI vs AFCI so you can be sure you’re getting the right thing.

If you don’t know, buying combination GFCI/AFCI outlets or breakers is an option, and it’s not a bad idea. But if you can’t afford the higher price for a combo unit, or want to maximize convenience, knowing GFCI vs AFCI is important so you get the right safety feature for your application.

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