I defiantly celebrated the 25th anniversary of Windows 95 by buying myself an Amiga 500. That relic from 1987 did everything Windows 95 did, and it ran an operating system that first appeared on the market 10 years before Windows 95. It was easily 10 years ahead of its time. But it flopped. Here’s why Amiga failed.
There wasn’t any single thing that brought Amiga and its parent company, Commodore, down. If anything, the Amiga is a cautionary tale of how good engineering won’t save you if you get everything else wrong.
The Commodore 1570 disk drive was an odd, short-lived product from Commodore in 1985. Like many things Commodore did that year, it solved an inventory problem for them, but can leave people scratching their heads today.
The Commodore 1570 looks like a mashup between the 1541 and 1571 drives, and that’s exactly what it is. It’s a fast 1541 designed for the Commodore 128.
AST Research was a high-flying brand in the early 1990s, but faded in the second half, making it a somewhat obscure 1990s computer brand. Their computers had a good following in the first half of the decade and they were generally high quality. But financial problems sunk the company in 1999 and an effort to revive the brand failed in 2001.
AST Research shifted from making add-on cards in the 1980s to making entire PCs in the 1990s, but as PCs shifted to commodity parts under price pressure, AST failed to adapt. This led to a rapid decline in market share and the once-popular mass market PC brand disappeared from store shelves.
I got an SDrive Max for my Atari 800 and I really like it. It took a little doing to get it working for me. Hopefully you won’t have the same troubles I did. If you are, hopefully what helped me will help you. Let’s take a look at the Atari SDrive Max and what it does for you.
SDrive Max is a modern storage solution for vintage Atari 8-bit computers that uses SD cards. By storing images on the card, the Atari can boot off the image as if it were a floppy drive.
Sometimes when you’re working on a project, you have to drill a hole to a certain depth, and you don’t want to go completely through your workpiece. How do you not drill too deep? Here’s how.
To not drill too deep, you need to stop the drill from going any further than you want. You can use something called a drill stop to do this, or you can improvise your own with stuff you probably have in your shop.
Rigid foam insulation board claims to be easy to cut. It says right on the board, usually. But when someone saw me doing that in the Home Depot parking lot, he said, “You’re a braver soul than me!” But if you know my trick, it’s not hard. Here’s how to cut rigid foam insulation board, with simple hand tools, and minimal mess. The best way to cut foam board even allows you to cut it right in the Home Depot parking lot, so the board will fit in a small SUV.
Thin foam board will cut with just a utility knife, but you can easily cut the thicker 2-inch boards, even with just simple tools.
The Amiga 1080 monitor was the original monitor Commodore supplied with the Amiga 1000 in 1985. It’s one of only two monitors that featured the Amiga branding with the Amiga checkmark logo. Its picture quality is very good, but the monitor sometimes behaves oddly. You can fix the odd behavior.
I was pushing some old data through an API at work when I received a weird error message. The API coughed up a hairball. It responded that I had u200b at position 154, and if I needed that character, I’d have to encode it. But I looked at position 154 and it was a number. Nothing weird. So what’s u200b, why does a problematic character exist, and how do you clean it up?
U200b is a Unicode non-printing space. It’s meant to assist typographers in doing page layouts, and it’s extremely useful in certain languages that don’t use the Roman alphabet. But those of us who use the Roman alphabet may go a lifetime without needing it.
Atarisoft was a short-lived publishing venture from Atari, makers of the iconic 2600 game console and 800/XE/XL line of 8-bit computers. As consumer interest shifted from game consoles to computers, Atari sought to bolster its fortunes by publishing software for those computers. The results were mixed.
Atarisoft allowed Atari to make some short-term profits, but in the long run it may have hurt sales of their own computers. The titles Atarisoft published had been exclusive to Atari systems, so publishing them for other systems robbed Atari of system exclusives.
These kinds of blog posts have a way of coming back and biting me, but I’ll write it anyway. Are old Tandy computers worth anything? The answer, of course, is they are. But how much they are worth depends on what the computer is, whether it works, and how complete it is.