LHA file format

LHA file format

LHA was a compression algorithm popular in the early 1990s, especially on Amiga computers. It was similar in concept to Zip on PCs, but was slightly more efficient. Amiga software was frequently distributed in LHA file format.

Most modern PC file decompressors, such as 7zip and WinRAR, can extract the LHA file format. If you need to extract an LHA file on an Amiga or an emulator, the most popular LHA utility was called LhA, written by Stefan Boberg.

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Printers for vintage computers

Printers for vintage computers

For many vintage computer enthusiasts, printing is a curiosity. But it can be nice to be able to print from a vintage machine. And there are relatively modern printers that work with vintage computers without the hassle of finding ribbons. The key is to find a laser printer that can emulate older Epson FX-series dot matrix printers. This takes some legwork and some research, but it’s doable.

Some people consider using a modern LCD cheating, but I don’t think using a laser printer is. Laser printers existed in the 1980s. They were just expensive. This means you can team up your vintage computer with a compatible laser printer to build what would have been a dream outfit when your retro computer was new.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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