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What is the value of a $40 power supply?

What is the value of a $40 power supply? To the guy who built it, that may be $20 in parts and some labor, plus the time to research the necessary parts and the recognition of the need for the product in the first place.  What about when he ships out the wrong power supply and then exchanges it, but through an eBay quirk the buyer winds up not paying for anything?   One of the first computers I touched with a GUI was my grandfather's Atari 520ST some 30 or-so years ago.  After his retirement

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Powershell to set clock on SonyEricsson phone via Bluetooth

SonyEricsson's PC Suite had a nice feature which would synchronize your phone's clock to your PC's clock when establishing a connection. I found more often than not my frequently-synchronized computer time differed by a minute or more from the Cingular/AT&T network time. (quick bitching about Sony) Since PC Companion no longer synchronizes my phone's clock with my PC, using the SonyEricsson AT Commands reference guide I wrote a Powershell script to take up the slack. The script open

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Bloody "Life Hacks"

I can be an asshole and sometimes a bit crotchety. It was a relief, therefore, to find that I am not the only one who finds the concept of "life hacks" cringe-worthy and often aggravating, if only for misusing the word "hack." You might come across some viral new "life hack" and think, "nothing special about that," since you or someone or some group of people you know have done this particularly amazing thing forever.   The latest one which grabbed me the wrong way was the whole "eating your h

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Florida State vs. Clemson: The Sleeper Must Awaken

I have held season tickets since earning my Criminology degree at Florida State University (FSU.) Before then I attended games as a student, and even before I was a student I attended games with friends who were students.   One thing to which we held firm was we always showed up on time for kick-off and we never left early. Of course, in the early days there was little reason to leave early unless, for pity's sake, you simply could not stomach watching our boys on the field win the game by e

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Spending some time with the THEC64 Mini

I pre-ordered my The C64 Mini from WalMart and it arrived on October 9, which I picked up a mere six hours before the store closed in preparation for Hurricane Michael which would arrive the next day. As a result, my time with the new goody was pushed back over a week.   But I have now had a chance to spend a few hours every day or so for the past week and a-half and am happy to present the results of my fun and hard work putting this all together.         (User @wongojack has a great po

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Resolutions for 2018?

How about 800x600? HAHAHAHAHA   No, but seriously. I will refrain from elaborating on my principle and philosophic aversion to New Year Resolutions (which nearly got me into trouble in third grade,) instead I want to make a short plan for 2018.   First part of my plan is to finally buckle down on my conversion of Arkanoid for the TI-99/4A. I have put a ton of work into the assets so not finishing the game will be a disastrous waste and let-down.   Secondly, I started on a project last y

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The Bad Black 99/4A Keyboard

The beige model of the TI-99/4A usually has the oft-maligned post action keyboard with a membrane contact system contained within which is prone to failure. In my first blog post I was both happy and disappointed to find a couple of variants of the beige keyboard which had, respectively, the spring-leaf style contact with full square action and a non-Mitsumi model with the hated membrane contact system.   Generally the black keyboards are the full square action with spring-lead contacts. I a

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Dell UltraSharp 2007FPb quick comparisons to 2001FP

I received the UltraSharp 2007FPb this week and tried it with both my Sega Nomad and TI-99/4A. There are some significant differences to the UltraSharp 2001FP which I covered before. Most importantly, as with the 2001FP the 2007FPb will sync properly to a 240p signal, though also samples it as a 480i signal.   Dell moved the power supply into the monitor so it only requires the single simple IEC power cable. It has the same inputs and outputs as the 2001FP with some additional features, inc

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Spending some time with the Sega Genesis Flashback

Having an affinity for and owning Sega Genesis and Genesis 2 consoles, I found myself intrigued by AtGames' new Sega Genesis Flashback. I have experience with AtGames' Sega Genesis Classic and Portable which I found lacking to some degree though usable, but the promises of an updated emulation engine and built-in HDMI were a draw which I could not resist. I have spent some time since the November 10 release to give it a whirl and I am far more satisfied than most early reviewers.   Leading u

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Dell UltraSharp 2001FP composite and S-Video capable monitor

This monitor sports composite and S-Video inputs in addition to the standard DVI and SVGA. It works well with the TI-99/4A with some minor limitations. I took a little time to figure out how to get the best picture from the TI and give some information on what to expect.     In 2006 I purchased two Dell UltraSharp 2001FP 20.1 inch monitors for the home office. Notably, these monitors not only have DVI and VGA inputs meaning I could switch between my Amiga 4000 and my Windows PC, but also c

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Minor Case Differences Between TI-99/4A Beige "QI" and Standard

I needed to swap around parts to build a beige TI-99/4A console using a standard main-board, "QI" power supply, and a keyboard which does not stick. The original standard board came in another beige console which at one point in its life lived in a smoking household, leaving the case stained yellow by, and with a sticky layer of, nicotine, and the keyboard suffering from the same ailments -- sadly as it is not one of the crappy post-and-membrane types usually found in the in the beige consoles.

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SuperSketch Tracing Pack for TI and ColecoVision

I do not have the time available yet to jump back into the forums as I have been cleaning up my home-office and integrating my former state office. Part of the process involves archiving items in storage for long-term safe-keeping.   While I am not certain how available these are, I figured mine are in good enough condition to go ahead and scan up.   Included are 300dpi PDF and black-and-white TIFF† scans of both the beginner pack included in an envelope in the box, and the loose quick refe

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"Bruce Lee" (C64) in TI-99 ISR format

After hearing a couple of remixes of "Bruce Lee" from the Commodore 64, I was compelled (distracted?) to make a quick conversion and my own little remix (not yet completed,) both in TI-99 ISR format. This particular piece is a good candidate for its own special player, being that the format of the song is roughly A-B-B-C-D-D-C-(E-F-G)-H. Nothing fancy in terms of a player, just one that can do repeats and patterns.   Original Commodore 64 SID: Bruce_Lee.sid Bruce_Lee(SID).mp3   I have pr

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Xevious start and in-game music for TI-99

I needed a short example to try out some of my Rexx script transforms. The main thing this demonstrates is taking a bass-line in tone channel three and changing it into a periodic noise bass-line. The transform command is "nb" so the files are named accordingly.   The script is still a work-in-progress missing some functions and sloppy as hell so I will not be showing it off just yet. Plus there is a major bug in the remove transform which removes a tone from a list, which instead winds up

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Arranging "Monty on the Run" in a TI-99/4A ISR Sound List

Vorticon asked me to provide the sound effects for his TI conversion of . I started working on them and at the same time picked back up on Rasmus' challenge to me to arrange "Monty on the Run." I have been bouncing between Jetpac and Monty, as well as my A/Rexx script to manipulate ISR sound list binaries. Tonight I was playing with the Monty bass-line, over-laying it with a SIDPlay export (Monty_on_the_Run.mp3) and I thought I would share part of my process for doing my conversions. It is

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A/Rexx PoC: using a compound variable as both associative and indexed

Actually, I am not really certain what to call what I am doing here. Essentially, I need a table of values which can be referenced both by number (ordinal) and the value itself (associative.)   I reach back to the TI-99 ISR (interrupt service routine) sound lists for a practical example. I want to create a transform which will increase or decrease tone values by semitones or octaves (12 semitones.) To do that, I have to load the channel sound command, which consists of two bytes, from the l

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Dumping 99/4A ISR sound list binaries

I have been working on some Rexx scripts to manipulate sound list binary files exported from Rasmus' soundlistripper. I ran into a few problems here and there, and found these problems were mostly due to my experience in ARexx, Amiga REXX, which has some differences compared to various Rexx interpreters. To demonstrate my lacking in "standard" Rexx I went back to basics and wrote a simple dump program.   This is also where the statement OPTIONS AREXX_BIFS AREXX_SEMANTICS comes into play.  

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The good beige 99/4A keyboard

After alternating between beating and gingerly pressing on my beige 99/4A's God-awful membrane-switched keyboard to obtain desired results -- a key on-screen with no repeats -- I was finally able to locate the leaf-switched type with real beige keys. This was a Radio Shack special I found on eBay and it cost me around $12 shipped.   Originally, I had all of the right hallmarks if looking at the bottom of the keyboard (note, not by looking through the bottom of the console, as the keyboard bot

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