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About Turbo-Torch

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  • Birthday 06/06/1970

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  1. Update for anyone that runs into a similar problem... I picked up another Odyssey 2 at a local video game store for $34 and it works fine. I removed the 8244 GPU from my old O2 and put it in the new working unit and the problem followed it. Definitely a partially failed GPU. Anyone have a working 8244 kicking around that they'd let go for a reasonable price?
  2. Odd issue. My O2 boots up to a gray background and all black background games play in gray. If I play UFO, any gray colored UFOs are invisible. If I jump pins 11 and 12 on IC4, I get normal black backgrounds, but light gray object like UFOs are still invisible. All other colors seem fine. I swapped out IC4 74LS00N with one I had on hand and it didn't make a difference. Should I suspect anything other than the 8244 GPU at this point? And if that is the cause, are they unobtainium? I assume the 8245 is PAL (not that it would be any easier to find).
  3. Maybe turn the knob and find out?
  4. It was slow on the native 386 20mhz and not what I'd consider playable. Although, I didn't try to shrink down the view; I'll have to give that a try. I just installed it on my other P70 which has the same AOX board and memory, except the AOX was upgraded with a Intel Overdrive 486 DX4 100mhz (not 75 as I thought). Plays excellent with no lag at full screen which is cool for a 1988 PC.
  5. It has two slots, one 32 bit and one 16 bit. The AOX is using the 32 bit and I still have the 16 open. I downloaded Doom 1.9 to my current desktop PC and then copied the files to floppies using a 3.5" usb drive. I was able to use those floppies on the P70 and installed Doom. Doesn't work too well. Running on the AOX, I can get all the way to the start screen but it crashes as soon as soon as I start the game. If I boot without the AOX to the original 386, it starts and plays fine, but it's not very fast. And the monochrome doesn't look as good as I thought it would lol. I'll have to try messing with the config.sys settings or try a different version of Doom.
  6. It uses an ESDI hard drive and the expansion slots are Micro Channel. The plasma display is red monochrome but it's like watching a plasma TV, razor sharp contrast and no motion blur. If you plug in a VGA monitor, you have full color and the plasma automatically turns off. The keyboard is one of the best. It was made by Alps and uses plate springs...nice tactile feedback and clacking noise with each key press. The big downside to this system is the Micro Channel slots. The MCA Sound Blaster or ChipChat cards are incredibly rare and expensive...like in the $1,000 range when they turn up. I see TexElec has an Adlib compatible card called Resound for $60 that I'm thinking of trying. Unfortunately no game port though. I think Doom would look bad ass on that red display. I'm gonna have to give that at try.
  7. I have a 1988 IBM P70 that uses DOS 6.22. This unit can run in two different modes. It's IBM's highest spec P70 with the 20mhz 386, math coprocessor, 8mb of ram and 120mb hard drive. It uses a VGA red gas plasma display, 1.44mb floppy and full size keyboard. These were crazy specs for 1988, and more impressive is that it's a portable the size of a large briefcase. It also has a VGA port on the back so you can use a normal color VGA monitor. It has a Kingston AOX MicroMaster upgrade board using one Micro Channel slot. That brings it up to a 486 with 64mb of ram. That AOX board has also been upgraded with a Kingston 5x86 133mhz Turbo Chip. At startup I can press O to boot to its native 386 configuration or let it boot to the AOX 5x86 configuration. I also have another twin of this, but with a 486 75mhz CPU.
  8. First computer to show up in my shitty private Catholic school was a single Commodore 64 with a color monitor. I was in 8th grade, so this was 1983. That one computer got its very own private classroom. The day it arrived, each class (1st to 8th) got to visit and view it in awe as a special event. No one was ever allowed to actually touch the damn thing and we were constantly reminded how lucky we were to have it. The upper grades had "computer classes" in that room where we'd get to watch the psychotic bitch 7th grade teacher try and do things with it. By that time, I already had my Model III upgraded with full 48K, an RS232, a DC-Modem I and was playing Black Dragon on Compuserve. 1984 was the start 9th grade at my awesome public high school. Orientation was about 2 weeks before school started and we were allowed to roam around and explore. I remember walking into one classroom and there were DOZENS of Model III systems. Go around a corner into another room and it was full of real IBMs with amber monitors! I never did have a class with the Model IIIs, but I did have Pascal programming and Word Processing on the IBMs. The XTs were upgraded to AT models with hard drives and color monitors by my junior year. The teachers were also phenomenal, they knew the systems and software inside and out. Now going off topic, that Catholic grade school was a like a business that thought it was so big it couldn't fail (sort of like Atari in its heyday). If one kid left, there was a replacement the next day because there was a waiting line to get in. 7 masses on the weekend and each was a full house. Big fund raising carnival every July that took over part of the downtown area. Insane tuition cost. The cash was rolling in and they could do no wrong! Yet, we had senile nuns and mentally disturbed women teachers who couldn't hack it in a real school. Some of our text books were literally from the 50s and 60s. Our history books didn't include anything about Vietnam or the moon landing, because neither happened yet. The playground was a bare asphalt parking lot, not so much as one swingset. Then to get one cheap ass computer and told how lucky we were. Karma caught up. After 10 years my generation was starting families and no one in the right mind would send their kids there. Attendance dropped so bad in the mid 90s, they started combining 3 grades in one room. Today, one classroom (out of over 20) is used as a preschool and that's it...about 98% of the school is vacant. They often hire my company to do work and I love taking photos. It now looks like something out of a Nightmare on Elm Street movie mixed with Chernobyl. Garbage cans collecting water from the leaking roof, ceilings falling in along with ancient artifacts and writing on chalkboards left from nearly 2 decades ago. The Commodore sat to the right of the creepy purple desk/shrine thing. Hell, it might even be in that closet lol.
  9. The 5200 sticks are not free floating, they are self centering in a half ass way with the rubber boots, which makes things even worse. When brand new, they would return to center. After a few hours of use, the boots breaks in and you get a partial return to center from whatever direction the stick was pushed. Atari could have done much better had they used a spring return setup like on the Kraft PC joysticks. And even better if they used latches to unlock the self centering and allow free floating on X or Y axis. Lol! You don't even need to look at them. Just being in earth's atmosphere causes the carbon dots to lose conductivity over several weeks. Back in the 90s I painted the dots with the copper resin used in an automotive rear window defogger repair kit. It worked great for several years but eventually broke down. I then did the foil dots and haven't had to take a controller apart in probably 20 years.
  10. No reason it shouldn't work if it's oriented correctly. https://www.ebay.com/itm/164211732622?hash=item263bc8308e: Depending on where you're located, it could take a while to get, but Ian is the best when it comes to TRS-80.
  11. Windows XP still had drivers that supported my Star NX 1000 which was made in the 80s. It printed out everything from tax forms to web pages nicely. I bet it's doable if you find a printer that has Epson or IBM compatible modes. Most from mid 80s supported both and were selectable with dip switches.
  12. My first printer was the DMP-110. I saved forever and bought it when it was on sale for $299.00. It was a love/hate thing from day one. It had buffer memory, boasted some sort of dual hammer print head and promised the world with hi-res graphics, high quality word processor mode, many print densities, insanely small micro-font and even cursive. The printer itself looked incredibly cool...aerodynamic, light beige with a smoke tinted cover. Quite possibly the best looking printer ever made. Reality was the print quality did not live up to the hype. I took it back under warranty a few times, they made adjustments and eventually told me that's as good as an inexpensive printer gets. I will say it did deliver on all the features. Mirco-font was cool, you practically need a magnifying glass to read it. In high school, they started giving us fancy computer generated report cards with multiple fonts and line graphics. I was able to mimic it using Scripsit on my Model III and made some new report cards with improved grades for two close friends who would have otherwise had their asses kicked and been grounded. Instead of keeping it a secret, word got out quick. I made and saved a template which allowed me to make a new card in about 5 minutes with teachers' names, room #s, previous grades and the new requested grades. They were really spot on good. I was only charging $10 for a new card but would bring in between $300 to $400 during each report card week. On report card day, my street looked like April 15th at a tax preparers office. lol Following year, another kid decided to muscle in on my business and his cards looked like absolute shit. Dude got busted and suspended for a week! The school started using a notary type stamp and alerted parents to look for it. That scared the hell out of me and I was done. And all the way to graduation, I thought it might come back to bite me, but it never did. Till today I wonder what happened when some of those kids tried to get into college and their transcripts didn't come close to matching up with what they brought home to mom and dad. So yeah, that printer has some fond memories attached to it and I still have it. Ribbons are very rare and it shares them with one obscure Commodore printer. I have quite a few new sealed ribbons, which of course are all dried out, but are easy to re-ink with a roll-on bottle thing from Staples. Several years ago I picked up a spare Model III on Craigslist for $25. The guy also gave me a DMP-100 with it and a ton of fan-fold paper. The computer and printer looked like they'd never been used and work great. The 100 actually has better print quality than the 110 imo. I also like that it's battleship gray and matches the Model III.
  13. The 130XE never got much love due to the hassles of using the SIO2PC cable I built back in the 90s. SDrive-Max just arrived and I have to say it's really slick for only $60 bucks! This is up there with my Harmony Encore and FreHD. SD storage devices are the best thing to ever happen to this hobby.
  14. That's a good question. I've never seen any hacks to use them outside of the 2600. The 2600 had quite a few edutainment games that used them. They even evolved into kid friendly versions later on along with the single keyboard that was included with Star Raiders. My original keyboards came as a pack in with BASIC Programming. I'm probably one of very few people who thought it was a cool setup and spent quite a bit of time typing in the BASIC programs in the manual. Even the overlays were neat along with the way each keyboard latched together to form one keyboard. BASIC Programming gets ripped on a lot, but it worked and it had to take a genius to pull something like that off on a 2600.
  15. This is for classic computers. If you bring in failed/useless add-ons for game consoles, the list will become endless. The keyboard controllers get a pass as they were mainly used with the BASIC Programming cartridge which sort of made the 2600 a computer.
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