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Everything posted by Turbo-Torch

  1. The acoustic couplers were a thing from '78 to maybe '82 at the latest. There was no shortage of wild looking phones in the 70s, so the handsets were not all the same. People didn't hesitate to save money and add style to their home by purchasing their own phone and sending back their rented phones to Ma Bell. And like I already said, if you needed to use an acoustic, odds were good there was still a Princess or Western Electric somewhere in the household. If the year was 1977 and you just brought home your brand new TRS-80 Model I and didn't have a phone with a standard handset to use with your new acoustic coupler (not really sure what or who you'd be dialing into), you could head back to Radio Shack and pick up a brand new Western Electric style phone for $34.95 or a refurbished one for $14.95 catalog #279-371. If you have a landline and want to use an acoustic coupler today just for the thrill of it (and I think that's what you're wanting to do from reading some of your posts), simply buy a real vintage phone. Hit eBay, Craigslist, flea markets, your old neighbor a few doors down and get yourself a Western Electric or Princess style phone for under $20 bucks. If it's not smashed up, odds are it'll work as they were next to indestructible. You'll also need a 4 prong to RJ11 adapter (unless your house is older and still has some of those old style wall jacks). I would also stick with touch tone, rotary dial phones use pulse and some telcos no longer support that. A side hobby of mine is old telephones...they're incredibly cool, everybody loves them and they still make and take phone calls as always. I have a hotline red 1958 Bell Western Electric in my rec room. Been in my family for 62 years and it works perfect. Also have an original 1st year touch tone Mickey Mouse phone in my office. My 80s game room has a period correct high tech looking wall phone called the Fiero (not related to the car). One of my favorites is a cordless phone I got for my birthday in the very early 80s. It's so old, it has a push button keypad, but only dials out in pulse and the base and handset are covered in brown leather. It's made by ITT, is pushing 40 years old and still has a 1/2 mile range to it. That one has some stories attached to it involving police and detectives knocking at my parents' front door.
  2. There was no standard handset. Before anyone even knew what a home computer was, there were trimline phones with the dial inside the handset, tacky French phones that could only be popular in the 70s, phones with squared off handsets, round space age phones, novelty phones... None of those would work with an acoustic coupler. That said, most households had a few Princess and/or Western Electric 500 phones still in use.
  3. Thank you! Works great with my Vectrex now.
  4. Received my Atarivox a few days ago and it works great with my 2600. Today I went to use it with my Vectrex and I can't figure out the DIP switches. The board layout and switch settings don't seem to be the same as in the manual. Default setting in the manual appears to be 123 down and 45 up. Default on mine was 12 down and 345 up. Now if I flip it over so the numbers are upside down, it looks the same as what's illustrated in the manual. If I try to configure VecVox or VecVoice the same way, it shorts out and shuts down my Vectrex. Now if I flip it around and and try again for VecVox, it initializes and but says VecVoice? If I play Yasi, I get no speech. If I put it back to the way it came, it plays fine in my 2600. Is there an updated switch setting for Rev. 2?
  5. Agreed that $10K wasn't much for a business computer. I like thumbing through old catalogs and seeing how quickly a system can hit $50K after adding memory, hard drives, a few terminals and a fast printer. The problem is when you get people who can't discern between the home market and the business world. This just goes back to a similar thread from a while ago when someone inferred that 8088 systems were next to worthless by 1988 because the 386 was released in '87 and you really needed that kind of power to play current games. This was at a time when you were lucky to have a disk drive for your C64 and were king of the school or neighborhood if you had a 8088 based system with 256K. Yup, the 386 systems were out there, but they sure weren't playing video games in people's homes. A Tandy 3000 was $4,300 back then and it was a 286 system. If you wanted a top end Compaq 386, it would set you back about $13K after taxes...nobody was spending the equivalent of $30K in today's money to play Outrun. lol Also, when it came to a home computer's longevity of usefulness, the 80s seemed more like today...you could have a 5 year old XT, C64 or Atari 8 bit and the current software ran on it fine. The fast paced PCs of the 90s sucked. Buy or build a new system and 6 months later there's something with twice the speed, memory and storage for less money that can run programs you can't. I'm glad those days are over. The Toshiba laptop I'm using to type this still gets along fine at 9 years old.
  6. I had those adapter shells back in the 70s and they were probably being sold long before that. AA to D is next to worthless since most anything using D cells will be high current drain...the mAh difference is too great. The C to D adapters were ok and I wish I could still find them, as someone gave me boxes and boxes of Duracell Procell C batteries made for medical equipment.
  7. I'm really trying to figure you out. Do you randomly buy old computers with little to no knowledge about them? When you buy one, do you try to gather the most basic information about them by reading the manuals? The links below took only seconds to find using Google. The first link has pdf downloads to all the manuals you can want for your 100 series computer. The center link is specifically for the drive you're asking about, including schematics. The third link is to Radio Shack's catalogs from back in the day. Open the page to your computer...read what your computer can do, take notice of the very informative fine print specs, check out all the other ads for the accessories that were available, read about all the software that was available. http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/kyocera/index.htm http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/kyocera/potrtdisk.pdf http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/catalog_directory.html It seems you've recently bought a VIC 20, CoCo, Model 100 and an expensive Apple setup. Have you managed to get even one of them working properly? Just a suggestion...maybe buy one system, take your time doing needed maintenance and repairs to get it 100%, then learn how to use it and its peripherals, load programs, enter programs, etc. before moving on to another system. Like I said, just a suggestion. And then when you need a proprietary part like Arcade Shopper's custom built cable at an extremely reasonable $25, it won't seem like it costs a fortune to you. Oh and one other suggestion...when you ask questions and others take the time to answer, you often leave them hanging by never coming back to that thread. An example is the one you started about your fuse popping VIC 20. Maybe a simple thanks or hitting a like button once in a while so that person doesn't feel like they typed into a black hole?
  8. There are still active dial up BBSs. I typically use an old ass 1200 baud modem because it looks cool and there's really no need to go higher. I've used 4800 no problem...that's the highest my favorite terminal program for my Model III supports. Technically the computer will handle up to 9600 and I'm sure my phone lines do too. FAX machines use modems and are still a reality, and no matter what idiots claim, they are still heavily used in the business world.
  9. I considered my 2000 to be about 10% compatible. Anything that required graphics wasn't going to work. Such a shame as it was an insane powerhouse that was years ahead of its time. I bought a corporate model from a local Radio Shack that had every conceivable option from their catalog stuffed in it...hi res 640X400 board (with CM-1 color monitor!) for CAD, 768K extended memory, 8087 math co-processor, internal HD which allowed both floppies to stay in place, a modem, lots of business software, etc. They wanted $100 for all of it, so I figured what the heck...it wasn't even a discontinued model at that time, it ran MSDOS and should blow away my 1000 EX, so how could I go wrong? In comparison, my $600 1000 EX was a toy spec wise compared to the $10,000+ 2000 setup, yet the EX did everything and the 2000 next to nothing. It was like owning a Lamborghini without a steering wheel. I was around 18 at the time and kicked myself for wasting $100 on it. It did run Telix well and I let a friend borrow it (around 1989) so we could team up and play Tradwars 2000 on several local BBSs. One of these days I'm going to get it back from him because I can almost guarantee it's still in his parents' house. It's one of those things I could appreciate a lot more now.
  10. Cocos are rather old technology...I would at least give it 2 days to repair itself.
  11. AKA Earworms...see one, probably have hundreds. Some are known to burrow into ear canals of their sleeping victims. 👂🐛
  12. Or belts, dirty head, magnetized head, capacitors, placed too close to a monitor or some other source of RFI in the room, old cassettes that are no good, trying to save data on cheap cassettes or metal cassettes. Unless your brain and ears are attuned frequencies streaming at 1500 baud, being able to listen to music on it means nothing. I replaced the belts and all capacitors in my CTR-80 to make it reliable again.
  13. The 100 HAS a 300 baud internal modem. Early models came with 24K or 8K depending on your budget (memory was very expensive in 1984). Later on they only offered 24K. 8K kit brought it to 32K. The 102 came with 24K of memory and an 8K kit would bring it to 32K, same as the 100. The extra 8K was only $14.95 in 1989. By 1990 they included the 8K kit giving it 32K, but also jacked up the price $100...which was funny, because you'd be paying $85 more than the previous year. The 102 is just a slightly thinner version of the 100...neither one is more capable than the other.
  14. What is your budget and what kind of programs are you wanting to run? You mentioned desktops being too expensive...luggables are rare, not as expandable and will usually cost far more. A Compaq 1 is from 1983, it's an 8088 that runs at 4.77 mhz and needs add on boards to go beyond 256K. It's not going to be much fun, especially if you don't get one with a hard drive. For luggables, I have a two IBM P70 systems that were made in 1988. They are 386 systems with 3.5" 1.44 floppy drives, hard drives and EGA graphics. The built in monitor is red plasma monochrome but there is an external EGA port for a regular monitor. They seem to be the best of all worlds, but unfortunately (as wierd_w mentioned) they have MicroChannel expansion slots, and the few soundboards that were made are worth their weight in gold. Mine have 486 upgrade kits running over 100 mhz and 64mb of RAM, yet they're not fun game machines without a sound card/joystick port and I'm not about to fork over $500 for a used MCA sound card. When it comes to endless cheap/free 8088 to 486 systems, you missed the boat on that by 10 years. That said, you should still be able to search your local Craigslist and thrift stores and eventually find a cheap generic system. If you only want a collectable name brand like IBM, it'll be difficult to find someone dumb enough to let one go dirt cheap. I still have a generic desktop I bought from Staples back in 2004. It's a Pentium running at 3.2 ghz, has a floppy drive, DVD drive, decent size hard drive, USB ports, real RS232 ports, parallel printer port, built sound that compatible with everything and a graphics card. The reason I hang onto it is because it transcends two different eras. I can drop to DOS and run programs like Telix that I've been using since the mid 80s. It came with Windows XP (which runs great on it) and with the upgraded video card, it can still run later FPS games. RS232 ports are great for legacy equipment and yet it still has plenty of USB ports. If I decided I didn't want it anymore, I'd probably put it on Craigslist for $50 bucks.
  15. That's sort of why I said this several days ago:
  16. You're linking to 1.2 mb floppy drives, so yes they'll work with those drives. They're not going to work with 180K or 360K (SSDD or DSDD) drives due to the different heads and magnetic media. He mentioned AT computers and compatibles; most systems starting from the AT had 1.2 mb drives, so those disks would work fine if that's what he has. And fwiw, I've found TEAC drives to be the furthest thing from quality. Tandon set the bar back in the day and the pair I put in my Model III 35 years ago are still being used today. I was stung twice by TEACs that failed just outside of warranty...and this was back when a bare drive was $200+ hundred dollars.
  17. Most likely MSDOS based programs. They're 1.2 mb floppies so probably programs for a later PC AT and not the 360K PC/XT drives. You also won't be able to format and use them in an older DSDD or SSDD drive...at least not something like a Tandon used in older PCs. I also doubt they'd get along with Atari and Commodore drives either. They will format, but you'll get tons of sector errors when you try to read them.
  18. Sounds awesome! I'm sure we'd all love to see some photos of it. Will you be posting at least one tonight? I'm sure you also have a photo of that cab you "moved up" to, so by all means, please show us. Now why weren't you able to get it working correctly? Did you not have enough experience to refurbish a simple WG monitor? And what was with the intermittent switches? Odd that I've never experienced that with the CHERRY SWITCHES that Atari used...was there a reason you were not able to replace them along with the very inexpensive rollers and bearings in the trakball assembly?
  19. I thought about cutting the fingers off for that full 80s effect, but you sorta need full contact with the maxi trakball. I do need a new glove though, a lot of the nubbies are worn completely away and the rest rock hard.
  20. Not sure if this glove is considered cheating, but it gives good traction on the trakball.
  21. First game I bought (which was almost 22 years ago!) and it took me forever to break 100K. It's been my favorite since it came out and if I ever decide to get out of the game scene, it'll still be a keeper. Never been able to master the rhythm that allows some to play it forever.
  22. If you don't need the box and foam, they're very reasonable. I just looked at completed auctions on eBay and found about a dozen that sold for $50 or less. No lines from bad zebra strips, no missing keys and little to no yellowing. At last year's Tandy Assembly there was quite a selection in the $30 to $50 range. I believe the Model 100 offers the most bang for the buck in vintage computing by far. You can barely get a useless Mattel Aquarius in that price range. Personally, I've picked up seven of them through two different CL ads. Five are in excellent shape and two are parts machines (bad zebra strips). All have the pleather cases, manuals and power supplies. I believe all have the full 32K and several have various special ROMs from back in the day. I also have a Model 200 with the large flip up screen that's in excellent shape but has turned a nasty brown...needs a retrobrite treatment. All were free.
  23. Going to try this again, posts go into that cloudflare thing and never show up. The built in modem or using a null modem with the rs232 should do what you need. It also has a cassette interface so you could probably download programs, convert them to a wav or mp3 and then load it that way. I've called current BBSs using the built in telcom program and it works well. Look into getting one just for the fun of it. They made so many, it's got to be one of the cheapest vintage computers out there. A really nice one shouldn't go for more than $50 bucks. If you want a DVI, that'll probably cost a small fortune.
  24. Another big difference of the Deluxe is the floating play field and background that glows with a black light...very cool visual effect that not many games had back then and can't be emulated. Also has a very good sound system, hard to believe the highs and pounding bass come from a single speaker.
  25. They are great little computers that can still be somewhat useful today. I like to keep a journal of complex equipment I work on out in the field for future trouble shooting and the 100 makes a perfect notebook. I'm supplied with the latest smart phone and laptop but hate dickin' around with the tiny smart phone screen or taking the laptop out of its Pelican case, waiting for it to boot up, setting up a hotspot with the phone, hoping it's not going to update Windows 10 and then typing on its modern piss poor crap keyboard. With a Model 100, flip a switch and you're instantly presented with a menu that doesn't require reading glasses. And the keyboard is phenomenal! I would love to find a modern laptop with a keyboard even half as good as a 100. Seriously, it's almost as good as the ALPS keyboard in my Model III. Lastly you have a real RS232 port and built in com program which is great for communicating with old legacy equipment. Oh and they run for an eternity on 4 AA batteries. I do wish they had a back light that could be turned on/off.
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