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Zerock

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Everything posted by Zerock

  1. What's that keyboard you have there? I'd love to get something like that for my TI-99!
  2. Not sure if this is off-topic for this forum since the OS came out this year, but I just have to share. I recently acquired an IBM ThinkPad model 365XD with its fully upgraded 40MB of RAM. I intended to use this as a development machine for some things I want to use in a classic computing club I'll be starting soon, so I wanted an OS which would support popular development tools like Git. NetBSD was one of the first things that came to mind because of its reputation for running on everything including your toaster, so I gave the documentation a look. It said you only need 4MB to run it, so I thought it was perfect and gave it a go on my Pentium III machine to test. Well, I was slightly disappointed. The documentation was apparently out of date, because the generic kernel image was a whopping 19MB, and I was losing 21MB of available memory off the top immediately on boot. This wouldn't do. Some folks on IRC recommended building a custom kernel, and this seemed like a good idea. It was then that I discovered the GENERIC_TINY kernel config which was the one written for 4MB systems. Using this, the GENERIC config, and my dmesg log, I cut the kernel image down to a mere 5MB, and the memory claimed at boot is now less than 7MB, leaving my ThinkPad with almost 34MB to play with! I could definitely squeeze more out by removing SCSI support (I left it in on the off chance I got a PCMCIA SCSI controller), but I'm quite pleased with the result. The only thing almost as fun as true classic computing is modern computing on classic hardware. :)
  3. Oh yeah I saw that before I even started this thread. A great video.
  4. For sure. And getting into tapes for my computer has gotten me into tapes for audio, too. I recorded my first mix tape today, and I'm having an excellent time listening to it right now.
  5. Just tested that Eiki today. Worked like a champ first try. Thanks a million!
  6. That's a sharp-looking recorder (pun slightly intended), but for that kind of money, you could almost just get a disk controller instead.
  7. So how do you hook up this recorder? White cable to a 1/4" adapter then into headphones, red into mic, black into remote?
  8. What about ones which don't use words but just have an image of headphones?
  9. I just get worried about built-in cords. Moving them all the time, I worry the shielding will start to fail.
  10. Is that power cable built in? Do you foresee problems with that over long-term use?
  11. You mean how it says "ear speaker"? Is that something that should be present on all such decks?
  12. I've had my eyes personally on a Realistic CTR-58, but I've been hearing that the Realistic-brand recorders are questionable, and the original headphones that shipped with that model were stereo, so I assume the unit emits stereo.
  13. It seems we may be getting hung up on types of tapes. I did know from the beginning that type I tapes were all that were necessary. I was more interested in brand and length than type. Remember though, the primary goal here is identifying a recorder, not a tape. So far, the advice seems to be "just get a recorder", which is about where I was to begin with.
  14. I'm new to classic computing, and I want to use tapes for my own personal programs. One of the main reasons I want to do this is because not all of my friends have proper disk drives for their computers, and so even if I had compatible diskettes for their computers, I couldn't load my programs on their computers without bringing my own drive, but with tape I could still load it and then save to their disk drive replacements. Other reasons include the fact that I have blank tapes laying around and that part of the reason I'm playing with these old computers in the first place is to get an 'authentic experience' that computer users in the 80s would have had. For those of you who browse the TI-99/4A subforum here, you know I've been having nothing but trouble with my official TI program recorder (so much so that I've now just decided to return it). Before I go spending more money, I'd like to query people who have a lot more experience than me about what recorder would be ideal for this purpose. My ideal features are portability (preferably a handle) and a "remote" control input. I'd like to get something for less than $50, and my top budget is $100 if there's something just stellar. I know really good recorders exist for more money, but there comes a point where it would then just be cheaper to buy disk drives for my friends than to use tapes. Other miscellaneous questions: Does it matter if the recorder is stereo? If a recorder doesn't have a tone setting (or one of those binary high/low switches), does that mean it's all-or-nothing as far as working with computers? What are good brands for blank tapes? Currently I only have some Maxell type 1 90-minute tapes.
  15. I think the player itself might be having issues. I just ran a test, recording a program to a tape then playing it back over headphones. On the first play, the sound was loud and clear, but the volume was gradually fluctuating. On the second playback (and subsequent ones), it was faint.
  16. By "about 8" do you mean with respect to the full range of motion or to marker visibility?
  17. So, after much fiddling and opening up the cassette player to inspect the switch, I finally got it to play. Now, I'm still having read errors, and I have some other possible causes I'd like to investigate. The first most obvious problem could be the volume and tone settings. The manual says to position them so that the marker is in the "middle" position. I've noticed this isn't actually the middle of the wheel's range of motion. I assume this is actually a medium-high setting as one would expect to need when using a cassette drive. How much fiddling about is expected to try and find the right setting? I never grew up using tapes, so I have nothing by which to judge how sensitive things should be. Next, I'm using a 90-minute tape when the manual says to use 30- or 60-minute ones. Does this actually matter? I have noticed that there's a specific spot near the beginning of the tape where the cassette's plastic chassis actually moves inside the player. The tape then moves slower than it's supposed to for a moment before returning to its original position and resuming normally. I haven't looked hard enough to see if there is a bigger pattern. Is this a sign of a problem with the player or with the tape?
  18. So just take one of my blank tapes and play with the buttons? Seems easy enough if it works. Think it's better to change between play/record in rapid succession or to run for a while and then switch?
  19. I have an official TI program recorder that doesn't appear to be working correctly. I've had it apart and cleaned it thoroughly before testing it. I've also tested all the pins on my interface cable. I think my problem is with playback, since it doesn't seem to matter what volume setting I use, I hear the same volume low hum either from the speaker or with headphones. I would assume that if playback were working then I would hear different volumes of tape noise. Regardless, I don't have a prerecorded audio cassette to test my hypothesis with. I do know the TI-99 is putting out a signal when recording (tested on my PC). What things should I check to identify and perhaps fix this problem?
  20. Drawing lines seems like an application-specific need. A text program might want to reclaim the space that would be taken up by a line-drawing routine. There's not line drawing in hardware, is there? If so, then I suppose it should be accessible from the standard library, but otherwise it's something the application developer should implement. There are lots of documented line-drawing algorithms.
  21. It's not that my gear is too modern, but I don't have a disk controller or drive for my TI yet! Living that tape drive life.
  22. Something I noticed of interest: the nanoPEB documentation says that its interface is in DTE configuration.
  23. That is indeed what I was going for. So that's just not possible? I assume it is possible the other way around, right?
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