Archive for the 'Tech' Category

VCF East XI 2016

Here are the pictures I took at VCF East XI 2016.  I also took some video of our exhibit booth, “Interfacing with Commodore”.

Retro Challenge 2015 – Update #9 – Done!

The last part I needed to work on for my #RetroChallenge project was the “kiosk” interface that ties all of the separate pieces I’ve been working on together.  It’s all one program, but I had written it in chunks that each had a separate task/function.  Now I’ve completed the work on the “Kiosk” interface program […]

Retro Challenge 2015 – Update #8 – Base Functionality Test Complete!

A bunch of mucking around with spacing, variables, etc… And I have a fully functional program printing exactly what I intended it to print!  Oooooh, look, someone added another custom character!  🙂 I decided to record a video of this base functionality test…

Retro Challenge 2015 – Update #7 – QR Code Fun!

I was making good progress while snowed in this weekend.  I wrote up a really quick QR code display routine.  This is done “the hard way”, simply transcoding the QR code into “PETSCII”.  Test output to screen worked perfectly.  You can see that I split the QR code into 11×11 quadrants.  This allowed me to […]

Retro Challenge 2015 – Update #6 – Ooooh, look, pretty graphics!

The new/used unadulterated Serial interface board is working perfectly! Just a quick update, graphics are working now.  This is a custom programmed font. I made a quick-and-dirty Excel spreadsheet to do the calculations…

Retro Challenge 2015 – Update #5 – Defeating the BofA Demon!

The error the printer was spitting out on boot was annoying to me.  I also didn’t like not knowing what other surprises the Bank of America custom firmware may have in store for me. I think I mentioned it in a prior post, but I spent a lot of time trying to defeat the custom […]

Retro Challenge 2015 – Update #4 – Yet Another Reason to Dislike Bank of America

I work in IT, so seeing a custom firmware on a printer with a custom application running on the printer serial board does probably make sense if you’ve got the capital to pull something like that off.  Imagine forcing a printer to always communicate exactly how you want/intend it to.  It has to make the […]

Retro Challenge 2015 – Update #3 – Things Aren’t Working

(I’m going to post the following few blog posts all at once, but they are from quite a few nights working on this project.) So I picked up the Male to Male DB9 gender changer, hooked it into my relatively newly built Commodore User Port RS232 adapter, fired it up, wrote a quick BASIC program, […]

Retro Challenge 2015 – Update #2 – Serial Comm Established

Thanks to an awesome blog post over at Biosrhythm, I now have RS232 serial communication to/from the Commodore 64.  I built what is essentially the exact same adapter that he used.  The only minor difference is mine is based on the MAX3232 chip. So I wrote some code based around some code samples I found […]

Retro Challenge 2015

I’ve entered Retro Challenge 2015! My plan is to build a serial-connected receipt printer connected to a Commodore 64. My goal is to print basic “Business Cards” on this receipt printer during various Exhibitions and/or presentations at Retro Computer events. The project will be a kiosk-style interface that allows someone to print my basic publicly available […]