Makeup by Granddaughter

Just out of curiosity, how many who identify as he/him have allowed their granddaughter to do their makeup and then gone to a public location (such as Chuck E. Cheese)? No judgement here, my granddaughter is amazing at 4 years old and can do makeup like a pro!

Retro Computers and Status

Over the years I’ve purchased quite a few retro computers. I thought maybe if I list them and their associated status, maybe it would encourage me to get off my backside and start fixing them as quite a few of them are in various states of disrepair (or just completely broken).

TRS-80 Model III

#1: Video completely out of adjustment. Also, internal “ribbon” cables are completely junked. Have replacements but never got them to work since video is crap.

#2: Video completely out of adjustment. Won’t power up properly.

Apple IIe Platinum

#1: Works properly, needs RTC installed but otherwise works fine.

Apple IIe

#1, #2, #3: Various states of disrepair, keyboards missing keys, video outputs flaky, etc. Actually no plans to repair at this time since Platinum works

Apple IIGS

#1: Power supply trashed, changed RIFA caps, still not working

#2: Works great, has 8 MB, SCSI, lots of stuff but CP/M board not working

#3: Recently purchased ROM0 off Facebook group, need to test and possibly update RIFA caps

Apple IIc

#1: Irish keyboard, seemed to work okay when tried but video connector needs repair

Apple II+

#1: Forgot about this one, needs to have video connector replaced. Otherwise, need to test and learn more about it.

  • Additional testing found that the video cables included with the Viewmaster board were in very poor condition 2022-06-17
  • Replaced RIFA in power supply 2022-06-18
  • Disk II drives neither work, possibly 74LS125 chip in the drives, suspect they were incorrectly plugged in 2022-06-20; Additional testing on 2022-06-21 found that Titan Accelerator IIe was possibly causing problems with drives, need to retest
  • ADTPro works great with the SSC in slot 1 [edit] for Bootstrapping only, cannot get it to operator in DIR or RECEIVE mode with MacBook running Catalina. Switching over to IIe Platinum to see if it behaves differently.

TRS-80 CoCo II

#1, #2: Untested, both in very good condition along with several drive controllers

Multi-expansion unit: 1 works, 1 flaky due to compatibility issues

TRS-80 CoCo I

#1: Need more testing, has floppy and multi-expansion, all need more testing

Heathkit H89

#1: Works, also have external dual floppy (hard sector on all 3 drives)

#2: Pacific Scientific: Needs recap, blew cap when first started, has 2 builtin drives but torn down and now I don’t remember a damn thing about it

Heathkit H-8

#1: Boards for H-8 backplane, CPU, etc., to build, need to order parts


#All: Lots of these, most of them seem to work. However, very disappointed with design, probably going to sell most of them

Peripheral Expansion Box: Untested, has memory board, 1 floppy, serial board, extra floppy but nothing to install yet

HP 9816

#1: Sweet unit, also 9131 and 9133. Need repair on one of the 3-1/2″ drives. Need to copy 9133 hard drive, maybe with MFM emulator board from PDP/8 projects. Have memory card not yet tested.

  • Machine doesn’t start properly, cycling power quite a few times may result in working fan and, ultimately, machine might show video. 2022-06-11
  • Found 5 RIFA safety capacitors on power supply, all showing cracks and signs of impending death. Removed, planning to order soon. 2022-06-11

Atari 800XL

#1: Basically untested, have a 1050 drive to go with it but power rectifiers were blown. Replaced but haven’t tested


#1: Amiga 500: Boots but essentially untested as I don’t have disks, etc.

#2: Amiga 2000: Battery cut out (no apparent damaged), needs reassembly and testing

#3: Amiga 1000: Untested, no video adapter or keyboard/mouse, extra external floppy

Bridgeboards: Have 3 of these, need to test

PC-based Stuff

Lots of these systems need testing. Have 2 XT clones, 1 of which worked when stored but didn’t have good storage at the time.

Lots of unassembled CP/M and other systems, mainly newer projects

Some items I plan to just sell off as I don’t have much desired to repair (TI-99/4A stuff particularly).

Amdek COLOR-I Composite Monitor

This monitor came with the Apple IIe Platinum mentioned above. It had gotten buried in a pile of stuff and had been an attraction for a group of mice at some point.

Z280RC Z280 Single Board Computer with CP/M installed on Compact Flash

A few months ago I purchased a Z280RC, a single board computer with compact flash. It includes CP/M 2.2 already installed and just required a TTL Serial adapter. Since most of my S-100, RC2014, and other Z80, 6502 machines aren’t working, it’s good to have one of these (see RetroBrewComputers board inventory) that is fully functional and helps me see what things should look like when they are working properly.

STDBUS – Started looking into STDBUS

I’ve purchased several boards on eBay but don’t have sufficient hardware to make a fully operational, bootable system. However, it’s a very compact system so I hope to get the system booting by the end of 2024.

Commodore 128 – Unused?

Gentleman in Gainesville, FL, had a Craigslist listing for a Commodore 128, in box (serial numbers match unit), described as “complete” and “not used”. Wife picked it up while traveling (3/4/2024) and confirmed that it looked unused. I won’t have it available for a few more days, need to determine best way to bring it up. Price was hard to beat but owner was happy to sell it as part of estate sale.

Another Commodore 128 – Definitely Used

Also have another C128 that seems to work but has poor video output quality. Need to eventually fix this.

ParrotOS (Linux) 4.7 Update

So installed ParrotOS 4.7 x64 as my primary OS on a Lenovo X250 laptop. It’s been installed on it before so expected no real issues. Since I downloaded this image of 4.7 several weeks/months ago I knew it would need updating.

After installation, the automatic update feature announced 2500+ updates available so I told it to update. It finished about 2 seconds later so I checked using the command line. Still around 2500+ updates so attempted to upgrade the files and found an error about libc6-dev breaks libgcc-9-dev < but 9.2.1-14 was to be installed. Apparently there is a similar issue on some releases of Kali.

First of all, I didn’t realize that Parrot should be updated using parrot-upgrade rather than the typical apt update/apt upgrade/apt full-upgrade used on many Debian and Ubuntu flavors. I found this out while searching for ways to fix the broken upgrade. Looks like parrot-upgrade simply does a lot of the work for you and helps keep the system aligned with ParrotOS.

Anyhow, found a reference that instructed to edit the file /var/lib/dpkg/status, search for the Package: libgcc-9-dev and delete all lines in that particular block. Also remember that you’ll need to use sudo as several descriptions I’ve seen assume you are logged in as root or are running a root shell.

If you’re not really sure how to do the above:

sudo nano /var/lib/dpkg/status

Use ^W to search for libgcc-9-dev and use ^W multiple times as needed until you reach the Package: libgcc-9-dev entry

Use ^K to delete all lines from Package: libgcc-9-dev until you reach the next Package: entry.

Use ^O to write the file back out (don’t change the name, just hit <ENTER> to accept the default name).

Now run sudo parrot-upgrade again; it should refresh the packages and install properly. If running a different distro, try running sudo apt update and then sudo apt upgrade or sudo apt full-upgrade.

GOG: Master of Orion 2 Settings

I’ve been using GOG for various older games for several years now. Finding the location to switch a game from full screen to windowed was a challenge initially. I run various distros of Linux and normally install the games under ~/Programs/<game name>. If you want to change settings, there should be a file in that directory named:


In my case for Master of Orion 2, the file is named dosboxMOO2.conf. There are other conf/settings files but for my purposes this is the one I normally change.

For windowed mode instead of full screen, set fullscreen to false. Also, go ahead and make an entry for windowresolution such as 800×600. One other setting I often change is setting autolock to off (this prevents the mouse from becoming trapped when you click in the DosBox window). Some people like the autolock setting, especially handy for some games, but with dual displays and other work going on it’s a pain because I can never remember the key shortcut to unlock the mouse.

View-Master Model D Part 2

Received the View-Master D today and the only negative I can say about it is that the old batteries were still in it and were on the verge of leaking. No actual damage though and everything else is in great condition. The box itself is worn but I already knew that and wasn’t as interested in the box itself anyway, just a nice bonus. The seller also included more discs than originally expected so that was nice as well. A few of the discs are quite old although I’m still not familiar enough with the various series to estimate exact dates. One of these days I hope to post some photos.

View-Master Model D

Well, “accidentally” purchased a Model D View-Master from eBay yesterday. These seem to be the most sought-after units yet it didn’t cost nearly as much as some of the sites on the ‘Net are selling them for. It was not exactly obvious that it was a Model D at first, although after purchase I noticed the box has Model D on it. Anyway, looking forward to receiving it. Will have to start posting pics of these as well as the various reels I’m accumulating. I expect it will need cleaning, at least eye-pieces and lenses but will remain patient (for at least 2 more days).

View-Master Model C

So, a mistake on my part. The model E and later apparently come apart reasonably easily and can be cleaned that way. However, the earlier models are riveted and require more finesse. Assuming everything is intact and just in need of cleaning, a plastic pry tool can be used to remove the metal “keepers” from the translucent eye-pieces. Once the unit can be blown out and the actual lenses cleaned with a long cotton swab and alcohol. The translucent portions can also be cleaned up and then re-installed.

View-Master Model E

Over the last couple of years I’ve been buying a few View-Master items as time permits. I have one of the old Bakelite types from the 50’s to 60’s and another of the red, white, and blue from the 60’s. The older model E was somewhat grimy so I finally summoned enough courage to disassemble and clean it. While I didn’t find instructions for the older model they apparently hadn’t changed overall mechanical design and the instructions for the later models ( worked pretty much the same. I used an alcohol to clean the windows and eye pieces and you’d be surprised how much crud came off on the q-tips. The difference isn’t really too noticeable on some discs but is hugely noticeable on others, depending mainly on colors and depth. As always, YMMV. Also, if you have one that needs cleaning but you’re nervous about doing it yourself, leave a comment and I’ll get in touch.

As an addendum, tonight I also cleaned the newer model. It came apart in much the same way. If you are working to open these up to clean them, I recommend separating about 1/16″ maximum at each of 4 corners until the spring-loaded keepers are finally released. Going too far at once will most likely weaken or permanently damage them or the bakelite/plastic, where a little patience would have served much better. Also, use a plastic pry tool; I’ve been using a screwdriver but obviously plastic won’t deform the bodies and would be about 1000% better.