Building a DOS box

I recently bought a lot of 5 old PCs. One of which was a Targa X system, with an AT motherboard. My brother was complaining about Warcraft 2 not running correctly in DOSBox, so why not build a real DOS computer. The computer proved hard to get started. Upon inspection it was easy to see that it was because of leaking caps. I bought a set of new Panasonic caps off ebay. Replacing the caps made the system boot up without any trouble. Other improvements: The front had a teared up energy star logo, streaks from office chairs rubbing off on the front. Also a Norman anti-virus sticker. I cleaned it all off.

Targa x System, all cleaned up!

As for upgrades, I switched the IBM 6x86 P166+ running at 133Mhz for an Intel Pentium MMX 233Mhz. The system was fitted with 96MB EDO across four 72-pin SIMM sticks. This makes the system slow, as the FIC PT-2006 motherboard and its i430VX chipset can only cache the first 64MB of RAM address space. Thus I removed two 16MB sticks to speed the system up. The motherboard also have a free slot for a 256KB COAST cache module, I’ll see if I can get a hold of one of those. Also, I found the motherboard has an USB header. The connector does not have the alignment pin, but the pinout seems standard, so I fitted an 2x USB bracket. in the rear. The passive CPU cooler was replaced with a Socket A cooler master cooler from my scrap bin.

Leaking capacitors and a gold cap IBM 6x86

Leaking capacitors and a gold cap IBM 6x86

On the wishlist is a 256KB COAST 3.0 module, a Sound Blaster AWE32 non-PNP and a network bootable NIC for PXE booting some tools.

Nexus 5 batteribytte

Telefonen jeg bruker til android apps, som f.eks. WiGLE Wifi, har i det siste est ut og blitt tykkere. Den åpnet seg i den ene klipsen og lot seg ikke lukke. Etter en nærmere titt viste det seg at det er batteriet i min Nexus 5 er synderen. Da er det eneste sikre å bytte det. SparesLG.com ble sterkt anbefalt på nett, og jeg skjønner hvorfor. Batteriet ser på alle måter ut til å være original vare, produsert for ikke for lenge siden. Pris, frakt og leveringstid var helt kurant. Telefonen er også svært enkel å jobbe med. Batteriet sitter kun med noen få striper teip, og man trenger kun skru opp 6 skruer over et lite deksel.

Commodore 1581 build and repair log

Some years ago I bought a 1581 kit off eBay. The remaining bits after Commodore cannibalized 1581 drives to get floppy's for their Amiga computers. I acquired two Chinon FB-354 drives, but could not get the drive to work. After some years on the shelf I took some time to finally get it up and running. A friend printed me a new eject button for one of the drives, as it was missing it's button. Then I placed an order for a ZoomFloppy and a JiffyDOS ROM for the drive at Retro Innovations. The ZoomFloppy works great in Windows 10 after getting updated software and drivers. But I could not write disk images. The drive would not work in the C64 either. Giving drive not ready errors. Preparing a new disk did not produce the sounds it should, and the drive stopped spinning way to fast. So on to the troubleshooting.

C:\Program Files\opencbm>imgcopy.exe vandalismnews65.d81 10
[Warning] invalid imagetype for this drive type
[Warning] invalid imagetype for this drive type
[Fatal] invalid imagetype for this drive type

Running in verbose mode shows the drive is misdetected as a D80 drive. Possble due to the JiffyDOS ROM. Trying again with the parameter -d 1581 worked better.

C:\Program Files\opencbm>imgcopy.exe -v -v -v -d 1581 vandalismnews65.d81 10
[Debug] transfer mode is 0
[Debug] decided to use transfer mode 1
[Debug] imagetype D81 from file extension
[Debug] imagetype D81 from drive type
[Debug] block count: 3200
[Fatal] drive 10 (CBM-1581): 74,DRIVE NOT READY,40,00

After a quick Google I tried another disk, which I was almost certain should be good. NOS 3.5" MFD 135 TPI, Double Sided, Double Density, Japanese Media which my boss gave me. Got further, but still no cigar.

C:\Program Files\opencbm>imgcopy.exe -v -v -v -d 1581 vandalismnews65.d81 10
[Debug] transfer mode is 0
[Debug] decided to use transfer mode 1
[Debug] imagetype D81 from file extension
[Debug] imagetype D81 from drive type
[Debug] block count: 3200
[Fatal] drive 10 (CBM-1581): 27,READ ERROR,40,00

Trying to get the head to move

Strange. Google gave little results. So I pulled the drive apart and ran it naked. I noticed the drive head never moved. I cleaned the heads with isopropyl alcohol and jerked the rod and head movement mechanism. The grease was soft, but apparently the mechanism was stuck. I power cycled the floppy drive and tried again. And it worked!

100%  3200/3200[Info] finished imagecopy.
3200 blocks copied.