RC2016/01 Half Time Round-up

Written by admin on January 19, 2016 Categories: 

Guys ‘n’ Girls – it’s going to have to be a quick summary this time round – think ‘twitter’ length as I am currently looking after kids being a ‘Panto Widow’ with my missus in Panto all week and myself looking after the little ‘uns.

I seem to have been fairly disengaged from a lot of the updates going on so this will be a good excuse for me to catch up with what promises to be some very exciting projects this time round.

In order to keep this page slightly less than a monumental length I’m trimming to to only those folks who have provided at least one update since they started – that only seems fair!

Without further ado…


Eric watches a couple of movies about Steve Jobs. That is all we know.

John W. Linville

John starts slowly but appears to be picking up pace into his normal stride of frequent blog posts and videos. The TSR80 MC-10 is getting the full Linville treatment as he purposely delves into new retrocomputer territory.

Paulo Garcia

Special mention for Paulo. Even though there is no documented progress on Paulo’s retrochallenge entry he’s certainly not been sitting on his laurels – there is all manner of daily updates on his site all retrocomputing related. I’m going to scan back through the dozen or so pages of news and information at my own leisure. I highly recommend a visit.


A good few handfuls of posts from Peter about this top-level racing game mod early on, hopefully to be concluded in style.


Peter has a couple of good posts enlightening us about the Psion Organiser II – a computer that I have to say I’ve never really looked into but then nearly purchased off eBay the other day when I got caught up in the moment!

Brett M. Gordon

Is that multi-threaded assembler code in Brett’s arsenal? Very impressive. His multi-player CoCo2 game is coming on nicely.


Andy gets his VT180 naked and diagnoses his wobbly display with a logic analyser. This is what I need to do. His looks decidedly more professional than mine however!


Mat’s hardware and software game appears to be slowly taking shape although these are big plans for a month! Really hope to see something working come the February deadline my friend!


Not only is Norbert’s blog achingly beautiful but it is also packed chocker full of content on the myriad of Kyocera siblings that included the TSR-80 Model 100 (see, I am paying attention). Then he turns to programming that looks remarkably like my failure last time around. This is really good stuff – very informative and well worth spending the time on!


Firstly, Mark wins first prize for the ‘narrowest blog’ competition. What’s all that about? It is how my blog would look in 40 column mode. Maybe that’s the idea. I certainly have none!


MarkO posts a handful of times about his Apple ][ ethernet cards and some mazes. I got distracted by some links about mazes. Very interesting. Carrying on the theme…


Michael also only has time for a few early posts relating to RS-232 trickery. And tricky it is. Very tricky. Tricky tricky tricky. Good luck!


Well, we only get one post from William about floppy disks and flux and things and a mighty fine post it is. More of the same please!

Jim Gerrie

Jim’s prolific BASIC porting and game writing enterprise hits the ground at full speed once again. Some great games here including a very ‘interesting’ pacman, chess, and Jim’s own creation Road Race – and kudos for typing in games from magazines. Hardcore!


Such a good start from Rob but alas we only get one blog post so far about custom Atari 800XL. More. We demand more I say!


Adam looks to be making good progress on his CoCo cartridge and has a full schematic and parts list detailed on his blog. Can’t wait to see if he gets some hardware together before the end of the month.


Unfortunately Ian’s challenge is thwarted somewhat by a large boat and the lack of a CDROM caddy – and I thought some of my collection was well buried! Hopefully he’ll his project afloat again (do you see what I did there?) as I’d really like to see this work!


Mike chooses the kind of project I usually do – nigh on impossible. It’s all about a C compiler, PCDOS and 6th Edition UNIX. There is some good info here on an obscure subject and I wish him all success with his crazy ventures!


Ah, the Kim Uno. I’ve had one in and out of my hand over the past week or so but not programmed it. Hopefully we’ll get more of the same from Scott in the second half of the month as I want to make more use of my own little beauty!


Jeff continues what is a bit of a theme for RC2016/01 by typing in game listing for an Atari 8-bitter game with it’s raw keyboard handling. He forgoes the ZX81 because of the ‘interesting’ keyboard – I have one in the post at the moment – it was my first computer – and intend to fully relive that pain, if only for a night!


Well, so much for my frequent blogging dreams! I do feel like I’ve made progress however, writing a telnet client in an unknown language must gain some sort of brownie points and if only I can analyse my RS-232 issues I may have actually created something useful!

Abraham Vreugdenhil

Bless him Abraham’s blog is a real work of passion given that English is not his native language. He makes good progress so far on his micro-controller TV Tuner project and we wish him all the best for the rest of the competition.

Harry Culpan

A couple of posts from Harry as he changes direction and concentrates on his Apple ][ with some useful information on compilers and emulators.


Michael’s Star Trek porting challenge appears to be moving along nicely with a couple of comprehensive blog posts containing some in-depth analysis of these classic BASIC gems. I need to sit down with a nice warm glass of milk and mull over this blog – I suggest you do the same!


Alex appears to have completed his prestel/viewdata terminfo challenge which, when you see the size of the resulting entry, is no mean feat! I wonder if we will see maybe a video with some examples of how well it copes with real-world screens?


Tom’s been a very engaging blogger keeping us all informed of his progress with frequent twitter updates. He appears to be totally focused on the task in hand and looks to be making very good progress on his retro IDE creation tool. Could be a really useful bit of kit when completed. Well done!


Dale seems to have found a real passion in his amateur radio hobby and with only precious few hours in the day has decided to down tools on his RC entry. It takes a certain kind of gentleman to pull out early and we salute your integrity. If only I was such a man…


Eric's Blog

In a similar vein we have lost retrocosm to another hobby – scale RC models. To be far it was a repressed passion of his for a number of years so we won’t hold it against him. There clearly is talent there as well!


Eric's Blog

Just one post for Eric but it is a glimpse into a world of hardcore retrocomputing in the form of an FPGA based IEEE-488 interface. This one is another project that could really be on the money if he pulls it off so we’ll back gently out of the room, close the door quietly and let him get back to it. Best of luck!

Paul Robson


Classic stuff here from Paul with loads of blogging and full steam ahead with his realisation of a paper-based childhood computer design. He has Klingons in there as well thus completing the circle for this RC competition. Definitely one to watch this – quality all the way

And that is all. Sorry this couldn’t be more comprehensive but I just don’t have the time at the moment. A sneeky peak at the highlights here but hopefully just enough to get you all delving into the corners or retrochallenge that you may not yet have peeked.

Best of luck to all competitors for the rest of the competition! Right, now to tuck the kids up in bed!

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