CVML meeting november

You may have noticed I collect and play with older computers, mainly older, 8 bit based hobby computers, mostly the types I have written about in my Radio Bulletin years like the 6502 based KIM-1 or the MSX. There is a group of more than 100 dutch and belgium collectors, called CVML (Computer Collectors Mailing List), mostly gathering online at And to exchange items, admire each others treasures and just have a nice chat with fellow geeks, we have a meeting once or twice a year, and this fall the CVML meeting is: Continue reading CVML meeting november

Easycap video capture and heat

I bought this little USB based video capture device from DealExtreme. It allows to show and capture video and audio via an USB connection. Ideal for notebooks, and for me ideal to see the video output of my retro computers like the MSX and the Apple Replica’s without the large video monitor on my desk. Price was low ($16.89, which is even less in euro’s ūüôā ) And includes shipping from HongKong. Video quality turned out to be good enough. It took ofcourse the usual couple of minutes to load the driver, attach the device, had it find the USB … Continue reading Easycap video capture and heat

Google’s chrome, what is that all about? Cloud Operating System!

Why did Google produce a browser like Chrome?¬† For most it seems¬†just a mission¬†impossible to enter the arena where Internet Explorer and Firefox fight for dominance of the browser, with¬†Opera and Safari on¬†the sideline.¬†I suspect there is more to this picture than just another browser, Google is¬†making another step towards¬†cloud computing ¬†with Search and Google Apps. And others also think so:¬† So says Nick Carr: “To Google, the browser has become a weak link in the cloud system — the needle’s eye through which the outputs of the company’s massive data centers usually have to pass to reach the user … Continue reading Google’s chrome, what is that all about? Cloud Operating System!

There would be chicken for dinner

I read this funny line, from an interview with Andrew Tanenbaum. Q: If Linux’s Tux penguin and MINIX’s raccoon faced off in a fight to the death, who would win? A: Raccoons are quite aggressive. Penguins are not. There would be chicken for dinner. The rest of the interview focusses on Minix, a micro-kernel OS. Q: What made you decide to make MINIX based on a microkernel rather than a monolithic kernel? A: Good software engineering principles dictate that your programs are modular. You don’t want a bug in one piece to bring down the whole thing if that can … Continue reading There would be chicken for dinner

It is IT Jim, but not as we know it.

This variation on the ‘It is life Jim; illustrates the corporate IT environment is changing fast. Some of the trends will lead to dinosaurs disappearing. The corporate desktop and notebook are dead. After getting control over the PC, surviving the wild first years when departments bought those computers themselves, IT departments for decades have had complete control over the PC. Users are considered to be morons, not capable of anything but use prescribed applications. And not do anything requiring ‘privileges’. Only what the mighty system managers in their wisdom feel the user can handle is given out. That is changing … Continue reading It is IT Jim, but not as we know it.

The Beta computer

The Beta computer is a small but fully functional 6502 system. Ideal for controlling applications! The base, called ‘controller’, is a PCB with 6502 cpu, a 6532 RIOT and a 2716 EPROM. A really minimal 6502 system with lots of I/O and a minimal IC count. This standard controller is meant to be inserted in a PCB called ‘terminal’ on which specific hardware can be placed, depending on the application. Two ‘terminals’ have been described in the original articles, one acting as a development system, with KIM-1 like seven segment LED display, hex keyboard and an EPROM programmer. The second … Continue reading The Beta computer

L65, a structured language instead of an assembler

Inspired by the latest work of Niklaus Wirth, his PICL language. I am thinking of designing a new language for my 6502 based machines. Programming the small 6502 machines, like the KIM-1, Micro-KIM or the Apple 1 replica’s for applications suitable for this kind of computer, like I/O contriol and not the generic workstation personal productivity, is either done in higly inefficient Basic or Pascal, with lots of unnecessary overhead or via assembler. The issue here is, that high level langauge are too far removed from the actual CPU. And assembler is the worst kind of programming language thinkable (yes … Continue reading L65, a structured language instead of an assembler