All Questions

5
votes
3answers
1k views

LCD Displays with the Intel 8080

A colleague of mine mentioned that in college he wrote a slot machine program on an Intel 8080 using an LCD display. What kind of display communication protocol existed on the Intel 8080? How was ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Dumping Nintendo 64 cartridges without a backup device

I've seen various posts online about Nintendo cartridge dumping. Two popular posts which come to mind are Thijs Alkemade's Game Boy cartridge dumping on a Raspberry Pi series and NintendoPlayer's ...
7
votes
3answers
423 views

Advantages to installing a parallel port in a C1541-family drive other than speed

Are there any advantages to installing a parallel port in a C1541-family drive and using a parallel cable to a PC to image disks, other than increased speed (i.e. since the standard IEC protocol is ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I run PowerPC Applications on an Intel Mac

Apple created a dynamic binary translator called Rosetta and bundled it into their OS X operating system. As of OS 10.7, however, Rosetta was removed, and PowerPC applications are no longer supported ...
6
votes
1answer
317 views

What is this (seemingly optional) box around my Sun's idprom chip?

I just replaced the idprom (AKA NVRAM + battery; I used an ST M48T08-100PC1) in my Sun SPARCstation 20. The original one was inside a rectangular holder with a tab on each short end; it had ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

I've taken my Amiga computer out of storage after several years and it doesn't work. What's the likely cause?

I've had an Amiga on a shelf for a long time. Today I took it down and tried to use it but it's not working. There's some basic activity - the power LED illuminates, and there is a video signal - but ...
8
votes
1answer
928 views

Black Amiga 500 Keys

I am creating a black Amiga 500 casing for my retro pi unit. I have already bought the casing, a 1200 keyboard and keyrah unit to convert the keyboard to USB. I have some vinyl dye paint for the ...
20
votes
6answers
9k views

Can x86 processors run 8-bit applications?

I was wondering if it is possible to run 8-bit applications within QEMU. I know that the x86 architecture can run 16-bit applications, but can it also run 8-bit applications?
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Are PowerPC processors still manufactured and used in desktop computers?

I have some disc images that run only on PowerPC. I've heard a lot about PowerPC being popular back in the day, especially being used with older Apple computers. I don't hear much about them anymore, ...
11
votes
2answers
528 views

Why did Amstrad choose such bank combinations for its all-RAM mode in +2A and +3 Spectrum computers?

The +2A and the +3 versions of the ZX Spectrum, made by Amstrad, had a new banking mode, called "special". This banking mode is entered by setting bit 0 of port 1FFD. When active, two bits from this ...
12
votes
1answer
320 views

What's the difference between Williams Earthshaker pinball ROMs L-3 and F-1?

I acquired a Williams "Earthshaker!" pinball machine several years ago. It came with the version L-1 ROM installed. I noticed that sometimes balls would get stuck in the shelter kick-back-up mechanism ...
8
votes
2answers
902 views

Is it possible to use a TI-99/4A cassette cable with Digital Audio devices?

I would like to save and load BASIC programs with my TI-99/4A. The TI-99/4A can be connected to a cassette recorder for this purpose. Buying a cassette recorder and cassette tapes seems unnecessary ...
8
votes
1answer
301 views

Is there any existing hardware mod for C64 to decouple tape drive from IEC (1581 drive collision)?

Commodore 64 has a known bug which doesn't allow to use tape drive together with a 1581 drive. Basically, in C64 the SRQ (Serial ReQuest) line is connected between IEC bus, CIA chip and the tape ...
8
votes
2answers
647 views

How can I play Nintendo 64DD Games with sixtyforce (on Mac)?

64DD.org has some game dumps and information on how to play 64DD games in MAME or Project64. Is there any way to play 64DD dumps on a Mac using sixtyforce (my version is registered)? I was thinking ...
13
votes
2answers
9k views

Is WinWorldPC legal? [closed]

I'm sure a lot of us have come across WinWorldPC online. With the valuable resources that it has for obsolete systems, is it actually legal? For example, I could download almost any Windows system I ...
17
votes
6answers
889 views

Which is the “equivalent bit-map resolution” of a Vectrex display?

I'm trying to replicate the Vectrex, but I don't want to deal with bare CRTs, death-level voltages and the like. So I need my Vectrex implementation to be able to be hooked to a regular CRT/LCD screen....
7
votes
1answer
197 views

Which was the first true compatible MSX computer available in the market?

I'm talking about true MSX computers, not MSX-ish, or partially compatible MSX computers (Spectravideo 318, I'm looking at you).
67
votes
2answers
10k views

How did Windows 3.1 implement multitasking?

Windows in its earliest days was simply a shell that ran on top of MS-DOS, which means that Windows 3.1 itself was actually just a standard MS-DOS application like any other. Yet, MS-DOS is not a ...
1
vote
2answers
321 views

Is QEMU Used Commercially? [closed]

I have played around with the QEMU emulator, as it can emulate OS's that VirtualBox cannot, especially older systems that cannot run on x86 or x64. With QEMU being quite slow because it has to ...
31
votes
7answers
4k views

Is it legal to download ROM images from shared or internet archives?

Is it generally legal to download older ROM images of commercial software and games for non-commercial use in a retro computing system (emulated or otherwise)? (Note that this question implies no ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are Windows 95 installation disks not uniquely bound to a single product key?

I was installing the OEM version of Windows 95 on VirtualBox the other day for reminiscence sake, and for some reason I had two different product keys. I tested both of them to see which one mapped to ...
33
votes
3answers
12k views

Loading ZX Spectrum tape audio in a post-cassette world

My ZX Spectrum 48k seems very resistant to working with audio input. I no longer have any cassette players, so am relying on audio files from digital players. I have been able to save and verify a ...
2
votes
3answers
279 views

Finding/creating gaming ROMs [closed]

I'm thinking about turning my RaspberryPi into a retro gaming station. I found some interesting projects like retropie out there to accomplish this. But I keep wondering: What is the legal way to ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

Where can I find an external 8-inch floppy disk drive?

Where can I find an external 8-inch floppy disk drive? I have some data I would like to retrieve from a really old 8-inch (200 mm) floppy disk, but have no working computer than has a drive to read ...
9
votes
2answers
582 views

How many IEC devices can I connect to a C64 / C128?

I have two C64's, a C128, and as for drives: SD2IEC, 1541-U2, 1541-II and a 1581 - that makes for 4 devices. Looking at the drives, those only allow 4 device ID settings (8,9,10,11), but according to ...
7
votes
1answer
258 views

Atari 400 Faulty Keyboard - Some columns work, most do not

I've been cleaning up an Atari 400 that had a bad RF cable, and cleaned the machine thoroughly so it's looking great. It's working well apart from the keyboard, where most of the keys aren't working: ...
8
votes
1answer
662 views

PAL C64 in the US - 50Hz vs 60Hz AC Frequency, will that matter?

I currently live in Japan and use PAL C64 from Europe, here the line voltage is 100V at 50Hz (Tokyo). I will be moving to the US in about 2 months. The US uses 110-120V (power supplies are usually ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Converting ZX Spectrum .ipf files to .z80 or .tzx for use in Fuse on RetroPie?

I have a 'perfect' set of ZX Spectrum games (in .ipf format) that I would like to use in EmulationStation (RetroPie) but the Fuse emulator doesn't recognize .ipf files. Are there any tools that will ...
8
votes
3answers
298 views

How do you determine the value of vintage computer equipment?

I have a number of items (among them, old (80s) Apple memorabilia and a nylon flag that's about 2m², featuring the Cupertino font). I'm thinking of selling these (possibly in conjunction with some ...
4
votes
2answers
254 views

iMac G3 - AirPort Card Port

What kind of port did the iMac G3 use for its wireless AirPort card? What kind of speeds were supported? My G3 has an 802.11b 2.4GHz band card and I am wondering if I can upgrade to a faster card (...
9
votes
1answer
429 views

HxC floppy emulator on Amiga 1200, second virtual drive disappears after reboot

I've recently purchased a HxC/Lotharek SD Card floppy drive emulator. It's working well replacing DF0: but I'm seeing some odd behaviour with its emulation of DF1:. On the first boot after power-up, ...
13
votes
4answers
537 views

Toolchain and workflow to build CP/M

Building my own version of CP/M has always been a fascinating to-do project. Problem is that it seems that the source code is not in regular assembler, but some kind of macro-assembler like language ...
1
vote
3answers
188 views

Program memory limit [closed]

In the past, a program could only use a specific part of the computer's memory. If multiple instances of the same program were open, they shared this one memory block. To prevent this, some developers ...
12
votes
2answers
459 views

How do I replace a ZX Spectrum 48k keyboard membrane?

I have a ZX Spectrum 48k on which the keyboard membrane has cracked over the years and, while the Speccy itself is operational, has rendered the computer unusable. I am now in possession of a ...
39
votes
8answers
6k views

What was the first programming book

I'm curious, what was the first book, about programming for digital computers. I tried to google it, but it led me to multiple results. I'm mostly interested in the language it was about and the ...
56
votes
2answers
8k views

Why are a lot of monochrome computer monitors green?

In my perception, the most common color for monochrome computer monitors is green or white/grey, though I have seen orange monitors. Is this genuinely the case, and if so, is there a reason for it?
20
votes
5answers
2k views

How did debugging software run without memory protection?

Debuggers are carefully written programs that peek and poke other programs while they run. In retrocomputers, programs could use any part of the memory they could access. So how did debuggers insert ...
9
votes
2answers
267 views

How can I run COMIT code?

I recently learned about the existence of COMIT, which was the first string processing language. It's very old (1957), but it was used a lot in the first 10 years it was around, mainly in academic ...
11
votes
1answer
464 views

8080/8085 Instruction Test Suite

(This question was inspired by Comprehensive test suites for MOS 6520 PIA / 6522 VIA / 6526 CIA) Is there a comprehensive test suite for the Intel 808X series of processors? Something that would ...
12
votes
1answer
518 views

Why was the audio output of the SID6581 so variable between chips?

Each of the SID6581s I have tested sound different, particularly when it comes to filter cutoffs and distortion. What are the causes of these variances?
4
votes
1answer
188 views

Magnetic tape data preservation format

What 'virtual tape' image format is most suited for data preservation i.e. can store metadata like density and media type of original tape, presence of data past EOT marker, parity/ECC bits etc.?
13
votes
1answer
679 views

What was the first language with regexes?

According to Wikipedia, Regular Expressions (AKA regexes) have only been around since 1956: Regular expressions originated in 1956, when mathematician Stephen Cole Kleene described regular ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

Did the LET statement actually do anything in 8-bit Microsoft BASICs?

I know the LET statement was available in AppleSoft and other Microsoft 8-bit BASICs back in the day, but I can't think of a time where I actually used it. Frankly, I get the impression that it was ...
8
votes
1answer
725 views

Testing/using a joystick in AppleSoft?

How does one use joysticks in a program on the Apple //? I have three different joysticks here and I would like to visualize their state (pot and button values), maybe similar to the SDL joystick ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

How did programs on coding forms get run?

At some point in the past, around the 1970's or so, programmers wrote their code on paper. Considering the fact that modern computers have replaced paper in so many ways, the whole idea seems a little ...
10
votes
2answers
696 views

Were there any other peripherals that used the Nintendo 64's Memory Expansion Bay besides the Expansion Pak?

The Nintendo 64 shipped with a Memory Expansion Bay which contained a Jumper Pack. Some games such as Donkey Kong 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask required additional RAM to run, and shipped ...
42
votes
8answers
9k views

How long will floppy disks maintain data integrity?

This was on CNN today: The U.S. is still using floppy disks to run its nuclear program Which led me to read through this article: Think the floppy disk is dead? Think again! Here’s why it still ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

The smell of a computer while unboxing it

Don't know if this is on-topic, but I will give it a chance to go. If you feel this is off-topic, act accordingly. Recently, a discussion has started about the feelings associated to the unboxing of ...
8
votes
0answers
566 views

What are the technical differences between the Midway 8080 and Taito 8080 hardware boards?

In my research on 1970s-era arcade machines, I've noticed that both Midway and Taito created games which used Intel's 8080 microprocessor. However, each company had their own host boards which ...
25
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I take an image of a 50-pin SCSI hard-drive

I have two 50-pin SCSI hard-drives that I need to image. However, after spending quite a while searching across the Internet, I cannot find any adapters to convert the 50-pin connector to something ...

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