PDXCUG Meeting Highlights
Vol. 2, No. 2 - February 10, 2011 - Meeting Highlights
PDXCUG Commodore Club Meeting LIVE Online
With the aid of CommodoreServer's recently-launched gaming service and Agent Friday's Group Zork program, the Portland Commodore Users Group was able to hold an online chat session with members from around the globe, making this Commodore club meeting completely virtual to anyone who wanted to attend. Here's a small section of the online chat that was going on during the meeting.
Having the VIC-Switch is very handy at a Commodore meeting. I only had to bring one disk drive this time.
The VIC-Switch allows up to eight Commodore computers to connect to a single disk drive. The VIC-Switch keeps track of who is currently using the device and prevents access to all other computers who might be requesting it at the same time. Once the first computer is done using it, the VIC-Switch will then give access to the next computer.
Tinker Time at PDXCUG
Members enjoyed the time to bring in all of their Commodore projects to work on. It seems that just about everyone had something to do or look at. A lot of projects were started but not all were completed. But that's okay - we have plenty more meetings ahead to finish up all those neglected projects.
Each member had time to tinker with their own projects, as seen in the photos here. There were a lot of great things going on.
Ryan working on a totally awesome dungeon adventure
Speech Synthesizer on Kindle
The women of the group were making their Kindles talk. Made us all think of S.A.M.
Cupcakes were brought by the Seattle team - way to go!
Installing a Compact Flash Drive on an Amiga 600 Computer
Goog was going to modify his A600 with a Compact Flash drive, but there were just too many projects going on. Gencom64 brough his to the meeting to test out the CF card, but we never even got as far as opening them up.
Fixing a Botched SX-64 Repair
Gencom64 reports that he recently brought his Commodore SX-64 to someone in the area who said he could fix it. However, it came back in worse shape than when he dropped it off. After investigation, it appears that the guy who offered to fix it took some of the good parts that were in there (such as the SID chip and disk drive mechanism) and replaced them with bad or damaged parts. To make matters worse, it was sabotaged with stripped screws but we were still able to get into it to find the horrifying truths.
Good thing we have some talented people in our group who were able to help out.
Commodore MAX Machine Video Mod
Goog brought his Commodore MAX Machine to tinker with. In order to see video, a wire must be soldered onto the bottom of the board where the video processing is done. This is because there is no composite video output on a MAX Machine - the only way to see video is to use the RF connection, but since this computer was released in Japan, the frequency is tuned for televisions in that country. Those frequencies are differnet than ours so they will not work on standard televisions here in the U.S.
After the connections were made and hooked up to a 1702 monitor, we were only able to see a quick flicker when the power switch was turned on. Still no video, but we're getting closer. We suspect a faulty VIC chip, but none were on-hand.
Quick Data Drive
Gencom64 brought a pretty nifty device called the Quick Data Drive. It plugs into the cassette port and provides fast loading of data - according to the marketing on the box, it can load 64K in just 30 seconds! Not bad for the cassette port.
CBM 8032 Keyboard Cleaning
This is one of the smaller cleaning projects that needed to be done on this old PET model. Goog's 8032 is in need of some serious cleaning. He takes apart the keyboard and cleans all of the contacts carefully with rubbing alcohol.