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Interactive fiction

Back in my youth I used to spend many hours play “adventure games”. There was something about the text-only descriptions that inspired my imagination and created an atmosphere that you just didn’t get from the rudimentary graphics of the time.

My first encounter with text adventures or Interactive Fiction as they are now known, was with a VIC20 title. My dad persuaded my brother and I to buy VIC20 cartridge called Pirate Cove by Scott Adams. The interface was very simple with just “verb noun” commands and incredibly terse descriptions. I didn’t go down very well with my brother, who preferred traditional joystick twiddling, but for me there was something rather magical about the idea of creating an alternate reality within a computer’s memory – even if that computer only had 5k of memory!

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Unfinished works

Unfinished Works

Here’s a small collection of demo parts that never made it to a release. I found these on my collection of old 5.25” floppies. There’s more stuff on my Commodore 64 discs, but either the disks are damaged from being inappropriately stored for so long or I can’t remember what I was thinking back in the late 80’s/90’s when I started putting these demo parts together. These parts actually run!

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Do computers have past lives?

The good news is that the Amiga 4000 that I’ve been “restoring” has powered up! This followed the removal of a leaking battery and giving the motherboard a good thorough washing.

Opening up the machine to extract the motherboard did mean that I had to disassemble the machine completely. It was doing this that I discovered that there were a couple of Zorro cards in there. Of course when I received the machine there was no software included.

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Amiga A4000 suffers leaking battery

Amiga A4000 Battery

My old A4000 which used to run 24/7 driving a BBS has never worked since it came out of storage. So recently purchased a replacement Amiga A4000 with the intention of combining and cannibalising one in order to save the other. The new one, acquired a few months ago was advertised as “fully working” but I knew I was taking a gamble on the state of the battery. What’s worse is that the machine has been sat untouched for a few months while I waited for the opportunity to do something with it.

Things didn’t look good when I finally opened the machine up. From the picture, you can see that the battery has leaked pretty badly. One of the memory modules removed from the SIMM sockets had suffered very badly with the contacts at one end dissolved completely!

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Wool on her mind - workstages

Wool on her mind -  workstages

Back in October last year I entered the graphics competition at X2006 with the picture “
Wool on her mind

This animation shows workstages involved in creating the image which may be of interest to one or two people.

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Amiga Coding Commodore 64 Graphics Hardware Interactive Fiction Miscellaneous


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Retro Computing

Amongst the waves of nostalgia you'll find Commodore 64 and Amiga projects both old and new in this section.