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Education Adventures in retro games/systems

Discussion in 'General' started by Byron C, 15 Apr 2020.

  1. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    I'm sure there must be a technical name for the ming that collects on and adheres to controllers. And if there isn't, then there definitely should be :D
     
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  2. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Unrepentant Savage

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    Skin cells, sweat, sebum, and dirt. Add food crumbs and yeah. Yuck.
     
  3. Byron C

    Byron C Official Necromancer

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    A shiny, clean, and fully working PSone!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That glorious PlayStation startup sound.... <3



    Yeah, finger-jizz :grin:

    Somehow that's worse than 'finger-jizz'.... :eeek:
     
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  4. Pete J

    Pete J Employed scum

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    Childhood rekindled. I think the PS1's intro was probably the best ever - used to make my spine shiver for some reason.

    :sigh: simpler times...
     
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  5. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    Thinking on it, I reckon "controller smegma" is probably the correct terminology.
     
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  6. Byron C

    Byron C Official Necromancer

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    I think I got my original Playstation around '96, maybe Christmas '96, so definitely a soundtrack to my teenage years! It was with me all the way up until around around 2003 when I bought an Xbox - but that was also around the time I started getting into PC gaming in a big way, so having an original Playstation for so long was not a huge problem...

    This PSone (model SCPH-102) was my brother's machine, so next on the table will be my poorly original Playstation (model SCPH-5552). It's not reading discs right now, but it might only need its lens & drive motor cleaned (to be fair I need to thoroughly clean and re-grease the PSone drive mech as well). Time to get my hands on some lithium grease!

    That sounds pretty awful, too! :lol:
     
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  7. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    I loved my little PSone. I had the little screen with it too. Bloody ex stole it lol. She stole my N64 too but I stole that back (long story).
     
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  8. Byron C

    Byron C Official Necromancer

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    On the off-chance that I might coax it back into life, I gave the disc drive lens in my PSX a good clean. It only went and bloody worked!



    It's not a home run - the drive doesn't sound particularly healthy and the outer shell is still missing all the screws - but it at least means that the drive isn't a write off. I can see it spinning at two different speeds (that's why I kept the lid open) and it is indeed reading data off the disc into memory. If I strip it down properly and clean it all out, that should go a long way to getting back into top shape. I need to do that with the PSone's drive mechanism anyway, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to do some preventative maintenance on the PS2's optical drive when I get round to stripping that down.

    Next purchases: a tub of lithium grease and a broken PSX that I can harvest the case screws from!

    They're great little pieces of kit, it's a real achievement in terms of optimising space.
     
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  9. ifohancroft

    ifohancroft Minimodder

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    I am loving the thread so fricking much! I love retro computers (unfortunately, I never had one. My first computer was a Pentium 3 PC that I got around 2001) and old consoles. I love all the toying with custom firmwares and making PCBs. Nice logo btw!
    I need to get to fixing my old PSOne. As far as I can remember, it wouldn't turn on the last time I tried. It's my original one from where I was maybe 9 years old. I have an original Playstation as well, that can't read discs that I bought a couple of years ago.
     
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  10. Byron C

    Byron C Official Necromancer

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    It was not my intention to start a collection of Atari ST computers, but I spied a local classified ad the other day offering this gem... He even delivered it down to me (I did chuck in extra for fuel :thumb: ).

    I've only had a brief look at the exterior, but it looks absolutely mint. Boxed, with manuals, and with the original Atari ST mouse. Plus a bonus joystick thrown in (which is handy because my Quickshot seems to be knackered)...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My Atari STe is the technically superior machine - 4MB RAM, audio improvements, blitter chip, etc - but only a tiny number of games were STe-specific, and games that required 1MB RAM were not common. But this STfm puts my STe to shame in terms of its physical condition! It looks like it hasn't yellowed at all!

    [​IMG]

    This has made my weekend :happy:
     
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  11. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Bit-Tech Cat.

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    That made me laugh!
     
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  12. Byron C

    Byron C Official Necromancer

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    I know, right! :grin:
     
  13. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    I still remember the day I got my 512k expansion card for my Amiga, purely so that I could play Dungeon Master. Well worth it!
     
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  14. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    hand jam.
     
  15. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    *Boaks*
     
  16. Byron C

    Byron C Official Necromancer

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    So I just did a bit of a cursory cleanup on the STfm and it definitely smells a little funky... I was hoping to avoid a deep-clean, but it looks like it's going to be necessary after all, even if it's just the keyboard. I need to do a full visual inspection anyway...
     
  17. Byron C

    Byron C Official Necromancer

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    OK, update time, here we go...

    Let's get the case off the STfm and see what we're dealing with! Side note: it's nice to work on an Atari ST that still has all of its screws! :grin:

    Before we get started though, here's the serial number!

    [​IMG]

    There's definitely some kind of gunk under there...

    [​IMG]

    Next, PSU. That cap looked a little swole at first glance, but it's actually fine. I do intend to properly refurbish the PSU for both this machine and my original STe; even just replacing the caps will help it along.

    [​IMG]

    What the HELL is this chonker?! Seriously, that is a massive floppy drive! Most STf-type machines have floppy drives half that height!

    [​IMG]

    If this is a model number then it doesn't help me find out more info on it!

    [​IMG]

    There's even a separate controller board for it. Which I find really weird, since the cable attached to the motherboard looks like a standard floppy cable... This is obviously some kind of early model STfm, I just hope it isn't a single-sided drive! Hopefully the motherboard can use a standard floppy drive, because that means I can use a Gotek and get software running... Related: if anyone wants to donate an old PC floppy drive, I'm all ears! The only software I can find to write Atari ST disk images to actual physical disks can't use USB floppy drives :sigh:

    [​IMG]

    Anyhow! On to the mainboard... which looks like it's in really good shape, hardly even that dusty! All those axial electrolytic caps look good, none of them look like they've swollen or spilled their guts.

    [​IMG]

    RAM chips! No sockets here, the STf-type machines didn't get socketed RAM until you get to the STe model. This is a 520STfm, which should mean that this is 512kB RAM. Those are NEC D41256C-15 256kbit (aka 32kB) RAM chips and there are 16 of them, so: 16*32kB=512kB.

    [​IMG]

    TOS ROMs! Apparently this list of TOS ROMs vs chip numbers suggests that these are TOS v1.02. The ROM chip numbers are C101631-001 (Hi) and C101632-001 (Lo). They're 1mbit ROM chips, hence why there are only 2 sockets populated - the alternative is 6x256kbit ROMs.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the motherboard part/rev number, in case anyone besides me is interested!

    [​IMG]

    So! Time to get to cleaning!

    And here's the source of the funk I smelled earlier... It smells like earwax, so I don't want to know what it was... It was most likely just grease for the bar on the Enter key, but the smell makes me inclined to not think about it too much!

    [​IMG]

    Keyboard tray is pretty clean to be honest, far better than the condition my STe was in!

    [​IMG]

    All the plastic bits, ready for cleaning!

    [​IMG]

    I am so done with washing keyboards by hand. Totally done.

    [​IMG]

    And that's it for this machine for now! Now I have to let stuff dry off thoroughly before I can put it back together and fire it up!

    While we're on the subject of the ST however... I fired up Golden Axe on my STe for s**ts and giggles last week. It is every bit as painful as you imagine it is - very slow, contstant pauses for loading, and the music is... well... so far beyond inferior that you can't even compare! But I say this as a snob who has the Mega Drive version and played the arcade version back in the day.

    [​IMG]

    In other news, my rev2 SCART interface boards turned up!

    That black solder mask looks amazing! Gold pads would have really made it look fantastic, but it was something like $15 extra for gold pads - for reference, 5 of these boards cost $2!

    I haven't assembled any of them yet, I haven't really had the time. But that's something I'm about to go and rectify right now :grin:.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 20 Jun 2020
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  18. Byron C

    Byron C Official Necromancer

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    Been a while since I revisited this thread!! To be honest not much has really happened with my retro collection in the intervening time however, so you're not really missing anything!

    In the middle of last year, I happened to be discussing retro systems with some colleagues on Teams and one of the Infrastructure guys mentioned that he's got an Amiga 600 sitting round gathering dust, and he'd be happy for me to take it off his hands.... for nothing. Fast forward 10/11 months or so and there are quite a few people regularly going back and fore to the office, so last week he arranged to bring in all the Amiga stuff for me. And here it all is:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So, all told we have:

    • Amiga 600 & power supply
    • External floppy disk drive
    • Original mouse
    • Logic 3 Speed Mouse with a knackered connector
    • Zip Stick
    • Powerplay Cruiser
    • RF cable - yes, an RF cable!
    • 3 boxes of floppy disks, some original some copies

    So firstly, those floppy disks... I went through and catalogued all of them and there some real classics in there, lots of originals and of course lots of copies - if you owned a home computer around this time then you did it as well, don't try and pretend like you didn't! Whoever owned this system originally was pretty diligent as there are also backup copies of some of the original disks - play the copies so that your originals don't get worn out... There's also a handful of floppies with some custom artwork on them - this is a really nice touch, someone clearly enjoyed this system!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also went through and catalogued all of the floppy disks - the copy/paste has kinda effed up the fixed-width formatting here, but hopefully you get the idea...:

    Code:
    Title                                    Original/Copy    Disk #    Game/Software/Util/OS
    Workbench 2.05                            O                        O
    Workbench 2.05 Extras                    O                        O
    Workbench 2.05 Fonts                    O                        O
    DeluxePaint III                            O                        S
    DeluxePaint III Animation                O                        S
    DeluxePaint III Art Disk                O                        S
    KindWords 3.0                            O                        S
    KindWords 3.0 Dictionary                O                        S
    KindWords 3.0 Theseaurus                O                        S
    KindWords 3.0 Extras                    O                        S
    AF59A: Interbase                        O                        S
    AF62A: Octamed                            O                        S
    AF102: Modeller 3D                        O                        S
    AF104: MovieSetter                        O                        S
    Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders    O                1        G
    Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders    O                2        G
    Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders    C                1        G
    Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders    C                2        G
    Maniac Mansion                            O                1        G
    Maniac Mansion                            O                2        G
    Maniac Mansion                            C                1        G
    Maniac Mansion                            C                2        G
    Loom                                    O                1        G
    Loom                                    O                2        G
    Loom                                    O                3        G
    Loom                                    C                1        G
    Loom                                    C                2        G
    Loom                                    C                3        G
    Loom Save Games                                                    G
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade        O                1        G
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade        O                2        G
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade        O                3        G
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade        C                1        G
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade        C                2        G
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade        C                3        G
    The Secret of Monkey Island                O                1        G
    The Secret of Monkey Island                O                2        G
    The Secret of Monkey Island                O                3        G
    The Secret of Monkey Island                O                4        G
    The Secret of Monkey Island Save Games                            G
    Prince of Persia                        C                        G
    Another World                            C                1        G
    Another World                            C                2        G
    Body Blows                                O                1        G
    Body Blows                                O                2        G
    Body Blows                                O                3        G
    Xenon II: Megablast                        C                        G
    Attack of the Robot Monsters            C                        G
    James Pond                                O                        G
    Super Frog                                C                        G
    Addams Family                            C                        G
    Assassin                                O                1        G
    Assassin                                O                2        G
    Captain Planed and the Planeteers        O                        G
    Zool                                    O                1        G
    Zool                                    O                2        G
    Lemmings 2                                C                1        G
    Lemmings 2                                C                2        G
    Tetris & Statix                            C                        G
    Megaball                                C                        G
    Stunt Car Racer                            C                        G
    Golf                                    C                        G
    Jimmy White's Snooker                    C                        G
    Jaguar                                    C                1        G
    Jaguar                                    C                2        G
    Jaguar Save Games                                                G
    Supercars                                C                1        G
    Supercars                                C                2        G
    Canon Fodder                            O                1        G
    Canon Fodder                            O                2        G
    Canon Fodder                            O                3        G
    Canon Fodder Save Games                                            G
    Populous                                C                        G
    Workbench - Installed                                            O
    DeluxePaint III                            C                        S
    DeluxePaint III Animation                C                        S
    DeluxePaint III Art Disk                C                        S
    KindWords 3.0                            C                        S
    KindWords 3.0 Dictionary                C                        S
    KindWords 3.0 Theseaurus                C                        S
    KindWords 3.0 Extras                    C                        S
    MovieSetter                                C                        S
    MovieSetter Clipart                        C                        S
    MovieSetter (Crunched)                    C                        S
    X-Copy & Tools '93                        C                        S
    Modeller 3D                                C                        S
    Octamed V5                                C                        S
    Interbase                                C                        S
    Titanic Cheats V1.0                        C                        S
    Relokick 1.3                            C                        U
    Wallpaper V1.0 Backdrops                C                        U
    Classic Utils                            C                        U
    KT's Catalogue December                    C
    Clipart Set                                C                1        U
    Clipart Set                                C                2        U
    Clipart Set                                C                3        U
    Clipart Set                                C                4        U
    Clipart Set                                C                5        U
    
    So of course the first thing to do is a thorough inspection of both the system and its power supply. Thankfully all looks good in there, I can't see any swollen or leaking caps. I will very likely recap this machine at some time, but I don't have a hot air station and those surface mount caps make me nervous... There's also no expansion in the trapdoor, so no nasty batteries to leak. I don't really have any photos of the internals - it's an Amiga 600, you can google it :grin: - but I can tell you that this is a rev1 June Bug with 'A300' printed on the PCB. Originally the A600 was going to be the A300 to make it clear where this model fits in the line-up.

    [​IMG]

    Also - CRAP! I broke the warrany seal on a 30 year old computer, damnit! Oh well...! :lol:

    [​IMG]

    So. Inspections all done, time to fire it up and see whether we release the magic smoke... Thankfully everything seems to be in perfect working order and the both floppy drives seem to work great. I'll be tearing down the floppy drives to give them a bit of an overhaul though, the internal drive needs some new grease on its gears as it's a bit bloody noisy!

    I don't have an RGB SCART cable so I'm using composite which is... just... nasty... Fine to test it but my god I do not want to play it like this... Thankfully my main monitor has a composite input - handy! I don't know whether this bleeding is just a composite video artifact, my monitor not handling 30 year-old signals very well, or some kind of issue with the computer - I'll re-assess this when I get a proper video cable.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So! On to the peripherals... First job was to tear them apart and inspect. It turns out that the Commodore mouse is in perfect order - nothing needed except a bit of a deep-clean and a thorough ball-washing... Let's take a look at the joysticks then. I tested all the microswitches in both joysticks and they all seem absolutely fine.

    Nowt wrong with the Zip Stick internally:

    [​IMG]

    One thorough deep-cleaning and it (almost) looks good as new:

    [​IMG]

    The Cruiser however... See that snapped bit of plastic down in there? That supports one of the microswitches, meaning that one of the directions no longer works properly... Absolutely nothing I can (reasonably) do to fix that :sigh:. This is 30+ year-old plastic and it gets brittle over time, nothing we can do about that...

    [​IMG]

    It's not a total loss though. The switches are just fine so I'm keeping them for spares.

    Time to bust out the trusty joystick tester on my Atari!



    Oh dear.... It sounds like some of the switches aren't actuating properly in the video, but the actually are - I've probed the contacts of all the switches with a multimeter and they're all working fine. There's potentially something else going on here... You remember I mentioned the Logic3 mouse with a knackered connector? Well...

    [​IMG]

    When I say 'knackered' I damn well mean it! :lol: The inner part was actually still inside the mouse port on the Amiga itself, so someone's really done a number on this. Also, check out the kink in the Zip Stick's cable near the connector itself - that looks nasty...:

    [​IMG]

    Smells like there's some cable or connector damage here; the computer itself has been treated well, but I think some of the peripherals have had a rough life...

    The pinout is pretty simple so I'll get my hands on some female DE9 connector housings and re-wire both the mouse and joystick with a new connector. Even if I have to replace the cabling then it's still not the end of the world. I'll also strip the computer down again and inspect the DE9 ports more thoroughly - if someone managed to do that to a mouse connector then there's a chance that they've damaged the ports. The mouse port seems to work just fine, but it's worth checking both of them.
     
  19. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    I did this.

    And yeah, I should imagine that the proportion of non-tower Amiga users who didn't possess any copied games was infinitesimal.
     
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  20. ifohancroft

    ifohancroft Minimodder

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    Nice find!!! Btw what kind of switches does the keyboard use?
     

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