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[#] Thu Oct 09 2014 23:57:51 EDT from ax25

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I would not recommend doing not much more than light web browsing or word processing on the C64 :-)

[#] Fri Oct 10 2014 00:41:57 EDT from vince-q

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When the C64 was being sold (roughly 1982-5) there were no web browsers. There was no web. At least, nothing like what we would even remotely call the web today.

You used the unix command line.
You used FTP.
You used gopher.
You used WAIS.
And to "visit places" you used telnet or rlogin.

You had, to a less than minimal degree, know what you were doing.

The C64 did what it had to do in light of "the things that were available to do with a home computer."

There were terminal emulators and modems. Back then you called dialup BBSs. There were bunches of them. Just about everywhere. And some of those BBSs managed to connect with each other (today we would just call that 'networking' with a nonchalant 'ho hum'). People communicated. BBSs actually became communities. There were offline ("real life") get-togethers. Pizza nights. Saturday lunches. The yearly OwlBash in New Jersey. And more.

This is what we gave up in the name of "progress."

[#] Fri Oct 10 2014 01:53:08 EDT from ax25

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You can get an Ethernet card for a C64 for about $50 USD, and an OS with a browser for free these days.  All you need is the C64 :-)

[#] Fri Oct 10 2014 02:23:49 EDT from vince-q

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That's now.
Of which I wrote was then.
And never they twain shall meet.

[#] Fri Oct 10 2014 08:35:58 EDT from fleeb

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2014-10-09 18:00 from vince-q
2014-10-09 14:28 from fleeb

I thought the C= 128 could run the original Citadel...

Nope - it ran that same stupid Commodore BASIC that the C64 used, with

a few extra commands.

I distinctly remember running CP/M on my C=128, and running a number of programs written for that OS on the thing. It did a reasonably decent job of it as well. Although I never had a copy of Citadel to try with it.

[#] Fri Oct 10 2014 08:39:33 EDT from fleeb

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I remember using telnet on my Amiga to do things on the Internet. No web browsing at all for me back then. And I had a blast as well... using elm or pine or whatever for e-mail, some analogous sort of thing for Usenet discussions back before all the advertisers completely destroyed it, and acquiring files via ftp primarily. I didn't use gopher much, as it never really had much of interest to me back then.

I also remember telneting to a public unix account available to anyone at nyx as long as you could validate your existance. Not sure that system is still around anymore (and I can't recall the full DNS for that machine anymore).

[#] Fri Oct 10 2014 11:34:17 EDT from vince-q

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I have never, ever, heard not even the slightest hint of CP/M on the '128. And considering that Brian Reilly (who ran Morningstar Keep Citadel on his CP/M box back in 1982) was a regular at my ham shack, I do think the topic would have come up.

Not saying it could not be done - there is no validity to that phrase, almost ever - but I've never heard of it actually *being* dome.

But remembering that I hacked a machine code XMODEM protocol module for the first BBS I wrote (CommLine 64) and used "patch arounds" to almost completely ignore the C=64 "kernal" (spelling is correct), and ended up with a protocol that actually ran slightly *faster* than on the PC-AT boxen, who am I to say "that couldn't be done"?

Pretty much - in computers - within reason, if you can think of it you can do it.

But with CP/M on a "Commie" box, my question would have to be "why?" since, even then, there were much better home boxen on which to do that - the TRS-80 for one, and the Apple II for another.

[#] Fri Oct 10 2014 13:07:45 EDT from fleeb

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I've done this. My father had a CP/M machine with several bits of software that he had picked up one way or another, and I wanted to run some of these on my own machine.

Honestly, I wanted to program for CP/M, but never picked up compilers or the like for it.

[#] Fri Oct 10 2014 19:32:24 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Believe it!  The C-128 was a pretty cool machine that didn't get the attention it deserved.  It had a 6502 CPU and a Z-80 on board.  Commodore had a build of CP/M that ran on the Z-80 side.  Unfortunately, CP/M was just starting to be supplanted by MS-DOS by that time.

[#] Sun Oct 12 2014 21:24:16 EDT from LoanShark

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Finally got a backup of the box that is failing. (Yeah, I hadn't backed it up in 2 years, and I waited until *after* hardware failure had begun...)

Never had a problem backing it up in the past, but this time I just couldn't get the process to complete at first. I use an external 1TB USB drive. But the system wouldn't talk to it, this time; had to look into Event Viewer (the Windows syslog) before the problem became somewhat clear.

The backup would abort with "could not find the file specified." Twice or more in a row.
Digging past that, into a log entry from Event Viewer, made it fairly clear that there was a problem with NTFS security on the backup target. So "could not find the file specified" was a write error to the backup drive.

I tried to fix this by editing NTFS permissions, but things were very strange. The usual feature where you can replace all permissions on child folders with inheritable permissions, did not work. Other changes to the volume would not persist across reboot.

Another log entry from Event Viewer made things clearer. "The system could not flush the journal, filesystem may be inconsistent", or words to that effect. Once this event appears in the logs, everything is fucked from that point onward. Things behave strangely. Writes don't commit across reboots. There are weird errors. Backups, obviously, fail.

Mounting and unmounting the USB drive once led to some weirdness: "one of the USB devices attached to the system has malfunctioned." That's an error that I only saw for the first time about 3 weeks ago, in relation to a camera or something that was hooked up through the hub in my monitor. Could be related to all this early hardware failure shit.

So I think writes to the drive are failing at the device layer, and it might be related to the USB bridge chip in the enclosure. Never had a major problem with USB on this enclosure in the past, but it's always been a bit of a shitty enclosure. eSATA never worked properly.
So I decided to pull the drive out of the enclosure and connect it directly to the motherboard.

Easier said than done. The USB enclosure is not obviously user-servicable. There are no visible screws, only a shiny sticker that says "removing this will void your warranty." Ok, obviously that's a screw. Off it goes--WARRANTY VOIDED! Now there is only sticker-residue that says VOID.

I remove the one screw, and still can't get the enclosure apart. One half is slidin apart, and the other refuses. I start to suspect the rubber feet. Poking and prodding, I don't want to remove them, they are glued down. Googling reveals that there are two screws hidding under the feet, however, so off they go. Guess I can't stand the enclosure on its side now, unless I go buy some rubber cement and glue those things back on.

I've got one cover fully off the enclosure, and this thing is still a piece of shit. I can't see how to get at all the screws that are holding the drive into the enclosure without fabricating custom tools. Some are on the side, with only a half inch of clearance. Others are half hidden under the drive itself.

Time for the power drill. I drill four, screwdriver-sized holes in the hard ABS plastic sides of the USB enclosure. I figure OK, now I've got an enclosure with holes in the sides, but at least I didn't "break" anything, the little latches that hold it all together are still intact, so I could still probably get this piece of shit back together if I wanted to keep it, and now it's got some extra ventilation.

Anyway, extracting the drive from the USB enclosure and connecting it directly to the motherboard was enough to get stable connectivity to the drive, and get a backup. Parts for my upgrade build should arrive on Monday or Wednesday, and the next phase of trying to clone drives to the new RAID array and then yank the motherboard out from underneath will begin..,

[#] Sun Oct 12 2014 22:54:39 EDT from ax25

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Fri Oct 10 2014 07:32:24 PM EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

Believe it!  The C-128 was a pretty cool machine that didn't get the attention it deserved.  It had a 6502 CPU and a Z-80 on board.  Commodore had a build of CP/M that ran on the Z-80 side.  Unfortunately, CP/M was just starting to be supplanted by MS-DOS by that time.

Damn, that makes me a Commodore fan after all.  Would have been best of both worlds at the time :-)


[#] Mon Oct 13 2014 10:51:17 EDT from fleeb

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Commodore had some badass hardware for the day. But the company itself was clueless about what they had. And so, MS-DOS leading to Windows. Ugh.

[#] Mon Oct 13 2014 17:26:51 EDT from athos-mn

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I just had flashbacks of when I ran Pseudodel - damn that was a long time ago.

[#] Tue Oct 14 2014 09:33:24 EDT from dothebart

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replacing the camshaft control of a whasher with an arduino:



[#] Wed Oct 15 2014 01:16:45 EDT from ax25

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The Amiga (even the lowly A500) had an easy way to deal with that MS(PC) DOS crap back in the day:

They just needed a way to interpret the data :-)

Of course there is the old tried and true beat your head against the wall method (ala Messy Dos):!topic/comp.sys.amiga.misc/SNAJiehQkS8

Or, just throw money at it:

[#] Wed Oct 15 2014 08:38:54 EDT from fleeb

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Yeah, I never had either the money or the desire to buy CrossDOS for my Amiga.
I liked it just the way it was. I could buy my own PC if that's what I wanted.

But I kinda liked CP/M, even thought it resembled MS-DOS in many respects (on the surface, at least).

[#] Wed Oct 15 2014 09:58:07 EDT from vince-q

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But I kinda liked CP/M, even thought it resembled MS-DOS in many
respects (on the surface, at least).

Hmmmm.... considering that CP/M was around for quite a while before MS-DOS came to be... it was MS-DOS that "resembled" CP/M.

And there's a reason for that.
And Bill Gates will *never* tell you.

[#] Wed Oct 15 2014 10:14:27 EDT from fleeb

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That would be more correct, yes.. and I certainly know why they looked alike.

But I preferred CP/M. And their business model.

[#] Wed Oct 15 2014 14:39:33 EDT from vince-q

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I completely agree.
CP/M was built on integrity.
MS-DOS was built on theft.

[#] Thu Oct 16 2014 10:27:16 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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The myth is that IBM wanted CP/M but Gary Kildall blew them off. That's a myth perpetuated by Microsoft's PR people, similar to the myth that Bill Gates *didn't* say "640 KB ought to be enough for anyone."

The truth is that Bill Gates' mother had connections inside IBM and gave them the inside track to land the operating system deal for IBM's new personal computer.

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