Friday, July 24, 2009

No Progress With the Old School Computers

It's been a while since I've talked about where things stand in regards to retro projects around here. On the most part, I'm dead in the water since I'm still unemployed. With no cash flow, things are more than tight budget wise. But, that doesn't mean I don't try to kick things into motion.

The Coleco Adam console is still languishing away in the washroom on a work table. With only having the main unit on hand, there's not much I can do with it at this point. My friend claims he has another friend who might be willing to part with a working system. Unfortunately it will be a while before he visits his friend who lives in a small town that's off in who knows where. Meanwhile, I keep watching Craigs List for a keyboard and printer to get the system up and running.

The NeXTstation is stuck on hold too. I'm trying to locate a functioning SCSI CD-ROM for booting the system with. While I have a Yamaha SCSI CD-ROM on hand, the cabling I have does not work. I need a series of adapters to go from the NeXT Station to the 50 pin SCSI connector on the CD-ROM drive. And since the CD-ROM is an internal unit for the PC, it doesn't have a power supply. That can be hacked around temporarily by using a powered external drive USB case probably. Just more hacky hacks though. Hopefully, I can put something together and get the little beast booted.

I'm still on the hunt for an old Apple II of some variety. It's one of those machines I always wanted as a kid but didn't have the greenbacks to acquire. It's more of something to tinker with than anything else.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Someone Finally Noticed the Space Invader on my Lawn

For the first time ever, someone finally noticed the brick mosaic pattern I have on the front lawn. When it happened, I was working on the computer. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a guy walking towards my fence. At first he appeared to be looking in my vicinity. As he approached, he came right up to the fence and focused on something for half a minute before walking away. At the time, I couldn't figure out what caught his attention. It was later that I realized he saw this:

At least someone finally saw it without me pointing it out. In fact, at one point, I even had one of my friends stand directly in front of it and asked him if he noticed anything. He scratched his head and said no. I then said the words "space invaders?" Hi just shook his head and said he didn't get it. The shame of it was that he does a fair amount of trading retro video games and consoles.

Note: I made a correction to the brick mosaic from the original. Somewhere along the line, one half of a red colored brick was placed wrong, throwing the Invader out of balance. Some quick reorganization and a rubber mallet corrected the problem.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Guerilla Filmmaking

After reading a post from another person about video blogging, I started thinking about film. In the past, I've tinkered with the idea churning out a short film of some variety. Off and on, stop motion always seemed like an interesting technique to go with at times. But regardless of whether it's non-mainstream like stop motion or just a narrative of something, the tricky part for me is coming up with an initial storyboard concept that is interesting. I can come up with ideas, but novel and truly interesting ideas are another story. Looks like it's back to the storyboard for me. At least for now.

As for equipment, I don't have jack around here. I do have a few pieces of old Super-8 gear that I snagged at the thrift stores. Sadly, it is less desirable gear in the grand scheme of retro-gear. Here's a picture of my pitiful collection which includes two Yashica Electro 8 LD-8 cameras, a Gaf projector, and a pair of 8/16 mm editing stations.

I really need to give myself a kick in the backside and tackle a project. Dang, now I'm gonna bug my brother's neighbor and see if he has any Super 8 gear he might be willing to part with for a song and dance. Film on a budget... hahahaha! Nothing like using quartz halogen portable shop lights, a tripod that reminds you of a weeble, and who knows what else. I don't think people like Quentin Tarantino have anything to worry about from competition.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Retro Computing Interests

Over the weekend, one of my friends stopped by on his way to a flea market. At the time, he was using my house as a drop off point to store some bicycles he'd bought at a yard sale. While we were unloading the bicycles, the conversation turned to the old Coleco Adam console unit he'd dropped off a few weeks ago. Since the unit is missing a keyboard and the printer, I asked if the fella he got it from might have either. Sadly, the guy only had the CPU box.

We talked for a while longer and it sounds like my friend knows another person who has several functional Coleco Adam units. Now, it's a matter of finding out how much cash they want for one of the computers. Not that I'm in a position to buy anything, especially considering I'm still unemployed. But it's good to know someone has several of the Adam computers available. I can't help but feel an addiction to those old Z80 based machines!

If I ever get any cash flow going again, my friend also has several Vectrex units. I'd really like to snag one for the coffee table in my living room. It would make for a great conversation piece, not to mention being a lot of retro fun at the same time. That will have to wait too. Until I snag a job, spending money is out of the question.

On the plus side, I did pick up a free game this weekend though. Another buddy of mine stopped by and dropped off a Sega Genesis cart he found laying around his house. It was Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Sounds like I'm gonna have to fire up the old Sega Nomad and give it a spin. :)