Retrocosm.net – New Name Same Old Stuff

I’ve decided it’s time to upgrade to my own super cool domain to reflect the fact that my blog has pretty much become almost solely retro-computing based.

Traffic seems to be building consistently and more visitors are leaving comments which is fantastic.  So I’m going to try and document more of my tinkering with retro gear as it seems to be a hobby that is gaining popularity right now.

Atari Portfolio

Atari Portfolio

I have a couple of projects on the go at the moment, both involving the Atari Portfolio.  Firstly I’m trying to hook up a parallel Zip Drive to it for storage and easy file transfer.  I also want to get hold of a serial interface and try and get it talking to a modem and hopefully my BBS – Nostromo.

I shall therefore document my success/failures in these endeavours in due course.

Video Of Bomber On The Atari Portfolio

Using my recently acquired parallel port interface for the Atari Portfolio I’ve been successfully transferring files onto the Portfolio from my Windows 95 box.  Initially the process would not work, however after setting the parallel port to Auto in the PC’s BIOS, transfers worked perfectly.

I’ve been trying a number of games and utilities, one that caught my eye was Bomber by Jaraslav Janda as it’s a version of the game Blitz (which was probably a version of the original) which was the first game I bought for my Vic 20 back in 1983/84.  I shot some video with my iPhone of me playing it, badly:-

Following my previous blog entry regarding printing on the Portfolio with the Epson P-40 portable thermal printer I’ve also now made a video:-

The portfolio speaks:-

Printing With The Atari Portfolio

I recently acquired a parallel port interface for the Atari Portfolio, it’s actually an original DIP (Distributed Information Processing) model and looks as good as new.  In order to transfer files to and from the Portfolio and a PC I need a DB25 male to male straight through cable which I have on order.

In the meantime it occurred to me I could hook up my Epson P-40 portable thermal printer with a standard parallel printer cable and confirm it’s in working order.

I connected everything together, created a bit of text in the Portfolio editor and then hit a snag, I couldn’t work out how to make it print.  In mitigation I don’t have a manual for the Portfolio however after a brute force attack, ie trying every combination of key presses I could think of I found the required menu.

Much to my surprise the Epson immediately burst into life and printed my text, I almost imagined it sitting there thinking, is that all you’ve got?

(Update, Video Available)

Some obligatory pictures:-