I asked for a car, I got a computer. How's that for being born under a bad sign? - Ferris Bueller

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Achievement Unlocked: Apple IIGS ROM 03 PCB

November 8th, 2015 by Sean

Achievement Unlocked! I’ve acquired an Apple IIgs ROM 3 motherboard:

Apple IIGS ROM 03 Motherboard PCB - Geek With Social Skills

Here’s a little bit of information about the Apple IIGS ROM 03:

  • Apple released ROM 03 in August 1989
  • Control Panel and real-time clock battery now user-serviceable
  • Standard amount of RAM increased to 1.125 MB
  • Additional memory was built-in on the motherboard
  • New ROM firmware now 256 KB in size and contains the System 5.x toolsets

The newer toolsets increased the performance of the machine by up to 10%, due to the fact that less had to be loaded from disk, tool ROM read access being faster than RAM, and their highly optimized routines compared to the older toolsets (pre-GS/OS based).

In addition to several bug fixes, more programmer assistance commands and features, a cleaned up Control Panel with improved mouse control, RAM Disk functionality, more flexible Appletalk support and slot mapping were added.

I’m pretty excited to have tracked this board down. In the near future I’ll be swapping out my ROM 01 PCB with this ROM 03 PCB so I’ll have a total of 2 MB of RAM. Game on!

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Apple IIgs Keyboard Restoration

October 29th, 2015 by Sean

I recently restored my Apple IIgs Desktop Bus Keyboard (part number 658-4081 – older Alps version) and wanted to showcase the before and after pictures. Enjoy!

My first picture shows how the keyboard looked before restoration… a lot of yellowing on the case and specifically the space bar:

Apple IIGS Keyboard Restoration - Geek With Social Skills

In this next picture you can see the keyboard taken apart, the space bar removed and also the plastic spacer piece between the QWERTY keys and numeric keypad:

Apple IIGS Keyboard Restoration - Geek With Social Skills

This last picture shows my Apple IIgs keyboard reassembled after my special cleaning process… it looks so minty fresh and pretty close to brand new:

Apple IIGS Keyboard Restoration - Geek With Social Skills

In the future I’ll be sure do a follow up blog post with more details on how I achieved these amazing results, and before you ask, no, it wasn’t Retr0bright, but something less toxic.

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May 11, 1951: RAM Is Born

May 11th, 2010 by Sean

59 years ago today the patent for computer memory was filed by professor Jay Forrester at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Without any further delay, Happy Birthday to the creation of RAM… and there was much rejoicing… yay!

So how should we celebrate this technological achievement by the team at MIT? Upgrading our computer’s RAM of course.

Source: Wired This Day In Tech

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Sony Delivers Floppy Disk’s Last Rites

April 25th, 2010 by Sean

3.5 FloppyThe days of the 3.5-inch floppy disk are now officially numbered.

Sony, which boasts 70 percent of the market, announced Friday that it would end Japanese sales of the ancient storage medium in March 2011, according to a report in the Mainichi Daily newspaper.

The 3.5-inch floppy was a ubiquitous and necessary component for storing and transferring files between personal computers for nearly three decades.

Sony pioneered the 3.5-inch floppy disk in 1981, eventually replacing the 5.25-inch floppy disk that had previously been the popular storage format.

This is sad news for sure. Time to stock up on 3.5″ floppies since I can still use them for my Commodore 1581 disk drive.

Source: CNET News

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JW Player

February 23rd, 2009 by Sean

JW Player, the #1 Open Source Player for FLV, H.264 & MP3. And it’s free for non-commercial use!

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