Sunday, November 24, 2019

Apple IIGS GSOS Low Memory Causing Lockups

I have a 4MB expansion. 800K was cache and 2400K was RAMDISK. Leaving about 980K free.

Unarchiving a simple 50K archive would lock the machine when quitting GS Shrinkit.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Building an ADF-Copy Board for Reading and Writing Amiga Disks with a PC Floppy

Pics to follow. I just built this. Notes for now, cleaner post/video later.

These are cheaper on Amazon than Ebay by about $6. -=> (Using my link makes me a dollar or so...I appreciate it.)

The pics/video will make my notes clearer.

  • -You must have a floppy drive connected or the front end software won't detect the hardware. An Amiga floppy works for testing the connection.
Not immediately obvious to me:
  • the Teensy micro USB connector is comm and power for the teensy only
  • -the OTHER usb connector is power only for the floppy drive.
  • The headers for D-/D+ aren't needed at this time. +5V can be used to feed floppy power as it's common. GND can come in at the floppy power pin.

I recommend just buying some breakaway .100 header strips and using that to connect a floppy cable, floppy power and USB power. Way cheaper and flexible. You can now put it in a case or wherever vs. having to plug the baord into a drive. Board clearance on some drives now no longer an issue.

You can cut arduino wires (,100) and solder those to a USB cable to make the power connection.

Power out via .100 header pins can now use a standard 3.5" power cable. Break off 3, cut the center one flush and then solder it in the holes on the PCB.

Cheapest build:

Use nothing but header pins and the teensy. Though I'd recommend socketing the teensy.

You don't even need the capacitor if you use a 1amp (iphone charger for example) power supply to feed the +5V for the floppy.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Horrible Noise From Monoprice Maker Ultimate

This one is pretty simple but not intuitive for a fix. Just slightly bend or adjust the limit travel switches.

With the printer off, you can move the head by hand. Just ensure the switch 'clicks' slightly before the head is full travel.

Let's say 1/th inch but there's probably an official number somewhere...probably doesn't matter unless you are printing something at the size limit.

In my case, when I homed the head it made a horrible grinding noise and told me the limit switch was broken. 

The one on the back left of the printer as you face the screen was not clicking before the head travel hit the physical limit. The left arrow in this photo. Other arrow is another switch and there's a third one somewhere. :)

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Amiga 1000 Power Supply Repair

Mine was missing 12V from the 3122V voltage regulator. I replaced about half the electrolytics while I was in there.

3122V is attached the the last heat sink in the upper right corner here. You can just unscrew and desolder, heat sync stays in place.

I got mine for $3.89 on Ebay. Here's a link to the specific listing: Linky. Either link supports me by generating a tiny commission.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

ADTPro and Windows: Which USB to Serial Adapter to use?

IMHO, don't go too cheap.

This is a good brand, with good drivers and it's what I used with ADTPro to make floppies on my IIGS:

I'll make about 72 cents if you buy it using the link. And that will make me happy so I will keep writing these.

It's rated 4.5 stars. 

Don't be cheap and wrestle with crappy drivers. This is easy. And it's capable of around 250Kbps if you need something high speed for later.

You'll need SOME kind of 9 pin null modem adapter.

Here's a link for some:

One end needs to be female. The other depends on what cable you get. 

For my IIgs, one end was the DIN8 serial and the other a DB25 so I got a null modem adapter that mated those two ends. 

I think it's better to just have one null modem adapter and then just buy cheaper adapters and cables to fit that for various projects vs. buying several different null modem cables. It's cheaper to just buy regular cables and re-use the null modem adapter over and over. 

One example would be my Amiga, which I will be putting Amiga Explorer on and I've already got two DB25 ends which is probably a cheap cable I think I've already got.


Saturday, October 26, 2019

Bridging TCP/IP on an Apple IIgs to the rest of the world

I wrote separate article on bridging Ethernet to Localtalk which turns out to be fairly trivial using a beige G3 as a software bridge.

So *PHYSICALLY* we are bridged, sorta, but the LocalTalk bridge software doesn't pass TCP/IP packets.

"Except for the Farallon StarRouter, none of the bridge solutions allow use of TCP/IP, which means the oldest Macs can't access the internet.

MacIPgw is what I’m fiddling with now.


Q: Where do I put the TCPIP update for Marinetti (
A: It goes in the System.Setup folder. You can hit Command-I and it's 3.0b11 for the new one as of this writing.

Friday, October 25, 2019

IIgs and CFFA 3000 and lost Icons Folder

My problem:

Suddenly my relatively fresh GSOS 6.0.4 install on a CFFA 3000 CF card lost the Icons folder and the Ftype.Apple file.

"Finder couldn't Load any File type Descriptors"

For some strange reason there was a More.Icons folder though.

It was installed on a .po file via (IIRC) a fresh actual physical floppy set. (Before I got better at using the CFFA 3000 and images.)


Download a fresh live .po image of GSOS 6.0.4
Boot the new live image.
When booted, press Open Apple-Ctrl-Esc and mount your faulty installation.
Copy More.Icons over to Icons.

One issue:
Mounting the live install first in Smartport slot 1 then adding my .po file to slot 2 still booted mine. So, don't mount your defective install until after booting the fresh one.
Solved: in the CFFA CDA, set the USB or CF to start first as desired.

Solved until further notice: Copying the files in More.Icons to Icons allowed GSOS to boot.

Issue: why do I have Bill the Cat from Bloom County as my trash icon? Don't remember installing that...

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Husqvarna HU 625AWD drive cable replacement and return spring attachment location.

First, PLEASE use this Amazon link if you're buying the cable. We get a few cents. This is where I got mine. It is correct and looks exact.

Mainly posting because my return spring that disengages the drive popped off and one attach point is hidden.


Spring Location

This is with the mower on its side. As you can see, one end attaches to a slot on the plastic guard on the left and it's kind of hidden. the other end goes to an attach hole on the greased part you see on the right. I hit it all with some spray white lithium grease.

I'd also recommend some lithium grease on the cable. Mine rusted out.

Link for grease:

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Amiga 1000 Resurrection Rebuild

Bought an Amiga 1000 (because I always wanted one) for relatively cheap on Ebay and it said 'It Runs'.

Yeah, right.

The power supply fan runs. Short story: no 12V output due to a bad 3122V.

No video or anything yet, 3122V on order.

Went ahead and replaced about half the electrolytics on the power supply with what I had.

All other voltages present and looked ok or close enough to work. IIRC -12V was 10.something.

Of course, it had really been parted out because the seller was an idiot.

Missing floppy, missing floppy cable, missing floppy mount...smelled a bit like cigarette smoke.


Power supply repair completed with 3122V. All voltages slightly above the rating so they should be good under load but I haven't checked yet.

It does boot to a white screen and I get the boot tones.


After a brief run, started getting a Cyan (blue?) screen which means either the WCS RAM (Where the Amiga 1000 loads Kickstart floppy to) or one of the custom chips. Only the 1000 gives a cyan for WCS. Blue is for all Amigas IIRC.

So, I removed all the custom chips and cleaned the legs with 91% rubbing alcohol and gave the sockets a swipe and a canned air cleaning.

Found a weak leg (partially cracked) on the middle custom chip and so I solder coated it. Gold pins and aluminum cheap sockets don't do well over time. Dissimilar metal issues IMHO.

So now its running. Got Amiga Explorer Running. Copied it to an ADF.

Expect a video on that and how to get it up because the instructions aren't entirely clear.

Video forthcoming on the PS/2 mouse and PS/2 keyboard adapters I got.

RAM connector was gross. Clean yours. I swapped some gross looking spots here and there.

Next: Amiga diagnostics.

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Monday, August 26, 2019

How to Mute a Chrome Window / Tab

This is great if you have to do an online course or whatever with mandatory watch times.

If you don't want to listen to the audio but maybe just kinda watch it while you Netflix, it's easy.

I'm using Chrome on Mac OS X 10.13 (doesn't matter) build 76.0.3809.100.

Just right click the tab and select 'Mute Site'. 

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Monday, June 24, 2019

1988 C4 Corvette Rear Shock/Strut Replacement. I used Bilstein.

Good instructions. Better than Bilstein's. IIRC for 1988: top rear bracket torque 22 ft/lbs, knuckle 61 ft/lbs. Also for the old strut you can use a 1/4 in wrench to hold the strut from turning vs. vice grips.

Check your manual.

1988 Lugnuts 100ft lbs, again IIRC. 80 for the spare.

PLEASE use my Amazon link. I get a little commission and it helps support my reviews:

Click the pic to buy the exact ones I got.

At the time of writing they were under $90 each. The rubber was all uprated and larger pieces. The old one didn't have a self locking nut. Nice upgrades.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

FIX: Virtual Box and FreeDOS 1.2 ISO Invalid Opcode errors when booting for install

Here's what the FreeDOS page says to do:

"When you boot the FreeDOS install CDROM, when you get the get the first "Welcome to FreeDOS 1.2" boot menu, press Tab when you're on "Install to harddisk" and add 'raw' (without quotes) to the kernel command line, then press Enter to boot.

From this:
KERNEL /boot/syslinux/memdisk

To this:
KERNEL /boot/syslinux/memdisk raw"

So all this means is push tab, type 'raw' (without quotes) and press Enter. 

But the command line looks like this when it pops up:

Pretty much nothing like what the FreeDOS site says, unless you're a linux geek. 

Which is why people still hate Linux.

Note: you will have to hit 'tab' and enter 'raw' at the end every time the VM reboots during the install such as after it partitions your virtual disk.

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Connecting Apple IIgs to your Mac Pro for File Sharing

Specifically this is just to clarify some settings for the LocalTalk Bridge 2.1 Control Panel. It works for me.

As you can see, AppleTalk is set to use Ethernet per the notes at

But it didn't say what to set as far as the Public/Private setting for the control panel.

My home Ethernet is so it's a private IP but since LocalTalk can't use TCP/IP on classic Macs and the IIgs (yet...more on that in a minute) I think it just really means 'can anyone use the bridge', so it's set to yes.

Other specs:
Beige G3 running Mac OS 9.2.2 natively, Localtalk over phonenet with terminators (Farallon but none of that really matters), Apple IIgs on GSOS 6.0.4.

I can see both my VirtualBox shares and the shares of my G3 on my IIgs. G3 is in the middle as the bridge of course. It's a good middle of the road machine for Classic work in the modern world as it still has most of the ports, IDE interfaces, SCSI, mine's got USB, it's got a floppy that can read and write at least 800K (although IIRC later OSes have issues with ProDOS). I usually just use HFS 800K if I have to.

Want to thank me for my work? Click the Paypal link on the right side that says 'Buy me a Cup of Coffee' or because I like to make things easier, here's a Patreon Link:

VirtualBox (VB) does not sense the active physical Ethernet port on my Mac Pro (cMP). I had to go to settings on VB to tell it Ethernet 1, Bridged Adapter after I had swapped the cable over when I was toying with some settings on my cMP.

IIgs doesn't see my folder share but it does allow me to access complete disks on the G3 by logging in as a registered user.

Bonus Tip:
I'm using Sheepshaver on my cMP to screen control the G3 via TimbukTu Pro 4.0.6 (TTP) under Mac OS 7.5.5 on Sheepshaver. It craps out on program start but then just init a new connection on TTP.

Also if you're using Sheepshaver, I had to uncheck 'Ignore Illegal Instructions' to get TTP going again. For some reason it just stopped working.

Don't you love vintage computing?

The LocalTalk bridge DOES NOT allow TCP/IP per:

"Except for the Farallon StarRouter, none of the bridge solutions allow use of TCP/IP, which means the oldest Macs can't access the internet.

Bridging my Apple IIgs TCP/IP in software will is a seperate blog post. 

Questions? I do respond to comments.

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Saturday, May 11, 2019

Apple II GS/OS *WITHOUT* a Hard Drive! RAMDISK!

Support us by using this link to buy IIgs stuff on Ebay: IIGS items on Ebay

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I downloaded and made the 6.0.4 floppies, and then used Flashboot to install it to the RAMDISK. I have a 4MB Applied Engineering RAMDISK and even with a few add-ins over the basics, I have about 800K left.

Instructions can be clicked. They work. Some differences in verbiage vs. what the screen says, but pretty obvious. Comment if you have questions.

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