Last night I hosted the 21st meeting of the SEA-CCC
. We had a great showing with lots of good friends a good times, as is always the case. It's one day out of every month we all are allowed to get our nerd on around like-minded souls. It keeps us young.
I took a ton of hardware (my back!). I brought my C128Dcr and 19092A with Ultimate1541 cart. We checked out the brand new game Millie and Mollie by Carleton Handley
We also watched member Ron defeat L'Abbaye des Morts
in just a few minutes, which was great fun to witness. He completely mastered it in just a couple of days. His game flow is so refined now he actually skips one of the screens entirely to save time. Finally we wrapped things up with David's Midnight Magic and Fort Apocalypse.
Club member Dan
brought a large collection of 8-bit focused magazines. To my astonishment, I pulled out a very special issue of RUN, which I instantly remembered seeing before
(look at the mag on her shelf).
I quickly thumbed to the Table of Contents and scanned for Margaret Morabito's name. Then I found it, and flipped to page 80. And there it was - so very cool! One of her in-depth articles on the C128.
I also brought my beloved A3000 for some work. My friend (and site member) Christian got a GAL programmer and wanted to swap out 4 of my PALs with brand new GAL chips. The four chips in question were U202, U203, U701 and U714.
He wanted to exchange those on my machine for multiple reasons. Most importantly the old PALs consume more power than the newer GALs, and the old versions are also prone to overheating and crashing. The new chips cut about 0.5A on the +5V rail. This is key to helping to keep the machine cooler. It also reduces the draw on the power supply as I expand things over time.
Those got swapped, and after each new chip was put into place we cycled power to make sure all was well - and it was! With my low-power and quiet fan, SCSI2SD and now these GALs, my 3000 might be able to run off solar. Hah!
Next he installed the proper 1A Polyswitch fuse, which in theory should correct my A3000's SCSI term power circuit as well as the TermPWR diode. These were incorrectly installed by Commodore in many machines - and that includes mine. This very well may explain why my external SCSI port would not function properly when I hooked up SCSI devices. It would explain a lot. I will test that fix later this week and report back.
To my shock and horror, when I took the top case off my A3000 I discovered the area I cleaned around the previous VARTA battery had begun to lightly corrode around a nearby resistor. I couldn't believe it! I had worked on that area last year for quite some time taking my time cleaning a fairly large swath of the motherboard.
Regardless, that area was dealt with again. I need to use an overcoat pen and cover up the exposed metal to hopefully not have to think about that area again.
Christian then painstakingly removed the corroded posts from my motherboard from the previous battery (not easy to do) and soldered the new battery in. This was a very time consuming process but it all works great now.
We also all stood around and ooh'd and aah'd briefly at my 3000's special 1.4 hidden beta screen.
Finally, after showing the club how I could boot into either 1.3 or 2.0 - using the ROM Tower as it was shipped from the factory - Christian showed me how to change the boot priority of my partitions so I could make the 3000 boot into 1.3 instead of 2.0 as the default, which was completely rad. I never would have thought to do that.
While he didn't entirely approve of making the 3000 default 1.3 for me, he understood my reasons. So now I'm one big time happy camper!
I just need to test my SCSI tonight, and if all goes well I think my 3000 might be good to go for the foreseeable future.