• BroBryce64

  • by BroBryce

My name is Bryce L. Tomlinson. Back in the 80's I became "almost famous" by writing a little program to make keyboard graphics on the Commodore 64 for all of the Color 64 BBS services that were popping up all over Portland Oregon and the USA. Today I'm a filmmaker and social media expert, but my memories haunt me, and I long to bring the fun and adventure of the C64 back to my living room. Join me in my quest, and I'll try to share what happens as I rebuild my 8-bit past in the 21st century.


Blinging out my Setup

When last we visited our hero, Bryce was digging up his past and mulling over Maverick for the C= 1581. But with great power comes great responsibility! Or something like that.

Good day and good week!  Last month I am happy to say that Julie and I made our way up North to the PSCUG meeting, and it was great to connect with friends and make new ones.   We ended up having a tourney of Dino Eggs and Oil's Well late into the night.   Thanks to all who participated in 8-bit epicness.   I also got to test out my Amiga 1200 which came in the mail earlier that week.  It works great, well, except for the whole "doesn't have a hard drive or operating system" thingy.  I already knew when I bid on it on eBay that it had a bad hard drive, so that is no surprise, and not that big a deal since I already had planned to put a CompactFlash drive into it.  It would have been nice to know, however, that AmigaKit sells refurbed 1200's for about the same price as I paid for my slightly under-the-weather one.   And they would have hooked it up with all the trimmings that I plan to add to it.

Among the enhancements I plan to add to my Amiga 1200, which I've already got ordered:

1.  Indivision AGA 1200 mk2cr - a video output add-on card that plugs on top of the Lisa chip and supplies flicker-fixer/scandoubler video via DV-I, opening up better video and enhanced modes previously not available.

2.  EasyADF CompactFlash transfer kit - A PCMCIA card reader for CF cards on the Amiga, making it easy to copy data from the PC/Mac to the Amiga on standard-formatted cards.  

3.  CompactFlash to IDE adapter - Allows using a CF card instead of a hard drive, including the new Solid State Drive 4GB versions available today.  Low heat and slightly higher transfer rates (average about 5-8% faster).

On the 64 side, we started a new Milwaukie/Portland-based Commodore group, meeting at the Webster Road "Mocha Express" coffee shop.   Gary Driggs and I met up there, along with his 5-year-old daughter.   I had a couple of 64's there, and Gary brought his DTV model.  It was cool to see that people who came in could still be entertained by the games on the 1983 computer.  We hope to get more people in next month, as this month we had about 1 day to prepare.   We were careful not to conflict with the dates of bible studies going on in the shop, or with PDXCUG's or PSCUG's meeting times elsewhere.

One thing I really enjoyed about setting up was how simple it is, since now I have the 1541 Ultimate II cartridge.  That thing is really cool.   While it is mostly cost prohibitive for folks who really are not that into the C64, it is amazing to see that it successfully turns the C64 into the "set top box" that I had dreamed of assembling.   Now I no longer have to lug around (or set up in my entertainment system) a huge disk drive or hundreds of disks.  My only obstacle now is the lack of a wireless keyboard or joysticks.   But that day will come.  I'm sure.

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