Days Gone Bye!

Started tinkering with a few of my old computers (think I have other posts here). Happy to see an Old Apple IIe and Atari 800Xl working again. The biggest issues I’ve had with them, are the amount of space the displays take. The Apple needed a composite display, I’ve been using their Green Screen and the Atari needs a TV using the old Analog signals on channels 2 or 3. Fun thing is not many displays come with both those options anymore. HOWEVER, gotta love ebay.

Found a new in the box Brooksonic 19″ 1080i HD LCD Television Model CCVG-1935 NEW u-7A. Cost with shipping $81. A deal for the amount of bench space it is saving, connects to both computers and it has a VESA mount option (next project).

OH And it came with a remote!

USB-C Opinion

Nice thing about a personal blog, you can get away with posting your personal opinions without anyone being able to argue. Well one of my big options at the moment is that USB-C SUCKS. It might be a great idea, almost universal way to connect and charge your devices. However, 99% of the connectors are junk, cheaply made and break. If you don’t spend the money for a good cable, or good connector you will have issues. Have seen blown buck boards, laptops that won’t charge, connectors that just break off, basically all the things all the other connectors over they years had to deal with, all rolled into one.

I like being able to dock my laptop almost everywhere and it works. When it works.

People don’t know there are different USB-C cables, they all look the same, they all FIT so why don’t they work? A $3 Amazon cable IS NOT THE SAME as $13 Amazon cable. Don’t go cheap on your cables and connectors or you WILL PAY.

The connectors need to be plugged in STRAIGHT, no bending them up-in-down, or side to side. Otherwise either the male or the female connector WILL BREAK. The connectors (silver ends) are very easy to bend, once bent, forget it! It is over, buy a new cable.

Dell connects their USB-C cable to their docks, others like Lenovo don’t. People tend to walk off with the ‘extra’ cable. Thus leaving you with a useless dock. And you need a 4x or higher cable to replace it.. Meaning not the cheap $3 cable.

People are cheap, they buy cheap. USB-C is ending up just being a cheap option that will someday bite you in the butt.

Hate that everyone is forcing Apple to change all their cables to USB-C.. I think this is a very bad idea. Mostly because of everything I just explained.

If you go shopping for a USB-C cable, note its speed rating try to get the higher speed or to make things easier 4k or better.

https://learn.adafruit.com/assets/85324

Finally added Atari Files

So now I have what DAUG eBags I’ve found so far converted to ATR files, which means you should be able to download and run in your Atari 8-bit emulator.

I couldn’t find a good, cheap (meaning free) way to add a file repository in WordPress. So I just created one in RapidWeaver and added to another domain hosted on the same server. You’ll notice that when you follow the link to download. Just did it cus it was FREE.

Atari files can be found at the DAUG Atari Software Collection to the right. Let me know if you have any issues, or were a member of DAUG.

Thanks

Finally Posting Data from 433mhz

Would not believe the hoops I had jumped thru to get the data where I wanted it. First 433mhz posts to MQTT, then I have a web page running in a loop, on an old Xserve that reads the data from MQTT. After reading data, it parses the data into CSV files, one for each device. Another web page then uses CSV data to create data blocks.

Could not use CSV directly from MQTT because it would just stop working after the file got so big (32mb I think).. JSON has the same issue, but a bit larger 64mb.

Data is not 100% real time, but it is only, at most 2 minutes or so old for each sensor. Each sensors sends data at its own rate. The receiver, caches and process the data, in batches every 10 seconds. Guess if data comes in during that time it is possible it could get lost, but I don’t think so.

Enjoyed working on this. Really hope to add more sensors and make the data look more sci-fi’ish. But that is for a later date.

UPDATE: In this post, we were using FEEDS by Weaver’s Space, in RapidWeaver. Turned out not to be the best solution for the problem

MQTT – Finally

Finally able to Subscribe and Post Data to a MQTT broker/server.

As always, examples found on the internet, are incomplete, or are just copies of someone else’s post. One of the most popular examples has both Post and Subscribe in one, but of course doesn’t really work without a great deal of review.

Basically you have a server, what they call a broker, that receives all the MQTT traffic., then it allows others to subscribe and monitor the data being posted.

So my setup has a rtl_433 receiver that collects all the sensor data from 433 devices and parses it. Sensors include weather stations, remote temperature, door switches and motion detectors. At present all I am handling is the temperature sensors. Each sensor has an ID which I track, noting it location on the property. Then they also have temperature (of course) and humidity. The sensors sends a lot of other data, but that is all I really need. I then send the data back to broken parsed, into another channel for my use..

The coal is to parse the incoming data into a control panel that will display sensor data, like a dashboard. Basement sensor always in same location, for example. Graphically.

Sensor appear to just send data in a timed manner, once every few minutes. They don’t care if anyone receives it, just throw out over the airwaves. The SDR receives the data, parses it, the Posts to the Broker. The Broken in turn basically doesn’t the same thing as the sensor, it just rebroadcasts the data for anyone that has Subscribe to that Topic. My webpage Subscribes to the Topic and reparses the data and displays it.

Getting there!

Dade Atari Users Group – DAUG

Was one of the founders and long time supporter of DAUG. We had a vast collection of shareware and freeware that we would exchange with our members. In trying to keep things interesting and get more people into programming I would try to write a new Menu for each new disk. Showing off Atari features and new things we learn about your computers.

I’ve been trying to find my old friends from those day, to see if I could convert the library over to emulator usable files, so if you are one of those people, please reach out to me.

Never been a big fan of WordPress, but I am going to try and provide a link to the file, an image of the menu and a list of the files on the disk.

Apple II – It Lives..

After at least 20 years of moving and storage, I finally attempted to get an old Apple II working. Of the three I have, only one came close to booting. Ended up using parts from the other two to get it working. Nice thing is, it is the best of the lot, so smiles all around.

Let the fun begin. Going to try and add it to my network. Have old AppleTalk devices and cable (phone RJ-11) so hoping it is doable.

Wrote a LOT of software in BASIC

Back in the 80’s and 90’s I used to write software for users around the campus, before networks, so all were pretty much stand along. So I have a nice collection of routines that I would reuse. Even ended up making a menu system, and applications that would run in the background. All is VisualBasic or QuickBasic, it was great fun at the time.

Ended up using DosBox to create a means to run all my old software, including the development system with all the libraries. So nice to see, and see how far the world has come.

Biggest issue is networking, trying to use some of the old programs to interact with the real world and send info over the network. Not really working yet, but haven’t given up.

Even got AtariWin box working.. Was able to create lots of image files from old Atari disks. Very cool.. Trying to find a way to do Apple II disks nexts..

Reliving the Old Days

Starting rebuilding an Atari computer to revive old software that I used to write for the Atari Users Group in Miami, D.A.U.G. (Dade Atari Users Group). Already have an emulator running on my Windows Machine (Lenovo), just need to get some disk images created.

Have picked up some external devices that I really hope with the conversion.

So far I’ve had to purchase two used Atari 800XLs to get one that work, my old one was used for parts as well (total of 3). I have a 1050 floppy drive, but it doesn’t appear to work, so I’ve purchased 2 more from eBay, thus far one has arrived and works a little better, but isn’t reading any disks. The second one seems to have been lost in the mail, waiting for the outcome of that.

But look for future downloadable disk images in the future, just don’t know how far in the future.