ScuzzBlog: 5th April 2008

Subject 01: Let's Kick-Off - With Kick Off 2
Subject 02: Get Ready - Chaos Splitters
Subject 03: The Death of CP/M - Not a Quick and Dirty Operating System
Subject 04: A Good Kicking - I don`t know why I bother
Subject 05: Enterprising Endeavours - The Missing Knob
Subject 06: Caught in the ACT - Life and death of the Apricot Computer
Subject 07: Secret weapons of Commodore - The 3000H Games Console
Subject 08: As It Happened - This session I have been mostly..
Subject 09: This Weeks Favourite Link - Klondike Card Sets

Entry 0808: Blogs: 9


Let'ss Kick-Off

Entry 0808: Blog: 1


With Kick-Off 2

Hi

We had this post from a new member to the Commodore
Amiga Group, and I just couldn't resist posting it
on the blog... 

[ from the list ]

RE: Kick-Off 2

Is there any love for this game? I remember when the original Kick
Off came out...what a breath of fresh air! (I only had Kenny
Dalglish's soccer match before that! lol). 
But Kick Off 2 and Player Manager was stunning games! ahhh, the
rivalries between this and Sensible Soccer eh?

If truth be told I gravitated over to SWOS because that's where the
newer updates were coming from, but last year I found out that people
still play Kick Off 2!

Click link to www.ko-gathering.com


They've also ironed out some of the more stupid bugs, whilst still
keeping the classic playability. Not sure if its nostalgia, but
playing this with its fast pace and lush green pitch...I dunno, newer
games just leave me cold!

As I said, I only joined the forum last year but already I'v made a
load of friends. I'v even attended a few tournaments - mostly in
Birmingham and Reading area.

Would be great if some fans are here so we can talk about the classic
game. Its even possible to have a 2 player online, but local
tournaments round peoples houses are where the actions at. Pizza,
Booze and Excitement.

Don't hesitate to go on the site above...in Birmingham on 3rd to 4th
May, there's even a huge UK Championship where people from every year
of the UK will be converging to play.


[ end post from S Ellesmore ]

Follow up...


>If truth be told I gravitated over to SWOS because that's where the
>newer updates were coming from, but last year I found out that people
>still play Kick Off 2!

I have always been a SWOS man myself. I have most of the updates 
and still joy at taking a lowly team to the European Cup. I bought 
the HD install from Epic some years back and have this on the hard 
drive. I recently got hold of Kick Off 2... though have yet to play 
it. What improved my footballing skills of late was getting the
game controller instead of the joystick. You cannot  believe how 
many Quickshots I got through. 

Click link to SWOS

scuzz

Update on 2008 Kickoff 2 Championship

Check out www.ko-gathering.com


Get Ready

Entry 0808: Blog: 2


Chaos Splitters


Hi

Been cheering myself up today with a the whacky Time Splitters 
Future Perfect... and I couldn't help feeling it had the art feel 
of Chaos Engine. Dunno why. Banshee was the same... Kinda comic 
futuristic feel. Time Splitters really is so funny... At one point
having struggled with waves of badies he stands at a lift with his 
accomplice and while they wait asks how long she's been with the 
agency and does she  get dental... Then back to blasting badies. Magic.

Chaos Engine was a true classic and lately I have been playing again 
having seen the video clip on YouTube

[ get ready ]

Paul remembers Chaos Engine on the Group...

I remember me and my mate played The Chaos Engine to death.  A classic!

Loved the graphics.  Very 'steam punk'.

[ Steam Punk... interesting ]

scuzz

The Death of CP/M

Entry 0808: Blog: 3


Not a Quick and Dirty Operating System


Hi

I read again with some sadness at the stupid demise
of CP/M and how it launched Microsoft onto the world.
A pattern of events that repeat themselves over and
over again....

[ not my words ]

CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers)

QDOS, the "Quick and Dirty Operating System"

In 1980, IBM first approached Bill Gates and Microsoft, to discuss the state 
of home computers and Microsoft products. Gates gave IBM a few ideas on what 
would make a great home computer, among them to have Basic written into the 
ROM chip. Microsoft had already produced several versions of Basic for 
different computer system beginning with the Altair, so Gates was more than 
happy to write a version for IBM.

As for an operating system (OS) for the new computers, since Microsoft had 
never written an operating system before, Gates had suggested that IBM 
investigate an OS called CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers), written 
by Gary Kildall of Digital Research. Kindall had his Ph.D. in computers and 
had written the most successful operating system of the time, selling over 
600,000 copies of CP/M, his OS set the standard at that time.

IBM tried to contact

In 1980, IBM first approached Bill Gates and Microsoft, to discuss the state 
of home computers and Microsoft products. Gates gave IBM a few ideas on what 
would make a great home computer, among them to have Basic written into the 
ROM chip. Microsoft had already produced several versions of Basic for 
different computer system beginning with the Altair, so Gates was more than 
happy to write a version for IBM.

As for an operating system (OS) for the new computers, since Microsoft had 
never written an operating system before, Gates had suggested that IBM 
investigate an OS called CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers), written 
by Gary Kildall of Digital Research. Kindall had his Ph.D. in computers and 
had written the most successful operating system of the time, selling over 
600,000 copies of CP/M, his OS set the standard at that time.

IBM tried to contact Kildall for a meeting, executives met with Mrs. Kildall 
who refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement. IBM soon returned to Bill 
Gates and gave Microsoft the contract to write the new operating system, one 
that would eventually wipe Kildall's CP/M out of common use.

The "Microsoft Disk Operating System" or MS-DOS was based on QDOS, the 
"Quick and Dirty Operating System" written by Tim Paterson of Seattle 
Computer Products, for their prototype Intel 8086 based computer.

QDOS was based on Gary Kildall's CP/M, Paterson had bought a CP/M manual and 
used it as the basis to write his operating system in six weeks, QDOS was 
different enough from CP/M to be considered legal.

Microsoft bought the rights to QDOS for $50,000, keeping the IBM deal a 
secret from Seattle Computer Products.

Gates then talked IBM into letting Microsoft retain the rights, to market MS 
DOS separate from the IBM PC project, Gates proceeded to make a fortune from 
the licensing of MS-DOS.

In 1981, Tim Paterson quit Seattle Computer Products and found employment at 
Microsoft. t Kildall for a meeting, executives met with Mrs. Kildall who 
refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement. IBM soon returned to Bill Gates 
and gave Microsoft the contract to write the new operating system, one that 
would eventually wipe Kildall's CP/M out of common use.

The "Microsoft Disk Operating System" or MS-DOS was based on QDOS, the 
"Quick and Dirty Operating System" written by Tim Paterson of Seattle 
Computer Products, for their prototype Intel 8086 based computer.

QDOS was based on Gary Kildall's CP/M, Paterson had bought a CP/M manual and 
used it as the basis to write his operating system in six weeks, QDOS was 
different enough from CP/M to be considered legal.

Microsoft bought the rights to QDOS for $50,000, keeping the IBM deal a 
secret from Seattle Computer Products.

Gates then talked IBM into letting Microsoft retain the rights, to market MS 
DOS separate from the IBM PC project, Gates proceeded to make a fortune from 
the licensing of MS-DOS.

In 1981, Tim Paterson quit Seattle Computer Products and found employment at 
Microsoft.
Click link to inventors.about.com

scuzz

A Good kicking

Entry 0808: Blog: 4


I don`t know why I bother


I dunno why I bother.. I always finish up on the  Mac, Win98 machine 
or my trusted Amigas....

One of the guys at work had a new computer this week,  and it was 
my job to put into store the old machine... which means it comes 
here. I use bits and pieces off  them if we get problems. Anyway 
I knew this machine  was slow... an AMD Duron 1.2 GHz running 
XP Professional... Anyway... with yesterdays probs I decided to 
set it up in  here as a mailer and use the 40GB hd for storage... 
That was last night ... now its 11.44... First up I couldn't 
get it networked... There is a high end 1 GB card in this ... That 
was pulled and swapped. It also only had onboard graphics.. so I 
fitted a sexy NVidia so I could use the Samsung widescreen. OK so far..
Installed the BT HomeHub, then uninstalled all the crap... Strange 
that now the BTHomeHub help won`t fully uninstall... Just deleted it. 
Then ran Norton System Works and found about 750 problems which I 
tidied up. Then I concentrated on the crap software. All the Autocad 
stuff got dumped. Crappy Office Pro got removed... Acrobat dumped... 
Real Player etc plus the dreaded Messenger was disabled... Then I 
dumped Explorer 7.. [ pain ] Having removed absolutely everything 
from the machine it still utilised 10GB hd space... Talk about bloated 
crap... Anyway its still slow. I switched it off...

Consequently as ever I turned to the Mac... and relocated that here 
just as a mailer. Couldn't get on the net... strange... Giggles. 
Managed to confuse a cross-over cable with the normal network
cable... Switched on, updated ITunes etc... Onto YouTube, playing 
Editors , checking mail... NO PROBLEMS... get the idea... And my 
trusted Win98 machine drives through brick walls instigated by the 
internet dependency brigade.

As I say... give me a Mac, Amiga or Win98 machine any day. I dread to 
think what Vista is like... They couldn't even get XP right... That's 
MS for you though, made a living out of getting things wrong....

One good thing about Windows based PCs.. they make a wonderful noise 
when you kick them... Utter rubbish.

Going now... Editors Bullets. MacMagic

scuzz


Enterprising Endeavours

Entry 0808: Blog: 5


The missing knob


Hi

Just returned from one of my travels with a rare boxed Enterprise 64... 
Thing is I already have one boxed in much better condition, but this 
had something I was missing.... The plastic joystick green end bit.
I held my breath as I opened the box, but there it was tiny yet so 
valuable. Valuable cus I can now add it to the other mint set, and 
have the template if I so choose to have another made. 

This really is a sexy computer and unique for its day. The one I got 
today is in great condition and has all the other goodies with it. 
Sadly the box is a bit weathered, but hey... I only wanted the joystick
knob.

The Enterprise64
Missing its green knob...


From the Old Computer Museum.... I have given the spec
on the C64C as being the closest to this machine.

Speed is interesting...

C64C ... SPEED   0.985 MHz (PAL) / 1.023 MHz (NTSC)
Enterprise... SPEED   4 MHz

Enterprise:
CPU   Zilog Z80A
SPEED   4 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR   NICK (video), DAVE (sound)
RAM   Enterprise 64 : 64 KB (50 KB available)
Enterprise 128 : 128 KB
VRAM   64 KB
ROM   32 KB

C64C
CPU   6510A
SPEED   0.985 MHz (PAL) / 1.023 MHz (NTSC)
CO-PROCESSOR   VIC II (Video), SID (Sound)
RAM   64 KB
ROM   20 KB

[ quote ]

Enterprise 64 / 128

The Enterprise 64 was a very long-awaited computer, two years between its
announcement and its marketing! It changed its name a lot of times: its
first name was Elan 64, then Flan, lastly Enterprise.

It has great features, which wasn't found on all other home computers, like
its interfaces, great graphics and sounds capacities provided by two special
custom chips called "Nick" and "Dave".

The BASIC Interpreter is supplied on a ROM cartridge and can be easily
replaced with any other language. This BASIC is a very powerful structured
basic with great graphic commands and can store several programs
simultaneously in RAM.

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=153

[ end quote ]

This computer has magic design features and looks really sexy. I would 
have said it lent more toward the MSX range of machines with the onboard joystick. 
Example: Hit-Bit 501


Hit-Bit 501
Complete with onboard joggle stick


scuzz


Caught in the ACT

Entry 0808: Blog: 6


Life and death of the Apricot Computer


Hi

I had arrive today the Aprocot Xi from 1984 and other than a bit 
of damage to the monitor has survived pretty well, which is more 
than I can say for the  company. As with so many British based 
companies this one was bought by a foreign company then closed down. 
In this case Japanese giant Mitsubishi. I have been trying to get 
a couple of their machines so I can better understand ACT, and I 
have the Xi, Portable and later Mitsubishi Apricot VS550 all to
add to the galleries this session. 

My interest really stems from my first use of the machine back in 
[ thinks ] 1987 when we used this to run the accounts. Very expensive 
in its day and just a touch complex. 

Anyway here are some facts about Apricot with some special refs to 
the Xi, plus links to details on the Portable and VS550.

[ Old Computers Museum ]

NAME   Apricot Xi 
MANUFACTURER   ACT 
TYPE   Professional Computer 
ORIGIN   United Kingdom 
YEAR   1984 
KEYBOARD   Full-stroke keyboard, 101 keys, 8 function keys, 
6 dynamic function keys (membrane keys)
Built-in 40 characters x 2 lines LCD screen 
CPU   Intel 8086 
SPEED   4,77 Mhz 
CO-PROCESSOR   Intel 8089 (for in/out tasks), 8087 optional 
arithmetic co-processor 
RAM   256k, up to 768k 

[ end blurb ]


Apricot Xi

Apricot Portable

Mitsubishi Apricot VS 550



[ quote ]

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMPANY

The Apricot range of computers is manufactured by Apricot 
Computers PLC, a British company which until 1985, was known 
as Applied Computer Techniques, ACT. ACT started life in 1965 
as a computer bureau, a company which owns a large computer 
and rents out time on it to other companies which do not have 
a computer of their own. 

ACT's first venture into the microcomputer world involved a 
machine called the ACT 800, which was in fact built by an 
American company and marketed by ACT in the United Kingdom 
under its own name. The machine enjoyed modest sales, although 
it was never exactly a best seller. 

ACT's really significant micro decision occurred in 1982 when 
it signed a deal to distribute a machine manufactured by Victor, 
a US company headed by the colourful Chuck Peddle, the designer 
of the original Commodore PET and one of the founding fathers 
of the microcomputer industry. 

http://www.actapricot.org/history/apricot_history.html

[ wiki ]

In 1984 ACT released a home computer, the "Apricot F1." It ran 
MS-DOS with "Activity", a GUI front end; like the Apricot PC, 
it was not IBM PC compatible. The machine was only successful 
in the UK. It was bundled with software for graphics, communication, 
word processing, a spreadsheet, some games, and system tools. It 
had two floppy disks, and was one of the first systems to use 
3.5" disks, rather than the 5.25" disks which were the norm at 
the time. A model was made available later in 1984 with a built 
in hard disk, probably a 10MB disk.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apricot_Computers

[edit] 1990s

In January 1990 Apricot acquired Information Technology Limited, 
a UK-based developer of UNIX systems. Apricot took the opportunity 
to change its name back to the original, ACT.[1]

Although ACT's proprietary computers were successful in the UK, 
the IBM PC had achieved critical mass in the US market before ACT 
could make a dent. Eventually ACT switched to production of IBM 
compatibles, but was eventually bought by Mitsubishi and closed down.

[ end quote .. and the end of Apricot ]

scuzz


Secret Weapons of Commodore

Entry 0808: Blog: 7


The 3000H Games Console


I was notified quite early on that this may appear on the Bay... 
Don`t think anyone else put in a serious bid to be honest. 
This is identified as one of the ' Secret Weapons of Commodore ' 
and based on Commodore's MOS acquisition, which is really a PONG 
clone. Dating probably from around 1977. The unit came with the
outer cardboard cover to the original box. Great find this.


Commodore 3000H



Check out... http://www.floodgap.com/retrobits/ckb/secret/tvg.html
from the Secret Weapons of Commodore

scuzz


As It Happened

Entry 0808: Blog: 8


This session I have mostly been ....


Hi

I have collated the following list of what I believe is the majority 
of items that have arrived here during the last session. This time 
I have listed them as they arrived... all from the end of January. 
I am sure I have missed some... But hey !!

From 30th Jan 2008

Amiga Pursuit of Earth - original boxed
Kick Off 3 - Amiga game
Build Your Own Computer - Haynes Manual
26 Amiga Disks 
Flight of the Intruder - Limited Edition
Vidi Amiga 24
Home Computing Weekly Dragon BBC TI-99 Commodore 64 ZX
50 Amiga Cover Disks
Collection of 90 Amiga Cover Disks
Amiga Internal Modem  - Dataflex
Amiga 500 grey scale handi scannerboxed complete
Amiga Scripts - Book
Commodore A570 CD Interface boxed
Amiga Workbench 2.05 - Original Commodore Disks
KICK OFF 3 - Second Copy  BIG BOX
10 Amiga Software floppy discs - Public Domain titles
Timekeepers Expansion for Amiga
50 Floppy Disks 720KB 3.5
System Master Disk for the TATUNG EINSTEIN Computer
Super 6 Pack Games for the TATUNG EINSTEIN
Videon Video Digitizer for Amiga Computers
Amiga Disc Caddy including CDPD
Starrary for the Amiga
Amiga Jet (Flight Simulator)
Amiga Drum Studio
Guild Wars Factions Official Guidebook
Amiga Rare Marauder Copier program
Amiga Rare Hercules Copier program
Commodore Amiga 500
6 Amiga Shareware Games Art Tutor A500
Amiga Original A1200 User Guide & Discs Version 3
Amiga boxed game Ultimate Golf
Amiga boxed game "War in the Gulf"
Amiga Original A1200 User Guide & Discs
Amiga replacement motherboard A500 1.3 rom
Amiga music librarian programme Disks plus manual
Amiga  disks 590 setup or 570 setup +Ram test
10 Amiga Software floppy discs - Public Domain titles
9 Amiga Software floppy discs - Public Domain titles
Amiga replacement motherboard A500
40 Amiga Disks blank/ cover disks
Popular Computing Weekly Magazine x4 - March 1983
Large collection of Popular Computing Magazines
CD32 Amiga package fair condition boxed
Amiga Cover Disk collection [ set 1 ]
Amiga Cover Disk collection [ set 2 ]
Amiga Cover Disk collection [ set 3 ]
Collection of Floppy 5.25" disks for the C64
Sharp MZ-80K Computer
Amiga Game Pack - Vulcan Games
Amiga boxed game - Super Tetris
Huge Lot of Vintage Computer Magazines See all the Pics
Popular Computing Weekly 3-11
MCC Pascal- Amiga Software
Amiga boxed game - Menace
Amiga boxed game - Video Kid
Amiga 500 PC Emulator
Commodore Amiga A500 Customer Care Pack
Apple Macintosh LC II computer 
Amiga flip it & magnose original boxed game
Amiga boxed game - Super Hang-on
LIGHTWAVE  object packs  FOR THE AMIGA
Lure of the temptress Amiga original boxed
Advanced OCP Art Studio For Commodore 64
Amiga boxed game - The Gold of the Aztecs
Amiga Videon boxed
Bush Buck vintage amiga game
Amiga SCALA MM210 Multimedia Program
Amiga boxed game - Lotus III
Mitsubishi Electric Apricot VS550 Vintage PC 
Commodore Amiga 500 Plus boxed
AMIGA 2000 .1MB RAM Exp card
Amiga (500, 600, 1200, 2000) ProVector Drawing Software
Amiga Microdeal MegaloSound sampler
Vintage Laptop Computer Zenith Systems
Amiga Macrosystem VLab Y/C Zorro 2 digitizer board
Amiga LOLA Electronics Pal Encoder card
top gear 2  Amiga original boxed game
Amiga mastering amiga Dos 2  manual vol 1
Amiga mastering amiga Dos 2  manual vol 2
Amiga boxed game - Genesia Mint
Amiga Vision Authoring System
Amiga  Mini office pack boxed+Manual
Commodore Amiga  -The  Deluxe Paint 4 Video Guide
13 Amiga Software floppy discs - Public Domain titles
Captive amiga commodore
160 Amiga Cover Disks
Hired guns 1200  Amiga original boxed game
Vintage rare collectable Computer Cifer Club CP/M Unix
Sinclair Spectrum Microdrive book Rare Retro 80s
Amiga 500/2000 Workbench and Basics
Boxed Sinclair Spectrum 128 Computer
Amiga 500 Screen Gems pack
Amiga 590 boxed hard drive
Horace Goes Skiing (1982) ZX Spectrum 48k
Sinclair ZX SPECTRUM with keyboard and Games
Atari 2600 Console + 2 games + joystick
Japanese vintage Nintendo Famicom Disk System Boxed
Sega 32X boxed
NEC TurboGrafx boxed
Nintendo SuperFamicom min boxed
Texas Instrumenst Silent 700 Data Terminal
Sinclair game The Hobbit
Sinclair game Combat Lynx Durell
3 Sinclair Rom Carts
Atari 2600 Video Computer System 5 games
Welltris Amiga 500 retro game
Atari 2600
ATARI 2600 Original Cartridge Space Invaders
ACT Apricot Portable Computer 
Amstrad Mega PC 386SX
HyperPaint 2 for the Atari ST series
Asteroids Atari 2600 cartridge + manual
Amiga Dos 3 tutorial manual
Amiga 600 Series-Introducing the A600
Pen Pal Word Processor For The Amiga
Amiga  Game Liberation A1200 Enhanced
STOS The Game Creator for the Atari ST
WITCHBLADE  # 113, to # 115
Sinclair Spectrum 128k Heatsink Version
Spectrum 128
Amiga 'Maxiplan4'Instruction spreadsheet
Amiga 500 boxed
Amiga 'Design 3D' manual +2 disks
Amiga 'Pagesetter' manual with 3 disks
Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128 / 128K (heatsink type)
Sony MSX Hit-Bit HB-75 HITBIT
Amiga'Sonix' manual with 2 disks all original
Commodore Amiga 500 Computer Boxed MINT
Vintage Computer Compatible Cassette / Tape Recorder
Commodore Amiga 500
COMMODORE Vintage Computer - laptop
Amiga boxed game - Pinball Dreams
Vintage Systema Type-right Computer
Vintage Ameltone Stadium Colour C-22 TV Games console
Original Ibrowse internet  Amiga range of computers
Lazarian Cartridge for Commodore 64
Enterprise 64 computer old very rare boxed 
Commodore Notebook computer
Commodore 64 sound studio
Toshiba Laptop - retro
Commodore 3000H
BBC Micro VU-File Software Boxed -Psion Software
Americas Cup - Sailing Simulation 5.25" disk
Apricot Xi computer and monitor
BBC B boxed computer, cassette player, manuals and games
And the usual collection of Retro Gamer, MicroMart etc
Plus several games for the Playstation 2.

Thinks that that is all. Probably one or two bits that have fallen 
through the list . Sadly I have to draw a line under all of the 
collecting now so I can concentrate on the photography...

And finding the house again..:-)


scuzz
http://www.commodore-amiga-retro.com


THIS WEEKS FAVOURITE LINK

Entry 0808: Blog: 9


Klondike Card Sets
For all those that have joyed over making their very own Klondike 
Card Sets... here are some that someone else made earlier... And 
if you don`t know what I am talking about then.. shame on you

Click link to RekoNet

Click link for more Reko Card Sets


That's that for this week.. All the best.

scuzz

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