Category Archives: Life

A trip down memory lane – the Commodore 64

The first computer we had when I was growing up was a Commodore 64. We had it in the late 80s/early 90s – when it was old but not yet retro cool. It was my introduction to computing and I have fond memories. We had a tape drive, joysticks and the paddle/wheel controllers. Some of our favourite games were Wizard of Wor, Lemans (top down car racing game with the paddles), The Last Ninja and Impossible Mission. A few years later it was relegated to storage as a Window 95 486 PC and a Macintosh IIci took it’s place (we didn’t miss the tape drive and it’s propensity to find errors 30+ minutes into loading a game).

Fast forward a few decades and, thanks to John, I am now the proud owner of a Commodore 64C. John also hooked me up with a modernised power supply, joystick, S-video cable and a 1MB (!) cartridge full of programs. I’m using an S-video to VGA adapter to drive an old 17 inch LCD. Graphics isn’t perfect – I’ll be trying another old LCD soon.

Commodore 64C goodness

Loading up the 1MB cartridge and there is Wizard of Wor!

An instant hit with my youngest two!

There is currently a battle going on to see who can get the highest score…

iPad Keyboards

After using the Logitech K380 Bluetooth Keyboard with my 6th Generation iPad for a while (as mentioned in my previous post), I spotted a second-hand Brydge keyboard online for $50. This was a great deal, worked well and cemented my love of Brydge keyboards.

Fast forward a few months and Brydge have the Brydge 9.7 on sale for $99, another great deal I quickly snapped up. This seems to be a later version (Model BRY1012) to the second-hand one I was using (Model BRY1001A) – it has extra keys on the trip right hand corner (Battery/Bluetooth/Power) which are a great addition to an already fantastic design.

I even typed this blog post up using it 🙂

Recently Read: Every Tool’s a Hammer by Adam Savage

I have just finished reading Adam Savage’s book “Every Tool’s a Hammer” (ISBN 9781471186004). It was a thoroughly entertaining and informative read and I highly recommend it.

The section on lists particularly resonated with me. I use a similar system at work: an empty box indicates a yet to be started task, a box with a line through it a task that has been started in some form and a filled in box indicates a completed task.

However my favourite part was a new word I learned – ferroequinologist!

Planes I have flown in (updated to include A330 and Dash 8)

Ahead of their time…

One of my tasks as an undergraduate in the engineering firm I was working at was to look after the website. Back then knowing a little HTML and how to use FTP wasn’t as common as it is now.

The web hosting company we used provided quite detailed logs for all of our virtual visitors. By looking at the IP addresses in the logs it was possible to speculate (the key word here being speculate) which company the visitor worked at.

Our sales and marketing guy caught wind of these logs and suggested we send emails to the companies we suspected had had one of their employees visit our site asking if we could be of any assistance or if they required any further information.

I explained that a) we didn’t 100% know that they had visited and b) this raised all sorts of privacy issues. Plus to me this sort of practice was creepy and not how the Internet was supposed to work.

How naive was I?

Planes I have flown in (updated to include Saab 340)

May 2017 Update

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Notice a theme?
Anyway, here goes:

  • I’ve quit my job as a Control Systems Engineer in the mining industry and have started a new job as a Control Systems Engineer in the grain handling industry.  The change has been good and I feel reinvigorated.  I’m enjoying engineering more as I no longer have people reporting to me.  I’m also going away with work a lot less (and when I do go away it’s generally a day trip).
  • I’m catching the bus to and from work so the 1975 Mini Clubman is no longer a daily drive.  I’m getting some of the more involved work done on it now (disc brakes and suspension).  I’m planning on it being a fairly original car with some upgrades for safety (disc brakes and suspension) and for the look (period roof rack, possibly a rear window shade).  Recently fitted new plugs and leads as it lost a cylinder…