These darned old computers

From: Sellam Ismail <>
Date: Sat Aug 24 01:24:01 2002

Well, I finally had some success with these old computers I've been trying
to get working.

The Atari problem ended up being with the power supply. Its plug did not
properly fit the power receptacle on the computer. Once I got the proper
power supply it worked like a champ. More like I remember the last time I
played with an Atari 800 a few years ago. Then, I was amazed at how easy
it was to get up and running with a disk-based Atari 800. Everything is
total plug and play (but for real). I now like the Atari 800 :)

The TRS-80 M3 was a LOT of work but I finally got it running. It turns
out the problem with most of the units I tested most likely was a bad
keyboard or just my ignorance in not knowing how to boot it into BASIC ;)
I finally found one that had a decent keyboard and would boot to BASIC if
I held down the BREAK key upon boot-up or after a reset. I wanted to
make one nice machine out of two that I had. I moved the good keyboard
to the nicer one. The nicer one didn't have the serial port board, so I
moved it from the yucky one to the nice one. No wonder RS wanted you to
bring the machine in to the service center to get it upgraded. This is
NOT an easy computer to work on. I had to unscrew everything to remove
the motherboard to both take out the card on the one and install it on the
other. Also, there is a power cable that is added for the serial port
option when it's upgraded, so I had to cut the zip ties holding the cable
in place on the old one to move it to the new one. What a shit design.
The stuck brightness and contrast knobs were fixed with a healthy helping
of Deoxit, which is this deoxidizing agent. I worked the knobs back
and forth and they loosened up nicely. Now everything works great. I
now like the TRS-80 Model III :)

The Commodore 64 I have is just plum dead. Or at least it seems to be.
The video cable I am using has four connectors on it: red, yellow, white
and black. The 1702 monitor has three jacks on the back: chroma, luma and
audio. I tried all different combinations trying to get video on the
display but no die. What's the deal with that? I think I'm using the
wrong video cable, but all the C64 stashes I check turn up this
4-connector cable. I forgot to bring home the spare C64's I was going to
have as stand-by's so I don't currently have another C64 to compare with.
I know I have a three-connector cable that I'm sure goes to the C64 but I
cannot find one for the life of me. Grrr. I still hate the C64.

The Radio Shack Color Computer 2 is confusing. And somewhat lame. I have
to go find the disk controller carthridge to attach disk drives to it.
Then I have to find the proper disk drives. Fine. But I can't figure out
the video. I want to connect it to an Amdek color monitor. The only
video jack is the RCA type on the back that seems to be a built in RF
modulator. So needless to say I don't get video on the display. I can't
find any mention on the web of adding an external monitor to the CoCo.
The CoCo2 is lame. I do not like the CoCo2.

Any idea on how to hook the CoCo2 to a composite monitor?

Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger

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Received on Sat Aug 24 2002 - 01:24:01 BST

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