1. Not old. Vintage. :)

What's new Pussycat too?

Discussion in 'SIG: General Chat' started by M.D.Baker, May 4, 2020.

  1. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    Well, another pre-order invoice just hit me, for $138.00 total. But this one I really need as it's an SD card cartridge for my 7800 which I only have two games for, and not only are 7800 games expensive, but I have a PAL console making them that much more with International shipping. Now I'll be able to put all the PAL roms on this device. This is, I believe, that last pre-order I still needed fulfilled, and I am pretty sure the last toy I'll be getting this year. I've collected so much in the past year that I have still to use or get the full use out of, or install to use, plus my robot arm for me to build and interface with the 800. plus all the other repairs and restorations and upgrades that have been on the list for years, I'll have plenty to do over the months of my business off-season; November/December-March. Though I'll probably be able to find more time now that we've finally gotten past the chaos and have settled into a pretty regular schedule with the business.

    The Dragonfly. I ordered the Burgundy, but it also comes in purple. This baby also upgrades the 7800's sound with either a Pokey or Stereo Pokemax + COVOX and a Yamaha YM2151 IC module (sound similar to the ST's YM2149 but with 8 channels instead of 3!) I ordered one with just the YM2151 module as I have extra Pokey's and as of yet there is nothing for stereo or quad Pokey's and Covox (yet!) But there is stuff that makes use of the Yamaha sound chip. This device of course needs power, and one must supply their own PSU to the Dragonfly, but, it has a pass-thru power cable to the 7800 and powers it as well, so still only one PSU.

    IMGP8530.thumb.jpg.bf34458ea26c5a787d5db7853a59a0aa.jpg IMGP8529.thumb.jpg.1fa701abbe552242e15cc543d902a366.jpg 17037722_IMGP8737_01(kopia).jpg.377e666b51aff6d684c6b6b5261091a9.jpg IMGP8749.jpg.766e1e8b5dccab0e7efc365a0f9e7c28.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
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  2. by M.D.Baker
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    This device parallels most closely to the SIO2SD devices for the Atari 8-bit in that it has an LCD screen on it and controls to scroll the menu instead of on-screen menu's and control with the keyboard/joystick.

    There is one other SD "drive" for the 7800 called the Concerto, which I do believe uses an on-screen menu and joystick control, but it is not compatible with 7800 cartridges larger than 144K (that means era commercial release only), and the Dragonfly is compatible with all cart banking systems out there for the 7800 up to 1024K.

    The Concerto also only allows for a Pokey sound chip, so the games that use YM2151 sound (right now 'The Pacman Collection' with arcade actual sound reproduction) will probably work, but missing all the sounds coming from the YM chip. And no support, AFAIK, for Pokeymax either which also means no Covox which the Dragonfly also supports on Pokeymax chips. Dragonfly also upgrades the 7800's 4K ram to 16K that some new home-brew games use, usually included on the game cartridge like the Pokey. The Concerto does not upgrade ram.

    They say Concerto has 512K, but that for rom area that the Dragonfly comes with 1024K already, and the Concerto will have to be upgraded to 1024K to be compatible with all roms like the Dragonfly and it will have to be sent back to be upgraded, and that's once the firmware is completed. No 16K ram upgrade in Concerto's future either.

    The Dragonfly is basically an alternative to the 7800 XM module upgrade that died with Kurt Vendal in the proto-stage. except no keyboard and 8-bit peripheral support, but the Pokey and YM2151 were part of the XM module. The Pokeymax Stereo/Quad+Covox is bonus that even the XM module would have to be upgraded with Pokeymax to support.

    So it was a no-brainer for me, even if the Concerto eventually gets updates for it as they suggest for larger roms.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
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  3. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    Nice little pressies there Matt, have fun with them..

    I went back to looking at a Fujinet for some reason, dunno why I looked, I don't have the money and in truth, I still can't create a use for me. Just me being a pillock as always. I can't think of anything I'd want for either machine that would have a real use, between the SD-Max, the AVG, The Ultimate + and the SIO hub I have more than I need already.

    Hated letting the Amiga 1200 go, but needed the cash..Always the way..

    Well, I hope everyone else is enjoying the hobby, I am in my dismal way, it may not seem like it but I am enjoying stuff in a low key way..
     
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  4. by nysavant
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    Some really nice stuff there Matt. I think you have made the right choice in the DragonFly :)

    Paul, the FujiNet is really nice but if it helps put your mind at ease I also have an AVG and use it way more. Just such a well rounded device.

    I see Retro Games have brought out a mini Amiga today. Well, it's not actually on sale until March 2022.
    May have been tempted if it was a full size recreation but who wants an Amiga with a fake keyboard and a gamepad instead of a joystick? For those reasons, I'm out :)
     
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  5. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    Thanks, Al, I'm like the rest of us, I get sometimes bored and want a new 'toy' to brighten the day up with but unlike me in the old days who had disposable income I cannot simply buy it for the sake of it. To be honest, it's taught me a lesson about thinking ahead and what really is more important. I don't even use the fancy bits I have a lot, so getting a device I really would not use just to be up with the crowd is daft.

    As for a Mini Amiga, eek, wonder what core the emulation is based around, like you, I'm out!
     
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  6. by Andy Barr
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    Fantastic acquisition that for your 7800, Matt.
    The Dragonfly sounds like a winner time and time again - excellent choice.
    OK, a bit on the dear side but like you say, what price the 7800 (PAL) carts back catalogue plus impressive homebrew range?
    You'll have access to the whole caboodle AND with so much in the way of enhancements - that 7800 of yours will REALLY ROCK!
    Please post a vid or two of you in action with your new beast when you get a mo!
     
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  7. by M.D.Baker
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    This is what it has been like for me for most of the past decade, this is really the first year I've had disposable income and I sort of went over-board even for me this past year, between free government money from the pandemic to a successful business season post pandemic. But I feel so guilty about it and am thinking I better make sure I enjoy the stuff ASAP, because come winter, business is almost non-existent and I may wish I had the hundreds I've blown on stuff I really don't need. But I also was thinking boon-and-bust and that I better grab all the stuff while I can, because the money won't last and I may not have the disposable income next year! But I still feel guilty...so I decided to "share the wealth" a bit...;)

    Plus, my birthday is the day after tomorrow...:cool:

    Life can change in a moment though Paul, so you never know a new toy or two just may be on your horizon.
     
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  8. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    Happy birthday in advance Matt, 30 again?? :)

    You should not feel guilty re the nice bits you got Matt, you work bloody hard for your gear where I sit on my slightly too large arse, you work for it, you deserve it..

    When I worked, I never felt bad about getting stuff, sometimes I spent too much but I was never stupid, the mortgage got paid, the house looked after and made sure both of us had a bit of safety. As you say, things can just change and my world did, in not a good way but I'm a tough old cookie and have learnt to be more thinking :)

    You enjoy your stuff, as said, you deserve it just as all they guys on here do, as long as you take care of the essentials then I don't see an issue with getting some fun in this rather nasty world that is out there..

    Paul..
     
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  9. by nysavant
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    Spot on Paul. Enjoy all the bits you have bought Matt. You must have enough projects lined up now to last you a few years!
     
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  10. by M.D.Baker
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    I do literally sweat my arse off working. True manual labor, but I love using my hands and fixing things and if I can do it in the great outdoors, all the better! And yes, I already had enough projects to last me a few years and now even more. And yes, first always comes the debts to pay and utilities, food, transportation, etc.

    Luckily the land is paid for and I built the house myself and is also paid for, and I drive old vehicles I maintain myself; payed for. It's bollocks some times with the transportation, but over a life time I pay far, far less repairing and maintaining myself rather than constantly making car payments or paying ridiculous prices for "professional mechanics" that I generally know better than. Not to mention insurance is so much cheaper, because you drive old vehicles not worth scratch on the market, so it's liability insurance only and if I total my car, I go buy another old vehicle.

    I'm certainly not rich, or even well-off by most people's standards, and I bet many of you here make considerably more money than I, at the moment, but living single and "on the cheap" in utilitarian ways in everyday living allows for more toys. After a few years as a young man paying others for everything at prices I could nary afford, always being self-confident, I decided that there was nothing another man can do that I cannot, if I set my mind to it. That philosophy and learning to do what needed to be done for myself has made me self-reliant and a rich man in that I have everything I need and want (except for my electronic toys). I think I have more pride in that fact than I'd could ever feel if I was a millionaire just buying and having everything done for me (except the part that made the millions, so there is that, unless it's inherited old-money)

    The only new vehicle I ever owned was my first motorcycle when I was 18. The only new lawn tractor I ever bought for the business is my Craftsman I just got done restoring and is making me money once again. My other mowers I bought used and repaired. I built my own trailer out of an old boat trailer I paid $200 for.

    The DIY life means lots of elbow grease and time, but it's a fraction of the cost of always paying others to do for you which leaves more disposable income or for the future. Of course the DIY life is also much easier to pull off when you are single.
     
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  11. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    Matt, you live off the land, not many folk are truly cut out for that, many moan if they have to get up before 8am and not get a full hour's dinner break let alone having to actually work for a living. Many where I live have made it their way of life to live off benefits, as their parents did before them. I was brought up with the notion that if you wanted something, you worked hard for it. I've done work as varied as sat in an office as management, all the way to lifting huge refrigeration units (by hand) and lots in between. Basically, like you, whatever it took to pay the bills.

    Hence, I say that you deserve all the little treats, you bloody well earn them...You are proud of what you have done in life and so you should be..

    Well done that man and the same to anyone with that ethic..
     
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  12. by Andy Barr
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    Here, here, Paul n Matt - exactly my motto -
    you get out of life what you put in and it sounds like you guys give it yer all.
    You deserve the fruits of your labour.
     
  13. by Vyper68
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    Seems to me Matt you embody the pioneer spirit that helped create your country.

    Up until 2005 I had worked all my adult life and was in warehousing, driving fork lift trucks and a lot of manual handling. Then my back problems started, and gradually deteriorated until it came to a head in January. I am now on Ill-Health retirement so my income has dropped by half but we do okay between the two of us. So it lets me get some of the things I always wanted to get for my Atari and other formats and I have the time to spend on the projects now as well.
     
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  14. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    From what I can see / hear, those of us who do not work on here only are not working because of severe trauma from the nature of the work we did. Mine hit as mental health and then falling off one roof on to another during work amongst numerous illness issues. The point, we all worked as hard as can be (I rarely big myself up but when it comes to hard work I gave every bit of me). You Matt are, as Richie says, the embodiment of the grafting lifestyle that helped make countries great.

    Good on you...

    Your reward, to play some 5200 stuff.... Does not seem fair but you generated the ability to get those treats..
     
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  15. by M.D.Baker
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    Well, happy birthday to me, one of 3 pre-order items I was still awaiting arrived today, right on time for my B-day.

    20210812_120054.jpg 20210812_120006.jpg 20210812_120017.jpg

    What it is all about:
     
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  16. by M.D.Baker
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    Oh, yeah, I suppose I should share pictures of my birthday present from my mother and brother...A nice new electronics tool kit.

    20210812_125649.jpg 20210812_125749.jpg
     
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  17. by Andy Barr
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    Many many happy returns, Matt - Happy Birthday, mate. Just back from my Uncle Harry's 87th birthday booze up down the pub with Bev, me dad and his missus and the crew. Super to see your folks celebrating and treating you too. Cheers, fella - all the best!
     
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  18. by M.D.Baker
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    Thank you very, very, very, very, very, very very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, verily much...very much.
    John-Cleese-as-Basil-Fawlty-1000081.jpg

    Only 34 years to go until my 87th. I should be so lucky to make it that long...assuming I even want to be in this world any more by then. To Hell in a hand-basket I tell you!
     
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  19. by Andy Barr
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    Nicely, put, birthday "boy"!

    It seems not 5mins since we were all in the flush of "yoof"... now look at us:

    barely a non-white hair or non-false tooth between us.

    Before you know it, we'll be pushing 70/80.

    I have a feeling though that we won't go "quietly into the night".

    We all need to book our rooms into the old folks retro home for retired recycled teenagers and go bananas with our old kit, waggle a few joysticks and show the care workers that we can still get the occasional high score/sparkle in our eyes when a new 8bit software release comes our way.

    Keep on keeping on Matt and co.

    Who's boffday is it next?
     
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  20. by M.D.Baker
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    Half of my customers are on ill-health retirement, or what we call Social Security Disability. A quarter are just retired elderly, and the other quarter are the younger still-working group. Of course I charge the ones on disability less than those working, and the regular retired just depends, some are wealthy, some are on a tighter budget. But if two lawns are about the same size, but one has an old mobile home on the property and one has a 10.000 square foot brick estate house, they'll get charged for it.

    I've been blessed so far health wise. Except for it being easier for me to injure myself from over exertion, I'm working my body just as hard today as I was 20 years ago. I just have to keep moving while I can; father time could catch up to me at any given moment and my body could start giving out. Case and point, I was mowing the side of a hill at a commercial property a couple of days ago, and I went to re-adjust myself on the mower seat, for a better center of gravity, and I managed to pull muscles on my left rib cage, and I now have to be very careful not to cough or laugh or lean the wrong way or the pain is excruciating. If I manage not to do those things, I feel mostly fine. So I forget and...THE PAIN! Hopefully It'll heal in days or a week. But it may be a long-term lingering issue I have just given myself. I didn't even know I could pull muscles where I pulled them!

    But it turns out that some of my physical issues that I thought was due to over-working and over-straining my body was not the case. I was having chronic left shoulder and lower back pain up until a few weeks ago. I thought it was caused by work. I was waking up with back and shoulder pain so bad it felt like I had just done a day's labor instead of being about too! I was laid up for three days a few weeks ago, and I got progressively worse instead of better!

    I finally got back to work with lots of pain killers. But I started thinking about it, and I always have trouble finding a comfortable position to sleep on my bed. So I thought it was hard work followed by not enough rest from restless nights. I decided to try a pillow-top for my mattress for a little added cushioning. Well, it turns out that all that chronic pain was a direct result of my mattress! Now for the last three weeks, I can put in a full day's labor, and I don't hurt, just tired, and I'm sleeping better and I have not had one morning since I got the pillow-top mattress waking to back and shoulder ache! I feel 10-20 years younger just from getting a good night sleep on a now good bed!
     
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  21. by Andy Barr
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    My back has never been the same since about 7-8 yrs ago, Matt, I suddenly leaned back on a swivel chair and the bloody chair's back rest went...and so did I.

    Did myself a very nasty injury at the base of my spine and that re-flairs from time to time so I just hope those inter-connecting rib tissues do heal nicely and successfully for you but as you point out, at our ages, it could be just the beginning of a whole lotta world of pain still to come, bud.

    Like they say, no one ever said it was gonna be easy (this thang called old age).
     
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  22. by nysavant
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    Happy Birthday Matt, hope you have had a good day :)
     
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  23. by M.D.Baker
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    Thanks. I've had a productive day. I spent the day doing chores and projects that I haven't had time to do for weeks. I dusted and cleaned up my Atari XL "command center" for the first time in weeks. The dust was thick. And did some other organizing in my room. I took a couple of naps in between.

    And a few days ago I made a deal with one of my customers to barter for some mowing (he lost his job), the first item I got in exchange for a $100 mowing (about 2-3 acres) is an old Craftsman lawn tractor trailer he had. In good working order, but it was all rusty. So I sanded it down and applied some rust-converter acid stuff to it that turns rust inert. It has to sit for 24 hours then be washed off. I did that after work the last couple of days. Today I re-painted it to match my Craftsman LT1000 lawn tractor that I rebuilt and restored this past spring. All that is left is to replace the Craftsman logo decals on the sides.

    This trailer is the top-of-the-line model and size, can haul 1500lbs. It not only tilts to dump and instead of a removable rear gate, it has a bar you pull and it swings open. New it's in the range of $400-500. I spent $20 on paint. The Craftsman mower I spent about $250 restoring, including a seat cover and a mower cover to protect my handy work. It's in like-new condition again too. This same model, same size engine and mowing deck, is $2,500.00 new today...

    The Chevy Blazer there I paid $1000 for, and put about $1000 into it to fix up. A 1997 model, it's been running like a champ for over a year now. The motor runs like new (thanks to me), even though it has over 237,000 miles on it. I figure I can maintain it and keep it running up to 4-500,000 miles, then rebuild the engine and transmission and go another 500,000 miles. Basically I'll have it the rest of my life. The body still looks new, and it's the heavy-duty 4x4 model with full shielding on the under carriage, high-volume oil pump, etc. You can see the heavy-duty frame coming down below the body.

    20210812_190401.jpg

    I just finished a steak and potato dinner, and am now resting and visiting here. We'll have my birthday cake after a while this evening, it's red velvet, with vanilla and chocolate ice-cream and Ready-Whip on top.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
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  24. by nysavant
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    Sounds like a great day all round Matt. Liking your truck, but the tractor and trailer combo is awesome :)
     
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  25. by M.D.Baker
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    Thanks, I personally think the tractor and trailer look better with the colors I chose than the original colors. And originally all the control handles were black, I thought the red would really make it all "pop" and ties in the rims and red hood logo. Below are pictures of the tractor and trailer with their original colors. The trailer shown below is a smaller version than mine, but the colors were the same.

    The hood on my mower is still the original color, under different lighting than the one below. It was still in good condition and I didn't want to ruin or have to replace the decals, so I just sprayed it with a high-gloss clear coat to bring it back to it's original luster. I dig my two-tone look though with the metallic grey hood and the lighter nickel grey I chose to repaint with.

    2-4.jpg craftsman610243551gardenwagon-6.jpg
     
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