Commodore 64 Mini

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yogi
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Commodore 64 Mini

Post by yogi » 23 Jul 2018, 16:01

If you got about 70 extra dollars, you can pick up a Commadore Mini on or about October 9th. It comes preinstalled with 64 classic games and can be programmed using BASIC. Most astounding is the RAM; a full 64K of memory. You read that right. 64 KILObytes. It's not like the real thing, but close enough if you are into nostalgia. It's a real gamer's dream.

https://www.neowin.net/news/the-commodo ... -october-9

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Kellemora
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Re: Commodore 64 Mini

Post by Kellemora » 24 Jul 2018, 10:55

I still had two Trash-80 Portables before I moved south. Some idiot paid me more for them than I paid for them new. So that was a good deal for me.

Don't laugh, I still have 5-1/4 floppies stored in Apple Disk II hard drive carton boxes in storage.
And a little white box filled with Data Cassettes. I'll never use them, but no time to go through my junk to throw it away, hi hi.

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Kellemora
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Re: Commodore 64 Mini

Post by Kellemora » 24 Jul 2018, 10:58

My wife's son just gave her a ten year old water cooled computer.
The water cooler broke and he had water everywhere.
He dried it out, took it to the shop, and the mobo was OK, so he had them install a new water tank and hoses in it.
It has Windows 7 so as soon as I buy a DVI cable to hook it to her monitor, we'll see if it is faster than her brand new computer, which you know is slower than molasses in the dead of winter. Sad for something brand new!

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yogi
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Re: Commodore 64 Mini

Post by yogi » 24 Jul 2018, 11:06

I could never get those tape drives to work on the so called computer I had. It might have been a TRS-80, but I don't recall. I didn't keep it very long because I bought a TI-89 programmable calculator that could do more than that computer. LOL

My default system is Windows 7. I did two things to it to create a major increase in throughput and system response, i.e., Upgraded to 16GB RAM and moved the OS to an SSD. I'd be willing to put it up against any of your Linux boxes as far as cold boot time is concerned.

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Kellemora
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Re: Commodore 64 Mini

Post by Kellemora » 25 Jul 2018, 12:36

I rarely if ever have to boot up a computer, unless our electric was out.
Heck, you don't even have to reboot to restart a new kernel, at least I don't think we do anymore.

I had a programmable calculator, had to hand enter the codes used with it each time, because it didn't have a memory.

Both my Apple I and Apple II used a Cassette Tape Drive. It wasn't until I got an Apple II+ that I bought the external floppy drives. I mistakenly said they were hard-drives previously.
The Lisa System used 8 inch floppies, and later 5-1/4 floppies.
I remember those tall floppy drives lined up, seems like we had 4 or 6 of them.

Computing sure has come a long way, to the point it is well above almost everybody's head these days.

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yogi
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Re: Commodore 64 Mini

Post by yogi » 25 Jul 2018, 13:25

The latest release of Ubuntu LTS (18.04) offers background kernel updates direct from the people who maintain it; not from a repository. No reboot is required for these updates. You have to subscribe in order to get this service, which is free. I've never seen or heard of not having to reboot kernel updates. Since I only go to Linux for specific purposes, I have a habit of shutting it down each time my session is completed. In any case, a long standing criticism of Microsoft Windows is that, unlike Linux, Windows takes forever to boot. Well, not if you have the right hardware.

You are really jogging my memory now by mentioning 8" floppies. The first computers we incorporated in the factory used them. I think it was an IBM exclusive at the time. This was before Apple got going with their line of computers. They were always ahead of the curve and didn't care much for anything IBM anyway. LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: Commodore 64 Mini

Post by Kellemora » 26 Jul 2018, 12:26

Although WANG did not stay in business very long, I loved the Wang VS system I bought for work. However, they handled all the programming for it and each module we requested, so about the only thing I learned how to do with it was run backup. The harddrive was like a 3 foot square and the top open platters were removable.
I was able to sell the VS to Tradin' Times newspaper, and replaced it with a much smaller OIS system.
They also built a PC for me using both Wang and msDOS, perhaps even Windows 3.0
This way I could do some of my work work at home, and use Windows for personal stuff.
I wish I would have taken pictures of my work office and how it changed to accommodate the growing computer systems.
Had to have a separate climate controlled room for the VS. Room we really didn't have to spare in that small building. This is one of the reasons we sold the VS and went to using the OIS system.
No it was not cheap, but well worth the cost for all we did with it once it was up and running.
I would say we saved triple its cost in less loss and labor expenses.

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yogi
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Re: Commodore 64 Mini

Post by yogi » 27 Jul 2018, 08:18

I don't have any direct knowledge of Wang, but it was talked about among the engineers I worked with. Apparently it was a preferred system in our group, but it was not blessed by corporate, and more importantly not blessed by the accounting folks. While Wang offered superior service to it's clients, that ultimately was its downfall. It cost them too much to maintain the high quality of service and products. The enterprise relied on IBM as did most big businesses in those days. Us technical people liked HP. In the earliest days of computer integrated manufacturing we experimented with everything. The very first computer placed on a production line was a Pet. It didn't do much more than light up a billboard to help out the test analysts, but it gave us bragging rights to say we were among the first to use computers in our factory builds. It's a shame Wang didn't make it. They could have blown Apple out of the water. Then again, Apple wasn't after the same market as was Wang.

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Kellemora
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Re: Commodore 64 Mini

Post by Kellemora » 27 Jul 2018, 12:01

You probably remember me saying I started using a small Apple II computer at work for some daily tasks. Over a short period of time, I learned I could use the serial port to run simple devices and sensors.
We had mechanical thermometers in each of our greenhouses that could trigger an alarm if the indicator hand touched the pin at the temp we set it at. Since all of these were wired to the main office already, it was a simple task to let the computer sense when an alarm was triggered. You still had to go to each greenhouse to open the vents further or turn on more fans. It didn't show us the temp, just the critical pre-set temp to trigger the alarm. I had a dial like a rotary switch I had to manually turn so my computer could tell me which greenhouse triggered the alarm. This saved walking through them all to find the offending alarm, hi hi.
When we had the Wang System installed, they placed a sensor in each greenhouse, so we could now see the temp inside each one from the computer screen. Shortly thereafter we added servo-motor controllers to the roof vents which we could operate from the computer. Once we knew what setting worked best for each greenhouse, Wang programmed them to open and close based on the settings we used. The Fans were also added to a remote on-off switch a couple of months later, and as before, once we knew what setting worked best, they added those to the programming.
With this part of our operation computerized, it left our employees free to get more work done at other daily tasks.
There was so much more we would have liked to automate but it was just too cost prohibitive to do so at the time.

Changing the topic here.
We have a restaurant here with 8 Monitors, not TVs strategically placed so diners can watch the nostalgic clips they show.
When they first opened, all the monitors showed exactly the same video clip, so I assume they were all fed from a single video port and branched or split to feed each monitor the same video.
A couple of years ago, I noticed all the Monitors now show a different video. It's the same show, but starting at different times, and they have added advertising which is different on each Monitor.
Logically, I assumed they just added more video cards, perhaps with two or four monitor capability, and set them each to show something else on the screen. Plus they have four waitress terminals with touch screens for placing the orders, and back in the kitchen and prep areas more monitors where the orders appear. Typical restaurant programming for these.
I asked my computer guy about how they might have done this, and he said they couldn't have done it using separate video cards or even multiple outlet video cards for streaming video because they would use up too much of the time slice and would do nothing but flicker.
The next time we ate at this restaurant I asked the owner how he was doing it. He said it was very simple. Everything is powered by a single Windows 8 computer. One USB3.0 video hub graphics adapter runs all the restaurant consoles, and another USB2.0 to video adapter runs each of the dining room monitors.
He pointed to a small black box behind the monitor screen where the USB goes in one end, and the video cable out the other. Then in the back room he said they connect to an 8 port video hub. He was busy and interrupted three times while talking to me. Said next time I'm in he can show me the set-up if they are not too busy.
So, I learned something new! He didn't say if it was set up as a server, but since it runs the restaurant system, I would assume it is.

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yogi
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Re: Commodore 64 Mini

Post by yogi » 27 Jul 2018, 19:23

I'm not all that familiar with Windows 8. I kind of jumped over that disaster and landed right in pits of Windows 10, which they claim is a progeny of Windows 8. In any case I've not read about Windows 8 servers. It's possible in theory, but it must be rare as frog fur.

Keep in mind that most computers you and I would encounter have a single processor at it's core. That means there is only one stream of transaction information no matter how many I/O ports you have connected to the box. Thus, the burden of feeding those USB video ports comes down to a single stream of data. It is possible, and likely, that the video channel is generated on separate cards so that all the processor has to do is control the output of the cards. Still, that's a pretty hefty task for even a small restaurant such as you describe. Also, I guess USB 3 is fast enough to stream decent video. I know security cameras do exactly that. But then the quality of those security monitor videos are not the greatest and some lag can be tolerated.

It would be interesting to know what's going on in that restaurant you describe. I'm very impressed already knowing that the manager knows as much about it as he does. Usually a business like that will hire a service provider for the technical stuff.

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Kellemora
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Re: Commodore 64 Mini

Post by Kellemora » 28 Jul 2018, 11:22

They do have a service contract for the part of the system that handles the waiter/waitress terminals, as well as all the monitors in the cooking and prep areas. But the videos shown on the monitors in the dining area are something he added, and he said it simply plugs into a USB port.
After I mentioned this yesterday, I decided to look on-line and found tons of different types of USB multi-port hubs to drive video monitors. The ones I saw still required another box for each monitor to accept the USB and turn it into VGA or DVI for the monitor.
I did find a better video than this one, but it's the only one I could find right now, but it shows exactly how this guy is running several monitors, and what boxes he's using to do so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYUdAWOGJ_Y

What I did not find was any Linux compatible driver to set up such a system, the ones I did find were for Win 7 a few, and Win 8 several, and a couple for Win 10, and MAC. I'm thinking the driver to run the 7-port hub would be a major necessity.

I do know this type of set-up would not work for me because I have separate computers doing things which use the mouse driver. I can start a program running on one computer using an auto-mouse-clicker, then move to another computer with the KVM switch, and the computer will keep doing what it's doing while I do something else.
On a multi-monitor setup, even a two monitor setup, the mouse is busy with what you are doing, and you can't be doing something else with the mouse on each screen. Takes separate computers to do that.

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yogi
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Re: Commodore 64 Mini

Post by yogi » 28 Jul 2018, 14:36

That's an interesting video. I love Windows 7 and may never give it up. :lol:

I've seen gamers set up multiple monitors to accomplish a panoramic view of the game they are playing. The fellow in the video is using a single source to feed those monitors, which is why his mouse can cross over to multiple screens and be functional. As I mentioned in my earlier comments, typically there is only one processor feeding whatever is connected to the box. In your case you use multiple processors in different boxes, and of course you can't expect interaction between two separate systems. Perhaps you can do it with remote desktop software, but you seem to be pretty comfortable with what you have. Why fix it if it's not broken?

I'll only show my ignorance if I try to understand why Linux can't handle multiple monitors. Again, I've seen gamers do it, but I don't know how they go about it. I'm pretty sure it's all done on the video card, or so nVidia would have you believe. There must be remote desktop software for Linux too, but it may not be worth the time it takes to figure it all out even if you discovered a method. I've used remote desktops only a few times. The lag between my mouse and the remote display was pretty obvious.

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Kellemora
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Re: Commodore 64 Mini

Post by Kellemora » 29 Jul 2018, 11:02

The particular company I looked at who makes the USB Video/Sound Distribution Hub does not have drivers for Linux.
Apparently it is this external USB distribution panel that controls all the monitors.
You may have seen in the video the Controller Screen for the monitors. This has nothing to do with the graphics card in the computer, but how the Hub Box itself works.
Sorta like the on-screen selections for your printer. Most printers, although they have drivers for Linux, do not have the on-screen display options which are part of the driver they write for Windows computers.
Since I don't need something like this for myself, I did not delve further into who makes what and which ones work on Linux.
As you said, my set-up does exactly what I want it to do, so why change what I have.
There are some things I wish I could do, and in many cases it is possible, but at what cost. I'm poor and getting poorer!

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