Posts

  • How to dumpster dive for CRT monitors

    How to dumpster dive for CRT monitors

    I have started to pull together a few different sources online for 15 KHz capable CRT monitors, mostly to support this awful Amiga habit I’ve formed. This would also be useful if someone was searching for Atari ST monitors, Amiga monitors, or even retro gaming and arcade monitors. I will probably find another way to […]

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  • Basement dwelling Commodore SuperPET SP9000

    Basement dwelling Commodore SuperPET SP9000

    The Commodore SuperPET (or MMF – Micro Main Frame in Europe) was an enhanced 8032 designed by the University of Waterloo for programming education, and then sold retail. It added a second CPU, the Motorola 6809, as well as a total of 96k of RAM to the original 8032. In 6809 mode, on the software […]

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  • A Macintosh LC Out of the Spotlight

    A Macintosh LC Out of the Spotlight

    The Macintosh LC was a mid-range computer released in 1990, as part of a trio of new Macs (including the Classic and IIsi) allowing Apple to target a more cost-sensitive user. At $2,499, it was the lowest cost colour Macintosh released at that time. It was hobbled intentionally by Apple from the getgo. While the […]

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  • Varta’d by the Amiga 4000

    Varta’d by the Amiga 4000

    In very early 2021, really bored by the pandemic, I was on the lookout for busted Commodore and Amiga machines. Someone reached out with an Amiga 4000 they had available. They had no way to test it, all of the cables and accessories were missing, and it’s been in a garage for decades. Sounds like […]

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  • The Ongoing Saga of this Commodore B128 (4/4)

    The Ongoing Saga of this Commodore B128 (4/4)

    In the last post, I found out my MOS 6509 was garbage, at the very least, and was waiting on an order of a Nu6509 from RETRO Innovations. There were some delays in receiving PCBs and getting them soldered up, but it finally arrived a couple of weeks ago. In the meantime, I ordered a WDC 65C816S CPU […]

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  • A Forgotten Amiga 500

    A Forgotten Amiga 500

    I came across a pretty nice condition, but broken, Commodore Amiga 500. The Amiga 500 was a cost reduced, mass market successor to the Amiga 1000, wrapped in a wonderful case with a built-in keyboard, side expansion, and a floppy drive. It didn’t have the most amazing specifications, but it had tons of room to […]

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  • A Surprisingly Annoying Amiga 3000

    A Surprisingly Annoying Amiga 3000

    The Amiga 3000 was a high-end Amiga released in 1990, with a redesigned case, a 68030 processor, up to 16mb of RAM on board, and built-in SCSI support. They didn’t sell incredibly well, and at least for me, were remarkably hard to find. Naturally, I found myself a broken one. This one would boot immediately […]

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  • What if I replaced Google Photos? (1/x)

    Years and years ago, as I started using operating systems besides Mac OS X full time, I decided to let go of iPhoto and start doing my photo management elsewhere. I ended up on Google Photos for a few big reasons. One, the launch photo editing was pretty amazing. Two, since the primary interface was […]

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  • The Ongoing Saga of this Commodore B128 (3/4)

    The Ongoing Saga of this Commodore B128 (3/4)

    In the last post, I ended up desoldering some components that I thought could be a problem, only to find that they appear to be just fine. I moved on to second guess my assumptions due to my experience level, specifically wondering about whether these address and data lines are correct. I then sent off […]

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  • The Ongoing Saga of this Commodore B128 (2/4)

    The Ongoing Saga of this Commodore B128 (2/4)

    In the last post, I introduced my US-market Commodore B128 that wasn’t feeling like being a computer. A lot of the diagnostics looked okay, and I was just about to start desoldering components out of a combination of hope and despair. Some Soldering Required Each desoldered component was replaced with a same-size socket, and continuity […]

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  • The Ongoing Saga of this Commodore B128 (1/4)

    The Ongoing Saga of this Commodore B128 (1/4)

    This is my Commodore B128, serial C002720. The B128 is the low-profile US version of the Commodore CBM-II, a machine designed to replace the PET/CBM series, released around the same time as the Commodore 64. Other pages, linked below, do a great job covering the history of this machine. When I received it, it looked […]

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  • Sharing your WSL2 environment with Linux

    It seems like I’m in a constant state of switching between Windows 10 and Linux on my personal laptop, so I keep both environments available in a dual boot. I’ve really enjoyed using WSL2 on my Windows 10 side, so much so that I have a bunch of projects that are in active use within […]

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  • Adventures in running an AMI locally

    I recently had to do some spelunking into a long-updated AMI image to move it over to automated builds. The AMI had been updated over the period of a few years with security updates, OS patches, configurations, and more, and very little documentation was generated on those changes, as organic growth tends to do. I […]

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  • MMI 3G+ Upgrade on a 2010 Audi A5 Cabriolet

    I recently completed an infotainment upgrade on my B8 Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0T Prestige, bringing it from the stock MMI 3G system to MMI 3G Plus. The updated MMI unit brings an updated interface, speed increase, Audi Connect, online map destinations, Google Earth overlays, bluetooth audio over A2DP, and without any data to back it […]

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  • Installing ChromeOS on Surface Go

    Note: Hi from the past, everyone! This post is likely very out of date. There are new tools to replace Project Croissant, and new driver packs available for Surface products including the Go. This hasn’t been updated since February of 2019. I’m a tablet hopper. I love the idea of a tablet, but they always […]

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  • Migration and Merging

    Hey, welcome to the new nicholasmelnick.com, largely the same as the old nicholasmelnick.com. Given that the Ambition Framework has gone to sleep, and I’ve largely stopped hobby development on Vala, it was about time that I both migrate my blog away from Parchment, and also merge together some of the other blogs I’ve maintained over […]

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  • Bigger than double DIN

    Bigger than double DIN

    A bigger write up later, but I had to share. This is a “double DIN” bezel/console — actually, VW Golf sized — from tt8n.de installed in a 2002 Audi TT, with a Joying JY-VL130 VW-focused Android-based head unit.

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  • Random thoughts

    Every day that I take off the engine cover and oil hasn’t exploded everywhere is a good day.

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  • New Alternator

    New Alternator

    I had no idea alternators were so heavy. Dense little bastards, aren’t they? Alternator change was mostly uneventful, except inconveniently placed — like everything else in this car. I followed this guide to get down in there. It was mostly uncovered during the timing belt work, but I really didn’t want to do the full […]

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  • Timing Belt Service

    Timing Belt Service

    After 3 years of ownership, finally had to do some real work on the TT, and when it rains, it pours — but more on that later. This Audi TT has one of the VW/Audi 1.8T variants, which means it uses a timing belt, and the replacement interval on these has dropped due to premature […]

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