Peter's z80.eu site blog
My ZIP 100 dropped about 50cm down to the ground - dead :-( 
Sunday, February 28, 2016, 03:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
After using my parallel port ZIP 100 drive very often for transferring files to my vintage Amstrad PC 1640 (I used an USB ZIP drive for my modern PC, too), it dropped about 50cm down to the ground (front side first). It didn't worked anymore, so I thought it would be a good idea to open it, looking for a circuit path interruption or similar.
BUT. You can't open it without destroying it. These plastic brackets will break, see first image where they're located.

The good thing - now I can take a look at the board...

You see a large chip made from Iomega, named Phaethon (or at least branded with Iomega).
There are two other chips as well, I guess one of them is used to convert it to a parallel port signal. The red circles in the secound picture marking the flat ribbon cable connectors from the motor board.
Fortunately ZIP 100 drives aren't still too expensive at *bay, so I just have to get another one again. The DOS driver from Mr. Peichl ( see related link ) is still working fine, although I was *not* able to use the driver with Compaq MS-DOS 3.31, which runs well on an Amstrad PC 1640 and bigger hard drives (I had to copy the keyboard driver program from the original Amstrad MS-DOS 3.20 and patched it for version 3.31). So I finally had to take MS-DOS 5.0 for using PALMZIP.SYS instead of Compaq DOS 3.31 (with had a smaller memory footprint).

P.S.: Someone already tried to open it also, see http://www.techrepublic.com/pictures/cr ... zip-drive/
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Famous game classics on Sega Mega Drive (Genesis): TinyToon Adventures ! 
Saturday, February 20, 2016, 02:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
If you search for a real game classics on Sega Mega Drive (Genesis), and you like to play "jump'n run" games, choose TinyToon Adventures !
It's far better than Sonic, and has a cool theme tune/song.
Also, if you growed up in the early 90's, you had to like this animated television series, and it's catchy song. I've extracted for you the first seconds (may be you like to have it as a ring tone).
Also, the look of the start/title screen is very promising:


But don't think it's easy to play - almost all games "before 3D" have at least a decent difficulty, e.g. this passage:


Pictures were made with a REAL CONSOLE, not an emulator ;-)

See "related link" for the MP3 of the theme tune.

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OT: For those who would like to travel through time ... 
Sunday, January 31, 2016, 01:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
It's slightly off-topic, but interesting. It's an explanation why time is going always forward, not backward. An asymmetry exists between time and space in the sense that physical systems inevitably evolve over time whereas there is no corresponding ubiquitous translation over space.
The asymmetry is represented by equations of motion and conservation laws that operate differently over time and space. But there are reasons for it, which are digged deeper into theoretical physics.
It seems to be related with K and B meson particles and their behaviour (spin and state) and balance between them. Experiments to test the time-reversal symmetry exists already.

Now think about trying to manipulating exactly what was mentioned (K and B mesons).
It can be the way travelling through time, although it can be done only in a microscopical way, and only for a very small area. I am not sure how to accomplish this without an extraordinary amount of energy and without destroying anything with a bit complexity (means if you can accomplish it by a supernova, it will not help you).

See related link for a general overview.
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Ho ho ho - Merry christmas and a happy new year 2016 
Friday, December 25, 2015, 12:00 AM
Posted by Administrator
It's not the best animation, but perhaps one of the best known XMAS demo:

Just grab your C64 out of the cellar, get the (SX-64) demo program (see related link), and run it on a real Commodore 64 or at least on one of the many emulators (like WinVICE).
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Almost already vintage: LTO-2 and LTO-3 tape drives with Windows 7 
Sunday, December 13, 2015, 12:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
I got some SCSI LTO tape drives, and so I started to resurrected my LSI Logic SCSI 20160 (53C1010-66) adapter (SCSI controller for PCI bus). I wrote "started" because it's not so easy to get a "Windows 7" compatible driver for a ten year old SCSI controller. Last but not least I discovered that the controller was used by another company but under a different name, "Dawicontrol DC-29160 U3W SCSI Hostadapter", and Dawicontrol still offers drivers.

After being able to use the SCSI controller, I was also stuck with getting a working tape backup software - that's because after Windows XP, Removable Storage Manager (RSM) was not included anymore (still present on installation media in Windows Vista), and so NTBACKUP or similar software does NOT work anymore with tape drives.

I've found at least two products which supports the LTO tape drives without any driver, Novabackup and >Z-DATdump<. I was still not able to use something like "mt", "tar" and similar UNIX stuff. So I download "GnuWIN tar 1.13" which does run under Windows 7, and also the tools found at http://www.tecno-notas.com/winnt.htm , "mt" and "tapecopy", included in LCUtils.zip.

The UNIX tools I downloaded still didn't work, also because I was not able to use the "TAPE0" or "TAPE1" device name. This happened because you have to have an unknown "Other device" in device manager first (if not, no chance), to install the proper "sequential device driver" for the LTO drive (here: I looked for "ultrium 3 scsi sequential device driver").
HP does offer the drivers at hp.com Drivers & Software.
This was finally not necessary, because Windows searched for the proper driver of this "sequential device driver" for itself (online), so the result looks like this:


After having this device driver installed, Acronis Backup or Iperius Backup and may be some other commercial software will work also. Again, if you have only installed the SCSI controller driver, this is NOT enough.



I am still having some problems with GNUWin tar, because if the filenames getting too long, or special chars are included in a filename, tar fails. Tar fails also having too much parameter (using wildcards). This "GNUWin tar" is really still unfinished, not fully developed or ported for Windows.
Please remember also you must have local admin rights for your command line to use mt and tapecopy, and please DO NOT leave the inserted tape inside the device before powering off - so EJECT the tape always after using it.

Btw. "WINTAR" from sourceforge does not work - that was my first try.
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