September 2017

OT: Century III Mall, not quite a dead mall, but sure heading that way

Century III Mall is an ailing enclosed shopping mall located in the southern Pittsburgh suburb of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.

I lived nearby this mall, and this was definitely “our” mall for kids like me growing up in the 1980s and 1990s. I visited the mall in July 2017 because I had heard it wasn’t doing so well, and here are my thoughts and observations.

Another cool Homebrew hardware project: Amiga floppy read and write via Arduino

So, back in the day, if you wanted to read or write Amiga floppy disks, you needed a dedicated Amiga floppy drive.  The first workaround was to get a catweasel card from Individual Computers, which would allow a PC standard floppy drive to read and write Amiga floppies.

Then, there was the Kyroflux forensic floppy controller was supposedly able to read Amiga floppies.

AmigaOne X5000 in "Supercuts" tv commercial

That's a nice one: Charles Paek has used A-EON's AmigaOne X5000 (precisely: an X5000 beta in a X1000 case) in a tv commercial for US haircutters "Supercut", 9000 branches strong. You can see the X5000 with it's boing ball design prominently standing on the desk, and even AmigaOS 4 running on it for a brief moment.

Learning the YM2612 with a Sega Genesis Model 1

I’m planning on using the Yamaha YM2612 FM synthesizer chip that has been used in both keyboard synthesizers, but also in the Sega Genesis consoles. The purpose is to add audio capability to my DIY Tablet computer. If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know that my computer uses the Motorola 68000 processor, so I looked to other 68K machines for inspiration. What did other hardware designers in the 1980s and 1990s choose to use for adding audio to their computers?

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