Category: Computing

Transplant +1,097: Third Birthday

Yesterday was the third anniversary of my stem cell transplant. This year’s card was more of a story book than a card …

Super Timmy birthday card

With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging and my response to the vaccine being uncertain (I’ve had recent positive and negative antibody tests), I’m being extremely cautious about the outside world. This means I’m still working from home and probably getting out no more than a couple of times a week – the vast majority of events being outdoors.

The pandemic and all this time at home has had a positive side. I’ve been able to finally repair a Commodore VIC 20 that I bought some years ago for £2.19. Bargain! I have, however, spent rather more on socketing and replacing the faulty chips.

Chips removed, tested and sockets added. And in the case of UD1 – the CD4066BE – replaced.

All this work obviously needed an investment in a new soldering and desoldering station. And a Penultimate+ cartridge and disk drive emulator from ‘the future was 8 bit‘. (The disk drive emulator works on my Commodore 64 which may also have been recently acquired … I am nothing if not frugal with my hobbies).

Cleaned, reassembled and fully working – my VIC 20 about to run some 1980s games

But I’m still rubbish at gaming.

304 is not the highest of high scores I’m sure. Wondering if I’m Dirty Tim or Teflon Timmy to be honest.

The Sharps have also been getting some love and attention. You can find my ramblings about a ‘Moonlander’ game that I wrote over on my other blog.

And where would I be without Gnu? (Richer, probably, but with even more time and money to spend on ‘smelly old computers’). Later this week I’m joining the Taffia’s Fish and Chip Run from Chepstow to Aberdyfi. Although it takes place on Saturday, I’ve taken Friday and Monday off work so that I can beat off the increasing effects of fatigue I’m feeling these days. I’ll be revisiting the hotel near Chepstow that Jane and I had our wedding reception at 30-something years ago for Friday evening. Saturday will be a one-way trip – a 280 mile epic is well outside of my (safe) driving abilities in a single day now. I’m looking forward to heading up to Gnu’s spiritual home – Portmerion – from near Aberdyfi on Sunday. A leisurely drive back to Derby on Monday will complete the travelogue.

Another gratuitous picture of Gnu, taken while waiting for his MOT earlier on this year. Passed with flying colours, naturally.

Be seeing you …