Welcome aboard.

These are the random jottings of Andy Collins, a Fifty-something bloke who still thinks a blog or website is a good idea.

Here you will find small nuggets of information about Hovercraft, retro-computing and other stuff that amuses me or appeals to my sense of wonder.

Recent posts

This is a bit of a short post. I built a CF card adapter in my last post and here we are testing it. The problem is it has a strange effect on my Interak. If I have a CF card in the slot and I press Reset, the machine hangs. This is odd. I’ve … Continue reading Interak Compact Flash adapter – Part 2.

I have been making good progress with the Interak-1 and having a lot of fun on the way. I have made an adapter so that I can use a modern USB keyboard. I completed the VDU2K video board that was given to me with the machine so now I want to improve its storage. My … Continue reading Interak Compact Flash adapter – Part 1.

Interak VDU2K progress.

4th January 2017

In my previous post I talked about a second VDU card that came with my Interak-1. This is a VDU2K and supports 64×25 characters in its 2K of video memory. When I finished the card and plugged it in, it mostly worked but there were problems. Clearly the monitor ROM was expecting half the resolution … Continue reading Interak VDU2K progress.

Interak video card upgrade.

5th November 2016

When I received the Interak-1 it had two video cards. One (VDU-K) was finished and working. The other had all of the passive components fitted – resistors, capacitors etc – but the semiconductors had not been added. I wasn’t sure why there was the second card at first as they both looked the same but … Continue reading Interak video card upgrade.

This is just a quick post. I’ve spent some of the afternoon in a happy state re-living the 1980’s by typing in a hex dump from a magazine and spotting my mistyping. The magazine in question was Interaktion – newsleter No. 2 from the Interak user group and as you can see, the program is … Continue reading Interak keyboard – proof of the pudding

In my last two posts I wrote about how I made an adapter for my 1980’s Interak-1 computer so that it could make use of USB keyboards as the original Alphameric keyboard had failed. Those posts were a bit rushed and the adapter was still a work in progress. It’s finished now and so in … Continue reading Retrochallenge 2016/2 – Interak keyboard wrap-up

In my last post I started setting up my stall and wrote a simply Arduino sketch to read a character from the Hobbytronics USB keyboard adapter and squirt it to my PC. My Interak-1 has a 15 way D-type connector for the keyboard as I’ve decided that my keyboard solution will plug into that rather … Continue reading Retrochallenge 2016/2 – Oh-oh we’re half way there

So RC is upon us and I have decided to replace the failed keyboard on my newly acquired Interak-1 with a modern USB item. The Interak keyboard uses a 7 bit parallel interface to present an ASCII character to machine itself with a strobe line to say that the data is ready. It’s a bit … Continue reading Retrochallenge 2016/2 – Interak keyboard

It’s Retrochallenge time again and how quickly it comes around and how ill-prepared I am. Recent competitions have seen great entries by talented retro-folks the world over whereas my contributions have been less glorious but filled with enthusiastic zeal. This time around will be no different 🙂 I’m not sure what I will do to … Continue reading Retrochallenge 2016/2 – Throwing my hat into the ring.

Interak 1

19th September 2016

Back in the day, manufacturers of small computer were legion. There were myriad little companies trying their hand at getting into micros. If you look back through the pages of Electronic Today International, Practical Wireless etc. you will find adverts for these small companies selling their kits, PCB etc. It was usual in those pre-web … Continue reading Interak 1

A short step from where you are.