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

Well Retrochallenge 2017/4 is coming to an end and it’s time to wrap up this season’s efforts. I set myself the challenge of adding CF card support to my Interak-1 and basically, I didn’t make it. However, since the last post I have made some progress; I have tried two new CF cards (thanks to … Continue reading Retrochallenge 2017/4 – Interak CF card – Wrap up

We are well into the second half of Retrochallenge now and it fair to say that I’m not where I wanted to be. However I am learning a great deal about Z80s and CF cards are their respective wily ways. Things continue to be confusing. A quick re-cap of my previous posts… It started off … Continue reading Retrochallenge 2017/4 – Interak CF card – Part 4

Things are a little weird as I suggested in my previous post. I have the CF card installed and if I use the ROM monitor in the Interak to access it through a series of Port commands, I can see what appears to be sensible data. If, however I use a piece of Z80 assembly … Continue reading Retrochallenge 2017/4 – Interak CF card – Part 3

In part 1 I was able to build a CF card adapter for the Interak. Mostly this involved using RC2014 parts. Now it’s time to tell you about the testing and things are pretty weird. A bit of background. At the moment, my Interak-1 has no mass storage at all. No hard drive or floppy. … Continue reading Retrochallenge 2017/4 – Interak CF card – Part 2

Retrochallenge is well under way now and so it’s time I made a start and got something blogged about. Although my posts here don’t show a lot of activity, I do some work on one or other of my retro systems most weeks throughout the year but Retrochallenge is a good reminder to blog about … Continue reading Retrochallenge 2017/4 – Interak CF card reader revisited – Part 1

It’s Retrochallenge time again and again I’ll have a go. I’ve been doing a lot of retro computer things just lately and I’m really not sure what to do as a project. Watch this space.  

It’s been a while since I posted anything here and so I thought I would share a bit of news about the Interak-1. A little while ago I posted that I had updated the VDU card to 64 columns but hadn’t got the software up to speed with its new-found real estate. Well, now I … Continue reading Interak 64 Column monitor ROM

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.

A short step from where you are.