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

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.

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.

A short step from where you are.