Peter's z80.eu site blog
OT: For those who would like to travel through time ... 
Sunday, January 31, 2016, 01:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
It's slightly off-topic, but interesting. It's an explanation why time is going always forward, not backward. An asymmetry exists between time and space in the sense that physical systems inevitably evolve over time whereas there is no corresponding ubiquitous translation over space.
The asymmetry is represented by equations of motion and conservation laws that operate differently over time and space. But there are reasons for it, which are digged deeper into theoretical physics.
It seems to be related with K and B meson particles and their behaviour (spin and state) and balance between them. Experiments to test the time-reversal symmetry exists already.

Now think about trying to manipulating exactly what was mentioned (K and B mesons).
It can be the way travelling through time, although it can be done only in a microscopical way, and only for a very small area. I am not sure how to accomplish this without an extraordinary amount of energy and without destroying anything with a bit complexity (means if you can accomplish it by a supernova, it will not help you).

See related link for a general overview.
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Ho ho ho - Merry christmas and a happy new year 2016 
Friday, December 25, 2015, 12:00 AM
Posted by Administrator
It's not the best animation, but perhaps one of the best known XMAS demo:

Just grab your C64 out of the cellar, get the (SX-64) demo program (see related link), and run it on a real Commodore 64 or at least on one of the many emulators (like WinVICE).
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Almost already vintage: LTO-2 and LTO-3 tape drives with Windows 7 
Sunday, December 13, 2015, 12:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
I got some SCSI LTO tape drives, and so I started to resurrected my LSI Logic SCSI 20160 (53C1010-66) adapter (SCSI controller for PCI bus). I wrote "started" because it's not so easy to get a "Windows 7" compatible driver for a ten year old SCSI controller. Last but not least I discovered that the controller was used by another company but under a different name, "Dawicontrol DC-29160 U3W SCSI Hostadapter", and Dawicontrol still offers drivers.

After being able to use the SCSI controller, I was also stuck with getting a working tape backup software - that's because after Windows XP, Removable Storage Manager (RSM) was not included anymore (still present on installation media in Windows Vista), and so NTBACKUP or similar software does NOT work anymore with tape drives.

I've found at least two products which supports the LTO tape drives without any driver, Novabackup and Z-DATdump. I was still not able to use something like "mt", "tar" and similar UNIX stuff. So I download "GnuWIN tar 1.13" which does run under Windows 7, and also the tools found at http://www.tecno-notas.com/winnt.htm , "mt" and "tapecopy", included in LCUtils.zip.

The UNIX tools I downloaded still didn't work, also because I was not able to use the "TAPE0" or "TAPE1" device name. This happened because you have to have an unknown "Other device" in device manager first (if not, no chance), to install the proper "sequential device driver" for the LTO drive (here: I looked for "ultrium 3 scsi sequential device driver").
HP does offer the drivers at hp.com Drivers & Software.
This was finally not necessary, because Windows searched for the proper driver of this "sequential device driver" for itself (online), so the result looks like this:


After having this device driver installed, Acronis Backup or Iperius Backup and may be some other commercial software will work also. Again, if you have only installed the SCSI controller driver, this is NOT enough.



I am still having some problems with GNUWin tar, because if the filenames getting too long, or special chars are included in a filename, tar fails. Tar fails also having too much parameter (using wildcards). This "GNUWin tar" is really still unfinished, not fully developed or ported for Windows.
Please remember also you must have local admin rights for your command line to use mt and tapecopy, and please DO NOT leave the inserted tape inside the device before powering off - so EJECT the tape always after using it.

Btw. "WINTAR" from sourceforge does not work - that was my first try.
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Ultra rare Texas Instruments Portable Professional Computer (PPC) 
Saturday, November 14, 2015, 11:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
These "non-compatible" PCs are almost forgotten, but there were many interesting portable ones, like the Sirius Victor "Luggable", which has a very sophisticated video card (for its time) but with a very strange disk format (similar to the Commodore GCR format).
And there was also a 8086 portable computer from Texas Instruments - they didn't produced only the TI 99/4(A) and their famous calculators in the eighties, but also these non-compatible PCs.
Derived from the Texas Instruments PC, the TI PPC was the one you could try to carry with you.
It can read IBM PC formatted disk (that's really an advantage) but that was the only obvious common thing. The graphics had 720x300 pixels (NOT Hercules Graphics compatible!), it has a build in (optional) COLOR MONITOR (rare!) and the computer was expandable up to 768KB RAM. Even the keyboard was different from the IBM PC !
Not only MS-DOS 2.1 was available, but also CP/M-86, UCSD-P System and Prologue.
You could be lucky if you own one, because they became very rare nowadays.

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First "Smart Watch" ever, decades before Apple Watch oder Samsung Gear 
Saturday, September 26, 2015, 08:26 PM
Posted by Administrator
Just take a look at this advertisment for the Science of Cambridge Wrist Calculator, this was really one of the first (or just the first) real smart watch with computing power - and it happened about 40 years before ! It was only available as a kit, and AFAIK it can't show the time (unless you typed in appropriate digits to show up the time) ;-)

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