the life & times of 06-ALA01-0006180

acorn electron game tape ZAOR



Other Computers...

As far as vintage computing goes, the Electron is my big passion really; Acorn will always hold the greatest nostalgia for me because that was the machine I grew up with...


However! In the early Nineties I had an Amiga 500+ which I have returned to recently in the form of an Amiga 500 from eBay that needed a little TLC. I have had it all apart and cleaned it up, replaced the internal floppy drive and added a second external drive and also added the additional RAM to bring the machine up to 1MB. Something had been spilt on the machine at some point in the past and many of the keys wouldn't work; I have seperated the membrane and cleaned it as much as I can and, although there are still a few keys that don't work, it's nothing that really stops the machine being used ;-)


Bizarrely, while the Amiga was on the way to us, I came across a GeniTrac tracker ball for an Amiga at a car boot sale - I knew the Amiga didn't have a mouse in the bundle so I grabbed it; that works beautifully and only £2!



kaleidoscelk_banner 20141125_181038

The other computer in my Retro collection is what I suppose you could call the arch-enemy of the Elk! It's a ZX Spectrum 48k :-D


Growing up, I often played on my cousins ZX Speccy and was often in awe of the games that were available for them... I finally got around to getting one this year and I have to say I am pretty impressed! The Speccy is a wonderfully charismatic machine and I am glad to finally have one alongside the Elk after so long!

Chuckie Egg vs. Chuckie Egg!


I also have an Atari 2600 console; I didn't own one of these BITD but would have liked too ;-)


A few years back I had the Woody Six-Switcher varient from the late 70's, but I sold that when funds got a bit tight - the one I have now is the newer Junior model that was around in the late 80's.


Either way an amazing machine!


I made up the image on the left using RetroLabel 2600; an app by MavroLabs on my Android that lets you mock up an image in the style of the old Atari game carts.... just imagine an Electron emulator on the 2600!!


My all-time favourite game on this system has to be Wizard of Wor, with Berzerk being a close second (it reminds me so much of Cybertron Mission on the Elk, though I suppose that should be the other way around!)


A close third place has to be Dark Chambers - like so many 2600 games this is great fun in the two-player mode.

Back in 2013, I did a little poll on Twitter to see what folks considered their favourite 8-bit machine to be. I updated the results in View on my Electron and put up regular screenshots of it, as more votes came in.

In an effort to drag my Amiga into the 21st Century I have got myself a Gotek Floppy Drive Emulator that is flashed with firmware to give compatibility with the Amiga.


In essence, it replaces the internal Amiga 3.5" floppy drive with a device that uses ADF images on a USB stick and you can switch between 'disks' using two buttons on the front of the device! I have written a little piece on it over on the Commodore Is Awesome site.


The beauty of it is that you can use memory sticks up to 16GB in size, which is an awful lot of Amiga disk images! You can also keep the external floppy drive DF1: attached, if you have one, which allows the system the choice of reading actual floppies still.


the Gotek Floppy Emulator for the A500

Recent update... Finally settled on an Atari STe with 4mB RAM and an Ultra Satan drive. Oustanding piece of kit!


Over the years the desks that I use and the arrangements change; you can see a lot of this progression in the photographs shown on this site! The elk is a mainstay though ;-)