"Roll Call!"

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"Roll Call!"

Postby Brutman » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:26 pm

We don't have a general "off-topic" area here on the forums but once in a great while it is nice to go off topic a little bit.

I went to my office for the first time in 4 weeks today; I've been working from home all of that time. It is still there and things are still working. I power-cycled one machine for a co-worker, tested a few things, and then left. The commute was quick as traffic was extremely light. Seattle was a leader in social distancing before the outbreak, and now we are excelling at it. ;-0

VCF PNW 2020 was cancelled on March 5th. We were two weeks away from the event so that was painful, but it was necessary. The t-shirts arrived last week and now I'm going to send them out to the people who were supposed to be participating. I'll also do some mail order sales too because they are a great design. See http://www.brutman.com/vcfpnw/T-shirt_2020_front.jpg and http://www.brutman.com/vcfpnw/T-shirt_2 ... _small.jpg if you are curious. (Disclaimer: I designed them myself!)

Everybody in the family is well at the moment, but like everybody else we are waiting for the invisible dread. The first two weeks of working from home I was very distracted. Now I'm kind of in a rhythm and have mostly adjusted to this new normal. I think we're going to be like this for months, and if we are lucky we won't get it or we'll get it at a time when the healthcare system isn't overworked.

On the PCjr side of things I finally started experimenting with putting a 3.5" drive in the machine. Years ago I tried it and it was flaky, and I assumed it was a timing problem with the 1.44MB drive I was using. Even with the correct double density media it didn't work. Lately I've determined that Teac drives seem to work and Sony drives do not work. I'd like to find drives that I could strap/jumper to only use double density data rates but those are very rare now. But the bog standard 1.44MB Teac drives that I tested seem to get it right.

I also wrote a program in Go to make it easier to mirror a web site onto a DOS machine running my HTTP server. I'm going to get another PCjr setup with a jrIDE and a Compact Flash card and use that as a nearly full-time web server to demonstrate the machine. I also have some web page updates to make.

Ok, your turn! How is it going?
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Re: "Roll Call!"

Postby Trixter » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:35 pm

Third week of working from home and struggling to have the same level of productivity, but thankful I'm employed by a firm that not only allows us to work from home, but saw this coming and had us prep for it weeks in advance. Other firms in our industry collapsed and folded a few weeks ago. Extended family member is on a ventilator and will likely die because of it due to their age. I'm at risk because of age (late 40s) and prior medical conditions so I'm staying inside.

My hobby productivity is actually *down*, because I have only one place to work in the house and that's where I do my hobby stuff too, so at the end of WFH 9 straight hours I don't want to keep sitting here and doing fun hobby stuff. How ironic. I have 3 more hours in the day because I'm not commuting, but I've been using that time to get more sleep, which I feel is the correct tradeoff given my health issues.
You're all insane and trying to steal my magic bag!
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Re: "Roll Call!"

Postby KenG » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:44 pm

I retired end of May last year. Thought that would give me more time for this hobby. Not so far. The good thing is it has made it very easy to stay at home, but am missing kids and grandkids. Trixter, hope your family member makes a full recovery.
Enhanced PCjr with a jr-IDE (1GB DOM) and a parallel port side car with a compact flash reader and backpack 1.44mb floppy attached. Tandy video mod.
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Re: "Roll Call!"

Postby alanh » Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:30 am

I'm still slammed with the project that sucked up all my time last fall. I guess I'm happy to have a guarantee'd job for the next 2-3 months at least; and one that is entirely WFH. But I haven't wanted to work on anything vintage in a while. I actually just ordered a guitar and going to try and pick that up. It's likely VCFSE will be cancelled soon as well.

Looking at the statistics for infected/dead each day is excruciating. I'm late 40s and have some complicating conditions. So the odds are still in my favor but not by a lot. I only go out maybe 1.5 times per week and never without an N95 and cover. But I have a short term room-mate that is working for a mutual friend doing small business IT. If COVID enters the house, it will likely be through him. It's not a matter of if we all get it but when. Given the rapid rise and failure to mitigate it, it's unlikely none of us will make it to a point of vaccine availability before the entire country is infected.

/crosses fingers.
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Re: "Roll Call!"

Postby Brutman » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:26 am

I had my first real health scare a few months ago. I have recovered and I feel great and semi-invincible again, but I also really don't want to "spin the wheel." What is fairly new about this for most people is that it's not about their personal health; it's about everybody else they come in contact with.

VCF West still looks possible, but I can't see the future. VCF East is in October now; if that has to be cancelled then we will be worrying about much bigger things.

It feels like it's going to be a lost year ... school is blown. Professionally a lot of people are going to have holes in the resumes. Finances are hurt. Retirements are going to be delayed. And that's if you are lucky enough to not know somebody who gets seriously ill.
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Re: "Roll Call!"

Postby Chuckphd53 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:14 pm

Hang on to 2021, gonna be an interesting hear...
New strains, We had it back in Jan2020 been great since then...
Hoping alot of the folks have weathered these hard times...
so much catching up to do ! UGH
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Re: "Roll Call!"

Postby prpplague » Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:18 pm

so... after 956 weeks of working at home.... hehe

i've worked from my home office for a little over 18 years, so the covid stuff didn't really affect me work schedule much!

for 2020 i had some fun PCjr projects! i did a replica of the 64k Display and Memory card! https://hackaday.io/project/172158-ibm- ... lay-module

i did a 512k sidecard module! https://hackaday.io/project/171128-ibm- ... sion-board

i did a modem slot USB mass storage card! https://hackaday.io/project/171055-pcjr ... ss-storage

and a modem slot prototype card! https://hackaday.io/project/167088-ibm- ... type-board

i did the designs for a ISA slot side card and a hotshot internal 512k board, but i haven't gotten around to order PCBs and testing the designs!

PCjr has been fun for 2020! a real walk down halls of computing past!
glad i picked up a bunch of PCjr stuff at Computer Reset in the summer of 2019!
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