It is I, your host ...

Say hello here!

It is I, your host ...

Postby Brutman » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:50 am

<long posting>

I have been negligent with respect to participating in the last few months (years?) so I figure I should say hello and explain a little bit.

Around the summer of 2012 my professional life became extremely busy. I was not traveling for work as much but I was spending more time at work than I would have liked. Unfortunately, when that kind of crunch happens the first things to suffer are the hobbies. Retro-computing and flying have been taking a back seat for a while.

The crunch period never ended. This summer I had the opportunity to interview with a big internet company that you might have heard of - starts with a 'G'. I was also still very busy with my projects at work. The interviews went well so I traded massive amounts of overtime at work for a cross country relocation, fixing up my existing house to make it ready for sale, and starting a new job/adventure. You can see that when I am falling behind on my time management that I like to double down and really screw things up. ;-0

I started my new job and the relocation is mostly over. As the dust starts to settle I am going to try to get back to my hobbies, or at least not impede other people ... So at at minimum, the web forum will stay running and I'm going to try to participate more.

Some of the other projects I hope to get back to are:

  • Get a more stable web hosting company for the web site and forum. My current web host has been good for many years, but their technical support is not what it used to be and the recurring problem with the board being unavailable is a major irritant. They are not debugging; they are doing the equivalent of "reboot the PC and try again" which is why the the problem reoccurs.
  • Writing utilities for the jrIDE. There is a lot of flash memory on board that we have not begun to experiment with.
  • BIOS bug fixes or built in DOS commands using the jrIDE?
  • PC AT bios compatible real time clock support for the jrIDE BIOS
  • Playing with Alan's universal cartridge ...
  • More mTCP programs/utilities/features for network connected machines (not PCjr specific)
  • Getting more PCjr related documentation scanned/archived/posted
  • Scraping the data out of the old micro-zone BBS and making it available. (Brian - where are you hiding!)

That is a few years worth of stuff ...

We have had a lot of new users registered in the last year but not too many of them are active, and that might be a reflection on the general level of traffic here - it is usually pretty quiet. I don't want the board to get noisy to the point of annoying but right now people would assume that this is an abandoned forum. Nobody wants to talk to themselves in an empty room, so if we want the newbies to participate we're going to have to make more of an effort to engage them.

And of course we should take a moment to acknowledge that as quiet as it is, it is probably still a pretty good resource. We do have quite a few meaningful discussion threads. jrIDE was conceived of an executed here, with some pollination from the VC forums. We've got a lot of documentation posted, a growing portion of which was contributed.

If you have ideas on how to make the forum more engaging or how to build a stronger PCjr community in general, I am all ears - start a thread and let your fellow PCjr friends get involved too ...


-Mike
Brutman
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Re: It is I, your host ...

Postby James » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:04 pm

Congratulations on the new job.

It's been quiet but I usually check the forum daily. When someone does post a question there a usually atleast a few responses.

Everything is running great with the PCjrs. I plan to upgrade the jrIDE from a 128MB DOM to a 512MB one. One quirk with the jrIDE is it is not compatible with Fdisk from Compaq PC DOS 3.31. It crashes the computer so bad it needs a shutdown. It is not PCjr specific as Compaq PC DOS 3.31 Fdisk worked with the old PCE SCSI hard drive. I mean to try to Fdisk and format the DOM in another PC and then switch it over to the PCjr to see if it works. Compaq PC DOS 3.31 may be a better choice for the PCjr without the jrExcellerator.
-PCjr (1989)-DOS 3.3, Racore Drive II, jrIDE-128 MB DOM, jrExcellerator, Tandy Mod, Serial Card, Combo v2, Config Plus, IBM Parallel Port, Megaboard, Xircom PE3-10BT
-PCjr (2001)-DOS 3.3, jrIDE-128 MB DOM, NEC v20, Parallel Port, Comswap, Xircom PE3-10BT
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Re: It is I, your host ...

Postby alanh » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:26 am

So not more 'Land of 10,000 Lakes... oh my god it's cold here' ? Where are you now?

Yes, work for me has picked up significantly. I keep hoping to get some free time to work on retro things as well. I've missed our last three months of local club meetings even because of travel.

Enjoy those catered lunches and beer on tap at your new shmoozy job :)
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Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: It is I, your host ...

Postby Brutman » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:38 am

alanh wrote:So not more 'Land of 10,000 Lakes... oh my god it's cold here' ? Where are you now?

Yes, work for me has picked up significantly. I keep hoping to get some free time to work on retro things as well. I've missed our last three months of local club meetings even because of travel.

Enjoy those catered lunches and beer on tap at your new shmoozy job :)


An interesting tidbit - MN was the land of 10,000 lakes but in the county I lived in there was not a single natural lake - they were all man made reservoirs. (Olmsted county - an anomaly in more than one way.)

I'm in the Seattle area now. People keep telling me about the grey winters. I keep reminding them that I've never had to use a shovel for rain. I think the grey winter is going to be an improvement.

Catered lunch? No, it's all done in house - the chef is on staff. ;-0 I've not seen beer on tap yet but in general the rest of the work environment is pretty damn cushy. The downside is that I live in a major metro area now with slim mass transit options, so my commute to work is awful compared to what it used to be.
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